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By Sigi Koko

This is the first article in a two-part series on adobe floors.  In the next issue Sigi will walk us through the installation process of an adobe floor.

Why Would You Want A “Dirt” Floor?

The truth is, you probably wouldn’t want to live on a dirt floor. A dirt floor implies the lack of any finished floor…where the unrefined ground acts as your floor. Plain dirt is difficult, if not impossible to clean, and persistent dampness is likely (due to moisture rising from the ground below). Chronically damp surfaces can pose a host of health issues, including toxic forms of mold. A dirt floor has a connotation of poverty or is used purely for utilitarian (not living) spaces.

Adobe floor in a strawbale cottage in West Virginia

Adobe floor in a strawbale cottage in West Virginia

But this article is not about dirt floors

What we’re talking about here, is an adobe floor system…made from earth, but with specific material ratios and with controlled installation processes. And the difference is not nuanced. An adobe floor, also called an earthen floor, is lusciously beautiful, completely non-toxic, and quite durable.  The floor is easily maintained, cleanable, and promotes a healthy indoor space. And best of all, in many regions adobe floors can be made using local clay soil. (Which makes them dirt cheap…sorry, I couldn’t resist!)

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