Friday, April 18, 2008

Laying the floor

The floor has had a concrete slab, as we're in Muizenberg by the sea and vlei and the water table level is an issue! However, we've put in a lovely warm earth floor on top of it. It's got horse dung in it in place of straw, as a binder. The dung has to be well soaked and separated or you get black patches of dung showing up in the floor (we had to fix a couple of areas); but otherwise it's similar to mixing cob (and really not smelly!)
If you lay the whole lot at once it'll crack as it dries, but if you do it in layers you need to ensure the top is roughened so that the next layer will bond nicely to it.
The next layer was much smoother but you need to stay off it for a few weeks. We humans managed to do so, but not everyone did...
This has then been fixed up and a thin top layer put in certain places, with the traditional 'feta lid' burnishing happening once things were fully dry. At time of writing downstairs has not been sealed yet - an Envirotouch rock sealant is going to be used for this. You can see something of the final burnishing through the pentagon hole here: this has just been closed up with a specially cut piece of plywood! The top floor has been sanded and then sealed with Envirotouch wood sealant for floors.

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