We are deciding what kind of floor to have in the kitchen of the house we are repairing. Neither of us have much experience with building or big house repairs. We were going to just replace the wood that was there, but we found lots of animal tunnels and nests under the house. So we took all the floor out and will have to pound in the tunnels and relevel the dirt.
We are thinking why not just get a bunch of sand and gravel and pebbles from the river and have a gravel floor. The river is filling up with sediment from poorly managed cedar planted mountains and is a problem for native fish that need deeper water, so it would be good to remove gravel and sand from the river.
We are thinking we could put larger stones down for furniture and the sink and counter and such to sit on.
Right now it's just dirt and the house is resting on stones. It seems to be pretty dry. It only freezes a couple weeks out of the year at night.
Anyone have experience living with a floor like that? Thoughts, pros, cons, obvious problems?
I haven't had an indoor gravel floor, but my driveway is gravel, with the parking area being up to two feet thick. It is bank run gravel from my creek, ranging from small flattish stones down to sand. That mix packed very solid; if you had not enough sand to fill spaces between stones, or the stones were more rounded, it would probably not pack solidly.
I would be hesitant to use a gravel floor primarily because unless it was all flattish stones with sand, it would be uncomfortable on bare feet, and especially in a kitchen, it would be impossible to sweep clean and would allow food spills or other organic debris to sink in and make unsanitary conditions.
Gravel (especially if it is rough or irregular) would make a fine base for a packed earth floor.
A few thoughts, have you stopped the animals getting in? They will happily tunnel through dirt floors.
How are you going to clean it? You can't wipe gravel clean or even mop it, and even with the best will in the world things do get dropped in a kitchen and fat will spit, and when you drop that steak for dinner on the floor it's going to take more than a quick rinse to get gravel and sand off it.
What's the damp proofing? a floor is hung over the damp course, filling in all the space with gravel will allow damp to rise up though the floor and into the walls over the damp course (if it exists).
You wear shoes in the house!? gravel isn't the most comfortable to walk on and it will be cold.
We have a gravel drive.. gravel ends up everywhere in the house I can only imagine how much worse that would be if the gravel started in the house.
Well packed "stable gravel" the type used for roads which is over 50% sand and small angular prices that all lock together when compacted could provide an acceptable floor but it still gets knocked up as soon as something is dropped/dragged or you kick it.