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Wood floor over earthen floor  RSS feed

 
Pack McKibben
Posts: 60
Location: Southern USA
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I'm going to build some type of wood floor over an earthen floor. Plywood? Laminate? Hardwood?

I've seen the pictures on-line of some nice looking cordwood floors. I'd like to do the same over an earthen floor in my utility room.

I need some input from you's guys. The earthen floor in question is insulated. 4" of crusher run, plastic vapor barrier, 1 foot of earth/stones,
and,
I hope a beautiful cordwood floor. I don't think there's much of an issue with dampness, so

1) Should I still place a 4-6 mil plastic vapor barrier, the the wood cut-offs for the cordwood floor?

And I'd like to get some ideas about finishing the cordwood floor (if this is appropriate here).
I was thinking about mixing sawdust with polypropylene as the fill between the cordwood cut-offs.
Whad'ya think?
EarthenFloor-Cordwood.jpg
[Thumbnail for EarthenFloor-Cordwood.jpg]
Earthen Sub-Floor with Cordwood Floor
 
Jay C. White Cloud
Posts: 2413
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Hello Pack,

Well, I have done, seen, or helped on several projects with "butcher block or end grain" floors which cordwood rounds fits into. I am under the expression that you tried a earth floor and did not like it? As such, I am not fond of placing wood (even inside a structure) on a dirt floor. Yet in this case, being a mineral clay and dry you should have no issue at all. IT MUST BE dry, and it must be a pure cobb type material. Some "end grain" floors are bedded in cobb.

In this case you do not net more plastic laid down (and not in general anyway if the foundation is properly set and drained.)

Bedding is dependant more on esthetic affect you want than actual mechanical modality. Some are packed tight with smaller rounds and then brushed with sand and then sanded to even the layers, some are bedded in stone dust, some in cobb/clay, some in lime mortar, and the list goes on.

As for finishing, I do not recommend, condone or ever use urethane finishes of any kind on wood. They may work for a short time but when you must refresh them or replace them they are horrible to work with. Stay with natural oils and the like. There is a new finish section I will be posting a vendors list on (when it gets approved by other staff.) Until then good luck and keep up the good work.

Regards,

j
 
Pack McKibben
Posts: 60
Location: Southern USA
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Jay C,
thanks for your reply. Your comments will help me much-ly. I'll be sure and use natural oils you talked about. The poly was from a post I had seen elsewhere.

I have a bunch of earthen floors under my belt. I LOVE them! I just want to try something different. and, I have some cordwood left over from another project that I hate to see laying around unused...

 
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