Ziggy, over at The Year of Mud blog, has done it again. Over and over he comes up with some of the clearest, most in-depth blog posts on low cost natural building techniques, and his photos are always superb. Here’s a snippet from his blog about how to lay terracotta floor tile using clay mortar over an earthen floor base. Click on the link below for the full article and lots more photos.
“After we laid our base and final layer of the earthen floor (1.5″ and 3/4″ thick each, respectively — I actually could have done just one layer that was about 2″ that would have sufficed), we set about laying the tile. We waited until the final layer of the earthen floor was about 80% dry to do the tiling.
I used clay to adhere the tile to the earthen floor — straight clay that had been mixed up a bit by hand, fairly wet, but not so wet that it could hold no shape. This I smeared on the floor, applying enough so that the tile could sit flush with its neighbors. This took a while to learn — how much clay to apply to keep a level plane.
Before placing the tile, I dipped it in water. These things suck up moisture, so it helped to wet them a bit to be able to shimmy them about without the tiles setting up so quickly.
And then the placement: quick, firm, and with pressure to set it down nicely in the clay. Ideally, you should not have to pick up the tile once it is down — picking it up with clay all over the back is annoying and tedious. That’s why getting the amount of clay adhesive right the first time is so important.”
Source: Year of Mud
Be sure to check out the new house Ziggy is building. He’s also recently remodeled his cob house.