Vela Creations is an in-depth resource for off grid living. The site documents our research and experiences, hoping that they might help others interested in pursuing this lifestyle. This blog is designed to document our day to day experiences as we build our new, sustainable homestead. If you are interested in seeing more photos and videos, we have a flickr account at the following url:

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Brick Floors

This week has seen our first floor laid, and it went really well. It is the first floor we have had in the 7 years we've been together, so probably anything would seem great.

It is a brick floor, using compressed earth bricks that were stabilized with cement.

- We started off with a compacted sand base.
- We put black plastic down first as a vapor barrier.
- We laid 1 inch insulation over the whole floor.
- We cut a piece of remesh to fit the room.
- We tied PEX pipe going up and down the room. This sub floor pipe will be heated by solar boilers that we will later install on the south side of the roof.
- We put screened sand on top of the pipe, which we then leveled.
- We laid the bricks on the sand in a running bond pattern, knocking each brick level and tight against its neighbors with a rubber mallet.
- We cut the edge bricks and laid them.
- We swept screened sand into the cracks. As the sand settles we will sweep more sand into the cracks until they stop settling.

We will have to leave the floor a while before we can seal it, but it looks finished. Furthermore, the living room is now fully painted, so we have our first room done (more or less!!!). Very exciting.

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