skip to content

FAQ about Claylin Earthen Floors

Claylin floors are earthen floors. Earthen floors are gaining popularity as beautiful, natural, non-toxic flooring option. Coming from traditions all over the world and integrating with the building science of today, modern earthen floor construction combines tradition and science, integrity and beauty to provide an exceptional product of unparalleled beauty and comfort for the conscientious homeowner. We’have put together answers to some of the commonly asked questions about this unique flooring option.

What are the Claylin floors made from?

Earthen floors combine local sand, clay soil and fiber. The floor is sealed with a mix of linseed oil, tung oil, pine rosin, beeswax and dipentene (a mixture of citrus and pine turpenes) for a durable, washable surface.  More information about ClaylinTM Oils and Finish Waxes.  Pigments can be added to change the color.

What type of spaces are they appropriate for? 

Claylin floors offer a unique look that is suitable for every room of the house, and some public spaces. Examples of areas where Claylin floors should not be installed include:   

Outdoor spaces, including covered patios and porches

Areas that are likely to be frequently wet, such as open-shower bathrooms or next to a pool 

Basements that are prone to flooding 

In a shop or utility room where heavy equipment or tools may be dropped

In a room where heavy furniture will be frequently moved

On the second story of a house built without adequate structural support to carry the weight (see question about deflection below)

Can I put a Claylin floor in my existing house? New house? What do I need to consider?  

Claylin floors can be installed “on grade,” on new or existing concrete slabs, and on a framed sub floor. They are appropriate for both new construction AND as a retrofit over many existing subfloors. The main consideration is the floor has sufficient structural support to accommodate the weight of the floors, which range in thickness from 3/4 inch to three inches or more in colder climates.

Claylin floor weight of 130 pounds per cubic feet therefore at    

 ¾” = 7.5 pound per square foot        

  1" = 10 pounds per square foot

A framed floor should have a deflection value similar to what you need for tile, L/360.  Deflection is the give in the floor.  To measure floor deflection. Secure a piece of string equidistant from the floor, while attached at either end to the floorboards on opposite sides of the room. Measure the distance from the string to the floor at both ends of the string. Apply a heavy weight to the middle of the room, then measure the distance from the string to the floor at this location. If this distance measured is greater than the string-to-floor distance at either wall, floor deflection is present.

Calculate the span (wall to wall) of the string in inches, then divide by 360 for Claylin. This value is the maximum allowable deflection in inches for a room the size you are testing. If the string-to-floor measurement at the center of the room exceeds the string-to-floor measurement at the walls by more than this amount, excessive deflection is present. 

Can I personalize my Claylin floor?

Because of the flexibility of the natural materials used, Claylin floors are perfect for expressing your personal style! It is possible to add color and texture, create patterns and designs, or add tiles or mosaics. Nearly anything you can imagine for your floor is possible.

How easy is a Claylin floor to maintain?

Claylin floors can be swept, vacuumed, and mopped with a damp mop. The occasional washing with an oil based soap (like “Murphy’s oil soap”) helps to keep the surface clean. A new coat of oil or wax is typically applied every 1-5 years depending on use and solar exposure. Claylin floors can be patched if they are damaged.

How long do they last?

With regular maintenance and care, Claylin floors can last a lifetime. We know of 30 year old earthen floors doing great.

What are they like to walk on?

Claylin floors provide a slight give that is kind on your body, and slightly warmer to the touch than concrete or tile. Harder than fir floors and softer than oak floors. Everyone says they love walking barefoot on their earthen floor.

Can I use Claylin floors with radiant heat systems?

Claylin floors work well with passive solar design and are great when combined with radiant heating systems. The mass of a Claylin floor is a battery for the heat, helping to regulate your indoor air temperature.

Why the increasing demand for Claylin floors?

The desire for healthy homes, concerns for our natural environment, and the large amounts of fuel used in the production and transportation of conventional building products has increased the demand for materials that are locally available, minimally processed and non-toxic. Claylin uses local raw materials and Claylin Oil finish has no heavy metals, it’s food grade.  And finally, their look and feel makes them a hit in every home.  

How does the cost for Claylin floors compare to other options?

Claylin floor materials are similar in price to other high quality, long lasting floors such as hard woods and bamboo.

How long does the process take?

The process takes 2-3 weeks. The main factors are the thickness of the floor and the time of year.     

What does Claylin guarantee?

Claylin Oil - be consistent from bucket to bucket 

Claylin Wax - be consistent from bucket to bucket

Claylin does not guarantee consistent install results due to variables with environmental conditions, sub-floor conditions, trained or untrained installers and varying thicknesses of installs. Claylin
trainings are offered to support contractors and homeowners to meet these variables and find solutions to possible issues. Claylin is ultimately a natural building material that will respond differently to all these conditions.


Portland web design by Watermelon Web Works, LLC