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Soil Cement Sub-Floor

Dirt Floor Redo

Our great grandparents may have walked on a dirt floor when they were kids. Dirt floors were considered normal in the construction of the homesteading era. Today, all over the world people are finding more uses for dirt when making floors in a home. It is somewhat like a movie redo or a part two.


What is Soil Cement?

Very simply (which is a good thing) soil cement is the result of mixing Portland Cement with soil found on your property. The quality of the finished floor is based on the quality of the soil. If you have too much clay in your soil, cracking can occur. More cement will be needed, maybe a little sand added to the soil. If you have too much rock and not enough sand, you may need a little dirt from another location. You may have to filter out any organic materials like leaves or roots. The cool thing about this process is most applications don’t require additional mixtures beyond soil and cement.


The Process

Our first attempt at creating a patio using soil cement was successful. We followed the following process:


- Dampen the soil while using a rototiller (4” depth) until wet but not soaked.
- Place one half inch of Portland Cement on the top of the soil.
- Continue to dampen soil while using the rototiller.
- Screed the top soil to the flatness and level desired.
- Tamp the soil with a 10 pound weight.
- Continue to lightly spray the tamped soil until damp every hour for several hours.





The deck came out great. We later enclosed and then covered this patio with an earthen floor (See Earthen Floor Installation).



Gary Curtis
January 2, 2013