Hardwood floors in a straw bale house may not be the most common of floors, but they sure are beautiful. The reason they are not the most common is that most people want to couple the thermal mass values of concrete or earthen slab floors with the thermal insulation values of the bale wall assemblies. This makes sense, but is not always applicable. For example, some homes are built on raised floor foundations and as such, are better suited for lightweight floors like hardwood or engineered wood floors. Some owners simply prefer the look of wood over slab products, while others find that their physical and/or financial limitations require them to work with wood floors over slab materials. No matter what your reason for choosing hardwood or engineered wood floors, you will run into an issue that folks who build with slab floors won’t have: edge gaps.
Building a straw bale house on top of a concrete slab is certainly the most common system employed; however, it’s not the only way to go. If you have reason to build a raised floor system, you can. In the photo to the left, you’ll notice the change in grade from one side of the […]
I had a very close call on a job I am working on this week. While I was in Maine on vacation, $10,000 worth of cork flooring was delivered to the job site and set for installation. My project manager noticed that there were blemishes on the cork and stopped the crew from installing it. […]
We are currently building a house where the architect has called for base board trim to be used throughout. That is fairly standard delivery for most homes; however, is much more difficult in bale homes due to the undulations in the bale walls and the large curves in corners. Making the situation even harder is […]
I was recently asked if it is possible to do an earthen or cement skim coat over a slab foundation. The answer is yes, you can do a skim coat of either clay/straw (earthen floor) or cement over the top of a concrete slab; however, there are minimum thicknesses that need to be maintained. At […]
Yesterday I spent the entire day neutralizing, washing, and sealing concrete floors that I had acid stained the day before. I figured the floors would dry quickly between washings since the temperature outside was 112 degrees! “Unfortunately” bale houses are so well insulated that even with all the windows and doors open, the inside temperature […]