FLOORS OF EARTH, or EARTHEN FLOORS, are commonly made of loam, and sometimes, especially to malt on, of lime, brook-sand, and gun-dust, or anvil-dust from the forge; the whole being well wrought and blended together with blood. The siftings of limestone have also been found exceedingly useful when formed into floors.
Earthen floors for plain country habitations may be made as follows : take two-thirds lime and one of coal-ashes, well sifted, with a small quantity of loam clay : mix the whole together, and temper it well with water, making it up into a heap : let it lie a week or ten days, and then temper it again. After this, heap it up for three or four days, and repeat the tempering very high, till it becomes smooth, yielding tough, and gluey. The ground being levelled, lay the floor with this material about two and a half or three inches thick, smoothing it with a trowel ; the hotter the season, the better ; and when it is thoroughly dried, it will make a good floor for houses, especially malt-houses. But should it he required to make the fluor look better, take lime made of rag-stones well tempered with whites of eggs, and cover the floor about half an inch thick with it, before the under flooring is quite dry. If this be well done, and 53 thoroughly dried, it will appear, when rubbed with a little oil, as transparent as metal or glass. In elegant houses, floors of this nature are made of stucco, or pla-ter-of-paris, beaten and sifted, and mixed with other ingredients. Well
wrought coarse plater makes excellent safe upper floors for cottages. out-houses, &c., when spread upon good strong laths or reeds.
Very dry and comfortable floors may he furmed by cover ing the area of the rooms with a level stratum of concrete, consisting of dry screened gravel or pounded stone, mixed with a small quantity of ground stone lime, or Portland cement, and laid about six inches in thickness ; over this, and before it sets, should be sifted a few ashes, or some fine gravel ; which, if worked in and well finished, gives a hard and even surface. This description of floor is similar to those used in Devonshire, which are proverbial for comfort and durability. The ordinary red paving tiles, 12 inches square, make very good, dry, and comfortable floors, and they are easily kept clean. Claridge's asphalte of Seyssel, has also been used for the floors of basement stories, and answers very well, especially in damp situations. For stables, railway stations, and places of a similar description, perhaps there is nothing better than wood. The wood-pavement of the Metropolitan Wood Pavement Company, has been used with great success fin- such purposes—in the dock-yards by govern ment; and by the railway companies, for their stations. &c.