What is Earthen Flooring?
Earthen Floors are made by compressing different layers of natural materials and sealing those materials off using a layer of oil, making the floor waterproof and abrasion resistant. Earthen floors are natural, which makes this flooring option great for the environment. It is easy to clean and maintain, and looks gorgeous.
How EarthEnable adapted earthen flooring to Rwanda
One third of the global population is estimated to live in houses that are at least partially made of earth, and the percentage is estimated to be much higher in developing countries. EarthEnable utilizes laboratory testing and grassroots partnerships to optimize earthen flooring products for rural environments.
Across the world, earthen floors utilize locally-sourced clay, sand, fiber, and plant oils. However, earthen floors in the United States and Europe typically use a linseed oil sealant, which is incredibly expensive. In order to bring affordable earthen floors to Rwanda, the team at EarthEnable had to innovate.
With the help of PhD Rick Zuzow, a chemist from Stanford University, a new oil was created which could seal the floors properly and safely at a cost of 90% less than linseed oil. With the new oil in hand, EarthEnable knows that it could use local materials and labor to build extremely affordable floors worldwide.