This was a beautiful home of a retired couple nestled away on 20 acres up in the country. They built their home out of concrete and only used building materials that were natural, non-toxic and green. Their goal was to create a thermal mass home made without any questionable materials. The decision to use American Clay fit right into that plan.
Who were the applicators and dealers?
The applicationwas done by my company, Old World Walls. You can see more photos of the American Clay projects I have done by visiting www.creativejuicesdecor.com. Most of my product was purchased through the American Clay company and GTS Drywall in Rathrum, Idaho.
Why was American Clay chosen?
My clients did an insane amount of research before they chose American Clay for their home. Absolutely NOTHING was going to be put in their home that didn’t live up to their highest standard of clean living. Once they met with me and discussed it more, they were confident in the choice they had made.
What were the steps to applying American Clay over concrete and what tips would you give?
We had a few trials, the biggest one being we had to keep the integrity of an all natural green product and take in consideration the breathability of the concrete. The bonder base coat that was first recommended to apply the clay over the concrete was a USG bonder. This was not an option for my client as they wanted to keep the breathability of the concrete at it’s full potential and they also didn’t want to add anything that wasn’t green or questionable. The best advice I have for others that want to keep the product as natural as possible would be to double up their binder. We used Plaster Plus in our clay along with Sanded Primer as a base coat over the concrete. Of course, this was after each wall was washed with a water/vinegar mix to be sure it was free of any dust or oil that would be left from the concrete forms. If you are able to power wash your concrete walls before a lot of construction starts that is a very safe way to go about providing a better “grip” or “tooth” to the concrete. Don’t forget to fill in any divits or holes that come from the nature of poured form concrete. If the power wash had been done first, we might have gotten away with just the plaster plus in the clay. You can always do a large test area on any given wall (you must do the TWO coats of clay!) to see how your choice of bonder is holding up against the concrete or any substrate. When doing a large job, my motto is better safe than sorry, so if you could do all three of my recommendations – go for it!
How do the clients feel about the overall project?
They were thrilled with the American Clay. They knew that what they put into their home was safe and it gave life to the home they were retiring in. It’s been a year since I did this home and I haven’t received any phone calls regarding touch ups. Happily there has been no issues with the clay over the concrete.