Jun 212 min read

Vernacular Elements-6 Intrinsic Flooring Finishes of India!

written by

Team Kaarwan

Vernacular flooring refers to the traditional, indigenous, or native flooring types or techniques of a particular place, often developed over time. It is generally functional and is often characterized by a close relationship to its immediate surroundings and natural environment.

Here are 6 such flooring styles which will help you bring the culture into a contemporary home:

1. Yellow sandstone

This naturally lustrous stone is smooth textured and hard, with high tensile strength. It is durable, resistant to weather fluctuations and does not require special maintenance. The punch of yellow adds a traditional Indian touch to the contemporary setup.

Image source: Houzz

2. Kota stone

Mainly quarried from the Kota district, this variety of limestone is hard, non-porous and non-slippery. It can be polished to achieve the desired amount of gloss. A river-finished or matte textured for this stone has a more classical and organic charm.

Image source: buildingandinteriors

3. Concrete with oxides

This type of flooring is made in situ by spreading and brushing coloured cement on a concrete floor. Such floors are best laid by skilled labourers, to avoid cracked and uneven surfaces. Besides regular mopping, unpolished cement floors needed to be coated with a sealant annually.

Image source: Houzz

4. Cuddapah

Black limestone or Cuddapah is the vernacular material of Andhra Pradesh. It can be distinguished by its near-black colour with grey speckles. It is highly compact and sturdy, resistant to temperature and pressure.

Image source: Houzz

5. Athangudi Tiles

Anthangudi tiles come from Tamil Nādu, where the local artisans handcraft the tiles individually to date. Cement slurry is coloured with oxides and modelled into solid colour and patterned tiles. These tiles are cured on a glass surface to get a smooth finish.  

Image source: Goodhomes

6. Terracotta Tiles

Terracotta is clay-based and known for its unique earthy appeal. Like Athangudi tiles, no two terracotta tiles are the same as they are made by baking red earth, which changes colour with age. Oxides are added to clay before firing to achieve different hues.

terractoa tiles vernacular flooring.jpgImage source: Pinterest

To conclude, Vernacular flooring is a traditional or indigenous flooring type or technique that is designed and built using local materials and resources and adapted to the local culture and climate. The term is used to describe floorings that have been built/constructed over time by local people, often without the use of professional architects, designers or engineers. Which other flooring finishes do you know about? Give it a thought!

Team Kaarwan

Team Kaarwan

Since graduating from IIT Roorkee, we've been on a mission to democratize education through affordable online and offline workshops and courses. These equip students with architecture industry-relevant skills, boosting their employability across the Indian subcontinent.