“If you are looking for a cheap way to make a hard floor in a foyer, in a shed, or barn, you may want to consider a tamped earth floor, or what is called “tataki” or “douma” in Japanese. Japanese buildings have all historically been tamped earth or wooden flooring. Some temples have earth floors over huge areas. Kitchens and storage building floors were often made of the material that is cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Recently home builders have been returning the material for its aesthetic appeal, as well as the cost. The floors last for decades with moderately heavy use, are easy to repair if they crack, and can be made smooth or textured and decorated. They are inexpensive, because the materials are available nearly anywhere, and you can do all of the work. Finally, in the end the floors return to their natural condition, dirt.
First you need to consider how large an area you want to cover. If your foyer is three meters square, and you want a floor that is fifteen centimeters thick, then you will have to have about one and a half cubic meters of compacted earth and lime in the end product. I recommend at least fifteen centimeters of thickness for a strong floor. The thing is though that once this is packed down, it is about 1/3 the height of the original materials untamped. That means that you will need to start with about three times the amount of sand and lime to compact for your floor with the desired dimensions. In other words, you will need a little more than three cubic meters of sand and a one cubic meter of lime for your three meter square floor.”