The Ten Books on Architecture, 7.1.7

Vitruvius  Parallel editions

‹‹‹ Vitr. 7.1.6 | Table of Contents | Vitr. 7.2.1 ›››

Gwilt translation

7If extraordinary care be required, the pavement is covered with tiles two feet square, properly jointed, having small channels, of the size of an inch, cut on each edge. These are filled with lime tempered with oil, the edges being rubbed and pressed together. Thus the lime in the channels growing hard, suffers neither water nor any thing else to penetrate. After this preparation the upper layer is spread and beaten with sticks. Over this either large tesseræ or angle tiles are laid at the inclination above directed, and work so executed will not be easily injured.

Morgan translation

7If, however, it seems needful to use still greater care, lay two-foot tiles, jointed together in a bed of mortar, over the broken stone, with little channels of one finger’s breadth cut in the faces of all the joints. Connect these channels and fill them with a mixture of lime and oil; then, rub the joints hard and make them compact. Thus, the lime sticking in the channels will harden and solidify into a mass, and so prevent water or anything else from penetrating through the joints. After this layer is finished, spread the nucleus upon it, and work it down by beating it with rods. Upon this lay the floor, at the inclination above described, either of large cubes or burnt brick in herring-bone pattern, and floors thus constructed will not soon be spoiled.