Peach pip floors (aka peach ‘pit’ floors to us yanks) have a long history in South Africa and the warm, natural materials made an early impression on South African gallery owner Allah le Roux. He caught his first glimpse of this unique organic finishing technique as a child on a visit to Klein Zoar in Cape Town. Decades later, in 2004, he bought an 19th century house in Paarl, in the Western Cape, and made his first objective to restore the home with this traditional peach-pip flooring.. In total, he covered an area of approximately 90 square meters with peach pips which, now three years later, appear as if laid yesterday.
The floor consists of peach pips that are packed by hand onto a glued surface and filled with a silica sand and resin mixture, then sealed. The sharp edges of the pips are sanded off to expose the red hue of the pips and give the floor a natural wood feeling – making it warm, therapeutic and comfortable to walk on with bare feet. The floors are uniquely South African, natural and the design and color can be customized.
The house in Paarl is currently run as an art gallery (The Orange Mill) by le Roux with his partner. After numerous requests and compliments regarding the floor, he decided to take it a step further and enter production of peach pip tiles as a business concept in the First National Bank Enablis Business Plan Competition, in which he was a finalist. In February 2007 the tile design and concept was registered. Today the endeavor is in progress as Stone Fruit Floors, creating job opportunities in the production of flooring rooted in sustainable materials and a traditional aesthetic.