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  1. #1

    Default Stall Mats: Interlocking vs. Straight Edge

    I'm looking into buying stall mats for my barn. Can anyone tell me the differences between straight edge vs. interlocking. Both of the mats I'm looking at are 4x6ft and 3/4in thick. Which do you prefer? Why?

    Are interlocking mats difficult to put back together if they ever become "unlocked".

    I'm also looking into the "SuperStall" system, with foam or crumb rubber under a mat. Does anyone have experience with these?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug. 13, 2006
    Location
    Doswell VA
    Posts
    648

    Default

    Have all 3!

    Straight are a pain and if they ever start have corners coming up, it is an ongoing problem with bedding getting under it and being difficult to get it to set right again.

    My interlockings have never come unlocked in 8 years. Love them.

    Have one stall with comfort stall. Very nice underfoot. The rubber and foam has held up well, but I think mice have undermined the stone dust that is under the foam rubber because there are some sunken spots now. Would be a major undertaking to address, I'm not sure it could be done without ripping the top. This stall is in a pole barn (no foundation), so the underpart is contiguous with the surrounding earth. Wouldn't do it again unless the barn had a foundation.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul. 14, 2000
    Location
    midwest
    Posts
    10,134

    Default

    My 4 stalls have straight edge mats and they haven't been a problem at all. The 6 in the asile sometimes get jarred out of kilt because they are "loose" but I just push the mat back in line.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2011
    Posts
    6

    Default

    Thank you both for your responses! I appreciate it



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar. 6, 2009
    Posts
    8,377

    Default Have used both straight edge and interlocking mats ~

    I used straight edge mats for years = nice some moving problems with some horses but worth the money if installed correctly ~ IMHO

    BUT the "INTERLOCKING MATS" WIN THE BLUE RIBBON !!!! INTERLOCKING MATS ARE EXPENSIVE BUT SUPERIOR TO STRAIGHT EDGE MATS ~ IMHO

    The interlocking mats never unlock and make cleaning stalls very easy.

    You will like any of the before mentionned mats but if this is long term like forever I would get the interlocking mats... if you are going to move I would get the straigt edge mats and thus you can take them with you...

    Good Luck and welcome to the world of stall mats ~
    Zu Zu Bailey " IT"S A WONDERFUL LIFE !"



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar. 9, 2006
    Location
    Lucama, NC
    Posts
    5,868

    Default

    I have had both, had straight at my old barn were a PAIN, have the interlocking now and LOVE THEM. But no matter which kind I would NEVER EVER go back to stalls without mats!



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar. 14, 2007
    Posts
    2,091

    Default

    When planning the 'little barn' the interlocking mats were HIGH on my must haves list....I was able to even order them from the company for the full two stalls, so I only had to cut one exterior long side, and one exterior short side to 'fit' exactly edge to edge, and then put the 'interior' wall over top.

    I did the same for the 'aisleway' portion and I love them!
    ayrabz
    "Indecision may or may not be my problem"
    --Jimmy Buffett



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan. 25, 2010
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    40

    Default stall mats

    There are also stall kits that come in one piece now. So you don't have any seams! Tru-Stall is what they are called. But yes, most prefer interlocking when your using more than one mat together. It's a great question!
    Monica
    www.horsefencedirect.com
    No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle ~ Winston Churchill



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2009
    Location
    Four Corners
    Posts
    820

    Default

    I have the interlocking mats in one of my stalls. They went together awesome the first time. Silly me took them out one day (I think I wanted to do something to the floor underneath) and they've never gone back together as well.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar. 4, 2007
    Location
    SW MI
    Posts
    94

    Default

    I have the straight edge. They were great until we built up one edge of the stall (long story) and had to take the mats out and put them back in. Since then we have to lift some areas and pull shavings out from under the edge. I don't think we would have had this problem if we had never taken them out. I have the thicker (3/4") mats and they don't move much.
    And like other posters, I would never want to go back to NO mats, even though my edges lift.
    One of these days I'll replace my mats in one stall and go with the interlocking to see if I want to spend the money to re-do the other 3 stalls.
    Judy



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep. 13, 2002
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    4,926

    Default

    I have the straight edge type but if I ever redo, will go with the interlocking. I just had the straight ones as I'd bought them to use at boarding barns in the past, and since I had them, they went into my stalls at home when we built. The good, old mats are doing great -- the new ones I've bought since then are cheaper made and curl, and I hate them.

    My vet put in the one piece mats that someone mentioned and does not recommend them. He's had horses paw through them, and then you are left with a big mat with a hole in it -- easier to have the pieced ones so you can just replace the one damaged, not the whole thing. And moving them...I can't hardly pull the 4x6 ones around, so I'm sure a 12x12 would do me in!



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan. 27, 2004
    Location
    Yonder, USA
    Posts
    2,561

    Default

    I have the straight edge and have had all the same problems others have noted. They're better than nothing, but definitely not perfect.

    Re-doing the barn with interlocking mats is on my list of 'wants'.
    ---------------------------



  13. #13
    Join Date
    May. 26, 2007
    Location
    Owings Mills, MD and Mt. Airy, MD
    Posts
    1,195

    Default

    We have interlocking and love them. Were at too many barns that didn't fit the straight-edge perfectly and they came up too much.
    Winfield Farm
    Karrera "Zoee" ~ Redshift "Orion" ~ Inquisitive "Q" ~ No Doubts "Lady"
    I Paid For My Vet's New Truck Clique



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan. 12, 2000
    Posts
    1,089

    Default

    what kind of interlocking mats do you have and recommend?



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2011
    Posts
    6

    Default Next Question

    Thanks for all of the responses!!

    Now I have another question for you

    I can save $200/stall by going with the straight edge mats. With this money (about $2400 in savings) I can upgrade my footing.

    Would you do straight edge mats and nicer footing (2 inches sand, 1/2 inch rubber or fiber - I haven't decided), or interlocking mats and straight sand footing.......

    So many decisions!!

    Thanks again for the help!



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug. 5, 2010
    Posts
    9

    Default

    My husband installed straight edges in my barn 8 years ago. They haven't budged and cleaning is easy. Under the mats is screenings, which needed to be carefully levelled in order for the mats to fit perfectly.

    I think that preparation of the surface is key to the straight-edged mats working well.

    Mats, regardless of edges, makes cleaning stalls so much easier, and the barn never smells of urine.

    By the way, one of my horses always kicks the wooden wall of her stall while waiting for her feed. Not at 90 degrees but at 20 degrees. My husband attached one of the matts along the wall and not only did it protect the stall, but damped the sound of the kicking, and eventually disuaded her from kicking!
    Marg 184



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar. 14, 2007
    Posts
    2,091

    Default

    your questions are getting harder!!

    ---Now you're getting into a whole different territory...as in: whats more important to YOU? ..Y'know? Everyone is different.

    In my case: I was laying out/designing barn and working with my builder. I wanted (and it was very important to me!) the interlocking mats, and I wanted him to install them at the time of fabricating the stalls, etc. So, thats why I opted for them. My own 'arena' is going to have to double as turn out/grass, so your dilemma isn't one my personal situation would have any bearing on.

    I have always boarded, and I wanted mats and a matted aisleway BIG time for my own place. (my current boarding barn is wonderful!! but has dirt/sawdust aisle which I hate) So that was a priority for 'me'.
    ayrabz
    "Indecision may or may not be my problem"
    --Jimmy Buffett



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct. 29, 2008
    Posts
    1,641

    Default

    I have straight edged mats in 2 stalls, and have switched, over the years to Comfort stalls for the other 7. I love the comfort stalls. I have not had any tear (oldest are 10 years old, newest couple are about 4 years old). They provide an impervious surface which prevents urine from getting under. I also breed, and don't have to worry about other fluids (blood/amniotic) leaking under the mats and harbouring bacteria.
    My stalls are not perfectly regular (old barn) and though I / my helper was painstaking in cutting the straight edged mats to fit together, with no gaps - there has still been a little shifting, and shavings getting under. When the ground is very wet outside (springthaw or flooding) I see moisture along the cracks between the mats, and can imagine bacteria etc.
    No odour with the comfort stalls. Well worth the money. Savings in time/ labour to clean the stalls. Better air for the horses (odour/dust) and less shavings used.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct. 2, 2007
    Location
    Beyond the pale.
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    2,957

    Default

    Oh man, if you get the straight edged ones that are heavy enough not to curl or budge...the 3/4 inch or one inch ones, they are heavy heavy- like almost 100 lbs each- I can't move them by myself. OTOH, we put them down 15 years ago over sand and haven't had a problem. The 1/2 inch ones we bought to go down over the concrete aisle also haven't moved and they were way easier to install, but the edges of one have started to curl.

    You guys who have the interlocking mats? How hard are they to cut? and how expensive to do a 12 x 12 stall? When we installed our heavy ones, they were a BEAR to get through and took a half hour just to cut one to size.( we had one stall 12 x 14, so we had to cut one mat in two places to fit) But they were pretty cheap- 6 mats at $50 each or $300 a stall.
    "The Threat of Internet Ignorance: ... we are witnessing the rise of an age of equestrian disinformation, one where a trusting public can graze on nonsense packaged to look like fact."-LRG-AF



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