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Putting in a cement floor in our existing tack room

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  • Putting in a cement floor in our existing tack room

    Need some advice - we moved onto our current property about 2 years ago. Previous people built a tack room in the barn, but put in a wooden plank floor that floats about 4 inches off the what looks like a plain dirt/sandy bed. The wooden floor is starting to break down and wear out, so we would prefer to change the floor to cement. I'm pretty sure the drainage is okay under here, and we've never had water seep through the floor. The rest of the barn floor, including the stalls, is poured in concrete, so the tack room is the only place without concrete.

    So, how hard would it be to make this a cement floor? Would it literally just be the simple matter of yanking up the planks and pouring down cement????

    ??: Should we put down some pea-gravel first to improve drainage, and then pour over top?

    Additionally, I would like to have in-floor heating so that the tack room is slightly heated in the winter - has anyone done this on a plain cement floor and how did they like it?

    Are there any additional precautions we need to watch out for before embarking on this little project??

    Appreciate your advice and thanks in advance!
    Last edited by rodawn; May. 17, 2011, 08:23 PM.
    Practice! Patience! Persistence!

  • #2
    People who know a lot more about this than I do will want to know some details:

    does your ground freeze? how large an area? how much weight are you expecting to put on it?

    stuff like that.


    • #3
      The concrete doesn't need to be over 4 inches thick for that floor. Fill under it with stone to bring it up to the grade you need. Use a Firestone pond liner for the vapor barrier instead of polyethylene-for one room the cost won't be too bad, and it wouldn't make a whole lot of difference what the ground drains like under it. If you go with in-floor heat, add a layer of foam insulation under the concrete and adjust the stone grade accordingly.


      • #4
        On the advice of our contractor, when we put down the concrete floors in our office / tack room / feed room / utility room, we went to a steel door manufacturer and bought the cut outs from them (the area they cut out of the steel doors to insert windows into). What is basically is, is steel on both sides with high density foam sandwiched in between the 2 steel layers

        these were then laid over top of the raked and levelled crushed limestone base before the concrete was poured

        What this did was offer an insulated layer between the ground and the concrete floor which keeps it cooler in the summer ard warmer in the winter and also prevents the concrete from sweating

        It was a fabulous, very low cost alternative - I am so glad that we did it! Its one recommendation that he makes to everyone building a barn that is putting in concrete floors

        True Colours Farm on Facebook


        • #5
          How odd- to pour concrete everywhere BUT the tack room!

          Our tack room floor, IIRC, is 4" thick, over a base of gravel 6-8" deep. I'm pretty sure the gravel doesn't have to be that deep, but I know very little about concrete. There's very heavy plastic on top of the stone and under the concrete to keep it from sweating everywhere we've poured concrete, and even in weird KY weather we've never had sweating. Thought about using foam insulation, but we had the plastic already.

          As far as pouring concrete, it's not rocket science, but it helps to know what you're doing. Even a small pour is hard work, and you have to know when to "work" it. You also have to rent or purchase the mag and floats. DH and a friend and I poured a tack room and grooming stall for another friend and were just sitting there, drinking a beer and watching the concrete like it was the most natural thing in the world. The owner of the new concrete finally couldn't take it anymore and asked why we were all just sitting there. The perplexed look on her face when she asked was kinda funny. Had to explain the concrete had to be "right" before we could get on it with floats and such.

          If you don't have a friend that'll form everything up and be there for the pour(as in be at your place when you call for the truck!), you might seriously consider hiring it done.


          • Original Poster

            I'm concerned though about spring-time drainage - should we put in weeping tile under the stone leading to outside and beyond the footings of the barn? Being that we live in Alberta, Canada, we get severe cold to minus 40, and piles of snow which depending on the wind can make it pile up into drifts anywhere 4-8 feet high. Against the barn it only builds up around 2 feet or so because the barn is surrounded by corral with heavy-duty wind-break boarding.

            The natural grade of the ground slopes away from the barn on that side (where the tack room is located - northeast corner of the barn), but on the opposite side (southwest) the ground slopes toward the barn. The previous owners did not do ground prep other than to level the ground so all the run off likes to run towards and beside the barn. They didn't raise the grade of the soil before building. Something that causes me anxst every spring.

            We've never seen water come into the tack room, but then again, the plank boards are floating in space about 4 inches above the soil. It could be quite wet under there in the spring and we not know it.

            Our soil is sandy-loam, so it does tend to drain well, it's just that we have a lot of spring melt to contend with and the ground stays frozen for quite a while beyond the spring thaw-down.
            Last edited by rodawn; May. 17, 2011, 09:01 PM. Reason: too long
            Practice! Patience! Persistence!


            • #7
              I cheated and put down big square concrete patio blocks. Since my "tack/feed" room just a stall, I do have to deal with rain, wind, etc that occasionally gets part of the floor wet., so it drains through the minute gaps between the blocks.

              I'm happy with it, and it was inexpensive, and DIY easy.
              There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams


              • #8
                The one thing that raises is a flag here is that you said the wood floor is breaking down. So the question I have is what is happening with the sill plates on the bottoms of your walls. Are they sitting on concrete or on the dirt?

                If they are sitting on the dirt then you probably have the same problem there.