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Options for aisle and washrack flooring

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  • Options for aisle and washrack flooring

    I am slowly making my way through the research for all of the building materials for my new barn, and am now looking at flooring for the aisleway and wash stall. The aisle will be approximately 12' x 48', with my 4 stalls along one side and the tack/feed and wash stall occupying about 2/3 of the other side. The remainder of that side is just walled off to create an exterior covered area for machinery, etc.

    My options for aisle flooring seem to be either rough concrete with rubber mats, or rubber pavers. Every barn I have ever boarded in has a concrete aisle with mats, so I am familiar with that setup. I have no experience with the pavers, but am very curious.

    Does anyone have the pavers?
    What was the cost per sq ft relative to concrete+mats?
    Was it worth the extra $?
    How do they hold up in a cold climate?

  • #2
    I didn't use rubber pavers on concrete. I used real brick pavers. High sand content - very nonslip and easy to care for.

    We laid it ourselves - the aisle is 12x36. We bought the brick pavers from a local producer. I think it cost about 1000$ for the aisle.

    Here's a photo taken when construction was about 80% completed.

    It has held up in cold, heat, hard freezes, blizzards, horses with and without shoes, and horses with borium on their shoes. Farrier doesn't seem to have a problem working on that surface, neither does a vet.

    It is rather hard on brooms, though. The high sand content really wears them down quickly.

    I have stone dust in the washrack but would very much like to concrete that - may do so this spring. Will put mats (with holes) on top of that most likely. A friend did hers with landscape pavers she bought at Home Depot, though. Stone dust with those 1'x1' pavers - those seemed to hold up well but it was a private, small barn so it didn't get heavy use.
    Attached Files
    Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
    Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
    -Rudyard Kipling

    Comment


    • #3
      I was in the same spot years ago, and consulted a local contractor who builds alot of barns. He said he installed those rubber pavers in a new, large barn, and after about a year the owner had him back out to tear them out. Seems that dirt/dust/shavings would accumulate in the crevices and were very hard to clean.

      That made perfect sense to me I can see that happening. Also he said if you want it level and stable you have to install them over concrete which made it very expensive.

      My barn sounds similar to yours and I replaced the dirt aisle with concrete. LOVE IT!!!! I don't have mats but it is so clean and nice and non-dusty. It was a big job, they had to dig out the center aisle to pour the concrete but it was worth the $2000 it cost me. My aisle is 12' by 36'.

      I do want mats eventually but the concrete is brushed and I don't have any problems with horses slipping.

      That is one beautiful floor JSwan. I love real brick floors.

      Comment


      • #4
        Every single barn I have ever been in here has concrete aisles. No mats, nothing, just plain broom finished concrete. It's easy to clean and not that slippery if you broom finish it.
        I have been in exactly one barn with rubber pavers in the alleyway. They were beautiful and lovely to walk on. The barn had a push electric broom type vacuum thing like janitors use to clean it. The pavers were only a few years old but they were worn down in the grooming areas.
        I plan on putting concrete aisles in my barn. Mostly because for climate here you basically have to pour a concrete slab under the whole building but also because they hold up the best. Mine will be heated subfloor.
        I think mats on concrete would be a pain to clean and I find regular mats are slippery when wet, more so than concrete.

        Comment


        • #5
          Even brushed concrete can be extremely slippery when wet. More so than rubber? I think it depends on how textured the rubber is.
          ______________________________
          The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

          Comment


          • #6
            Interesting JB, my experience is the exact opposite. The traditional black mats that everyone has in their stalls are very slippery when wet. I notice no difference in traction on brushed concrete wet or dry.

            Comment


            • #7
              Rubber mats over screenings

              We could not do concrete because there was a water line under the aisle, and we may need to dig to get to it.
              Put in a drain line to one side, leveled and compacted, repeatedly, with fine stone, then put in rubber mats with a very gentle pitch toward the drains. Ran the wacker over the mats, too. That was almost a decade ago, and we have not had to "redo" any mats yet. We are a boarding barn, so lots of traffic. A couple days a year extreme humidity makes the mats damp, and we throw down some grit on those days so it is not slippery. Easy to sweep and blow.

              Hope this helps someone, and good luck with the new place!!

              Comment


              • #8
                We have regular rubber mats with 18" of concrete along the sides and at each end - cleans up well, haven't had a slipping problem and the farrier says standing on mats makes his job much nicer.

                Wash stall has concrete floor with mats over it - wasn't planned that way but had mats left over so in they went.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by winter View Post
                  Interesting JB, my experience is the exact opposite. The traditional black mats that everyone has in their stalls are very slippery when wet. I notice no difference in traction on brushed concrete wet or dry.
                  Before I matted my stalls, I somehow ended up with one mat - can't begin to tell you now where I got it or WHY I got just ONE LOLOL But I have it, and it's in one stall which was then filled in with mats of a different type (from TSC). The singular mat is very "bumpy" and I know it when I hit it with the manure rake. One day I'll break a tine or three on it LOL And yes, it's right side up I'm sure it would still be slippery when wet, but due to its texture, I very much doubt it would be AS slippery with a small amount of liquid.

                  My concrete aisle is brushed. Every now and then I get lazy with sponging off a lightly sweaty horse, and just bring the bucket inside. I sponge, scrape, and below the horse is a light puddle of water. I didn't think anything of it the first time, after all, it's brushed concrete, 'sticky" Well, I went to turn the horse to go back out, and the first hind foot that hit the wet spot nearly made him do a split. Thankfully he didn't care, but it gave me a heart attack. He's barefoot, so it was "stickier" than a shod foot would have been.
                  ______________________________
                  The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I have rough concrete with black mats in the washstall and part of the aisle. I haven't had any problem with slipping on either.
                    Janet

                    chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I'm in the minority, but I have seen a horse eat it on brushed concrete. There was a little moisture (not a lot) and he went down. Very bad/awkward for the BO as it was a visitor's horse for a jumping clinic she was hosting.

                      He was shod all around.
                      DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The equine surgery center I worked at had a brushed concrete aisle and I saw many many horses slip and slide on it. Saw a couple biff it pretty bad and then I heard last year a horse went down on it while sedated and had to be put down b/c of the leg damage. I cleaned that aisle a gazillion times and it was a shavings grabber and broom eater.

                        I like either the pavers or rubber mats. Some traction is better than none!
                        “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          My aisle is broom finished concrete and it would get so slippery when wet or even just humid outside, that I put black stall mats down. The horse can just sink into the rubber enough to get a good bite on them. If it is particularly humid and wet outside, or raining, I sprinkle some non-slip barn lime over the mats. And usually just as part of my routine, I sprinkle some lime on them at least every couple weeks anyway. It keeps the surface of the mats kind of white and rough instead of wet and slick. With the concrete, I had to use hundreds of pounds of lime every month and then it got dusty and was a complete mess. But we live in a really humid state and we get a lot of rain. Concrete aisles in dryer climates probably don't get as slick.

                          If a horse gets squirrley on the rubber mats, the worst that happens is a mat gets kittywomped up. But you just straighten it out. That's better than a slip and fall.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            My washrack is brushed concrete, no slips, no slick spots, I've never slipped on it, the horses don't slip, no falls. it's very coarsely brushed, that must be the difference. It gets a ton of use as it doubles as a tack-up tie spot- zero issues in ten+ years.

                            My hall...is dirt...and I hate it. It will be getting gravel/mats/compacted this year.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              My neighbor has the rubber pavers that looks like bricks. She had them installed 10 years ago and loves them. They are easy on the feet and knees of the older humans and horses who walk up and down the aisles for several hours each day. When a youngster acted up and knocked her down, she was very happy that she landed on the pavers instead of concrete.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I have a brushed concrete aisle with four sections of FRAMED 12' x 12' matted (six 4' x 6' rubber stall mats) whereever there are cross ties. The framing prevents the stall mats from moving and the 12' x 12' area is large enough for working while grooming and tacking up. I have a very, very long and wide barn aisle which we blow to clean with a leaf blower.

                                In the wash stall we use the non-slip Mayo Mats also known as Cow mats. They have been AWESOME! They are guaranteed no-slip for something like 20 years! They would have been prohibitively expensive to have used in all 24 of my stalls but if I hadn't had a budget, I would have used them everywhere.

                                Pictures of my aisle and the framed mats are on my facilities page of my website:

                                http://www.goodnessridge.com/facility/

                                Mayo Mats:

                                http://www.mayomats.com/index2.htm
                                GoodNess Ridge Farm
                                www.goodnessridge.com

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by RackOn View Post
                                  I was in the same spot years ago, and consulted a local contractor who builds alot of barns. He said he installed those rubber pavers in a new, large barn, and after about a year the owner had him back out to tear them out. Seems that dirt/dust/shavings would accumulate in the crevices and were very hard to clean.

                                  That made perfect sense to me I can see that happening. Also he said if you want it level and stable you have to install them over concrete which made it very expensive.

                                  My barn sounds similar to yours and I replaced the dirt aisle with concrete. LOVE IT!!!! I don't have mats but it is so clean and nice and non-dusty. It was a big job, they had to dig out the center aisle to pour the concrete but it was worth the $2000 it cost me. My aisle is 12' by 36'.

                                  I do want mats eventually but the concrete is brushed and I don't have any problems with horses slipping.

                                  That is one beautiful floor JSwan. I love real brick floors.
                                  I have both rubber mats and rubber pavers.......Pavers are outside on the apron on compacted gravel the mat are inset in the concrete alley way on compacted gravel.

                                  One of the reasons why rubber pavers don't work well is the installation ........pavers come in two thicknesses 2" and 1" ...the one 1" is designed to be glued down on to cement while the 2" is designed to be installed over compacted gravel.

                                  Having said that I did use 1" pavers on compacted gravel but hubby is a contractor and we compacted the gravel with a compactor extremely well and it has held up really well I have a few spots around the edges where I have some settling (the compactor can't get right up against the concrete curbs)

                                  We also power wash our pavers about twice a year to get all the grunge off that broom can't get.....but we also do concrete areas as well.

                                  I like the pavers for wash racks and tie stall areas as you can replace worn pavers with out replacing the entire area.......if I build a new barn I am actually considering using the 2" for the stalls as well.

                                  If you don't want any problems it is advisable to follow the manufacturers instructions

                                  Dalemma

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by srg View Post
                                    In the wash stall we use the non-slip Mayo Mats also known as Cow mats. They have been AWESOME! They are guaranteed no-slip for something like 20 years! They would have been prohibitively expensive to have used in all 24 of my stalls but if I hadn't had a budget, I would have used them everywhere.

                                    Pictures of my aisle and the framed mats are on my facilities page of my website:

                                    http://www.goodnessridge.com/facility/



                                    Mayo Mats:

                                    http://www.mayomats.com/index2.htm
                                    I am very interested in these Mayo mats!! I have been looking for a stall mat that is compressible but not the matress system as I have seen those really turn lumpy and the covers get holes in them. Would you have the mayo mats in a stall as the base over concrete?

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Oh, and as to the rubber mats vs brushed concrete, I think climate has a lot to do with it. The black rubber mats you see here are about 3/4" thick and very hard, not compressible at all. Maybe because it's so cold? I have seen horses slip countless times when coming in from outside with snow in their feet on the mats, but not on concrete. Interesting....
                                      I have also seen horses bedded in stalls with rubber mats have hock sores...

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I have asphalt in my 10 stall barn, and love it. It's never slippery, is easier on legs to stand on, and easy to blow out. I love the look of pavers, but would only have them if I had a barn vacuum.

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