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What does your concrete barn floor look like?

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  • What does your concrete barn floor look like?

    In the process of starting contruction on my new barn and am trying to decide how to finish the aisle. I LOVE the look of bricks, but it's too pricey. I have access to a guy that can do stamped concrete VERY cheap and was considering doing that down the aisle for the 'look'. But was wondering how easy it would be to keep clean, with dust and dirt in the gooves. Anybody have any experience with this, likes, dislikes?
    Tracy Anderson
    Cornerstone Farm - Breeders of quality sport prospects for the amateur and professional
    We're now on facebook! Follow us here

  • #2
    It really depends on how obsessive you are about keeping it clean, and if you have alternatives (like hosing). Sweeping concrete always kicks up a lot of dust no matter what you do.
    We did our own aisle in our previous barn. You want traction for sure, nothing worse than a slippery aisle. We "brushed" the aisle with a broom all going in one direction while the concrete was still somewhat wet. It worked great but we're not the type to worry a lot about some dirt in the cracks.
    Another option is to incorporate grids or mats in the aisle over the concrete.


    • #3
      The folks I know with the pressed pattern cement, both have vacuum sweepers to clean the aisles. One has the random stone pattern, while the other has a brick look pattern. Done well, those patterns have deep lines, many cracks, which you can't get very clean with just a broom, even going down the aisle with a house broom on the cracks and lines.

      Have to say the one BM is rather obsessive about keeping his very nice barn sparkling. So if the brick aisle could be kept clean with a broom, his aisle would clean. It took so much time and work to be moderately presentable, they went to the EXPENSIVE vacuum which does a terrific job removing barn litter in a working aisle. I bet it would even suck up the cat, if he didn't move away!

      Same thing in the other barn, you just can't keep the cement clean with a broom no matter how hard you work at it. Dirt just stays down in the cracks, straw snags on the pattern. They also purchased the vacuum for cleaning, say it has vastly improved the looks of the aisle over what was possible with the brooms. This is a hard working barn, lots of horses in and out, so sweeping clean often was just not possible. All those hooves carry a lot of dirt and litter down the aisle on their trips thru the barn. Now it is once up and down with the vac, aisle is totally clean. You just empty the large bag daily.

      Our personal barn also had the brushed aisle, which has worked pretty good for us. We used a very stiff broom so it was roughed up well for the good grip of hooves, shod or bare. Inexpensive pattern, easy to sweep with the push broom. Drains well into the aisle drain.

      I can admire the lovely pattern floors in other barns. Would NOT want to have one in my barn. Such pattern floors collect way too much dirt in daily living, are too hard to keep reasonably clean and neat.


      • #4
        Muck out a few stalls that used cobbled stone's for flooring... Yes! The place I grew up in had "loose boxes" with cobble stones. Think 1824. (House built.. not my birth year)
        Then move on out to the cobbled stone yard and give that a good sweep.
        Stamped concrete, or whatever else, would be a breeze after all of that.
        "Dressage" is just a fancy word for flatwork


        • #5
          I went for the brushed aisle but builders didn't make it coarse enough so was slick. Once the first slip happened, we put stall mats from TS down the aisle and it works just fine. Easy to sweep. And quiet!


          • #6
            Ours is concrete, and I have a vacuum in my barn that I use weekly but daily is just a simple sweep and it looks great. I'm obsessive about the barn being clean!

            Ours is a very course, circular, grainy/grippy type of finish that the builder's put down. No slips, excellent traction. I love it!


            • #7
              one idea to correct the dirt in every crack- a leaf blower!
              I know it sounds loud and obtrusive to the horses, but I worked at a show barn once and we would clean the stalls and then the BO instructed us to blow all the dirt out. It took some getting used to (the first few times I did it I ended up with the dirt back in my face) but after you are it's a dream. Almost all the horses got used to it as well. I thought for sure the horses would freak out, but they didn't. If your horses go out you could even do it while they aren't in the barn.


              • #8
                I have heard vets say that leaf blowers to clean barns with horses in there is not a good idea, puts too much dirt/molds and such in the air horses and people breathe.

                Brush finished will give as much traction as stamped concrete, but concrete will always be more slick than other materials.
                For barns, concrete is great to keep things neat and clean, just not that good if a horse acts up and slips around.

                On the other hand, even the feral horses we started had enough sense not to do anything silly on concrete, they could feel it was too slick for that.


                • #9
                  I also have brushed concrete. I works very well for us. Easy to sweep clean. One thing I will say is be prepared for a crack or two. That's just how concrete is. It WILL crack somewhere. I wanted to cry when I saw it crack but I got over it

                  While stamped would look really cool, I don't know if it's practical for the barn.


                  • #10
                    That makes sense on the mold/dust. Good thinking...perhaps I should inform this barn!


                    • #11
                      I never had a stamped aisle, but did have a cobblestone stamped patio. Looked nice but never again. Could NOT get/keep it clean - even with hosing, and was miserable to put anything with supports/legs on - everything either got stuck when you tried to move it, or rocked.

                      Something else to think about - those stamps require a release agent - (think a powder that has the consistency of flour) that is impossible to vacuum (goes right through the filters), billows up when you try to sweep, and floats onto everything when you hose it off. 7 years later, if you dug down in my yard, you could still find a thin layer of the stuff.

                      We have an old tobacco/dairy barn that we will be redoing here in the next few years and I'm going with brushed concrete (it has some very uneven concrete areas in it now) and I'll put mats over the walk areas for traction, cush and warmth. I will make sure that the brush marks go lengthwise, so I'm sweeping/hosing with the grooves rather than against though!
                      "The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear" ~ Socrates


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by blueboo View Post
                        I will make sure that the brush marks go lengthwise, so I'm sweeping/hosing with the grooves rather than against though!

                        That's the best idea I've heard in ages. And so obvious/simple, but I never would have thought of if.
                        DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/


                        • #13
                          Looks like concrete

                          Easy to sweep, pressure wash and keep clean and lasts for decades.

                          Lay it so it's even and you don't get grooves!


                          • #14
                            We have a brushed concrete aisle, and absolutely love it. In the six years since the barn has been up, we've never had a slip. We do have a crack or two, like Sparky Boy points out. We love that we can use a leaf blower and get rid of the dust and debris in just a few minutes (I imagine that most responsible horse owners know that you shouldn't blow the aisle with horses in the barn ). We power wash it twice a year, and make a point of using hoof products only in the wash bay.
                            "Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." - Confucious
                            <>< I.I.


                            • Original Poster

                              Anybody have any pics they can share of their 'brushed' aisle?
                              Tracy Anderson
                              Cornerstone Farm - Breeders of quality sport prospects for the amateur and professional
                              We're now on facebook! Follow us here


                              • #16
                                Here's mine
                                Last edited by Creaghgal; Feb. 7, 2010, 09:51 AM.
                                "Dressage" is just a fancy word for flatwork