Wood floors in stalls - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 35 Old 09-19-2011, 05:35 PM Thread Starter
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Wood floors in stalls

Our new barn (or recycled barn) is nearly finished! It used to be an RV shed built on a concrete pad where a mobile home used to be placed. So it has good drainage all around, a good roof, etc. we just had to enclose it and build the interior walls and stalls. But I do not like the concrete floors, especially since both my horses are pawers and will tear their hooves apart on the concrete in no time. I thought about stall mats but they are very expensive. But we have at our disposal a large amount of long 3 X 12's- they look like they came from an old dock or something. They are very heavy and would easily stand up to a horse, so I am thinking of using them for flooring over the concrete. I think they will be easier on the horse's legs and feet, and warmer in winter. We are planning to install them before building the walls, so they will not need any kind of nails or fasteners to hold them down and will not shift or move around. Is this a good or bad idea? Anyone here have wood floors, and what are the pros and cons?
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post #2 of 35 Old 09-19-2011, 07:01 PM
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I do not have wood floors but have had experience with a small demon dog constantly peeing on ours, it rotted the wood and could never be cleaned eventually in his favorite spot. I'm fairly certain the same thing would happen in the stalls, just on a much larger, icky-er level.
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post #3 of 35 Old 09-19-2011, 07:19 PM
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I would say no to wood floors. The urine will immediately soak into the wood which means you'll never get rid of the ammonia smell and it wont take long to rot the boards either.
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post #4 of 35 Old 09-19-2011, 07:26 PM
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what about matting instead of wood?
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post #5 of 35 Old 09-19-2011, 08:17 PM
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It depends how much time you expect your horses to spend in the stalls. I imagine if a horse had to stand on concrete for 8 hours a day, it would be too hard on them, but if it's more of a shelter option only, then the concrete would be ok.

Pawing on the concrete won't hurt their hooves unless they have problems with their hooves already. I'd be more concerned about joints if they stand on the concrete.

I have concrete on one side of my barn and wood on the other. I haven't notice that my horse prefers one or the other, but she is never locked inside either. For cleaning purposes, the concrete is easier and less slippery, esp in the winter. When you get just below the freezing mark, urine will make the wood slippery.

If you want inexpensive matting, see if there are belting service companies in your area. Here we have a lot of mining and some heavy industry. Those require belting for large conveyors. Sometimes there are cutoff, or worn belting that is no longer good enough for conveyors, but fine for the barn floor. Just stay clear of the steel-belting, or check it carefully for exposed metal. If it's exposed only on the ends, you might be able to cap the ends with something. Fabric belting is the best for this application.
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post #6 of 35 Old 09-21-2011, 06:49 PM
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I'd definately go concrete or something waterproof. Its great to be able to hose them out if need be, otherwise after a while stables get this smell about them that is worse than the ordinary horse smell which isn't that bad. Also, wood will rot, even treated wood could be scraped away by hooves.
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post #7 of 35 Old 10-02-2011, 08:42 AM
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Wood will also get slippery after a little wear & the nail or screw heads will become a problem. The best way to use wood is to make a wood frame, much like a wall in a house, fill it with gravel & attach the wood to the top with a slight gap between the boards.
Personally I would have the concrete removed from the stall area or use heavy mats with deep bedding.
Congratulations on your new barn.
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post #8 of 35 Old 10-02-2011, 11:14 AM
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Speaking from experience....wood floors are not as bad as one would think.

We have wood floors, and the barn is going on 6 yrs and I have only had to replace 3 floor boards thus far, and that was from a very aggressive stall walker, and he would also paw in one spot (by feed tub)....the rest are holding up fine.

Our barn DOES NOT smell of urine. However, we re bed daily, and scrape the floor of wet spots daily, and apply lime/stall dry to urine soaked areas. All our boarders and visitors are amazed at how our barn does not smell like most barns.

We did not put our boards straight on top of the concrete however, they are over top the ground which has a layer of quarter down to help w any drainage, and on-top 2x6 spaced along floor as a brace. They are attached to the back and front of the stall using screws.....these screws if came dislodged (which has yet to happen) would not be in the horses way, as they are located directly under the stall front, and back wall....you can still get at them to remove if needed, but are not in the horses way.

Now like I say we clean our stalls thoroughly daily, and we also use wood shavings, not straw, I would guess that if the stalls are not properly cleaned, bedded, and if using straw, then wood floors may not be the best idea, but they can be used w little problems.
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post #9 of 35 Old 10-02-2011, 12:10 PM Thread Starter
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Well that is encouraging Maverick, because we already did it! My husband (the carpenter) was set on the idea and I know better than to argue. They look pretty good and there are no nails or fasteners where the horses can get at them. We are not planning to shut the horses in, for the most part, but will have the option eventually. It is mainly a place to come in for shelter and food, for our convenience as much as anything. They have a run-in in their field now, which they have NEVER used as a bathroom so I don't anticipate having to clean it daily.
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post #10 of 35 Old 10-02-2011, 12:39 PM
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Rubber stall mats are not that expensive.....in the LONG run. They are almost indestructible and they will allow you to use less shavings. Eventually, the cost pays for itself.

We had concrete floors at BARA Farms. I can't imagine how bad it would have been without mats. BTW, make sure you seal that concrete VERY well. Urine will soak into that, too.
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