How do you prevent rubber stalls mats from getting loose or bunching up>

I am pulling all of my rubber mats out of the stalls and starting over. I’d love to know if anyone has any ideas to prevent them from popping up or getting build up underneath.

1 Like

You need a firm, level base underneath the mats. What is under there now?


I can’t complain because they held up really well for over 20 years. I started with a firm crushed limestone material and they do stay flat most of the time. I have an occasional horse that tends to move them around more than others

A solid, level base and mats that are cut tight enough that they have to be hammered in.

If the base isn’t perfectly level, the edge lifts over the bumps in the base.

If the mats aren’t cut tight, gaps form between them, allowing bedding in and then under.

A vibrating plate tamper will solidify the base, and a long, straight board will help level it.

The quality of the mats themselves also matters, as some seem to expand/contract with the weather more than others. They can be super tight to each other, then shrink with winter, collecting bedding in the gaps. Then they expand in summer, causing the mats to lift.


Mine are over concrete, and I have had no problem with getting loose or bunching.

1 Like

our 4by6 3/4 inch about 100 pound stall mats have been in the stalls for 32 years… over concrete pavestone pavers no problems with mats coming up.

I remember someone here trying something similar to this product (@Simkie maybe?)

Instructions for making something similar -

The bunching up depends in significant part on the temperature. A 4x6 foot 3/4-inch thick rubber stall mat can expand and contract about a half inch per side.

If you lay the mats in the winter with nice butt joints against the stall walls and each other, in the summer the mats will all expand and bunch up. If you lay them in the summer with butt joints, spaces will develop between the mats in the winter.

Interlocking mats have a harder time spreading apart, but will pull away from the stall walls in winter. In summer they will bunch up just like straight edged rubber mats.

I have red clay floors in my stalls. The shavings bunch under the mats so I just put one mat under the feed corner and keep it swept and one under the corner where they poop. We have to clean out the shavings under the edges once in a while but it works for me.

I dig these things for when you don’t have a hard edge to butt your mats up to, to hold that edge. I have them holding the mats just outside the stall doors to the runs, and securing the mats outside the big aisle doors–they’re stellar there. Especially on the sloped parts, where mats tend to slide downhill.

Stalls often have a hard edge on every side, but if there’s not one, these can definitely be used to create one. Using these to hold down a lifted edge in the middle of a stall would be a band aid. It’ll keep the edge down, but doesn’t really address the problem (the base, or mats not fit tight) and leaves a gap between the mats, which will just collect bedding.

I installed interlocking mats - my recall was $300 per stall. Money well spent. In one year they have not moved.

Current barn has mats over concrete, installed by previous owner.
My old place, I put down and hand tamped and leveled stone dust, then fitted the mats tightly, and they stayed put pretty well. Redid them once after ~10 years.

I use these in my stall. They work great.


Interlocking mats. 20 years now and no redoing since they have not moved. I did put down stone dust/ fines and used a tamper I rented from Home Depot to level and tamp down the base before putting the mats in. I have one stall with cheap nonlocking mats - they move all over the place. I already had these when I built the barn and would not buy this kind again.

I have wanted to redo this stall with interlocking ones but none can be found locally and the shipping is astronomical.

You might “nail” them in with 20 penny nails and fender washers.

I don’t know, if you get 20+ years out of mats, they must be pretty good.

I think the biggest factor is that they need to fit the space, and many stalls/barns are not entirely square. Mine definitely is not. I have tight fitting mats in one stall, ok in another, and poor in the 3rd.

But they’ve been ok for about 15 years. I’m definitely going to have to replace the one soon - but there is a significant difference in thickness between the edges and the center anyway, so I may replace them all.

I would think that after a certain point in time, the benefit from the matting is going to lost, regardless of how tightly they fit together.

The under-floor is key. Mine is concrete, and the mats were cut very slightly too large, and then tapped in with a mallet.

They’re almost 20 years old, and they’re pretty much perfect.

For a short term fix, when one of mine starts turning up at a corner I flip it over.

Really? Mine are definitely thinner in the more heavily traveled areas than at the edges. I suppose it can be a factor of what kind of rubber is used. I don’t think mine are unusably thin, but I certainly imagine that all rubber will breakdown/compress over time to a point where it isn’t providing the same level of cushion.

we are at 32 years.

We are on limited pasture so the horses do spend a lot of time in their stalls… a lot of time.

Very little if any wear of the mats.

These were the same mats used by vet clients at that time, not the cheap TSC ones

1 Like