Ask Matt A Question

Thickness Guide for Rubber Horse Stall Mats

By Paige Cerulli Created: June, 2017 - Modified: May, 2024

If you own or rent a barn, then providing the horses with a safe and comfortable stall is a high priority. A safe stall can help to protect your horses, as well as any boarders’ horses. Installing rubber horse stall mats is a great way to improve your stall safety while also making the space more comfortable for horses.

How thick should good quality rubber mats for horse stalls be?

  • 3/4 inch is the standard thickness of horse stall mats
  • 1/2 inch mats can be used in horse stalls but they will not provide as much cushion. Thinner mats are typically used in barn aisles and grooming areas where horses won't be standing for long periods of time.

The thicker the horse rubber mat, the greater the weight. This is a benefit since heavier mats also prevent your horse from shifting around. Better designs are textured on the top for traction because wet rubber can still be slippery. Rubber mats for horse stalls with grooved or corrugated undersides help with drainage and prevent curling.

Plan to spend around $350 to $400 for enough high-quality mats to cover a 10x12 or 12x12 foot stall floor.

Thick Horse Stall Mats

Evolution of Rubber Mats for Horse Stalls

For centuries, horses have been kept in dirt-floored stalls, with straw or shavings as bedding. Mucking the stall is a frequent and time-consuming chore. While dirt is cheap, it gets muddy and your horse can throw dirt up into the bedding, making it hard to keep your horse and the stall clean. Urine can soak through the bedding, creating a wet spot that can take a long time to dry and can smell. Mold can also grow in the bedding.

Since dirt is also easy to move, horses can create potentially dangerous ruts and puddles. And mucking dirt stalls can also be tough.

One alternative to dirt floors is concrete floors. But concrete alone is too hard on a horse's feet, legs, and body. Wet concrete can be slippery, and slips and falls are dangerous for horses and their owners.

More recently, many horse owners have started to use rubber mats for horse stalls. Horse rubber mats solve a lot of the problems mentioned for both concrete and dirt stall floors. Horse stall mats are made of rubber, a natural material that is non-absorbent, easy to clean, and durable. Rubber mats for horse stalls can also be disinfected. Horse rubber mats are placed on top of the dirt, gravel, or concrete floor, and bedding is then placed on top, and replaced as needed.

Rubber Horse Mat Thicknesses

Buying good quality rubber mats for horse stalls is a smart investment for you and your horse. Thin or cheap mats can shift, and mounds of dirt will build up in the seams. Inexpensive horse rubber mats will tend to wear in the corners, in the center of the stall, causing the corners to bend back, which then break when the horse steps on it, leaving bare spots or divots.

Thick rubber mats for horse stalls save on bedding costs - sometimes as much as half or more. A thick mat also produces some cushioning, which is especially important for horses with laminitis or arthritis in their backs and hocks. Good traction prevents dips in the floor and mats are easier to clean and keep your horse cleaner. Horse rubber mats also provide a thermal layer, keeping your horse warmer on cold days, which increases the horse's comfort, and also lessens the effect of arthritis.

Recommendations for Rubber Mats for Horse Stalls

You want horse rubber mats that fit tightly together, otherwise, they could shift and dirt could pile up in the seams or urine could pool underneath the mats, creating an unsanitary situation that could damage concrete. You want the urine to soak into the bedding, which you will muck out as usual.

Many retailers sell 4x6 foot rubber mats for horse stalls, which horse owners then cut to fit their standard 12x12 foot stall. You will need approximately 6 mats to cover a standard 12x12 foot stall. Cheaper mats may not be a uniform thickness, or even a full 3/4 inch thick, which can make for an uneven stall surface. Regardless of the mats you buy, you will want to butt the edges together for a tight fit or choose mats with interlocking edges.

12x12 Horse Stall Mat Kit

Another option is to purchase a 12x12 horse stall mat kit. Greatmats carries kits in over 20 standard sizes and custom kits are also available. The kit contains 3/4 inch thick rubber mats for horse stalls that interlock for the tightest fitting mats possible. The interlocks are cut with a water jet. These kits have been rated to use some of the best quality mats on the market by a leading horse magazine. The mats are made in the USA from vulcanized, 100 percent recycled rubber content and feature a non-slip surface designed for durability. They feature a 12-year warranty.

If you prefer to stick with 4x6 foot mats, you can also find high-quality 4x6 rubber mats for horse stalls with 15-year warranties. This is a great choice if you might want to expand or change locations.

Pebble surface traction mats are guaranteed not to roll, buckle, or curl, providing less stress on the leg joints of horses. Made by the same Wisconsin factory as Greatmats' horse stall kits, these mats are also made with vulcanized 100 percent recycled rubber which provides a waterproof barrier in regions where there are freeze and thaw conditions. The mats are also anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and nonporous. These mats have been tested and approved by the American Farrier Association (AFA) to be used for all hot or cold shoeing processes and the AFA even uses our mats at all AFA competitions.

If cushioning a concrete floor is not an issue, another option is a one-piece Big Sky mat. Available in three sizes including the popular 12x12 foot size, this mat is 17mm thick and is the best solution to failed and leaky flooring. Big Sky mats have the highest traction rating in the industry and are the solution when a watertight floor is required.

Save on Shipping

Since stall mats are so large and heavy, shipping costs can quickly add up. Greatmats stocks mats in several locations throughout the country, so ordering mats available in your region can help to keep shipping costs to a minimum. As you search our stall mats, you can filter your results by the region that the mat ships from, so you’ll be looking at the products that are most affordable to ship to your location.

Don’t forget that in addition to stall mats, Greatmats also carries a variety of other equine mats and tiles for wash bays, foaling stalls, aisleways, and horse trailers.