Rubber vs Eva Stable Mats
When it comes to outfitting your stable, you have a lot of different materials at hand that you can use to create a safe, comfortable living space for the animals in your care. It’s important to know exactly what type of mat to purchase, as different mats serve different purposes. Rubber mats are hard wearing, durable mats which work great with heavier horses and large animals. But some animals may benefit from softer materials, like EVA foam comfort mats.
If you’re interested in learning more about what type of mat to purchase for your stable, we’re going to examine both rubber stable mats and EVA mats. In this article, we will discuss:
- The benefits of stable matting
- The different types of stable mats
- The differences between rubber vs EVA stable mats
The benefits of stable mats
If you’re still on the fence about purchasing stable mats for your barn, it might be helpful to discuss some of their benefits. Rubber matting offers protection against the elements, whilst also creating a dryer surface with less bedding. Check out some of the many benefits of stable mats below:
Horses and cows spend most their day on their feet, out in fields and pastures, and this physical activity can cause stress and strain on their muscles and joints. When they head back into their stall for rest, instead of having a cold concrete floor to lay on, solid rubber mats offer comfort to your animals.
Insulation from the cold
Both rubber mats and EVA stable mats offer insulation from the cold weather in winter months, creating a warm space for your animals. Concrete and dirt surfaces easily conduct the cold temperatures, and this can influence your animals’ comfort when laying on the surface for a long period. Stable mats offer a barrier between the cold and your animals, providing them with a much warmer, more comfortable space.
Need for less bedding
Stable mats can actually cut down on the amount of bedding that you use by up to a third. With less bedding, you’ll be saving time cleaning out your stalls, whilst also saving you the extra money associated with purchasing straw or sand.
Another added benefit of purchasing stall mats is that you can help minimise pooling liquids in your animal’s stalls. Stables can become very wet if you don’t have proper drainage, and this can put your horses at risk of diseases. But rubber horse mats come with drainage furrows, small trenches on the underside of the mat which help to move moisture away. This helps to create a dry top surface, ensuring that all liquid ends up away from your animals.
Different types of stable mats
There are many types of mats available for normal equestrian use and for use with cattle. The two most popular mats available include EVA foam and solid rubber mats. Below, we’ll discuss the benefits and drawbacks of each type of matting:
EVA stable mats
EVA foam stands for ethylene vinyl acetate. It is a great material to use for elderly or infirm animals as it moulds to the shape of the animal sitting on it. EVA foam can handle heavy weight, whilst also being incredibly light and long-lasting.
EVA foam is known for its insulating properties, and can be found in many industries, from gym flooring to heat absorbers on machinery. It’s suitable for many uses, including as stable mats.
One downside of EVA foam mats is that they have a tendency to scuff and tear, and don’t have the same durability level as rubber mats. It is advisable to only use EVA foam mats in areas where there will be light traffic, like a stable, as they’re not meant for heavy use.
As well, the density of EVA foam mats is important to consider before purchasing. Density is the amount of material that’s packed into each square millimetre of the mat, and the more dense a mat is, the better it will hold up against heavy use. At Stable Mats Ireland, we have two different types of EVA foam mats:
- Parlour pit mats: These are recommended for operators within parlour pits, and not for use with heavy animals. They offer density between 80 kg/cbm and 120 kg/cbm.
- High density Stable Mats: These mats are ideal to use in stables, as they’re able. Boasting an incredibly high density of 330 kg/cbm density, the most popular high density mat available are the 20 mm stable jigsaw EVA stable jigsaw comfort mats. These mats will hold up through the rigours of regular use by heavy animals.
Benefits of EVA foam:
- Offering superior comfort
- Easy to lift and install
- Prone to tears, gouges, and scuffs
- Only high density mats can be used in stables
Rubber stable mats
Rubber mats are one of the most widely used stable mats in barns, as they are suitable for not only stables but also walkways, walls, and any area that your animals may stand or walk on. The reason for its widespread use lies in its unique ability to withstand substantial weight. Forged in a crucible of heat, rubber matting can take heavy wear, and still offer the same protection after multiple uses.
Rubber mats can be heavy and are difficult to move, and this means that installation may be more difficult than with foam mats. However, having someone there to help you install the mats may make all the difference when you’re equipping your stables.
One of the major benefits of rubber mats is that they offer superior traction to foam. Some mats have unique surface textures which add grip for animals when they’re walking on them. One type of surface texture is the amoebic surface texture, a mosaic of many different shapes which are raised from the surface for traction. If you’re looking for increased traction, there’s also a stud dot surface, which comprises hundreds of raised stud dots which help to provide grip.
Benefits of rubber mats:
- Able to withstand heavy use
- Great for high-traffic areas
- Offers superior traction, even in icy weather
Drawbacks of rubber mats:
- Heavy, more difficult to install than foam
- Doesn’t provide as much cushioning as foam
Whether you choose to go with rubber or foam mats, the choice truly depends on your use of the matting. Rubber lends itself better to high-traffic areas, or to provide greater traction to your animals. Alternatively, EVA foam mats are comfort mats, great to use for older animals as the cushioning ability makes it easier for them to rest. Whichever type of mat you choose you’ll get the best quality mats available on the market by purchasing from Stable Mats Ireland.
Author: David Van Kooten