Flooring in cold climate

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by ND Sue, Nov 17, 2009.

  1. ND Sue

    ND Sue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We're still working on the coop, my husband had a week off for hunting.

    It got too cold to properly put the linoleum down this year. So far what we have for flooring: the floor is off the ground by a few inches and has plywood, hardware cloth, some strawboard as insulation and another layer of plywood. I wanted to put the linoleum next, but it's just too cold for the glue.

    So would the chickies be better off as it is so far for the winter? Or better off with my other option which is, I have some 2 inch thick heavy rubber mats that we have on hand for the horses that I could use. I was thinking it could work for protection of the wood until I can get linoleum in next spring, should make cleaning easier and it may even have some insulating properties? Or maybe it would be cold feeling for them? Not sure on that.
    What do you think?
     
  2. gsim

    gsim Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do not know your locale, but the rubber at 2" thick would be a great addition for a quick solution of floor warmth. You should do litter a foot deep too if you are in a really cold place. No drafts.

    (I did the linoleum after nailing down the 3/4" OSB subfloor deck, BEFORE framing the walls. Easier to do, no fitting.)
     
  3. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    I agree and since it is designed for livestock and cleaning, you may like it so much you'll decide to keep it! Lucky chooks...[​IMG]

    Some thoughts on winter in the link below-
     
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Are you sure they are 2" thick? (The only 2" stall mats I have ever seen are the rubber-crumb 'soft-stall' type). Regular horse stall mats are 1/2"-1" thick, and do not have an R-value meaningfully higher than OSB or plywood in an equal thickness.

    While rubber mats are moisture resistant (not '-proof', because of the seams where they join) that can work both ways. REmember that any moisture that gets UNDER them, and some WILL (especially if your floor is only a few inches above the ground), will be trapped there and happily rot through your subfloor and possibly joists as well.

    Personally I would save the stall mats, whichever kind they are, for livestock that actually benefits from them, and simply bed your coop real deep in pine shavings. Which have a better R value anyhow [​IMG] and are far cheaper, easier to deal with, lighter to move around (!), and less apt to cause rot when installed over a wood subfloor. Sufficiently deep bedding -- a foot or more -- is actually quite good insulation, plus the chickens can snuggle down in it if they feel real cold, which they probably won't if your temps *seriously* seldom get below the 20s.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  5. ND Sue

    ND Sue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks, I really appreciate everyone's input! We're in ND, so the temps are below zero for a lot of Jan and sometimes a couple weeks of December and Feb get below zero. Every winter I wonder why I live here! [​IMG]

    I was planning on bedding thick on top of the mats if I used them and doing the deep litter method. I just thought the mats would line the floor so it wasn't on the bare wood.

    I haven't actually measured them, but they are twice as thick as what I see for sale at the tack stores now. They're too heavy for one person to move by hand and they are too stiff and thick to get a grip on them so we use vice grips. They are over 20 years old (don't look it, but they are!) and were originally made for a commercial dairy operation and we bought quite a few from them when they went out of business. Now that we have less horses, we have a stack of them just sitting, so I was just mulling over putting one or two to use and would cut them to fit. But I hadn't mentioned it to hubby who would most likely not be thrilled with the idea anyway. I just wanted a sounding board before mentioning it to him! [​IMG]

    I was thinking the purpose would be more for keeping the plywood dry and if there were any insulating properties, that would be a plus. But sounds like it may backfire and actually rot the wood, so I better not mess with it after all. Drat. I thought it would be like having extra thick linoleum!

    I really don't know how high off the ground the bottom of the coop is. It was built on bridge planks set flat so it can be moved if necessary. I suppose they are 5 or 6 inches thick.
    Pat, why do you think the floor will get wet? Do you mean the plywood underneath or the plywood inside? It shouldn't get wet if it's insulated and enclosed all around should it? There won't be any snow or rain that will be able to get underneath. Or do you mean wet from the chickens?
     
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:If this is on blocks or runners, low to the ground over natural ground (as opposed to 'on a slab inside a drive shed' or something like that), then the low clearance will create 100% humidity under there, which will make the underside of the flooring tend to rot out sooner rather than later. If there is enough clearance for, like, a Jack Russell to *easily* get under there without any digging, there may be enough air movement to keep it drier, especially if it's on well-drained soil on a high point of land.

    Pat
     
  7. Chook-A-Holic

    Chook-A-Holic Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You really don't have to glue down the linoleum. I folded mine about 12" above the floor, then stapled it to the wall. Makes it easy to replace if it gets damaged. I then put 12" of shavings on the coop floor.

    Marty
     
  8. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    I know the mats you mean. When a local racetrack closed down, the owners were hauling them back home by truck in teams of 4-6 men at a time. I don't think you can easily get them now- would love to have some on the main floor of my barn opver the concrete floor, just for comfort! [​IMG]
     
  9. ND Sue

    ND Sue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's on a high area of our back yard, so a grassy area. A rabbit could get under there, but not sure about a Jack Russell! I hope it's high enough for airflow and won't be rotting soon. [​IMG]

    Hmm... well, maybe we should just go with the linoleum and wait to glue it next spring. Thanks Marty!

    Lynne, That's probably the type we have. It would take 4 to lift them, but 2 can drag them a short distance. If you were closer... [​IMG]
     

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