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Sand Barns


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RR#1 Arthur
Ontario, Canada
N0G 1A0

Two way diamond cut grooving provides long lasting, clean, drier and safer floors

Sand Bedded Barn Floors Do’s & Don’ts


  • Sand works exceptionally well in the stall.
  • Some sand is constantly kicked into the aisles and because of its abrasiveness, helps provide traction.
  • Two things stand up to sand – CONCRETE & CONCRETE GROOVING


  • Slope floor in the direction of the manure flow and/or center of the floor – minimum ½%, more is better.
  • The concrete that arrives from the plant is formulated to engineered standards. The drier the concrete, the stronger it will be. When it is watered down, it greatly reduces the strength of the concrete and you don’t get the quality of concrete you paid for.

Do NOT put a textured finish on concrete floors in sand bedded barns!

In six months to two years, for the same reason that sand is the number one ingredient in a buffing compound, the sand on the floor will buff the floor as smooth as glass…whether the surface has been textured or not.

The cows turn 90 degrees to go everywhere in the barn; into the stall, to the feed bunk, to the water trough at the crossover, etc. With any texture on the floor, and fine sand, the floor acts like a fine grinding disc on the cows’ hooves. With coarse sand, the floor acts like a coarse grinding disc, the result is sore feet.

The best solution is to finish your floors properly in the first place!

Pour cow traffic floors early enough so that they age 90 days before cows go on the floor…or apply a sealant on freshly poured concrete as soon as you can walk on it. (By the way, you should be able to walk on it with your bare feet…your cows do.)

See the Following Research Studies on Properly Finished Floors in Dairy Barns:

  1. Gooch, C.A. (2012). Flooring Considerations for Dairy Cows. Extension- Dairy. Retrieved from
  2. Schoonmaker, K. (2011). Get a Good Groove. Dairy Herd Management. Retrieved from
  3. AABP Lamness Committee. (2012). AABP Fact Sheet: White Linen Disease. California Dairy Research Foundation. Retrieved from
  4. Bell, N. (2016). Lameness Control in Dairy Herds: Part 3 White Line Lesions. NADIS. Retrieved from

Sand bedded barn floor finish is as follows

  • Pour concrete as dry as possible
  • Screed off concrete, and darby out screed marks…or equivalent finish.
  • (All other types of bedding other than sand are broom finish with no stones sticking up.)
  • Anything more aggressive is too abrasive to the cows’ hooves.

Grooves are needed for long-term traction. Diamond Pattern Machine Cut Grooves are 1/2” wide by 3/8” deep, provide the best long-term traction and acts like a drainage bed…tile drained in two directions at 4-inch centers. This is important because keeping cows hooves dry is critical in maintaining healthy hooves. Cut 2 ways, grooving provides a sharp edge for traction, holds the sand in place and the grooving is below the flat floor, which resists wear.

Customers tells us culling due to lame cows in new barns can be reduced from an average of 15% to less than 3%.