frequently asked questions

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Why do you call them ‘slabs’?

Because they are not like any other type of mat or grid product, they are more like rock solid paving slabs (but with a cleverly designed grid underneath that pushes into the mud and holds them in place, and tabs which stabilise them with the adjacent slabs on any side.)


What are the slabs made of?

They are 100 % recycled ‘yellow bag’ German domestic plastic. 


How big are they?

They measure 50cm x 50cm x 5.3cm each, and weigh about 7kg each. There are 4 to a square metre.


How much are they? 

They are £6.60 each, or £26.40 per square metre, including VAT.  Please note that from 1st March 2019 there will be a price rise due to an increase in raw materials and labour, therefore please order without delay to guarantee the lower price point. 


Do they have any moving parts? 

No, the tabs are solid, they simply interlink with adjacent slabs.


How long do they last?

They are covered by a 20 year manufacturer’s warranty, but will last much longer than that, being 100% stable plastic.


Are they a new idea?

No, they have been very successful in Germany for over 20 years.


What do they feel like underfoot?

They are rock hard, rather like roughened/patterned concrete, but with a bit more shock absorption.


Why do you say to put sand on top of them?

For livestock we recommend putting sand on top of the slabs, at least at first, to give extra grip until the horses/cows/alpaca/sheep/whatever learn how to move on the slabs. Some people don’t bother doing this and have no problems, but we’d rather err on the side of caution. For an all weather area we’d recommend putting a deeper layer of sand or surface on top of the slabs. 


What are they like when it’s icy?

Just about any solid surface gets slippery when iced over. If a hard frost is forecast we recommend leaving any hay, mud or manure on top to freeze into lumps to give more purchase underfoot, or otherwise putting fresh sharp sand down. But the textured slab surface still gives grip (unless it was already covered with water which then froze solid.)


How easy are they to lay?

Very easy. You just put them down and push them together, and the solid tabs on every side slot into the gaps on the adjacent slabs. There is a slight knack, once you have that you can put them down very fast, like a Pro. 


Please have a look at this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNm8KT8IsFs


Can I lay them if it’s already muddy?

Yes, of course. It’s a bit more effort than laying them on dry ground, just as walking across a muddy field is a bit more effort than crossing it when it’s bone dry, but it’s perfectly doable. 


A pair of heavy duty rubber gloves and a pry bar or strong screwdriver will help to hotch individual slabs into place if they stick down in the mud before you have them exactly where you want them.


Is any preparation of the area needed?

If it’s lumpy and hard ground, then yes – the slabs won’t lie flat, they will rock back and forth on lumps. So that sort of ground would be best raked or graded. Or you can put sand down to bed the slabs onto, for a really professional job, if you don’t want to grade the ground. If the area is very sunken, as in an old gateway, then bringing the level up with topsoil and putting the slabs on top to protect it works well.  


Can I use anything instead of sand?

A customer reports that she has used soaked wood pellets very successfully on slabs that have been down for about 10 months, making a great surface.


Will the mud come up through the holes?

Yes, of course it does. If the water table is high, if there is loads of rain, if the area is completely waterlogged, then sloppy, sludgy mud will come up through the holes, and need scraping off the slabs. Mud will be carried onto the slabbed area, too. The slabbed area will still provide a solid platform, and the subsoil will in time consolidate and become water-permeable again (as much as it can – clay is of course a particular nightmare in this respect.) 


The slabs can’t cure terrible drainage… if it’s the lowest part of the field, or the drainage is awful and the water table is high, it might be better to raise the ground level first and put the slabs on top of that. They will prevent whatever you put down under them from being mixed in, and the drainage should improve as the ground stabilises.


Also, You can put a membrane down under them to prevent mud (and later grass) from coming up through the holes. 


How easy are they to lift if I decide to move them?

Pretty easy, although if the mud has filled up the grids on the underneath of the slabs and dried out, they will be stuck down and heavy. Lifting a whole row at a time (so you are only trying to undo the joins in one direction) is best, just flip a whole row over (it might take a few people to lift it if it’s a long run, and maybe a spade shoved in at an angle on the leading edge so you can get a good grip). Then pull the slabs apart, and tap them to get the mud plugs to drop out.


Do they wreck the ground?

No, they protect the ground from getting torn up. The grass will grow up through the holes if you want it to. You can leave them down, and graze or mow the top of them. 


If you don’t want grass to grow through them, putting membrane down first is the answer.


If you decide to lift the slabs, the ground underneath will be fine, it might just need rolling to break up the mud ‘plugs’ that were in the grids in the slabs.

here to help

If you cannot find the answer to your question in this section, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us and we will be more than happy to help ensure that your purchase is the best thing you ever do for your outside area.

ASK US ANYTHING

Can I buy a few, and add to them later if I like them?

Yes of course. There is no minimum order. We will send out a sample slab or two if you want to handle one first, before deciding.


Why are they so expensive, and why don’t I have local stockists?

They are a very heavy-duty, carefully designed product, they are certified to over 60 tonnes. We don’t make a big mark-up on them, this is a volume business. We try to keep costs down (yes, really!) which is why we have just the one storage/distribution depot and no wholesalers… to put it bluntly, they aren’t interested because they won’t have enough of a mark-up.


Can I order any amount?

Yes. But because we pay per pallet space on the delivery network, a small order works out very expensive delivery-wise. We can send 140 slabs for only £6 more than we can send 35 slabs.


Can they be laid on a slope?

Yes, up to about 20 degrees, above that making ‘steps’ would be a better idea.


How big are the holes? 

They are 5cm in diameter. If you are worried about little paws or feet going through, filling the holes with sharp sand or pea gravel is the answer, leaving a very attractive finish.


How do I order?  

Please either call or email one of us with the amount you would like to order and the first part of your postcode for a delivery quotation, or the full delivery address, a contact number for the delivery driver, and an email address for us to send your invoice to. 


We accept payment by bank transfer, or by debit card or credit card over the phone.


Why aren't your delivery costs on the website? 

The cost per pallet varies depending on the delivery postcode. It also varies a tiny bit depending on the weight of the pallet. So we do a ‘pallet preparation and delivery’ quotation individually for every enquiry. 


For ¼ pallet (up to 35 slabs or 8.75m2) we pay £6 less than a full pallet.

For ½ pallet (up to 70 slabs or 17.5m2) we pay £3 less than a full pallet.


A full pallet applies to either:

A standard pallet of 100 slabs (25m2) which is the biggest, heaviest pallet we can have hand unloaded by pump truck on the tail-lift lorries. That size weighs 700kgs, and must be unloaded onto tarmac or concrete, the pump trucks won’t travel a mm on gravel or uneven ground with 700kg on them! 


Or, if you have a mechanical means of unloading available (forklift, telehandler, tractor with pallet forks) we can send out a tall pallet of up to 140 slabs (35m2) which weighs 980kg.


The delivery cost of either a standard pallet or a tall pallet is the same. 


Can I choose the delivery day? 

Yes of course, always. We don’t charge extra for this.


I don’t live where I want the slabs delivered, and I don’t want to wait around all day, can I book a time for the delivery? 

Yes, of course. It’s £9 extra to specify an a.m. or p.m. delivery or £30 extra to specify a 9am or pre 10am slot and £18 extra to specify a delivery slot after 12pm.  That is exactly how much we are charged for this. 


If I don’t want to pay for a specified time, can you tell me when my slabs will arrive? 

No, sorry. We won’t have a clue. The network doesn’t update in real time. But the drivers are usually really good about calling or texting ahead of time to let you know they are on their way.


Will they deliver into my field? 

Nope, not a chance. Not even in high summer when the ground feels like concrete to you. Please don’t ask the drivers to, they won’t do it and it’s more than their jobs are worth to get a lorry stuck. They will drop off on the kerbside, or in the gateway if there is a hardstanding area of concrete or tarmac. 


Access to the yard/field isn’t good, is that a problem? 

We can request a 16’ delivery vehicle for any pallet of 100 slabs or less. Bigger pallets have to come on the bigger lorry (28’ standard) because the tail lifts on those are stronger. 


I want the slabs putting in a specific space that the lorry can’t get to, can you do that? 

If you want to book a special delivery on a lorry with its own Moffatt forklift, we can do that, but there is an extra charge. 


I want to collect, is that possible? 

Yes, pallets of slabs can be collected from the depot in Corby.

Smaller orders can be collected from an address near Kettering. Please bring a suitable vehicle, bearing in mind that the slabs are 7kg each or 28kg per square metre. The weight adds up!


Please allow any Animals / Livestock time to acclimatise to any changes in ground surfaces.  Once the slabs have been laid, we recommend filling the holes with sand or another water permeable material. For general use, but especially with all-season open stabling, we recommend a finishing layer of sand, as per the manufacturer's installation instructions.


Please be aware in certain circumstances of extremely waterlogged ground and where liquid mud is on the surface, the mud will come up through the holes in the slabs, this is normal. You may need to scrape this off the surface, the same is true of mud carried onto the surface by traffic. The slabs will still provide a stable platform and stop you sinking in the mud.


For overseas enquiries:  Canada, USA, Mexico, please check out the @INB System USA facebook page.  For all other countries please email info@horses-home.com for information.


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