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The top things to consider when buying gym flooring
There are many types of flooring and whilst you may be able to buy a cheap solution, take a look at some of the pitfalls below, as the cost to uplift and refit a bad quality or badly fitted floor can cost more than the original floor.
Where is it going to be used?
You need your flooring to look good but also to perform for your clients’ exercise needs.
• Aerobics studios and plyometrics require impact-absorbing, injury-reducing flooring, look for a surface with a deep thickness or something like the Pavigym micro-bubble system.
• Personal and functional training – needs a fitness flooring which is easy to maintain, clean and resist marking.
• Stretch/ yoga – softer surface with increased thickness and insulation for floor exercises
• Free-weight areas should be tough enough to cope with dropped weights and provide sound insulation – we recommend a minimum of 10mm.
• Martial arts – a thicker floor with insulation for barefoot exercises and impact absorbing moves
Escape Flexi-Soft flooring Reebok Matting
What positive or negative effect does colour have on the area?
Flooring can set style and mood. Warm colours such as red, yellow and orange give off an intimate and cheerful feel. In addition, the choice of colour can create an illusion and make a room seem smaller or larger. A floor also appears larger if the skirting is the same colour as the floor. Neutral colours also have their advantages, making it easier for you to re-decorate or change the look of your gym. The light source is an important factor to consider as light colours reflect light, and dark colours absorb light.
What do I need to check before buying a foam floor?
Foam is an active material, heat, cold, light movement can all affect how foam reacts in an environment. For example, a foam floor can expand considerably if it is not fitted correctly.
Considering rubber flooring?
The difference between a quality rubber and a cheap alternative can be seen and smelt! Cheaper rubber flooring is made from scrap rubber which has a strong odour.
The only real way to test the rubbers quality is to see a sample and test the smell.
The reason being: cheap rubber has a really strong odour which if used over a large floor surface can create a really bad impression.
Cheap rubber can also stain clothes. Escape Fitness Flexi –Tuf rubber flooring is made from quality rubber which is odour free.
What about using carpet tiles?
Carpet fibres can harbour dirt, dust mites and other allergens. Damp carpet tiles can cause mould if moisture is trapped beneath. Look for resilient flooring with anti-bacterial protection, and if choosing a foam floor.
Slips and spills occur in any fitness area as there is going to be sweat and moisture, so select an easy-to-clean surface that resists spills and protects the floor from stains.
What about my budget?
As well as initial installation costs, think about long-term maintenance. To own, install and maintain hardwood floor can be expensive compared with a specific gym flooring brand. Plus choose the correct gym floor and you will protect your gym equipment as well as the flooring.
Always consider installation requirements?
Just as every area has a different function, every floor has its unique installation requirements. Whether you hire a professional or do it yourself, you should have a good understanding of the installation methods prior to installing the floor:
• What surface is the floor going over?
• What are the sub-floor installation requirements of the new floor?
• Will the new floor join to the existing floor?
*If in doubt, we recommend that you always ask for a floor survey
Before you install…
• Tiles must be site-conditioned for at least three days (72 hours) at the average room temperature at which they will be used. The hottest (summer without air conditioning) and coldest winter temperatures will be averaged.
• Store the product indoors. Keep tiles from direct solar radiation, as it can cause dimensional or colour alterations.
• Check tile interlocking systems, colours and general appearance before installation. Please report any anomaly found to your distributor before proceeding
• The subfloor must be perfectly flat, clean and dry.
• Install your new flooring after concluding any brickwork, plumbing, electric, air conditioning, glazing and any other work that could wear the flooring.
• Verify the lack of anomalies (holes, bumps) or loose particles. If any exists, apply a sealant for concrete floorings, which should have a high level of penetration and acts to console the subfloor.
• In case of wooden subfloors with moisture problems, it would be appropriate to get rid of them before installing the product, as in some cases they can result in wood stains and even buckling.
• Before installing, make sure that the subfloor is free from moisturising or condensation problems. Should there be any problem, use a waterproof coating before fitting, especially in flooring solutions which require the use of glue for their installation.
• Protect from direct sunlight or any other heat source that could cause high temperatures in the flooring solution. The flooring shall not bear temperatures exceeding 40ºC, measured in the surface (see corresponding section).
• It is essential to clear the room of sporting equipment.
I’ve got the best floor – what about the best installers?
Ensure the fitter has experience with the type of floor to be laid and is familiar with the specific installation requirements. Ask for recommendations from another site so you have the opportunity to see some of their workmanship. Membership of a trade body is an indication of compliance standards so try www.nicfltd.org.uk
At Escape Fitness we have invested in a flooring expert who will visit your club and provide tailored professional advice about types of flooring and how to install it. If you would like this then please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0800 458 5558.
What about my clients’ safety?
Some floors are naturally more slip-resistant than others. Look for a floor that provides excellent surface grip and traction so exercises can be performed safely. If jumping or impact activities are required, an air floor may be required to absorb the energy and reduce overall impact on the joints – something that a laminate floor will not do.
Warranties and guarantees: how do I know I’m protected?
Fully understand the warranty information before you make a purchase. Warranties in sports flooring can vary from 6 months to 5 years and some are limited so it is always best to check first.
I need some flooring but I have a very tight budget what should I look out for?
You have to be careful that you do not create a bigger problem that you had before you ordered your floor? With flooring you should always go for the best you can afford, BUT also make sure you are buying the correct material for what you want to use it for. If you are going to be using heavy free weights then rubber is going to be the best long term solution.
The different types of flooring Escape Fitness does:
• Pavigym flooring range: Aerobics, Fitness, Free-weight & Body Mind flooring tiles. Absorbs impact through millions of micro bubbles that adapt to the foot, reducing the risk of injury to your members and instructors. Watch the technical video here >>
• BSW floor coverings: perfect for TRX areas and protecting your original floors from marks.
• Escape Flexi-range: our best selling range of floorings covers free-weight, non-slip and durable cushioned flooring tiles.
• If your flooring is fine and you just need some extra padding, see our full range of matting options, whether yoga, stretching or competition grade combat mats, click here >> Matting & Flooring
• Make a statement: use zones and special statement pieces to create enthusiasm with the Pavigym functional compass and a sprint track – perfect for personal training areas and multi-planar training
To see the full range of matting and flooring Escape Fitness has on offer and to read further expert advice please request your FREE essential guide to functional fitness brochure here >> or click here to view our online matting and flooring range