Can your wooden floor survive a workout?
Whoever heard of a carpeted gym? It’s a ridiculous concept – gyms traditionally have wooden floors; anything else and the entire universe goes out of whack! But does your gym have the right kind of wooden flooring, and is it tough enough to put up with the demands a room full of dedicated gym rats can put on it?
A gym represents a high-impact zone for any type of wooden flooring, so you better make sure that your boards are up to the job. To pick the right type of flooring you have to consider several factors: use, performance, safety, resilience, durability and budget.
First up, use. What your gym is used for will dictate what type of flooring you install. A squash court needs a completely different type of surface to a weights room, but most gyms will be multi-purpose spaces. So your floor has to accommodate the rigours of a spin class or a high impact aerobics workout. But it also has to be able to offer a warm, comfortable and tranquil space for your Pilates and Yoga classes to bend and stretch in peace without running the risk of suffering from distinctly un-zen-like splinters!
If you’re looking for a replacement floor, you will need to factor in exactly what each part of the gym is used for. The best option may be to consider a ‘patchwork’ of different types of wooden flooring.
Next, performance. The people coming to your gym expect your equipment to perform. Your floor is no different. Nothing can distract a gym rat’s focus quicker than a squeaky floor that creaks every time they do a cross-lateral crunch! Your gym floor has to perform as well as your equipment does, or you’ll start losing customers.
Keeping it safe
Safety is crucial, and one of the biggest problems with gym floors is moisture making them slippery. That moisture can be from a knocked-over water bottle or a sheen of sweat from a heavy workout. Whatever the reason, safety has to be a primary consideration, especially as you need to remember that a gym is considered to be a ‘high risk’ environment. A smooth, even floor that incorporates slip guards and anti-slip mats ensures that your clients work out in safety.
Resilience and durability could be considered to be the same things, but in fact the resilience of a wooden floor can also mean its ability to stand up to dropped dumbbells, an entire class doing jumping jacks on the spot or its ability to support heavy machinery such as nautilus machines, cross trainers and static rowing and cycling machines. Its durability is its ability to put up with all of this, and still stay looking good every day! A floor that becomes shabby quickly will make the entire gym look a little ‘seedy’, so choose a flooring that will keep its good looks no matter what your clients throw at it.
Finally, you need to consider your budget. If you’re a small gym owner, budget is going to be a key factor in which type of wooden flooring you choose, or whether you go for a cheaper alternative such as rubber matting. Rubber matting is a popular choice in gyms where weight training predominates, as the impact resistance of the matting protects the underlying floor from sustaining any permanent damage from dropped weights. However, rubber matting may not be suitable for a multi-purpose gym, so again we need to consider the possibility of putting together a patchwork option that incorporates different types of flooring.
In the reception area it may be wise to invest a little more in a high quality wooden floor to make that good first impression, but in changing room areas tiling may be a better option. Wooden flooring throughout is of course the ultimate choice, but because of the specialist demands put on it by the gym environment, it’s always wise to talk to your local floor sanding specialists to get their expert opinion and advice before you invest.