Private university administrators may not realize this, but replacing their gym floor can cost upwards of $100,000. As important as the gymnasium may be to a campus, that same $100,000 could be used for many other student-related purposes if the gym floor is properly maintained.
While gym floors typically need to be scrubbed and coated or refinished at least once per year, it is actually the daily care of the floor that can best help preserve, protect, and maintain the floor and help keep it looking its best.
Protection is a key word because when it comes to floors of all types-but especially gym floors, which are often used for everything from sporting events and gym classes to concerts-it means an extended life for the floor. And the way we protect floors is by preventing soils, moisture, debris, and what we can call plain old “grit” from being walked onto the floor.
Why are these contaminants so harmful to gym floors?
First of all, moisture left sitting on a gym floor, typically made of hardwood, can seep into the floor, discolor the area, weaken the floor material, and even cause mold to develop. Yet it is the dry soiling that is typically the most harmful. Let’s say some very small pieces of grit are walked onto the gym floor. Now everyone who walks over that grit is scratching it as if with sandpaper or pounding the grit into the floor. This is how gym floors begin to lose their appearance and their protective floor finish, and it can result in permanent damage to the floor.
So how do we prevent this and protect gym floors?
There is really only one option and that is the use of high-performance mats. According to ISSA, the worldwide cleaning association, 1,000 people walking into a facility can track approximately 24 pounds of soil onto the floor. While the numbers can vary depending on which study is referenced, in general a high-performance matting system can reduce this number by the following amounts:
- Six feet of matting placed at the entrance to the gym floor can reduce the amount of soil by about 40 percent.
- Twelve feet jumps this figure up to an 80 percent reduction.
- More than 20 feet of high-performance matting could mean a 90 percent reduction in soil.
What are High Performance Floor Mats?
Before moving on, we should clarify a couple of things. First, let’s explain “high-performance” mats. High-performance mats are typically floor mats that are purchased-not rented- from either a distributor or an online source. They are called high-performance because they last longer and, very simply, perform better than other mats.They typically are made of higher-quality fibers, backings, and materials that better absorb soil and moisture, preventing it from being walked onto the gym floor. Second, we should point out that mats alone cannot protect gym floors. Exterior areas of the building, especially around entries, should be kept clean and dry. Further, scraper mats should be installed outside entryways so they can scrape grit and soil off of shoe bottoms before building users even walk into the facility
AlturaSolutions turns words into sales. This article regarding gym floors, published for Crown Matting, is an example. For more information, click here.