Types of Gym Flooring

Written by emily beach
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Types of Gym Flooring
(Danielle Blue/flickr.com)

In both institutional and residential settings, the choice of gym flooring is often limited by budget, and can be further complicated by the need for the gym to serve many different functions. Gyms may act as a workout or recreation space as well as a multipurpose area used for meetings and large events. Buyers must consider all of those different uses to find a gym flooring material that is functional and visually appealing as well as within budget.

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Types

A variety of materials are used to construct gym flooring. Wood is the most widely used, particularly maple and beech. Rubber mats are another popular alternative, along with resilient sheet flooring made from vinyl. In some light-use facilities, carpet tile can add cushioning and an attractive finish to the floor. Others may choose plain concrete due to its low installation costs and durability.

Uses

Gym flooring is used in institutional settings such as state schools, colleges, recreation centres or fitness facilities. It may be used for indoor sports including basketball and volleyball, or for simple recreational games in elementary schools. In private fitness centres or home gyms, flooring must be attractive and functional, with less focus placed on durability from regular heavy use.

Benefits

Each type of gym flooring offers its own distinct benefits to buyers.

Wood is attractive and versatile, and provides a high level of bounce and resilience for sports such as basketball and volleyball.

Concrete is cheap to install and is easy to maintain. Concrete can also serve as a base for other flooring types.

Vinyl is relatively affordable and comes in a large number of colours and styles.

Rubber flooring is virtually seamless and offers a soft, cushioned surface that helps to increase safety for occupants.

Carpet is soft and comfortable underfoot and has a visually appealing finish. It also cuts down on noise.

Drawbacks

Wood floors can be hard to maintain in a gym due to the high level of traffic. They are particularly vulnerable to dirt and moisture carried into the building on visitors' shoes.

Rubber floors are expensive, and not as stable as wood. They also can't be used for basketball and many other sports.

Vinyl has a relatively short lifespan and will need regular maintenance and repairs.

Carpet is very hard to maintain and is highly susceptible to stains and damage.

Concrete floors can be tough on athletes, particularly on their feet, ankles, and legs, and may increase the risk and severity of injuries from falls.

Considerations

When choosing gym flooring, consider the type of activities that will take place in the facility. Evaluate whether traffic will be limited to sports or whether the public will also use the facility for meetings and events. Compare the cost of each material to your budget, making sure to include maintenance and installation costs. Think about durability and lifespan, as well as comfort and safety. Finally, decide whether the material can successfully complement the existing decor within the gym.

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