A gym's floor is an important consideration in regards to what the enclosure is being used for and if the floor is appropriate in preventing injury. A gym offering dance classes or aerobics will frequently use a wooden floor while a gym more focused on combat sports such as jiu-jitsu will use rubber floors or mats instead. Both flooring options have their own advantages and disadvantages.
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Wood is much slipperier than a rubber gym floor, especially when it is wet. While this would usually be seen as a disadvantage for wood gym floors, there are specific circumstances when it can be an asset. Gyms with dance classes tend to use wooden floors since dancers need to be able to slide their feet to correctly use certain dance techniques. Other times, gyms will have wooden floors while putting rubber mats under equipment to protect against scratching and to collect sweat. Rubber floors offer a lot more traction, which is useful in wrestling rooms and many boxing gyms.
A rubber floor offers significantly greater cushion to the human body on impact when compared to a wood floor. A person is therefore more likely to injure himself falling on a wooden floor than he is on a rubber one. Impact is not solely measured by falling, however. Many gyms have aerobics classes and other activities where people skipping rope or run in place and impacts against a wooden floor can result in more, and more severe, knee injuries than a rubber one, which provides more of a buffer to the knee and other body parts. Rubberised surfaces give a little bit when the foot hits the ground.
Wooden floors are easier to keep clean and sanitised than rubber floors, which is important to consider since gyms typically host activities filled with sweaty bodies, and the perspiration that builds up on the floor on a daily basis can breed bacteria. Wooden floors can be disinfected with a mop and a mild cleaner mixed with water, though care should be used to ensure the wood doesn't get too wet to the point where it warps. Rubber floors are much more likely to grow staph and other dangerous bacteria since the sweat seeps into the rubber and provides an ideal environment for bacteria to grow. Rubber floors need to be thoroughly sprayed with a disinfectant every day, rinsed off and then dried to prevent the spreading of infection. Cuts in a rubber floor are particularly susceptible to bacterial infection and need to be sealed as soon as possible while wooden floors don't have that problem.
While wood is a harder surface than rubber, it can scratch easily from age or form equipment being dragged across it. Rubber is less likely to crack if something gets dropped on it but the floor can tear easily if a sharp object, such as the corner of an exercise machine, punches through it and then is dragged. Rubber gym floors can usually be repaired with rubber repair kits while wooden floor damage such as fracture or splintering is more time-intensive and expensive to replace. Both flooring types can last years if properly taken care of but neither is impervious to damage.
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