The Various Exercise Floor Options Available
When it comes to gyms and fitness centers of all types, having the right kind of exercise floor is crucial to the safety and success of the patrons. It is in every business owner’s best interest to make sure that their fitness facility is protected and well-suited for use by patrons of all kinds. By employing rubber floor mats in critical locations throughout their fitness centers, gym owners can rest assured that they are making one of the most impactful decisions they can in regards to ensuring the safety and security of their establishment.
As with most products, however, there is a surprising amount of variety to be found from one exercise mat to the next. Exercise floor generally comes in several different options, each optioning possessing its own benefits and advantages. For the sake of safety, you can never be too knowledgeable; keep reading to learn more about the various material choices you have in regards to exercise flooring, so that you can remain as “in the know” as possible while making your safety floor purchasing decisions.
Wood (laminated and otherwise) is a very common type of flooring in home and commercial areas nationwide. Many dance studios and ballet centers utilize wood exercise flooring because it is naturally slippery and provides an excellent surface for jumping, balancing, and performing all other kinds of dancing techniques. Wood also makes for an excellent flooring option because it can be colorful, and provides an aesthetic look to all kinds of interiors.
In terms of commercial or home gym situations apart from dancing areas, wood may not always be the best choice as an exercise floor. It typically does not provide the durable yet cushioned protective barrier that most gyms desire in order to safeguard their surfacing and equipment. In terms of gym safety, many owners know that they need to protect both their exercise floor, as well as the exercise equipment itself. For example, if a heavy barbell is dropped onto a wooden floor, not only is it highly likely that the floor will be damaged, but so too could the barbell become injured as well. Furthermore, wood often has a poor moisture resistance, which can lead to costly repairs or refurbishing should the wood become waterlogged.
For home workout areas, many resort to simply using the carpet that is already present for exercise flooring. Carpet has a couple advantages, the primary one being that it is comfortable. It provides a secure barrier on which exercisers can perform home calisthenics, stretching, and light weightlifting. Carpet is also a generally very cost-effective kind of exercise floor.
Carpet - perhaps obviously - has disadvantages, too. It is not the most resilient of materials, which means that it can be torn or ripped easily if strenuous exercises are performed on top of it. Carpet is not great for serious weightlifting or for placing and using heavy equipment such as treadmills, for example. What is more, carpet can be difficult to keep clean, which reduces its potential usability in large commercial fitness centers. Carpet and moisture generally do not mix well and result in the deterioration of the flooring.
The PVC (poly vinyl chloride) exercise mat is another kind of matting used in fitness applications throughout the world. A lightweight and foldable plastic, PVC is easily transportable from one location to the next. That makes it ideal for applications such as light workouts (yoga, stretching, etc.) PVC mats can be found in a wide variety of colors and thicknesses, making them an attractive option for those that prize product diversity. PVC is the gym floor of choice in fancy hotels and apartment complexes due to its availability in colors, especially earth-tones.
It terms of negatives, PVC has a couple; both the production and recycling processes of PVC are not very eco-friendly. Another limitation of PVC is that, typically, it is not sold in sizes as thick as other kinds of exercise flooring. PVC floors are thinner, hence not as durable as rubber floors.
Arguably, the best kind of exercise floor on the market is rubber. Rubber floor mats are affordable, durable, and –for most- easy to install in practically any area. Whether it is used in commercial or residential areas, rubber fits in well into almost any environment. Furthermore, rubber mats can be found in different thicknesses, providing a wide option range for consumers of all types. When stacked up against other kinds of exercise flooring, the lifespan of rubber pretty much blows away the competition. Factor in its inherent durability, high friction coefficient, and recyclability, and it is clear why rubber has remained, for so long, a highly favored exercise floor option.
Rubber does, however, have a limited amount of coloring and style options, which means that it might not be the first choice for more aesthetically inclined consumers. However, when weighted against its laundry list of benefits, this one complaint is generally viewed as a minor one.
You – as the consumer- have a wide variety of options vis a vi exercise flooring. By reviewing your own situation and determining what your needs are, you will be better able to make the right purchasing decision for you. As comprehensive as it is, the information presented in this article should be primarily viewed as an introductory course on the world of exercise floor options – talk with your local matting retailer for even more, case specific information and guidance. When it comes to exercise flooring, you truly want –and deserve to get- the most value for your money!