When designing and outfitting a recreational facility, flooring might not be the first thing you think about. Too many facilities focus on the cardio equipment and providing space and equipment for group programs while giving little consideration to what’s under foot. But the truth is, the flooring you choose can make a big difference.
We are building a new fitness facility and want to be sure we select the right flooring for the various spaces people will use. What should we know?
A: Ideally, you should choose different surfaces to best serve the specific activities taking place in your gym. The surface that works best for a group exercise studio will be different from what you want to use in a free weight area.
Look for durable surfaces that can withstand heavy wear. In spaces where members will be working out on cardio equipment, you’ll want to find a surface that will prevent equipment from sliding, while absorbing noise and vibration. In free weight areas, you’ll want to find a surface that resists impact and marks, and also absorbs noise and provides good traction. Hardwood flooring is a good choice in fitness studios, provided you select a flooring system that is designed for your purpose.
In any area, you’ll want to ensure you select flooring that is designed to protect exercisers from fatigue and injury.
What else should we consider as we select fitness flooring?
A: Don’t forget to ask your manufacturer about maintenance requirements. Look for surfaces that are non-porous, which will reduce expensive maintenance procedures. And in areas where wear and tear is a problem, you should consider interlocking tiles. This way, when the floor is damaged, you can simply replace a tile instead of replacing the entire surface.
In addition, while you want your fitness flooring to be highly functional, you also should take aesthetics into consideration. Look for surfaces that are visually appealing and absorb sound to keep your facility looking and sounding good.