Considering how versatile, durable, easy-to-maintain and environmentally friendly it is, rubber flooring has become an increasingly popular choice for recreation centers.
The three most common rubber flooring types are:
Rubber Flooring: Mats
Mats come in various sizes, starting as small as 3-feet by 6-feet, so they’re versatile and easy to install. They also come in a range of thicknesses, from 0.25 inches — appropriate for home use — to 2 inches for gyms and professional sports facilities.
Rubber Flooring: Tiles
Tiles typically come in 12, 18 or 36-inch squares and can be trimmed to fit any room or create custom patterns. They are often manufactured with interlocking edges for easy installation without adhesives. Tiles for high-traffic areas or outdoor use are also available in glue-down forms and typically range in thickness from 2 millimeters to 5 inches. One of their advantages is you can easily replace individual pieces.
Rubber Flooring: Rolls
Rolls provide flooring sheets 4-feet wide or wider and up to 50-feet long. Rolls have fewer seams, but installation is a little more involved. As such, they’re often used in larger workout areas, event centers and common areas.
There are options for textures and finishes. Rubber flooring can be textured during manufacturing, creating depth and character in the venue where it’s installed. Among the options are rivets, dimples, studs, and more intricate waffles and diamond-plate textures.
The standard finish for rubber flooring is a subtle matte, suitable for most athletic installations. For a higher-impact impression, venues can also choose brighter colors, which are attained by polishing the rubber floor with a water-soluble wax emulsion. This gives the surface a great shine and makes the floor more durable and stain resistant.
Knowing exactly where it will be installed and how it will be used is a good idea. A vendor can help you select the right options. Answer questions like these:
- What activities will users use it for?
- Will it be indoors or outdoors?
- How many years do you want the flooring to last?
- How many people will be using the facility?
- How will you maintain the flooring?
- Do you have unusual needs for sound absorption, shock absorption, traction or slip resistance?
Talking to recreation center managers who have installed this type of flooring and visiting other facilities — or seeing installation photos — can also help you make the best decision for your recreation center.
Latasha Pittman is the director of marketing and communications at Mondo USA, a maker of a full line of vulcanized rubber flooring ideal for student intramural and recreation centers and collegiate recreational sports facilities. For more information on vulcanized rubber flooring for campus rec centers, visit mondoworldwide.com/na/en.