When deciding upon what type of hardwood gym flooring you should choose, a number of factors should be considered before you make your final decision. Remember that you are not choosing a hardwood floor for domestic use, you are choosing a hardwood floor for a gymnasium. This means that the hardwood gym flooring you choose must be a quality flooring that meets a long list of criteria ranging from how it responds to sports and games to how it performs in relation to heat and moisture, for example. Don’t worry if this is somewhat going over your head because by the end of this article you should be an expert in how to choose a hardwood gym flooring that is perfect for your needs.
What Activities Will Be Played On The Hardwood Gym Flooring?
Any type of hardwood gym flooring ranging from maple to beech will react differently to the activities that will ultimately be played upon it. For example, basketball will require a springier form of hardwood such as maple whereas volleyball will require a more solid hardwood like beech. Also pay attention to the sub flooring as in what type of underlay will support you hardwood gym flooring. A foam underlay will provide more ‘bounce’ to the floor, whereas a rubber underlay will give the floor more of a dull response.
It is also important to note how much traffic you anticipate will use your hardwood gym flooring. The more footfall across any hardwood gym flooring, the less springier and robust it will be in the medium to long term which will ultimately affect its sports performance. The same point can be made for the types of equipment you intend to use on the floor. The heavier the equipment like net posts, climbing frames or athletics mats the more likely that the floor will deteriorate over time.
Remember that unlike synthetic alternatives, hardwood is organic and will need to be replaced at some point in the future.
What Environment Will Surround The Hardwood Gym Flooring?
As mentioned above, hardwood gym flooring is an organic flooring. It is wood after all! As such the environment in which your floor exits will affect how the floor performs and how long it lasts before it needs to be replaced. Wood, particularly maple planks, will absorb moisture and expand. This can lead to the floor cracking and coming away at certain weak points. Equally, excessive heat can dry out the wood and make it shrink, again causing splits and a general breaking up of the floor. As such you must ensure that the flooring is installed into a gymnasium that is watertight, naturally ventilated and not overly heated with air conditioning units, for example.
How Much Budget Do You Have At Your Disposal?
Budgetary constraints can limit your choice of hardwood gym flooring to lower quality grades of wood. Not that there is anything wrong with picking a hardwood gym flooring on the cheaper end of the market, but you have to weigh up the cost to benefit ratio. A hardwood gym flooring purchase is a big purchase and in that sense going cheap might actually cost more in the long term.
Cheaper hardwood floors like beech often don’t last very long, are more easily damaged and can be more difficult to maintain. Whereas a more premium maple hardwood gym floor will last on average twice as long, will be less susceptible to damage like scratches and will be easier to maintain as it is a more flexible form of wood that responds better to chemical treatments, for example.
What Markings Do You Want To Feature On The Hardwood Gym Flooring?
Remember that if your hardwood gym flooring is going to be used by multiple sports clubs and will host multiple activities, that you might want to think about what type of markings you want placed on the flooring. You can have painted court lines for example, or you can decide to use tape. The more lines featured permanently on your flooring, the less aesthetically appealing the flooring will seem. For some this is not an issue, but if you want a gym floor specifically for basketball or indoor tennis, then it is worth taking the time to decide whether it would be appropriate to have any other floor markings apart from the lines of a basketball or tennis court.
What Type Of Finish Would Your Prefer?
Hardwood gym flooring can be fitted with a variety of matte or gloss finishes. Again like court markings, you should take the time to think about what finish would work best for your needs. A glossy finish for example might look good but might prove to be slippery with sweat which might mean sports injuries. Or a matte finish might look dull under artificial light if you want the hardwood gym flooring to be the standout feature of the gym for visiting away teams for instance.
Furthermore there are differing types of gloss and matte finishes to choose from. For example there are a variety of water based finishes, oil based finises, polished finishes and many more finishes and each one will uniquely affect how your hardwood gym flooring performs as well as looks.
How Will The Hardwood Gym Flooring Be Maintained?
Unlike concrete or synthetic flooring like rubber, hardwood gym flooring will need regular maintenance. Once again it is worth reminding yourself that a hardwood gym floor is an organic floor. As such you should ensure that you know exactly what you have to do to effectively maintain the floor. For example does the floor require specialist cleaning products and or techniques? Does the floor need to be rested before it can be cleaned? Can the floor be easily repaired in isolation, or does the entire floor need to be manipulated in order for it to be repaired? Does the floor require any specialist equipment to ensure that the wooden planks are kept aligned?
Of all the points above, maintenance really is the most important point to remember when choosing any form of hardwood gym flooring. If you do not know how the floor that you ultimately choose should be maintained, you will undoubtedly end up with an incredibly expensive floor that does not last as long as it should. And that is something which you can easily avoid if you simply know what flooring you want, how the flooring is going to be used and crucially how the flooring should be maintained.