Your hardwood gym floor is a significant investment in your facility, and it is the focal point and most used component. Like any investment, you have to take care of it to protect the value. If you don’t know the basics of care or have heard so much competing information that it can’t be true, that’s easier said than done. You may end up doing too much, not enough, or even causing more harm than good. With so much misinformation floating around, the experts at Sports Floors, Inc. are committed to debunking common gym floor myths so you can safely use your facility for years to come.
Myth #1: It’s cheaper to maintain your floor by yourself instead of hiring a company
We understand that hearing a reputable gym floor company provide a maintenance quote may be stressful. It can seem like a pretty big number, especially considering how much the floor itself costs. However, trying to do it yourself will probably lead to disappointing or even devastating results.
Keeping wood floors well maintained is a complicated process that requires carefully timed and executed services. The price of maintenance from Sports Floors, Inc. not only covers the labor and materials (a cost you still have if you do it yourself) but reflects the fact that we’ve cared for thousands of floors, and guarantee our results. The fact that we’ve completed so many projects also means that we complete gym floor maintenance in the most efficient manner possible while attempting to do it yourself could take significantly longer, especially if you don’t have the right equipment.
Finally, think about who has to pay if something goes wrong. If you attempt maintenance yourself and the floor is damaged, you’re responsible for the repair. At Sports Floors, Inc., we offer warranties on any work we do, so if it’s anything less than perfect, we’ll take care of it!
Myth #2: You can use tape on a gym floor
Sports Floors, Inc. never recommends using any type of tape on wood floors. Even though tape manufacturers say their product is safe for a gym floor, it will still damage your floor’s finish. We have been in business for over 25 years, and still have not met a tape manufacturer who will warranty their tape against peeling! Instead of using tape for temporary markings, we recommend tempera paint. Remember any markings, gamelines, logos, or additional paint can be added during your annual screen and recoat. This will prevent the use of tape or having to pay to temporary paint the game lines each season.
Myth #3: Auto scrubbers are a good idea.
The Maple Flooring Manufacturer Association (MFMA) says never use an auto scrubber on a gym floor. No reputable athletic wood floor company will use or recommend using an auto scrubber.
According to the MFMA, the use of automated power scrubbing equipment for general, daily, or weekly maintenance procedures may cause the following problems:
- Possible effects to maple floorboards
- Excessive shrinkage and expansion
- Splitting of individual pieces of wood flooring
- Raised or Uneven sides
Possible effects on the floor finish and paint
- Premature/excessive wear on the finish
- Chipping and peeling of paint and finish
- Swirl marks in the finish
- Dull finish appearance
These problems are caused by the fact that these machines spray water down on the wood so forcefully that it will penetrate the floor system and remain.
Myth #4: Gym floor does not need to be screened and recoated annually
Screening and recoating needs to be completed every year around the same time. It’s an essential part of keeping your floor safe and playable. The best time to schedule this is during a slower period of use for your gym, which may be different for everyone. An average-sized gym takes one day to complete with varying drying times based on finish.
Myth #5: Can save money by shutting down air temperature control.
Your gym floor will suffer if you don’t maintain the proper environment. According to the MFMA, you should maintain “relative humidities between 35 percent and 50 percent, and air temperatures between 55 degrees and 75 degrees year-round. By limiting wide swings in atmospheric conditions inside the facility, you will reduce the expansion and contraction of the flooring system.”
Wood flooring manufacturers will also have their own requirements. If your floor was installed by Sports Floors, Inc., turning the air off will void the warranty. It will also ruin the floor and, subsequently, other aspects of your facility.
Myth #6: When patching a gym floor, the patch will look like the rest of the floor
A patch on a wood floor won’t match unless we sand the entire floor, seal, paint and finish the floor.. A normal patch will be noticeable because the wood, paint, and finishes change appearance as they age. Any touch-up paint won’t match either. When touching up paint, it is tough to match paint that has been down for a few years and is under multiple coats of finish. The best way to make your paint look great is to repaint the entire area where the paint is fading.
Myth #7: Stickers on the floor are fine
Just like tape, stickers will mess up your floor and finish when they’re removed. They are also not accepted by the NCAA as a permanent solution for any college court. More importantly, they’re a safety hazard. The friction on the surface of the sticker will not match the balance of the playing surface.
Trust the Experts to Give You The Right Information
Myths and misinformation are dangerous in any context, but when it comes to your gym facility investment and your players’ safety, make sure you’ve received information you can trust. To keep your wood floor looking great and performing at it’s best over the years, it’s essential to give it the right care and attention. If you’re feeling unsure about how to care and maintain the flooring in your facility, our expert Mid-South team would be happy to assist you!
Contact us today to create a plan that will keep your wood floor looking fantastic for decades.