A new gym floor is a big investment for any athletic facility, and it’s always worth doing the right way. Whether you’re installing a brand new gym floor in a new facility or maintaining one that’s been well-loved, timing is everything! When it comes to scheduling your gym floor work, you need to understand how often each step should be completed, as well as how long each step takes. That’s what we’re here for! The team at Sports Floors, Inc. has years of experience planning every kind of gym flooring project you can imagine, as well at the expertise to get it done right. We can help with any part of scheduling your gym floor maintenance.
Keep reading to learn the basics of how each part of the gym floor process should be scheduled; from installation to regular maintenance to restoration.
New Floor Installation
Congratulations on your decision to install a new gym floor! If you’ll like most people, you don’t know the process necessary to complete the project. For example, many people think installing a gym floor takes about a week, but that’s not the case. A new gym floor takes roughly eight weeks to install. If you’re installing a floor in a new building, it should always be the last phase of the project. If your floor is completed but other parts of the building aren’t, the chances are high that your new floor will be scratched or damaged. That’s why most installations are scheduled for spring or summer when school is no longer in session. This leaves plenty of time for our team to complete the new floor installation before the new school year. However, we do install new floors year-round!
New Replacement Floor
If you need to install a new floor in an existing building, the project will take about eight to ten weeks from installation to completion. The extra time comes from the demolition and removal of the existing gym floor. Usually, when an old floor is replaced, it’s because of excessive wear. Or, the floor may have been sanded too many times and can’t remain structurally sound if the process was attempted again. These kinds of jobs can be scheduled at any time of year, and start after the damage has been assessed.
Sanding Your Gym Floor
Every eight to ten years, plan on having your gym floor sanded and recoated. Sanding and recoating your floor ensures that your floor is safe and functional. A typical gym floor sanding takes 2-3 weeks from start to finish. While we sand gym floors year-round, most are scheduled for spring or summer. We often work with schools around already scheduled breaks to complete the floor with minimal downtime for student-athletes. A typical winter break is usually 2 weeks, so we may start sanding one week before the break begins, which often allows us to complete the floor before winter break is over.
Annual Screen and Recoat
Another important maintenance step is the annual screen and recoat. This process should be completed around the same time every year. 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. We’ll get into that next.
Different Kinds of Gym Floor Coatings.
Oil-Based Screen and Recoat
When doing an oil-based screen and recoat, your gym will need to be closed for a total of four days from the start of the process until the end. The actual process of refinishing the floor takes one day. After that, the floor needs to sit undisturbed for three days. This means no chairs, no equipment, not even any foot traffic. It’s important to keep the gym locked during this time because even something as simple as opening and closing doors can cause dust to settle on your floor while it’s still drying and curing.
After the gym has been completely closed for four days, the floor is ready for play. You’ll still need to wait at least 14 days before placing chairs or game tables back on the floor. This or any other equipment is put on the floor too soon, it can settle into the finish and leave dents. Additionally, you must wait 30 days before putting down a gym floor cover after an oil-based screen and recoat.
Water-Based Screen Recoat
The process for a water-based screen and recoat is quicker than an oil-based one. The gym will only need to be closed for 48 hours. The screening and recoating will take one day, and then the floor will need to sit for 24 additional hours before anyone can enter the gym. Tables and chairs cannot be placed on the floor for 14 days, and you should wait 30 days before putting a cover on. As an added benefit, the water-based finish doesn’t have as strong of a smell while it’s curing, and won’t cause your floor to change color, or “amber”. However, the water-based finish is twice as expensive as an oil-based finish.
Protect your wood floor for years to come with Sports Floors, Inc.
The Lifetime Warranty Program offered by Sports Floors, Inc. is available for new gym floors that we have installed. If Sports Floors, Inc. is permitted to continuously maintain the floor by screening & recoating it every consecutive year, the original warranty will be extended for that following year up to 40 years from the original warranty date.
To keep your wood floor looking great and performing at it’s best over the years, it’s important 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 team would be happy to assist you!
Contact us today to create a plan that will keep your wood floor looking amazing for decades to come.