Whenever you ask someone what type of work goes into a project, you expect to get a multi-layered answer. Planning, networking, discussion, blueprint, rough work, revision and presentation. Not everything is as clear-cut or as obvious as it may first seem. This is equally true when it comes to a gym, that being both commercial and home ones. It’s not always about the equipment you put in your gym that transforms into the place you’ve always imagined it to be.
Even the seemingly the smallest of details can have a subtle yet very significant factor in changing the experience as a whole, whether for the better or for the worse. Regardless, gyms, both commercial and home have been transformed from a novelty into a trend into a society-wide phenomenon that seems to be staying here for the long-run. Here are the numbers. At the end of 2019, the fitness industry accumulated $94 billion in revenue according to a IHRSA (International Health, Racquets and Sports club Association) global report with health clubs on pace to reach 230 million members by 2030. These meteoric numbers correlate with a massive growth rate in the industry over the course of the past few decades as people have become more and more aware of their health and making time in their day to take better care of it in an age when that has become ever more important.
In the United States, the number of health club members increased by 37.1% from 45.6 million in 2008 to 62.4 million. Boutique fitness studios have posted even more impressive numbers with the amount of memberships growing by 121% from 2013 to 2017! In summary, people want more fitness options and they want them now! That’s good for you if you’re planning on opening up or renovating your fitness studio/gym or maybe you’re looking to do a bit of DIY and create your own home gym. If that's the case, welcome to the crowd.
Why Flooring Is Important
It’s always the little things that matter and gym flooring, no matter how subtle it may seem, does carry that impact. A gym floor needs to be suited to the exercises that your patrons are going to be carrying out and to be soft and absorbent enough to protect their joints. After all, you don’t want to be liable for someone getting an injury while using your facility or likewise you don’t want to be the person getting the injury.
You want to depending on the situation have flooring that is very sturdy and stable such as concrete or very soft and shock/impact absorbing such as foam. Other factors such as traction, grip and of course, cost are important. Remember this, before setting up a commercial or home gym, the flooring is what is installed beforehand, not the machines.
Which Flooring for Which Situation?
Concrete: (Pros) The flooring option you probably start out with as your default option is concrete which tends to be the previously installed flooring left over from the builders of your studio and/or basement. You’ll need to apply a coat of anti-slip or non-skid coating to be able to have some traction. The benefits of concrete are first and foremost the price tag which is virtually non-existent. It’s also the most durable (i.e. long-lasting) surface and is easy to improve when it gets a bit worn out by simply applying a fresh coat of paint.
(Cons) There’s no impact or sound reduction for concrete flooring meaning your gym might become very loud if there’s too much foot traffic as well as be more likely to cause injury. Concrete flooring is also generally not the most visually appealing option and a lot of dust is generated whilst in use.
Carpet: (Pros) Carpet is one of the most affordable flooring options available and offers good traction and stability for users. It’s available in many different styles and colours so you can diversify and find the unique look you’re searching for.
(Cons) The downsides, however, are significant. Carpets lack durability which means that they will wear out much more quickly than other surfaces. They are also not water-resistant so in an environment with a lot of incredibly sweaty people who when tired chug huge bottles of water, you can imagine why it’s not a good idea. After a couple months, mold and mildew may spread and the carpet may begin to smell.
This option is the best suited for a home gym since the problem lies with the amount of traffic. Carpets are not suited for large-scale workouts on a consistent basis while at home, all of the downsides are reduced because it’s only you. In short, cutting costs and good stability, on a small scale.
Cork: (Pros) This is an eco-friendly and biodegradable material. It’s very good at absorbing impact and has good stability while also being quite comfortable. They are also quite affordable.
(Cons) Unfortunately, cork is not a very durable material and can be torn or ripped relatively easily. Similar to the carpet, it is better on a smaller scale since the fact that the material is less durable is minimized when you have only one person coming in as traffic. For a commercial gym, on the other hand, it doesn't pick up the slack.
Rubber Tiles: (Pros) You heard me right, tiles. Gym tiles are also a very popular flooring option because they deal with a lot of the problems posed with other types of flooring and are also not as rusty as concrete. Rubber tiles act as a sort of puzzle piece. They offer good impact reduction, are versatile, adaptable, durable, and resistant to wear and tear and are also water and odour resistant. These are designed with the crowd in mind.
(Cons) Unfortunately, not everything is too good to be true. These rubber tiles are fairly on the pricier end and the tiles can also be easily separated from one another creating gaps in the flooring. This problem tends to be solved by taping or gluing them down.
Foam Tiles: (Pros) These are one of the comfiest options on any gym flooring list when it comes to texture and they don’t disappoint. If you’re looking for something quick, you’ve found it. Foam tiles are very user-friendly and setting them up in your gym is not a hassle in comparison to the other options. They are inexpensive and also offer water and odour resistance for the inevitable crowds.
(Cons) Unfortunately they lack durability because of their soft nature and are also susceptible to being compressed when under a lot of pressure. In essence, heavy weights on foam tiles is not a good idea. They also lose their traction if they become wet.
This is a just a list of a few of the options available to you when building your ideal gym. There are many more out there and finding the right flooring store to cater to your needs can be a hassle. If you’re interested in learning more about additional options as well as prices, visit https://www.fitnessavenue.ca/ to learn more today!