18 Oct 2021 World leisure: news, training & property
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Health Club Management
2021 issue 5

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Leisure Management - Floor it


Floor it

Choosing the right flooring is critical for gym and health club operators. Suppliers share their latest news, tips and product launches to help you choose wisely

Gym flooring is a major investment and changing it can be disruptive, so making the right choice is vital photo: paviflex

Manuel Martínez
photo: Paviflex

Buyers in the fitness market are demanding specific technical flooring for gyms, searching for products that are easy to install and maintain, waterproof, anti-bacterial, hard-wearing, long-lasting, non-slip and with shock absorption and acoustic isolation properties.

In our range, Fitness Xtreme and Fitness Xtreme Eco are the most in demand and during this atypical year, we’ve also invested a lot of time developing a new stronger flooring called Monster, with an eco version called Monster Eco.

This is made from 14mm thick pure virgin rubber in 1sq m tiles, to satisfy the most demanding requirements for heavy use.

At present we’re also working on and testing a new type of flooring that will maximise shock absorption and noise reduction. We expect to present this at FIBO 2021 and we believe it will become one of our best sellers.

We’re launching a new type of flooring at FIBO 2021 that will maximise shock absorption and noise reduction
Paviflex reports a growing demand for specialist flooring / photo: paviflex
Kenny Wattam
photo: Pavigym

Most operators didn’t used to think carefully about their flooring choice, but now they’re realising how important it is to offer a clean space to their customers.

Our gym flooring solutions are virgin rubber, so they’re not porous and are completely waterproof – they don’t absorb any liquid, whether it be sweat or anything containing viral material. This avoids bad odours and makes floors easier to clean and disinfect.

They’ve also been certified as bacteriostatic and fungicidal and thanks to these properties, they both inhibit the growth of microorganisms and have the capacity to eliminate some of the microorganisms present on the surface, to prevent the spread of various diseases.

Another key factor, which is perhaps less known, is that our virgin rubber flooring is internationally certified by the VOC directive as class A+ when it comes to the emission of volatile organic compounds.

This means it doesn’t release emissions into the surrounding air, including those carrying microorganisms that may be present on the floor.

Our virgin rubber floor has been certified as bacteriostatic, fungicidal and with a VOC A+ rating
Pavigym’s flooring has been certified as being anti-bacterial / photo: Pavigym
John Halls
Physical Company
photo: Physical Company

The current focus for operators is understandably on must-dos: cleanliness, limited class capacity and social distancing. While flooring might not be the first thing that comes to mind when it comes to COVID-19 response, there’s much that can be done to support these efforts.

For example, we’re hearing from a number of our club partners that members have appreciated having their own personal workout spaces clearly marked. So much so, that these will be offered moving forward on a more permanent basis, meaning a professional finish is now required.

Our solution – similar to the floor graphics you see in supermarkets – has been developed in partnership with a floor transfer and vinyl specialist. Lines are removable as and when needed, but won’t peel up in the meantime.

More short-term, but still an important consideration while social distancing remains in force, overflow gym areas need protective flooring to be put down before heavy equipment is relocated there. Rubber tiles for example – fitted as a temporary solution without being bonded down – can protect floors in the short term and then be lifted up and used elsewhere further down the line.

Finally, we must touch on mats, which absolutely need to be easy-clean. We’re seeing a number of operators replacing existing stock with closed cell, wipe-clean, non-sweat absorbing Airex mats – both for ongoing hygiene reasons and to give members a confidence-boosting fresh start.

Overflow gym areas need protective flooring before heavy equipment is located there
Physical Company flooring on show at Six3Nine personal training, London / photo: Physical Company
Andy Roberts
TVS Group
photo: TVS Group

We were recently tasked with supplying and installing problem-solving flooring solutions in a new strength, conditioning and mobility gym in the heart of a busy London suburb.

Architect-designed Gymnasium in Wandsworth features three training studios: Athletica – where the focus is on cardio and high impact activities; Stronger – a dedicated space focusing on strength training; and Compete – a studio where budding gymnasts can develop core strength and skills.

The Compete studio backs onto a tower containing residential and business premises, presenting potential noise issues, so after an acoustic appraisal, it was agreed we should supply and install a multi-layered flooring solution with noise dampening qualities. Our chosen approach also inhibits vibrations caused by gym activities from entering other parts of the building.

The overall effect means assorted gym activities can take place as normal and noise and vibrations are imperceptible to neighbours both nearby and further afield – a win-win solution for all.

The Stronger studio, located at ground floor level, features six elite-level lifting platforms. Part of the task was to enable a seamless transition between the surrounding flooring and the lifting platforms.

We installed heavy duty TVS Sportec tiles over impact protection tiles, ensuring a flush finish between the junction of the gym flooring and the lifting platforms. This detail is not only aesthetic, it also means there’s less likelihood of tripping as gym members move between zones.

Flooring in the Athletica studio was much more straightforward, as we were able to install a single layer of our TVS Sportec heavy duty rubber tiles straight over the concrete substrate.

Gym activities can take place as normal – the noise and vibrations are imperceptible to neighbours
TVS flooring in the Stronger training studio at Gymnasium in Wandsworth, London / photo: TVS Group

Originally published in Health Club Management 2021 issue 5

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