Think Fitness Flooring Is One Size Fits All? Think Again.

Today, health club flooring meets aesthetic, performance, and protective demands.

Once considered a somewhat nondescript commodity, fitness flooring is increasingly being thought of as an essential piece of health club equipment. Today, flooring doesn’t fade into the background—it performs.

“When it comes to sports and fitness surfacing, it’s no longer one type fits all,” says Andy Bogart, the vice president of sales operations for Ecore. “Now, flooring is being custom-designed to support particular activities.”

As members’ demands and club’s responses have changed—migrating, for instance, to functional, small-group, HIIT, and CrossFit formats—manufacturers have responded with inventive and sophisticated products.

Kiefer U.S.A. Thinks Beyond the Floor

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Source: Kiefer U.S.A.

The new FitZone Multi Performance flooring, from Kiefer U.S.A., was created with group X, yoga, Pilates, and TRX workouts in mind. It has a vulcanized rubber top layer that provides wearability and the correct coefficient of friction, a cushion layer that reduces shock by up to 40%, and a moisture-resistant backing layer that uses special nodules to prevent creeping.

“New open spaces tend to prompt more body-centric exercise movements, which emphasizes the importance of the flooring, because it becomes an actual part of the proceedings,” says Bogart. “A surface that offers safety and ergonomic benefits permits club members to perform better and longer.”

Regupol and DINOFLEX Lower Unwanted Sounds

Another primary consideration with respect to some of the newer programs—which can range from boisterous to ballistic—is sound and vibration mitigation. This is of growing concern since more clubs are being situated in strip malls or on the upper floors of buildings.

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Source: Regupol

“We spent two years in R&D to create AkustiPro80 tile, which has a high-density top layer, is fashioned from materials that dampen and reduce rebound from dropped weights, and features a sprung-footed design that reduces vibration and impact sound,” says John Aten, the vice president of sales and marketing for Regupol.

DINOFLEX’s new NEXT STEP High Impact flooring, crafted from 50% recycled content, also has been specifically engineered to absorb impact and reduce sound in noisy club settings.

Flooring Doesn’t Have to Be Boring

Flooring’s functional characteristics may be foremost, but visual and maintenance qualities aren’t far behind.

“Clubs are making use of color and corporate branding to set themselves apart from the competition, so we work with clients to customize color and design patterns,” says Aten.

And, adds Bogart, “A surface’s maintenance requirements should always be taken into consideration because a floor that’s easy to care for reduces the staffing burden and, in the long run, saves clubs money.”

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IHRSA Staff @IHRSA

This article was a team effort by several IHRSA experts.