gymnasium flooring systems

Your Complete Guide to Different Gymnasium Flooring Systems

Selecting a new floor for your gymnasium is a challenging decision and one that requires a lot of thought.  It’s an expensive and long-term investment, so it’s crucial to make the right choice based on your facility’s needs and requirements. 

To help you out in this process, we’ve drafted a comprehensive guide to different gymnasium flooring systems.  It covers the most popular flooring solutions and includes everything you need to know about them, so you can make the right decision for your gym.

Wood Gym Flooring Systems

Hardwood sports flooring systems are the first thing most people think of when they imagine gymnasium flooring.  Maple hardwood floors are the prevalent sports flooring option for gymnasiums all over the country.  They are durable, high-performing, visually pleasing, and offer high customizability.

Overall, hardwood maple flooring systems are the best flooring solution if you’re looking for a top-quality sports floor and are prepared to cash out for it. 

The most noticeable drawback of wood gym flooring systems is that they require a more expensive upfront installation cost.  They are also more complex and costly to maintain than the other flooring systems we’ll discuss on this page.

Synthetic Gym Flooring Systems

Synthetic gym flooring systems such as polyurethane athletic flooring are rapidly gaining popularity in the sports flooring industry.  The main advantage artificial gym flooring systems have over hardwood ones is they can match hardwood’s durability.  But they’re significantly less expensive to install and maintain. 

On the other hand, synthetic floors aren’t as versatile for sports activities as hardwood floors. They also don’t last as long.  Synthetic floors can be used as multi-purpose flooring solutions but can’t quite match up with hardwood’s performance characteristics.  That said, artificial flooring systems are also highly customizable. They allow gymnasium operators a lot of freedom in designing their facilities.

Rubber Sports Flooring Systems

Rubber sports flooring, either recycler or vulcanized, is an ideal sports flooring solution if you’re installing a new floor on a budget.  It’s one of the most affordable sports flooring systems and an excellent choice for various sports activities. 

It’s very tolerant to moisture, easy and cheap to maintain, and offers consistent performance. Rubber flooring systems are used for basketball, volleyball, handball, and many other sports. But the areas they’re used most for are weight rooms

Users often have questions regarding rubber sports flooring systems’ safety, but these fears are entirely unfounded.  There have been dozens of studies of recycled and vulcanized rubber sports flooring solutions.  No links have been found relating to dangerous toxicity levels or any illnesses associated with this material.  Rubber sports flooring is entirely safe to use, recyclable and eco-friendly.

Artificial Turf Sports Flooring

If your gymnasium also includes an outdoor sports surface, artificial turf is the best choice.  It mimics natural grass’s look and feel but offers much greater resilience and doesn’t require extensive maintenance like natural grass.  Artificial turfs are very resilient and shock absorbent and provide a non-abrasive surface made from recycled rubber.

Artificial turf is very adaptable and versatile.  Even if you only have an indoor sports facility, Artificial indoor sports turfs are an excellent solution for many sports activities.  Both indoor and outdoor artificial sports turfs have found their use in football, soccer, and many other sports played on grass.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Flooring System

Regardless if you’re operating a school gymnasium or rent out your gym to professional athletes, your sports flooring system must adhere to specific requirements.  Here are the most important things to keep in mind when choosing a new flooring system:

  • Budget — Unfortunately, budget is the determining factor for many gymnasium operators when selecting a new flooring system.  The budget you’re working with will be the most limiting factor in your decision-making process.
  • Performance Features — Consider which sports the gymnasium will primarily be used for.  Depending on this, you need to assess the performance features such as friction, resistance, ball bounce, safety characteristics, and many others.
  • Hygiene and Ease of Maintenance — The Coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the importance of proper hygiene and floor maintenance.  With that in mind, some sports flooring solutions, such as hardwood, are more difficult to sanitize and keep clean than others, such as synthetic and rubber sports floors.
  • Life Expectancy — As mentioned above, your new gymnasium sports floor will likely cost you a pretty penny, and you want to get the most out of it.  If longevity is a crucial factor for you, choosing a sports flooring system with the longest expected life should be one of your priorities.

Choosing The Right Gymnasium Flooring System

From the specific kind of subfloor to the type of gymnasium flooring system, there are many things to consider before you make the final decision.  Hopefully, this guide to the most popular gymnasium flooring systems has helped you decide which type of sports flooring material is the best choice for your gymnasium.

If this detailed page left you with further questions or looking for more helpful advice, don’t hesitate to reach out to a licensed professional.  An experienced flooring contractor can help answer all of your queries and assist you in choosing the most suitable flooring system for your sports facility. 

J&J Gym Floors professionals are eager to assist you!  Contact us online now or call (973) 241-5119.

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gym floor finish

How to Pick the Right Finish for Your Gym Floor: Top 7 Choices

The gymnasium is a hub of community activity.  Events, games, fundraisers, and more often take place in the gym.  For sports facility managers, choosing the right gym floor finish is critical. You want to be sure that you’ve selected a floor that can withstand heavy foot traffic, equipment weight, and ensures athletes’ safety. 

Embarking on a careful evaluation of gym floor finish requires you to look into how the floor will be used, who will use it, the installation budget, and environmental conditions.  So, let’s dive into your top seven choices for gym floor finish. 

1. Hardwood maple sports floors

Hardwood maple is the most popular choice for gymnasium flooring.  It’s a classic, and maple sports floors look sharp and can be branded with logos and paint

Hardwood gym floors can also withstand heavy foot traffic for fifty years or more with care and routine maintenance.  For multi-use facilities, maple is a good gym floor finish. 

The biggest issue with maple sports floors is the cost.  Initial installation can be pricey.  But since the floor will last for many decades, initial installation costs are a good value. 

Hardwood gym floors require daily cleaning and dry mopping between activities.  You’ll also need to sand and refinish the gym floor roughly every ten years to keep it in tiptop shape. 

2. Rubber sports floors

Rubber flooring isn’t as expensive to install as hardwood floors, but it won’t last as long.  Sports facilities with weight rooms and cardiovascular equipment typically opt for rubbering flooring because it is ideal for these activities and machinery. 

You can purchase rubber flooring that comes in a roll or as interlocking tiles.  Tiles that frequently see heavy foot traffic can be swapped out with tiles from less traveled areas of the gym, extending the floor’s shelf life.  Environmentally-conscious facility managers can choose recycled rubber flooring. 

3. Sheet vinyl

PVC, or cushioned sheet vinyl, is becoming a popular synthetic gym floor finish.  This flooring choice looks similar to a traditional wood floor and comes in various colors, designs, and thicknesses. 

Vinyl flooring is prefinished before it leaves the factory.  Urethane added to the flooring’s surface makes it much easier to clean and maintain. 

PVC gym flooring can be used in multipurpose sports facilities, and it’s impervious to water damage.  Schools and gyms that are hybrid cafeterias typically opt for sheet vinyl flooring since it is durable and ideal for withstanding heavy foot traffic and water damage. 

4. Vinyl composite tile

Vinyl tile is an excellent choice for sports floor installation projects on a tight budget.  This gym floor finish is less expensive than the other options on this list.  It comes in a wide range of color and pattern choices that can fit any sports facility. 

But vinyl composite flooring requires annual wax coatings to protect it from foot traffic.  It also doesn’t offer ideal shock absorption and isn’t the best choice for certain sports and activities that require it. 

5. Concrete

Concrete floors can be helpful for some team sports.  Also, concrete is durable and offers a long lifespan.  Remember that no matter what gym floor finish you choose, the floor will require a concrete subfloor.  But it’s also important to consider that a concrete floor finish won’t offer much in terms of shock absorption. 

6. Artificial turf

Artificial turf offers a high standard of safety and performance as a gym floor finish.  The material used to make artificial turf is recycled rubber, making it an environmentally-friendly choice.  It is also non-abrasive and shock absorbent, making it an ideal gym floor finish for sporting events that require quick movement and agility. 

7. Combination gym floor finishes

Combination gym floor finishing systems have several layers that give players a high level of shock absorption and force reduction.  For budgetary reasons, hybrid systems are a good choice. 

They feature a shock-absorbing pad, engineered wood layer, and a top gym floor finish of any choice on this list.  Combination systems are typically used when a sports facility transitions from a hardwood section to a synthetic gym floor.  For multipurpose facilities, combination systems are an excellent choice. 

Ready to choose your gym floor finish?  Reach out to us today! 

Are you considering an upgrade to your sports facility?  Choosing the right gym floor finish is a must.  When you contact us, we’ll help you decide! 

We’ll walk you through the right gym floor finish for the area you need to cover, the activities that’ll take place in your gym, and any equipment considerations you may have. 

We install hardwood maple floors, artificial turf, and rubber flooring. Reach out to us today, and we’ll get back to you asap!

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best school gym floor safety

What’s the Best School Gym Floor for Safety?

Flooring is an integral part of every facility.  When selecting the right flooring material, especially for complex multi-purpose educational buildings such as schools, this is never an easy task.  If you’re looking for helpful information on how to pick the best school gym floor for safety, you’ve come to the right place! 

On this page, we’ll walk you through all of the essential details to help you pick the most suitable flooring option for your school gym. 

Best School Flooring Options: Characteristics

Schools serve many functions, and as such, require a variety of unique flooring solutions.  To make this guide more streamlined and easier to digest, we’ll divide the flooring options based on the needs of the settings they find themselves in.  Let’s take a closer look at the best school flooring options below. 

Hallway Flooring

Hallways are vital to your school’s visual presentation and are the first thing people will see when entering the building.  Besides the aesthetic aspect, hallways are crucial for every school’s layout.  Here is the essential criteria hallway flooring should meet:

  • Durable — Hallways see the most foot traffic than any other area of the school.  For this reason, hallway flooring must be very durable and able to protect against everyday scuffs.
  • Slip-resistant — To ensure student and personnel safety, every hallway floor should be slip-resistant to reduce the risk of falls and injuries.
  • Silent — With so many people walking the hallways every school day, the hallway floor should be quiet enough, so traffic doesn’t disturb classrooms and lectures. 
  • Easy upkeep — Ease of maintenance makes a significant difference on those rainy and snowy days when all 500 students come to class.  From this perspective, your school’s hallways and corridors must be easy to clean and maintain.

Keeping all of these characteristics in mind, we recommend vinyl flooring as the best solution for school hallways.  Vinyl floors meet all of the criteria stated above and are also one of the most economical flooring solutions on the market.

Classroom Flooring

When designing a classroom, it’s essential to keep in mind the aesthetic appearance of such a room.  It is a place of learning, and thus it must be warm, comfortable, and pleasing to spend time in.  Students and teachers need a healthy environment to focus and perform to the best of their capabilities. 

When considering the best flooring options for classroom floors, there are four viable solutions:

  • Hardwood — If you’re looking for a classic, high-quality flooring solution to give your classrooms the best possible look, nothing beats hardwood classroom floors, especially in terms of indoor air quality in classrooms.  Indoor air quality is vital if you want to keep students safe and healthy.  However, hardwood floors are the most expensive flooring solution.  They’re more challenging to maintain in a classroom environment than the other options on this list.
  • Vinyl Tiles — Vinyl tiles are water-resistant and stain-resistant, making them extremely easy to maintain.  Vinyl classroom flooring is also a very cost-effective solution, as it provides you with excellent longevity at an approachable price point.
  • Laminate — Laminate school flooring isn’t as prevalent as it was a few decades ago. This is mainly because other affordable solutions, such as vinyl, have caught up and even surpassed in terms of value for money.  Laminate is a cheaper alternative for schools that can’t afford hardwood but are looking for the same visual appearance. While not as popular, laminate is still an excellent choice, as it’s durable and resistant to scratches and scuffs.
  • Carpet Tiles — This flooring solution is comfortable, visually pleasing, and offers excellent insulation.  It’s also reasonably easy to install and replace in case of any damage.  We want to note that school carpet tiles should be low-profile.  Lower profile carpet tiles are more durable under heavy and frequent foot traffic.

Gym Flooring

Picking a flooring solution for a school gym is often a difficult task with a lot of challenges.  An average school gym is used for various purposes.  The gym hosts popular sports such as basketball and volleyball to other non-sports school-related events and manifestations.  School gymnasiums are often used for hosting banquets, school dances, and many other occasions.

So, when choosing your new school gym flooring, there are several vital factors to keep in mind to make sure you pick the right gym floor.  Aside from its purpose, other aspects such as the initial cost of installation and the cost and ease of ongoing maintenance are the most significant considerations.

Although polyurethane floors are becoming more common in school sports facilities, hardwood maple flooring remains the most widespread and best-overall flooring solution for school gyms. Since hardwood is dense and highly shock-resistant, it offers the perfect characteristics for multi-purpose sports facilities like school gyms.  Hardwood provides a classic look, and it’s a practical and safe flooring solution to boot. 

Need new, Safe flooring for your school gym? Give us a call today! 

When it comes to gymnasium flooring, every facility’s needs are different.  To ensure you make the best decision, you need to understand your school’s flooring needs and safety demands. 

At J&J Gym Floors, we’ve completed 17,400 gym flooring projects since 2003.  We know how to evaluate the demands and requirements of every client we work with.  If you’re looking to install new flooring in your school, don’t hesitate to reach out to us right away! 

Call us at (973) 801-7219.  Or fill out our quick online form, and our experts will get back to you asap.

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wood gym floor

When Should I Replace My Wood Gym Floor?

Completely replacing a wood gym floor is a costly project and one that’s only carried out every few decades.  That is why it’s important to do a proper job and give your gym floor the best treatment.  A beautiful, newly installed gym floor will look impeccable and also ensure athletes’ safety.  In this post, we’ll provide advice on when you should consider replacing your wood gym floor.  We’ll also explore some other important factors to consider during the process, so you can make an informed decision that fits your facility’s needs and your budget.

How to Know if it’s Time to Replace Your Hardwood Floor

A properly installed hardwood floor can last up to half a century if adequately maintained. Sanding and refinishing your wood gym floor can help brighten up your gym and strengthen your old and worn out floor.  In addition, screening and recoating your athletic hardwood floor annually will also significantly contribute to its longevity.  Not only will these maintenance activities make your floor more visually appealing, but they will also help provide added protection for the floor, athletes, and spectators.

But even with dedicated maintenance, your gym floor will start to show signs of wear and tear over time.  There are a few signs that indicate your floor is due for a makeover.  The floorboards may begin to feel slippery, and the wood may crack in places.

These issues go much beyond cosmetics and could be dangerous for people using your facility. You always want your athletes playing on a gym floor that’s safe to use and durable.  Old gym floors can also affect performance.  For instance, humid gym floors and those with dead spots can cause a loss of momentum when the ball is dropped.  This is one of the telltale signs that it’s time to replace your wood gym floor.

How Much Does a Quality Gym Floor Cost?

As a gym floor owner looking to replace your old gym floor, you’re very mindful of your budget and want to get the best value for the money you’re investing.  With that in mind, wood floors offer the best life expectancy, albeit at a slightly higher initial price.  New gym floor installation prices differ from facility to facility, as they depend on a variety of aspects.  Gym floor installation prices are often formed per square foot, with several other factors in consideration.  Factors that have the most significant impact on your gym floor pricing include:

  • The size of your gym floor
  • Location of your sports facility
  • Materials used
  • Design of graphics, the amount of paint required for logos, game letters, etc.

Crucial Things to Consider When Replacing Your Gym Floor

Installing a new floor is a project you don’t take on often.  Therefore, it is vital to take into consideration all of the significant aspects that go into such an undertaking.  Below are some of the most important things to keep in mind when replacing your gym floor. 

Purpose of the Floor

Consider the type of sports activity that will be carried out on your floor.  For example, if you’re looking to replace the basketball court floor, you would go about it in a different way than if you’re replacing an all-purpose gym floor.  If you own a facility with an all-purpose hardwood floor, such as a school gym, you’ll also need to consider the various school activities and events that are held, and the wear and tear they can cause.  Other factors, such as whether the bleachers and backstops will have to be rolled, or whether the floor will have to endure heavy hard-sole foot traffic, should all take part in the decision-making process.

Consider the Environment and Sustainability

Does an HVAC system control your gym’s indoor environment?  Is the gym floor located near a natatorium or below grade?  Is it a new construction or a retrofit?  All of these aspects play into determining how much moisture your hardwood floor will potentially encounter.  Your hardwood will expand as it contracts moisture and contract when it dries out.  Significant changes in moisture and temperature can cause your gym floor to crack and underperform.

Maintenance Expectations

Before you go all in and invest in a new wood gym floor, make sure that you’re prepared to take all of the steps to maintain it properly.  While proper maintenance might seem like a no-brainer, most facilities and organizations actually don’t have maintenance budgets big enough to support regular cleaning with recommended solutions, sanding, refinishing, and recoating services.  And, without sanding, refinishing, and annual screening and recoating, the hardwood will start to show its age more quickly.  It’s essential to consider all of these aspects before you purchase a new gym floor.

Determine Lines and Graphics Upfront

Before you install a new floor, make sure to determine the placement of game lines and graphics upfront.  This is because the best time to apply game lines and floor graphics is during floor installation.  Doing so allows the best application of a protective coat.  In the same breath, avoid using temporary decals, as they are more slippery and not as safe for the athletes.

Choose the Right Gym Floor Company

Whether you’re looking to upgrade or replace your floor, choosing the right gym floor company can make all the difference.  At J&J Gym Floors, we’ve completed over 17,400 projects since 2003 and have built a reputation as a premier gym floor company in the US. 

Our company’s impeccable track record and superior service are our guarantees for all of our customers.  We provide a full-service approach to gym owners from NJ, NY, CT, PA, DE, and MD.  Contact us online today or call us at (973) 801-7219 and find out how we can help you.

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basketball court paint and stain

Making Bold, Branded Statements with Basketball Court Paint and Stain Patterns

The days of Plain Jane basketball courts are long gone.  You’re not stuck with just alternating maple grades and black block lettering for your basketball court floor.  Today’s sport facility managers have so much more at their disposal to make a bold and branded statement with their gym.  Here’s what you need to know about how basketball court paint and stain patterns can give your gym a look that rival facilities will envy. 

Gym Floor Paint and Stain Patterns: Where Installation and Art Meet

Not long ago, gym floor contractors were known solely for their expertise in how to install a high-quality gym floor.  Today, things have changed.  Now, art and creativity have entered the picture.  While NBA floors tend to be more understated, NCAA basketball courts have become bolder and more artistic.  High schools and private sports facilities are catching on to the trend and making their own unique statements with their gym floors. 

 

What type of designs can be made on the gym floor? Not only do sports facility owners have the option of using eye-catching paints for their logos, but they can also choose from different stain grades and patterns to make their facility stand out. The choice is yours. 

It all begins with maple. 

The type of wood used in a sports floor is very different from wood used in a private residence or commercial office space.  While you can have maple wood installed in your kitchen or dining room floor, maple is primarily used in wood basketball court floors. Why? Because maple is not only a durable wood, but it also gives way to foot traffic so that balls bounce. Athletes can jump and turn without injuring themselves. Maple wood is also ideal to work with when it comes to installing, sanding, refinishing, staining, and painting.

Wood sports floors can have three different grades of maple installed. These grades do not indicate quality. What we mean is, a maple that is third grade isn’t worse than a first grade maple plank. The difference between the grades is looks. First grade maple offers a uniform look with minimal knots and swirls. Second grade has some of these differences in the wood’s appearance. And third grade maple offers the most contrast. 

Purchasing a Hardwood Athletic Floor – Maple Grade | Horner Flooring

Image courtesy of Horner Flooring 

Choosing a grade of maple will come down to cost and also the look you want to achieve for your facility. First grade maple will cost more than third grade because it’s tougher to find uniform planks. It’s also more labor intensive to sift through maple wood and find all of the planks that make the first grade cut. You can create beautiful patterns in the wood floor by having different maple grades installed in alternating patterns, like herringbone.  Dance studios may prefer a parquet look to their floor. 

Basketball Court Logo Paint

High schools and universities typically want their school’s logo painted on the gym floor. Private gyms often opt for the corporate logo. Game lines are also painted onto the wood in whichever color the facility owner chooses. Once logos and paint are applied, finishing coats are the next step in the process. This usually includes two or three coats of a urethane seal. 

Depending on the foot traffic, you may need to have the logos and game lines repainted when the floor requires routine sanding and refinishing. If your wood gym floor is due for sanding and refinishing, you can take this as an opportunity to update the look and color scheme of your gym.  Which brings us to our next point — staining designs, patterns, and swirls. 

Using Basketball Court Stains and Finishes for Bold Patterns

The aesthetics of wood basketball courts and gym floors have greatly evolved. You could even say they’ve improved over the years. You aren’t limited to one, uniform stain color for your floor — unless that’s what you want. Instead, you can opt to have different stain colors applied throughout the floor, creating patterns on either side of the game point lines. Different stain colors can be applied to the floor to create pictures and logos if you’d prefer to not use paint for these graphics and desire a more subtle look. 

When can you apply different stains to create a new pattern or logo?

If you’re having a brand new gym floor installed, painted logos and stain patterns can be applied during the installation process. For existing floors, an ideal time would be when the wood is due for routine sanding and refinishing. This process typically needs to take place at least once per year. Gyms that see heavy foot traffic may need to be sanded and recoated twice or more per year. This depends on the unique needs of your facility. 

Refinishing involves sanding all of the old finish and the game lines off the floor. The process gets down to the bare wood. Any damaged maple planks or subfloors can be replaced or repaired. A gym floor contractor will then refinish the wood with a sanding machine. The sanding process requires at least three cuts across the wood with coarse, medium, and fine sandpaper. Then, the floor is cleaned. Any and all sanding dust and grit is removed before stain and paint is applied.  The final step involves at least two coats of sealant to finish off the job and protect the new designs and wood beneath. 

Basketball Court Paint and Stain: A Takeaway Message

Whether your sports floor wood is left bare, painted, or stained with unique patterns, it’ll need a final finishing coat applied before it can be used. High-gloss polyurethane, either water or oil-based, is applied for the final touch. This ensures the floor has the right amount of grip and that users will have traction when they use the floor, preventing falls and injuries.

If you’re interested in having new stain patterns or paint applied to your sports floor, give us a call today at (973) 801-7219 or fill out our online form. We’re the leading gym floor installers in the Tri-State New Jersey area. We’ll be happy to assist you with choosing a bold, stunning pattern for your wood basketball court floor.

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new 3 point line restrictions

What are the New 3 Point Line Restrictions in Basketball?

In June 2019, the NCAA voted to move back the 3 point line to the international distance of 22 feet, 1 ¾ inch.  Moving the line by 1 foot, 4 ¾ inches will make a small but noticeable change on how teams will approach the game.  According to the voting committee, the purpose of the new restrictions is to improve offensive spacing and make the game more diverse.  In this blog, we’ll talk about these new restrictions in more detail, who they affect, and how they can change the game going into the future.

Who do the new restrictions apply to?

The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved moving the 3 point line in college Division I, II, and III.  The decision to make this change came after the Men’s Basketball Rules Committee received positive feedback from coaches in the 2018 and 2019 National Invitational Tournament, where games were played on an international 3 point distance.  The new rule came into effect immediately for Division I teams. 

As for Divisions II and III, this rule will come to effect starting with the next season.  This was decided to minimize the financial impact that placing new lines on a court can have on teams from lower leagues.  Seeing that the 2020 NCAA tournament was canceled due to safety concerns, teams will have a bit more time to adjust their basketball courts and have everything ready for the next season.

How will the new 3 point line restrictions affect the games?

The 3 point shot has grown immensely in popularity over the past few years.  So much so, that it has made the game less eventful and minimized the contact between players.  It became an almost universal skill, as even front court players have become capable of making baskets from downtown.

With that in mind, while the 3 point line extension won’t make a significant impact for 3 point specialists and the act of shot-making in general, it will have a substantial effect on the offense. It’s just enough to make the shot more challenging, while still keeping it an integral part of the sport.  Wider spacing will allow more freedom for ball handlers to penetrate to the basket.  It also makes room in the paint for players who like to play with their backs to the basket.  Teams can run more efficient inside out offenses, as defending players will have to cover more court when assisting in defensive rotations.

One thing is certain; the new 3 point line restrictions will help shape college basketball in the right direction.  By moving the 3 point line, it will not only make the 3 point shot more challenging, but it will also significantly reshape how teams play.  Unlike some sports, which have been the same for decades, basketball is always evolving.  The new restrictions will certainly make college basketball even more entertaining, and we can’t wait to see all of the ways these new changes will affect the game in seasons to come.

By the Numbers

The 3 point line was adopted in 1989 in college basketball and has been the shot with the highest expected value ever since.  The 3 point shot has been steadily growing in popularity with each passing year, up until the first line extension in 2009.  That offseason, the NCAA moved back the line one foot, to 20 feet, 9 inches.  This is where the line would stand for the next ten years until 2019 and the most recent change.

After the 3 point line extension in 2009, there was a noticeable drop in 3 point performance. College basketball saw the most significant reduction in the history of the shot, with teams attempting 0.8 percent fewer 3 pointers per game and scoring 0.4 percent less.  After this historic drop, the numbers continued to improve with each passing season, as players got used to the new range.  Plus, even during the 2009 season, the 3 point shot remained the shot with the highest expected value, by a significant margin.

It’s expected there will be a nation-wide drop in performance.  That being said, with some fine-tuning and tactical changes heading into next year, most college teams will be able to adjust to the new rule without facing significant performance impacts.

Get Ready for the 2020-2021 Season

The new 3 point line rules have already come into effect for NCAA Division I, while DII and DIII schools have until the 2020-2021 season to make the change on their court.  If you own a gym floor that hosts games for NCAA DI, DII & DIII schools, you should have your lines updated as soon as possible.  And, with the right gym flooring company, this is a simple and straightforward project.  With a lengthy portfolio that includes NCAA teams, as well as organizations and brands such as the New York Yankees, Jets, Nike, and Adidas, we are the most trusted gym floor company in the business.

3 Point Line Restrictions: A Takeaway Message

At J&J Gym Floors, we’ll make sure that everything is on point.  Our skilled and professional staff will provide you with a top-quality painting service, regardless of whether you’re looking for intricate or straightforward floor designs.  By using the right products and applying a quality finish on your gym floor, we’ll ensure the maximum durability of your floor.  Properly painted game lines, logos, and letters will not only look good, but they’ll also last much longer.  More importantly, they’ll protect players from slipping and injuring themselves.Our line painting services, as well as amazing artwork and design services, are all available at affordable prices.  We’re based in Northern New Jersey and provide services to most of NJ, NY, PA, CT, DE, and MD. Contact us today, and we’ll update your court and make everything ready for the 2020-2021 basketball season.

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buying a hardwood gym floor

Top 3 Things to Consider When Buying a Hardwood Gym Floor

The streets to victory are paved in gold.  But when it comes to the Final Four, those victory streets are paved in maple.  To be exact, hardwood northern maple is some of the most durable, beautiful, and commonly-used gym floor material.  The way a gym floor is constructed and finished helps maintain the integrity of the wood. It also provides athletes with traction and give to protect their joints and lower back from strain.  If your sports facility is in the market for a new hardwood gym floor, there are a lot of things to consider during the buying process. Below, we’ll break down the top three things you need to think about when buying a new hardwood sports floor. 

1. The Sports Facility Environment

Wood, especially the type used in a sports floor, is sensitive to the ambient temperature and moisture levels in the environment where it’s located.  The overall climate of your sports facility will have an impact on the type of gym floor you decide to purchase. It may be hard to believe in this day and age, but some sports facilities aren’t controlled via an HVAC system. In these instances, wildly fluctuating levels of humidity and temperature throughout the changing of the seasons can have an impact on the health and lifespan of a hardwood gym floor. 

If the gym floor will be located below grade, or near an indoor swimming pool, this will also impact the wood.  Sports facility managers need to understand that the arch-nemesis of your hardwood gym floor is and always will be moisture—either standing moisture in the form of puddles or floods or ambient humidity in the air.  Gym floor owners in the tri-state region of New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania that we service here at J&J Gym Floors need to keep this in mind.  This is one region of the country that sees wild, seasonal swings in humidity and also has to contend with the freeze/thaw cycle in winter.

New Hardwood Gym Floor Installation: Maple Grade and Subfloors

A hardwood gym floor is made out of different grades of maple.  All wood, including maple, absorbs moisture readily. When the floor absorbs moisture, the wood planks will expand.  As the air becomes drier, the wood will contract as the humidity goes down, and water evaporates. This cycle will continue throughout the floor’s lifespan; however, the cycle is most pronounced immediately after the flooring is installed.  So, why is this an important consideration?

For one thing, a hardwood gym floor installed in a place subject to high humidity levels and temperature swings must have 18-inch expansion gaps placed roughly every two feet between tongue-and-groove planks. Otherwise, the wood boards must be installed with smaller gaps on each side.  But that’s not all. The subfloor is also essential. Subfloors need to allow the wood to expand and contract freely. In most cases, anchored-resilient subfloor systems are a better choice over a floating subfloor design.

A floating subfloor is nailed together and, therefore, fully-integrated.  What this means is that the pads of the subfloor can tear off the substrate as the maple boards naturally expand and contract.  This process can lead to “dead spots” within the floor. Dead spots can severely impact athlete performance because a dribbling basketball won’t bounce very well if it hits a dead spot. 

2. Type of Activities

The type of activities that will take place over the hardwood floor are also an important consideration.  Many multi-purpose facilities and schools will conduct events in the gymnasium that aren’t games, such as school dances, assemblies, and other meetings.  In these instances, a sports facility manager must take into consideration the type of foot traffic that will happen over the hardwood. Gyms that will only see traffic from sports sneakers and bouncing balls will need different installations than gym floors that will contend with high heels and the scraping of chair and table legs. 

Other types of activity that may impact the final purchasing decision include:

  • Bleacher installation and movement
  • Portable backdrop movements
  • Scissor lifts used for fixing lights
  • Rolling vehicles used or displayed in the gym

A new hardwood gym floor may need to withstand significant rolling load weights.  The probability of these activities taking place on the floor will also impact the subfloor installation. For gyms that will see heavy loads, a subfloor may need to have solid-block construction installed where a large rolling load will rest.  Some activities will also impact the final surface product, like edge-grain parquet maple. Edge-grain parquet maple is particularly resilient to rolling pressures, unlike the usual strip maple installed in a hardwood gym floor

3. Maple Grade

The maple grade you choose will mostly come down to aesthetic concerns—structural considerations aside. 

  • First-grade maple gives the floor a monochromatic and sleek look. 
  • Second-grade maple flooring for sports facilities offers a compromise between these two looks. 
  • Third-grade maple offers a more rustic appearance, with its signature mineral stains and knots.

The majority of sports floors are made out of second-grade maple.  Even though third-grade maple is lower-cost and traditionally considered less-desirable than first-grade, many sports facility managers prefer the rougher, less-uniform look that third-grade maple offers. Regardless, each grade of maple flooring possesses the same levels of durability, performance, and lifespan with regular maintenance

Hardwood Gym Floor Purchase: A Final Takeaway

If you have an old gym floor that needs replacing, a qualified gym floor installer will inspect the substrate, subfloor, and condition of the old wood.  Some questions they’ll ask are why the facility needs a new floor in the first place. In many cases, moisture has been an issue in the past. 

A gym floor contractor will pinpoint the source of moisture problems and take steps to educate the facility owner and remedy the situation.  That way, those moisture issues won’t jeopardize the health of your new gym floor. Contact our experienced gym floor contractors at J&J Gym Floors today at (973) 801-7219 to request a proposal on a new hardwood gym floor.

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gym floor faqs

Gym Floor FAQs: Your Top 5 Questions Answered

Are you the proud owner or manager of a sports facility?  If so, it’s probably safe to say that the hardwood maple gym floor is most likely your biggest investment.  Not only that, but the gym floor sees the highest amount of foot traffic in the facility. Caring and maintaining a gym floor is incredibly important.  Not only will it protect your bottom line, but it will also ensure that your facility appears professional. A gym floor maintained in pristine condition also protects users from injury.   So what exactly goes into maintaining and caring for a sports floor? Find the answers to your top gym floor FAQs in the article below. 

FAQ #1: What do I do if water damages the gym floor?

Water is the number one enemy of gym floors everywhere.  But if your facility gets flooded, or otherwise experiences some form of water damage, it’s not the end of the road for your gym floor.  Wood is an incredibly porous material and will absorb excess water. When this occurs, the wood planks may buckle, crown, or cup.  Removing excess moisture is the first step. 

Be sure to clean and mop any standing water.  Turn on a dehumidifier and set fans around the perimeter of the gym floor to help dry the wood.  It can take as long as two or three weeks for the floor to thoroughly dry and any cupping or buckling to subside.  After the floor dries, it’s a good idea to contact a gym floor repair technician to assess the damage and determine if patching the damaged parts of the floor is necessary. 

FAQ #2: Can I put tape on a hardwood sports floor?

Do you have an impromptu game of pickleball coming up?  Then you might think it’s okay to put temporary lines on the gym floor with tape.  After all, It’s just tape. What could possibly go wrong? Unfortunately, applying painter’s tape to the gym floor can damage the floor and result in costly repairs. 

A hardwood sports floor must have a finishing coat applied to it before it is ready for use.  This substance not only protects the wood beneath from scrapes and scratches, but it also creates stickiness and traction to the floor.  That stickiness and traction is important for athletes to keep them from slipping and injuring themselves. 

Putting tape on the floor and then removing it will tear away the finishing coat.  This leaves the floor weak and vulnerable to damage. It also increases the risk of an athlete slipping and falling. 

There may come a time in the life of your sports facility when you’ll need to have temporary game lines drawn on the floor.  Tape may seem like the easiest product to use for game lines, but it’s not worth the risk. Instead, you can find products specifically marketed and formulated for making temporary game lines on gym floors.  White shoe polish and children’s tempera paint are also safe alternatives. 

FAQ #3: Is there a difference between sanding and refinishing a gym floor?

The average gym floor that sees a moderate level of foot traffic will need to be sanded once every decade.  When gym floors are sanded, at least three-grit sandpaper is used to remove all of the seal, paint, and finishing coats from the wood.  Repairing a gym floor also requires technicians to sand, repaint, and refinish the area to give the floor a uniform and professional appearance. 

Refinishing a sports floor is not as labor-intensive of a process.  When a gym floor is refinished, it is screened and tacked. This process removes the finishing coat but doesn’t sand down to the bare wood.  Then, a coating or two of finish is reapplied to the floor. It is possible to have new paint applied to the floor, but the process itself is not designed to remove painted lines and graphics.  Depending on how much foot traffic the facility sees, the gym floor may need refinishing once a year—sometimes more. 

Why, you ask?  Foot traffic will slowly wear down the finishing coats.  The finish that’s applied to a sports floor is the material that gives shoes their signature squeak during game time.  The squeaking indicates the athlete’s shoes are sticking to the floor, creating traction, and preventing slips and falls.  But that stickiness won’t last forever. Refinishing your gym floor returns the right amount of traction and stickiness to the sports floor for safety purposes and to protect the wood beneath from scrapes and scuffs. 

FAQ #4: How often should I clean the gym floor?

Proper and frequent cleaning will go a long way in maintaining the integrity and appearance of the sports floor while preventing users from injury.  You will need to clean the gym floor every day.  Follow these steps to ensure a clean and well-maintained gym floor:

  • Use a dust mop to sweep the floor once a day for moderate use, and up to three times daily for heavy use.
  • Promptly clean any spills, puddles, and moisture from the floor. 
  • Ensure the HVAC is working correctly and keep humidity levels set to no higher than 50% year-round. 
  • Use an approved floor cleaner with a soft cloth or a dust mop to remove scuff marks. 
  • Be sure to inspect the floor for any shrinkage or tightening of the planks.  During rainy weather, check for water ingress near doors and windows. 
  • Check the expansion voids daily for dirt and debris and clean the area. 

FAQ #5: How can I protect the floor if I need to move heavy items?

Scissor lifts are the main culprit when it comes to sports floor damage from heavy loads.  But, many facilities will need to use scissor lifts to clean and maintain ceilings, light fixtures, and other equipment.  So, what can you do?

When moving heavy equipment across the gym floor, make sure the floor is adequately protected.  Never allow equipment to be moved across the floor that has crowned wheels. Wheels that have center ridges should also be barred from access to the gym.  Crowned wheels and wheels with center ridges will create point loads and damage the wood. 

It’s critical to place protective sheathing onto the floor before a scissor lift or other heavy equipment accesses the gym.  Use sheathing that is 3/4 of an inch thick and comes with overlapping seams. Do not allow the machinery to go outside of the protective sheathing.  Also, don’t let heavy equipment sit out overnight or for days in the gym. 

Gym Floor FAQs: A Final Word

A well-maintained and well-cared for sports floor will last for many years.  Caring for your gym floor the right way will also protect users from slipping and injuring themselves.  If your sports floor has experienced water damage and looks like it’s buckling or cupping, contact us here at J&J Gym Floors at (973) 801-7219 today for a no-obligation consultation.

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basketball floor wood

Choosing a Wood vs. Synthetic Floor for Your Basketball Court or Gym

Gym floors see a lot of foot traffic year-round.  So, they need to be both durable and easy to maintain.  There are several types of gym floors. But the two most common ones are wood and synthetic floors.  Both of these materials have their own unique advantages and disadvantages. And it’s important to know all of their characteristics before having either option installed.  In this blog post, we’ll make a direct comparison between choosing a wood basketball court floor vs. synthetic based on the essential factors.

Wood vs. Synthetic Material for Basketball Court Floors

When it comes to choosing the surface of your new gym floor, you have to think about the life expectancy, durability, maintenance, and the primary purpose of the floor.  And you must incorporate all of these factors and find the best solution according to your budget. We all know that generally, wood floors are more expensive than synthetic floors.  However, wood floors do come with better quality and are more aesthetically pleasing. That’s especially true on a large surface such as a gym or basketball court floor. Let’s take a look at some of the crucial factors to keep in mind when choosing to have a wood basketball court floor vs. synthetic material installed.  

Installation Cost

While some organizations don’t have to worry about this aspect, the installation cost is often the deciding factor for many gym owners, which is why we’re starting here.  As we previously mentioned, hardwood floors come with a higher installation cost compared to synthetic floors, due to the expense of the material itself. Synthetic options are generally more affordable, though the price will always depend on the size of the job and the market in general.

With these factors in mind, if you have the budget to afford a wood floor, you might want to go for this option.  Yes, the price is a bit steeper. But no other material can replace the image of top-quality, gleaming hardwood on a basketball court. 

Maintenance

A lot of facility operators think that they can save on maintenance costs when opting for a synthetic floor.  While synthetic floors may be a bit easier to maintain compared to wood floors, they still have specific maintenance needs.  This includes using an auto scrubber and a manufacturer-specified cleaning product. These types of floors should be scrubbed weekly, biweekly, or quarterly depending on how much foot traffic they get.

While synthetic floors are more straightforward to maintain, its key areas tend to show wear and tear more quickly compared to wood floors.  For example, synthetic basketball courts will first wear out around the low block, free-throw line, and three-point line. This will require you to recoat the floor to restore its appearance.

On the other hand, due to its porous nature, wood has different maintenance needs compared to synthetic material.  You should clean any spills and moisture immediately.  Because wood is very absorbent, you should also pay additional attention to the indoor humidity of your gym and maintain between 30% and 50% utilizing your HVAC systems.

Keeping the moisture levels at a consistent percentage can significantly impact the longevity of your wood floor.  Take into account that hardwood gym floors also require annual screening and recoating to ensure longevity.

Life Expectancy

Life expectancy is where the quality and endurance of wood flooring really shines.  Wood floors can last 50 or more years if properly maintained — much longer than synthetic floors.  The latter have a significantly shorter lifespan, as a properly-maintained synthetic floor can only last from 10 to 30 years at the most.  Aside from this, since wood can be refurbished when damaged or worn, it doesn’t need to be entirely replaced, unlike synthetic flooring. This brings us to the next talking point.

Refurbishment and Replacement Costs

Unlike wood floors, synthetic floors can’t be refurbished or repaired.  This means that every time your synthetic floor gets damaged, you’ll have to replace the entire surface.  If you opt for a wood floor, you don’t have to worry about this, as you can always strip down to bare wood, add the lines and logos, apply the seal and finish, and your gym floor will be as good as new.

Refurbishing can save you a lot of money in the long run.  Gym floor resurfacing can be completed for a fraction of the cost of having a new basketball court floor installed.  A general sanding and refinishing job can provide your wood floor with new life and brighten up your gym. Sanding and refinishing is also a very cost-effective way of repainting your wood floor if you choose to redesign it.

Durability

If you’re looking to install indoor basketball floor wood, volleyball floor wood, or any floor that would be used for just one type of activity, you’re on the right track.  Installing a wood floor will allow you to enjoy the best quality without having to worry about damage from footwear. On the other hand, if you need an all-purpose gym floor, synthetic floors might be the way to go.

Why?  Synthetic floors are more versatile in the sense that they can endure all types of shoes and foot traffic.  Also, synthetic materials won’t scratch as easily as wood floors. Synthetic gym floor material will be more forgiving if you plan on using your court or sports facility for various events and activities that might include participants walking or jumping in hard-soled shoes and heels.

Contact the Pros for a New Basketball Court

The installation process for wood floors is a bit more complicated than the process involved in synthetic floor installation.  But in many cases, wood is the better choice. Plus, with the right gym floor company, the entire installation process can be completed quickly and efficiently. Natural wood floors are simply the top-quality option for your sports facility.  They not only last longer but also look polished and classic. If you want to schedule a consultation for your gym floor project, request a new proposal, or if you just have a general inquiry about our services, feel free to contact us at any time.

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hardwood gym floor cleaner

Hardwood Gym Floor Cleaner for Covid-19: What to Use and How Often

A gym floor is the central point for every school or sports facility.  Due to the coronavirus outbreak, people are focused on the safest way to disinfect their gym floors. We’re an experienced company that provides top quality services to some of the biggest businesses in the New Jersey area. We find it necessary to share with you  on how to prevent the virus from spreading in your gym. In this post, we’ll cover some of the best gym floor maintenance measures against the coronavirus. We’ll also share with you some additional tips on how you can properly maintain your gym floor year-round with the right hardwood gym floor cleaner.

COVID-19 and Gym Floors: What are the Risks?

The Covid-19 crisis is still in the early stages of the pandemic. So, we currently don’t know that much about the virus or how to protect against it. It’s critical to know the correct information on how to contain the spread of the virus.

We know that sweat cannot transmit the coronavirus. But high-contact surfaces can potentially be a problem.  With indoor ball sports or any other close-contact activities, the virus can spread quickly. The germs can also remain on surfaces for several days.

How to Disinfect Gym Floors Against Coronavirus

Most schools, gyms, and sports arenas in the US have shut down over the past couple of weeks. Or are planning to shut down soon.  While this will slow the outbreak, it’s crucial to implement specific measures, ensuring virus doesn’t spread when things go back to normal. Regular hardwood cleaning should be done with mild cleaners that can’t damage the finish or the wood.

When it comes to the frequency of disinfecting activities, it all depends on how much foot traffic your gym floor sees. If you’ve a high-traffic surface, you should consider cleaning your floor once, or twice a day. It’s important to pick the right cleaning solution to avoid further damage.  We’ll discuss this next.

Bona Recommended Wooden Gym Floor Maintenance March 2020

When cleaning any type of ball or gym equipment, don’t just use any type of cleaner you find.  Never use household cleaning products on your gym floor. These products can harm the floor finish and may make it slippery, which is a tripping hazard.

Only a few disinfectants have been proven to eliminate the Novel Coronavirus.  Make sure to use an EPA-approved disinfectant and apply it appropriately.  After cleaning your hardwood with an EPA-approved disinfectants, rinse the surface and clean it with a pH-neutral cleaner.  You should do this immediately after cleaning your hardwood floor. Disinfectants can eat away at the gloss level if left on for too long.  We recommend you use the Bona SuperCourt Hardwood Gym Floor Cleaner or the Bona Deep Clean Solution.  

Both of these can be used with an auto scrubber and a clean, white polishing pad, or a microfiber cleaning pad.  We recommend you use an auto scrubber, as it will remove any residue and cleaning solution from the floor.  Keep in mind, these two recommended products are not disinfectants. Instead, they’re used to clean the gym floor from any residue without affecting the gloss level or coefficient of friction.

Additional Tips for Proper Maintenance

Aside from the current focus on how to most efficiently maintain your gym floor to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, there are many other day-to-day activities you should do to give your gym floor the best care possible.  As we previously mentioned, correctly applying the appropriate solution will make your floor clean, durable, and safe for facility users. Although scratches and scuffs can’t be avoided, having a proper care regimen will keep your gym floor safe and looking good.  Below are two additional things to keep in mind for proper gym floor care. 

Ventilation

The ventilation, or air conditioning systems in your gym, must be working properly and maintain a relative air humidity between 35% and 50%.  Also, in light of the current situation, make sure that you don’t leave the ventilation off for a prolonged period of time. Good air circulation and proper ventilation will not only improve the quality of the air but can also help prevent the potential spread of germs by maintaining healthy indoor air quality.

Regular Floor Upkeep

Due to being very porous, wood can absorb as well as release a lot of moisture.  That’s why it’s crucial to keep water off the floor surface, particularly around high-traffic areas such as exterior doorways. If any liquid spills on the floor, make sure to immediately remove any traces of it before it seeps into the wood.  Aside from this, you should sweep the floor daily with a properly treated dust mop. This will keep the floor clean from any abrasive particles, dirt, or dust. While the time will come to recoat your gym floor, with regular care and maintenance, you can delay how long your floor can go between screening and recoating.

Give Your Gym Floor the Best Treatment

Installing new gym floors, or sanding and refinishing your current floor can be a big investment, especially if you’re working on a tight budget.  Proper gym floor maintenance will not only help you prevent the spread of viruses like COVID-19 on your property, but it can also significantly extend the life expectancy of your hardwood floor.  If you have any questions regarding gym floor maintenance or wish to schedule a consultation for your gym floor project, feel free to reach out to us by filling out our quick contact form directly on our site.

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what are gym floors made of

What are Gym floors made of?

Almost exclusively, maple is the go-to wood used for gym floors, dance studios, and stages.  For decades, maple flooring has been the standard used for sports floor construction.  But why? Indeed, there are many different species of hardwoods that are just as durable and aesthetically-pleasing as maple.  The difference is, maple also offers shock absorption, unlike most other types of woods.

For this reason, maple wood is the safest flooring material to use for gyms and other athletic facilities.  It’s durable, widely available, and flexible enough to withstand high-intensity foot traffic. Below, we’ll explore in more detail what gym floors are made of and why. 

The Janka Hardness Rating: What gym floors are made of

In 1906, an Austrian wood researcher named Gabriel Janka invented a scale for measuring the hardness of wood species.  The American Society for Testing and Materials, or ASTM, further standardized the Janka scale.  The scale is still used today to determine the durability of one wood over another. 

The room where a particular type of hardwood floor will be installed will ultimately determine its required place on the Janka scale.  Rooms with higher foot traffic will need a harder wood. For gyms, especially, a wood that scores highly on the Janka scale is critical. 

The scale runs from zero to 4000.  No wood on earth scores zero, and neither does a wood score as highly as 4000.  Balsa wood is the softest wood and scores a 100 on the Janka scale. It’s mainly used to make crafts.  But the harder and tougher a wood, the more difficult it is to saw.

Where the wood falls on the scale is determined by a test that measures the PSI of how much pressure it takes to push a steel ball halfway through a wood plank.  Maple scores 1450 on the scale. In contrast, Douglas Fir, another popular flooring choice, scores 600, whereas Brazilian Cherry scores 2350. Where a wood species falls on the Janka scale will not have any impact on its price.

Why is the Janka scale relevant when it comes to installing sports floors?  A plank of wood like maple that scores highly on the scale won’t scratch, dent, or chip very easily.  But at the same time, maple is flexible enough to withstand foot traffic and also make athletic activities safer for game players. 

Flexibility and Shock Absorption in Maple Floors

Playing a game on a hard surface with no give can put undue pressure on the joints.  It will also lead to a range of different injuries and low-back issues. For athletes, playing on a floor that is durable yet offers decent shock absorption is crucial for preventing injuries and wear-and-tear on the body.  And maple is a flooring material that delivers on all these fronts. 

For one thing, maple planks respond to people’s steps by bouncing back, ever so slightly, which reduces shock on the spine and knees.  Also, the floor will offer a boost to bouncing balls when the floor responds to the contact. Not only is maple a safer wood to use, but it also contributes to the gameplay. 

A Note on Sub Floors

The type of subfloor installed in a gymnasium will also enhance maple’s ability to absorb shock and flex to the movement of sports players.  For gyms, a subfloor of plywood planks is typically installed over a slab. Then, maple flooring is installed. Although, this is a somewhat simplified version of the process. 

For gymnasiums, though, the plywood subflooring is designed for maximum shock absorption to enhance maple’s flexibility.  Subfloors for dance, yoga studios, or stages will need to have a different subfloor installed. The activity levels and types of the facility will determine the safest and most effective subfloor design to use. 

The Different Grades of Maple a Gym Floor is Made of

There are three different grades of maple that facility owners can choose from:

  • First Grade
  • Second Grade
  • Third Grade 

Mostly, the difference between these three grades of maple flooring comes down to appearances and costs.  The flooring’s grade doesn’t have any bearing on the overall quality of the wood, its durability, or shock absorption. 

First Grade Maple Flooring

First grade maple flooring is the most expensive option.  This grade of wood has a limited supply, and it also requires additional labor to mill and bring to market—unlike the other categories.  First grade maple flooring is virtually free of defects, knots, and other markings. As such, it offers a smoother, more uniform appearance in color and contrast. 

Second Grade Maple Flooring

This grade of flooring allows for some knots and variations in the wood.  But, the knots do not occur on the edges or ends of the planks. It allows for more significant variations in the wood for a lesser cost than first grade maple. 

Third Grade Maple Flooring

Here, there are many marked variations, colors, and contrasts to third grade maple planks. Some people prefer the appearance of third grade maple, in that it could be argued that it’s more rustic and charismatic looking.  Also, the range of variations in the planks will make the finished floor appear darker than either of the other grades of maple. A general rule of thumb is that first grade maple will be the lightest of the categories. 

What are Gym Floors Made of: A Takeaway

Maple flooring is the standard choice for gym floors.  It offers facility owners durability, flex, and superior shock absorption compared to other wood species.  The final decision in choosing the grade of maple will boil down to budgetary considerations, and the look a facility manager would like for their gym. Are you in the market for a new gym floor in the Tri-State, New Jersey area? Contact us at J&J Gym Floors today at (973) 801-7219 for your free, no-obligation quote.

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gym floor construction

Gym Floor Construction Details: What Makes a Sports Floor Different?

In 1891, Springfield College hosted the world’s first basketball game, with two peach baskets mounted to the walls of the court.  The game was a hit, and the official sport of basketball was born. Today, basketball is a multi-billion dollar industry. One particular detail that sports facility managers may not know is that the first game ever played and basketball games played today, are still conducted on the same types of gym floor construction—durable maple flooring. Here’s what you need to know about what makes a sports floor different. 

What is a gym floor made of?

Gym floors are made out of maple planks.  Our Victorian predecessors were correct in using maple wood flooring in the early days of indoor sporting events.  Maple is one of the toughest woods you can use as a flooring material as it can take a good beating. Bowling alleys, and even the pins they use, are often made out of maple.  For an indoor sports floor, maple can withstand all kinds of activity. But a maple sports floor still needs regular maintenance to protect its lifespan. 

Is a maple sports floor different than maple flooring in a house?

The timber industry uses a scale called the Janka scale to measure the toughness of different wood species on a scale from zero (softest) to 4,000 (hardest).  Maple scores some of the highest ratings on the Janka scale, coming in at a hardy 1450. In contrast, white oak wood scores 1360, pine 1225, and Douglas fir 660.  While it’s true that you can use maple hardwood for flooring in the home, maple wood used for residential purposes is a little different than maple planks installed on a gym floor.  In essence, the only similarity between the two is that the wood is the same—maple. The biggest difference between maple sports floors and maple hardwood for a house has to do with the subfloor. 

Maple floors for a Gym vs. a House

One of the main reasons why maple is the go-to for gym floor construction is that it has excellent shock resistance.  A maple floor can easily withstand the pounding of basketballs and athletes’ shoes during a sporting event without enduring a scratch. The subfloor system, installation, and finishing techniques and products used for gym floors are very different. 

Flex in a Gym Floor: Combating Fatigue and Preventing Injury

Some gym floors need the wood to have the ability to flex with athletic activity, and this occurs within the gym subfloor construction.  Although this is unnoticeable, every time your foot hits the floor of a gym, the flooring is constructed to give slightly, allowing your foot to sink into the wood plank before springing back.  That way, the floor absorbs shock. This flexing action is beneficial for athletes and helps prevent injury and wear and tear on joints, muscles, and bones. For this reason, some gym sports floors are referred to as an “orthopedic surface”.  And orthopedic surfaces do not only prevent injury, but they also help combat fatigue. 

Common Gym Subfloors

Some gymnasium subfloors are constructed to reduce shock and protect athletes’ ankles, knees, and back.  Common gym subfloors have round, soft rubber pads installed beneath a plywood subfloor, and then the maple planks are installed overtop.  The rubber pads allow the floor to flex. 

How is a gym floor’s finish different than other types of maple flooring?

The finish on a gym floor differs from the finish used in residential hardwoods.  After the maple planks of a gym floor are sanded down, a sports floor installer will apply two coats of polyurethane sealant to the surface.  The sealant is often shiny, giving the floor a lustrous and crisp appearance.  After the sealant dries, graphics and lines are painted on the floor. Next, finishing coats are applied—usually two or three more coats of urethane.  These finishing coats not only protect the wood and graphics, but they also create a stickiness that helps athletes gain enough traction on the floor to keep from slipping. 

Do sports floors require more maintenance than residential hardwood?

Maple is a durable wood.  But sports floors do require annual screening and recoating to keep the wood, graphics, and painted lines protected.  Also, the stickiness of the finishing coat will decrease with use. When this occurs, the floor becomes slick and slippery.  Screening and recoating are critical for giving athletes traction on the floor which helps to prevent slips, falls, and injuries. 

The amount of traffic and use a sports floor sees will determine how often screening and recoating should occur.  A gymnasium that isn’t used for professional games, and is only used for sporting events may only need screening and recoating once a year. 

Professional gymnasiums may need more frequent screening and recoating.  Gymnasiums that are used frequently for assemblies, concerts, and dances will need to be screened and recoated more than once a year.  Sports floors that endure a lot of foot traffic in shoes other than sneakers, and where tables and chairs are moved over the gym floor, will need more frequent maintenance. 

If your sports floor is in need of a screening and recoating, contact J&J Gym floors today at (973) 801-7219 for a free quote.

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gym floor refinishing or resurfacing

Gym Floor Refinishing or Resurfacing in New Jersey: Which Should You Choose?

Many gym floors see a lot of wear and tear with each passing day.  From standard foot traffic to the demands of hosting tournaments and carrying heavy equipment, it’s no surprise that most gym floors need annual refinishing and full sanding and resurfacing every 7-10 years.  Are you considering improving the look and feel of your gym floor? J&J Gym Floors is the brand to trust for your gym floor refinishing and resurfacing in New Jersey and nearby areas. 

First, what’s the difference between gym floor refinishing and resurfacing?  Although it’s common to find both terms used interchangeably, there is a difference.  Knowing and understanding the differences and similarities between the two terms can help you make an informed decision for your sports facility. 

Refinishing a Gym Floor in New Jersey

When refinishing a gym floor, your contractor will screen or abrade the top layer of the gym floor and add a fresh coat over the wood. This should be done every year as the finish coats wear down over time.

Resurfacing

Resurfacing a gym floor goes beyond improving the aesthetics of the uppermost layer. This process is also referred to as sanding.  Using drum sanders, all of the floor finish is removed down to the bare wood. The focus of a refinishing job is to get the gym floor looking pristine.   

Should you resurface or refinish your New Jersey gym floor?

The decision to refinish or resurface your gym floor ultimately comes down to your budget.  Also, the underlying condition of the sports floor system will have a major impact on your final choice.  With a good understanding of what each option entails, you can make the best possible decision for your sports facility. 

If your floor hasnt been sanded in 10 or more years then you most likely will need to resurface your floor.  This will remove all of the finish and painted lines from the floor along with most scratches and dents.    

Your gym floor should be refinished or recoated every year to remove scuff marks and to restore the shine and traction.   If there are no significant damages to the floor, then some light sanding and a new coat of polyurethane can give you the results you need.  However, your gym floor may need to be resurfaced if all or some of the following conditions apply to it:

Floorboards Need Removing

If your gym’s floorboards have deteriorated, you will need to make repairs or replace part or all of the floor.  This is best done during a resurfacing so the new floor boards will better blend and match with the rest of the floor.

Floorboards are Uneven

Does your gym floor have floorboards that are uneven and will require grinding down to even things out?  In this case, you will need a complete resurfacing and possibly some repairs/replacement. Other issues that require a resurfacing to fix include:

  • Chipping or peeling floor finish
  • Scratches and dents in the wood
  • Missing pieces of wood
  • Water damage and warping

 

What to Expect from a Qualified Contractor Before Refinishing and Resurfacing

A qualified contractor called in for a gym floor refinishing project in New Jersey will first and foremost, take a proper look at the gym floor system to get an adequate idea of its overall condition.  The inspection will go over everything, right down to the concrete level. This process allows the contractor to understand the system installed, as well as the integrity of the system underneath. During this process, the contractor will rule out sports floor damage such as warping, rot, water damage to the gym floor, and more.   

If the floor system is damaged excessively, a complete floor replacement may be recommended.  During the replacement, the contractor can install a new version of the existing floor system, or deploy a more robust gym floor system.  Some of the considerations at this stage include:

  • The level of foot traffic in your gym
  • The types of gym equipment  in your facility
  • Other secondary uses of the gym space

At the end of the refinishing or resurfacing procedure, knowing how to adequately care for your hardwood gym floor is critical.  Maintaining the floor ensures a pristine appearance, increases its lifespan, and also ensures the safety of visitors and athletes. 

Resurfacing vs. Replacing a Gym Floor: Takeaway

With the tips above, it will be easier for you to choose between resurfacing and refinishing when the time comes to refurbish your gym floor.  An investment in your sports floor is an investment for your business and the overall well-being of your customers. You can’t afford to be carefree about your decision because a poorly-maintained gym floor negatively impacts your brand and could lead to a decline in patronage.  In worst-case scenarios, you may be facing a lawsuit if one of your customers gets injured in your gym as a result of a weak floor system.

Are you still unsure about the options, or want to know the cost of refinishing or resurfacing your gym floor in New Jersey?  Then call J&J Gym Floors today at (973) 801-7219 for a no-obligation quote.

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gym floor contractor questions

The Top Questions to Ask Your Gym Floor Contractor in New Jersey

Choosing a gym floor contractor in New Jersey that can get the job done can be stressful and challenging.  A lot is riding on your decision, so you can’t afford to decide on a whim. Your gym’s floor will go a long way in shaping perceptions about your brand and facility.  The state of your gym floor is the first thing your patrons will see when they walk in. It’s best to be as careful as possible with your choice of gym floor contractor.

Are you looking for a gym contractor in New Jersey for sanding and refinishing, screening and recoating, painting game lines, logos, or new gym floor installations?  Here are the top 10 gym floor contractor questions you should ask. With the answers you receive, you can simplify your selection process. 

What types of gym floors can you install and repair?

If you’re looking to install a new gym floor, you probably have some ideas on the look you want for your facility.  Still, it doesn’t hurt to get an expert opinion before you make a decision. During a consultation with a gym floor contractor, find out what gym floor types they can install or work on to ensure they can get your job done correctly. 

Do you have any references?

Always verify the track record of any company you’re considering.  The best gym floor contractors in New Jersey won’t hesitate to show off past completed projects.  There should be a portfolio page on their website, but don’t just take their word for it.  Do your research. What are people on third-party review sites saying about the company?  If other gym owners have only good things to say about the brand, there’s a high chance that you’ll have a positive experience with the company as well. 

Are you certified and insured?

Although you certainly don’t wish for mishaps during your gym floor project, it’s still important to only work with properly insured contractors with the right certifications.  If you choose a company that doesn’t have the proper certifications, you may not be able to file a claim if you’re unhappy with the result. The right insurance policy also protects you against any damages an installer might inadvertently cause during the process. 

Will I be charged for gym floor project estimates?

The biggest gym floor companies in New Jersey will have no problems providing you with a free estimate for your gym floor installation or repair.  But other contractors may charge a fee for project estimates. In some cases, the fee is added to the total cost of the project. Find out ahead of time to avoid any surprises down the line with the final price. 

For hardwood gym floors, what kind of finish will you use?

The two main finishes for hardwood gym sports floors are oil and water-based.  Oil-based finishes may give your floor a slight amber appearance after a while, but water-based finishes remain clear.  The main problem with using the latter option is the fact that it can trigger side bonding. This causes the strips of the wooden flow to bond together, making it hard for the floor to contract or expand in line with the weather conditions.  This type of scenario increases the chances of damage. 

The decision should ultimately come down to you. However, your contractor should be able to give you all the details.  They should also have the capacity to deliver, regardless of what you choose.

Will you offer a warranty?

Many gym floor contractors will offer at least a one-year warranty on the work done on your gym flooring.  Others may provide even more favorable guarantees. Find out the entitlements on offer before you make a decision. 

A caveat, though—be careful to not confuse the contractor’s warranty with the warranty the flooring product manufacturer offers.  It’s good to know who will be responsible for any problems that may arise in the future with your sports floor. 

How long will the project take?

It’s vital to have a good idea of how long it will take to complete your project.  With an estimate, you can make the necessary arrangements for your facility. You’ll know if you’ll have to close your gym for a certain amount of time if it’s already operational.  For new gyms, it’s essential to know when you can realistically expect to open your doors again for customers. Find out the timelines, and add a healthy buffer to account for the unexpected.

Will you paint lines and logos?

The biggest gym floor contractors can paint any team symbol, sponsor logos, or any other graphics you’d like to see on your gym floor.  The lines and logos will also be covered by a protective coat that will ensure the designs don’t fade too quickly. J and J gym floors will provide you with a color rendering of your gym floor prior to the start of the project to make sure the project comes out right.

Will you provide cleaning and maintenance instructions?

The best gym floor contractors will provide you with all you need to take care of your beautiful new floors and make them last longer.  Wooden gym floors especially will have a wide range of care tips you’ll have to apply to avoid damage to the hardwood sports floor.  Ideally, you should already know the maintenance requirements of the gym floor option you choose from the first consultation session with the company.

Top questions to ask your gym floor contractor: A takeaway message.

Gym floor installations or repairs can be costly.  You must take all the necessary precautions to ensure you don’t make any mistakes with your gym floor that you may regret in the future. These gym floor contractor questions will help you make the right decisions for your facility and pocketbook.  Here at J&J Gym Floors, we will answer all of your questions about gym floor care and more. Call us at (973) 801-7219 and see why we’re one of the most trusted gym flooring contractors in New Jersey.

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screening recoating gym floor

Screening and Recoating Gym Floors: Your Top Questions Answered

Screening and recoating a wood gym floor is the most efficient and cost-effective way of keeping the sports facility well-maintained.  With regular cleaning, prompt damage control, and proper maintenance, your wooden sports floor can last up to 50 years or more. There is a large amount of specialized knowledge and expertise that goes into an effective maintenance routine.  That is why it’s best to seek help from a professional gym floor company. On this page, you’ll find the answers to some of the most common questions about screening and recoating gym floors. Let’s start with the most common question.

What is a screen and recoat?

A screen and recoat is when a floor care company slightly abrades the top layer of your gym floor to remove the topical marks from the surface.  Technicians then apply one or several coats of finish to the floor. Screen and recoat processes are used to clean up and protect the floor.  This service not only restores the floor’s shine, but it also revitalizes it and helps it maintain a long lifespan. 

How often should you screen and recoat a gym floor?

Frequency schedules for screening and recoating depend on how heavily your gym floor is used.  Most gym floors require to be screened and recoated once a year—sometimes up to twice a year if there is heavy foot traffic.  In rare cases, you can screen and recoat every other year. It’s best to consult with a professional gym floor coating company to get a precise assessment on how often your gym floor should be screened and recoated. 

How long does it take to screen and recoat a wooden floor?

The screening and recoating process only takes a a day or 2, though the exact time can vary based on the type of coating you select—whether it’s oil-based or water-based.  Depending on the type of coating you choose, the entire screening and recoating treatment can be carried out over a single weekend. After the process is completed, it will take about 5 days before the floor is cured enough for use.

What’s the difference between wet screen and dry screen methods?

The main advantage of dry screen prepping is that it offers the best possible abrasion for ensuring finishing coat adhesion.  Dry screening also produces lighter, brighter floors.  

How do you maintain a wood gym floor day-to-day?

To maintain your gym floor and keep it looking pristine and professional, make sure to sweep it daily with a dry dust mop.  If your gym is used frequently, you may want to consider mopping several times a day between instances of heavy foot traffic and sporting events. 

Always make sure that your air conditioning system is working correctly, too.  This will control the indoor humidity and provide appropriate airflow. The ideal temperature at which you should keep your facility is between 55 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Be sure to remove any debris and fix any water damage as soon as it appears.  Puddles and spills should be cleaned promptly. Check the windows and doors for water ingress. And lastly, consult with your gym floor service company for tips on any additional methods you should implement to best care for your gym floor. 

What’s the difference between water-based and oil-based floor coating?

Both water-based and oil-based coatings offer exceptional durability while also being scratch and scuff-resistant when applied properly.  But, there are some critical differences between these two products. An oil-based coating offers superior gloss in comparison to a water-based coating.  If time plays a crucial role in your choice, a water-based coating allows you to play light sports games on your wood floor just 48 hours after the application of the last coat.  On the other hand, if you choose an oil-based coating, you’ll have to wait five to seven days before you can use the gym. 

Can you use any hardwood floor company to service your sports facility?

While a hardwood flooring company might seem like the right choice for a project like a gym floor screening and recoating, it’s always best to go with a business that narrowly specializes in screening and recoating gym floors.  Why? Because a specialized gym flooring company is licensed, trained, and experienced in all of the procedures that go into servicing a wood sports floor.  Moreover, you can also get a discount on other related services, such as gym floor logos and wall pads. You won’t find these additional and often necessary services with a run-of-the-mill hardwood flooring company. 

When will screening and recoating not work?

While screening and recoating is an excellent way to revitalize your wood floor, there are some cases in which they simply won’t work to turn a worn, old floor new again.  If your gym floor has oxidized or is severely worn down, or if the finish is chipping and peeling this process won’t be enough to bring it back to life. In the same line, if your gym floor has been flooded and water damaged, it will require heavy reparation.

Screening and Recoating Gym Floors: A Final Takeaway

These are just some of the most popular questions sports facility owners and managers have regarding screening and recoating services.  Of course, many other little things go into our screening and recoating process that will help your wood floor stand out.

Are you looking to give your wood floor the best possible treatment?  With over a decade and a half of experience and thousands of satisfied clients, we know gym floors.  If you want to schedule a consultation or have any general inquiries about our services here at J&J Gym Floors, we’re always available to help.  Contact us today at (973) 801-7219 or fill out our simple online form.

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The Difference Between Oil-Based Poly and Water-Based Recoating for Gyms

Choosing the right finish for your hardwood gym floor can be confusing.  There are many different types of recoating finishes on the market that are designed to keep your sports floor looking good and in tip-top shape.  But for the most part, you’ll want to choose between the basics—either an oil-based poly or a water-based sports floor finish. Below, we’ll explore the difference between these two types of recoating substances and which one might be the best choice for your gym.  First, let’s uncover recent changes in the sports floor industry and what that could mean for your facility. 

Recent Changes in the Industry: VOCs vs. Tradition

Many sports facilities take a traditional approach to gym floor finishes and recoating.  The conventional way of recoating a gym floor will give it a golden-yellow glow and hue.  In contrast, the newer style of doing it can make gym floors appear white and almost sterile.  Achieving either aesthetic often comes down to what finishing coat is applied to the sports floor. 

The Traditional, Golden Look for Sports Floors

Getting a sports floor to take on a yellow appearance requires the application of treating the bare, sanded wood with an oil-based poly sealer—usually applied in two coats.  Then, graphics and game lines are drawn once the coats dry and cure. Finally, two more coats of oil-based poly are applied over the top of the game lines and paint for the finishing touch. 

That’s the classic way of doing things when it comes to gym floor coatings and finishes. Oil-based polyurethane coatings are solvent-based.  For the last 30 or so years, this has been the go-to method for refinishing a gym floor.  

Water-Based Recoating for Gym Floors: A Low VOC Method

Many DIY gym floor recoating jobs make use of oil-based finishes that have high levels of VOCs.  However, professional gym floor installers and gym floor coating manufacturers now have a more extensive range of formulations for recoating gym floors at their disposal.  These newer lines of finishes are often water-based, yet still, give sports facility owners more options for the final aesthetic. 

But when it comes to using oil-based finishes, a professional gym floor installer is best equipped to apply these materials safely, more so than a DIY enthusiast. 

Why would someone want to use an oil-based poly for recoating a gym floor?

An oil-based poly offers gym owners many unique benefits, aside from aesthetics. 

  • Durability — An oil-based finish is sturdier than its water-based cousin.   
  • Adheres to the industry standard — Oil-based polyurethane finishes for gym floors are the industry standard.  The look and quality they offer have been used for decades as the go-to for sports floor finishes.  While water-based finishes are gaining market share, they aren’t as recognizable. 
  • Rich color — Unlike a water-based finish, oil-based poly will give the floor a deep rich amber hue.  Maple, the wood used for sports floors, is white with brown undertones. Applying an oil-based finish to the wood will highlight the grain while adding depth to the undertone. 

What are the benefits of using a water-based finish for gym floors?

Other than possessing a low amount of VOCs, water-based recoating has its own set of unique advantages. 

  • Shorter dry-time — Oil-based finishing coats typically require at least 24 hours of dry time between coats.  And the final cure? That can take up to a month in some cases. Otherwise, the finish might mar.  If your facility sees a lot of heavy use, and extended downtime for the gym would devastate your business, you may want to consider using a water-based finish.  Between coats, water-based finishes only need about three hours of dry-time. For the final finish, your gym can be ready for use again within a week. A water-based finish only requires about six to seven days of curing time to be fully dry and free of becoming marred from foot traffic. 
  • Transparency — Water-based coatings go on clear and stay transparent.  Since a water-based finish will allow the natural grain and color of the maple to shine through, this may be ideal for gyms that require the application of colorful graphics, logos, and many painted lines.  Amber tints that occur when oil-based poly is applied may clash with specific logo colors. In some cases, a water-based finish may help your facility appear more professional and polished.
  • Eco-friendliness — Eco-friendliness is becoming more and more important to consumers and gym owners.  Water-based coatings are far more gentle on the environment than their oil-based counterparts.  Manufacturers are responding in kind to these consumer sentiments with water-based coatings that are recyclable and long-lasting.  A product with a longer shelf life reduces waste. 

Oil-Based vs. Water-Based Recoatings for Gyms: A Takeaway Message

Today’s sports facility owners are fortunate in that they have far more options when it comes to picking the right recoating material for their gym.  You do not have to sacrifice durability for environmental sensibilities with water-based recoatings. But a water-based recoating won’t give the floor a warm tone, and it may require you to have the floor serviced more frequently. 

So, which one is best for your wood gym floor?  We’ll be happy to help you decide. Contact J&J Gym Floors today at (973) 801-7219 to explore your options.

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de-escalation room padding

De-Escalation Room Padding: Where Technology and Calm Meet

Sometimes, we all need a time-out.  Today’s world is full of stimuli, 24-hour bright lights, noise, and rushed deadlines.  But for those with special needs, it can be difficult for them to express their stress and fear before they reach their breaking point.  Young children are also learning how to calm themselves down when the world seems determined to stress them out. In these situations, de-escalation room padding installed in schools and healthcare facilities creates a safe space for those who need a time-out to rest and calm down.

What is a time-out or de-escalation room?

Time-out or de-escalation rooms are safety rooms where the surfaces are padded.  Walls, floors, doors, and even ceilings are sometimes covered in safety wall padding.  Fixtures are typically secured behind the padding to ensure a high level of safety and security.  The wall padding in a time-out room is similar to gym wall padding that you might see in a sports facility.  No matter where you see wall padding, its ultimate purpose is to keep people safe from injuring themselves or others. 

Time-out or de-escalation rooms areas are designed to give people a place to go when negative emotions and outside stimuli become too much for them to handle.  The wall padding is made of a durable yet soft material that keeps people safe from harm while they de-escalate and return to a state of equilibrium and calmness.  In some facilities, a de-escalation room may also be called:

  • Seclusion room
  • Calming room
  • Padded room
  • Quiet room
  • Personal safety room

De-escalation room padding also offers the facility owners a few benefits, too.  Wall padding lowers an organization’s risk of liability as the wall padding helps prevent time-out room occupants from harming themselves during the de-escalation session.  Wall padding also reduces the chances of workman’s comp claims being filed. 

Where is de-escalation room padding installed?

In the last few decades, rates of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), emotional behavioral disorder (EBD), and social-emotional behavioral difficulties (SEBD) have increased.  Increased rates of these disorders in the general and school-aged population, along with changes in legislation, mean there is a higher burden on schools and other facilities to keep people safe from the harm.  You might find a de-escalation room installed in the following facilities:

  • Schools
  • Hospitals
  • Inpatient care facilities
  • Prisons 
  • Rehab centers
  • Eldercare centers

People detoxing from drugs and alcohol may become violent toward themselves or rehab staff, and can benefit from the calming effects of a padded safety room.  In eldercare facilities, patients with dementia or Alzheimer’s can become agitated and hurtful.  Padded de-escalation rooms not only keep elderly patients safe from harming themselves, but they also give them a chance to calm down in a safe and secure environment.  Staff members are also kept safe from injury, reducing liability issues for the facility. Only one person at a time can use a de-escalation room. In larger facilities, more than one room may need to be installed. 

Why would someone need to use a de-escalation room?

Psychological care and interventions have become more sophisticated and effective over the last few years.  Modern medications have also made considerable improvements in the lives of people on the autism spectrum or who have emotional difficulties.  But sometimes, a student or patient will become overstimulated, agitated, and possibly violent toward themselves or others. The purpose of de-escalation room wall padding ultimately boils down to safety for the individual and those around them.  When someone becomes overwhelmed or enraged, they can go into a padded room to safely begin the de-escalation process and return to a state of calmness. 

What are some of the most common features found in a padded de-escalation room?

Professional wall padding installation techs have the ability to design the wall padding to fit whatever space is needed, and to the facility’s specifications.  Walls, doorways, floors, and ceilings can be outfitted with safety wall padding. The padding can also come in a variety of calming colors. Wall padding that is designed for a de-escalation room is practically indestructible.  It is extremely difficult for someone to tear or pull the padding away from the wall where it’s secured. Wall padding for seclusion rooms also comes with a Class A fire rating and self-extinguishable technology for additional safety features. 

Wall padding installed in a de-escalation room is also free of seams and cracks.  This reduces the chances of the padding coming loose from the wall. A non-slip surface also keeps people inside the room safe from further injury.  Caring for and cleaning the wall padding installed in a time-out room is also easy. The material is durable enough to withstand regular soaps and detergents.  Also, it is resistant to mold and fungus, which ensures a long lifespan of the material. 

You may think that padding a floor might lead to scuff marks and other damages.  But de-escalation room padding applied to a floor is given a resinous coating, making it resistant to scuffs.  Bond coats are also applied to the back of the padding, so that it is secured tightly to the floor without harming it. 

Can you apply de-escalation wall padding to existing rooms?

Existing rooms can be outfitted with high-quality and durable de-escalation wall padding.  It is also possible to design new construction with de-escalation room wall padding in mind.  The entire room, including window reveals and radiators, can be outfitted with this special padding. A bed surround and bed headboards can also be covered, as well as door frames and hard furniture.

It’s also possible to install de-escalation padding in a bathroom.  For padding installed in a bathroom where moisture will be an ever-present factor, the padding is often coated in a liquid polymer.  This helps to keep it mold, moisture, and slip-resistant. A professional de-escalation wall padding installer in New Jersey can create a custom design for an existing room that meets the facility’s needs and budget. 

De-Escalation Room Wall Padding: A Takeaway Message

The rise in behavioral and emotional disorders, an aging population, and drug and alcohol abuse mean facilities will have to install padded rooms for both patient and staff safety.  Wall padding is easy to clean and virtually indestructible. Conveniently, a facility can have wall padding installed on an existing room. Having a de-escalation room installed with durable and soft padding will keep staff and patients safe, reducing the facility’s liability.  Contact J&J Gym Floors today at (973) 801-7219 to learn more about our wall padding installation services.

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prevent hardwood floor damage

How to Prevent Damage to Hardwood Gym Floors

As one of the most durable wood species in existence, maple is most often used to construct a hardwood gym floor.  When it’s properly maintained, a hardwood sports floor can last for decades. Take this gym floor below that we recently sanded, repainted, and sealed, for example.  You wouldn’t know just by looking at it but this floor is over 50 years old.

prevent hardwood floor damage

While maple sports floors may be durable and long-lasting, they are prone to certain forms of damage.  Identification, prevention, and knowledge about these sports floor nemeses are critical to maintaining the health and beauty of your gym.  Here’s what you need to know about how to prevent damage to hardwood gym floors. 

What’s the most common type of damage to gym floors?

Water damage to gym floors is what we see most often wreaking havoc on sports facilities in the tri-state New Jersey area.  Floods, broken pipes, and water ingress from busted window seals happen frequently when sports facilities aren’t adequately maintained.  High humidity that’s not kept in-check can also harm the wood floor. Failing to have a sports floor sanded and refinished can also damage the wood beneath paint and finishing coats. 

Can you reverse damage to a hardwood sports floor?

If identified and caught early enough, it is possible to reverse certain types of damage to a sports floor.  In more serious cases, you may need to have some parts of the floor replaced. Rarely will you need an entirely new gym floor installed, although it is a possibility if the damage is severe enough.  Below, we’ll look at the most common types of sports floor damage and how to prevent them from happening. 

Cupping Damage in Sports Floors

Cupping occurs when the edges of the maple boards in a sports floor rise above the centers. Moisture causes cupping when there are higher levels of it on the bottom of the board as opposed to the ambient humidity levels in the air above it.  If cupping isn’t addressed, the floor will begin to look wavy and rippled. Over time, the top edges of the boards will compress the cellular structure of the maple and the board can collapse, resulting in permanent damage. 

Plumbing issues are often to blame for this.  But sometimes, frequent and aggressive wet mopping can cause cupping in gym floors.  Your first step is to identify what’s causing the boards to cup, and eliminate it. Once appropriate humidity levels are achieved, the boards will return to their normal appearance.  In severe instances, you may need to replace cupped floor boards. 

Damage from Crowning Floor Boards

Crowning in sports floors is the opposite of cupping.  Instead of the edges of the boards rising, the middle of the board will bulge instead, while the edges remain lower.  Moisture imbalances are to blame for crowning gym floors. Crowning usually occurs because of how maintenance crews and sports facility managers respond to moisture damage. 

For example, sports floors that start cupping will sometimes get sanded down after moisture issues are addressed, but long before the moisture in the boards have a chance to dry out.  If a cupped gym floor is sanded before it dries, the bulging edges will be initially flattened. But eventually, the moisture in the floorboards dissipate. 

When this occurs, you’re left with a crowning floor where the edges are much lower than the center.  The key to preventing this most common cause of crowning floors is to wait until the boards thoroughly dry before you attempt to fix any permanent damage.  In most cases, simply waiting for the floor to dry after you fix the cause of the moisture will prevent crowning. 

Buckling Gym Floors

Buckling is one of the most severe forms of damage to hardwood sports floors.  More times than not, flooding from broken pipes or a natural disaster causes buckling if the wood floor is left underwater for a significant period.  With buckling, the wood planks become so severely warped from moisture retention and expansion that the floor appears wavy and hilly. 

Maintaining the plumbing system can prevent pipes from breaking and flooding the facility.  Unfortunately though, you can’t control Mother Nature. Spot repairs may be able to fix a gym floor buckled from minor water damage.  But for severe damage where the entire floor is warped, the only way to fix it is to completely replace the gym floor or resurface it. 

Damage from Dirt, Dust, and Debris

Dust from old HVAC systems along with dirt and debris from people’s shoes can damage wood floors if not promptly cleaned.  Dust and dirt are tiny particles with rough edges. When they get tracked across the sports floor, they will wear away at the finishing coat like sandpaper.  An unclean, scratched up gym floor can also increase the chances of slips and falls. 

Depending on the amount of foot traffic your gym sees, you’ll need to dry mop it at least once per day.  Any mud or dirt that’s tracked into the facility will need to be cleaned promptly. Adequate, regular cleaning will go a long way toward preventing damage to the floor and increasing its lifespan. 

Preventing Sports Floor Damage: A Final Takeaway

It’s one thing to adequately maintain a sports floor with regular cleaning, sanding, and recoating. But one way to prevent other forms of damage is to maintain the HVAC and plumbing systems too.  Ensuring that the windows and roof are in good working order will prevent leaks from occurring and will also protect the hardwood sports floor from moisture damage. 

If your sports floor is a victim of water damage, we can help.  At J&J Gym Floors, we’ve seen our fair share of buckling, cupping, and crowning gym floors.  Call us today at (973) 801-7219 for a free quote for damage repair.

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gym floor daily cleaning

Hardwood Gym Floor Daily Cleaning and Maintenance: The Nitty Gritty

Today’s gym floors see a ton of activity.  From school sporting events to dance competitions, drama performances, and conferences, a hardwood gym floor is subject to a lot of wear and tear.  A hardwood gym floor is a massive investment for your sports facility. So, of course, you’ll want to protect it. But many sports facility managers and gym owners don’t understand how to conduct a suitable daily cleaning schedule to preserve and maintain the integrity of their sports floor.  You’ll want to schedule a screening and recoating about once a year.  But cleaning the gym floor daily will keep the hardwood well-maintained and safe for people to use.

Myths and Misconceptions of Daily Gym Floor Cleaning 

There’s a lot of confusion surrounding the proper type of daily care you should conduct on a sports floor.  Part of the reason why many sports facility owners struggle with this aspect of gym floor ownership is because of the very nature of the gym floor itself. 

It’s made of wood, which many people aren’t familiar with maintaining in the first place.  But that’s not all. A hardwood gym floor has a special coating and finishes on the wood. These layers of material are used to protect the wood and to prevent people from slipping on the floor.  The finish gives the floor it’s shiny look. Many sports facility managers think they can’t put water on the gym floor to clean it. But that’s not entirely true. 

The Truth About Water and Hardwood Gym Floors

Too much ambient moisture, or humidity, is definitely harmful to the gym floor’s integrity. Standing, pooling water is also hazardous to the wood’s health and can cause cupping and bucklingBut using water to clean the floor won’t harm it.  Many sports facilities’ daily care is neglected because of this misconception about water and gym floors.  Neglecting daily cleaning routines for a sports floor can make costly repairs more likely to occur, and more frequently, too.  Plus, a lackluster, shabby-looking sports floor won’t inspire confidence in visitors or customers. 

Keeping a hardwood gym floor clean and pristine is a must.  Below are the following steps you can take to ensure that your sports facility looks professional, polished, and safe for athletes to use. 

Daily Gym Floor Cleaning: The Bare Minimum

The bare minimum for daily gym floor cleaning is a once-daily dry mopping and tacking, preferably performed first thing in the morning.  Why? Dust and dirt tend to settle over the floorboards throughout the night. While we can’t really make out the shape of a speck of dust with the unaided eye, dust is an abrasive material.  At least, to your gym floor, it is. 

Remember, sports floors are coated with a sticky substance to create traction and keep athletes from slipping.  When the dust settles on the floor overnight and isn’t cleared away before people walk on it, foot traffic is essentially scratching up the floor and wearing away the coating and finish faster. 

Dry mopping and tacking are the bare necessities for gym floor cleaning.  While dry mopping and tacking can get rid of dust first thing in the morning, you must perform more robust daily cleaning measures to keep the gym floor in good condition. 

Make sure you wet the floor. 

When something becomes dirty or unsanitary, do you simply wipe away the grime and bacteria with a dry towel?  Doubtful. To get something adequately clean, you have to use water. Not to be gross, but athletes do perspire. 

Sweat is full of proteins and salts.  Over time, bacteria can begin to grow, feeding off these organic substances. Using a solvent-based cleaner without enough water won’t work to break down these substances and get the floor clean.  Using a wet mop or an automatic scrubber along with the proper cleaning solution will get rid of icky residues. So, don’t be afraid to use water for cleaning purposes. Just be sure to dry the floor once you’re finished cleaning. 

Use fewer chemicals when cleaning the gym floor. 

Less is more when it comes to a sports facility. Hardwood, along with the special coatings and finishes applied to a gym floor, do not like different chemical cocktails.  Please keep it simple and use a neutral and mild detergent cleaner. Harsh chemicals or chemical mixtures can hurt the sports floor and shorten its lifespan. 

Consider using an automatic scrubber instead of a wet mop. 

Mopping is becoming a thing of the past, and good riddance!  Traditional wet mops can be hard on the back and hips. Plus, it takes longer to mop a large sports floor.  An automatic scrubber can get the floor cleaned and dried within 15 minutes or less. If you don’t have the budget to invest in an automatic scrubber, you’ll still need to use a wet mop on the floor every so often. 

Keep dust to a minimum. 

Dust is a significant problem for sports facility owners.  It’s a never-ending battle to keep the gym dust-free. Dust that settles on the hardwood floor can wear away the finish.   It can also make the floor slippery, increasing the chances of injuries and falls. One way to reduce dust in the gym is to make sure the HVAC system and ductwork are in good working order.  Be sure to change furnace filters and have the ductwork professionally cleaned to keep the facility as dust-free as possible. 

Protect the floor with mats. 

Walk-off mats are a must when it comes to daily gym floor cleaning and care.  Using walk-off mats serves multiple purposes. For one thing, they reduce the amount of dirt, dust, and debris that gets tracked into the gym from spectators and visitors.  But the trick to using walk-off mats and having them work for you is to clean them regularly. A dirty walk-off mat makes it easier for foot traffic to track grime throughout the facility.  A good practice is to vacuum and wipe the mats daily. Place the mats near entrances and exits, too. They will also help reduce the chances of standing water pooling on the gym floor during winter when snow is on the ground. 

Gym Floor Daily Cleaning: The Bottom Line

The easiest thing you can do to maintain the integrity of your gym floor and protect its lifespan is to keep it as free from grit and grime as possible.  Keep these tips in mind for daily gym floor cleaning and maintenance. 

Investing in gym floor cover systems is an excellent way to protect your hardwood sports floor.  At J&J Gym Flooring, we offer a range of durable and beautiful floor cover systems for sports facilities.  Call us today at (973) 801-7219 to request a quote.

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buckling cupping gym floor

Gym Floor Buckling and Cupping from Water Damage: How to Fix it

Hardwood is a popular choice for both residential and commercial flooring. In gymnasiums, the hardwood floor is usually made out of maple, a hardy and robust wood that’s not only durable but beautiful, too. Unfortunately, though, hardwood floors are sensitive to moisture and humidity. In the Northeastern part of the U.S., 2018 and 2019 were record-breaking summers for heat and high humidity. Excessive humidity, heat, and flooding can do a number on hardwood and gym floors.

If your gym floors are looking a little worse for wear thanks to water damage, we can repair and restore them to their former glory. Contact us at J & J Gym Floors for a free estimate.

What are the most common causes of gym floor buckling and cupping?

Changes in humidity and to a lesser extent, the temperature can cause problems with a hardwood floor’s integrity and appearance. In general, the moisture content of the wood causes it to expand and contract. Wood, including the planks that make up the wood flooring in a gymnasium, absorbs and expels moisture depending on the humidity levels and temperature of the surrounding air. On a hot, humid day, the wood will absorb more moisture and expand. Once the humidity levels off and temperatures cool, moisture in the wood is absorbed into the atmosphere. The wood contracts as it dries. In the wintertime, it’s not uncommon to see tiny spaces between wood planks.

Wild swings in temperature and humidity can cause severe issues with a gym floor. If the floor floods, then it can become warped and cracked. If your gym floors are buckling and cupping, water is usually the culprit. Either a flood, high heat, and humidity, or a drastic swing in temperatures and moisture content in the wood itself are to blame for problems with the wood’s appearance.

What is gym floor buckling, and how does it happen?

Have you noticed that a part of your wood floor is slightly raised? This is called “buckling,” and it happens when part of the wood pulls apart from the subfloor underneath, giving the area a raised, mounded appearance. In severe cases of wood floor buckling, the wood can rise several inches.

Buckling is considered an extreme reaction to moisture. It is unlikely to occur when the humidity is high during the summer months, although in rare cases, humidity and dampness can lead to buckling. Water damage, such as flooding, leaks, and spills, is usually to blame for instances of gym floor buckling. Buckling is far more likely to happen if a wood floor is left submerged in water for an extended period. But in some instances, wood floor buckling occurs because of installation issues, such as:

  • Incorrect nailing practices
  • Using the wrong nails for the floor
  • Improper construction of the subfloor
  • Not using a vapor or moisture barrier during installation
  • Incorrect mastics
  • Incorrect mastic transfer
  • Subfloor separation issues
  • Subfloor contamination

Gymnasium and hardwood floor owners may fear that a buckled floor needs completely replaced. But in many cases, it’s possible to repair a buckled gym floor instead of tearing out the construction and starting anew.

What is gym floor cupping?

Excessive moisture and water can cause another issue with hardwood gym floors – cupping. Cupping happens when the floorboards absorb moisture from the surrounding air, either above the hardwood floor or beneath it in the subfloor. With gymnasium floors, the top part of the wood plank is coated and sealed. So usually, cupping is the result of moisture coming in from the underside of the floor, which causes the bottom part of the plank to expand. In a cupped gym floor, the sides and edges of the boards will curl upwards, while the center of the board will remain at a normal, low level. Cupping gives the board a “U” shaped appearance.

Minor cupping usually isn’t anything to worry about, and it’s common in locations that experience humid summers and dry winters. In these cases, the cupping will go away on its own as the temperature levels off, and humidity goes down. But severe cupping indicates a serious structural problem. It will need to be addressed to keep the wood floor healthy and pristine.

How do you repair a water damaged gym floor?

When it comes to water damage, no matter what type of flooring is in danger, the first step is to dry out the floor completely. Repairs can’t begin until the floor is completely dry, and the source of the water damage has been identified and fixed.

A wet vacuum works wonders for cleaning up large pools of water. The next step after using the wet vac is to put dehumidifiers and fans in the gymnasium for at least a few days. This should help clear up any remaining moisture and help air out the wood planks. Running dehumidifiers will also help to prevent mold from growing.

Damaged Gym Floors: A Takeaway Message

Water and wood floors simply do not mix. When water damage isn’t dealt with right away, a gym floor may need to be replaced entirely, and mold can start to grow. Quickly tending to a flooded basketball court or gym can stop severe damage from occurring. Lucky gym owners may only be left with minor cupping that dissipates on its own after a time. But for severe cases of water damage and flooding, you’ll need to contact an experienced gym floor repairer.

Over the past 20 years, J & J Gym Floors has repaired and replaced hundreds of gym floors. As a full-service gym floor contractor, we specialize in repairing basketball courts that have this very problem—cupping and buckling from water damage and moisture issues.

Gym wood floors require the care and experience you can count on from J&J Gym Floors. We have the know-how and equipment to handle just about any type of basketball court flooring damage. We can turn your damaged hardwood floor into a gym floor your team will be proud to play on. If you have any signs of water damage on your hardwood floor, call us right away before the problem gets worse.

 

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recoat gym floor

How Often Do I Have To Recoat My Gym Floor?

Every facility manager understands the vitality of recoating the gym floor. So long as you have spent some time on your hardwood gym floor, a flooring professional would tell you “screening and recoating” is one of the keys to maintenance.

Sure, people tend to use jargons to come across as knowledgeable, but contractors, for instance, understand that recoating can make all the difference. Now, the real question that often bewilders facility managers is how frequently you should recoat your wood gym floor.

Well, in simple terms, wood floor coating ensures durability, but inevitably, it wears out with time. It is no wonder most schools have a dedicated budget to recoat their wood gym floor at least once a year.

What Exactly Is Recoating?

There is a good chance you may have heard of the phrase ‘screen and recoat’. It is one of the most common phrases that refer to the refinish of the floor. Dry-screen, for example, is arguably the most used method to recoat wood gym floors. Contrarily, some schools and institutes use a wet-screen method where you use a scrubber to clean the gym floor and subsequently implement the final finish.

Why Recoat Your Gym Floor

The finish gradually disappears because of the daily friction on the gym floor. With time, this layer becomes scratched and thinner every year. If you allow the coating of your gym floor to wear thin for an extended period, it will not only show stains & scratches, but will decrease the  safety & longevity of the floor.

Naturally, you do not want the damage to exceed to the point where you have to repair the gym floor by sanding. So, when that protective coat becomes too thin, recoat it with another layer.

Set a Time Frame

The regularity with which you should recoat your gym floor depends on the level of usage. If your gym floor is in hard use, it will reduce the life of a floor for good. The best way is to look out for the signs of wear every two years after each recoating. In addition, if you visually see a pattern of scratches, then consider recoating annually.

Remember, the goal to screen and recoat every year is to include a new luster to your gym floor. Simultaneously, the annual recoating will also enhance the friction traits of your gym for safe use.

Though there are several processes, it usually takes about one or two days to recoat the gym floor. The finish, on the other hand, could take additional 3-5 days that would depend on your choice to finish, such as oil-based or water-based.

Contrary to misguided perception, the time gap difference between an annual and three-year recoating impacts the performance of your wood gym floor. Over time, it can jeopardize the safety of the floor, as it gets more and more slippery.

For the protection of the athletes and others who use your wood gym floor, screen it annually. The more you protect the gym floor, the longer it will perform and sustain.

Bottom Line

The recoating brings back the luster of a worn-out gym floor and makes sure it is safe and secure for use. In essence, you need to recoat wood sports gym floors annually. That said, more regular recoating might be necessary for schools and institutions used heavily.

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tape on gym floor

Painters Tape on the Gym Floor? You Better Think Twice

For gym floor contractors, “tape” is a four-letter word they don’t like to hear in the industry. Many sports floor owners and facility managers think they can put regular old painters tape on a hardwood gym floor. After all, you’re just going to play one little game of pickleball. What’s the problem with putting down some tape to make temporary lines for the game? Turns out, a whole lot. If you’re thinking about using painters tape; or any tape for that matter on the gym floor, here’s why you should think twice.

painters tape gym floor

Why do people put painters tape on a gym floor?

A correctly cared for gym floor will still need to be regularly maintained. Due to unavoidable wear-and-tear, the finish on a gym floor will wear away over time and need replacing. But ironically, equipment used as teaching and coaching aids end up doing the most damage to a gym floor. Painters tape and other types of adhesive are sometimes used. Frustrated coaches and instructors will often put painters tape down on the gym floor to instruct athletes on movement. In other cases, the brightly colored role of painters tape comes out when people want to play an impromptu game of pickleball or another sport.

We don’t want to spoil your fun or hinder the coaches’ ability to teach their students. But using tape on a gym floor is never recommended. We’ll explain why we don’t condone this practice below. And it’s not just us. Tape manufacturers don’t recommend it, and neither does the Maple Flooring Manufacturers Association (MFMA). Contractors, installers, custodial staff, and gym floor coating manufacturers all exhale an exasperated sigh when a client mentions tape on the gym floor.

Why is it a bad idea to put painters tape on a sports floor?

Any type of hardwood aerobic floor like a gymnasium will have a finishing coat on it. So will hardwood stages and dance floors. While hardwood sports floors are very durable, they do require protection in the form of finishing coats. The finishing coat does several things to protect the integrity of the wood beneath. For one thing, the coating protects the wood from scrapes and scuff marks. More importantly, the finishing coat has a stickiness to it that gives athletes much-needed traction.

Athletes can run, jump, turn, and spin quickly on the smoothe floor without tripping or slipping. That’s why a new or well-maintained gym floor causes people’s shoes to squeak when they walk across the surface. But guess what? That finishing coat isn’t a cheap commodity. You want to do what you can to extend the life of the coat and protect the wood and athletes. When you put an unauthorized adhesive on the gym floor, like painters tape, you risk pulling up the finishing coat along with the tape once it’s finally removed.

What happens when you put an adhesive, like tape, on a gym floor?

A lot of things can happen, and none of them are good. The worst type of damage that can occur to the gym floor is when you try to remove the tape. Not only that, but the tape can also pull up any lines or decals that were painted on the floor. Finish that’s been peeled away will also be visible to the naked eye and can make the floor look scruffy and unprofessional.

Peeled away finish is also a safety issue. How so? When sections of the floor are missing the sticky refinishing coat, areas of the floor will all have different surface friction. Athletes and people using the floor can trip and fall very easily, which increases liability concerns for your sports facility.

For friction values on a gym floor, the MFMA recommends floor finish to have a coefficient- friction value from .5 to .7. This range of friction values classifies a walking surface as slip-resistant. Keep in mind, this range isn’t just a requirement for an approved floor finish. It is also a requirement for any coating that is applied on top of the initial floor finish on a hardwood sports floor. Reputable manufacturers of gym floor coatings will have third-party labs test their products to ensure safety and quality.

Are there safe alternatives to tape for making temporary lines?

Now that you know the problems tape on a sports floor can cause, that probably doesn’t solve your initial problem. There will come a time when you may need to put down temporary lines on a sports floor. Applying painters tape seems easy, but it’s hazardous to the floor’s integrity. You can use white shoe polish or tempura paint that’s marketed to children. But these products are messy and difficult to apply, even if they may be safer to put on the floor than painters tape.

It’s also possible to buy products specifically designed for this very issue. They often resemble large markers, and they make it easier to apply temporary lines to the gym floor without the mess of shoe polish or craft paint. All of these products can be cleaned and removed from the floor with regular mopping. Which you are doing to maintain the health and beauty of your gym floor, right? 

What can be done to repair the damage on the gym floor that’s been taped?

Applying painters tape and then pulling it up, along with the floor’s finish, will cause some serious damage to your sports floor. A cheap, temporary fix may be to do a simple screen and recoating, but this isn’t a permanent or thorough solution. In most cases, the only way to properly fix peeled off finish is to sand the whole floor down to the bare wood, repaint the lines, and apply a new finishing coat. This can cost up to 30,000 dollars. So, we recommend you avoid putting painters tape on the gym floor at all costs.

Though we never suggest laying down any tape on a sports floor, if you do we suggest you remove as soon as possible to prevent further damage as the longer it stays the more it adheres. If you find that you use these temporary lines for extended periods of time, you may want to consider adding them to the current permanent lines at your next screening or sanding. Possibly as a lighter/nude color that is not noticeable or distracting during a basketball game, but visible enough when needed.

Has painters tape damaged your hardwood gym floor? We can help. Contact J&J Gym Floors today to schedule an on-site consultation at your earliest convenience.

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protect sports floor winter

How to Protect Your Sports Floor Now That Winter is Here

Sports facility managers and owners can’t stand the sight of a wet gym floor. That’s never a pleasant sight to see first thing in the morning. Now that winter is here, it’s no longer a question of “if” the sports floor will get wet, but “when.” These cold and dreary months are full of ice, snow, and the occasional rainstorm. As a sports facility owner or manager, you’ll want to come up with effective maintenance plans to protect your sports floor now that winter is here. 

Water damage is the biggest threat to hardwood gym floors. 

It is true – most of the sports wood gym floors eventually run into water damage or over-usage that shrinks the lifetime value of their sports gym floor. The winter months are some of the most important times of the year to pay close attention to potential water damage. Preventative measures will ensure that your investment in the sports facility is safe. 

Sure, managers and owners are knowledgeable about changing winter conditions such as temperature and humidity. Still, the majority of them run into another obstacle entirely when it comes to safeguarding the wood sports floor from other inevitable winter weather elements – ice and snow being the big ones. 

Keeping that in mind, here are some of the preventative maintenance ideas you can implement right now to protect the floor and increase the lifetime value of your gym facility. 

winter sports floor

1. Develop a routine cleaning schedule for the gym this winter.

The winter is a hectic and busy time for sporting activities. There is only so much beating your gym floor can take during basketball games and other events. It’s vital to create and implement a plan that protects the lifetime value of your wood floor in winter. The trick is to devise a regular cleaning schedule spot cleaning and dust mopping. These small investments into the health of your floor can go a long way in ensuring the integrity of the wood, and user’s safety. For private gym owners, a clean facility can go a long way in retaining customers and protecting your business’s image. 

2. Put doormats at entrances and exits to collect snow, ice, & debris.

As they say, a pound of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Preventive maintenance is the best thing you can do for your wood gym floor this winter. One of the simplest ways to prevent winter water damage is to use affordable door mats at entry ways. When athletes and spectators enter the gym, they will track snow, mud, ice and salt debris into the building. Doormats prevent melted ice and snow from pooling and harming the floor. They also make it easy for visitors to wipe the bottom of their shoes and prevent mud and muck from getting tracked throughout the facility. Wood floors will suffer under the added weight of pooling water – a killer of wood floors. Lastly, door mats can help catch debris before they are tracked in to your gym, avoiding scratches or corrosion to the finish.

Put doormats at each entrance of the gym this winter, preferably before the first snowstorm hits so you don’t have to scramble around at the last minute. 

3. Use floor coverings when the floor isn’t in use. 

There is a good chance your gym floors are in use for more than just sporting events. The floors probably see a decent amount of downtime, too. When your sports floor is not in use for a game, conference, or performance, cover the floor to safeguard it from constant foot traffic and other potential damages. Make sure to give the floor a good cleaning prior to putting down covers to avoid unwanted debris underneath scratching the finish.

4. Make sure indoor conditions are within a healthy range. 

Extreme temperature swings and harsh winter weather can do a number on your hardwood floors. During times of low temps and low humidity, wood flooring will shrink and risks cracking. The solution is to maintain a favorable indoor climate. Suitable temperature for your gym floor would be in the 60s or 70s. Also, keep humidity ratios from 35% to 50% to prevent shrinkage and damage. 

5. Adequately maintain the plumbing in the sports facility.

Cold weather can freeze and break water pipes if you’re not careful. Flooding from frozen pipes that have broken will cause severe cupping and buckling of the floor if water is left to pool. In cases where the gym floor has been left soaking in stagnant floodwater, the wood floorboards can become severely warped. In these cases, the only fix is a complete reinstallation of the gym floor. It may seem like the only thing you need to maintain to protect the gym floor is the wood itself. But the HVAC and the plumbing systems are equally crucial for ensuring a safe environment for the gym and those who use it. 

Make sure the facility maintains an adequate temperature to prevent expansion and contraction in the wood and to prevent the pipes from breaking. Also, ensure the pipes are adequately insulated. Pipe insulation will do two things to protect the gym floor this winter:

  • Prevents freezing and breakage
  • Reduces humidity

When cold water pipes contact with warmer ambient temps, the pipes will form condensation. Insulation helps to absorb this excess water that can increase humidity levels too much in the sports facility, causing expansion in the wood floor. 

Protecting Sports Floors in Winter: A Takeaway Message

Winter is a rough time of the year for wood gym floors. The slightest decrease in temperature can impact the floor’s condition for a long time. With the help of the above tips, you can safeguard your sports floor during this busy, and often messy, time of year.  

Has your wood gym floor suffered damage from excess water, heat, and humidity? We can help. Call us today at J&J Gym Floors at (973) 801-7219 to schedule a consultation with our expert gym flooring contractors.

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gym floor maintenance

New Jersey Gym Floor Maintenance: What’s Your Game Plan?

Most people have the idea that gym floors are exclusively for sporting events and games. But nowadays, that’s simply not the case. Your average gymnasium in a school or facility is used as a multi-purpose room. Not just the location for sporting events, gym floors see a ton of other activity. From pep rallies to drama productions and conferences, today’s gym floors work much harder than their predecessors. You can expect to use a gym floor for up to 16 hours per day. That’s a lot of wear-and-tear. Do you have a game plan for maintaining your gym floor? Here’s a few pointers to help extend the life of your gym floor in the years to come.

gym floor maintenance

What are the most common types of gym floor damage?

It’s common sense that you’d want to keep your gym floor in good condition and well-maintained. But to do this, facility managers have to know what causes gym floor damage in the first place. Excess moisture and infrequent maintenance are some of the most common types of damage that your gym floor will need protecting against. Luckily, you have a lot of control here and can easily prevent damage to the sports floor.

In the tri-state area, we see humid summers, rain, and also have to deal with the freeze/thaw cycle come wintertime. These environmental issues can do a number on wood structures, and by extension, a hardwood gym floor. If you see buckling or cupping in the floorboards, excess moisture either in the atmosphere above the floor or below it is probably to blame. Flooding will also cause extreme changes in the structural integrity and appearance of the floor. In these cases, a professional gym floor installer in New Jersey can restore your wood floor to its original condition. Also, keep in mind that maintaining a gym floor is vital to the appearance but critical to ensuring the safety of athletes’ & patrons using your floors.

Everyday Wear-and-Tear on a Gym Floor

A new gym floor has multiple coats of polyurethane giving the floor that beautiful, shiny appearance. In addition to appearance the finish serves a safety purpose by providing traction so athletes don’t slip. However the finish coats won’t last forever.

Some parts of the gym floor are prone to more wear than other areas. Mainly, those high-risk areas are the ones that see the most foot-traffic. So, entrances and exits, where the net is placed for volleyball, and over near the basketball hoops will wear out more quickly — all that sliding, jumping, starting, and stopping wears away at the finish. And the more events you hold in the gym, the quicker the finish will disappear. It’s true that the floor can be damaged from dragging gym equipment around. But mostly, wear and tear on the gym floor is to be expected.

Do you have high standards for your gym floor? Many facility managers want their floor to look as pristine and sharp as a professional basketball court for the NBA. We can make that happen. However, professional gymnasiums don’t see as much damage as the high-traffic gym floors in a school. But don’t stress about it. With regular and high-quality gym floor maintenance, you can extend the look and structural integrity of the floor. How? With screening and recoating.

Gym Floor Maintenance New Jersey: Screen and Recoating

When the finish on a gym floor wears over time, the floor looses traction. The finish protects the wood underneath for damage, and it also keeps athletes from slipping. Fortunately, you can restore the tacky finish to a floor with a screen and recoating.

How do screening and recoating work?

The first step in the process is to abrade the floor with an abrasive screening disk. Abrading the floor allows the new finish to stick to the wood. There are two different ways a floor can be abraded. The most popular method is to use a 100-grit screen, called a dry screen. Some gym floor repair companies will use a scrubber-vac to scuff up the floor before applying the new coat of finish. This method is referred to as a wet-screen. After scuffing up the floor, it’s cleaned before the new finish is applied.

Once the new coat of finish is applied, the floor will have to be clear of foot traffic for at least 48 hours. In some cases, you may need to keep the gym floor clear for three to five days after the new coating is applied. Oil or water-based finishes all have different cure times. But for a standard screening and recoating job, you can have the fresh coat of finish applied Friday afternoon, and the gym floor is good to go for any sporting events for the next week.

Screening and recoating is one of the most critical types of gym floor maintenance you can perform.

With screening and recoating, you’ll:

  • Restore the floor to its original luster and shine
  • Keep the wood floorboards protected from damage
  • Prevent athletes from slipping
  • Remove scuff marks from the floor
  • Protect paint and graphics on the sports floor

At a minimum, you’ll need to have the gym floor screened and recoated once per year. But in some cases, you will want to screen and recoat the floor more frequently. Gymnasiums that see a lot of foot traffic may need screening and recoating done every six months.

Regular maintenance of a gym floor in New Jersey will not only keep people safe from trips and falls, but it will also extend the life of the facility. Is your gym floor due for routine maintenance? At J&J Gym Floors, we’ve been restoring and repairing gym floors in New Jersey for more than fifteen years. Contact us today at (973) 370-4118 to see what we can do for your sports facility.

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gym floor refinishing

Gym Floor Refinishing: 2019 Trends

gym floor refinishing

Gym Floor Refinishing: 2019 Trends

Gyms have come a long way in the last couple of years. Athletic facilities are gradually becoming multi-use and flexible complexes combining functionality, architectural flair and personality. Gone are the days when gym floors were just simple borders with block lettering. Gym floors now speak volumes about the quality of service and general aura you can expect from a gym. They provide a safe, high-performance surface where all the action takes place. It also aids in preventing accidents and injuries. 

This is why athletic directors and facilities managers are going out of their way to ensure their gym floors are the best equipment in their gym.  

For all its importance, the gym floor has to be maintained and kept in prime condition at all times. It should be smooth and even; free of dust, cracks and scratches. Proper cleaning practices should be followed especially when water is involved. Facilities managers should also ensure they re-coat the floor annually. Unfortunately, this is not enough to keep it in perfect condition for a long period of time. With all the activities going on, it is advisable to consider gym floor refinishing after every 7-10 years or as soon as scratches and cracks start creeping in. This is guaranteed to add a new lease of life to your gym and get everyone excited for the season.

Top Gym Floor Refinishing Trends For 2019

Multi-Functionality

We are in an era of inclusivity where every child is allowed and given the tools to explore all their talents. Consequently, contemporary sports facilities need versatile flooring to support a diverse range of activities. From basketball games, track meets, racquetball, pickleball and dancing events, an ideal gym in 2019 should seamlessly support all these activities. The gym floor, in this case, has to be safe, durable and high performing in accordance with the standards expected of every athletic activity taking place on it.

Durability

You might not have thought about it, but the gym floor is actually the most used equipment in the facility. With so many activities and so much foot traffic, modern gym flooring takes a hard beating. Therefore, the floor needs to be tough, strong and long-lasting to keep up with the high-intensity activities it supports. The floor should be hard enough to withstand high-impact activity and heavy loads without a scratch or gouge.

Ease of Maintenance

Modern gym facilities need floors that have minimal maintenance requirements for optimal functionality and performance. Floor systems that lack spaces between the wooden planks and tiles tend to be ideal as they do not accumulate water damage or dirt in hard to reach places. This allows for the floors to be cleaned quickly, efficiently and easily and be in top shape without having to close the sports facility for extended periods of time.

Heightened Safety

Above everything else, every gym floor should first and foremost provide safety and comfort to everyone that steps on it. As such, the flooring has to provide effective protection and good cushioning to the athletes. Ideally, the floor should be shock absorbent, resilient and soft to the touch.

Aesthetic Appeal

When you step into a gym, there should be no doubt whose house it is. The facility should have a distinct personality indicative of the people using it. Gym flooring is now a great medium through which the facility can gain greater personality and boost its aesthetic appeal. Using innovative designs and color themes, modern gyms are using this vast space to make an artistic statement. You can view it like an open canvas. Drawing inspiration from team logo or mascot and with impressive dimensional effects and intricate patterns, you can enhance the aesthetic appeal of your facility and build up excitement among the athletes and the public.

So there you have it. If you’re going to refinish your gym floor this year, we’re here to help. Don’t just watch as other gyms transform their facilities to state-of-the-art masterpieces. Contact us today and let us make it happen for you. You can also send us your project for a review. At J & J Gym Floors, we’ll help you transform your gym floor to a masterpiece.

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ncaa-3-point-line-distance-change

NCAA 3 Point Line Extended

NCAA 3 Point Line Extended

The NCAA men’s college basketball rules committee recently passed a series of proposals for the 2019-2020 that should open up the game. 

The headline-grabbing change involves moving the college 3 point line distance back to 22′ 1 3/4”, the distance used by FIBA for international games as well as the WNBA. During the 2018-2019 season, men’s basketball used a three-point line of 20′ 3/4”.

Moving The 3 Point Line To Open Up The Game

Chairman of the rules committee, Colorado Buffalos head coach Tad Boyle explained that “moving the line back would create more space offensively while also altering the overdependent nature of teams to rely on outside shooting.” 

He continued, “After gathering information over the past two seasons, we feel it’s time to make the change. Freedom of movement in the game remains important, and we feel this will open up the game. We believe this will remove some of the congestion on the way to the basket.”

The committee recently passed the rules change in their June 3rd meeting, and the changes will go into effect immediately next year for Division I teams, and due to financial considerations, will roll out during the 2020-2021 year for Division II and Division III teams.

In recent years the NCAA has taken measures to gauge the success of potential rules changes. In the 2018 and 2019 NIT Tournament, one of the potential rules tested was the deepening of the college 3 point line distance to the international standard. Results from the 2019 NIT experiment showed that teams too more 3-point shots and shot at a slightly lower percentage when compared to regular season averages.

Extending The 3 point line distance is based on three objectives:

  • making the lane more open and available for dribble/drive plays from the perimeter
  • to slow the growing trend of the prevalence of the 3-point shot in men’s college basketball by making the shot more challenging, while keeping it an integral part of the game
  • assisting in offensive spacing, requiring the defense to cover more of the court

What This Rule Change Means For Your School

Whether moving the college 3-point line distance will reverse the increasing trend of the 3-point shot is unclear as college basketball has become a game of threes and shots in the paint, making the mid-range game a lost art.

However, since the rules change has passed and the changes go into effect during the 2019 season,

  • Division I schools will need to adjust their courts to reflect the updated rules.
  • All Division I school basketball courts will need to be resurfaced with the updated game lines prior to the start of the 2019 season.
  • Division II and Division III schools will have until the 2020-2021 season to comply.

The NCAA, in offering the extension for Division II and III teams took into account the financial cost of compliance. For schools in the Northeast, there is a cost-effective solution to resurface and repaint your basketball court 3 point lines.

J & J Gym Floors is the premier gym floor company in the country. We work with schools to keep their gym floor, and basketball courts in top condition throughout the year. Your Division I school needs to comply with these rule changes for the 2019 season, and Division II and III schools will need to meet a 2020 deadline. Give us a call and let us help meet the deadline! We’re always happy to provide you with an estimate and can work with you to have your school ready for the upcoming season.

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  • New Jersey
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slippery gym floors

How To Fix Slippery Gym Floors

How To Fix Slippery Gym Floors

At schools, colleges, churches, public fitness centers, basketball arenas and anywhere else where you have a hardwood gym floor or basketball court, properly caring for your gym floor while simultaneously avoiding the risks of a slippery gym floor is an ongoing challenge.

As a facilities manager or athletic director, you’re responsible to keep players and fans safe, avoid potential liabilities, and maintain an attractive, clean playing surface. Using the right products and methods are key to getting this done.

This blog post will show you how to fix your slippery gym floor (and, of course, your slippery basketball court).

We’ll share our answers to the following questions:

  • How to make a gym floor less slippery?
  • How to fix a slippery gym floor?
  • Why is my gym floor so slippery?
  • How to fix slippery hardwood gym floors?

How To Fix Slippery Gym Floors

1. Dry Dust Mop First – Regularly

Most facility managers realize that dust mopping on a regular basis is a must for avoiding slippery gym floors and slippery basketball courts. However, it’s not uncommon for even experts to make the mistake of wet dust mopping first with a dust mop treatment.

Dust, dirt and debris can get trapped in the coatings of even the highest quality products. That makes grime more difficult to remove later, causes the buildup of residue where the dirt particles are trapped and could even lead to scratching the floor surface.

2. Use A Microfiber Dust Mop

An ordinary wide frame dust mop certainly has its place, but a microfiber dust mop will more effectively gather and hold dust particles as it sweeps over the wood. 

Traditional dust mops are great for removing the worst of the loose dirt and debris, but microfiber mops will pick up even more. Plus, you can do a wet (water only) microfiber mopping after an initial dry mop job for an extra-deep cleaning.

3. Use Stronger Cleaning Products

All too often, floor managers hesitate to use a strong cleaning product for fear of damaging the expensive hardwood flooring. Instead, they use mild, neutral products or even just vinegar and water.

But the fact is, these mild solutions just won’t do an adequate job of removing harmful floor contaminants like salt and oil left behind after sweat-water evaporates, food and beverage spills and pavement oils tracked in on footwear. 

Even after preparing the flooring through thorough loose dirt and debris removal, you still need a strong cleaner that will not harm or dull your wood and won’t leave a slippery residue. Choose a powerful product that is specifically designed for use on gym floors and basketball courts.

4. Take Care With Automatic Scrubbers

For the first year or two after installation, you should avoid auto-scrubbing your gym floor. In later years, however, an automatic scrubber will help remove the most stubborn floor stains with ease and make the process of cleaning your floor much faster.

Be sure your scrubber and cleaning solution are fully compatible and that you are using the specific floor pad that matches your floor type and the task at hand. Only go 175 rpm or less and work sections of 1,000 square feet or less at a time till the job is complete. Allow at least 15 minutes for the floor to thoroughly dry before putting it to further use.

5. Avoid Using Numerous Cleaners

You are far better off using the right product than using multiple products to clean your gym floor. Using too many cleaners could lead to unexpected interactions between cleaners and might create a slippery residue. 

Focus on doing a better job of eliminating floor debris prior to wet mopping or automatic scrubbing. Then choose a powerful, safe floor cleaner recommended for hardwoods. But don’t layer multiple cleaning products to try to make up for inadequate results with a mild cleaner you may be presently using.

6. Use A Floor Cover

Dust is constantly floating through the air, threatening to land on your freshly cleaned gym floor. And even just walking across a gym floor, when done by hundreds of feet multiple times, can begin to make the floor dirty and slippery again.

Use of a professional gym floor covering when the floor is not in use for a day or longer will greatly reduce wear and tear, maintenance frequency and slipperiness.

7. Get Your Gym Floor Refinished

Every three to ten years, you should get your gym floor sanded and refinished. This will not only improve the floor’s appearance and reduce regular maintenance needs, but it will also make it easier to prevent your floor from getting slippery.

Many people don’t realize the real reasons why a gym floor or basketball court gets slippery and dangerous to walk on. It is usually not due to the cleaner used but to the failure to prepare the floor for the cleaner through thorough removal of floor contaminants. Using a strong cleaning product, a microfiber dust mop, proper auto-scrubbing technique and a gym floor cover also help reduce the problem.

Got Slippery Gym Floors?

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  • Established in 2003
  • +17,400 completed projects
  • Fast and professional service
  • The most knowledgable team in the industry