When it comes to gym design, choice of flooring is easily overlooked. Our customers regularly acknowledge after the fact that they wish they’d given the choice more consideration at the outset to reduce fitting costs later and future-proof their spaces.
It’s not cheap to start over. So head of PAVIGYM UK + Ireland, Steve Shaw, outlines some quick considerations that will help you make straightforward choices about your flooring early on, save money later, and best complement the look and the feel of your new space.
1. WHERE ARE YOU LAYING YOUR GYM FLOORING?
First up, think about what happens in the areas where you’re putting your new floor. Sounds obvious, right? But we often see this point either forgotten or ignored, and it can result in the early replacement of a new floor.
It’s possible to broadly categorise your list of activities into Technical or Non-Technical Areas. Start with each Technical Area – or “fitness space” – first. When it comes to flooring, these are your priority areas. Pay particular attention to any functional training and free-weight spaces that you’ve designed.
Make a quick note of all the activities that are going to take place in those areas:
- Will it be multi-use or focused on just one activity?
- Will the floor double-up as a training tool with markings or be plain in design?
- What experience do you want your customers to have?
- Will users sweat heavily in this space over time?
- How heavy duty does the flooring need to be? Will weight be dropped on the floor regularly? Has the sub-floor been prepared sufficiently?
- How is the use of this space likely to evolve over time?
- Can I add functionality and flexibility with something different, like a turf track?
This will generate a short list of musts, things that your flooring has to be able to handle before you start shopping.
2. MIX & MATCH
When it comes to multi-use technical areas, businesses will often choose multi-purpose flooring in areas used for anything from weight-training to mind-body. However, more and more we’re seeing brands invest in activity-specific flooring designed for a purpose, especially when there’s more floor space available to carve out niche areas in the customer experience. For example, PAVIGYM Motion flooring in group exercise spaces or Endurance in strength training areas. For free weight areas, or gyms that want to keep the noise to the minimum, you’ll need to consider something like our ACOUSTIC range.
Everyone has to make choices between cost and quality; everyone has a budget to manage. Try to save money where you can save money and invest in areas where you should spend a bit more. Most of our customers mix and match, which is sensible; spending more on flooring for the most hard-wearing or open areas of the gym and saving money on areas which, for example, might be covered by gym equipment with a large footprint. When you install a new kitchen or bathroom at home, you traditionally tend to spend a bit of extra money than you might on say, the entrance hall. The kitchen-equivalent in the gym is, of course, the place/s that tend to be “free weights”/strength dominant, as this space lends itself to getting bruised and damaged, and can cost you a lot of money further down the line.
3. WEAR IT WELL
Aesthetically, you want your flooring to look as good in year two as it does on day one. Talk to your supplier about how to make that a reality so it doesn’t require a bigger outlay sooner in its life cycle.
If you’re including painted markings on your floor, make sure they’ll be robust enough not to look cheap or tired in 12 months time. Or look into alternative options, such as PAVIGYM’s built-in markings, that will never wear down.
Customer experience still matters above everything else. We’re frequently called in to replace recycled black rubber. Over time it absorbs sweat, doesn’t smell pretty, and rubs off on to hands and clothing; a particularly unpleasant experience for your customers, especially during that nose-down mid-burpee. Consider how this will measure up against what your customers expect from your brand and make an informed and sensible decision.