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Porosity of flooring: why impermeability is important in rubber gym flooring

When considering hygienic gym flooring, porosity is key. Antibacterial properties, sealing, and cleaning procedures are all important, but the main factor in whether a floor is hygienic or not is its ability to resist absorbing sweat, bacteria, viruses, and spores.


Recycled rubber flooring is porous and can be penetrated by moisture and contaminants. This can lead to bacteria build up and make it extremely difficult to achieve and maintain even a basic level of hygiene. Impermeable floors keep these dangers on the surface, making them easily wiped away and keeping flooring as hygienic as your cleaning allows.

A Harris Interactive poll found that 79 percent of customers would not return to an establishment with a bathroom that they consider to be dirty. The numbers aren’t much better for dirty floors in other areas and these numbers do not account for the loss of reputation associated with unclean floors.


Although the above statistic refers to bathrooms, it also highlights the reaction of users to flooring in other areas. The need to hygienic flooring is greater in a studio or gym simply because of the interaction users have with the floor. If they’re not performing push-ups, sit-ups, and burpees on the floor, then they’re picking accessories up from it, dropping their towels on it, or generally paying more attention to it than they usually would while working on a treadmill or weight bench.

Aside from the retention of contaminants, simply the appearance of having unhygienic flooring is enough to put members off. Floors that are installed using tile systems often leave big enough gaps between each tile to allow liquid to sit, giving a patchy and discoloured look if they get wet. These cracks can also retain bacteria that sits well beneath the surface, culminating in bad odours to go with bad aesthetics.


Having touched on the issue that porous flooring throws up when it gets wet, it is also much more susceptible to staining. Most stains are liquid-based and can contaminate porous flooring. Many stains, depending on their makeup, can penetrate several millimetres into the floor making it difficult and often impossible to remove, and the more porous the material, the deeper the stain will reach.


Porous flooring can be sealed to minimise its absorption of water and stains. Sealing is the process of applying a non-visible chemical that slows down the penetration of liquid into the surface, holding the stain or bacteria at a higher level in the tile where it is easier to clean.

However, sealing will not protect the floor completely, it will simply make the surface less porous, keeping the contaminant on the surface to give you time to clean it off before it sets in.

The only guaranteed way to keep flooring both sanitary and looking hygienic is to look for a non-porous option.

Pavigym’s virgin rubber flooring is not only impermeable, but also bacteriostatic and fungicidal, meaning that it doesn’t just stop contaminants absorbing into the floor tile, it also prevents their spread.

This therefore makes it much safer for users, and of course offers a much easier surface to clean thoroughly. All of these properties make for a clean, hygienic gym floor that stays aesthetically pleasing throughout its lifetime, offering a comfortable surface for any kind of training.

Take a look at our range of hygienic gym flooring. And if you have any questions, click here to contact us!