The guide to choosing the best floor for strength and free weight areas
Choosing the best floor for the strength and free weight areas of your gym is not a simple task. Each area of the gym, depending on the activities that take place, should have a suitable floor in terms of both thickness and impact resistance. For example, cardio areas where there are machines can have a thinner floor, as long as there is no slippage of the machinery and it absorbs vibrations.
However, in a strength area, the floor needs to be thicker and more resistant to falling weights. Choosing the right flooring in the strength and weight zones will mean that you will forget about changing the floor for more than 10 years and your clients will feel more comfortable training.
On an aesthetic level, if the floor is suitable for strength and weights areas, you will avoid the floor being marked and damaged. Offer your clients a hygienic and impeccable facility!
When should you change the flooring in the strength and weight zones?
There are some obvious signs that a weight room floor needs to be replaced, starting with visible holes. Sometimes the floor is worn down to the subfloor or has sunken areas from repeated impacts. Another sign, if you have a tile or roll floor, is that the transitions are starting to sag or curve.
Another sign, although less obvious, is resistance. On black floors it is harder to see, but they can wear and even tear with the throwing of weights. Floors in weight rooms need to be designed for this, as a non-flexible floor will become deformed after each impact.
Weight room floors may also need to be replaced if moisture gets into the floor tiles, causing the floor to start bubbling, which in turn poses a tripping hazard for your clients. And then there are simply parts of a floor that need to be replaced due to training.
Noise is another key consideration when installing or replacing flooring. Flooring should help to reduce decibel levels, making the space more welcoming for members.
An increasingly popular exercise that places greater demands on floors is cross-training. In the past, many gyms and fitness centres may have opted for thinner floors, but intense movement exercises, such as fast-paced cross-training Olympic lifts, have forced these facilities to re-examine their floors.
Today, these facilities often look for thicker rubber floors because they do fast repetitions with very heavy weights, often using things like kettlebells. Since the goal is to do the most reps in a given time, the weights are thrown fairly quickly and there is a greater propensity for them to fall off. This requires a thicker floor surface, which is more difficult to damage.
The demands on weight room floors have changed over the years. Today, there may be a large space dedicated to cross-training, dumbbells, treadmills and plyometrics, each with its own requirements. When designing these facilities, you need to make sure you are buying the right product for the right application.
What does a floor need for strength and weight zones?
When choosing a suitable floor for strength and weight training areas, it is important to consider the following characteristics:
- Impact resistance
The floor in the strength zone must be impact resistant. Depending on the type of weights in that area, the thickness of the floor can vary between approximately 10 and 20mm.
- Sound and vibration insulation
One of the biggest problems in the weight area is the noise and vibrations generated by users when they drop the equipment. Not only is it annoying for the rest of your customers, but it can also generate conflicts with neighbours or neighbouring businesses.
- Hygienic and non-porous
Hygiene is, now more than ever, a priority when choosing a floor for your gym. The best option is a non-porous floor that can be easily cleaned, avoiding bad smells and stains.
Does your gym have an elegant aesthetic, or do you prefer a hardcore aesthetic more typical of a cross-training box? Would you like to personalise your floor? Whatever line you want to follow, the strength area does not have to have an aesthetic that does not match the rest of your facilities.
What types of flooring are available for strength and weight zones?
In areas of strength, you can choose between rolls or rubber tiles.
- The advantage of rubber tiles is that they are easier to install. In addition, in many cases they do not need adhesive and this avoids problems such as air bubbles. If you ever need to move your weight area to another location, it’s easy if the floor is not glued down.
- Check out our options such as Endurance or Extreme. Thanks to the interlocking system, the joints between the tiles are as strong and waterproof as the rest of the floor.
- You also have the most resistant version for weights over 25kg: Endurance S&S and Extreme S&S are 22mm floors that resist all types of training.
As for the material, the most common is recycled rubber. This type of rubber comes from tyres, which causes several problems:
- It breaks more easily because they are small particles that have been put together a posteriori.
- As it is derived from tyres, it leaves black stains on users’ hands and clothes.
- It is porous and permeable, so over time it will cause unpleasant odours.
It is best to choose virgin rubber: more resistant, more hygienic and more durable. At Pavigym all our floors are made of virgin rubber, the perfect choice for areas where there is continuous weight throwing.
How to reduce noise and vibrations in strength and weight areas?
If you want to avoid problems with neighbouring houses or businesses, it is important that you choose good sound insulation in the strength zone. Especially for workouts such as cross-training, where there are high weight impacts, the protection of the subfloor is essential.
At Pavigym we offer you different acoustic solutions to minimise noise and vibrations caused by falling weights in your gym. Take a look at our acoustic solutions!