When it comes to gym design, choosing flooring is easily forgotten. Our customers regularly acknowledge after the fact, that they wish they’d given the choice more consideration at the outset to reduce fit out cost later and future-proof their spaces.
Since it’s not a cheap exercise to start afresh, here Steve Shaw, Head of UK + Ireland for PAVIGYM, outlines some quick considerations, that are easy to remember and 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 YOU LAY IT DOWN
First up, think about what happens in the areas where your new flooring is going to go. Sounds obvious, right? But a dozen times over, we have seen this get missed and it can result in early replacement of a young floor.
It is possible to broadly categorize 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, in particular, any functional training and free-weight spaces, which you have designed.
Make a quick mental list of all the activities that are going to happen on 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 to 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 subfloor 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 must-dos, that you’re flooring has to be able to handle before you start shopping.
2. MIX + MATCH
When it comes to multi-use technical areas, often times, businesses will choose multi-purpose flooring in areas used for anything from weight-training to mind-body. More regularly though we’re seeing brands invest in activity-specific flooring that is built for purpose, especially when there is more floor space available to carve out niche areas in the customer journey, e.g. for PAVIGYM that looks like Motion flooring in group exercise spaces or Endurance in strength training places.
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 put in a new kitchen or a new bathroom at home, traditionally you 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 the space lends itself to getting bruised 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 that it doesn’t cost you more money sooner.
If you are including painted markings on your floor, check that they will be robust enough not to look cheap or tired in 12 months time.
Customer experience still matters the most. We’re called in frequently to replace recycled black rubber. Over time it doesn’t smell pretty, absorbs sweat and rubs off on to hands and clothing, which is unpleasant for you your customers, especially those nose-down mid-burpee. So check out the reality of how this will measure up against what your customers expect from your brand.