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Common Issues with Fitness Center Flooring

Common Issues with Fitness Center FlooringThe modern fitness center needs to meet many demands these days. Often fitness supercenters offer a variety of options without specializing in any one area. These spaces must accommodate yoga, in the morning, aerobics in the afternoon and perhaps kickboxing at night. The weight lifting area must be able to withstand the abuse from equipment while offering protection and comfort to its users. Many centers offer an elevated running track and half-court for basketball. With so many and varied demands there are bound to be some issues.

Fitness center floors need to meet specifications for the variety of activities offered. Average fitness supercenters rarely have dedicated spaces for all classes and activities. Many times matting or overlays are applied to the floor to provide protection or a rubberized finish for activities such as gymnastics or karate. This adds extra and sometimes unforeseen costs to the budget.


How flat is flat when it comes to a gymnasium floor? When a floor is not truly flat a ball bounce does not occur quite right. A designer usually specifies the Flatness (F) rating acceptable for the construction and proposed usage of the floor. Floor Flatness (FL) refers to the lumpiness in the floor and Floor Levelness (FL) refers to how level the floor is. The higher the “FF” rating the flatter the floor, most gymnasiums have a flatness rating of around 50. Below is a list of commonly accepted rating classifications.


Floor Flatness

Examples of Use



Utility space



Under carpet



Under tile or vinyl

Very Flat


High end industrial

Super Flat


Limited use very high end

Water and Dampness

Water and dampness is the mortal enemy of a gym floor. Wooden gym floors are often laid over concrete. Serious problems could occur if the space in-between the two is not dry. The wood flooring could blister, buckle, warp, or come apart. Make sure water and water vapor does not collect in this space to avoid these potential problems. Concrete is actually very porous and can accumulate moisture if the concrete is on a grade. Check the product and adhesive’s specification for moisture tolerance of each type of flooring so the floor can be properly installed.

Moisture testing is guided by ASTM F1869 as a standard by which calcium chloride testing should be performed. The other method of moisture testing is guided by ASTM F2170 which is a relative humidity test. Either test will provide the critical piece of information about moisture levels in the concrete and will guide your installations accordingly.  

Maintenance is Key

Weight room floors are usually made of rubberized flooring. This surface becomes easier to clean as it ages and hardens. To maintain functionality cleaning must be an ongoing effort.

Four types of cleaning are recommended:

  1. Initial cleaning removes all debris and prepares the surface for initial scrubbing. Avoid flooding during this step of the process. Wet vacuum to remove excess water.
  2. Daily cleaning keeps floors free of dirt and grit. Dust mopping and damp mopping will remove light soil from the surface
  3. Restorative cleaning help to restore floor to previous appearance by sweeping and then doing a heavy wet scrub to remove soil.
  4. Heavy soil cleaning removes built up dirt and grime. This process is similar to restorative cleaning but        varies because of the cleanser and equipment used in the process.

Commercial Flooring & Interior Concepts specializes in the planning, installation and maintenance of gymnasium and fitness center flooring. To learn more about our services, click below!

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Topics: Gym Floors