Gym floor cover

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Gym floor covers can either be a carpet-based protection system or is a large plastic tarp, similar to a painters tarp, usually divided into equal sections 6 to 10 feet (1.8 to 3.0 m) wide each to cover up the entire gym floor. Gym floor covers are available in roll or tile systems.These covers are often used in large venues designed for athletic events when non-athletic events are being held there such as receptions, award ceremonies, indoor track meets, gymnastic events and graduations.


Floor damage prevention, human safety and owners wanting to multi-use their venues are key reasons why gym floor covers are employed. Covers are used to prevent slip and fall accidents, while protecting underlying hardwood floor from foot traffic damage and heavy furniture scratches and dents. The newer carpet topcloth systems also improve acoustics in the gymnsium.

Tape on a maple floor

The Maple Floor Manufactures Association does not recommend the use of masking, theatrical, construction, electrical, duct, adhesive or any other kind of tape to mark temporary court boundaries on the surface of a finished maple floor. It is likely that the tape, when removed, will peel away layers of the floor’s surface finish. Most tapes promoted for temporary markings have a different coefficient of friction than finishes applied to the maple playing surface, and can impact a person’s ability to start, stop and pivot. Removing the surface paint/finish and exposing the maple can result in additional chipping and peeling of the remaining paint/finish in adjacent areas.

In addition, most commonly available tapes contain adhesive resins that can etch or stain the floor finish or even the maple flooring below the temporary markings.

The first plastic tarp gym floor cover was invented and manufactured by Covermaster Inc. in 1969 with Seattle-based Floor Guardian Inc.[citation needed] following up by manufacturing a recycled content, removable, portable carpet based protection system in the late 1970s to answer the demand for a product that was less of a trip hazard, environmentally sound and classier looking than what many felt was basically a painter's tarp. Since then the quality of the materials has greatly evolved. Most manufacturers have switched from vinyl and polyethylene materials to more durable polyester fabric. In 2013, Protex Matting Inc. answered environmental concerns by introducing the newest 100% recycled polyester top cloth gym floor covers made completely from recycled plastic water bottles, saving approximately 7000 water bottles for every 10,000 sq. ft produced. The best plastic tarp gym floor covers today are made of single-layer woven polyester and the newest polymer materials with utilization of the knife-coating process, which enables dyes to be deposited deep into the core of the PVC. material and prevent peeling of the layers - a side effect of extrusion coating or lamination process..

Modern gym floor covers are manufactured with the variety of colors, anti-slip surfaces, and weights ranging from 6 to 32 ounces (170 to 910 g) per square yard (0.84 m2). Custom sizing is available with most products. The following technical characteristics are used to describe the covers: filament size, weave count, total weight, core weight, tear strength, tensile strength, adhesion, coefficient of friction, slip resistance, hydrostatic resistance, fire resistance and others.

Depending on if you use the tarp method or the carpet method you install it via the following steps, for the tarp method each section is installed slightly overlapping adjacent ones and secured with special adhesive tape and with the carpet method you eliminate the waste generated from the single use adhesive tape and it is installed using reusable velcro strips instead. The newer tile systems allow more flexibility in installation and do not require adhesive or velcro tape.

Installing and deploying large covers can be labour-intensive task. The most efficient way involves rolling and unrolling each section separately, and storing them on the gym floor cover storage system (rack) in a rolled up state to prevent creases and static dust accumulation. Advances in the newer Protex GymPro products allow for smaller storage racks while the newer tile systems are stacked on compact platform trucks for storage and transport. Dual cleaning brush assemblies (to remove debris) and electric power winders (to reduce manual labor during cover removal) are normally used to efficiently maintain the covers while the carpet based gym covers are best cleaned using the Host Cleaning method with the covers still in place.

Plastic tarp gym floor covers have a typical lifetime of 10–15 years and the carpet-based ones have a lifetime of 15–20+ years.

Utah has made new PVC based tarps illegal in gyms. [1][not in citation given]


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