flooring matters

flooring matters

The Importance of Fitness Flooring is Often Overlooked

Fitness flooring: It’s probably the largest piece of equipment in any given fitness space. Everyone uses it and yet it’s a piece we usually don’t give much thought to. It’s the floor.

Everyone who uses the fitness space interacts with this piece of equipment, even though many don’t think of it as actual equipment. It needs to address safety, aesthetics, acoustics and ergonomics in order to meet the objectives of the facility team and most importantly the people using the facility. When you think of flooring in this way it starts to look like a major consideration if you want to be at the top of your game.
Arthur B. Dodge III, CEO and president of flooring innovator ECORE International, Inc. boldly states that “Everybody interacts with a surface. Everybody has a floor that they walk on, play on, run on. Very few people take a second to think about it.” He knows that the products he’s innovating to create are not top-of-mind, but he’s working to make them less invisible. ECORE as a company focuses on recycling to produce top performance flooring.

As North America’s largest manufacturer of recycled scrap-tire-derived rubber products, ECORE re-uses more than 86 million pounds of post-consumer recycled material each year in their flooring products. This results in some pretty innovative surfaces that are flexible and slip-resistant, sound absorbing and more sustainable than their industrial carpet predecessors.
In today’s more open office environments too, a lack of “sound privacy” is a big drain on morale and can cost employers as much as 86 minutes per day of productivity lost due to “noise distractions.” With the new advancements in flooring design, professional offices and workspaces don’t even need to sacrifice aesthetics to help with sound absorption. “For the organization that has a severe noise problem (think call centers or co-working spaces that are becoming very popular among entrepreneurs and startups),” flooring is suggested as one of the “few surprising and stylish fixes that can be installed to reduce sound.”

Ergonomics and Aesthetics

Combining appearance with performance, or fashion with function, is particularly useful with today’s fitness flooring options. Facilities want to look good as well as perform to a standard of health and wellbeing that end-users expect.

According to Athletic Business, “Fitness center design is starting to show more character, and flooring can play a major role. Whether you’re designing a new facility, or redesigning an existing one, never underestimate the impact that flooring can have in terms of aesthetics, sustainability and bio-friendliness.”

Fitness facility managers are becoming more aware that “a variety of options exist to create a more exciting look with flooring. These include using various color palettes, adding logos or artwork, and combining different flooring materials in various patterns.” But it’s not just about looks, performance matters, and spending hours moving across a particular floor surface has an impact that needs to be taken into consideration.

Ergonomics is all about tailoring the surfaces you use, whether you’re sitting, standing or exercising, to support the human body. Whether you’re playing volleyball or performing surgery, how much impact should the floor absorb and how much force is returned to your body based on its impact with the surface? That’s ergonomics.


Whether it’s cork, wood, vinyl, recycled rubber, turf or another surface that’s preferred, the options are nearly limitless. Many facilities work with fitness design consultants to make the choices that work best for their needs, their communities and their budgets, right alongside their equipment selections.

Chassidy McCauley, Executive Manager, Turnberry Towers East Unit-Owners’ Association in Las Vegas Nevada was faced with the need to replace the flooring in a multi-family apartment building, and she wanted to make sure all of the factors were considered. “We decided to replace the fitness center flooring for several reasons: it was about 10 years old and showing its age; the original flooring was carpet and was easily dirtied and stained; cleaning the carpet was difficult and required the facility to be shut down to be shampooed; and it was a hideous color and pattern and desperately needed an upgrade to fit with the modern look of the rest of the Tower,” she said. “We are incredibly happy with the end result! It cleans easily, is sanitary, looks beautiful, and we continue to receive compliments.”


“We have worked with Advanced Exercise since the Tower was built in 2007,” continued McCauley. “We’ve always received timely responses, affordable prices, and great service. Our experience on this project was no different! Advanced Exercise always exceeds our expectations and we look forward to continuing our relationship for years to come.”

The Impact on Safety

For years, playground surfaces have been regulated to improve the levels of safety for children who use those playgrounds, specifically as it relates to falls and injury prevention or mitigation. It stands to reason that flooring that absorbs impact and force would be helpful in lessening injuries from falls on that flooring, and studies have proven that to be true.

For functional fitness workouts, the floor and body movements are the only equipment elements necessary. Making sure that the right fitness flooring is in use in your training areas can make the difference between a good workout and a painful bout of shin splints, for example.

In senior living facilities, “fall-related injuries were significantly less frequent when they occurred on low impact floors,” reducing fall-related injuries by 12 percent and reducing fractures from falls to less than one-third of the average for regular floors. Now, it should be noted that the type of flooring did not have an impact on the incidence of falls, just on the resulting effect of the falls.

Some facilities don’t think about flooring choices unless flood damage, complaints or other issues arise that lead to a new or different flooring decision. However, with today’s innovative materials and ergonomic options the flooring used in fitness spaces can serve as much more than just a surface to move across to get from one point to another.

Wellness Flooring
For every space, indoors or out, there’s a flooring solution that fits perfectly. It’s the first impression that helps define any area, inviting you in. It’s the one element of any space that everyone interacts with, and a quality impression matters. Wellness Flooring’s dedicated team has decades of experience in performance and commercial flooring, partnering with the best manufacturers in the industry, offering flooring options that strengthen the foundations for living. It’s what we know, and what we help clients discover that sets their spaces apart. We’d love to help you explore new flooring project ideas – just visit www.wellnessflooring.com or email us at design@wellnessflooring.com to get started.


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