Case Study: How NC Open Gym Decided on the Best Rubber Gym Flooring
A gym owners guide to sourcing, selecting and installing the best rubber gym flooring
When it comes to gym flooring, Iron Company is the trusted name. Gym owners across the country have put their faith in our products, and for good reason. Our floors are built to last, withstanding years of use without showing any signs of wear and tear. In this case study, we'll take a look at how NC Open Gym made the decision to go with our flooring, and what they think of it now that they've had a chance to use it.
About NC Open Gym
Location: Asheville, NC
Facility: 2,700 sq ft
Type of gym: Open gym open 24-hours a day, outfitted for CrossFit
Products: Rolled Rubber Gym Flooring
NC Open Gym provides top-notch equipment and a safe space for Asheville athletes to train in functional fitness, bodybuilding, strength training, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), kettlebells, injury rehabilitation, Obstacle Course Race (OCR) training, and more. The gym is open 24-hours a day and does not offer classes, allowing for maximum use of the facility.
What is Gym Flooring?
Gym flooring is an important part of any gym. It provides a safe and sturdy surface for athletes to train on, and it can help reduce the risk of injuries. Gym flooring also helps keep the gym clean by preventing dirt and dust from spreading throughout the facility.
Heavy weightlifting often gets a bad rap for being too destructive, but what many don't realize is that any potential damage can be greatly minimized if proper safeguards are put in place. The rubber gym mats help to buffer the impact of dropped weights, which would otherwise damage or break the equipment. In addition, the mats help to protect the sub-flooring from damage. The thick padding acts as a shock absorber, absorbing the impact of dropped weights and preventing the flooring from being damaged.
As a result, gym owners can save money on replacement equipment and repairs. In addition, the mats help to create a safer environment for lifting, as they provide a cushion in case of a misstep. Ultimately, rubber mats are an essential part of any weightlifting facility, and their benefits extend far beyond simply protecting equipment.
What are the Different Types of Gym Flooring?
There are a variety of different types of gym flooring available, so it's important to choose the right one for your facility. Iron Company offers a variety of flooring solutions, including rubber flooring rolls, artificial turf, rubber gym mats, interlocking rubber tiles and more. Our flooring products are designed to withstand heavy use, so you can be sure they will last for years.
Rubber Flooring Rolls
Rubber flooring rolls are a popular choice for gyms and fitness centers. It is durable and can withstand heavy use, making it perfect for athletes. Rolled rubber flooring is also easy to clean and maintain, and it comes in a variety of colors and designs to match any décor.
Artificial turf and grass for indoor and outdoor use is an excellent way to support the environment by reducing water consumption and bringing outdoor performance training, sled training and sports play indoors.
Rubber Gym Mats
Rubber gym mats are a popular gym flooring choice in CrossFit boxes and commercial gyms because of their ability to absorb shock and protect sub-floors while deadlifting and performing other free-weight exercises. 4’ x 8’ x ¾” rubber mats are typically used in weightlifting platforms for powerlifting and Olympic weightlifting.
Interlocking Rubber Tiles
Interlocking Rubber Tiles are a gym flooring option that has become increasingly popular in recent years. They are made from the same crumb rubber and polyurethane binder as rolled rubber and mats, which is post-consumer rubber derived from car and truck tires. Interlocking rubber tiles, or “puzzle tiles”, fit together like a puzzle and therefore do not require adhesive like rolled rubber. They are easy to install and can be used to create a variety of different designs and patterns.
How did NC Open Gym decide on Gym Flooring?
When it came time to choose gym flooring for their new facility, NC Open Gym wanted something that would be durable and easy to maintain. They also wanted a floor that would be safe for their athletes to train on. After doing some research, they decided that rubber gym flooring was the best option for their needs. The owners decided to go with the rolled rubber flooring option as they felt this was the easiest and most convenient option for the space.
Most Common Exercises Performed at NC Open Gym
The most common exercises performed at NC Open Gym are CrossFit workouts. These workouts typically involve a mix of weightlifting, cardio, and bodyweight exercises. The rolled rubber flooring is perfect for these types of workouts as it is durable, shock-absorbent, and easy to clean.
Adding supplemental rubber gym floor mats is a great way to protect your flooring from heavy damage. If you are performing a lot of Olympic weightlifting -- which is a daily movement at NC Open Gym -- it is important to have extra protection in the areas where weights are dropped. Iron Company offers a variety of rubber gym mats that can be customized to fit your specific needs.
Is the Gym Flooring Slippery?
No, the gym flooring is not slippery. Most rubber gym flooring products are naturally slip and skid resistant, even when wet. This makes it safe for athletes to train on, even when they are sweating, which is daily for CrossFit athletes.
Recommendations on Sourcing the Best Rubber Gym Flooring
When asked what they would recommend other gym owners consider when sourcing rubber gym flooring, Ray Blanton, co-owner of NC Open Gym gave us his insights.
"When it comes to sourcing rubber gym flooring, there are a few things you want to keep in mind. First, you want to make sure you choose a high-quality product that will withstand years of heavy use. Second, you want to find a company that offers a variety of colors and designs to match your gym's décor. And third, you want to find a company that is affordably priced so you can stay within your budget." Ray continued, "Iron Company checked off all of these boxes for us and we're really pleased with how it came out."
Gym Flooring Installation
When it came time to install their new flooring, Ray and the NC Open Gym team -- along with family, friends, and members -- worked together and finished the installation of the rolled rubber flooring within a matter of hours. The flooring has been in use for a few months now and it has held up great. It helped that Ray has extensive construction experience and was able to plan a smooth rollout. "If you are not a handy person, I'd recommend finding someone with experience in gym flooring installation to make your life simpler and make sure the floor stays on for years to come."
When installing rubber gym flooring, you have the option of adhering the flooring to the sub-floor or leaving it loose. If you choose to adhere it, there are a few different methods you can use.
The most popular methods are using heavy-duty carpet tape or liquid polyurethane adhesive. Each has its own set of pros and cons, so you will need to decide which is best for your situation.
If you choose to use carpet tape, aka rubber flooring seaming tape, make sure you select high-quality tape that is designed for use with rubber flooring. This will ensure that your flooring is secure and will not come loose over time. An added benefit to using carpet tape is it is much less permanent than liquid adhesive, allowing you to pull it up should you ever move to a different location.
Liquid Polyurethane Adhesive
When using liquid polyurethane adhesive, be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully. You will need to mix the adhesive and then apply it to the sub-floor using a trowel. Make sure the surface is clean and dry before applying the adhesive. Once the adhesive is applied, you will need to install the rubber flooring within a certain time frame, so plan accordingly.
Installing Gym Flooring Over Carpet
If you have an existing carpet that you want to install rubber gym flooring over, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. First, you need to make sure the carpet is clean and free of any dirt or debris. Second, you need to make sure the carpet is in good condition and does not have any tears or holes. Third, you need to make sure the carpet is firmly attached to the sub-floor. If it is not, it will need to be replaced before you can install gym flooring over it. If installing rubber flooring over carpet, only install over industrial grade, low pile carpet with no padding. Thicker carpet combined with padding will allow too much “give” for the new flooring on top which can have a negative effect on keeping the seams together properly.
Once you have checked all of these boxes, you are ready to install gym flooring over your existing carpet. You will need to use heavy-duty carpet tape or liquid polyurethane adhesive to secure the gym flooring to the carpet. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully and take your time to ensure a good bond between the two surfaces.
Gym Flooring Maintenance
Maintaining a gym's flooring is an important part of keeping the space looking and functioning at its best. NC Open Gym owners clean their flooring on a regular basis using a damp mop and a mild detergent. "We have a lot of CrossFit athletes and they love to use chalk!" says co-owner Katie De Los Santos. "If there's a lot of chalk on the floor, we'll use a blower or a vacuum to treat the area first, then mop." This will help to remove any dirt or dust that may have accumulated on the surface. In addition, athletes should be discouraged from wearing shoes with spikes or cleats while training on the floor, as this can damage the surface over time.
Tips to keep in mind when preparing for delivery and installation of your new rubber flooring
- Carve out space in your facility to receive and store the delivery of flooring. You do not want to put yourself in an awkward position of cleaning out your space while the delivery driver is waiting for you to make room in your gym.
- You will likely receive the shipment on large wooden pallets roughly 48” x 40”. Be sure you have friends and family ready to help lift and move the flooring to where it will be stored until installed.
- If you have purchased rolled rubber, unroll each individual roll allowing it to properly “acclimate” to it’s new environment for 24-hours. This also helps release some of the memory it has built up from being rolled up for some time, making it easier to work with on installation day.
- Make sure the space you are installing the flooring in is clean and free of debris. This will ensure proper adhesion to the sub-floor.
- Have a plan for how you will install the flooring - this may require assistance from a professional.
- Be prepared to clean and maintain the flooring on a regular basis. Rubber flooring and mat sealant is an option that can help protect your flooring and make it easier to keep clean.
How has the Gym Flooring held up?
The gym flooring from Iron Company has held up great since NC Open Gym's grand opening at the beginning of 2022. The floor is durable and easy to clean, and they know it will withstand years of heavy use. Dropping bumper plates, dumbbells, and bodies on the flooring is not a concern to the owners. The flooring has also helped to keep the gym clean by preventing dirt and dust from spreading throughout the facility.
What would NC Open Gym do differently knowing what they know now?
If NC Open Gym could do anything differently, they would have chosen a different color for their flooring. They love the way the floor looks and performs, but they wish they had chosen a different color to better match their new gym's final décor.
Other than that, they are very happy with their decision to go with Iron Company gym flooring.
NC Open Gym owners Katie and Ray are very happy with their decision to go with Iron Company rolled rubber gym flooring. The flooring has held up great and members can train safely on it. They recommend other gym owners consider these same things when sourcing rubber gym flooring.