Launching a new Box is one thing, but ensuring it will take everything your customers throw at it is something else. If your gym is like most, it has large open spaces, a line of rowers, rigs hugging the wall and even a space for members to hang out.
Take a peek beneath the surface – at the flooring itself. It may ‘look’ nice, but not all flooring is the same. After a few years of heavy use, most floors exhibit disturbing damage and are unable to effectively mitigate sound and vibrations for the comfort of your customers – and neighbors.
Choosing the right flooring is one of the most important decisions a gym owner can make. Consider the following:
Consider Your Customers · Your gym must cater to new generations. Everything about your customers of today and tomorrow is different, with their desire for a wide range of fitness equipment, intense classes and motivating workout environments. Flooring that can take a wide range of extreme activities plays a key role in satisfying their needs.
Consider the Uses · Your gym’s activities and equipment are the primary sources of noise and vibration. Consider the flooring required for each of your gym’s activities, whether it is a dropping weight, hosting a kids’ class or holding your annual holiday bash. Dropping a loaded barbell on the ground or running a high-impact exercise class should only be leaving lasting impacts for your customers, not impacts on your floor. Also, consider the needs of your bathrooms: Do the surfaces prevent bacterial growth and meet the needs of this high-humidity environment?
Consider Your Location · How will vibrations and sound that originate from within your facility move through your building and adjacent units? Are you located in a multi-unit development or a stand-alone building? Where are you in the building: ground level, basement or upper floor? Be mindful of how your gym will affect not only your customers, but neighboring businesses and residences.
For Boxes in multi-unit structures, locate your facility on the main floor and away from living units in order to minimize costly sound mitigation. Housing it near service entrance areas or above parking garages can also help.
Consider Your Flooring Options · Properly engineered rubber flooring can help to ensure a more pleasing experience for your customers and dampen sound transmitted through flooring to other connected structures of the building. Speak with flooring manufacturers about your unique needs — many have invested in research and development to heighten the impact and sound-attenuating performance of their products and are willing to share these results. In fact, if a manufacturer is unable to share this data with you, it’s probably a good idea to continue shopping.
The design of your center as well as your choice in flooring will be important factors in mitigating sound and vibration issues. Flooring can make or break your fitness center so be sure to invest in it — flooring is worth its weight in gold.
By Chris Chartrand. Chris Chartrand is the director of marketing for sofSURFACES, a rubber-flooring manufacturer in Canada. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit sofsurfaces.com.