Wednesday, January 16, 2019

How to Remove Snow From Rubber Playground Surface

Winter Rubber Playground Flooring Tips

By Paige Cerulli

Greatmats playground rubber flooringPlayground flooring needs to be able to meet all sorts of requirements. The flooring must help to absorb shock in order to keep kids safe, but it also needs to be durable enough to last for years under heavy use. Even more importantly, any  needs to be able to withstand dramatic temperature changes, UV rays, and the different weather that your location experiences.

Rubber playground mats are up to the task. In fact, that's just one of the reasons why rubber playground flooring is so popular. Not only is rubber highly durable, but it can withstand temperature extremes, rain, snow, and ice without being damaged, cracked or weakened.

When it comes to removing snow from rubber playground flooring, there are a few things that you should know so that you can further preserve the flooring surface.

How to Clear Snow From Rubber Playground Flooring


Snow and ice won't harm your rubber playground tiles. You can leave the snow and ice to safely melt away on their own. However, you may choose to remove the snow and ice especially if kids will be playing on it and the ice is slippery.

Use the Right Tools


First, make sure that you're using the proper tools to remove snow and ice. Metal shovels or scrapers can damage the rubber playground mats. Instead, use brushes or rubber scrapers, which can safely remove the ice and snow. Machinery, such as snowblowers, should also never be used on rubber playground tiles.

It's also important to realize that you should not use chemical de-icing agents on a rubber playground surface for residential or commercial playgrounds. These chemicals may damage or degrade the rubber, reducing the lifespan of your flooring.

Always be sure to consult the usage guidelines for the particular flooring product that you've used in the playground. If you use tools or chemical de-icers that aren't approved by the manufacturer, you may void the manufacturer's warranty.

Be Patient


Removing snow and ice can be a long, slow process, especially if you're working with rubber playground squares that cover a large area. Try to remove snow promptly after it's fallen; leaving it for more than a day or so may cause it to melt slightly then freeze, turning into ice that's more difficult to remove.

As you remove snow and ice from the rubber playground squares, be sure that you relocate it to an area where it won't melt back onto the squares, freezing again.

Additional Rubber Playground Flooring Maintenance


Removing snow and ice is just part of the maintenance that a rubber playground safety surface will require. Keeping up with necessary maintenance will help to keep your flooring in the best possible condition:
  • Clear leaves and debris from the rubber playground mats weekly. Inspect the mats for any damage. 
  • Arrange to have the mats cleaned about twice a year. 

For bi-annual cleaning, you'll need to take a number of steps to deep-clean your playground mats.
  • Use a stiff bristled outdoor broom to clear the surface of the mats 
  • Use a diluted detergent cleaner concentrate; add 1/4 cup concentrate to 5 gallons of hot water 
  • Work on 5x5 foot sections, applying the cleaner to the surface until the mats are wet 
  • Scrub the surface with a stiff bristled outdoor broom 
  • Thoroughly hose of the surface until you can't see any reside 

Greatmats playground tiles
These general guidelines apply to many rubber playground squares, but always consult the specific maintenance directions for the product that you have. The more that you keep up with cleaning and maintaining your rubber playground tiles, the better they'll continue to look.

If you ever notice that a tile is cracked, loose, or otherwise damaged, then promptly making the repair can help to minimize subsequent damage. It's also an important factor in keeping the surface safe for kids at play.

One of the great benefits of using rubber playground tiles is that if a tile is damaged, you can replace that one tile. This can save you significant money over the cost of replacing or repairing a larger section of flooring, as you would need to do with poured rubber playground surfaces. We advise that you keep a few extra tiles on hand just for this type of situation.

Replace the damaged tile by following the installation instructions for the product that you've purchased. The more quickly that you can make the repair, the sooner kids can go back to enjoying the playground - safely.

Maintenance for Playground Tiles Versus Other Playground Flooring Types


All in all, rubber playground tiles truly require just minimal maintenance, especially when compared to other playground flooring types. Rubber playground mats offer many benefits, in that they're highly durable and require just occasional maintenance.

If you're working with other surface options, like wood chips or loose fill, the maintenance will be much more involved. These loose fill products need to be continuously swept and raked back into place, since they're often kicked out of the playground area by running kids. There's no practical way to remove snow or ice from these surfaces.

By taking the time to choose the playground surface that's right for your needs, you can minimize your maintenance required while maximizing the lifespan of the surface. Always make sure to read the maintenance instructions offered for your product to make sure that you're using the correct products and caring for your playground flooring in the best way possible.

If you have any questions about playground flooring repair, maintenance, or even about investing in a new surface, please give our customer service team a call. We would be happy to answer all of your questions, provide product samples, and make sure you have all the information necessary to take great care of your playground.
For more on this topic please review our Playground Rubber Safety Surfaces product page.

Greatmats playground flooring



Friday, December 28, 2018

Best Doggy Daycare Artificial Turf Options

How to Choose Artificial Grass for Dog Daycares

Greatmats artificial turf for dog daycares and dog trainingBy Paige Cerulli

Are you looking for a way to revitalize your dog daycare? Do you want a flooring option that's safe for the dogs, but that's also durable and easy to clean?

Artificial turf for dogs may be the perfect solution. This highly durable yet low-maintenance flooring is gaining popularity and is used in dog daycare facilities all over the country. Here's why, and how you can choose the product that's just right for your dog daycare.

Why Should You Use Artificial Turf for Dog Boarding and Daycare

So why invest in artificial turf for dogs? Well, there are a number of reasons why your doggy daycare can benefit from this great flooring option.

Greatmats artificial grass for dogs to play on
  • Durable: If you have a small area that sees heavy traffic, then traditional grass will quickly be worn down and even turn to mud. That's not a concern with pet turf, which is designed to be durable enough to withstand high amounts of traffic and even the wear and tear of pet nails. 
  • No mud: Do you find yourself reluctant to let the dogs out to play after a heavy rain, dreading the muddy paws and coats that will result? Because artificial turf can drain water away quickly, it will never turn to mud. This means that you can use the space soon after a heavy rain without having to worry about toweling off the dogs or cleaning up muddy messes. 
  • Low maintenance: When it comes to maintaining synthetic turf for pets, you really just need to hose off the turf and let it dry. Regular hosing will keep the turf looking clean and fresh, and yellow urine stains on grass will be a thing of the past. 
  • Beautiful appearance: When you're bringing potential clients through your facility, you want a beautiful space that is clean, welcoming, and attractive. Pet friendly turf gives you that exact aesthetic year-round. The green turf will make your facility look clean and welcoming, and it also makes for some beautiful photos that you can use for promotional purposes. 
  • Safe: Pet turf creates a surface that is safe for pets to play on. Dogs can run around and roughhouse on the turf. Because the pet turf reacts much like natural grass does, it creates a surface that is forgiving in order to help keep pets safe. 
  • No chemicals required: Unlike real grass, which requires fertilizer in order to stay lush and green, this turf requires no chemicals so you don't have to worry about products that could potentially be toxic to dogs. 
  • Indoor and outdoor use: Artificial turf is versatile, and many products can be used both indoors and out. Consider using artificial turf to revitalize your outdoor play area, or to create a bright and welcoming indoor play space. 
With so many benefits, it makes sense to purchase pet turf for a dog daycare.

How to Choose the Right Artificial Grass for Dogs 

Greatmats artificial grass doggy daycares dog training
While pet turf is a great addition to dog daycare facilities, it's important that you purchase the right product for your needs. Consider these factors as you evaluate different turf options for your daycare facility:

  • Durability: Dog nails are tough and can seriously damage flooring surfaces that aren't constructed to withstand that kind of wear and tear. Make sure that you purchase an artificial turf designed specifically for use with pets. This type of product will have the strength and durability needed to withstand significant amounts of traffic from dogs. 
  • Environmental challenges: Think about where you'll be installing the turf. Turf products are available for both indoor and outdoor installations, but outdoor installations bring added challenges. If you're planning an outdoor installation, be sure to think about the product's ability to withstand extreme temperatures, UV protection and drainage features. 
  • Maintenance and cleaning: One of the major advantages of pet turf is that it's easy to clean. Look for a turf that can simply be hosed down. This feature will save you lots of cleaning time. 
  • Cost and budget: Pet turf is available at different price points. When calculating the cost, be sure to add together the cost of the product, the cost of any infill needed, and the cost of the installation. 

Best Pet Turf Products for Doggy Daycares

So which dog daycare turf is right for your facility? We've outlined a number of our most popular products below.

Catalina Artificial Turf Roll 

Greatmats artificial turf for dogs
Suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, the Catalina Artificial Turf Roll is a popular option for pet areas and dog daycares. The synthetic grass creates a safe place for dogs to play, while also preventing mud from forming. It drains quickly, even after a heavy rainfall, and is an all-weather product.

Cleaning pet urine is simple; you can flush it out using water, and can also use a mild, diluted household detergent and a mop if additional cleaning is necessary. Solids should be removed promptly, then the area can be cleaned with a diluted household cleaning solution.

With a 1.5 inch pile height, this turf creates a welcoming, lush surface that responds naturally. The turf is UV treated, so it will retain its beautiful appearance even when exposed to the sun on a daily basis. The 15-foot-wide roll quickly covers larger areas, and is highly durable and long-lasting.

Silicon Valley Artificial Grass Turf Roll 

Greatmats dog artificial turf
For a thick, plush body and a natural appearance, consider the Silicon Valley Artificial Grass Turf Roll. This turf is easy to care for, and can be used for indoor and outdoor installations. The 15-foot-wide roll offers generous coverage, and you can order this turf by the foot (with a 20-linear-foot minimum order).

This turf is highly durable and reacts naturally underfoot. It's thick and lush, and is backed by a 5-year limited warranty.

Pet Heaven Artificial Grass Turf Roll 

Greatmats artificial grass for dog areas
If you're looking for long-lasting durability that can withstand the busy environment of a dog daycare, then our Pet Heaven Artificial Grass Turf Roll may be the perfect product for you. This turf is highly durable and is manufactured specifically for use in areas that pets frequent. The turf's backing has a dual layered woven polypropylene with a SilverBack polyurethane coating that contributes to this product's impressive durability.

With a 7/8-inch pile height, this artificial turf feels natural underfoot. It looks just like natural grass, and dogs won't even know the difference. It's virtually maintenance-free; just hose it off from time to time to keep it looking like new.

Artificial Grass Turf UltimatePet 

Greatmats artificial turf for doggy daycare
For superior drainage in areas that see high amounts of rain, our Artificial Grass Turf UltimatePet is a great choice that can improve the functionality and use of your outdoor space. This turf drains away water 10 times faster than real grass, and it offers better drainage than any other synthetic surface. With other, slower-draining synthetic turf, you may see rainwater buildup on the surface, but this pet turf offers more effective drainage. Because of this great performance, this turf can help to prevent the buildup of odor and bacteria.

Additionally, this highly durable artificial grass for dogs is engineered for use in kennels and won't be worn down by pet traffic. It's backed by an impressive 8-year manufacturer's warranty, and with a 15- to 20-year life expectancy, you can be sure that it's a great investment for your facility.

Though this turf offers great and fast drainage, it's suitable for both indoor and outdoor installations, and is a versatile option for any dog daycare.

Go Mat Artificial Grass Mat

Greatmats dog turf mat portable
Whether you need to add turf to just a few small locations or are looking for something conveniently sized for indoor use, our Go Mat Artificial Grass Mat is perfectly sized at 5x8 feet. With a finished edge, this mat can be used alone both indoors and outdoors. It still gives you the look and feel of real grass, but at a smaller price point than some of the other turf roll options.

This mat offers a supremely soft and comfortable surface, and will not fade. Its fibers are stain resistant, so it's ideal for use in a dog daycare facility. You can simply rinse the mat clean, and its excellent drainage design will quickly drain away water.

The 3/4-inch pile will mostly maintain itself, though you can use a stiff bristle broom to fluff up the fibers if they become compressed. The mat is small enough so that you can easily move it about in your facility, making it a versatile product that you're sure to find countless uses for.

A Note About Drainage

Because pets will likely urinate on the turf, it's important to make sure that you create adequate drainage, whether you're installing the turf indoors or out. Using a layer of crushed stone can increase the turf's ability to quickly drain away liquids, keeping the artificial grass for dogs a safe and healthy surface.

Artificial grass for dogs is a great addition to any dog daycare. If you have any questions, please give our customer service team a call. We would be happy to help you choose the product that's just right for your business.
For more on this topic please review our Pet Turf product page.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Can You Use Radiant Heat Under Rubber Flooring?

What effects will in floor heating have on rubber flooring?


Greatmats rubber gym flooringRubber has a reputation for being highly susceptible to contraction and expansion in temperature flux, which raises an important question for those who are using a radiant heat system and considering a rubber gym floor: what are the radiant heat effects on rubber flooring? For those wondering about in-floor heating with rubber floor mats, it is first important to understand a little bit about both.

What is Radiant Floor Heating 


Radiant floor heating, also known simply as in-floor heating, transfers heat energy from the floor directly to objects in a room. Many people prefer radiant heat to other types of heating systems because it can be more energy efficient, as heat energy is not lost through duct systems. Plus, objects maintain heat for longer than air so radiant floor heat can operate at a lower temperature to maintain heating. People with allergies also find radiant floor heating to be ideal because it does not distribute allergens through the air.

Different Types of Radiant Heat 


There are three different types of radiant floor heat. Air-heated floors are the least common because air cannot hold large amounts of heat, which makes them not very cost-effective in homes (that being said, the cost and efficiency of all heat systems depends on many factors including size of the room, remoteness of the space, labor costs and type of installation).

Electric radiant heat utilizes electricity and heating coils, often within heat-conducting plastic mats, to conduct heat through the floor. This type of system is more effective with a large mass like concrete that can hold heat for longer periods of time. Finally, hydronic (liquid) radiant floors tend to be the most popular and cost effective. These kinds of systems pump warm water from a boiler through tubing in the floor.

Radiant Heat Effects on Rubber Flooring 


Greatmats rubber flooring
Rubber flooring is a super popular flooring choice for all kinds of space. Home gym owners will often choose a rubber gym floor for its durability and consistency. Rubber floors do great in workshops, pet areas, horse stalls and barns, playgrounds and more.

So what are the effects of radiant heat on rubber flooring? Can rubber flooring even be used over radiant floor heat?

The short answer is yes, but it is not usually recommended as a top option. The longer answer to that question is that it depends entirely on both the heating system and the rubber gym floor or other rubber flooring product, and there are a few things to be wary of.

Expansion and Contraction 


Because rubber may expand and contract depending on the temperature, direct heat from an radiant floor heat system may affect a rubber floor. That being said, there are certain rubber products designed to withstand changes in temperature without a significant change in size. Vulcanized rubber, for example, is not as susceptible to expansion and contraction. Acclimatization before installation will help ensure a longer lasting rubber floor placement.

Odor 


Greatmats interlocking rubber puzzle tile
Further, certain rubber products may give out a chemically smell when heated up, so odor is another factor to be wary of when choosing rubber flooring to go over radiant floor heat.

Thermal Conductivity 


Rubber typically makes a great heat insulator, but not a great heat conductor. That means heat energy does not move through rubber super quickly, so it may take a while for a rubber gym floor to heat up and release heat into other objects in the room.

Other Options 


There are those who do not recommend risking the radiant heat effects on rubber floors. Instead, the most popular and common option for radiant heat is porcelain, ceramic and stone tiles. Hard tiles both conduct and hold heat better than almost any other material, so they are the safest and best bet for installing over radiant heat.

Overall, make sure to talk through your options through a radiant heat expert or the person installing your flooring system. Certain floors are more conducive to one or more of the three radiant floor heat systems, so make sure you have a clear understanding of your own system.

Then, when searching for rubber flooring products, make sure to talk through your options with a Greatmats' flooring expert. They can help you determine what kind of radiant heat effects may occur on rubber flooring. Ultimately, the flooring industry leaders at Greatmats will help you determine if a rubber gym floor or other type of rubber flooring is right for you and your radiant heat system.
For more on this topic please review our Rubber Flooring product page.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Artificial Turf for Trade Show Flooring

Guide to Using Turf for Trade Shows

By Paige Cerulli

Greatmats trade show artificial turf flooringWhen it comes to choosing flooring for your trade show booth, you want to stand out. You also want a product that's durable, easy to maintain, easy to setup, and lightweight for simplified transportation. While that's a lot to ask of most flooring products, artificial turf for trade shows is a solution that offers all of these features.

Many trade show booths are making use of artificial grass to create a distinctive, eye-catching, and beautiful flooring. While the interior of a convention center or display hall can be dark and somewhat somber, colored artificial turf will instantly brighten your booth, drawing attendees' eyes to you and providing an uplifting bit of color.

Because you'll use your trade show flooring again and again, you'll want to be sure that the product you ultimately purchase is right for your brand, your booth, and your needs. We've included some factors you'll want to think about when making your choice, and have even highlighted some products that are popular for trade shows and displays.

Why Artificial Turf for Trade Shows

Greatmats turf mat for trade show floor
Many businesses are using fake grass for trade show booths. It's easy to understand why, since artificial turf offers many valuable benefits:

  • Conveniently sized tiles and mats are lighter weight and easier to transport 
  • Turf draws attention to your booth, thanks to its bright and uplifting color and natural look
  • Turf flooring options are comfortable underfoot, encouraging people to spend more time in your booth 
  • Installing artificial turf takes just minutes, so you'll have more time to focus on the rest of your booth's setup and on conversing with potential clients 
  • Easy to clean, you can quickly restore artificial turf to its original appearance 
  • Many of our artificial turf products are durable enough to withstand significant foot traffic because they are made for high use areas like playgrounds, sports field, and lawns. 

Considerations When Choosing Your Trade Show Turf 

As you explore the different options when it comes to fake grass for trade show booths, weigh the following factors to help you choose.
  • Comfort: The more comfortable your flooring, the better. Staff will spend hours standing on the flooring, so they'll appreciate a comfortable, forgiving floor. Potential clients will feel the same way, and if your flooring is particularly comfortable, they'll be more likely to spend more time in your booth, which could potentially lead to a sale. 
  • Storage: Convenient storage is a must-have for your trade show flooring. Consider how the product can be stored, whether you need to invest in any particular storage facilities, like transportation crates, and how much space the flooring will take up while in storage. 
  • Installation method: You'll be repeatedly installing artificial turf for trade shows, so an easy and efficient installation method is a must-have. If only one person will be installing the floor, a simple installation is necessary such as tiles, mats, or a small roll that can be lifted by one person.
  • Weight: The weight of your trade show turf may not seem all that important initially, but once you tote the flooring through a hotel, airport, or convention center a few times, you'll quickly discover just how much the flooring's weight really matters. Even a slight difference between products can become a big advantage, so carefully consider the weight of any product that you're considering. 
  • Maintenance: At the end of a trade show, the last thing you want to do is to invest significant time into cleaning your flooring. Choose a product that requires minimal maintenance and that can be cleaned efficiently but effectively. 
  • Budget: Your budget will always be a factor in choosing an appropriate product. Remember the value of the above factors, though, especially when it comes to features that can save you time. 

Top 5 Trade Show Turf Options

At Greatmats, we offer a number of trade show turf products that may be an ideal fit for your business and your booth.

Greatmats trade show turf flooring

Bermuda Artificial Grass Turf Roll 

Artificial turf doesn't just come in shades of green. Our Bermuda Artificial Grass Turf Roll comes in many eye-catching colors, including blue, black, clay, orange, red, white and yellow. If you want to truly make your trade show booth stand out from the others, then investing in this trade show turf is a great way to do that.

This turf roll comes with a foam backing, so you can transport it from show to show without needing any underlayment. It's comfortable to stand on, and is lightweight. You can dry lay this turf on any hard surface, like concrete.

With a 9/16-inch pile height, this turf provides a welcoming surface. You only need to vacuum it occasionally, so cleaning it is simple. Highly durable and virtually maintenance-free, this turf is a great option for trade shows. This turf is only available in 12 foot wide rolls.

Greatmats natural looking artificial grass for trade show floor

Countryside Artificial Grass Turf Roll 

The Countryside Artificial Grass Turf Roll provides the highly realistic look and feel of grass that can be transported from show to show. While the full roll option would be significantly heavy, a smaller section is much more portable for trade show use.

Cleaning this turf roll is easy. You can spot clean stains using soap and water, and can vacuum the turf to remove loose debris. If you're using the turf in a high-traffic space, you'll need to cross brush the turf to fluff up the fibers again.

This turf can be installed directly over concrete. This artificial turf is available in rolls that are 15 foot wide.

Greatmats natural looking artificial grass for trade show floor

Play Time Artificial Grass Turf Roll 

Easily portable and lightweight, the Play Time Artificial Grass Turf Roll brings the look and feel of real grass to your trade show booth. This 15 foot wide turf roll can be easily rolled up and transported to the next show.

With a pile height of 1.25 inches, this turf closely resembles real grass. It's soft and comfortable underfoot, and is backed by a 5-year limited manufacturer's warranty. You can lay this turf directly on flat concrete.

Lush, highly realistic, and designed to perform naturally underfoot, this turf roll will make any trade show booth stand out from the others.

Greatmats artificial turf tile for trade show floor

Turf Athletic Padded Interlocking Tile 

If you're looking for a floor that you can assemble and disassemble in a matter of minutes, consider our Turf Athletic Padded Interlocking Tile. These tiles give you the eye-catching look of turf, but are conveniently sized for easy transportation. The tiles measure 23x46 inches, so they'll quickly cover a large area, but are still a manageable size once separated.

Installing the tiles is easy; just line up the edges and use your hands to press the seams together. There are no additional tools or pieces to worry about, so you'll always have everything needed for the installation on hand.

The tight nap of the turf surface makes for a soft surface that minimizes the chance of tripping. The tiles are designed to simulate natural turf conditions, and a 3mm non-slip nylon wear layer provides excellent durability. The 12 mm rubber backing provides padding that will be more comfortable when standing for long periods.

Greatmats artificial turf mat for trade show flooring

Grab N Go Artificial Grass Mat 

Highly realistic, supremely soft, and easy to transport, the Grab N Go Artificial Grass Mat is an excellent choice for trade show flooring. This mat measures 7x10 feet, but is also available in 3x5 foot and 5x8 foot sizes. The mat offers great coverage and the 7x10-foot mat weighs just 35 pounds.

Stain resistant fibers help to keep this mat looking great despite regular use, and only minimal maintenance is required. You can brush away debris or use a leaf blower to clean the mats, then hose them off for a more thorough cleaning.

With a 1.5-inch pile height, these mats are comfortable underfoot. They feature tall and shorter curled yarn that closely resembles real grass, making for a welcoming, beautiful surface for your trade show.

Greatmats trade show flooring

Ordering Fake Grass for Trade Show Booths 

If you're ready to improve the look and comfort of your trade show booth, then please give our customer service team a call. We'd be happy to discuss the many options for fake grass for trade show booths, and can help you to choose the product that's just right for your needs.

Greatmats also has many other trade show flooring options including foam tiles, rubber flooring, carpet tiles, vinyl tiles, and plastic tiles.

For more on this topic please review our Artificial Grass, Artificial Turf product page.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

What Size of Gymnastic Mat Do I Need?

Guide to Choosing the Right Sized Gymnastics Mats



Greatmats gymnastics mats pink and purpleBy Paige Cerulli

If you're shopping for gymnastic mat options, then you'll quickly discover that gym mats are available in many different designs and sizes. When you're shopping for gym mats, you'll need to consider many different factors, including the mat's thickness, design and durability. But none of those factors will really matter if you choose a mat that's the incorrect size for your use.

So what size gymnastic mat do you really need? Here are some things to consider.

Your Intended Use for the Mat 

Greatmats cheer mats for tumbling
We offer many different gymnastics mats that are intended for different uses. The right size mat for you will partially depend on what you plan to use it for.

For instance, if you're looking for mats to support tumbling passes and floor exercises, then you will want to look for a mat that is narrower, but that's also longer. Our folding gym mats can be connected together thanks to hook and loop closures on their ends and sizes, so you can create these long lanes.

Roll out mats which are useful for both cheerleading and gymnastics can also provide the generous floor coverage that you need for floor exercises. These mats offer the added benefit of being easy to roll up and store away. They're available in a variety of sizes, so you can choose the dimensions that accommodate the type of activities that are most commonly done in your program.

Greatmats cheese incline wedge mats for gymnastics
For skills development, our incline wedge mats are ideal because of their versatility. These wedge mats can be used to train gymnasts in many different skills, but it's important that you have the mat that's the right size for the gymnast. If you're running a professional program, then you'll probably need wedge mats in a variety of different sizes to best accommodate the many different gymnasts that you will work with.

Octagon mats are type of mat that is used for skills development. The octagon mat works perfectly for training that involves forward rolls, walkovers, and back handsprings. When choosing an octagon mat size, a good rule of thumb is that each of the octagon tumbling mat sizes is designed for use by a specific age group and size of athlete. This starts at age 3, with the 15 by 24 inch or 20 by 28 inch size being the best option. This extends up to the 35 by 40 inch and 40 by 40 inch sizes to be used by athletes over 50 inches tall. The 25 by 30 inch mats work well for athletes between 5 and 8 years of age, while the 30 by 36 inch size is best for students less than 50 inches in height. 
Greatmats fluffy denim landing mat for gymnastics
Gymnastics crash mats and competition landing mats are available in a variety of sizes from Our competition landing mats have a range of sizes from 6x12 to 8x15.5 feet. Skill cushion mats are available from 4x6 to 7x14 feet. These mats are generously sized to provide a soft and safe landing, while still being of a manageable size so that you can move them around your facility if needed. Some landing mats have a single-fold, bi-fold, or quad-fold design to make storage and transportation easier.

When it comes to wall protection mats, larger is generally better. Larger mats provide more coverage, meaning you need fewer mats in order to minimize the potential injury athletes may sustain if they collide with your gym walls. 




Thickness 

Greatmats gymnastics octagon mats
It's so important to purchase gym mats that are thick enough for their intended purpose. Thinner mats don't offer the same shock absorption and cushion that thicker mats do. Most gymnastics mats are 1.5 to 2 inches thick. Roll out carpet topped mats are usually 1-3/8 to 2 inches. These mats are great for tumbling and floor exercises. They are a common option for home gymnastics practice.

For higher-impact activities, a mat absolutely needs to be thicker than normal. For instance, gymnastics skill cushion mats or crash pads are specifically designed to offer superior shock absorption, and are typically are between 4 to 18 inches thick depending upon your needs. 4-inch crash mats are typically used for preschool and toddlers learning gymnastics. The 8-inch gymnastics skill cushion mats are the most common option for gymnastics and tumbling programs. They provide great versatility for different events and skills training. For additional protection, we have 12-inch and 18-inch cushion mats where a soft landing is a must during the initial learning phase to reduce the possibility of injury.

The Size of the Gymnast 

If you're purchasing gymnastics crash mats or folding gymnastics mats for a young child, then you won't need products that are as large as the mats you would need for teenage gymnasts. A folding mat can be smaller for a child while still leaving them with plenty of space. Teenaged and adult gymnasts will need larger mats in order to provide them with an adequate area to train on.

Greatmats gymnastics octagon matsThere are some advantages to being able to purchase smaller mats for children. You may save money on your initial purchase, and smaller mats take up less storage space. These qualities mean that these smaller mats may be particularly appealing to parents buying the mats for their kids to use in their homes.

Keep in mind, though, that folding gymnastics mats are an investment. If your child will be involved in gymnastics for years, then it may be worth it to purchase a larger mat now, rather than to purchase a smaller mat only to have to upgrade in size in a few years' time. At Greatmats, we offer top-quality gym mat options, so these mats are capable of lasting for years and years, especially when purchased for home use.

If you have a training facility where you see multiple gymnasts or gymnasts of varying age, then it's best to invest in larger mats which offer more versatility.

Options in How You Use the Mat 

Some mats can be used in a variety of ways, which gives you more options and a bit more flexibility, so their size isn't quite as important.

For instance, many of our folding gymnastics mat products can be connected together to create a larger, unified surface. These mats feature hook and loop connectors on either two or four of their sides. These connectors allow you to fit the mats together in different ways. By connecting the mats short end to short end, you can create long lanes that are suitable for tumbling practice. For a larger group practice, you can connect the mats' longer sides together to create a larger floor.

Incline wedge mats can also be used in a number of different ways. These multipurpose mats can be used to teach a variety of skills including the back walkover, cartwheel, dive roll, floor tumbling, forward roll, front walkover, handstand roll, transition training on bars, and uphill vaulting. Smaller mats can be stacked on top of larger mats to teach walkovers and other skills.

If you purchase a folding wedge mat, then you'll enjoy even more versatility. The smaller edge of the mat can be folded over the larger part of the mat, creating a rectangular or boxed-shaped mat that can be used for additional skills training and development.

Your Storage Space 

If you're purchasing items like folding mats or a gymnastics crash pad for a small facility, then storage can definitely be a concern. This is particularly true with mats intended for home use, too.

Obviously you'll need a place to store your mats when they're not in use. The amount of space that you have available may dictate the size of the mats that you can purchase. To overcome this obstacle, you may want to choose folding gymnastics mat options that can be folded up to save storage space. Large mats, like gymnastics crash mats, aren't as easy or compact to store.

Additional Considerations 

While you absolutely need to purchase a gymnastic mat that is the right size for your intended use, there are some other factors that you should also be sure to consider when deciding on the right mat for your needs.

Durability 

Gymnastics mats are a major investment, and you want to purchase mats that are built to last. Look for mats made of quality materials, and that are designed to withstand the significant use they'll see in professional gyms and programs. From your gymnastics crash mats to your folding gym mats, you want to invest in products that are backed by manufacturers' warranties.

Cost 

Greatmats Gymnastics Mats infographic
You'll always want to stay within your budget, and at Greatmats we offer a wide selection of gymnastics mats at affordable prices. We don't sacrifice quality for cost savings, though - our mats are made by top manufacturers and incorporate only quality materials. We've carefully selected a variety of mats that give everyone choices, from the parent looking for mats for their kids to use at home to the trainer with an elite, professional program who needs new mats.

Finding the Right Gymnastics Mat
Ready to purchase your gym mats? Please give our Customer Service Team a call. We would be happy to help you find the right mats for your needs, and can even help you to place custom orders for folding gymnastics mats.
For more on this topic please review our Gym Mats and Gymnastics Mats product page.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Guide to Buying Outdoor Floors

How to Buy Outdoor Flooring


By Julia Nass


Greatmats rooftop flooring
Greatmats makes purchasing outdoor floors as enjoyable as sitting out on the back patio in the sunshine. Okay, maybe nothing holds a candle to back patio sunshine hangs, but at least Greatmats knows how to make that patio way more enjoyable. Purchasing outdoor floors from Greatmats is an effective and low-cost way to turn any outdoor area into one that is comfortable, inviting, long-lasting and safe.

If you are feeling like it is time to start planning for an outdoor floor, then it is time to get educated on your options and what to look out for. Read on to learn all you need to know on purchasing outdoor floors.

Know Your Environment


Patio decks, playgrounds, pool surrounds, rooftops and other outdoor spaces can be heavily impacted by the elements. In places where the sun is strong and temperatures high, flooring may fade, expand or morph. Rain, snow and humidity can cause problems of their own. Some flooring products are designed to withstand one specific element, while others are made to withstand all types of weather. Thus, it is important to be conscious of your climate when planning for outdoor flooring. The following will walk you through different factors to be conscious of as you begin the process of purchasing outdoor floors.
 
If you are buying outdoor floors that will be exposed to direct sunlight, choose a flooring product whose colors will not fade. Also, think about choosing a material that will not absorb as much light energy in order to prevent flooring from getting hot enough to burn skin. For example, stay away from concrete, asphalt and dark-colored plastics. Picking lighter colors will help the flooring stay cool in the sun. If you are planning for outdoor flooring that will be used on a playground, this is particularly important, as young children are much more susceptible to thermal burns.

Will the Floor Be Exposed to Moisture?


Greatmats pool deck flooring
Rain, humidity, melted snow and other forms of water are another factor that can greatly affect your outdoor floor. Whether it is a rooftop exposed to frequent rainfall or an poolside area, you must take moisture into consideration when planning for an outdoor floor. Prolonged periods of moisture can create a breeding ground for mold and mildew within a floor. Plus, there is traction safety to consider. Pools of water are an obvious slipping hazard, and even light moisture can make certain surfaces too slippery to safely walk on.

Luckily, there are plenty of outdoor floors made exactly for such spaces. If moisture is a factor for you, think about purchasing outdoor floors with a drain-through design so water doesn't pool up on the surface. Plus, good drainage means air can flow through so water doesn't pool underneath the surface either. Also consider buying outdoor floors that maintain good traction even when wet. 
 
If you are planning to buy flooring for your pool deck, consider purchasing flooring that will be slip resistant and provide drainage. Softer materials will also help to prevent injuries when falls do occur.
 
Greatmats outdoor flooring patio
Durability: Choose a floor that will not wear down quickly, especially if it is sure to be subject to heavy furniture or foot traffic. An outdoor floor should be designed to last for years and years. Choosing a product with a warranty can help guarantee durability and longevity.
 
Affordability: This is an obvious factor for most people. Some outdoor flooring options like natural stone, brick and hardwood can get extremely expensive. Look for a more affordable option like plastic deck tiles that can give the same aesthetic without the costly process. 
 
Installation: Also, consider if you will need to have a contractor install the flooring or if you can do it yourself. Some outdoor tiles can be easily installed without assistance, saving you money. You will also need to consider the location. If you are installing on an uneven surface, grass, or dirt, only certain flooring materials will work. When installing over a rooftop membrane, make sure that the floor is approved for installation over membranes so that it will not cause any damage.
 
Style & Materials: Many people start planning for outdoor flooring in order to transform a worn down space, like a concrete rooftop or rotting patio. Purchasing an outdoor floor makes it super easy to revitalize an unsightly area. Outdoor flooring comes in all shapes, styles and colors and can bring any kind of new, vibrant aesthetic. Whether it is a classy wood style floor for the back porch or a fun, vibrant color for poolside, buying outdoor floors makes it easy to stylize any outdoor space. 
 
The possibilities are endless with outdoor flooring. Some of the most common materials are brick, stone, porcelain, wood and concrete. But there are other options as well including rubber, plastic, wood plastic composite (WPC), carpet and even artificial turf. Plastic, rubber, carpet and artificial grass can create a softer surface for kids when they play or fall. 
 

 

Benefits of Alternative Outdoor Flooring Materials

Rubber Flooring

  • Flexible tiles absorb shock, making for a safer flooring surface. Some even offer fall height ratings.
  • Eco-friendly, rubber tiles are made from recycled rubber, so fewer vehicle tires end up in landfills.
  • Dense rubber is heavy, and is less prone to shifting than lighter flooring options.
  • Highly durable rubber is resistant to fluctuating temperatures, maintaining its original form no matter the weather.
Greatmats outdoor artificial grass

Artificial Grass

  • Get the look and feel of real grass without the hassle, mess, or maintenance.
  • Artificial grass allow water to drain right through, so there's no puddling and no mess. 
  • Super comfortable, artificial grass creates a luxurious surface.

Plastic Flooring

  • Suitable as a portable flooring over grass and over dirt, plastic flooring is versatile and easy to install.
  • Many plastic tiles offer anti-fatigue benefits, making for a soft and forgiving surface.
  • Choose from designer options to create an eye-catching yet safe surface.
  • Raised base tiles prevent the growth of mold and mildew, and are ideal for swimming pools and wet areas.
  • Some tiles carry an ASTM fall height rating, offering excellent safety for play or pool areas.

More Resources

Greatmats.com offers a vast number of resources to aid you, start to finish, in purchasing outdoor floors. First, start scrolling through videos, blogs, how to's, and customer profiles all located within the Greatmats Buyer's Guide. It is a flooring-specific library, curated with information to help you in purchasing your perfect floor.

If the Greatmats Buyer's Guide isn't quite deep enough for you, the wealth of knowledge of Greatmats Flooring Experts certainly will be. The friendly customer service folk are at the ready to chat out your vision for the floor, help you hone in on a few specific products, answer any remaining questions, and get your new floor to your door.

Research a specific product by getting a clear image of what exactly what it would look like in your space. You can actually do this with unlimited access to Greatmats' Pro Floor Designer. The floor designer allows you to enter the real dimensions of your space so you can get a lifelike visual of what the product would be like in it. You can even mess around with different colors and designs. With Greatmats Pro Floor Designer, you can feel like professional designer in just a few simple steps. 

For more on this topic please review our Outdoor Floors product page.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

How to Choose Dog Agility Artificial Turf

Features & Products for Dog Training & Agility Artificial Turf



By Paige Cerulli

Greatmats dog agility turf artificial grass
A great dog agility course starts with ideal flooring designed to keep dogs and trainers safe while also providing durability and a great aesthetic. That's a lot to ask of flooring, but our dog agility turf options are all up for the task.

When you choose artificial turf for dog agility facilities, you need to make sure that you're purchasing a product that's just right for your intended use. A sub-quality product won't hold up to the demands and traffic that it will see in your facility. A product that doesn't create a forgiving surface will take a toll on your joints and on your dog's comfort. Plus, there are other issues like maintenance, UV resistance, and installation to consider.

But don't worry, we'll guide you through the process of choosing the perfect dog agility grass for your facility.

Why Do People Choose Artificial Turf for Dog Agility

Greatmats dog training turf artificial turf
When it comes to choosing a flooring product for your dog training facility or agility course, you have a lot of options to select from. There are plenty of flooring products that are forgiving and comfortable, yet are also durable enough to withstand the traffic they'll see in a professional facility.

But artificial grass for dog agility offers a number of benefits that other flooring types don't. It's no wonder that it's so popular for agility facilities. Here are just a few of the reasons why artificial turf makes sense:

  • Attractive finish: Artificial grass for dogs makes for a beautiful finish that will truly transform the look of your agility course or training facility. It's a great way to brighten up an indoor course, or to make an outdoor course look great.
  • Low maintenance: With artificial turf, your maintenance time and costs will be greatly reduced. There's no dealing with mud or divots or patches of dead grass. Most of our dog agility turf options can just be hosed off regularly. This means you can focus on running your facility, rather than maintaining it. 
  • Comfort and safety: Artificial grass for dog agility makes a comfortable surface that can help to keep dogs and handlers safe. It's forgiving enough so that you can complete course runs comfortably, but also provides good traction for dogs during their runs.
  • Durability: While artificial grass is forgiving, it's also highly durable. The options suitable for dog agility are designed to withstand high degrees of traffic and won't be easily torn up by claws. 
  • Year-round use: You can use artificial turf year-round, both indoors and out. Because it's designed to provide plenty of drainage, you can get back to using your outdoor course soon after a rain. Plus, you'll always be able to enjoy the attractive look of green grass, no matter what the weather has been like. 

From setting up a practice course in your backyard to outfitting your professional training or competition facility, artificial grass for dog agility makes great sense.

How to Choose the Right Artificial Grass for Dog Agility

Consider the following factors when determining which product is best for your facility's needs.
  • Durability: Great durability is a must-have for any turf that will be used for agility. Look for a product specifically designed to withstand dog claws and the high degree of traffic that your course will see. Also consider the warranties available with the turf.
  • Pile height: Artificial turf comes with different pile heights, which refers to the height of the blades of grass. For agility, you'll want a pile that gives dogs plenty of grip without being too deep. 
  • Installation location: Consider where you'll be installing the turf. Will you be placing it on top of a concrete base indoors, or do you want something that can be installed outdoors? If you're considering an outdoor installation, then factors like drainage, the ability to withstand extreme temperatures, and UV resistance also become important. 
  • Required maintenance: Most artificial grass products are designed to be low-maintenance. In most cases, you can hose off the turf to keep it looking fresh. There's little else that you'll need to do for your flooring. 
  • Budget: Different artificial turf products come in at different price points. When deciding whether a product is suitable for your budget, don't forget to factor in the price of the product, the cost of any infill, and the cost of installation.

Ready to get shopping? We've outlined a few of our favorite artificial turf for dog agility options for you below.

True Turf Artificial Grass Turf Roll 

Greatmats GrassTex True Turf Indoor Dog Agility Turf
True Turf Artificial Turf is one of the most popular turf options for dog agility courses. This turf can be installed both indoors and outdoors. True Turf has a pile height of 9/16 inch for a neat appearance. Made in the USA with the highest quality materials, this turf is safe for kids and pets. Its backing is made with a dual-layer woven polyproylene and is available with a greenback or natural rubber coating.

Don't worry about the durability of this turf, it has been installed for years at dog agility and training facilities. It also comes with a 5 year limited warranty so you can rest assured that it will be a worthwhile investment. The 15-foot-widths quickly cover large areas and is available in custom cut lengths.


Pet Heaven Artificial Grass Turf Roll

Greatmats artificial turf for dog agility training
Combining excellent durability with a high-quality turf, the Pet Heaven Artificial Grass Turf Roll is a great option for agility courses. This turf has been specifically designed to withstand pet traffic and a high degree of wear. Its backing is made of a dual-layer woven polypropylene with a SilverBack polyurethane coating. This unique construction contributes to this turf's extreme toughness and durability.

Maintaining this turf is incredibly simple - just flush it with water as needed, and it will be cleaned and ready to go again. This turf reacts naturally underfoot, making an excellent surface for both dogs and handlers to navigate. It also looks like real grass with a pile height of 7/8 inch.

Countryside Artificial Grass Turf Roll

Greatmats artificial turf for dogs
Durable, beautiful, and comfortable underfoot, our Countryside Artificial Grass Turf Roll is another popular option. This turf can be installed both indoors over concrete, as well as outdoors over a prepared surface. Because the design of this turf allows water to pass right through it, you can promptly start using the surface again soon after a rain. It also makes for easy cleaning, since you can flush the turf with water (just make sure that you allow for drainage beneath the turf when you install it - a crushed stone base is recommended for outdoor installations).

With a 1.25-inch pile, this turf looks natural and feels great underfoot. It's highly durable, and the individual yarns of grass are embedded into the backing. The backing has two layers of woven polypropylene with a SilverBack polyurethane coating. This quality construction contributes to the turf's extreme durability. Even under the high traffic that your course may see, this turf is strong enough to hold up for years.

Coastal Cut Artificial Grass Roll

Greatmats dog agility turf option
For the ultimate in realism, consider the Coastal Cut Artificial Grass Roll. This fake grass for dogs doesn't look fake at all, thanks to the four different colors that make up the yarn in the lawn. The turf incorporates field green and lime into the main yarns, and the thatch yarns are olive and tan colors. The finished product looks incredibly realistic.

But this turf is more than just great looks. It's versatile, and can be used both indoors and out. The 1.25-inch pile height provides plenty of cushion underfoot and makes for a natural feel and performance. The turf can perform in all kinds of climates, and drains away water well after a rain. You can simply hose the turf down to clean it. It's virtually maintenance-free.

Choosing Your Artificial Grass for Dog Agility Use

At Greatmats, we offer plenty of options that make a great addition to any dog agility course or facility. If you have any questions, please give our customer service representatives a call. We would be happy to help you choose the perfect product for your needs. 

For more on this topic please review our Artificial Grass, Artificial Turf product page. For other dog agility flooring options, visit our Dog Agility Flooring product page.