Tuesday, December 23, 2014

What's the best flooring for wet basements?

Homeowners frequently have to deal with water in their basements and it can cost thousands to remedy this situation.  Whether you have standing water after severe storms or just a damp basement with walls that "sweat" during muggy days, you will want to put flooring down there that is designed for moist areas.

One of the most popular products for basement areas is carpeting.  It adds warmth and the carpet pad will add cushion to a hard, concrete floor.  Unfortunately, it's not impervious to water and carpeting is quickly destroyed by a flood or, worse yet, a sewer line that backs up.  Leaky water heaters or even continual moisture will ruin carpeting and carpet pads over time.

A better solution is an interlocking carpet tile such as the Royal Carpet Tile.  These are foam backed, interlocking tiles that are simple to install and lightweight.  Because the foam is a closed cell type, they are not damaged by water, even if they're submerged in a flood.  
Interlocking carpet tiles will not be damaged by flooding.

Carpet-top tiles and other types of foam flooring is nice for damp basements because moisture cannot penetrate the product material and they can be easily removed, dried (and cleaned), and replaced quickly and without a great deal of effort.

However, as a homeowner, you must be diligent when using this type of flooring in your basement.  This is especially true if you know you get water in your room.  This is because, although water won't damage your flooring, it can become trapped between your product and the concrete.  This can lead to problems such as mold or mildew.  If you use this type of product, you'll want to regularly inspect the concrete beneath your foam tiles to ensure no water is being trapped there.

Another option is a click-together floor tile such as MaxTiles or StayLock products.  These tiles sit on a foot system which allows air and water to flow beneath the surface of the flooring.  This allows water to evaporate more easily than it can beneath a foam solution.  You will still need to inspect your concrete subfloor but the chances of mold or mildew forming beneath the tiles is reduced.

Click together flooring keeps the surface of your floor up off the concrete.

For basement areas that flood frequently with copious amounts of water, the best solution is a perforated plastic tile such as the StayLock Perforated Tile.  Holes in the surface of the tile allow for even more evaporation.  These tiles are designed as a wet area product and offer the best solution for high problem areas.  
Perforated tiles allow for maximum evaporation in wet areas.

If you would like more information about basement flooring solutions, call us at 877-822-6622.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Rubber Flooring for Exercise?

People are frequently interested in using a rubber floor for aerobic activity.  While this flooring type is very popular for weight rooms and cross fit activities, it's not always the best fit for cardio and other types of aerobic activities such as Insanity or P90X.

Plyometric rubber provides cushion for the athlete that standard rubber cannot.

The reason for this is that rubber, while extremely durable and long-lasting, is not the softest surface and doesn't really add much by way of impact absorption. Rubber does a great job protecting floors from weights and exercise equipment.  In terms of fatigue relief, it's not usually the best option.

A softer surface that typically provides more cushion and softness for working out is foam.  Foam is lightweight, inexpensive, and available in various densities and thicknesses.  Certain foam mats are better for certain activities and, oftentimes, foam is the best fit for your aerobic application.

However, foam isn't always the best match for people who are looking to add weights or equipment into their aerobics room.  While foam is generally durable, it can be indented by heavy equipment and those indentation may not come out when the equipment is moved.

A happy medium is our plyometric (plyorobic) rubber.  This rolled rubber product is less dense than standard rubber so it provides great cushion for the athlete while still maintaining the floor protection that standard rubber gives.  Plyometric rubber is available in black rolls of four foot widths.  It is extremely popular in both residential and commercial crossfit or fitness centers.

Plyometric rubber from Greatmats is available in two thicknesses: 3/8" and 1/2".  For these two thicknesses, rolls must be cut to 30LF or longer and a freight delivery is required.

If you're just looking for a small amount of coverage, we also carry 8mm plyo in a 4x10 roll.  These rolls are available on sale with free shipping.  They are light enough to ship via ground service directly to your door.

Questions?  Give Greatmats a call at 877-822-6622.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Can I use rubber flooring in my garage?

A frequent request we receive here is for rolled or interlocking rubber tiles to use in garage areas.  Unfortunately, in most cases, this is not a good flooring fit.

Rubber is great for gym flooring-for garages, not so much.
 Let's preface this by stating that, if you'll be using your garage area only as a workout/gym room, rubber will work great.  Rubber flooring is the most popular product we sell for weight room areas and for facilities where exercise equipment will be used.  It protects the concrete as well as the weights/equipment.

However, if you'll be using your garage as a sort of multi-purpose room where cars will be present, rubber is not a good fit at all.  Rubber tires will chew up your rubber floor quickly.  This is because they both grip exceptionally well.

Another downside to rubber is that it is susceptible to solvents such as gas or oil.  These products can damage your rubber flooring.

Finally, excessive water on your rubber floor can damage it over time.  Melting snow and rain that is dragged in by your vehicle will pool on your rubber flooring which can break it down.  It can also get trapped beneath the rubber which can lead to mold or similar issues.

For those of you who are looking for a nice product that you can workout on but also park your car on, we recommend one of our garage floor tiles.  These interlocking tiles are available in various colors and are incredibly durable.  They can easily handle the weight of almost any vehicle and are impervious to water or solvents.  Garage floor tiles are available in a hard polypropylene plastic or a softer PVC plastic.  The PVC tiles typically require a bit more maintenance as they can become scuffed by high performance tires and require a sealant at installation and regularly throughout the life of your floor.

Have questions?  Call us at 877-822-6622.