Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Therapy and fitness center protects customers and investment

Greatmats rolled rubber flooring helps protect the floor below and adds
sound buffering qualities to this free weight area at
Dunamis Therapy and Fitness.
By Brett Hart
When Dunamis Therapy and Fitness to opened its fourth facility in Augusta, Wisconsin, in December of 2014, the unique 24/7 fitness center with a connected outpatient physical therapy clinic wanted to make sure it had all its bases covered.
“Most physical therapy clinics don't have the option of having a 24/7 fitness center,” said Office Manager Trina Lindner. “We can work on patients and then they can continue their therapy (including aquatic therapy) on their own outside of their therapy visits.”
With concrete flooring throughout the building, sound travel was an area of concern – especially in the free weight area where the noise of clanging steel can aggravate even the most seasoned fitness veterans.
Certified Nursing Assistant and aspiring physical trainer
Sara Goss works out on Greatmats rubber flooring at
Dunamis Therapy and Fitness in Augusta, Wisconsin.
To solve this problem, Dunamis Therapy and Fitness opted to install 3/8 inch thick Greatmats rubber flooring rolls in its 24 x 25 foot free weight area.
“We have a long narrow building, so the noise travels far and fast,” Trina said. “It takes away some of that noise.”
Trina pointed out that Greatmats' rubber matting also protects the concrete floors from dropped weights. An added benefit of the rubber floor covering is its ease of cleaning, especially during the vacuuming process. Mopping can be a little more difficult due to its non-slip surface.
Dunamis Therapy and Fitness, founded in 2003, has three other locations in western Wisconsin, including Chetek, Thorp and Eau Claire, and an Altoona facility is in the works. Greatmats rubber flooring was also installed in the Thorp facility around the same time as the Augusta center and has had the same result.
“It doesn't move, and it's comfortable,” Trina said.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Show me to the weight room floor... And don't forget the rubber!

Rubber has been widely accepted as the go-to material for commercial gym and home weight room flooring for many years. But
who knew there would be so many options for rubber flooring? And how do you know which to choose?

One of the first things to consider when choosing flooring for a weight room is how much traffic/abuse it will need to take. If your weight training facility will be used for competitive athletic teams, such as a college or pro football team, it will need to be thicker and much more durable that those used in most home gyms or senior centers.

Rubber has built a reputation for protecting the subfloor, reducing vibration and cutting noise from machines and free weights. It can handle heavy equipment and foot traffic. Rubber floors extremely durable, easy to clean, often made from recycled tires and is recyclable again at the end of its life.
Rolled Rubber
The thickness of your rubber flooring is where you are going to find the biggest differences in durability, generally speaking. A 1/4 to 3/8 inch rubber floor will suffice for light to moderate use while heavily-used areas will require a thicker rubber surface match that lifespan. In areas where weights will be dropped, 1/2 to 1.5 inch rubber flooring may be required to handle the impact without damaging the subfloor. Although many thicker rubber floors can greatly outlast a 15-year warranty, kettlebells, hex head dumbbells and heavily-loaded barbells are especially punishing to any flooring surface when dropped and will take its toll on even the best rubber floors eventually.

Rolled rubber is the cheapest rubber weight room flooring option for large areas and it leaves the fewest seams. However, due to the nature of its size and weight (often coming in 25-50 foot long rolls), installation can be cumbersome without help, and thickness is limited – generally to ½

Rubber Floor Mats
Rubber floor mats, often sold in 4x6 foot sizes, offer another economical option with the capability of a slightly thicker surface. Rubber floor mats often range for 3/8 to ¾ inch thicknesses. While heavy and generally stable, these straight edge mats can separate from each other over time, especially when covering a large surface area. They are often used as supplemental padding in areas where weights will be dropped.

Interlocking Puzzle Mats
Interlocking, puzzle-style tiles offer convenient installation and a tight, durable fit without shifting. They are often for smaller rooms due to the much higher cost per square foot. The smaller 2 to 4 foot tiles (¼ to 3/4 inch thick) are easier to manage, especially if installed by a single person.

For cardio areas, where shock absorption is less of an issue, thinner rubber flooring will suffice just fine. Some gym-goers prefer the feel and warmth of carpeting in cardio areas, but be careful as cleaning can become an issue as stains and bacteria are hard to remove from most carpeted surfaces.

Foam and plastic materials can also be used for weight room flooring. Like carpeting, however, great care should be taken when or if you decide to use these materials. Foam will indent under heavy objects, so proper weight dispersement is a necessity. Plastic flooring such as StayLock tiles are rugged enough to handle heavy weight equipment and offers cushioning similar to foam, but typically carries shorter-term warranties than rubber weight room flooring.

Whether you are a gym rat, fitness buff or someone just looking drop a few pounds, there is weight room flooring out there to fit your needs. Most likely, it will be some form of rubber.

Monday, July 13, 2015

A little slice of 'Doggy Heaven'

Minnesota K9 facility finds peace with rubber flooring
By Brett Hart
A love for dogs and an eye for opportunity led Jeff Peters to an exciting journey into the world of canine daycare, boarding and training. A former product and sales manager and director of business development, Peters surprisingly stumbled into the world of doggy daycare a couple of years ago when he and his wife updated their long-term family dog pack with a two much larger, and rowdier, companions.
“As puppies, they were absolute terrors,” Peters said. “We have a sizable house, but it didn't matter. It was shoes. It was recliner handles. Everything was getting chewed.”
At their wit's end, the couple turned to a local doggy daycare facility for help, which Jeff admittedly thought was a bit “Foo Foo.” “Doggy daycare?” he said. “Who would spend money on that?”
Much to his surprise and delight, these two menaces came home well behaved each time they went to daycare. They became much more social with other dogs and humans.
“I saw how happy the dogs were, how happy the clients were, and said, 'This is a business I want to be in,'” Jeff said.
So when Rio Gran, a reputable multipurpose dog service facility in Hastings, Minn., came up for sale, Jeff jumped on the opportunity to get on board, and ramped things up a notch with a number of upgrades. Jeff purchased the 15-year-old business in September of 2014 and quickly went to work redesigning some of the indoor and outdoor areas of the 3 ½-acre property for training and play while maintaining the stylish flair of the popular boarding facility. 
“It's all about the creature comfort,” Jeff said. “We really strive to be doggy heaven.”
Part of the indoor remodeling project involved converting a rundown kennel building into an additional indoor play area. A stickler for safety and cleanliness, Jeff began researching different flooring surfaces to put in the newly-remodeled building.
“We were seriously considering using an epoxy-coated concrete floor,” Jeff said. But after observing the daycare dogs running on different surfaces, he decided that concrete just wasn't going to cut it.
“We do see quite a few dogs here that have hip issues or even torn ACLs,” Jeff said. “They have to be very carefully looked after. My fear with concrete was that even if you put a grid in it, it gets slick. If their nails are a little bit long, when they go to make a turn or cut, they can lose their legs out from underneath them.”
After 10 years this rolled rubber floor still looks like new.
Another indoor play area at his facility had a rolled rubber flooring that was about 10 years old and, after some thorough cleaning, still looked like new. Watching the dogs on that surface, he noticed the floor was tacky enough to allow the dogs' paw pads to grip and keep them from slipping while also being gentle on the pads.
“They will run like crazy on that stuff,” Jeff said. “If they're on a hard concrete surface, they run the possibility of tearing up their pads.”
He began researching rubber flooring and found it was even better than he had hoped.
“We were concerned initially about the porosity of the material when dogs have accidents,” Jeff said. “We get puppies in here a lot at the daycare.”
With a little online research, Jeff found just what he was looking for at – low odor 3/8-inch thick Greatmats Rubber Flooring Rolls, which are made in the USA from recycled tires.
“It's a recycled product, but it's not porous,” Jeff said. “With proper sealants on top, and the proper cleaning procedure, you can keep any urine, feces, that sort of thing from getting into the material and staying in the material. I think it's actually easier to keep clean than concrete.”
As for durability, the previously-installed rubber flooring (along with Greatmats' 5-year limited warranty) gave Jeff the peace of mind he needed to know it is made to last – even with a facility like his that often reaches its 100-dog limit during the summer and holidays.
With the addition of Greatmats rubber flooring in this newly
remodeled space, Rio Gran now offers more than 6,000
square feet of indoor roaming area covered by rubber
With the new indoor play area, Rio Gran now offers a little more than 6,000 square feet of indoor roaming area that is covered with this rubber flooring. “It's fantastic and it's easy to keep clean,” Jeff said.
Jeff is also working on upgrading his 16,000 square foot area of off-leash outdoor roaming space. 
“Part of what we do is we make sure they get exercise and played with to the point where they want to come back here,” Jeff said. “Even in the best homes, the dogs aren't getting necessarily exercised to the point of exhaustion every day. But when they come here, they do. And so they're very content and always anxious to come back and play.”

Monday, July 6, 2015

Minnesota Sensei floors competition in Karate and Yoga

USA Karate sensei David Younglove takes a break from training action to instruct his students while sitting on Greatmats Karate flooring at his dojo in Rosemount, Minn. Folded against the wall is a Greatmats crash pad for use under his training rings and rope climbing area.
By Brett Hart
There's no doubt about it, 32-year martial arts veteran David Younglove knows the importance of a proper foundation.
Beginning his training as a martial artist back in 1983, Mr. Younglove earned his first blackbelt and began teaching Karate by the age of 17. A Minnesota state champion, Mr. Younglove joined the U.S. Marine Corp in the early 1990s where he trained Thailand Marines in hand-to-hand combat.
“We taught on just carpet over cement in those days and if you fell, it was just terrible,” Mr. Younglove said. “The first generation of mats... we put in martial arts schools were just terrible. They were very hard. They were very grippy on the feet.”
Despite these less-than-ideal training surfaces, Mr. Younglove continued to pursue his passion for martial arts and, from 2012 to 2014, he was the top-ranked North Central Karate Association (NCKA) competitor in traditional form for 40-49 year olds.
In July of last year, this sixth-degree blackbelt finally found the perfect martial arts flooring on Greatmats.com1 inch thick foam karate mats. These 1x1 meter interlocking foam tiles, designed to look like wood floors, have a leather-like, waterproof surface that provides both proper stability and cushion.
“I've tried many of the others in all of our different schools – and (talked to) other owners,” Mr. Younglove said. “These are by far and large the best that I've found.”
“I went to different martial arts owners and worked out on their floors. I looked at the Swains; I looked at the Zebra mats and all the different ones, and I got some samples.”
After inspecting a free sample of the Greatmats Karate Mats, Mr. Younglove purchased three tiles and snapped them together for a test.
“(I) just did a few moves on them and decided by far and large, it had the most support, but also had the most cushion at the same time,” Mr. Younglove said. “It works out great.”
In fact, he liked them so much that he not only purchased them as his dojo flooring at USA Karate in Rosemount, Minn., but also for his yoga studio in the same building.
As an added safety feature to Mr.
Younglove's USA Karate studio,
he also utilizes a Greatmats
Skill Cushion Mat underneath his
 training rings and rope climbing area.
“I have a dual studio,” Mr. Younglove said. “We incorporate a full yoga program with our full martial arts program. At this facility we have two classrooms. Kids can be taking karate class and mom can be taking yoga class simultaneously. I put it in the yoga side and, to my knowledge, we're the only yoga studio that has a padded floor. We're constantly on our knees and on our elbows and a lot of our population is 40 and over. We have some 70 year olds taking class. It is very gentle on the joints. It also really challenges your balance.”
Mr. Younglove noted that it took about six months of regular use to fully break in the flooring, which was a bit slippery to start, but it was well worth the patience, knowing that he offers yet another tool in helping his students build the best foundation in self-esteem with a positive and safe learning environment.