Friday, December 30, 2016

Greatmats announces 2016 National Instructors of the Year in annual award series

2016 Greatmats National Horse Trainer of the Year
Jessica Moctezuma
2016 Greatmats National Dog Trainer of the Year
Jeremy Joseph Brown
Milltown, WI – For the second straight year, Wisconsin-based specialty flooring leader Greatmats is honoring instructors, trainers and coaches who have made a positive impact on their communities through its National Award Series.

This year, the Greatmats National Award Series focused on instructors in the following categories:

Martial Arts Instruction
Dance Instruction
Gymnastics Coaching
Cheerleading Coaching
Dog Training
Horse Training
2016 Greatmats National Martial Arts Instructor of the Year
Grandmaster Bryant Harrell
2016 Greatmats National Cheer Coach of the Year
Amy Beth Klopf
More than 70 outstanding coaches, instructors and trainers from 36 states were nominated for the awards, drawing nearly 17,000 social media votes. For their efforts to make the world a better place, one winner from each category will receive their choice of $250 in Greatmats Products or $150 in cash.

Below are this years winners:
2016 National Cheer Coach of the Year – Amy Beth Klopf (Coleman, MI)
2016 National Dance Instructor of the Year – John Culbertson (Miami, FL)
2016 National Dog Trainer of the Year – Jeremy Joseph Brown (Tucson, AZ)
2016 National Gymnastics Coach of the Year – Rilee Sauer (Chandler, AZ)
2016 National Horse Trainer of the Year – Jessica Moctezuma (Woodstock, IL)
2016 National Martial Arts Instructor of the Year – Grandmaster Bryant Harrell (Clearwater, FL)

To learn more about Greatmats National Award Series, visit

2016 Greatmats National Gymnastics Coach of the Year
Rilee Sauer

2016 Greatmats National Dance Instructor of the Year
John Culbertson

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Greatmats Subfloor Dance Studio Elite Installed by St. Paul Ballet at Ma...

How to Install Universal Interlocking Foam Puzzle Mats

How to Install StayLock Perforated Tiles

How to Install HiddenLock PVC Tiles

How To Install Interlocking Rubber Floor Tiles

How to Install Greatmats Home Gym Mats Pebble 10 mm Tiles

How to Install Greatmats Raised Garage Floor Tiles

How to install Staylock Orange Peel Tiles over carpet

How To Install StayLock Bump Top Tiles over Carpet

How to Install Royal Interlocking Carpet Tiles

How to Install Greatmats Wood Grain Foam Tiles

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Honor Positively Influential Trainers, Coaches and Instructors by nominating them for one of these National Awards

Greatmats National Award Series is entering its second year
Greatmats is awarding a series of national awards for athletic instructors as well as animal trainers who have made a positive impact on their respective communities. The national awards are designed to honor those instructors, trainers and coaches in the USA that have made a positive difference in the lives of their students and community by utilizing service, integrity and quality.

Award Categories:
National Dance Instructor of the Year
National Martial Arts Instructor of the Year
National Cheerleading Coach of the Year
National Gymnastics Coach of the Year
National Dog Trainer of the Year
National Horse Trainer of the Year

The Greatmats National Award Series was founded in 2015 and is the first of its kind to recognize such a diverse group of individuals for both their positive professional and community influence. This is the second annual national awards competition to honor Dance Instructors, Dog Trainers and Horse Trainers. In 2016, Greatmats expanded its National Award Series to include Martial Arts Instructors, Cheer Coaches and Gymnastics Coaches.

Greatmats is currently accepting nominations for all six awards.

To nominate a person for any of these awards, email the following information to before Nov. 1, 2016:

1. Nominee's Name
2. Name and location of the nominee's business (Must be located in the USA.)
3. A brief description of why you are nominating this person, including how he/she demonstrates service, integrity and quality.
4. A photo and/or video of the nominee

Voting will take place from Nov. 16 through Nov. 30, 2016 on Greatmats' Facebook page to determine two finalists in each category. Greatmats staff will judge the two finalists on their demonstration of service, integrity and quality and choose the grand prize winner based on those criteria.

The Grand Prize includes
- $250 in Greatmats Products (or $150 Cash Option) for the winner's related business
- Winner profile story
- Greatmats national award certificate
- Greatmats coffee mug

Winners will be named on December 30, 2016.

Greatmats is a national specialty flooring industry leader based in Milltown, Wisconsin, since 1999. Identified as one of the top 3,000 fastest growing companies in the USA three times since 2008, Greatmats has earned an A+ Better Business Bureau rating and 9.5 TrustPilot rating through its Golden Rule customer service practices. Greatmats gives back to its local community by donating 5% of its annual profits to local non-profit organizations. It also supports green initiatives through the use of solar energy at its Wisconsin headquarters and by offering a large variety of products made from recycled and renewable resources. Find out more about Greatmats at or by visiting Greatmats on Facebook.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

How long have you owned your Greatmats?

Greatmats is looking for its earliest Martial Arts Mats Customers. Founded in 1999, the Wisconsin-based specialty flooring company has grown into one of the top martial arts mats companies in the United States.

As a thank you, Greatmats would like to feature some of its earliest customers on its website and social media sites and award those customers a cash prize. If you purchased any Greatmats martial art mat more than 10 years ago, please send your story to and include (1) the name of the product, (2) the year in which it was purchased, and (3) a photo of your Greatmats martial art mats.

To learn more about the contest and prizes, visit

Friday, August 12, 2016

5 Best Places to Use Artificial Turf Tiles

You know that outdoor space you've been meaning to get around to fixing up? It's the one that has all this potential, but you haven't found the time or money to turn it into the haven you envision. No more excuses: we have a simple solution. 

Greatmats' artificial turf squares are an affordable way to transform your space within minutes. With our turf tiles, you can completely renovate the appearance of your outdoor recreational area. Not only do our artificial grass tiles provide a full-on makeover for your space, but they provide comfort for your family and guests. Turf tiles look and feel incredible in any setting, from decks and patios to pool surrounds. 

No deck is invincible to time and weather. Natural wear is inevitable, and if you're not careful, your deck or patio can turn into an uninviting, shoes-required space. Building a completely new deck, however, is an incredibly expensive project. Further, rebuilding or replacing materials is extremely time-consuming. Luckily, Greatmats' deck turf easily covers any splintered, discolored, old-looking, or worn-out materials. With just a few turf tiles, it's a breeze to cover up any deck damage. 

Artificial turf squares are more than a just a bandaid for the problem, however. They actually protect surfaces from further harm. Over one inch thick, turf tiles act as a durable shield against weather. Unlike other options, our artificial grass squares feature drain-through properties so standing water is never an issue. With Greatmats' turf tiles, you'll no longer have to be disheartened by the state of the deck. You will not only be able to relax on your beautifully transformed deck, but you will rest easy knowing you are protecting the longevity and quality of your space. 

Balconies and Rooftop Terraces 
Perhaps you are looking for a way to improve your concrete balcony or rooftop terrace. It's difficult to find a solution for turning cold, unforgiving surfaces into a barefoot friendly environment. Often, outdoor weatherproof options are not soft, natural-looking or comfortable. Artificial turf squares are all of the above. Your toes will stay happy and warm on turf tiles. Again, drain-through properties make it safe for concrete: you won't have to worry about discoloration or stains. 

Not only that, but it's difficult to find something to suit rental homes, apartments and condominiums. You need something that can easily be installed and uninstalled without affecting the product's quality. Greatmats' artificial turf squares can be laid out loosely as a temporary option, so you can easily bring them with you if you move. Adhesive is not required for dependable, stable installment. At 8 lbs per tile, there is no strain in moving them. On the other hand, adhesive can be used for a permanent installation. No other hardware is required, so either way, installation is a complete breeze. 

Pool Surrounds 
Love your pool, but having a difficult time enjoying its surroundings? Greatmats' artificial turf squares will create an environment surrounding your pool that will make you want to lounge there all day. The tiles look awesome, but also make sense. You don't have to worry about turf tiles getting wet. Water never pools on them, and they stay just as secure, safe, and comfortable even when wet. Fake grass tiles are much safer to walk over than wet concrete, and feel infinitely better on the feet. 

Indoor Sun Rooms 
Despite the fact the durability and weather-safety of turf tiles make them an awesome outdoor solution, there is no reason they can't be used indoors as well. Artificial grass squares also do wonders for sun rooms, mud-rooms and pet rooms. You can easily bring in the feel of the great outdoors in order to create a nice, natural-looking surface for pets, playtime and feet. Grass tiles are secure and steady, so you'll never have to worry about slippage. 

Artificial Turf Tile Construction 
No matter the landscape, Greatmats' turf tiles will fit. Artificial turf squares are flexible, so can easily be installed over irregular surfaces. It's not necessary to worry about awkward bumps or lumps. Because of two durable plastic tubes installed through slats in the tiles, they will lie flat on uneven surfaces. They can also easily be cut to fit irregularly shaped areas. 

Still, turf tiles can also be installed like traditional patio slabs or interlocking stone, which provides a neat, well-proportioned look. Greatmats even offers snap-together turf tiles, which easily connect together simply by laying the tab over a loop and pressing down. Artificial turf squares are sure to lay flat and uniform without shifting over time. 

No renovation will ever be as quick, easy, and cheap as installing Greatmats' turf tiles. Artificial turf squares have the power to utterly transform your space into something you're happy in and something you're proud to share. Whatever the environment, be it deck, patio, pool-side, or indoors, you need something reliable underfoot. 

Grass tiles are durable enough to last for years no matter what you decide to put on them: they can be used with tables, chairs and other furniture. Artificial turf squares are simple to clean: you can easily spray them down with water or wash like any other floor. They are safe, reliable and inviting. 

After installing Greatmats' turf tiles, you will undoubtedly breathe a sigh of relief. Finally, you will have something for your space that looks and feels just right.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Rubber Flooring Tiles vs. Rolled Rubber Flooring - A Quick Comparison

Rolled Rubber Gym Flooring

Rubber flooring has become a popular solution for anything from gyms and weight rooms to playgrounds to schools, hospitals and museums. Much like other specialty flooring options, rubber flooring comes in several forms. Two of the most popular kinds of rubber flooring are tiles and rolls. Both provide excellent insulation properties against cold, heat, noise and hardness. They are also often fire retardant. 

Rubber Rolls 
Rolled Plyometric Rubber Flooring

Looking strictly and price it's a no-brainer. Rubber flooring rolls are significantly less expensive than their tile counterparts. But it does come with a price of its own. Rubber rolls are going to be much heavier and more difficult to install than tiles. They are also often thinner and need some sort of adhesive to keep them in place, whether that is tape or glue. 

Aside from price, the second major benefit of rubber rolls is the fact that they greatly reduce the number of seams in your floor. This is especially helpful if you are covering a large area that will have a high activity level such as gyms or exercise areas. 

Rubber Tiles 
Rubber tiles are available with both straight and interlocking edges. Rubber flooring tiles also offer a much greater range of thickness options. This is especially helpful if you a looking for a thicker rubber floor that will be able to handle the abuse of dropped weights or other heavy objects. Thick rubber tiles will not only last longer, but also do a better job of protecting the existing floor beneath the rubber surface. 

Puzzle Tiles 
Rubber Puzzle Tiles

The most popular rubber floor tile for gym carries a puzzle style interlocking design. This allows you to install the flooring quickly and efficiently without the need for a large installation crew. Puzzle-style rubber tiles are generally about 2x2 or 3x3 feet in size and can be installed by a single person. These tiles rarely require any adhesive and will hold together tightly. 

Commercial Tiles 
Most commercial rubber floor tiles will feature a straight edge and will need to be glued down. These tiles will often feature a glossier surface and more color options than rubber puzzle tiles. They provide a slip free surface and are easy to clean. Commercial rubber tiles will not need to be waxed and offer more comfort than traditional vinyl or ceramic tiles. They also will not chip, shatter or peel. 

Playground Tiles 
Commercial Rubber Tiles

The most comfortable rubber surface will come in the form of rubber playground tiles. These tiles are much thicker and offer a raised base design that allows the tiles to flex and provides additional cushion. They can also offer critical fall height protection from falls up to 10 feet high. Keep in mind that the thicker the rubber surface, the heavier it will be as well. 

Size and Weight 
With the extra weight comes additional benefits and drawbacks. On the plus side, it will take much more work to get the flooring to shift, and more tiles you connect together, the more shift resistant these tiles become even without adhesives. On the other hand, installation can become more difficult. 

A 2mm thick rubber commercial rubber tile, measuring just under 3 feet across weighs in at about 11.4 pounds per tile. A utility rubber puzzle tile of similar size, but with an 8 mm thickness jumps up to 19 pounds per tile. 
Rubber Playground Tiles

At a 2x2 foot tile size, each 8 mm tiles weighs between 7 and 10 pounds. On the flip side, a 5 inch thick 2x2 playground tile will weigh in at about 40 pounds. 

Our thinnest rolled rubber floor is 1/8 inch thick. A small 1/4 inch thick 4x10 foot roll weighs in at 60 pounds. Bump that up to a 25 foot roll and the weight jumps to 150 pounds. A 25 foot roll of 3/8 inch thick rolled rubber flooring carries a 230 pound weight per roll. Our thickest rubber flooring rolls are 1/2 inch thick. In the thicker options, you can find both standard recycled rubber or a less dense plyometric rubber, which is slightly lighter weight. 

In short, if you are installing the flooring yourself or are looking to work in a small space, rubber flooring tiles will likely be your best bet. If you have a large space to cover and plenty of help, you can save a lot of money by choosing rubber flooring rolls.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Comparing EVA, PE and PU Foam Mats

EVA Foam is the most common material used for martial arts puzzle mats.

Athletic mats are generally made of one three popular foam materials - Ethylene-vinyl acetate, Polyethylene or Polyurethane - or a combination of these foam materials. So what's the difference between the foams and why would you choose one over the other? 

EVA Foam Mats 
Ethylene-vinyl acetate, or EVA, foam is an elasticized closed-cell form with rubber-like softness and flexibility. This foam will have a glossy appearance and his resistant to UV radiation and cracking. It is also waterproof. 
EVA Foam Mats are easy to clean and disinfect
and are often reversible.

While the material does not contain any rubber is is commonly referred to as expanded rubber or foam rubber. It is known for its shock absorbing qualities and buoyancy. 

Due to these qualities, EVA foam makes an excellent flooring material for athletic activities as it will absorb impact from falls and can be easily cleaned and disinfected. 

EVA Foam Tiles are popular solution for martial arts facilities, kids play areas, basements, trade shows and much more. 

As a closed cell foam, EVA foam his firmer than open cell foams and allows for subtle movements when standing on it without much risk rolling ankles. This quality also makes it great as an anti-fatigue flooring material. 

PE Foam Mats 
Polyethylene, or PE, is the most common plastic available today. If often feels waxy to the touch and carries high impact strength, meaning it can absorb a lot of energy before rupture. It's also very ductile, meaning can easily deform under tensile stress. 
Cross Linked Polythelyene Foam is common for thicker
mats and is generally covered or wrapped in vinyl
or carpet.

When used as a foam flooring or matting material, PE is often cross-linked, creating a fine, closed-cell foam that is unaffected by mildew, mold, rot and bacteria and provides firm material with excellent strength and shock absorption. That doesn't necessarily mean it will be soft landing if you fall hard in this foam as the energy is contained to a relatively small area and not broadly distributed. 

Cross linking makes the foam more rigid and helps it rebound quickly to its original shape when stretched or squished, giving it more bounce than other foams. 

The closed cell foam is also an excellent thermal insulator. 

This is a common foam for thicker versions of foam flooring as it is much lighter weight than most other alternatives. 

The foam itself is not ideal as a finished surface as it can easily by punctured, gouged or cut, which is why it is often wrapped in vinyl or has a vinyl or carpet bonded surface. 

You'll often find PE foam in folding or roll-out cheerleading, gymnastics or grappling mats or as a foam underlayments. 

PU Foam Mats 
Polyurethane, or PU, is an open cell foam best known for providing extreme cushion. As air is allowed to flow through the foam, it enables the foam to create a much softer and giving surface. 
Polyurethane is an open cell foam that should be
contained with a durable surface wrap such as vinyl.
It is among the best foams for energy absorption.

Polyurethane foam is superior to other foams at absorbing energy, but lacks some in the stability department. This foam is used in much thicker mats designed for high impact landings, such as crash pads due to its broad distribution of energy. 

The same features that make it excellent for absorbing impact and distributing energy also make it less desirable for walking, running or jumping as it simply crushes and collapses underfoot instead of springing back or providing resistance. 

You'll often find this foam in landing pads or fluff mats as they help take the sting out of falls or landing on your body, rather than springing off your feet or hands. 

Like PE foam, PU Foam is not ideal for use on its own and needs to be wrapped with another durable surface, such as vinyl or denim. 

When choosing your foam flooring, make sure you keep in mind how much spring, firmness or energy absorption you'll need as well as how easy it will be to clean and disinfect.
The combination of a polyurethane foam core and a denim surface takes away the "slap" of landings.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Comparing Plastic vs. Rubber Industrial and Warehouse Flooring Options

In some European countries, bare concrete floors are not allowed in warehouses and industrial buildings. European countries do tend to have more safety regulations than the United States, but this seemed unusual. After all, concrete is one of the most sturdy and affordable flooring options for large scale industrial and warehouse construction. Properly installed and maintained, it can last for years. But the drawback to concrete comes when you factor in the comfort and safety of your employees.

Concrete can be slippery and hard on the joints of the body. Fortunately there are several flooring options for warehouse areas that can stand up to forklift and heavy machinery traffic and also improve the comfort of your employees. In addition, covering that concrete with a PVC or rubber tile or mat can actually protect the concrete from wear and tear, as well as from acids and other chemicals.

Plastic Industrial Flooring

For garage areas and settings where heavy machinery operates, there are soft, plastic industrial floor mats that are rugged enough to withstand the abuse of vehicles including heavy forklift traffic. Often products intended for garage flooring work well in industrial areas.

Some specialty flooring companies carry large selections of industrial floor mats made of durable PVC or Polypropylene materials. PVC  and polypropylene industrial flooring tiles typically come in 1x1- to 2x2-foot squares that snap or interlock together. The modular tile design is a great aid for do-it-yourselfers in both the installation and designing process. Industrial floor mats add traction, safety and cushion for standing employees to limit fatigue. offers an online pro floor planner which can help you determine the number of tiles necessary for your job and also allows you to visualize different floor pattern designs. Pick tiles of different colors and arrange them to make checkerboard or, if you space is large enough, other patterns that will fit your decor. PVC industrial floor mats are available in multiple surface textures, including orange peel, bump top, perforated, coin top and diamond top. They are also available in numerous colors, depending on which style you choose.

Some plastic industrial floor mats feature a flat bottom. Others are raised tiles that will allow air to flow beneath the tiles. Perforated PVC industrial tiles are designed for use in wet areas as they allow fluids to flow through the surface and keep you on a dry surface at all times. They also allow airflow to the underside preventing fluids from becoming trapping beneath the flooring surface.

StayLock Bump Top or Orange Peel tiles are plastic industrial floor tiles built specifically to provide ergonomic benefit to people standing for long periods of time. The easy-to-use interlocking design allows you to install the flooring quickly without adhesives. All StayLock PVC tiles can be disassembled and relocated as needed without damaging the tiles.

The most popular perforated PVC tile choice is the StayLock Perforated tile. Made in America, these industrial-strength tiles are a soft plastic product built to last both indoors and out. These tiles are UV treated and will last for years in wet areas where surfaces like wood or laminate are not suitable.

Some PVC tiles  are electrostatic dissipative, providing extra safety in electrical work areas and computer rooms.

Greatmats offers several floor mats intended for electrostatic dissipation (ESD) as well as high voltage protection. Grounding cords are available to route static electricity to the proper ground. Tacky mats work well for clean rooms and industrial areas where keeping dirt and sand out is necessary. Greatmats also carries tacky mats for wet areas.

For a firmer plastic flooring option, you may want to consider those made of polypropylene, such as Greatmats' Garage Floor Tile Diamond. These industrial floor tiles can easily hold 20,000 pound loads without breaking..

Rubber Industrial Flooring

Rubber anti fatigue mats are available with safety edging in a wide range of price points, thicknesses and colors. Some rubber industrial floor mats feature a waffle style underside, designed for anti-fatigue protection. Rubber mats are constructed from recycled materials and are durable enough to last for decades. There are numerous  industrial mats designed for factories, production floors, welding and stamping stations, machine shops, tool and die areas and warehouses with both straight edged and interlocking designs.

Specialty flooring retailers like carry warehouse floor mats for places where solvents or other chemicals are present, that provide ergonomic benefits for standing work stations, heavy traffic areas or areas where forklifts are present.

Industrial rubber floor mats and runners offer excellent anti-fatigue properties and a comfortable surface to stand on in both dry and wet areas. These mats are rugged and built to last.

Diamond Runners are great anti-fatigue mats for standing areas in industrial settings. Available in 2-,  to 4-foot widths, they are 75 feet in length and available in solid black or  black with a yellow safety edge. Diamond runners feature the standard diamond textured top safety surface for extra traction and cushion as well as protecting flooring - which reduces maintenance costs.

Tuff Foot runners promote a safe and comfortable working environment that is oil and grease resistant. These industrial runners are available as a corrugated or ribbed runner. Both corrugated and ribbed types are available in sizes of 2- to 4-foot x 105 feet sizes as well as a larger 6 x 115 foot runner.

Waffle tiles are ergonomic industrial floor mats available in 4x6, 2x6, or 3x4 foot sizes with an interlocking or straight edge and beveled edges. They are made in the USA from recycled rubber products and are available in 1/2 inch or 3/4 inch thick mats.

Tru-Tread mats are designed for wet industrial areas. Large drainage holes allow water to drain through the surface. Available in a number of different sizes, they can be joined together to cover large  areas. Safety Tru-Treads feature brightly colored, beveled edging to make them more visible for forklift drivers and pedestrians. They also feature a high-traction surface to prevent slippage in wet areas.

You can also choose from a number of different rubber mats and rubber runners that are resistant to grease and, therefore, excellent for restaurants and other large kitchen areas. They keep you up off the wet ground while drainage holes allow the water to pass through the rubber surface.

Covering that concrete flooring in your warehouse or industrial and manufacturing facility will improve employee comfort and safety, as well as extend the life of your concrete floor, giving your business a firm foundation on which to grow.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Foam Floor Tiles versus Plastic Floor Tiles for Trade Shows

When designing a trade show booth, there are 3 main things to think about. First, you want to attract customers to your booth with an attractive, professional looking display. Second, you want the display to travel easily and be quick and easy to setup and teardown. Third, you want it to be a place that you or your staff and your potential customers will be comfortable.  

You want to start from the ground up with your flooring. The majority of trade show locations have concrete floors - neither attractive or comfortable. While some shows will allow you to rent carpeting, savvy trade show vendors know that by purchasing their own flooring, they increase their own and their customers’ comfort,  plus they save thousands over the cost of carpet rental.  Two of the most popular choices for trade show flooring are plastic and foam tiles. Both are relatively lightweight, affordable to ship and purchase, durable and comfortable, and easy to set up and take down. Some flooring retailers also sell cases so you can easily ship your flooring across the country. But there are some differences between foam and plastic that you should be aware of.  

If you want bright colors, EVA foam mats are the best choice.  Whether plain foam, or carpet tiles, or with a hardwood look, these cushy tiles provide comfort and durability.

Premium 5/8 inch foam floor tiles from, a major speciality flooring retailer,  come in 15 different colors. You can mix and match colors to coordinate with the rest of your booth, and create an eye catching display. These tiles are waterproof and stain resistant and feature a thatch mark surface finish. The puzzle style universal interlock design offers the fastest and easiest interlock design available. Each tile weighs just over a pound and comes with 2 border strips to create a finished edge. These mats are thicker and more durable than most mats found at major retailers, so they will stand up to foot traffic in your booth, and make standing on your feet all day much easier.  

If you prefer the look of carpet, a popular trade show carpet is Royal Interlocking Carpet Tile which features 12 mm (.47 inch) foam under a durable, long-lasting short hair carpet. Available in 5 colors, it is designed for years of use. Waterproof and stain resistant, the carpeted surface is tough enough to last under chairs and tables, and stands up to foot traffic at conventions and trade shows. The tiles are 2X2 foot and weigh just 1.4 pounds a piece. One Trade show professional who used this tile says it ‘made the trade show less tiring”  while another said it “kept us energized.”  

Comfort Carpet tiles are 2X2 foot, 5/8 inch (.625 inch) thick and weigh just 1.2 pounds per tile.  A  beveled edge option is available.  Available in 6 colors, they are also waterproof and odor proof.

Another 5/8 thick option is Greatmats’ SoftCarpet tiles, which are available in 13 color options. The 2X2 foot tiles are 5/8” thick and weigh 1.75 pounds per tile. The tiles come with border strips on 2 sides. These tiles combine closed cell EVA foam rubber which is bonded to commercial grade short hair carpeting. These long lasting tiles are waterproof and shock absorbing. They are dense enough to stand up to high heels, foot traffic and furniture at trade shows and conventions.  

If you prefer a more natural look and want to go with a hard wood style, check out the woodgrain reversible foam floor with a choice of 3 woodgrain finishes on one side and a thatch design on the reverse. Choose from standard, light, or dark wood grain looks. Each tile includes two border strips.  Each tile is 2X2 foot by ½ inch thick and weighs just 1.2 pounds. Trade show professionals like the comfort provided when they stand all day for several days in a row, the easy assembly and take down, and the option of adding tiles as they expand their their display.  hey have received compliments from customers, and noted that other vendors had “floor envy.”  

In a nutshell, foam tiles win for comfort and light weight, and quality brands will stand up to foot traffic. One down side of EVA foam is that it can indent under heavy objects and equipment and can get scuffed from moving furniture, for example chairs and tables. If your booth includes heavy items or chairs, you should consider plastic tiles.  

For plastic woodgrain, Max Tile Raised Floor tiles offer a plastic base with durable vinyl surfaces that work well for multi purpose flooring including trade shows. Max Tiles offer 6 different wood grain designs in addition to black, white and stone. The scratch resistant top holds up to foot traffic, moving chairs, and more. Max Tiles come in 1’ X 1’ foot tiles, are 5/8” thick and weigh just over 2 pounds. Ramped border edges make your booth safe, with a finished look. The tile connector pieces are designed for repeat installations, so your floor should last for years to come.

Polypropylene and PVC trade show flooring options include raised and flat bottomed tiles. They offer multiple surface textures or patterns as well, including coin, slate, orange peel, flat, bump, leather or diamond tops. Some are rated for loads of more than 20,000 pounds.  

For trade show booths that require a look of nature, consider artificial grass turf tiles or outdoor deck turf tiles. Both provide a lush grass-like surface and easy installation. The artificial grass turf tiles feature a raised plastic base and snap together installation, while the outdoor deck turf tiles rest on a flexible wood slat base of 25-year treated lumber and are significantly heavier.

But perhaps your show is outside - a fair or art show or other outdoor event? For outdoor event floors, Greatmats offers a durable, modular, hard plastic, snap-together tiles that can be installed over any outdoor surface including asphalt, gravel or grass. These outdoor event tiles will allow grass to grow underneath for limited periods of time because of this tile's unique drainage holes. Their Portable Outdoor Floor Tiles are 6x24 inches in size and easily snap together for large scale installations. Installation of event flooring is easy with these interlocking tiles and their modular snap together flooring surfaces. Simply interlock or snap the tiles together and, after the show, easily pull the tiles apart for storage.

Depending on the type of outdoor event flooring you choose, it can be stacked on pallets or rolled up for easy transport and storage. Many of our trade show flooring options also serve as strong flooring possibilities for dance, gym and playroom flooring. Surface appearances range from a classic wood flooring to soft, low-profile carpeting to colorful foam or even anti-glare vinyl stage flooring looks to create the perfect fit for your decor.

Regardless of your preference for foam or plastic, indoor or outdoor, it pays to check out a specialty flooring retailer like to get long last quality and knowledgable customer service that will you get the product best suited to your individual needs.  

Top 4 Mats for Gymnastics Training

The term ''gymnastics mats'' is a general term, referring to mats broad set of uses, including tumbling, artistic gymnastics, vaulting and more. With that being said, one mat obviously cannot universally be the best option for every gymnastics activity as the function of the mats vary as much as the activities.

Folding Mats
Folding mats, otherwise known as panel mats, provide a firm cushion covered with a durable vinyl cover. These mats are one of the most versatile as they are easy to install, store, transport and connect together to cover larger areas.

Folding gymnastics mats are excellent for somersaulting or doing cartwheels. They even make a great aid in different conditioning drills that involve hopping, balancing on an edge, or even assisting in learning to standing up from a seated or reclined position, as you can fold them into varying heights of 1-2 inch increments.

Octagon Mats
When working on techniques that involve torso bending and arching, another vinyl-covered mat works best - octagon mats. These mats come in several different sizes to accommodate the height of the gymnasts. These mats are also used as harmless obstacles for leaping, and tools for rolling.

Incline Wedge Mats
For progressive skill building, wedge mats, or cheese mats, are useful for transitions as wells as tumbling and conditioning. These mats combine the stability of folding mats with seamless, gradual height variation necessary for skill building. The unique incline quality of the mats make them an extremely versatile skill training tool for gymnasts of all levels.

Skill Cushion Mats
All three of the previously mentioned mats are relatively firm. If you are looking for protection from hard falls, a thicker and softer skill cushion mat is the way to go. In most cases you'll want a ''fluffy'' mat that is around 1 foot or thicker and will disperse the majority of impact of a fall, preventing injuries while learning to fall or land properly. These mats are often used for dismounts off of bars or vaults.

While all of these mats are great for gymnastics, make sure you know how you'll be using them before you choose. Using the wrong mat can not only make training harder, but could actually cause injury when used for the wrong purpose.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Choosing Indoor Playground Surfaces - Comparing Plastic vs. Foam vs. Rubber

Greatmats Home Sport and Play Mats 
Slide, climb, jump and crawl! Outdoor playgrounds are a blast for kids. Having fun, playing with friends, burning off excess energy, and developing large and fine motor skills are just some of the benefits of a playground. All types of learning - emotional, social, motor, and cognitive - are increased and enhanced by play, particularly free play in playgrounds.

But if you live in a climate with frigid, long winters, an endless rainy season, or a sultry, hot summer, outdoor playground are off limits for long periods of the year.

This has led to a rise in indoor playgrounds. From home and corporate daycare centers, churches and community centers, airports and shopping malls to private homes, indoor playgrounds are growing in popularity. These days, you can find indoor playgrounds in child care centers, fast food restaurants, children's museums, health and fitness centers and theme parks. With the rise of community and commercial indoor playgrounds, parents have discovered an indoor playground can be a great place to host a child's birthday party.

But just as it is important to make sure playground equipment is safe, the flooring surface of your indoor playground is equally as important. Obviously, a concrete surface offers no protection when a child slips or falls. Carpet is not much better. Fortunately there are many new products from rolled rubber to plastic tiles that can make an indoor playground a safe, inviting and colorful place to play.

Fall Height Protection
Whenever you are creating a playground, you need to be concerned that the surfaces you choose meet the recommended fall heights for the equipment you will be installing. Fall height is the distance between the ground and the highest step or platform that a child might climb to. A surface with a proper fall height will lessen the severity of injuries, particularly life threatening head injuries, for the little ones that use your indoor playground.

The American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) is the primary organization that rates playground surfaces. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has created safety standards for playgrounds, both indoors and out, and has a PDF specifically about indoor playground surfaces.

Rubber is the top choice for outdoor playground surfaces. It can withstand the weather, is very durable and can have very high fall height ratings. There are plenty of rubber flooring options, but let's start with some indoor products that may be more comfortable and soft than outdoor rubber tiles.

Plastic Indoor Playground Surfaces
StayLock Orange Peel Tiles
One option is StayLock flooring tiles from Greatmats. These PVC plastic tiles will hold up to exercise or playground equipment and provide cushion as well. The typical lifespan of this tile - offered with perforated, orange peel and bump top surfaces - is 20 years, and it is waterproof and resistant to many oils and acids. StayLock PVC tiles give you the durability of rubber with the cushion of of foam.

Tiles can be installed on any indoor surface including concrete and carpet, without an underlayment. You can cut to fit around obstructions. The unique active locking design means that tiles won't separate over time and they provide a 20 inch fall height, so they are best for preschool sized playgrounds.

Ergo Matta Solid CushionTred Tiles
These tiles are made from 100% recycled plastic, and will contribute LEED points to your building project. At the end of their lifecycle, some distributors like Greatmats will accept StayLock tiles for recycling. Tiles come in a range of designer colors including terra cotta, forest green, tan and brown, as well as custom colors - to make your indoor playground a showcase. The orange peel surface provides traction so little feet won't slip.

Another brand to look at is Ergo Matta. Its Solid CushionTred tiles are manufactured from durable 100% recycled rubber and flexible PVC plastic to be soft and supportive as well as long lasting. The tiles are available in a range of colors including blue, yellow, green, red, gray, black, white and beige and cost between $6 and $7 per square foot. The diamond shield tread increases traction and reduces falls.

Foam Indoor Playground Surfaces
Greatmats Indoor Playground Foam Tiles
For higher ASTM Fall Height protection, take a look at Greatmats Indoor Playground Foam Tiles, which are 1 5/8 inch thick with a ASTM Fall Height Rating of 4 feet. Starting under $3 a square foot, these foam tiles are waterproof and non-absorbent and their tatami top texture means no rug burns if a child slides or wipes out. The puzzle edges are simple to install, reversible and easily portable. The foam puzzle tiles are available in a 40 inch square with border strips. Since these tiles are soft and will indent under extended heavy weight, Greatmats recommends installing heavy playground equipment first, and then installing the foam mats around the equipment.

The interlocking foam tiles are available in black and grey, red and blue, or green and grey, and since they are reversible, you can change patterns and colors.

Rubber Indoor Playground Surfaces
For higher fall heights, like 8 or 10 feet, you'll want to look at a rubber surface. Make sure any rubber product you choose is low odor and designed for indoor use.

Specialty flooring retailer has a large selection of rubber tiles, and its expert customer service reps can help you make the right choice for your equipment and budget.