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.