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.