Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Tim Wegert - 2017 Infinity National Championships Adult Forms Grand Cham...

How to Cut Specialty Flooring Materials

Quick Guide to Custom Cutting Rubber, Foam, Plastic or Vinyl

By Julia Nass

Greatmats how to cut foam floor tiles installation
Cutting Foam Tiles
Having the ability to install a floor oneself is not only satisfying - it saves the hefty cost of hiring someone to do it. No matter the material, design or purpose of the floor, Greatmats makes easy installations a priority.

Although most floors are a breeze to install, wall-to-wall placement of flooring materials requires a bit more extra work. The likelihood that tiles will fit wall-to-wall without being cut down are slim. Further, certain floors may have surface irregularities or appliances that need to be navigated around. Therefore, specialty flooring often has to be cut down in order to fit perfectly. The best cutting methods may not be as intuitive as putting tiles together. The following provides a general guideline as to how to cut different specialty flooring materials.

What You Need

Greatmats how to cut plastic floor tiles installation
Cutting Plastic Tiles
Regardless of the flooring material, one should be equipped with the following items: a tape measure, washable marker or pencil and a straight edge. These tools are the key to floor cutting and installation success. Why? Because these tools are your cutting safeguards. Used properly, they will help protect you from making any unsightly cutting mistakes. By staying vigilant in your measuring and marking, you will come away with clean edges and a perfect, tight fitting floor.

It's now time to discuss the cutting tool. For the majority of flooring installations, all you are going to need is a sharp utility knife. However, this depends on the thickness and density of the material. If flooring material is too dense, thick or hard to penetrate with an utility knife, a power or table saw will be required to make cuts. Here is a quick rundown of cutting tool requirements based on material:

Plastic - Pretty much all plastic flooring can be cut with an utility knife. That being said, for hard plastics it is much more time and energy efficient to use a power saw.

Foam and Rubber - Use an utility knife for rubber and foam products. Even in the case of denser, thicker materials, foam and rubber should be soft enough to cut through.

Vinyl - Hard vinyl tiles require a table saw to cut. Thin vinyl rolls can be cut with a sharp utility knife.

Getting Ready to Cut

Greatmats how to cut tiles with power saw installation
Cutting Hard Plastic and Vinyl Tiles with Power Saw
Begin by installing the majority of your floor. Once you get to a point where you cannot fit a whole tile between already laid tiles and the wall (or dryer, or column, or whatever you're fitting tiles next to), that's your cue that it's almost time to cut. But before we cut, we must pull out our handy dandy aforementioned tools and measure, measure, measure.

Using your tape measure, take the distance between the already-laid tile and the wall (or dryer, etc.). Measure the same distance on the tile you are preparing to cut. If you are cutting rubber, give yourself an extra 1/8-1/4 inch in order to leave room for expansion. Other tiles may need a small gap between the wall and the tile, so make sure to read the product description carefully in order to determine if tiles will expand. Another tip is to let tiles acclimate to the room for a couple days before installing.

Clearly mark that distance with your pencil or pen and distinguish the line you are going to cut. Because different tiles have different connecting systems on different sides, make sure you are preparing to cut off the correct side. For example, say the tiles have a hook and loop connecting system. If the already laid tile is in place with the loop side exposed, make sure to keep the hook side on the tile you are cutting. Rather, prepare to cut off the loop side.

If you need help or guidance with installation, make sure to check out Greatmats.com or contact customer service. Chances are, there is a video or blog tutorial you can follow for installation instructions and tips. Otherwise, customer service can answer any installation questions.

Cutting Materials

Greatmats how to cut rubber tiles installation
Cutting Rubber Tiles
Lay down your straight edge on the cutting line to use as a guide. Apply a decent amount of pressure to the straight edge in order to keep it in place. Doing so will help you keep your cuts from being jagged, crooked or wonky in any way.

If you using an utility knife to make cuts, make a series of scores to for a clean cut edge. For thicker foam tiles, go most of the way through and then fold the material and finish cutting the tile by following the fold with the utility knife on the opposite side of the tile. For harder materials, making a series of cuts and then folding the tile is a more efficient way to cleanly sever the pieces than attempting to saw completely through the tile. Keep in mind they type of support system on the back side of the tile. In some cases, such as harder plastics, even though you can make a clean break by folding, it can discolor the top surface from flexing around the supports. In these cases it is advised to use a power saw to prevent flex marks.

If you are using a power saw, make sure you are well-aware of safety guidelines and operation procedures. Always remember to wear eye protection when operating power tools, as small pieces can fly away.

What If I Can't Do This Myself?

As mentioned before, Greatmats prioritizes a quick and easy process for customers - customer service to installation. That being said, cutting down materials may not be an easy thing for everyone. If you are feeling intimidated by the task, look for products that can be ordered in custom lengths. Greatmats can cut down certain products for you, so new flooring will fit perfectly in your unique space upon arrival on your doorstep. Contact Greatmats customer service with any questions. You are sure to find support and assistance with anything you need.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

What is the Importance of Raised Flooring and Air Flow?

Not all raised floors are created equal. Learn the differences.

By Julia Nass

What is a Raised Floor?

Greatmats basement raised carpet tile
A raised floor is a flooring surface elevated above an underlying subfloor (often concrete). The term raised floor often refers to the type of flooring found in office buildings and computer rooms, where the distance between the subfloor and the floor surface can range from 2 inches to 4 feet. This space is used to route cords, cables and wires in a hidden yet accessible way. A quick google search for raised floor will most likely lead you to raised floors in this context.

Another type of raised floor tiles are those that sit a couple millimeters to a couple inches up off of the subfloor. These types of raised floor tiles have a differing yet practical purpose in homes and buildings: they allow air flow to occur underneath tiles. It is exactly this type of raised flooring that will be discussed here.

Greatmats TileFlex raised tile plastic How Important is Air Flow?

As mentioned above, raised floor tiles are beneficial because they invite airflow to an otherwise air tight situation. But why does that matter? Air flow is important in flooring systems where moisture is present, like in basements and other naturally humid or damp spaces. The presence of moisture creates an environment where bacteria, mold and mildew can grow and thrive. At best, mold is a nasty bother that may do some damage to flooring materials. At worst, mold and mildew are harmful to humans, especially with long-term exposure.

Air flow in a flooring situation helps prevent the buildup of moisture, thereby protecting against mold and mildew. Raised floor tiles give space for air to alleviate moisture levels and flow through damp areas. In dry climates or humidity controlled environments, air flow is not as important. However, in humid climates where moisture build up is bound to occur, it's important to have some type of air flow in those damp spaces. It's smart to install a floor that combats mold and mildew off the bat. That way, one will not have to pay in time and money to replace mold or moisture damaged flooring.

Do All Types of Raised Floors Allow Air Flow?

We can see that air flow matters, and maybe you are already convinced raised flooring is the solution. Before pulling the trigger, let's take the discussion one step further. Not all raised floor tiles are created equal in terms of air flow. The most obvious way to categorize differences in tile air flow is as follows: tiles with a sealed surface and tiles with a perforated surface.

Non-Perforated Tiles

Greatmats TileFlex raised floor
Raised floor tiles with sealed surfaces allow air to flow underneath the surface floor layer. Even a small space for air can help prevent moisture. However, there will not be nearly as much circulation as with perforated tiles. On the other hand, this kind of raised flooring allows extra cushion and ergonomic benefits in the floor. Anti-fatigue and softer impact makes sealed wood and vinyl raised floor tiles a great option for dance floors and other athletic uses. For example, Greatmats' Max Tile Raised Floor Tile is a versatile sports floor tile that can be used for everything from basketball to ballroom dancing.

Perforated Tiles

Greatmats patio outdoor perforated tile raised floor Perforated tiles allow air to flow not only between the tile and the subfloor but up through the top surface of the floor. Perforated raised floor tiles maximize airflow and minimize moisture build up. Therefore, they are highly recommended in places where water is largely present - such as in hot tub rooms, showers and around pools. Perforated raised floor tiles are also a popular choice for outdoor playgrounds and kids areas.

Checking for Moisture

Routine moisture checks are always recommended in basements and similar rooms. Exposing and dealing with moisture, mold and mildew can be a huge hassle if it means pulling up the floor. Fortunately, Greatmats' raised floor tiles makes it easy. Raised basement flooring is a breeze to install and uninstall, so checking out the subfloor isn't such a time consuming chore. It's something one can do solo. Further, such checks are needed less frequently with raised floor tiles.

Raised Floor Options

Greatmats raised plastic basement floor
There are plenty of different types of raised floors to choose from. As with any flooring at Greatmats, one can find raised floor tiles in all sorts of styles and designs.

Greatmats' offers raised basement flooring to meet all your basement needs, but that's not all. There are also raised floors for garages, bathrooms, outside patio or any other location you may find a raised floor handy.

Whether you are searching for raised flooring for your kids' room in the basement or a portable dance floor, Greatmats can help you find the perfect raised flooring solution. Raised floors can be found with surfaces in everything from carpet to vinyl. At Greatmats, all raised floor tiles are a breeze to order, handle and install.
For more on this topic please review our Raised Flooring product page.

Related Product: StayLock Tile Perforated Colors

Friday, May 26, 2017

Greatmats BJJ Training Series with Rodrigo Comprido Medeiros - Part 3 - ...

Dance Subfloor Options for All Budgets

Softening a Hard Dance Floor with a Subfloor

By Julia Nass

Greatmats dance subfloor options infographic foam rubber plastic wood
As with every sport, safety and self-care are of the utmost importance in staying injury free in dance. Of course this includes the basics, such as warming up and stretching. What may not be as obvious, however, is the role a dance floor plays in a dancer's health and safety.

Dancers spend countless hours on dance floors turning, leaping and moving. Each movement may not feel much different than the last, but for lower extremities, small impacts with the floor add up. Over time, high-intensity connection with the floor can create damage to muscles and joints.

Studies have shown that a softer dance floor with higher shock-absorption reduces the impact of movement on muscles and joints. At the same time, a dance floor can't be so soft that one's movement is altered. It's important to find the right balance between cushion and hardness in a dance floor.

There are a ton of different dance floor options on the market, ranging in stiffness, quality and price. Although reduced stiffness floors are recommended for dancers, many of them cost a fortune to purchase, not to mention the cost of installation. Fortunately, there are money- and time-saving options.


Dance Subfloors Options

Greatmats recommends a few difference dance subfloors, all of which are meant to be installed under an all-purpose marley dance flooring. Greatmats has a large selection of budget-friendly subfloors and top-of-the-line subfloors. Read on to learn which subfloor might be right for you.


High Density Foam

Greatmats foam dance subfloor floor tiles
If installing a dance floor over concrete, utilize a high density foam as the base layer. Greatmats recommends Sports Plus Designer Foam tiles, which are 2x2 feet in size and ⅜ inch thick. These economical dance subfloor tiles create the right amount of separation between the unforgiving concrete and the marley surface.

Foam tiles are easily installed with a puzzle-piece style interlocking system. With this system, it only takes minutes to have the dance subfloor complete. From there, simply lay the marley surface on top for a complete multi-purpose dance floor. No adhesives are necessary for the creation of the dance floor. However, you should tape down the sides of the marley surface.

Be aware, a foam underlayment is not the choice subfloor for advanced ballet and pointe. The flooring is a bit too soft and slow to respond for pointe. If the dance floor will be mainly used for pointe, use a plyometric rubber underlayment instead. Rubber rolls provide a firmer base and are also extremely economical.



Plyometric Rubber Flooring

Greatmats plyometric rubber budget dance subfloor
Dance studios have found been very happy using plyometric rubber flooring with marley floor installed directly on top. The plyometric rubber provides cushioning but firmness. Dance studios have used this flooring for ballet and various types of dance. The plyometric rubber is in a roll and can be installed without glue. Marley flooring can be taped down to the rubber. Since glue is not required, this rubber flooring can be used as a portable dance subfloor for special events and demonstrations. Take a look at how this flooring is used at the St Cloud School of Dance and Ballet.

Greatmats plyometric rubber flooring dance underlayment


Plastic Court Tiles 
 
Greatmats plastic dance subfloor floor tilesIf you're wanting to install a dance floor over carpet, there is no need to tear up existing carpet. Instead, you can use the carpet to your advantage. By installing hard plastic tiles over it, carpeting acts as the cushion layer for the dance floor. Greatmats recommends Flat Top Court Tiles as the firm surface over carpet and under the marley layer.

These dance subfloor tiles are made of high-quality polypropylene plastic. They are designed with a supreme, tight-fitting loop and hook connecting system. All you have to do is snap tiles together for an installation you can count on. Once tiles are put together, simply lay the marley layer on top, and tape down the sides.

Installing a dance floor over carpeting is not recommended for professional dance studios.

Greatmats Court Floor Tile Flat Top Dance Floor Underlayment


Combining Foam and Plastic
 
Greatmats dance subfloor foam plastic floor
Another option for installing over concrete or other hard surfaces is to layer plastic court tiles on top of foam tiles. This type of dance subfloor layering achieves cushion and support. Install foam tiles first, then place plastic court tiles directly on top. Because of the grip of foam tiles, plastic tiles will not shift around. Layering foam tiles and plastic tiles is a cheap subfloor alternative to sprung dance floor systems. This subfloor system is recommended for home dance use and portable dance subfloors. St Paul Ballet uses this dance subfloor for traveling to theaters and other event centers for performances. Northwoods Dance of Pequot Lakes, Minnesota uses this type of subfloor in their dance studio.

Combining Rubber and Plastic

Greatmats budget dance studio subfloor system
If you are installing over concrete or a hard surface, you can use plyometric rubber flooring rolls with plastic court tiles on top. The plyometric rubber provides the cushioning while the plastic tiles provide the flat, supportive surface. Marley flooring is recommended for installation on top to provide a finish dance floor surface. Another benefit of this floor is that it is portable for events or moving to a new studio. No glue or hardware is needed for installing this floor. Our Dance Studio Subfloor Elite is an excellent alternative to a wood sprung floor for commercial dance studios or home use.



Sprung Dance Floors
 
Greatmats Sprung Dance Subfloor floor
Sprung dance floors are a highly sought-after option, as they provide just the right amount of flexibility to help prevent injuries and accentuate movement. At the same time, sprung dance floors also provide enough resistance so movement stays seamless.

Typically, sprung dance floors are one of the pricier dance subfloor options. Greatmats' sprung floor panels can save you loads of money down the line because of their portability. Almost anyone can install panelized sprung floors themselves, and they are just as easily deinstalled and transferred to a different home or studio.

Greatmats offers sprung floor panels that feature a wavelock connecting system, which eliminates all soft and hard spots across the floor. If you already have marley and wooden panels, there is no need to start over with an entirely new floor. Greatmats also has DIY sprung subfloor panels that yield the perfect underlayment for any marley surface.

Greatmats Rosco Sprung Dance Floor DIY Wavelock Technology



Final Note

Dance floors are subject to so much wear and tear that it's of the utmost importance to install a high-quality, durable floor. When you choose to invest in a dance floor, it should be an investment that will last you. Greatmats understands that higher price doesn't always mean higher quality. That's why at Greatmats, you can invest in a dance floor that won't cost you an arm and a leg, but will yield all the quality you could possibly hope for.

For more on this topic please review our Dance Flooring product page.





Thursday, May 25, 2017

Ways to Protect Your Floor From Furniture

Keep Your New Floor Looking New By Taking the Proper Precautions

By Julia Nass

You love the way your floors look when they're brand new, unblemished and gleaming. But how do you keep them looking like new? With all the activity occurring in your home or office, it may seem difficult to preserve the quality of your floors. What follows are some floor protection keys to save floors from damage and keep them looking fresh.

Choose the Right Floor Accordingly

Greatmats basement flooring stone look
First and foremost, it's important to choose flooring with use in mind. Many types of flooring are designed to withstand high-volume foot traffic and heavy furniture. Others are geared towards comfort, padding, and aesthetics over durability. Make sure you keep this in mind when installing your flooring in the first place. It's worth it to thoroughly research the product you're interested in before installation. Ask questions like: will chair legs or high heels damage the material? What is maintenance like? How simple is it to uninstall or move? If a company is confident in their products and is dedicated to quality customer service, they will easily and gladly answer any questions like these you might have. That way, you can plan accordingly.

Furniture Pads and Gliders

Greatmats foam carpet interlocking tile
Obviously, even with the most quality products out there, you should still take floor protection precautions. Furniture protecting pads are a great way to prevent wear and tear caused by chairs, dressers and other furniture. These products, often made of felt, plastic or rubber, are used to prevent both the indentation caused by weight and the scratches and scuffs inflicted when the furniture is moved. There is a diverse market of furniture protection pads and gliders. It's important to choose the appropriate product to match the weight and material of your furniture, as well as the type of flooring beneath it.

Self-Adhesive Pads
Greatmats basement flooring
A simple and inexpensive type of floor protection is a self-adhesive felt pad, which can be attached to each contact point at the base of most types of furniture. These pads come in a variety of sizes and thicknesses, and soften the edges of the furniture base to minimize noise and allow for furniture movement across tile, vinyl, and other hard floor surfaces. For furniture such as chairs, stools and card tables, you can find formed felt pads with reinforced sides that wrap around the base of the leg.

The simplicity of installing these self-adhesive pads is a definite plus, but watch out for dirt and other grime that can get caught underneath the pad, and be aware that the adhesive will lose its hold over time.

Glides

Greatmats gym foam flooring
Unlike the adhesive pads, tap-in felt glides have a thin-walled metal rivet that is hammered into the furniture's base. These pads can only be attached to table and chair legs made of wood, but are less likely to become detached when a piece of furniture is moved frequently.

In addition to preventing scuffs and scrapes on the floor surface, furniture gliders can also aid in rearranging heavy furniture. Plastic and cloth gliders are slipped beneath or installed into heavy objects. Be sure to consider load capacity of each glider when moving heavier dressers and desks.

Polyethylene gliders can be used on both carpet and hard floor surfaces for easy movement of heavy furniture. These round gliders are 4 in in diameter and have a 100 lb load capacity each.

Other Floor Protection Tips

Greatmats commercial flooring protection
In order to avoid scratches, tears and damage, you should check the upkeep and cleanliness of your furniture protection frequently. Replacing a felt pad is much easier and more inexpensive than repairing a damaged floor.

Chair glides should be chosen and installed with extra care, as they are designed to help the chair move easily and frequently across the floor. With incorrect floor protection, this piece of furniture can quickly cause wear and tear on your flooring.

Scuffs and scratches can come from a score of different culprits, but these glides and pads can ease your worries about the pieces of furniture that are permanent fixtures of your home or office. Now you'll just have to watch out for the overflowing coffee pot, or the cleat-clad teenagers returning home from soccer practice.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Cushioned Bathroom Flooring Options

Soft, Waterproof Floors Can Add Comfort to Bathrooms without Sacrificing Style

By Julia Nass


Greatmats rubber foam bathroom tiles installationWhen you think of a room in your home that you associate most with comfort, you are likely thinking about bedrooms or living rooms, maybe even the back porch. What you probably don't consider is the bathroom. It's just not usually the first thing that comes to mind when you're talking luxury, coziness or solace. Perhaps it's time to reconsider.

Many people aren't aware of how much time they actually spend in the bathroom. Showering, applying makeup, shaving, brushing teeth, visiting the porcelain throne, all those bathroom time activities really do add up. You might not realize it, but bathrooms are actually one of the most frequented rooms in homes. All that time spent in the bathroom means it deserves as much comfort and care as any other room.

If you find your bathroom isn't quite as inviting as you'd like it to be, or if you are designing one from scratch, the right flooring can do wonders. Flooring is a significant enough part of the room that it helps define the entire feel. Not only are aesthetics and comfort important, but bathroom flooring needs to be able to withstand heat, moisture and foot traffic. Without the proper protection, flooring in moisture-exposed areas is at high risk of becoming damaged, warped or covered in mold and mildew.

Choosing a bathroom floor that is both comfortable and high-performing can be tricky. Many products forego quality for looks, or looks for comfort, or any combination of factors. There are products out there that provide it all, however. Greatmats offers bathroom floors that are soft, cushiony, and dependable. Let's take a closer look at some of those options.

Slip Resistant Foam Tiles


Greatmats Life Floor wet area bathroomt tilesLife Floor tiles for wet areas are one of the softest and safest bathroom flooring solutions. The tile is made with a blend of rubber and foam and is installed with a self-adhesive. The foam rubber blend provides plenty of cushion and slip-resistance. Tiles are completely waterproof, antibacterial and antifungal, which is extremely important in wet environments.

Life Floor tiles come in a multitude of styles and designs, including slate. With Life Floor slate tiles, you can achieve the beauty of stone without the hard, cold slippery surface. Instead, your feet will stay warm, happy, and right where you put them. These soft bathroom tiles even have an ATSM fall height rating of 1 foot, which proves good cushion and safety. Life Floor tiles also come in ripple textures for extra traction and a wide variety of colors.

Life Floor tiles can be installed with a simple peel and process or glued down. The adhesives are strong and long-lasting, so even with long-term exposure to moisture, tiles will not shift around. You can clean these tiles with a damp mop and household cleaners or a powerwash.

Life Floor tiles are specifically designed to last a long time in wet areas, while other foam tiles aren't designed for bathrooms.

Greatmats wood grain interlocking foam tilesInterlocking Foam Tiles


Although many foam tiles aren't necessarily designed for bathroom use, there are others that will also work in a bathroom. Interlocking EVA foam tiles, for example, are waterproof and would work fine in a bathroom.

At Greatmats, interlocking foam tiles come in a ton of different colors and even come in a wood-grain design. If you do decide to go with an interlocking foam tile, make sure you acclimate the tile to the room before installing, as these tiles can expand with heat and humidity. Please note: some foam tiles with a smooth surface can be slippery when wet or installed over smooth tile. Test a sample before use.


Soft PVC tiles


Greatmats softflex bathroom floor tiles
Soft, flexible perforated tiles made from PVC are another good-looking, safe and comfortable bathroom floor choice. For example, SoftFlex Floor Tiles from Greatmats are made of high-quality PVC that allows water to drain through the tile. Thus, water will not build up into hazardous puddles. These soft bathroom tiles are anti-fatigue and provide slip-resistance even when wet.

With an easy hook-and-loop fastening system, installing SoftFlex Floor Tiles is as simple as a snap. SoftFlex Floor Tiles come in several different colors, from warm grey to ocean blue. You can even mix and match colors to create any pattern or design you want. PVC Tiles are super easy to clean with a damp mop and a household cleaner (avoid bleach).

There are many reasons to install a cushioned bathroom floor. Cushion provides next-level comfort to a room you spend a significant amount of time in. Further, cushion provides extra safety and comfort in a room where slipping and falling is not uncommon. Soft bathroom floors are a smart idea for the whole family, but particularly for those who are more accident prone. At Greatmats, a cushioned floor doesn't mean giving up on style or quality.

You can have it all.


For more on this topic please review our Wet Area Flooring product page.

Related Product: Life Floor Slate Tiles 3/16 Inch Peel and Stick

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Comprido on Greatmats: Greatmats BJJ Mats Customer Profile

Overcoming Uneven Ground with Flexible Patio Tiles

Flexible Patio Tiles Are a Low Cost Alternative to Expensive Landscaping for Uneven Patio Spaces

By Julia Nass

Greatmats flexible patio tiles inforgraphic

Many companies only sell patio tiles that work when installed over even, flat and hard ground. Although that kind of ground is ideal for installing patio tiles, it's unrealistic to think all outdoor spaces have such prime patio conditions. Whether they're made of soft grass, bumpy dirt or uneven sand, outside grounds come in many challenging varieties.

Because so many patio tiles are made to be installed over hard, flat ground only, many people think the only way to work with ground problems is by renting large, expensive equipment to deal with them. Of course, this can get pricey. Hiring people and equipment for landscaping work is a serious investment. Although equipment and manpower is sometimes necessary to create the foundation of a patio, there are other options to consider.

By any account, the easiest solution is to choose a tile that will work with whatever ground you've got. It's important to remember that not every patio tile is made the same. Every patio tile has different features that lend themselves to specific environments. The following will walk you through a few different products available at Greatmats.com that work well over irregular surfaces.

Keep in mind that patio tiles installed over uneven ground will still have an uneven surface once the tiles are installed because they bend and flex to fit the existing surface.

StayLock Perforated PVC Tiles

Installation

Greatmats plastic perforated patio tile
Greatmats' PVC StayLock perforated tiles can be installed over many surfaces, including grass or sand. These perforated patio tiles are flexible, so they can bend and adhere to surface irregularities. You can also easily cut tiles to fit any space.

Installation is as easy as snapping together tiles. No other adhesives or tools are needed for tiles to stay connected. If installing over sand, it's recommended to first put down a layer of geo mesh. Besides that, however, no extra work is necessary to create a patio.

Other Patio Perks

Staylock patio tiles are designed for the outdoors. They are waterproof, UV treated, and chemical-tested for lasting quality and safety. You can shovel snow off them in the winter and keep them clean by simply sweeping or hosing them off.

Where your bare feet didn't want to walk before, they will be happy to with Staylock tiles. These patio tiles are comfortable for bare feet and have a ASTM fall height rating of 20 inches.

Because of their drain-through feature, these patio tiles work particularly well around wet areas. Water won't pool up on them, so they are slip-resistant and mold-resistant. Further, they are great for kiddos and play areas.These interlocking patio tiles come in several different colors including black and grey.

Patio Outdoor Tiles

Installation

Greatmats patio outdoor tiles over uneven ground
Patio Outdoor Tiles are another flexible tile option that can be installed over irregular ground. These tiles are made with flexible PVC plastic which allows it to flex over uneven surfaces.

Whether you're resurfacing or patio outdoor tiles in at ground level, installation is a cakewalk. The tiles can be installed without adhesive and have an interlocking design that is easy to snap together.

Other Patio Perks

Patio Outdoor Tiles bring a soft, comfortable feel to any patio. These patio tiles are drain through, so they do well in wet conditions and areas. These tiles are designed for the outdoors. Weather will not damage these patio tiles.

There's no need to be discouraged by your ground woes. An expensive landscaping project isn't your only solution. There are ways to work around and with the ground you have to create the perfect patio. Greatmats offers a variety of products that can work with the condition of your ground without a costly renovation. If you have more specific questions about these products or others, contact Greatmats for answers you can trust.
For more on this topic please review our Patio Tiles Rubber and Plastic product page.

Related Product: StayLock Tile Perforated Colors

Monday, May 22, 2017

Is Recycled Rubber Playground Flooring Safe for Kids?

Recycled Rubber Tiles Are Common Materials for Kids Playground Surfaces

By Julia Nass

When people think of playground safety, the first thing that usually comes to mind are the thousands of accidents that happen every year on the playground. Although this is an essential piece to consider when planning playground safety, there's more than just playtime accidents to consider. Many playgrounds have turned to using recycled rubber products as playground flooring. However, there have been many questions surrounding both the benefits and safety of recycled rubber use.

Why Use Recycled Rubber?

Environmentally, it makes sense to use products made from recycled materials, especially tires. Tire waste is an enormous, ongoing issue because of the massive quantity of tires that are discarded every year. When buried in landfills, tires can release harmful toxins into the earth and water systems. Tires are made to be weatherproof and live a long-life, so they are not biodegradable.

Greatmats rubber playground tiles
Manufacturing and buying products made from recycled tires are an important part of combating tire waste. There is a small portion of all discarded tires that get turned into new recycled materials. Common recycled rubber products include rubber crumbs and rubber mulch, which are used on playgrounds and as fill for artificial turf. Alternatively, some recycled rubber gets turned into solid molded products such as mats and tiles. Environmentally, repurposing tires and their material is the safest and least-damaging solution to tire waste.

However, the question still remains: are products made of recycled rubber safe for kids to play on? Because so many playgrounds do in fact utilize recycled rubber, it is an important question to consider and understand.

Is it Safe?

There has been some public controversy over the safety of certain recycled rubber products, and it's a topic still being debated and researched. Unfortunately, it's difficult to find a resounding ''yes'' or ''no'' on this matter.

Greatmats recycled rubber playground tiles
Most research has been conducted on rubber crumbs and rubber mulch. Overall, nearly every study that has been conducted have found that these substances are not in fact harmful. Rubber mulch, in particular, is promoted by both the Environmental Protection Agency and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). However, many believe the research has not been adequate enough to give a definitive answer, and more studies need to take place. The truth is, there are chemicals found in tires that can be harmful to humans given enough long-term and significant exposure.

It's also important to consider that children interact with these substances differently than adults. Children are often on the ground coming into close contact with playground materials, often by way of mouth. Further, they are smaller and more at risk for substance effects. What might be deemed safe for adults might not be the same for children.

What About Recycled Rubber Playground Mats and Tiles?

Recycled rubber playground tiles and mats, however, are a bit different than rubber crumbs and mulch. Many playground tiles and mats have a sealed surface, which prevents raw and potentially harmful substances from coming into contact with children. The safety of these products can vary with the manufacturer, so it's important to inform yourself on the quality of material and the testing they do to ensure the quality.

How Does Rubber Tie Into Injury Protection?

Greatmats rubber playground surfacing tiles
Another key component of safety is protecting from falls, which are bound to happen on a playground. Not all recycled rubber products will protect from falls as well as other materials. If you choose the right product, however, rubber playground flooring can absolutely protect kids from serious injury. On the other hand, if recycled rubber products are poorly made, they will do little to prevent or soften the impact of falls. That is why it is important to always choose rubber playground products that meet or exceed American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and CPSC standards.

Quality rubber products will advertise a fall height rating, so you can easily choose the ones to match your playground equipment. If chosen correctly, recycled rubber products can completely increase the safety of the playground. Cushion, shock-absorption and grip make certain rubber playground tiles and mats among the safest choices for play.

Is Recycled Rubber the Right Choice For Me?

If you choose the right product, playground tiles and mats made from recycled rubber are an all-around awesome choice for playground flooring. When well made, rubber playground flooring helps create the safest possible play environment for children. Utilizing recycled rubber is also an important way to combat the issues of tire waste. They are an economical choice as well.

Unlike loose-fill products, you won't have to worry about replacing rubber mats or tiles for years to come. Maintenance is far easier with these kinds of products: all you need is a broom or garden hose to clean.

What are the Alternatives to Recycled Rubber Playground Surfaces?

Clearly, there are many pros to using well-made recycled rubber playground tiles and mats. However, you can find many of those pros in other products as well. If you feel unsure about recycled materials in rubber products, you can always choose rubber playground tiles and mats made with material that has not been recycled. Read product descriptions or check in with customer service to determine what materials are being used.

Another great option for playground flooring is perforated PVC tiles. These tiles are durable, weatherproof, slip-resistant and safe. They come in a ton of different colors, so you can create a bright, fun play area without any hassle. Installation is a super easy process. All you have to do is snap together tiles using the interlocking system. Often, these tiles have a shorter fall height rating than rubber products, so they are better suited for play areas without tall equipment.

Ultimately, it's important to put in some time researching the product that works best for you and your kids. If you're feeling hesitant about the safety of certain products, don't hesitate to ask questions of the manufacturer. Chances are, someone else has had the same concerns you have. If the product is well-tested and high-quality, companies won't have a problem showing you proof of material control, ASTM ratings and other certifications. Further, check for different warranties and guarantees, which help to demonstrate product quality.
 

Friday, May 19, 2017

Greatmats BJJ Training Series with Rodrigo "Comprido" Medeiros - Part 2 ...

Rubber Garage Flooring Dos and Don'ts

Three Awesome Ways to Transform Your Garage With Rubber Flooring

By Julia Nass

Rubber is an extremely versatile material that can be used for all types of flooring, from athletic pads to playground mats. If you're thinking about putting it in your garage, however, there are some factors to consider. It's important to know in what cases rubber flooring will work and scenarios it won't.

Don't Park Your Car On Rubber

Greatmats rubber floor garage exercise gym
Although rubber is an extremely durable material, it doesn't do well underneath cars. Unfortunately, rubber is particularly susceptible to damage and even destruction from cars. Rubber car tires can create an extra strong grip with rubber flooring, which can cause the flooring to buckle, rip up, and break. Further, vehicles can drip automobile lubricants that can cause rubber flooring to break down. Overall, it's best to keep cars off of rubber flooring. 


So What is Rubber Good For?

You might be asking yourself, why put rubber in a garage if it doesn't work under a car? It's because garages aren't just for cars anymore! Garages are very popular spaces for everything from chill pads to home gyms. Here are a few instances in which rubber makes an awesome garage floor option.

Home Gyms

Greatmats rubber flooring garage gym
Garages make excellent home gyms, and rubber floors make creating a home gym in the garage easy and affordable. With rubber garage flooring, you don't need much else to create a space you and your family can get fit in right at home. Rubber rolls, mats and tiles are all popular choices for home gyms.

Rubber flooring comes in a variety of thicknesses and sizes, so you can choose one to support your activities. Some are dense and sturdy, which works well underneath heavy gym equipment. Others have more cushion and shock-absorption, which is nice for dance and floor exercises. All are durable, protective, tough and sleek.

Chill Out Space

A garage is also a popular room to turn into a space to chill out with entertainment, comfy furniture and friends. Because it's outside of the house, garage lounge spaces feel like an escape. Garage rules tend to be more relaxed than house rules, so it's an easy place to let loose and get comfy. Anyone, not just the kids or teenagers, will be happy to retreat to a nice garage lounge space.

Thick rubber flooring provides comfort and mild cushion for feet and for sitting. It also provides a layer of insulation from cold concrete often found in garages. Rubber flooring is durable enough for heavy furniture, like a plush overstuffed couch to watch movies from.

Game Room

Greatmats rubber flooring garage gym
Game rooms are another fun option for the garage space. Designating the garage as a play/game area is a good way to keep messes, roughhousing and loud noises out of the living room. It's also the perfect spot to fit larger items such as pool tables that may take over other rooms in the house.

Rubber flooring is a great floor for garage game rooms as well. It's durable enough to hold those game structures like pool and foosball tables. Rubber rolls, tiles and mats also provide insulation and padding, which softens impact and prevents noise from traveling as far. The sound dampening quality of rubber makes it so you won't have to hear all the bumps and thuds that come from play.

Another perk: rubber is easy to clean. For most rubber flooring products, all you need is a damp mop and a pH neutral cleaner, as other cleaners can erode the material. It's best to keep certain types of rubber flooring from getting super wet, as recycled rubber is somewhat porous and can allow a certain degree of permeation.

Rubber Floor Installation

No matter the size, style or use, Greatmats' rubber floors are easy to install in any garage. Certain rubber tiles have an easy interlocking system that yields tight-fitting seams that disappear over time. Other mats, tiles and rolls are a simple dry lay. You can also use double sided floor tape or adhesives for longer-lasting installations. If you are looking for a temporary option, rubber flooring rolls are easily rolled back up and put away. Tiles and mats are easily uninstalled as well.

It can be difficult to think of your garage as anything more than a space for your car or a place to items you don't know where else to put. However, garages have the potential to be so much more. With Greatmats' rubber flooring, you'll find that creating a home gym, lounge space or game room in your garage is a no brainer - especially with the Greatmats' team on your side.
 
For more on this topic please review our Garage Flooring Tiles product page.

Related Product: Rubber Tile Diamond 2x2 Ft 3/8 Inch Colors

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Creating a Soft Child's Bedroom Floor: The Magic of Foam

Ease the worry with soft foam kids room flooring.

By Julia Nass

Greatmats foam tiles kids play room
Kiddos spend a lot of time on the floor - playing, crawling, sitting with pets. With so much time spent on the floor, why not bring comfort and safety to the very ground they stand on? Growing bodies deserve a floor that is pleasant to spend time on, while you deserve to not have to worry about their safety. A soft bedroom floor for a child is a fabulous way to create a snug and protective environment.

Certainly, this includes carpet, but what about other options? It may not be obvious, but foam flooring happens to be one of the most popular choices out there for a cushion bedroom. Let's take a closer look.

Interlocking Foam Tiles


Greatmats foam tiles preschools daycares
One of the most fun and creative ways to create soft kids flooring is to install interlocking foam tiles. Foam tiles are consistently one of Greatmats' most popular kids flooring options because of their quality, comfort and allure. Not only that, but they are an all-around economical flooring choice. With foam kids room flooring, you can create a protective and engaging environment that won't cost you much and will give back tremendously.

Specs and Safety

Foam tiles are made from a premium quality foam material called ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA). Although they come in a variety of thicknesses, the most popular tile is ⅝ inch thick. Whether kiddos are scurrying about on their feet or mellowed out on their backs, EVA foam provides great cushion and support. There is enough shock absorption to soften the impact of falling or other forceful landings. Not only does cushioning provide safety and comfort measures, but it also provides sound and heat insulation for kids rooms.

Foam tiles are also slip-resistant. For added traction, you can find foam tiles with textured tread. Certain Greatmats foam tiles feature one textured side and one smooth side, so you can easily change your mind about the best fit for your child's room.

Creative, Easy Installation

Foam Tiles work like a giant puzzle and are fun for the whole family to install. The tiles allow you to be the creative designer. With more than 15 vibrant colors to choose from and the flexibility to install in any pattern you want, you can truly create a floor to spark playfulness and imagination. Alternatively, you can put in cool and calming colors for a more relaxed kids bedroom environment. You can even find foam tiles in a wood-grain design. Popular patterns include checkerboard, stripes and multi-colored framing.

Maintenance

Cleanability and ease of maintenance are more awesome features of EVA foam tiles. Foam kids floor tiles are waterproof and resistant to stains. Some textured foam tiles are resistant to scuffing.

Greatmats interlocking foam tile
EVA tiles can be cleaned on a daily basis with a broom or damp mop. If a more serious accident happens, you never have to worry about installing a new floor or hiring someone to take care of it. All you have to do is pick the affected tile or two and replace them with new ones.

Other Foam Tile Perks

There are still a few other awesome perks to mention. Greatmats EVA foam tiles are lead and latex free guaranteed. They can also easily be cut with a sharp utility knife to fit any room irregularities. They come with border strips for easy wall-to-wall installation.

Still unsure? Check out Greatmats.com to read all of the 5-star reviews on foam tile products or recieve assistance from customer support. 

Foam + Carpet


Greatmats interlocking carpet foam tile
Carpet is a classic choice for cushion and comfort. However, many types of carpet only provide surface level comfort. Often times, there isn't much underlying cushion. Without it, carpeted floors may look soft and feel soft to the touch, but when it comes to real weight or impact, they can be just as hard as concrete or wood.

In response to this issue, Greatmats offers a wonderfully cushioned carpet tile. Many of its foam-cushioned carpet tiles are made of the same premium foam as EVA foam tiles, except they are finished with a plush carpet surface. Greatmats' carpeted tiles provide all of the safety, comfort and ease of foam tiles with an added layer of softness and warmth.

Like other foam tiles, interlocking carpet tiles are put together with a puzzle-piece connecting system. Unlike other foam tiles, however, foam carpet tiles only come in a few different colors. Interlocking carpet tiles are also a wonderful kids flooring option because of the ease of maintenance: just vacuum regularly.

Protecting a Soft Floor


Greatmats foam tiles kids room exercise room
With a soft kids room floor comes a downside - foam floors are more susceptible to negative effects from furniture than other harder floors. Heavy furniture like bed frames and dressers can cause permanent indentations into foam floors. Although it won't necessarily damage the foam, indentations can still be a drag to look at. Therefore, it's smart to take precautions. One simple way to protect soft kids room flooring is to put furniture coasters underneath legs or corners. Furniture coasters help distribute the weight of furniture more evenly, which helps prevent deep, long-lasting indentations.

Furthermore, be aware when moving furniture. Dragging heavy furniture across the floor is a sure way to create unwanted marks or material tear. Practice caution when moving furniture and avoid pushing and dragging if possible. It's also smart to utilize furniture glides, which help prevent flooring damage when furniture is on the move.
 
For more on this topic please review our Children's Flooring product page.

Related Product: Foam Floor Mats 5/8 Premium

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Dog Friendly Floors for your Screened-In Porch

Non-absorbency, Scuff Resistance and Traction are Just a Few Qualities of Quality Pet Resistant Patio Flooring


By Julia Nass

Greatmats patio outdoor tile for dogs
Pets bring cuddles, friendship, and smiles into the house. Unfortunately, that's not the only thing they bring. There's no stopping the dirt, stains, scratches and other accidents pets cause. If you have a screened in porch or patio connecting the outside to the inside, that room is particularly subject to such pet messes.

Obviously, you can't stop accidents from happening. However, you can save yourself a lot of trouble with the right flooring. By choosing the right pet-friendly flooring, you can save time, energy and money.

What To Look For in Pet Safe Flooring

There are several features to keep an eye out for when searching for the right patio flooring for your pet. First of all, you'll want something scratch resistant to prevent damage from pet nails and claws. Second, you'll want a floor that is durable enough to withstand wear and tear. Further, it helps to have a floor that can withstand accidents. That means something that is non-absorbent and won't stain with moisture. You'll obviously need to clean up after the messes your pet leaves, so you want to choose something easy to keep clean. It's also a good idea to install a floor with good traction, so scurrying paws won't slip around at all.

This might seem like a lot to be looking out for, but there are plenty of products that uphold all those benefits and more. Here's an overview of some of them.


StayLock Perforated Tiles

Greatmats perforated outdoor plastic tiles for dogs
StayLock Perforated Tiles are another durable, drain-through option. These tiles are made from quality plastic material in the USA and come in a variety of fun colors. They are waterproof, slip-resistant and won't be damaged by nails. These patio tiles are a great option if you have kiddos as well, as they are a very popular choice for play areas.

StayLock Perforated Tiles are made with super easy interlocking system. Installation is easy as snapping together tiles by hand. Cleaning only requires a damp mop and common household cleaners. It is best to avoid using bleach on this product.

Note: Greatmats also offers another perforated PVC tile excellent for just such applications. The Patio Outdoor Tile offers all of the same benefits listed above for the StayLock Tiles.

Max Tile Raised Floor

Greatmats basement raised vinyl floor interlocking tile
Vinyl is an excellent choice for pet flooring. Vinyl is slip, wear, scratch and stain resistant, which makes it one of the most popular flooring choices for pet-owners. Greatmats' offers raised vinyl tiles that provide all of these benefits and more.

Max Tile Raised Floors sit above the ground to allow air-circulation, which is particularly important in moist environments. These tiles are durable and designed for heavy traffic and furniture. Max tiles are often used as dance floors and basketball court flooring because they are so scratch and wear resistant. The protective surfacing will never need refinishing. Nevertheless, Max Tiles are extremely comfortable and inviting to bare feet and pet naps.

If you're interested the aesthetics of wood, you can choose one of the wood-grain varieties these tiles come in. Tiles are also offered in a slate design.

Max Tiles stay together with a tight fitting connector system that gives the floor strength and stability. Installations and removals are a simple project you can do all by yourself. Tiles can be cleaned with a damp mop and household cleaner.

Overall, Max Tiles are one of the best non-absorbent vinyl laminate modular floor tiles on the market, and one of the best pet-friendly flooring options out there.

As you can see, you and your pet have some great options for your screened-in porch flooring. You'll be able to rest easy knowing the right pet-resistant tiles will save you from having to deal with damage down the line. Even better, choosing Greatmats patio flooring guarantees you long-lasting quality and the best service around.
For more on this topic please review our Deck Tiles and Outdoor Deck Flooring product page.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

What to Look for in Hot Tub Room Flooring


Know How to Address Hot Tub Room Flooring Hazards

By Julia Nass


Greatmats pool deck flooring indoor outdoor hot tubWhen you think of a hot tub room, you probably think of serenity, comfort and luxury. What many people don't think about are the risks lurking around every jacuzzi corner. The same warm water that is there to soothe and relax you can end up being quite harmful. Danger comes from standing water being where it doesn't belong.

The reality is, it's nearly impossible to keep all the water where it does belong. Even if you're careful, nearly a gallon of water gets out of a hot tub every time you do. When water escapes the hot tub and stands, there a couple hazards of which you should be aware.




Hot Tub Room Risks

The most dangerous aspect to all that water comes from mold and mildew. Water does not evaporate as easily inside, especially in humid climates, and standing water can harvest harmful bacteria. Even though substances like chlorine protect the hot tub itself from that kind of bacteria, it won't prevent buildup from happening outside of the tub. If you're not careful, your hot tub room could end up growing damaging mold that can cause sickness with exposure.

Secondly, there is always the risk of slipping and falling on wet floors. Puddles of water make hot tub rooms an accident prone space. It's important to have a space that remains safe even when wet.

Greatmats soft flexible spa flooringFlooring Makes a Difference

Flooring can make all the difference in designing a safe and reliable hot tub room. You need flooring that can provide you with ways to combat issues like mold, mildew and water poolage. Fortunately, there are flooring products designed for these exact purposes. Here are a few flooring features in particular that will help keep your hot tub room risk free.

Waterproof Materials

First of all, it's important to use flooring made from water-resistant materials. Waterproof flooring won't harvest bacteria in the same way materials such as carpet and wood can. PVC is a very common material used around hot tubs and pools. PVC won't absorb water and dries quickly. A wide variety of
PVC waterproof flooring exists. At Greatmats, you can find PVC tiles in almost any color and a plethora of styles, including woodgrain.

Slip-resistance

Greatmats hot tub surround tile perforated water proof
Next, you'll want slip-resistant flooring for your hot tub room. In order to protect yourself and your guests from falling, it's important to utilize flooring that maintains traction even when it's wet. Slip-resistance goes back to material. Again, many PVC tiles have slip-resistant features. You can look out for tiles with a textured design, which can provide extra traction.

Drainage

Easy drainage is another smart waterproof flooring feature. There are many tile options, such as perforated tiles, that allow water to drain through the surface of the tile so water never pools up on top.

Raised tiles

You also have to worry about water pooling up beneath flooring, however. Raised tiles are a great way to combat water resting underneath the flooring and harboring mold where you can't see it. Air-flow and ventilation is important in a hot tub room, and the flooring is no exception. Raised tiles allow air to access the underside of your waterproof flooring, which helps keep the floor dry. Also, there's less maintenance with raised tiles; you don't have to lift up raised flooring to dry underneath it.

Softness

Greatmats Hot Tub Flooring Features infographicIf a slip does happen, you don't want it to happen on concrete or anything that feels like it. That's why you'll want slip-resistant flooring with shock absorption, so the impact of a fall isn't so hard hitting. For example, self-adhesive foam tiles are one of the more cushiony waterproof flooring options at Greatmats. Safety aside, you'll probably want something comfortable and inviting for barefeet in general.

But I Want My Hot Tub Room to Look Awesome

Obviously, the aesthetics of the waterproof flooring you choose won't protect from safety issues, but it's a factor for some of us anyway. Of course you want your hot tub room to look as wonderful as your hot tub feels. There are plenty of slip-resistant flooring options that can provide you with every beneficial flooring feature and still look awesome. Greatmats waterproof flooring comes in tons of different colors and designs, so you don't have to trade in safety for beauty.

It's important to familiarize yourself with the potential risks of your hot tub room as you are planning its creation or renovation. You'll have to prepare yourself for the fact that most of the water that will undoubtedly escape your hot tub will end up on the floor. Choosing the right flooring is key in that preparation. With the right hot tub room flooring, you will be well on your way to maintaining a safe and risk-free hot tub room with a look you'll love.
For more on this topic please review our Wet Area Flooring product page.