Friday, October 27, 2017

Are Gym Floor Protection Covers Worth The Cost?

How much can gym floor covers really save you?

By Kim Butler

When you think of a high school basketball game, I am sure images of a highly polished maple floor come to mind, as well as that satisfying smack of the ball as it is dribbled down the court. But those shiny wood floors come at price - easily starting in the tens of thousands for a standard gym, with annual maintenance costs adding to the overall price tag. With a cost like this, most schools and institutions want a way protect their investment. Although synthetic gym floors have their place, if it were left up to athletic departments, coaches and players, most gymnasium floors would be wood. The aesthetics and performance of wood surfaces are what athletes competing at high levels expect. Perhaps your local school isn't developing the next LeBron James or Kevin Durant, but fans of wood floors believe that because of the foundation that lies beneath a hardwood floor, which absorb shock, athletes are less likely to sustain injuries.

Greatmats Vinyl Gym Floor Protection Rolls gymnasium
The downside of wood floors is their expense, although they do have a longer lifespan than synthetic floors. Installing a wood floor is more expensive than synthetic alternatives, and depending on the amount of sanding and refinishing required, can deplete an institution's maintenance budget. Colleges and high schools, which have a wider range of needs for athletic space, often have both wood and synthetic floors, sometimes a wood floor for varsity competition gym, and a second gym with a synthetic floor for practices and other uses. In cities and small towns, schools are used around the clock, by the school and the community. The Maple Floors Manufacturers Association estimates a $2,088 annual daily maintenance cost for 10,000 square feet maple sports flooring (174 hours at $12 an hour). Plus another $2,800 for the annual cost of screening and re-coating maple sports flooring. And finally, $845 annual cost of refinishing maple sports flooring.

The road to the state tournament or the Final Four may be paved in maple, but that maple needs to be protected. That's where gym floor covers come in. Protective gym floor covers are available in two styles: roll out sheet vinyl and large carpet tiles. Both floor covering options are easy to use and install. Either protective flooring surface will do a great job of safeguarding your hardwood gym floor. Vinyl covers are typically much faster to install while carpet tiles will offer more comfort for your gymnasium event.

Vinyl Gym Floor Protection Rolls

Greatmats Gym Floor Cover Vinyl Roll at graduation ceremony
Vinyl floor covers come in long rolls, which are typically stored on large racks, and are rolled out to cover the floor for activities other than sporting events like dances, registrations, banquets, plays and commencements. A gym floor gets heavy foot traffic, stains, scuffs, impact from furniture and more., a specialty flooring retailer, carries several types of vinyl floor covering materials, and the racks needed to store the materiel. Their vinyl mesh fabric is fire retardant, ADA and OSHA compliant, and waterproof, rot and mildew resistant. Plus the material is anti-fungal and antibacterial.

The ultra durable three ply PVC vinyl sheeting is available in multiple thickness, which is measured by the weight of the vinyl per square yard. Thicknesses range from 18 ounces to 32 ounces per square yard. The number of uses per year equates to the recommended weight that you choose. For use six times a year or less, choose the 18 oz. If you plan to cover the floor six to 12 times a year, go for the 22 oz. weight. Twenty-seven oz is preferred for usage of more than once a month. For more frequent events, opt for the heaviest 32 oz. weight.

Greatmats Gym Floor Vinyl Covers Gymnasium Floor Protection
Greatmats has nine colors available, plus three which have tan on the reverse side. You might even get your school's colors. A raised pattern is available on some weights to enhance the non-slip factor.

Two people can easily deploy a vinyl floor cover system over a standard basketball court in less than 30 minutes.

The material is easy handling, and the seams are strong and lay smooth and flat. Seams are typically taped down, and the product is stored rolled up on racks. The product comes in 10-foot widths, and it is recommended to add six to 12 inches for overlapping each section. The rolls will be custom cut for your facility. To clean, sweep with a broom before storing.

Gym Floor Protection Carpet Tiles

Greatmats Gym Floor Protection Carpet Tiles gymnasium cover
Another option are durable and attractive carpet tiles. Greatmats stocks a 6mm thick carpet tile in a 3.28 by 6.56 foot size, which weighs less than 14 pounds a piece. This product is used by schools and universities to cover gym floors, and as protective carpet flooring for convention halls and sports/recreational facilities.

Carpet tiles lie flat on top of the wood gym flooring and there are no unsightly wrinkles or ripples to cause potential tripping hazards. Many protective carpet tiles users appreciate the added acoustic buffering that the carpet tiles provide.

They are easy to install and remove by one person even for large areas and don't require tape or lots of special accessories. Carpet tiles used as protective gym flooring covers provide a more finished look and create a better image and appearance in your facility.

Greatmats customers report compliments when they use the protective carpet tiles. Tiles are available in gray and blue and can be stored on rolling carts for easy mobility and storage of the tiles - up to 75 carpet tiles per cart. Greatmats also offers the carts for these tiles.

So whether you choose carpet tiles or vinyl rolls, you and your facility will save time and money when your gym floors are protected. You will gain usable space, without damaging the quality flooring your athletes, coaches and fans expect.

For more on this topic please review our Gym Floor Covers product page.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Benefits of Anti-Fatigue Mats for Your Employees

Features and Benefits of Anti-Fatigue Mats

By Kim Butler

Whether you are working at your own kitchen counter or work bench, or on your feet all day at a Customer Service counter or assembly line, you could make your hobby or job much more enjoyable and productive with an anti-fatigue mat.

The problem

Greatmats BubbleFlex Anti Fatigue Mats
Standing still for long periods on a hard surface, like a tile or concrete floor, is not an activity that our bodies are designed for. Our leg muscles tighten and constrict. Our hearts have to work harder to pump blood around and through these constricted muscles. And this extra work by our heart actually makes our whole body tired. And, don't forget about the foot, leg, and back pain that can also result from standing for hours on end.

Unfortunately, that's not all - standing for long periods can cause a flattening of the foot, leading to arch and heel pain, and stagnating or pooling blood can cause varicose veins. Studies have indicated that people are more likely to have an accident when they are tired, fatigued or in pain - so anti fatigue mats can have a secondary safety effect as well.

Workers who are in pain are also less productive. A study in the Journal of American Medicine estimated that an average of 3.5 hours a week are lost due to reduced worker performance - that adds up to almost 23 days a year! This does not include days that result in absenteeism, nor does this take into account medical expenses or Worker's Compensation claims from muscular skeletal damage. Simply put, a tired worker or hobbyist is less productive, less happy and may have to see a doctor more often.

The solution

Greatmats Rubber Anti Fatigue Mats
The solution lies in a simple anti fatigue mat. The softer surface of an anti-fatigue mat encourages subtle movement of the leg and foot muscles. As you shift around on the mat, this movement allows blood, and oxygen to flow more easily, and the heart does not have to pump as hard.

In addition to an antifatigue mat, make sure you take breaks during the day. Walking to the bathroom, speaking to a coworker face to face rather than sending an email can give your body the break it needs to keep you happy, productive and injury free.

Where to use anti-fatigue mats

Household locations that can benefit from anti-fatigue mats are home kitchens and work benches, craft areas and work shops and laundry rooms. Anywhere that you stand for long periods of time. If you work at home, and use a stand up desk, an anti-fatigue mat is recommended.

On the job, service desks, cashier and hostess stations, shipping and packing, wait stations, manufacturing, laboratories, assembly and picking stations, food service and parts counters are just some of the areas where employees would benefit from the use of anti-fatigue mats.

Keep anti-fatigue properties and intended use in mind

Greatmats Safety TruTread Anti Fatigue Wet Area Mats
Choosing an anti-fatigue mat is one area where the lowest cost option is often not the best. Anti-fatigue mats are available at big box retailers, but it is worth doing some research with an online flooring specialist. is one company that offers a range of choices for many budgets and purposes. Remember, cheaper mats tend to wear out more quickly, may offer only minimal anti-fatigue benefits, and may curl and bend to become a tripping hazard.

Mats vary in size from a 2 foot by 3 foot to runners, to mats that curve around a salon chair, to perforated mats for wet areas like food prep areas and manufacturing.

Mats can be made from a variety of materials like vinyl foam, rubber, and PVC and a combination of these materials.
Greatmats Diamond Foot Safety Border Anti Fatigue Mats
As far as cushioning, softer is not always better. A mat should have a degree of rebound, where the surface returns to its original form after your weight is moved. A too-soft mat is like standing on a mattress - it takes more work to remain upright, which can also lead to fatigue.

Look for beveled edges to prevent tripping and allow carts to move onto the mat. Some mats have brightly-colored borders to increase safety awareness. Anti-fatigue mats can include additional features like anti-slip surfaces. Bubbleflex, Performa, and Honeycomb are a few of the more popular options.

Greatmats Hog Heaven Anti Fatigue Welding Mat
Some mats even have anti-static electricity properties to prevent damage to people and equipment in manufacturing and industrial work. ESD Static Dissipative Mats and Apachestat are some examples of this type of mat. The closed-cell foam mat offers comfort and relief to aching legs as well as an anti-slip surface. Some mats can also withstand welding. Weldmaster is a popular brand of anti-fatigue mats used in areas used for welding. Hog Heaven Indoor Anti Fatigue mats are designed to withstand welding sparks and slag up to 1,800 degrees.

In industrial areas where fluids like oil and grease are present, a draining rubber mat is the safest option. Vinyl cannot stand up to oil and grease. Industrial machining areas, where lots of metal shavings fall to the floor, would benefit from perforated mats as they will make cleanup easier. The drainage holes allow liquid and waste to pass through. Also, a sturdy rubber mat won't get metal shavings imbedded in its surface as easily as a softer mat.

Chemical-resistant mats, such as Dekplate, are another option. Hospitals and laboratories require anti microbial properties found in mats like K-Marble.

When you have narrowed your choices down to a few mats, check the warranty. Mats with a longer warranty usually last longer, because the manufacturer has designed them for long life. Warranties can range from several years to lifetime!

Whichever mat you choose, know that you are making an investment in your comfort, productivity and overall health.
For more on this topic please review our Fatigue Mats product page.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Puzzle vs. Snap Together Interlocking Floor Tiles

Comparing the two most popular forms of interlocking tiles

By Kim Butler

Greatmats Interlocking Foam Tiles Blue
Anytime you start a home improvement project or upgrade a surface or fixture in your home, the array of choices can be daunting. Sometimes I have restricted my choices to what is available at one particular store just to keep myself sane. The same amount of choice applies to home flooring options. If you are considering a DIY floor tile, you may be ''puzzled'' as to whether you want an interlocking tile or a snap together tile. Both have their pros and cons.

As a general rule of thumb, interlocking tiles are lightweight, and the interlocks make it fast and easy to take up and take down the tiles if you need to move them. If you want something portable, interlocking tiles are a good bet. However, many interlocking tiles are made of foam, whether solid EVA foam, carpet-covered foam, or vinyl covered foam and these tiles won't stand up as well to heavy furniture, moving chairs, and lots of foot traffic from high heels, etc. Rubber interlocking tiles are available, which can support heavy weight machines, dropping weights, etc., but rubber is durable in part because it is heavy, which makes it less portable.

Puzzle-Style Interlocking Tiles

Greatmats Royal Interlocking Carpet Tile blueThe classic puzzle style interlocking tile is a foam tile. Specialty flooring retailer carries a range of colors and weights. Their most popular foam tile, the 5/8th inch Premium Foam Mat comes in 15 colors. Other budget options in black and thinner weights are also available. Other weights and textures of foam mats are also available, which are more suitable for martial arts, grappling, dog agility and aerobics.

Another option is a wood grain foam tile, available in dark wood, light wood or cork surface designs. These faux wood tiles are waterproof, yet will give your tradeshow or basement a warm, inviting look.

Greatmats HiddenLock Interlocking Plastic Tile
Carpet tiles are another choice, with all the benefits of foam tiles plus a finished, professional look to your basement or trade show. The tiles can be easily vacummed, and like all interlocking tiles, if one gets damaged, you can easily replace it. The same holds true if just a few tiles get dirty. Take them up and hose them down, dry and replace.

Some puzzle style plastic tiles include HiddenLock PVC Slate look tiles, which feature a slate-like texture in several earth tones. In this case the puzzle style interlock is hidden beneath the finished surface. For a more modern or industrial look, choose Diamond Plate floor tiles in available in 8 colors.

Snap Together Tiles

If you want something more durable, snap together tiles are a great option. While many tiles are designed so that the connectors will hold up from repeated installations, some tiles are best left in one spot once they are installed. Another benefit of many snap together tiles is that they often have space underneath for air and water to flow, making them great for basements or other wet or damp areas.

Greatmats Staylock Bump Top Tile Snap TogetherGreatmats also carries a wide variety of snap together tiles, which make an easy and satisfying DIY project. These tiles are also able to be cut with a sharp utility knife, and, as always, remember to measure twice and cut once. Many snap together tiles can handle heavy loads are are great for damp or wet areas. They are a wonderful option for dance floors, athletic courts, garages and industrial areas.

In areas with possible moisture, go with one of the StayLock tiles. Available in bump top, orange peel top and perforated surfaces, black colored versions of these long lasting tiles are made with 100% recycled material and they work great for home gyms, industrial areas and exercise studios. The tile is slightly raised off the floor to allow for water and air to flow under the tile. For wet areas, StayLock perforated tiles work best, which is great around pools and hot tubs. Like all StayLock tiles, these are durable and comfortable.

Greatmats Diamond Garage Floor Tile Snap Together
For garages, Greatmats recommends the Diamond or Coin Garage Floor tile which can withstand well over 10,000 pounds of weight. Available in 6 colors, you can create patterns and checkerboard designs, and your garage will be the envy of the neighborhood. The no-break polypropylene plastic tiles can be cut with a basic saw or table saw.

A good place to start your search for the perfect tile for your project is at They carry one of the widest selections of interlocking and snap together tiles, and their knowledgeable staff can assist you in choosing the flooring material that best meets your unique needs.

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

Monday, October 23, 2017

Permanent vs. Portable Dance Flooring

Pros and Cons of Both Portable Dance Floors and Permanent Ones

By Kim Butler

Greatmats Marley Dance Floor in Basement
Dance studio owners, community and event centers, schools, dancers and the parents of dancers who are looking for new dance flooring face an immediate choice - should you purchase permanent or portable dance flooring? The answer is not as obvious as it may seem.

In either case, you are probably looking for a mult-purpose floor, suitable for many kinds of dance whether ballet, tap, ballroom, jazz, flamenco, modern, character or clogging. Both portable and permanent floors can meet this need.

Let's start by looking at why you need dance flooring. Movement creates energy, energy which gets returned by the floor to the body.

Practicing or performing dance moves on improper flooring can cause shin splints, fatigue, strains, joint problems and possibly broken bones or fractures. Concrete is the worst offender. It is hard, unyielding and not energy absorbing.

Dance Subfloors

Greatmats dance subfloor options infographic
To soften the effects of concrete, you need to add a dance surface plus a layer of air or a material containing air, like foam. In other words, you can't just put a layer of hardwood flooring down and be done with it. Permanent dance surfaces are installed over a sprung floor or floating floor.

Underneath the dance surfaces are 1 to 2 layers of plywood, resting on neoprene pads and wood battens. Another option is foam rubber with a wood or other elastic layer on top. Any sort of temporary or portable dance needs to mimic the characteristics of a sprung floor. Believe it or not, there is so much energy generated by dancing that some ''green'' night clubs have installed dance floors containing transducers that act like shock absorbers and piezoelectric (electricity resulting from pressure) crystals which charge nearby batteries.

So now that you understand the need for a dance floor, start your search by asking some questions.

1. Do you own or rent the space?
2. Will you be using a dance floor for a long or short time?
3. What is the subfloor?
4. Will the flooring be used inside or outside?
5. What type of dance will be performed on this floor? A ballet floor needs to be very non-slip, yet tap, ballroom and theater dance prefer a less non-slip surface.
6. Will anything else be done on the floor? Will you placing tables and chairs or pieces of equipment on the floor?

Once you know the answers to question like these, you can narrow down your choices.

Portable Dance Floors

Portable dance floors come in easy to snap-together tiles. They are commonly used for events like parties, weddings or conferences where there is not permanent dance floor space available. Cruise ships, schools and community centers use them as a way to utilize limited space - to create a multipurpose space.

They can be designed for indoor or outdoor use. Floors are usually 1/2 to 1 inch thick and consist of 1x1 foot or 3x3 foot panels to create the desired size. Indoor floors might be constructed of wood, or honeycomb aluminum and laminate for both indoor and outdoor use.

Greatmats Home Dance Portable SubfloorSome floors are made of a polypropylene base with a commercial grade laminate top surface. The tiles function as both subfloor and danceable surface. The top surface of the tile is a durable commercial grade vinyl that resists scratches, and includes UV protection. They are designed for repeated use in banquet, event centers and hotels or community centers. You can even find or purchase a transport cart to make your kit complete.

Plastic tiles are another option, primarily for use as a subfloor or used in combination with foam or rubber as a substitute for a sprung floor.

Specialty flooring company offers a two-part dance subfloor system designed for a roll of marley flooring on top. The bottom layer is 1/2 inch soft EVA foam tiles, which provides the necessary air cushion. Next, plastic 5/8 inch thick polypropylene tiles also lock together. Finally, marley flooring is the standard for dance floors - both portable and permanent.

Sprung Floors

Greatmats Rosco Sprung Dance Subfloor DIY installation
For a permanent option, you could use any of the above methods, or create a sprung floor using tiles like the Rosco Wavelock tile where you provide your own subfloor - or the 3x5 Sprung Dance Floor panels which comes with a subfloor already attached. With both options, you would purchase rolls of marley flooring to tape down or glue/heat weld on top. Bear in mind that the full panels weigh 44 pounds apiece, so while they can be moved, it is not a job you'll want to do often.

Greatmats Rosco Adagio Sprung Dance FloorThere are sprung floor systems made by dance floor leaders like Rosco that are designed to be covered with MDF boards and Rosco marley dance floor. These components were designed with input from professional dancers to achieve the right amount of resilience or spring.

The final option is to have a floor built. Since these types of sprung floors depend on a wood subfloor, they are not appropriate for outdoor use. You can have a contractor build a sprung floor, and some handy people have had success building their own floors, but it is easier to purchase a proven, dependable product, which has been professionally engineered.

Marley Surfaces

Greatmats Rosco Adagio Marley Dance Floor
Marley is one of the most recommended surfaces for ballet, jazz, and modern dance, but also works well with tap and other forms of dance. Permanent marley flooring comes in rolls that are taped down with vinyl floor tape. Portable marley rolls are available which weigh less, are also installed with tape, and simply roll up when finished. Note that portable marley flooring is not recommended for daily tap dance use. For that, the stronger, permanent marley flooring is preferred.

Marley dance flooring is available in various colors and some marley floors are reversible. 

Modular Dance Floors

Finally, modular dance floors feature a plastic base tray and commercial grade vinyl overlay. Their connector tabs are made for years of repeated reassembling. These high quality floors can provide an upscale wood or stone look.

Greatmats Portable Dance Floor Modular Parquet
One example of this product is the Greatmats Max Tile 1x1 foot tile. The tiles are available in a variety of wood grain colors like walnut, maple and cherry, as well as slate, stone and solid black and white. These tiles are made in the USA and can be installed over any hard surface including carpeting. Easy snap-on border ramps and corners give the floor added safety and a finished look.

While this floor is excellent ballroom, Irish, clogging, latin and flamenco, but ballet, jazz and modern dance should consider a marley surface with few, if any seams. Tiles are sold individually to customize to the size of your floor, or as a kit.

While there are a daunting number of options out there, fortunately there are also specialty flooring companies like whose professional customer service representatives can help you find the perfect flooring choice for your home, studio, touring company or event business.
For more on this topic please review our Dance Flooring product page.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Comparing Play Mats for Kids

This mother of two breathed easier when foam mats entered her home

By Kim Butler

Greatmats Foam Mats Premium at Daycare
When my first child was starting to crawl, I baby-proofed our house against every potential accident or injury. The coffee table edges were padded; the outlets were plugged; the glass vases were put away, etc. etc. You get the idea.

You can imagine how happy I was when my husband brought home a stack of brightly colored soft PVC foam puzzle mats. We covered our family room with them. I didn't even care that they clashed with my decor. I was happy to know that my precious little one's head wouldn't be having a nasty impact with our hardwood floors.

Those puzzle mats, and more to come, would cover parts of our house for years. I loved that I could hose them down, bring them to the back yard for a play session or picnic, or even get a quick yoga session in while the kids napped.

Our children learned to crawl, then walk, on those mats, and they served as a great play surface. Now that the kids are in high school, we use them mainly for camping, exercise, and our dogs, but they were a lifesaver.

Greatmats black and white checkered foam mats game room
When we got around to covering our whole basement, I loved how I could pull one up and wash it if some finger paint spilled. If someone got a little creative and jabbed divots in another one with a piece of Lego, I could easily replace it. Since the time my kids were little, a host of other mats have now become available that will suit your kids' unique needs.

Back to my favorite puzzle mats for just a bit. We learned that the cheaper, thinner mats available at big box stores just didn't offer the same cushy feel or bright colors as the mats we bought online. The cheaper mats didn't hold up as well, and frankly, I didn't really want big parts of my house covered by red, blue and green primary color mats.

Greatmats Foam Mats Orange Kids Yoga Room
By Kid #2, I started caring about aesthetics again, and appreciated that online specialty mat company, offered soft EVA foam mats in a boatload of colors, 15 to be exact.

I could mix and match colors and create patterns. Our daughter could have the bright pink she adored in her room, while my son chose a floor of blue and grey to match his camo bedding.

These mats are lead and latex free, which is so important if you have little ones crawling on them. They fit together easily, and have a soft surface on one side, and a textured, non slip surface on the other.

While I prefer the feel of the soft surface, the textured side proved to be more durable, and I didn't have to worry about anyone slipping. Plus, they added a layer of warmth to our basement, meaning that I could move the toys out of the family room and set up a safe play space downstairs.

Whenever we had playdates or birthday parties down there, I always got compliments on our our foam floors.

Greatmats has several types of foam mats of different thickness. One even has enough cushion that a raw egg will not break if you drop it on the mat from 68 feet! That will make a worried parent rest easy. Other mats are suitable for especially active or athletic kids.

As much as I love foam mats, they may not work for you. For example, in a high traffic area, a better option would be a raised tile like the Ergo Matta CushionTred, available in a variety of solid colors.

These rubber and PVC tiles are durable, but still soft, and supportive for your little ones. They are non slip and even dampen sound - definitely a bonus to any parent.

Even more cushy are solid StayLock PVC tiles, available with Bump Top or Orange Peel surfaces in a selection of colors. These tiles have the durability of rubber with the cushioning of foam.

Both the ErgoMatta and StayLock tiles are easy to clean - important with kids, and both can stand up to exercise equipment in case that play room is destined to become an exercise room someday.

Greatmats Roll Out Mats Martial Arts Kids
Perhaps you just want a temporary mat, or your toddler or preschooler is showing signs of becoming the next Simone Biles or John Cena. You might want to consider a fold out or rollout cheer, gymnastics or exercise mat.

These mats can be rolled or folded up when not in use, and easily moved from room to room.

They are great for rough housing and tumbling, as well as martial arts and cheerleading.

Covered in vinyl or carpet, these foam core mats are easy to clean and stash in a corner or closet, meaning they can be moved around your home, or even to grandma's house for the weekend.

They are the same mats you'll see at gymnastics centers, martial arts studios and cheerleading gyms, so you know your little one will be protected when they take a tumble.

Greatmats Folding Gym Mats for Kids
Whatever mat you choose, it is never too early to start protecting your child. Most mats are versatile and portable, and can go with you if you move to a new home or apartment. Mats can be repurposed when your children are grown, or passed on to relatives or preschools.

Another benefit of mats is they protect your floors, whether hardwood or carpet, from the everyday spills and accidents that are part and parcel of life with children.

Take a moment to think about your family's unique needs and get some advice from a knowledgeable customer service rep at
For more on this topic please review our Kids Play Mats and Flooring product page.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

The Many Uses of Pro Martial Arts Sport 20 mm

14 Ways Greatmats Customers Enjoy Using Pro Martial Arts Sport Mats

By Julia Nass

Greatmats pro martial arts mats taekwondo mats
Reading through customer reviews reveals why Pro Martial Arts Sport 20 mm mats are so popular. Users constantly find these high-quality, foam products to be just the right fit as karate mats, boxing mats and taekwondo mats, which they were originally designed for. However, there are even more uses the Pro Martial Arts Sport mat has to offer.

Customers have also found they this product to be awesome for other exercise as Zumba, Parkour and cardio. Some have even found the Pro Martial Arts product to operate as horse stall kick mats and kids play mats. The uses don't stop there. Take a look at several of the different ways customers have put these multi-purpose mats to use. Each use is backed up with a rave review straight from the product's page.

1. Taekwondo Mats

Greatmats Pro Martial Arts Sport 20mm Mats Tae kwon do Mats ''Recently opened up a Tae Kwon Do studio which has to be somewhat mobile due to other events happening in the same building and decided puzzle mats would be the best way to go. I looked around at several vendors and found Greatmats. After receiving these mats, I am glad I went with them as they are just what I expected or even more. Excellent company to deal with and the shipping company was very compliant with a last minute address change. I would recommend Greatmats to anyone who is interested in mats for any floor.''
Dan, Elkton, VA

2. MMA

Greatmats Pro Martial Arts Sport 20mm MMA Training Space ''These mats are perfect! They are firm enough for stand-up and bag work, but soft enough to be comfortable on bare feet. They also work well for rolling and falling. I would recommend something thicker for take-downs, but in our bag-room, they are perfect. They installed super quick and easy; we just laid them down before class one day. We bought 36 to cover an approximately 30 sq ft area. I had to trim nine to fit the width of the room. I marked it with a utility knife and then cut through more quickly with a saber saw. I had no issues. We have used the room for about a month now, at least two high-intensity classes per week training MMA. We typically have 4-10 people working out each class. It has been perfect for our needs; and looks great!''
Dana, Memphis, TN

3. Boxing Mats

Greatmats Pro Martial Arts Sport Mats Boxing Area ''Love these mats for boxing related classes. Not my first order, not my last.''
Jeffrey Lee, Tupelo, MS

4. Karate Mats

'' not only offered the best price, and believe me I did a LOT of research, but also the best customer service, bar none! Pam was knowledgeable, well-versed and exceptionally nice to talk to. All of the 100 karate mats that I ordered arrived in perfect condition. The freight company was wonderful to deal with, from scheduling to customer service, to the delivery driver who carefully unloaded the mats into my dojo. I am thrilled with all aspects of purchasing these high quality mats for my dojo and would love to recommend to anyone interested in a great shopping experience and outstanding product quality.''
Debra, Colorado Springs, CO

5. Gymnastics

Greatmats Pro Martial Arts Sport Mats Martial Arts Gymnastics Academy ''Purchased the Pro Sport Foam Tile (Gray/Black) for my new Chinese Martial Arts Studio (Pacific Northwest Martial Arts Academy - PNMAA) location. The product arrived without any damage, was very uniform, and was easy to install. My daughter and I installed the flooring all in one day. The product was easy to trim/cut ... We have had martial arts classes, gymnastics classes, parkour classes, and cheer tumbling classes so far since our grand opening on September 3, 2015. The mats are durable, strong and easy to clean. I am very pleased with this product and the company that stands behind what they sell. Thanks, Greatmats!!!''
Jeannette, Mount Vernon, WA

6. Cardio Mats

''Love my 2nd basement gym even more than the first thanks to my Pro Sport foam floor by Greatmats. Staff was very accommodating with my shipping requests. Floor went in on a Sunday afternoon with no tile defects. I'd highly recommend these mats for cardiovascular or MMA workouts.''
Scott, Lakewood, CO

7. Horse Stall Kick Mats

''Person at order desk was very knowledgeable and helpful. The mats were easy to install. We put them to unconventional use -- on the walls of several horse stalls to help prevent horses that tend to kick, from sustaining injuries. The mats work very nicely for this purpose.''
Margot, Clinton, NY

8. Dog Training

Greatmats Pro Martial Arts Sport Foam Tile Dog Area ''I love the mats! They were really easy to install, they're easy to clean, and my dogs absolutely love the cushion beneath their paws! The mats are great! :)''
Deirdre, Wheeling , WV

9. Tai Chi

''The martial arts puzzle mats went down very easily. We do tai chi and applications (sparring). Some mats had to be cut for fit. A ''box cutter'' works okay, but I found a saber saw smooth cut blade worked more easily. They're a lot easier to fall on than a sub-floor!''

10. Zumba Mats

''You can cut corners on some things, but in a martial arts studio, flooring ISN'T one of them. After exhaustive research on flooring/mat options, obtaining samples from several sources, and getting advice from the friendly, helpful folks in customer service at Greatmats, we feel we absolutely got the best price possible from Greatmats and we didn't sacrifice quality, either. We purchased 1,500 sq ft of this mat and are using it for both martial arts and Zumba fitness...Very happy, thank you.''
Liane, Harrodsburg, IN

11. P90X

''I purchased the Martial Arts Pro floor mats, 36 quantity. Customer service was friendly and professional. My order was completed correctly and delivered on time. I am doing P90X, and these mats are life-savers, as I have foot problems (plantar faciitis) and am 6'5'' and currently 270 lbs. They provide sufficient cushion to comfortably absorb the impact of my heavy frame on one or two feet (during plyometrics). Also, it is easier on the hands/wrists when doing the various styles of push-ups. My daughter took two of my mats and use them in the kitchen - one near the sink, and the other near the stove. She loves them as she can stand there cooking for a long time without any foot/leg/back discomfort. I am very satisfied with both the product and the customer service. For any future mats/cushioned flooring purchases, they would be my first choice.''
Andrew, Ellenwood, GA

12. Demos

''We use the puzzle mats for demos. We take them to different venues and put them down and do our martial arts demo. Helps save the feet. I would not hesitate to use Greatmats for a dojo but would buy thicker ones than we got for a permanent floor, especially if you do throws. Good product!''
Steven, Pittsville, WI

13. Fitness Classes

Greatmats Pro Martial Arts Sport Mats kickboxing training area''We have kettlebell, kickboxing and other fitness classes several times a day and everyone wears shoes. They have held up well for the first year. The only problem we've had is that when we added additional floor space and ordered more mats, the original mats had stretched to the point that they no longer match the new ones. Hopefully, the new ones will expand to match. We would have planned our purchases better had we known that.''
Timothy E., Johnston, IA

14. Kids Play Rooms

''We bought the mats for our kids playroom. We went with the larger size to reduce the number of joints. These tiles are even better than we had hoped for. The foam is soft, yet firm. All the edges are included, and the mats arrived quickly and in perfect shape shrink-wrapped on a pallet.''
Sven, New Hartford , CT
For more on this topic please review our Martial Arts Mats product page.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The Many Uses of Home Rubber Flooring Rolls

From Pets to Vehicles to Athletics, Rubber Flooring Rolls are Great!

By Julia Nass

If you're on the hunt for a tough, economical rubber floor, then it's worth exploring home Rubber Flooring Rolls. These rolls come in a 4x10 size and can be used for animal shelter flooring, catering van flooring, rubber vehicle flooring, and much more. Customers wrote in to to give their two cents on home Rubber Flooring Rolls. Exploring these reviews is great way to discover the perks of rolled rubber flooring and uncover all the ways that this flooring solution can be used. Take a look at this sampling of Greatmats customer reviews to see real life applications for 1/4 inch thick 4x10 foot rubber flooring rolls.

1. Animal Shelter Flooring

''The product was perfect. I did quite a bit of research and contacted other companies, searching for a solution for our cat shelter. We needed a product to line the tops of our cat cages - one that was durable enough so that the cats' paws wouldn't get trapped in the cages - and of a material that could be easily cleaned. Further, since the tops of our cages are a favorite nap space for our cats and kittens, it needed to be comfortable. The 1/4'' rubber matting was ideal.

''Joanne, was so helpful, aiding us in finding an affordable option for our not-for-profit organizations. Greatmats product and service was far and above what I expected. Other companies weren't even willing to help me find a solution. I got the sense Joanne cares about your customers and provides the same warm and helpful service to everyone. Thank you so much.''

- Kathy, Long Beach, NY

2. Catering Van Flooring

''Great item. My husband owns a deli and we have a van with no back seats in order to deliver and pick up food and we put this rubber vehicle flooring down. It is easy to clean; just needed a little cutting to do the entire car and looks great. Best money spent on the car for this roll. It works great.''

- Patricia, Easton, CT

3. Basement Gyms

''I finished my basement project using your rolled rubber flooring earlier this year... I used the 3/8'' Black Rolled Rubber with 10% Red Brick Flec. This project consisted of 600 square feet of the 4 foot rolls. The ease of the installation allowed 3 of us to install an entire basement in 1 evening. The precision 4 foot cut rolls created a perfect fit from one roll to the next. The floor is fantastic for a my workout area as well as general use. It is easy to clean and does not absorb water spills. I floored my basement, tool room, storage room, closet and steps. Because my basement floor is not completely flat, after laying a thin dimpled sub floor, the rubber mat easily covered the small gradual changes in elevation.''
- Greg

4. Flooring for Fencing

''We employ a somewhat unconventional use of your product. In early 2011, the Montgomery Fencing Club was moving into a new space, which asked us to protect the wood floor from stray points, which they were concerned might gouge it. Whatever we used also had to be movable as we were moving into a shared, community space.

''We decided that most standard floor protective systems would not hold up under the stresses of our sport, so we began to explore more heavy-duty products. Complicating our efforts further are the dimensions of our playing surface: A fencing strip is 1-2m wide and 14m long. While there are some products specifically manufactured for our purpose, they are prohibitively expensive for our club.

''We found your rolled rubber products, which offered a continuous 4 ft x 50 ft surface, which is nearly perfect for our needs, particularly when combined with your very reasonable price and in-stock availability.

''We ordered a roll of 3/8 inch black, rubber flooring for fencing to test. It did not take us long to order three more. The strips have performed very well, and look good in the process. We used them for a tournament and received compliments from the visiting fencers. ... If we find ourselves in a position to expand the club, Greatmats will be the first place I look.''
- Wilbur

5. P90X Flooring

''It was a basically as expected. It was easy to cut to size. I use it for P90X in my living room. It's working out great! My sales rep was professional and knowledgeable.''

- Horace, Fort Worth, TX

6. Underlayment

''I ordered this product as an underlayment for my home gym in my garage to protect the concrete and the equipment as well. So far, it's proven to be functional and durable.

''I was a bit worried about how difficult it might be to cut, but with a sharp blade, it was easy to cut it to the dimensions that I needed. It seems to work well for a gym floor as there's no discernible give so it stays solid and stable under your feet for exercises like squats and and deadlifts. Yet it provides adequate cushioning to prevent chipping the concrete or the weights.

''It's a great product and I'd definitely recommend and buy again.''
- Charles, East Windsor, NJ

If you have an idea for another use for home Rubber Flooring Rolls, get in touch with the friendly folks at They can help you talk through your ideas and decide what product would be best for your needs. No matter what kind of flooring you're looking for, from rubber vehicle flooring, animal shelter flooring, to home gym flooring, Greatmats is dedicated to finding you the perfect product.

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

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

How Does Wall Padding Work?

Learn the features that make wall padding a safe and stylish gym accessory

By Kim Butler

Greatmats Wall Padding for Gymnasiums Custom Logos Basketball Wall Pads
We've all seen the Major League Baseball player crashing into the outfield fence in a last ditch effort to make a catch. Sometimes they succeed; other times they get injured. It's no secret that sports can get rough. People fall; teammates get pushed; players run into each other - and into walls, floors and fences. There are multiple sport floors to make an indoor or outdoor sports facility more safe. To protect people from posts, walls, bleachers, and more, wall padding is a great option.

The primary purpose of wall padding is to provide a safe level of absorption for a person making impact with an established object. Often these objects are walls (hence ''wall padding''), but these pads also protect against impact with bleachers, stage fronts, I-Beams, goal posts, columns and fences.

Wall Pad Sizing

Typical indoor wall panels are 24 inches wide by 72 inches (2x6 feet) high. In recent history, however, many newly-constructed schools and universities have made a push for 84-inch-high (7 feet) padding in their basketball facilities, where athletes are often elevated in motion. In grappling and wrestling facilities, pads are regularly 60 inches (5 feet), since most movement occurs on the ground.

Outdoor stadium padding is 48 inches wide by 96 inches (4x8 feet) high. However, when working with a skilled manufacturer, all dimensions can often be easily customized to fit the unique needs of your facility.

Foam Padding

Greatmats Basketball Court Gym Wall Pads
For indoor panels, the standard thickness of foam is 2 inches. The type of foam varies, but specialty flooring retailer Greatmats uses 2-inch thick cross-linked polyethylene foam. A vinyl cover is secured over the face and onto the back of the pad. Sturdier pads, containing a wood backing board (typically oriented strand board) are also available.

Foam used in manufacturing wall padding is typically a polyurethane based foam, but can vary based on a specification written, or simply customer preference.

Vinyl Covers

Vinyl ranges from 14 oz. to 18 oz. in weight, and typically has a light leather emboss pattern ingrained into the good side of the material. Greatmats features phthalate-free vinyl. There are a variety of standard colors to choose from and your school or team's digital logo can be custom printed on the mat. Vinyl is often treated to be anti-fungal and antibacterial. Vinyl should also be expected to meet fire retardant test NFPA-701 and ASTM E84 [2].

Installation Methods

Installing Greatmats Lip Top Wall Pads in Gym A couple common installation methods are using a nailing margin, lip top and bottom pads, or z-clips. Lip top and bottom or nailing margin is a process in which the manufacturer will intentionally leave 1 inch of foam off the top and bottom of the panel. This 1-inch area is meant to allow the installer to drill directly through the panel, without damaging, or compromising the pad. If the surface the pads are being installed on is capable of being screwed into, pads will often be mounted directly to that surface. However, if the surface is unable to be drilled into, like cinder block, then firing strips will be mounted first, and the pads mounted to them.

Installing Greatmats Z-clip Wall Pads in Gymnasium Z-clip is a process in which the panels are hung with male/female aluminum channeling. An installer will first mount the female side of the aluminum clip to the wall (typically in 6-foot lengths). The installer will then mount the male side of the clip to the panel (typically 22-inch lengths). To hang the panels, the installer will drop the panel with the male clip into the female clip on the wall. These pads will appear the same as standard method pads on from head on, but can also be removed from the wall because of the male/female clip.

What's different about outdoor versions?

Greatmats Outdoor Sports Field Wall Padding
A basic stadium pad, will spend most of its life outdoors, and should always begin with a 1/2- to 3/4-inch weather durable backer board. Most often, moisture resistant composite wood is used. To that, a layer of foam will be laminated. For outdoor stadium panels the standard thickness of foam is 3 inches. After these steps, an 18 oz. UV-protected vinyl fabric will be secured over the face of the pad. A wide variety of outdoor pads are available, some with Z clips, and some with grommets. A knowledgeable customer service representative at Greatmats can help you find the right product for your needs and budget.

Padding designed specifically for use on chain link fence is also available for use in ball fields, fences and gates and outdoor track arenas. Composed of 3-inch thick foam, these pads are attached with a bolt and plate method. Z-Clip attachments are also available. Imprinting your pads with your logo will give a custom look to your outdoor sports facilities.

Column and Pole Pads

Column or pole pads are also available in a range of colors, in a standard height of 72 inches. Three sizes are available to fit 4-, 5- or 6-inch diameter poles. If your facility has I-Beams, there are four standard sizes of 72-inch high I-Beam pads with a channel design which wraps around the face and the edges of the beam. The padding attaches with hook and loop fastening strips. Or consider our Pilaster Square Flexible Wrap which is available in various sizes for square posts or beams.

Stage Pads

For gyms and auditoriums with stages, Stage Padding will provide protection. These mats are L-shaped to provide protection against the corners of stages. Stage Padding is removable and manufactured with 2 foot accordion folding construction available in lengths of 4, 6, 8 or 10 feet.

Many facilities have storage access underneath their stages, which is why we offer our Stage Mats with Hook and Loop Attachment which provides a padding solution that won't interfere with storage. The stage mats fold at a 90 degree angle with a hook and loop hinge, allowing the pad to be lifted up to access the storage doors underneath. 

Greatmats Stage Padding Mats Gymnasium

Budget and Temporary Wall Padding

Greatmats Foam Puzzle Mats on Wall
Perhaps your budget is tight or you don't need full-time cushioning. Another option is to use gym mats, commonly used for gymnastics, wrestling or martial arts. These have an external flange on the long side that can be screwed into a furring strip on the wall. Some home gym and fitness studio owners even use foam puzzle mats on their walls. This a great way to add color and pattern consistency to the floor and wall.

Regardless of what type of padding you chose, work with a reliable company like Greatmats to help you through the ordering process. You will need to work around outlets, doors, windows, etc. so having that knowledgeable resource is invaluable.

For more on this topic please review our Gym Wall Padding product page.

Related Product: Gym Wall Padding All Sizes

Greatmats Gymnasium Wall Padding