Thursday, May 31, 2018

Importance of Customized Anti-Fatigue Mats

Custom Anti-Fatigue Flooring Benefits

By Paige Cerulli

Greatmats custom anti fatigue mats diamond plate yellow borders
Anti-fatigue flooring tiles and mats can make a significant difference in your comfort when you have to spend long hours on your feet. There's nothing worse than standing on a cold concrete floor for an extended period of time. Even with the best quality footwear, hard concrete will take a toll on your body.

That's where anti-fatigue mats come in. Custom anti-fatigue flooring can create a more comfortable, forgiving floor for you and your employees to stand on. Quality anti-fatigue flooring helps to relieve the knee and back pain that you may experience at the end of the day. It can help encourage circulation in your feet, and can leave you feeling less tired at the end of the day.

All of these positive physical benefits have another benefit that's often overlooked: Increased productivity. When you or your employees feel less pain, you're more motivated and focused in your work. This can lead to significant productivity benefits for business owners. When your workers are feeling good and working to the best of their abilities, your business' productivity and profits will improve.

Greatmats Wearwell ErgoDeck Solid Tiles installed
Don't forget, though, that anti-fatigue mats are also a great addition to your home. If you spend time standing and working in your garage or workshop, these ergonomic mats can help to keep you more comfortable. They'll help you to better enjoy the time you spend on these hard surfaces, whether you're fixing a vehicle, doing some construction, or just cleaning up the area.

People put anti-fatigue mats to use for all sorts of different purposes. Here are just a few potential locations where you may want to install an anti-fatigue flooring system:
  • Garages
  • Workshops 
  • Kitchens 
  • Factories 
  • Assembly lines 
  • Auto repair shops 
  • Manufacturing facilities 
  • And more

Why Custom Anti-Fatigue Mats Matter

It may be tempting to go out and buy the first anti-fatigue flooring you find for your workspace, but custom anti-fatigue flooring may actually be a better choice. Here's why.

Custom Sizing and Floor Dimensions

Typical anti-fatigue flooring comes in a few different forms:
  • Individual mats for individual workstations
  • Long runners for long, narrow spaces 
  • Large mats to cover larger spaces 
  • Smaller tiles that interlock together

If you're working with a smaller area, or an unusually shaped area, investing in a long runner or a large mat may not work. You could use individual mats, but they generally don't secure together, and this may not be a cost-effective option.

Your best bet may be smaller anti-fatigue tiles. This custom anti-fatigue matting offers you many more options in how you assemble the matting than the other options will.

Greatmats Wearwell ErgoDeck Open perforated tile mats installedTiles make it easy to work around obstacles, corners, and spaces of varying widths and lengths. Our tiles fit together securely, creating a unified, solid floor without any edges or loose seams that could pose a tripping hazard. The tiles won't pull apart while they're in use.

Custom anti-fatigue mats are available in a variety of different sizes. Some can be as large as 3x3 feet, which is ideal for covering larger areas of different dimensions. Other tiles are much smaller, measuring just 12x12 inches, making them a suitable choice when you're working with smaller areas, or areas with many twists, turns, and dimension changes.

Interlocking fatigue tiles are a great choice for a complete anti-fatigue flooring install. You may want to install a large area or a whole room with anti-fatigue flooring if your employees spend a lot of time walking to various areas. Some tiles can also be cut with a utility knife for a truly customized fit for wall-to-wall installs.

Greatmats custom anti fatigue flooring tiles perforated Safety Matta
Safety Matta Perforated Tiles are just one example of these interlocking anti-fatigue tiles. These 20x20 inch tiles offer excellent ergonomic and anti-fatigue qualities. Because these tiles are conveniently sized and easy to handle, they are easy to install and remove. Because these tiles are perforated, they will allow water to quickly pass through which is perfect for wet areas. If you want to expand the floor in the future, all you need to do is add on more tiles. Safety Matta Tiles are available in black and green colors.

Are you looking for a larger, solid mat that you don't have to piece together? Many of our custom anti-fatigue mats are available in custom-cut lengths. You can specify the exact lengths that your facility needs, and the mats will arrive at your door cut to those specific lengths. All you have to do is place the mats down in your designated areas. There's no cutting required, you'll save time, and you only need to purchase as much mat as you need.

If you're working in an area with obstacles, like poles, furniture, or other structural issues, then don't forget that you can also cut a mat to fit your area. Many of our anti-fatigue flooring options can be cut with a utility knife and a straight edge. This may be an ideal solution if you're looking for a truly custom fit within an unusually shaped area.

Custom Colors

Many anti-fatigue mats are available in various shades of grey and black, but did you know that there are more colorful options that can help improve your workplace safety and functionality? Custom colored anti-fatigue mats can serve many purposes, from simply brightening up your workplace to helping with organization and even safety indications.

You can put custom colors to work in your facility in many different ways:
  • Use different colored custom anti-fatigue matting to signify different production areas, materials used, or warnings
  • Choose anti-fatigue mats with colored edges to help workers spot the edges of matted areas
  • Use mats in alternating colors to create distinctive patterns, which can add character to areas of your business that clients are likely to see 
  • Select lighter colored mats in areas used for manufacturing; it's easier to spot dropped tools or items against the lighter colored mats

Greatmats Diamond Foot Yellow Border custom fatigue mat
Our Supreme Diamond Foot Colored Borders mats feature beveled edges for improved safety. The colorful edges help workers to quickly spot the mat edges, even from a distance. These mats are a great addition to any large workspace that sees heavy traffic. The Supreme Diamond Foot Mat is available with borders in the following colors: yellow, black/yellow chevron, red, orange, green and blue.

Greatmats custom anti fatigue mats interlocking tiles colorsOur Ergo Matta CushionTred Solid Tiles are 10x20 inch tiles, which feature a locking lug connection system, so you can easily connect the tiles together to create a floor of the dimensions and design of your choosing. These fatigue tiles are available in 8 different bright and bold colors. You could use different colors to designate particular areas in your workspace, helping to keep things organized and clear visually, too. Plus, you can alter the floor's design and dimension if you need to, which is something that you can't do with a pre-cut floor.

Custom Applications

When you're installing mats in an environment that has harsh agents or challenges present, then you can't just choose any typical anti-fatigue mat.

Factories, garages, kitchens, auto repair shops, and manufacturing facilities may have factors present that can degrade or damage the mat, including:
  • Grease
  • Cutting fluids
  • Brake fluid
  • Boric acid
  • Salt water
  • Vegetable oil

Greatmats Wearwell 24 Seven NBR Solid custom anti fatigue mat
We offer a number of different custom anti-fatigue flooring options that are specifically manufactured to be able to withstand the agents listed above. There are many grease-proof options, but you can also find products, such as the Wearwell 24/Seven NBR Solid 3x3 Foot Mat. This mat is resistant to petroleum-based fluids, as well as diesel oil, brake fluids, vegetable oil, salt water, and more. Greatmats offers a number of different Wearwell mats designed to withstand different agents, making them popular options for factories, kitchens, garages, and more.

In welding shops and metal-working shops, it is necessary to have spark resistant anti-fatigue mats to prevent a possible fire starting on the mat. Our Weldmaster Mat is one such mat that was specifically designed for welding areas.

For fatigue relief in static sensitive applications, an ESD mat or floor will be needed to prevent any electrostatic discharges such as the When used over conductive subflooring, ErgoDeck ESD Tiles are your best defense against fatigue and static shock that could compromise the quality of your products. The ESD properties are throughout the entire tile.

Choosing The Right Custom Anti-Fatigue Mats For Your Space

Greatmats Wearwell mats perforated tiles custom fatigue mats on stairs
When it comes to choosing the custom anti-fatigue flooring that is right for your space, you'll need to consider the factors that are most important to you. Are you looking for flooring that fits into an irregular shaped floor? Do you need different colored flooring, or flooring that can withstand agents like grease or brake fluid?

You'll also want to think about a few other aspects, such as whether you need flooring that:
  • Can withstand significant weight
  • Has beveled edges for carts and other wheeled traffic 
  • Offers extra traction 
  • Is perforated to help drain away water or fluids 
  • Is spark or fire resistant 
  • Can be easily removed and relocated 
  • Is easy to clean 
  • Is made from recycled materials 
  • Fits within a particular budget

Greatmats offers an extensive line of anti-fatigue matting and flooring, so we're sure to have something that will work for your particular application and needs. If you have questions about a product, or are trying to find the product that's right for you, please contact our customer service representatives.

Related Blogs

For more on this topic please review our Fatigue Mats product page.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Popular Uses for Artificial Grass Turf

Popular Uses of Artificial Turf and Popular Choices for Each

By Paige Cerulli

Greatmats artificial grass turf landscaping
Artificial grass turf is cropping up in more and more areas. If you don't look closely, you may not even be aware that what you're standing on isn't real turf.

Artificial grass turf is popular for any number of reasons:
  • It's virtually hassle-free. You'll never have to mow, weed, or reseed again.
  • It looks great year-round - there's no dealing with brown, dead grass in the winter. 
  • Mud will be a thing of the past, and you can use the turf immediately after it rains. 
  • Artificial turf is highly durable, and can hold up to high traffic that grass can't. 
  • With no need for sunlight, artificial turf can be used indoors and out, as well as in areas of poor soil quality where grass doesn't grow well.
And most importantly, artificial turf is highly versatile. In fact, it's used for a variety of activities, including:
  • CrossFit/Sled work
  • Dog agility and dog shows
  • Baseball/softball fields 
  • Soccer fields 
  • Golf courses 
  • Backyards with pets 
  • Deck and patio spaces in backyards 
  • Playgrounds 
  • Trade show flooring

There are countless other potential uses for artificial turf, but let's take a look at some of the products that are best for each type of use.

CrossFit / Sled Work

Greatmats CrossFit sled work artificial turf sled turf gym turf Artificial turf is a practical option for CrossFit facilities, where durability matters. Not only is the turf durable enough to support sled work in commercial facilities, but it can be used indoors to create a field within a fitness facility. There's little-to-no maintenance associated with this athletic turf, so gym owners can focus on maintaining other areas of the gym.

V-Maxx Artificial Turf is a great option for a number of reasons. This turf creates a flooring that reacts naturally, ensuring a consistent performance with every use. This turf offers athletes a nice amount of cushion, and it won't burn with the use of a sled. You'll receive a long-lasting floor that is built to perform well even under high traffic.

Turf Athletic Padded Floor Roll is another great choice. The turf itself is fusion bonded to a recycled rubber base, so athletes will enjoy a padded surface that is forgiving. The nylon wear layer is dense and durable, and the turf won't burn with sled traffic. There's no adhesive needed, making installation simple, and you can choose from two different roll thicknesses depending on your facility's needs.

Lastly, our Turf Athletic Padded Interlocking Tile is another popular choice for CrossFit facilities. This turf is both durable and slip resistant, and it won't burn with sled use. The recycled rubber base offers some padding, and the product may even be eligible for LEED points. There's no adhesive needed for installation, which will save you both money and time. The individual tiles are easy to handle and install.

Dog Agility

Greatmats dog agility turf artificial grass
Turf options for dog agility facilities need to provide plenty of traction, while also being both durable and safe. Dog claws can damage many flooring options, so you'll need an artificial turf designed to withstand high traffic and use. Comfort also needs to be a concern, as both dogs and handlers run at top speeds during agility competitions.

The True Turf Artificial Grass Turf Roll is ideal for dog agility facilities. This turf reacts very naturally, and can be installed both indoors and outdoors. It's highly versatile, and is virtually maintenance free. Additionally, the turf can be cleaned very easily by simply flushing it with water. The large roll sizes will quickly cover any large area.

You will also want to consider our La Jolla Artificial Turf Roll. This turf offers a high performance quality. It's highly durable and reacts naturally underfoot. This artificial turf is ideal for both landscaping and pet areas, thanks to its safety and strength. Cleaning is easy; just flush the turf with water on occasion.

Baseball / Softball

Greatmats softball baseball turf

For a baseball or softball field, you'll want a product that can withstand significant traffic, but also one which is low-maintenance. A turf roll is a must-have for any larger area, since rolled flooring will quickly cover a significant area while resulting in fewer seams. Whether you're creating a batting cage, an area for batting practice, or an indoor or outdoor field, you'll have a number of products to choose from.

Our Grand Slam Artificial Grass Turf Roll is an impressive 12-feet wide, so it quickly covers large areas. It's suitable for indoor and outdoor installations.

The All Sport Artificial Grass Turf Roll offers a natural reaction underfoot, and is incredibly easy to clean.

You should also consider the Play Ball II Artificial Grass Turf Roll, which is highly durable and safe. It offers a consistent performance over time, and is virtually maintenance free.


Greatmats soccer turf artificial grass For both indoor and outdoor soccer fields, durability and traction is key. Look for a flooring that feels natural underfoot and that offers the same rebound as traditional turf. Low-maintenance and high durability are must-haves for any heavily used field.

Our top recommendation for soccer fields is the Velocity Artificial Grass Turf Roll. This turf offers an excellent performance quality, as well as a natural feel underfoot. Both highly durable and safe, this turf is a great choice.

The All Sport Artificial Grass Turf Roll is another popular option. Its short 1/4 inch pile is great for soccer, the turf feels natural underfoot. It's suitable for both indoor and outdoor use.

For additional options, be sure to consider:
  • Bermuda Artificial Grass Turf Roll
  • Bermuda Artificial Grass Turf Roll Padded 
  • All Sport Artificial Grass Turf Roll 
  • Arena Pro Artificial Grass Turf Roll


Greatmats golf artificial turf grass
For a great-looking indoor or outdoor golf course, artificial turf is the way to go. You're guaranteed to have a brilliant looking course year-round, no matter what the weather.

The Hole In One Artificial Grass Turf Roll has a natural reaction, which gives you a true roll in your short game. It's UV treated and can be used both indoor and outdoors.

The Perfect Putt Artificial Grass Roll is another great option. It's made with multicolored yarn to give the grass an incredibly realistic look. It can be installed both indoors and outdoors.

We offer many great products perfect for golf, including:
  • True Turf Artificial Grass Turf Roll
  • One Putt Artificial Grass Turf Roll 
  • Money Putt Artificial Grass Turf Roll 
  • Range Turf II Artificial Grass Turf Roll 
  • La Jolla Artificial Turf Roll

Backyards with Pets

Greatmats pet friendly turf artificial grass for dogs
Have a backyard space that will be used by your pets? Artificial grass turf will make for a great-looking, safe space. Look for a product that's durable, yet very easy to clean, too.

Pet Heaven Artificial Grass Turf Roll is specifically designed for use in pet areas. It's highly durable, and is made to be used in high wear areas. Cleaning the turf is as easy as flushing it with water on occasion.

Artificial Grass Turf UltimatePet is another popular choice. This turf offers superior drainage, so you don't have to worry about standing water. It's also highly resistant to tearing, while being supremely soft. The fibers even are stain resistant, while also being designed to inhibit the growth of mildew and odor for a healthier, more enjoyable space.

Looking for more options? We have some more great choices available:
  • La Jolla Artificial Turf Roll
  • Soft Landing Artificial Grass Turf Roll

Backyards - Deck / Patio

Greatmats landscaping deck patio artificial grass turf
For a luxurious, aesthetically pleasing backyard, look for an artificial turf that is thick, beautiful, and durable. Low-maintenance turf options will mean you have more time to enjoy the space, rather than worrying about taking care of it.

The whole family can enjoy the Catalina Artificial Turf Roll - including the pets! This turf reacts naturally, and works great for both landscaping and pet areas. It's virtually maintenance free, and is incredibly easy to clean.

Countryside Artificial Grass Turf Roll is another great choice for backyards. This is a highly durable yet safe turf, and is closely resembles the natural look and feel of a lawn. You're sure to be pleased with its high performance.

For additional options, consider:
  • La Jolla Artificial Turf Roll
  • Silicon Valley Artificial Turf Roll 
  • Biltmore Artificial Grass Turf Roll


Safety is a top priority when choosing grass turf for a playground space. Durability and cushion are also important factors to look for in your turf.

The Sof Step 200 Artificial Grass Turf Roll is ideal for playgrounds. It's been proven to withstand the harshest conditions, while putting in a high performance and excellent durability over time.

The Play Time Artificial Grass Roll has a plush body with a natural look. It's highly durable and comfortable, and is easy to clean. This turf makes for a safe and resilient playground flooring.
Greatmats Play Time Playground Turf Padded with Foam

Play Time Playground Turf with 2 Inch Pad is ideal for playgrounds where you want an cushioned, padded surface in case of falls. This turf uses the same turf as our Play Time Artificial Grass but includes 2 inch foam padding to be installed underneath. This artificial playground turf with padding provides a 9 foot ASTM fall height rating.

Trade Show

Greatmats artificial turf grass trade show flooring
When it comes to trade show flooring, you want a product that's easily portable, highly comfortable, and which looks great. Artificial turf can fulfill all of these demands.

The Bermuda Artificial Grass Turf Roll is highly durable and safe. It's easy to clean, and is available in a variety of colors so you can truly make your trade show booth stand out.

Our Play Time Artificial Grass Roll is another popular option. This roll is highly durable and features a plush body for a great appearance. This flooring is very easy to clean, and reacts naturally underfoot.

Ordering Your Artificial Grass Turf

Greatmats artificial grass turf infographic
At Greatmats, our wide variety of turf options mean that we're sure to have something to suit almost any project. If you have questions about the products, or need a product sample, please contact our customer service representatives. We'd love to help you choose the right product for your project.

For more artificial grass ideas and blogs, visit our Artificial Turf Buyer's Guide. For more artificial turf products, visit our Artificial Grass Turf product page.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Noise and Vibration Reduction Guide for CrossFit Gyms

Sound Deadening Rubber Tiles are the Best Solution

By Paige Cerulli

Greatmats Noise and Vibration reducing CrossFit flooring tiles
Noise complaints seem to come with the territory when you run a gym. Gyms are large spaces with high ceilings, a design which naturally amplifies sound. Add in the sounds of operating gym machinery, conversations between athletes and coaches, and the thud of dropped weights, and you have a recipe for a loud environment.

These noise problems are amplified in CrossFit gyms. CrossFit involves frequent dropping of heavy weights. When an athlete is holding a few hundred pounds of weight above his head, then drops it, the entire gym will know - as will all of your business' neighbors. This can result in some problems.

Noise complaints are common in and around CrossFit gyms. You may receive complaints from athletes who would like a more enjoyable space. If the issue continues, athletes may seek out a different gym with a quieter atmosphere.

But athletes aren't the only ones who may complain. If your gym isn't a freestanding building, then businesses in the surrounding spaces will certainly hear the noise your business is generating. Complaints from business owners and landlords may put your rental, lease, and even your entire business into jeopardy.

Correcting Noise Complaints

Greatmats CrossFit noise complaints CrossFit flooring
Once you've received noise complaints, it's up to you to find a way to solve the problem. And if you've received multiple noise complaints from surrounding businesses, you may be working on a tight time frame to find a solution and keep your business open.

When you're renting a space within a building, there's only so much you can do. Your first action should be to assess where the majority of the noise is being generated - it's likely your free weight lifting area. Next, assess whether this area shares a wall with a business that is complaining, and if relocating the area may help. Maybe there's another room or another corner of the gym that could be better converted to your weight area.

Just moving the location of your weight area probably won't solve the issue entirely. But that's where noise reducing lifting mats and specially made CrossFit flooring comes in.

Investing in soundproof gym floor materials can help to deaden the sound of dropped weights and other impacts that may be disturbing others. These specialty materials can help to create a quiet CrossFit gym floor, which your athletes and anyone else in the vicinity of your gym will surely appreciate.

CrossFit Flooring Options

Many CrossFit gym owners invest in rubber flooring for their gyms. Rubber floors offers many benefits, including:
  • Excellent shock absorption to help protect your subfloor
  • Superior durability and long lifespans 
  • Thermal insulation from a cold concrete subfloor 
  • Affordability 
  • Non-slip surfaces to keep athletes safe 
  • Strong enough to be used underneath heavy equipment
Since rubber flooring is available in tiles, mats, and rolls, it's a versatile option that many gym owners take advantage of.

But your average rubber flooring only offers some sound dampening properties. Rubber flooring isn't specifically made to reduce the noise in a CrossFit gym, and you may find that it just doesn't do enough for your weight lifting space. Increasing the thickness of your rubber flooring may help, but there's another, more practical option that is specifically designed for noise reduction.

Greatmats Sterling Athletic Sound Rubber Tiles CrossFit noise reduction
Greatmats Sterling Athletic Sound Rubber Tiles 2.75 Inch are manufactured to provide superior sound reduction. These tiles are performance-engineered to control vibrations, minimize low-frequency impact noise, and reduce the transmission of audible structure-borne sound.

This all amounts to a quiet CrossFit gym floor. Since these tiles provide both sound reduction and shock insulation, people in adjoining spaces will not only hear less from your gym, but they'll feel less of the vibrations and impact from each dropped weight. When you consider what it feels like when 200 or more pounds are dropped onto the floor, you can imagine the significant difference that these tiles will make in your gym.
Greatmats Sterling Sound Reduction Acoustic Tiles backside
This CrossFit flooring offers additional benefits, too. These sound reducing rubber tiles offers the durability that you need in any serious gym. You can drop free weights directly onto the Sterling rubber tiles, and the flooring is easy to clean.

Installing Sterling Athletic Sound Rubber Tiles is easy. The tiles have interlocking edges which create tight seams for superior aesthetics and a high-performance surface. They're backed by a limited lifetime warranty, and make a popular addition to weight rooms, fitness centers, commercial gym floors, professional sports facilities, and even locker rooms. 
Greatmats Sterling Athletic Sound Reduction Tiles gray CrossFit GymSterling Athletic Sound Tiles are available in other colors besides black including gray, green, brown and blue to create an unique look in your gym. For an even more eye-catching look, consider our deluxe colors featuring a combination of colors in each tile.
Another great benefit of the sound tiles is that a full glue down installation is not required because of the interlocking design. This means that if you move your gym, you can take the tiles with you and reinstall them. For areas under 2000 square feet, no glue is required for the installation. If your area is over 2000 square feet, a partial glue down installation is recommended.

Installing these acoustic rubber tiles in your weight room can make a significant difference in your CrossFit gym - but don't just take our word for it.

Case Studies


Zero Machine CrossFit, Phoenix, Arizona 

Greatmats Zero Machine CrossFit flooring noise complaints reduction
Zach Luke, owner of Zero Machine CrossFit, found his business in jeopardy when noise complaints began to come in. The gym, which is located in a strip mall, naturally generated a lot of noise and vibrations, and local businesses didn't appreciate the noise. Luke found himself at risk of losing his lease unless he came up with a solution.

Luke researched and tested many different flooring options, even working with an acoustical engineer to analyze different CrossFit mat options to try to find a solution.

He did find the perfect product in our Sterling Athletic Sound Tiles. He ordered a few tiles to test them, and was amazed at the difference that they made. Luke tested the tiles by dropping barbells weighing 135, 185, and 225 pounds. Then he added kettlebells to the mix. Luke's landlord and property manager were present for the testing, and were amazed at how the tiles virtually eliminated the sound. Luke installed Sterling Athletic Sound Tiles in his 2,500-square-foot lifting area, and noise complaints have been reduced to zero. 
''Our games athlete, Tommy Vinas, can clean and jerk over 400 pounds and that drops from a push press position over his head directly onto the floor, and we have no complaints,'' Luke said. ''It saved our business. It was worth every penny of the investment.''  

Greatmats sound reduction CrossFit flooring CrossFit DuluthCrossFit Duluth, Duluth Minnesota

Dale Collison, owner of CrossFit Duluth, ran into a similar problem with noise complaints. When his gym moved into a larger space, Collison found that the new facility wouldn't give him a lease until he agreed to purchase soundproof flooring.

Collison began to reach sound deadening gym mats, and came across the Sterling Athletic Sound Rubber Tiles. He ordered a sample and tested them with his landlord and the owners of two neighboring businesses. Collison dropped a 135-pound barbell onto the tiles from three different positions, including an overhead position. According to Collison, the difference between the facility's old floor and the Sterling tiles was ''like day and night.''

Greatmats noise reduction CrossFit flooring
Collison installed Sterling Athletic Sound Rubber Tiles in half of his new gym, and athletes have been loving the results, both in terms of the reduced noise and the comfort that the tiles offer.

Thanks to this CrossFit flooring, Collison was able to secure a lease, move his gym to the larger facility, and continue to keep up with his growing business. 
''We do things like jump roping and box jumps and nobody wants to do anything on the old floor anymore,'' he added. ''Everybody wants to work out on the Sterling mats because of the forgiveness on the body.'' 
The one exception, Collison said, is when people do pushups on their knees, they have found they'll get more rub marks on their skin because the tiles are a bit more coarse.

See the sound test at CrossFit Duluth in the video below.

Other CrossFit Gym Flooring Options

If you need to reduce noise but still need to fall within a set budget, consider our Sterling Athletic Tiles in 2 inch and 1.25 inch. Both of these tiles have sound reducing properties and are built similar to the 2.75 inch tiles. These rubber gym tiles may be a suitable option if you want a quieter gym, but don't have neighbors that are complaining about the noise. If you are not sure what tile will meet your needs, review our acoustical test information and talk to a sales representative.

Sound Reducing CrossFit Flooring: A Wise Investment

Greatmats noise reduction CrossFit gym flooring
Has your gym been receiving noise complaints? Investing in a quiet CrossFit gym floor is a wise investment for any facility. Not only will you see fewer noise complaints, but you'll likely improve your relationships with other business owners.

There's another benefit to having a quieter gym: It can help to draw in clients. As news of your gym's environment gets around, you may find that you attract clients from other, noisier gyms. Clients may also find that the Sterling tiles are more forgiving and comfortable on the body. Investing in quality flooring shows that you care about your athletes and the gym environment, and it's a great way to invest in your business' future and security, too.

Ready to upgrade the flooring for your CrossFit gym? Our customer service team would be happy to help you. Whether you'd like to order a sample of our Sterling Athletic Sound Tiles or would like a quote, please contact us. We'd be happy to tell you more about our products, and to help you find the perfect option for your CrossFit gym, or any other project that you'll be working on.

Greatmats Noise Reducing Gym Floor Tiles CrossFit sound reduction

For more on this topic, please review our Cross Fit Training Flooring product page. You can also visit our Rubber Flooring Buyer's Guide for additional gym flooring information.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

How to Keep Horse Stalls and Barn Flooring Dry

Identifying the Cause of Moisture will Make Finding a Solution Easier

By Paige Cerulli

When you own stabled horses, you'll quickly find that moisture can create many headaches in your stable. Keeping your horse's stall floor dry is important to your horse's health, but it's also a challenge during rainy seasons and the winter, when moisture is prevalent.

Why Dry Horse Stalls and Barn Flooring is Important

Greatmats how to keep horse stalls dry stall mats At first thought, you might shrug off the importance of a dry horse stall floor. After all, horses live outside in the wild, and they get by just fine, right?

Well, when a horse is stalled, moisture can cause more harm than good. You may run into the following problems caused by a chronically wet stall floor:
  • Soft, warping hooves
  • Skin issues, like rain rot
  • Hoof infections like thrush
  • Respiratory issues, especially if urine is allowed to build up in the stall
  • Poor traction, and the horse slipping or falling in the stall
  • Flies and other pests that can spread diseases
It's best to stay ahead of the moisture problem, rather than trying to correct these health issues after they've occurred. Let's take a look at some of the most common sources of moisture in horse stalls, and what you can do to create a dry horse stall floor.

The Problem: Moisture Permeating From Your Stall Base

Does your horse's stall constantly feel damp, yet you can't determine the reason why? Moisture may actually be working its way up from your stall base. This is particularly true if you have concrete floors; your stalls may always feel somewhat damp because the moisture is being pulled into the bedding and is coming from the colder stall floor below.

Another problem you may encounter is if you're working with a clay base. If it rains outside, the moisture may be pulled into the base, where it then mixes with your bedding.

The Solution: Stall Mats and Improved Stall Design

Greatmats interlocking stall mats over dirt base
Investing in stall mats can solve this issue. Stall mats act as a barrier between your stall base and the bedding, and they can help to keep your stall dry. Dry horse stall mats are particularly ideal when you're working with a concrete base, because they provide a forgiving barrier between the hard concrete and your horse. Additionally, stall mats help to buffer some of the cold of concrete, contributing to a stall that's both healthier and more comfortable for your horse.

If you're dealing with moisture issues from your stall base, then interlocking stall mats may be the best option. While straight edge stall mats are effective, interlocking mats create a single, continuous surface. This can help to prevent bedding from working its way down between the mats and drawing moisture up into the bedding above the mats.

If you find that moisture from the outdoors is being pulled into your base, you'll need to take a look at the topography around your barn. If the land surrounding your barn slants down toward your barn, or rain is falling from the roof and pooling around the barn, you'll need to fix these issues. Investing in gutters and drainage systems can help. You may also need to raise the base of your stalls up a few inches, if possible, so that water doesn't flow into the low-lying areas.

The Problem: Precipitation Coming Through Stall Doors and Windows

Greatmats horse stall mats with open door and stall drapes During particularly windy rain and snow storms, you may find that rain or snow comes in through your stall doors and windows. This is often a problem for stalls with doors that open directly out onto the pasture, where the horses can come and go as they please.

The Solution: Stall Drapes

If you want to be able to take advantage of an open stall door during inclement weather, you can invest in stall drapes designed specifically to be used on exterior doors. These flexible plastic drapes allow your horse to pass through, but serve as a buffer to keep rain and snow out of the stall. You might also put gutters on your barn to keep water from flowing off of the roof and pooling and into your stalls.

The Problem: Floods

Greatmats wet horse stall mats at vet clinic
Chances are that at some point, your barn has flooded. Whether it's been water creeping into the edges of your stalls from outside, or a full-out flood involving the barn aisle, floors can happen for a number of reasons. Busted pipes, plumbing issues, heavy rainfall, and even massive snow melt can all cause floods.

The Solution: It Depends

Because floods are caused by so many different issues, there's no one way to prevent flooding in your barn. If floods often happen after a heavy rain, you may need to clean out your gutters or if you don't have gutters, they may need to be installed to funnel water from the roof away from the barn. If the gutters aren't the problem, you may want to bring in a landscaper to discuss your property's drainage and potential solutions that you can implement.

Floods resulting from snow melt can often be prevented by some deliberate plowing. Never plow snow toward your barn, instead piling snow away from the barn where the runoff won't travel toward the structure.

When a flood occurs, always dry the barn and stall flooring promptly to help prevent mold and mildew from forming.

The Problem: Daily Moisture Buildup

Perhaps the most common horse stall moisture issue that barn owners encounter is a daily moisture buildup that occurs in stalls. If your bedding seems to be damp after just a day, or you're struggling to remove urine spots, the stall may simply be too damp to be healthy.

The Solution: Improved Bedding and Stall Mucking and Ventilation

Greatmats horse stall mats with foal and straw bedding
Consider the bedding that you're using. Solving your problem may be as simple as upgrading to a bedding that is more absorbent. If you're using wood shavings, upgrading to a finer shaving or sawdust may help. You might also need to increase the amount of bedding that you're using. There are also stall bedding products, such as wooden stall pellets, that are designed for use in high-moisture environments. They may help to dry out your stall. 

Moisture may build up in horse stables that are in hot and humid climates. Installing fans in the barn can help with air circulation and ventilation and to help prevent moisture buildup. Ventilation in the barn is important for the horse's respiratory health.

Additionally, make sure that you're cleaning stalls frequently enough. Stalls need to be cleaned at least once a day, but if your horse is in his stall for long periods of time, more frequent cleaning may be warranted. Always make sure that you're completely removing urine spots, and follow up with a stall deodorizer.

Cleanup Tips

If you encounter a wet stall, whether it's the result of a flood or just a messy horse, you'll need to do a proper cleanup. Start by removing all of the wet bedding, then dry horse stall mats thoroughly. If moisture has pooled beneath the mats, you'll need to remove them, dry out your subfloor, then reinstall the dry stall mats. If you're doing a through cleaning, you may also want to disinfect your stall mats.

Only put bedding down on a completely dry horse stall floor to prevent mold and mildew. You may want to put down a deodorizer before you bed the stall. Make sure that the bedding is clean and dry, and put down plenty of bedding.

Benefits of Stall Mats

Greatmats horse stall mats dry stalls
Stall mats make dealing with wet stalls so much easier. Dry horse stall mats help to prevent your bedding from being mixed in with the base, which is especially important if your base is sand or clay. If you have to strip the stall, it's much easier and much faster when you're working with the smooth surface of a mat.

Stall mats also help to keep your bedding dry, acting as a barrier between the base and the bedding. Rather than absorbing moisture present in your base, the bedding is kept separate, so you'll throw out less bedding in the long run. This amounts to both monetary and time savings, especially when you have a barn with multiple stalls.

There are other benefits to dry stall mats that make the investment well worth the cost. If you're running a professional boarding facility, stall mats are expected. Investing in mats can help to bring your facility to the next level, and may help to bring in new business.

Greatmats horse stable barn aisle mats interlocking
Don't forget that dry stall mats are also important to your horse's health and comfort. By helping to keep your stall dry, stall mats can prevent a number of health issues, like rain rot and thrush. The mats also provide valuable traction and cushion to your horse, which can help to reduce the chance of a slip. Mats make for a more comfortable stall for your horse, and are a great way to invest in your horse's health.
Another benefit of stall mats is that when they do get wet, they usually provide better traction than wet concrete or mud if you have dirt stalls. Choose a stall mat with a textured surface versus a smooth mat to increase traction if you are concerned about wet stalls.

Creating the Ideal Stall

As you assess your horse stalls, you may find that you need to make some improvements in order to get a stall that maximizes your horse's health and safety. Remember, frequent stall cleaning, adequate barn ventilation, and plenty of turnout time is important for any stalled horse.

Please contact our great customer service team if you'd like to invest in stall mats for your barn. We would be happy to help you find the right mat option for your needs.

Related Blogs

For more blogs about horse stall mats, visit our horse stall mat knowledge base.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Wood Look Alternatives to Real Hardwood Flooring

Alternatives to Wood Floors

By Paige Cerulli

Greatmats Rustic Wood Grain Luxury Vinyl Tile Planks
Wooden floors have become the standard in luxury flooring. They're beautiful, available in many different shades and styles, and can be the perfect finishing touch on a home, ballroom, or other space. But wooden floors aren't without their disadvantages. That's why Greatmats stocks a variety of natural looking alternatives, so you can get the look of wooden floors without the downsides.

The Downsides to Hardwood Floors

Wood floors aren't without their downsides. Consider the following factors:
  1. Cost: Installing hardwood floors can be cost-prohibitive. These floors simply may not be within your budget. You'll also need to account for the cost of professional installation in most cases.
  2. Durability: Wooden floors aren't the most durable flooring surface. It can be irreversibly damaged by water, and everyday traffic will eventually wear the flooring so much that it will need to be refinishing. Refinishing is an expensive process, driving up the cost of your floor's maintenance. This is an important consideration if you're purchasing wood floors for a commercial application where they'll see high amounts of traffic. 
  3. Cold: When you get out of bed early on a winter morning, you'll quickly discover that wood floors can get cold - really cold. They're not the most inviting surface for homes, unless you plan on instantly slipping into your slippers. 
  4. Hardness: Wood floors are unforgiving if you or someone in your home slips or falls. This is an important consideration if you have young children in your home. 
  5. Limited versatility: Because wood floors can be destroyed by moisture, you're limited in terms of where you can use wood flooring. For instance, you can't install wooden flooring in basements or other areas where moisture may be an issue, and will need to choose an alternative flooring for these spaces.
Looking for an alternative? Don't worry, we have plenty of options for you.

Wood Look Alternatives to Wooden Floors

There are many natural looking alternatives that still give you the appearance of a wood floor, but at a more affordable cost and with more practical features. Consider these options for your next flooring project.

Foam Tiles

Greatmats reversible wood grain foam tiles wood alternative
Far more comfortable and forgiving than wooden flooring, foam tiles are available in finishes that closely resemble genuine wood floor. These wood grain foam tiles offer many advantages over traditional wood. The 2x2 foot interlocking tiles are incredibly easy to install, so there's no need to hire a professional. They're also far more affordable than wood floors.

Wood grain foam tiles create a cushioned floor that also serves as an insulated wood grain flooring. They'll help to prevent the cold of a concrete subfloor from traveling up through your flooring. And if a child slips and falls, wood grain foam tiles help to minimize injury.

Our Wood Grain Reversible Foam Floor tiles are popular wood grain foam tiles. These tiles are both waterproof and non absorbent, and the fact that the tiles are double-sided means you can get maximum use out of them. These affordable tiles are lead and latex free, and each tile includes two border strips so you can perform an island installation with clean, finished edges. Choose from three beautiful wood grain patterns to get the exact look that you want.

Greatmats wood grain and black karate mats
Martial Arts Karate Mats also come in a wood grain design. These high density EVA foam mats are highly durable, yet are easily portable. Each 1x1 meter interlocking mat includes 4 border strips for a finished island installation, and the tiles are great for karate studio floors, as well as for basements and home practice spaces. Customers have also found them to be a great option for yoga.

Also consider our Foam Tiles Wood Grain which is available in two different wood grain color options and cork pattern or for a more rustic look, try our Rustic Wood Foam Tiles.

Interlocking Modular Tiles

Greatmats TileFlex floor tile options wood look
Modular tiles offer excellent versatility, while still looking quite similar to wood flooring. These wooden look floor options can be used almost anywhere. Most modular tiles can be dry laid on top of a flat surface, and they lock together for a secure, unified surface. If you need to remove them, though, you can, and they're conveniently sized to be easily portable.

These wooden look floor options are an ideal solution for use in areas where moisture may prevent the use of a traditional wooden floor. Many modular tiles have a raised base, which means that water and air can freely circulate beneath the tile. This promotes faster drying, which helps to prevent the growth of mold and mildew.

TileFlex Floor Tiles are waterproof raised tiles that are easy to install. These durable tiles are waterproof and require minimal maintenance. Best of all, they're available in a variety of luxurious finishes, including a number of hardwood options. Their raised base allows for underside air and water flow, and there's no adhesive required for installation.

Greatmats plankflex floor tiles vinyl plank flooringOur Max Tile Raised Floor Tile is another popular option. These tiles have a durable top commercial grade vinyl surface for superior durability. They also have the raised base, so they're suitable for areas where moisture may be an issue. Backed by a five-year warranty, this wood grain waterproof flooring is available in a variety of wood finishes including light oak parquet, dark oak parquet, maple, walnut, and cherry.

Most interlocking tiles are square-shaped buy for a realistic wood plank design, consider our PlankFlex Floor Tiles. These interlocking tiles are 36.5 inches long and 4.15 inches wide to provide a realistic wood plank floor look but with the benefits of a modular interlocking floor with a raised plastic base. Use these plank tiles in commercial or home settings. These tiles are available in ash, cherry, and chestnut wood grain colors.

Vinyl Tiles

Greatmats LVT rustic wood grain planks You'll also want to consider the Burke Luxury Vinyl Rustic Wood Grain tiles. These tiles are 7.2 x 37.4 inches in size for a more realistic wood plank look. They are equipped with a 6 mil wear layer for superior  durability and low maintenance. But more importantly, these tiles are equipped with Nano-Silver anti-bacterial technology. This new germ-killing technology can make your home or facility safer from bacteria and viruses. Extremely small particles of metallic silver are added to the tiles to help kill off these threats, making your flooring safer and healthier.

Backed by a 10 year residential limited warranty, these tiles can be glued down for a long-lasting flooring. Choose from a few different beautiful wood grain finishes to add a luxurious look to any room in your home.

Vinyl Peel and Stick Tiles are another easy installation alternative to hardwood flooring. Greatmats carries peel and stick tiles in two parquet wood looks including light oak and dark oak. Other wood grain vinyl tile color options include cherry, maple, walnut, and gym hardwood which mimics the look of a gymnasium floor.

Vinyl Padded Rolls

Greatmats wood look rubber flooring padded vinyl
If you're looking for a cushioned wood grain floor, our vinyl padded rolls may be the perfect solution. Rather than working with individual tiles, these rolls cover a much larger area with minimal seams. They make for a cushioned wood grain floor that is comfortable, sound, and shock absorbent.

Our Athletic Vinyl Padded Roll is a top-quality alternative to hardwood floors. This roll features a synthetic wood-grain surface that is fusion bonded to a 5mm base layer for superior durability and performance. The flooring looks just like real wood, but it's more durable and easy to clean. Additionally, the flooring is quiet underfoot.

Greatmats Wood Performa Vinyl Padded Roll wood floor alternative
This wood look flooring with rubber padding features a protective layer to ensure that your flooring looks great for years to come. The heat-welded installation makes for a seamless surface that looks like wood but performs like rubber.

The Wood Performa Full Bolt is another popular option when it comes to cushioned wood grain flooring. This sheet vinyl has a closed-cell foam backing, and makes a great padded floor. It's low maintenance and highly durable, and rolls measure 6 feet wide so you can quickly cover large spaces. This flooring is available in a variety of wood grain designs, so you can get the exact look that you desire.

Dance Floors

Greatmats event portable dance floor tile wood look floor
Portable dance floor tiles are another practical way to get the look of hardwood flooring. These tiles are portable and removable, which can be a big advantage over traditional flooring. They snap together easily and quickly, and can be a great way to set up a room or small space with a flooring resembling hardwood. They're available in a number of hardwood grain appearances.

Our Event Portable Dance Floor Tile is a versatile option when it comes to a wooden look floor. These tiles are designed for repeated installations and easy portability. Their wood grain look is natural, even though the tiles are plastic with a vinyl surface. They're an economical option and ramped borders are available for a clean and complete island installation. The base snaps together easily, and the floor is backed by a 1-year limited warranty.

Potential Uses For Alternative Flooring Options

Greatmats rustic wood grain foam floor wood look alternative
The alternatives to hardwood floors are versatile and suitable for a wide number of uses. Consider these products for any of the projects below:
  • Home flooring for basements, living rooms, kitchens, bedrooms, and more
  • Temporary dance floors and performance spaces 
  • Offices 
  • Gyms and sports facilities 
  • Home gyms 
  • Yoga studios 
  • And more
These flooring options offer you increased durability; superior versatility; a softer, more comfortable floor; thermal insulation; and many other benefits.

If you have any questions about which of these products may be right for you, please contact our customer service team. We would be happy to provide you with shipping quotes, send you a product sample, and help you to choose the best hardwood floor alternative for your next project.

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

Greatmats wood grain reversible foam floor infographic
Greatmats Martial Arts Karate Premium Mat wood look floor

Greatmats Max Tile Raised floor tile wood look floor infographic