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Supplement Feature - September 2010

Scratching the Surface

Uncovering the Right Sports Flooring Solution

By Kelli Anderson


With today's sports flooring companies offering more choices than ever in materials, function and colors (especially everyone's environmental favorite, green), it can be challenging to make the best choice for your indoor sports and recreation facility.

But expert designers and school-of-hard-knocks management graduates will tell you that no matter what the dizzying array of today's flooring options are, there are basic guidelines that can ensure that you get the best flooring for your facility's needs.

Game Plan

Hands down, the No. 1 determining factor for choosing the right flooring is planning. Anticipating activities in the space for present and future needs can be the difference between a flooring dream-come-true and a flooring nightmare.

"Making the optimum choice for a floor material requires careful evaluation of the space to determine primary, secondary and possible future uses," said Brian Adams, AIA with Warner Nease Bost Architects, specialists in recreation facility design from Kansas City, Mo. "The misuse of materials may lead to flooring replacement and unnecessary expenses."

Whether it's identifying specific sports or evaluating other event needs (the presence of foods, the use of heavy equipment, the need for good acoustics), the possible activities within a space need to be thoroughly explored.

For example, when planning for a new student recreation center at the Colorado School of Mines, a state engineering university in Golden, Colo., wood was the top choice for the school's three gymnasiums since the school would be hosting intercollegiate basketball.