Guest Column - May 2010
Find a printable version here

Sports Surfaces

Improve Safety on the Court

By Xavier Nicolau


Other Criteria

Good quality vinyl sports flooring should consist of a multi-layered construction of pure vinyl and a reinforced fiberglass grid with a closed-cell foam backing. The quality and construction of the layers will have direct impact on the flooring's overall performance, recyclability and gymnasium aesthetics. Other performance qualities to consider include:

No Vibrations/No Area Deflection: One of the main advantages of well-built vinyl flooring is its consistency throughout the floor of having no area of deflection. The greater the area deflection of a sports floor, the greater the risk of vibration, injuries and "dead spots."

Coefficient of Friction: Vinyl sports flooring will provide an optimal balance of grip and slide in all directions to ensure ease of movement.

Multipurpose Use: Good vinyl flooring construction and the quality of closed cell backing will withstand tables and chairs for an event and then return to its original form.

Consistency: Consistent ball bounce, comfort, shock absorption and coefficient of friction should take place across the entire sports flooring surface.

Protect Against Skin Burns: Some treatments on the vinyl sports floor can prevent the spread of bacteria, as well as prevent skin burns.

Easy to Maintain: Good vinyl sports flooring eliminates the need for waxes, coatings or finishes and is stain resistant and easy to maintain, thereby reducing maintenance costs.

Low Life Cycle Cost: A low life cycle cost translates to thousands of dollars of savings and a reduction in the harmful effects on the environment due to frequent floor replacements. A vinyl sports flooring solution should always come with a warranty.

Environmentally Friendly: Vinyl can be 100 percent recycled during and after manufacture and, thus, good vinyl sports flooring should have a great environmental record and be ISO 14001 certified.

Acoustic Performance: Noise reduction is key when considering a vinyl sports flooring, and with better designed flooring solutions, noise can be reduced up to 23 decibels.

Prevents MRSA: Vinyl flooring is naturally waterproof and can be heat welded to form a continuous, non-porous surface to inhibit the growth of microorganisms, bacteria, fungus, mold and mildew. In fact, vinyl flooring deters the growth of harmful bacteria, such as MRSA and other contagions.

Before selecting sports flooring, always ask for a certificate of ASTM F2272 compliance to ensure you and your athletes are protected from unnecessary problems or injuries.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Xavier Nicolau is product manager for Taraflex Sports Flooring - Gerflor North America. To learn more, visit www.gerflorusa.com.