Facility Profile - March 2009
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Fit Floors

Southtowns Family YMCA in West Seneca, N.Y.

By Emily Tipping

One of the considerations regarding purchasing this product was that it was slightly more expensive, but Byrne said over the long term, the new floor's durability will make the investment well worth it.

Another challenge they faced was that the YMCA had to remain open for use by members while the new floor was being installed. Because the floor is made up of tiles, the installation process was simplified.

"The facility needed to remain open, not inconvenience anyone and ensure the safety of our members," Byrne said.

The project began on Dec. 1 and was completed in just two weeks. The facility remained open virtually this entire time by moving equipment to one side, as well as moving equipment to an auxiliary gym on the first floor. The free weight area proved to be more of a challenge as the existing floor was more difficult to remove.

"It was a bear to get out of there," Byrne said. "But we did it all in about two weeks, with very little inconvenience to our members."

Ultimately, the Southtowns Family YMCA replaced its carpet and composite flooring with around 8,000 square feet of the 1-inch thick tiles, including a custom logo.

"It gave us the flexibility we wanted, as well as the durability," Byrne said. And the bonus? "It's a much thicker product, so it's sound-deadening."

Now the folks below the workout area don't hear every detail of what's going on above them. "It completely soundproofed the upstairs from the downstairs," Atkinson said. "Because it's 1-inch thick and rubber, it absorbs the impact of all the weights and cardio equipment."

What's more, the new flooring gives the facility a bright, pleasant appearance. According to YMCA Buffalo Niagara communications director Kathy Vallone, the reports are in, and "people are pleased with not only the look but the feel of the new flooring."

"One of the advantages without the carpet is the space looks bigger because the tiles are two-by-two and they're all aligned symmetrically," Byrne said. "It just looks better."

The new floor's thickness also adds up to a more comfortable workout area, he added. "It's comfortable to work out on because its 1-inch thick, so it's beneficial to those individuals with bad knees and bad backs," he explained.

And finally, solving a common problem in wintry areas, where salt and snow tend to get on every surface, the floor is easy to clean with the use of a Roto Wash machine, said Southtowns facility director Gregg Schaper. Byrne and the YMCA are pleased with the end result, from the ease of the installment to the ease of cleaning.


Southtowns Family YMCA:

Infinity Flooring: