As one of the most popular sports floors, the Boston Garden floor was made from parquet oak. Once, Celtics played there. However, this historic basketball court was exceptional to the rule. We all know that gym & sports floors always use maple. In fact, maple relates to the sports flooring industry so much. When it comes to wood sports flooring, why do gym & sports floors always use maple? It relates to maple’s Janka hardness rating, availability, appearance, and high shock resistance. Let’s discuss it all one by one in details!

Janka Hardness Rating

For your information, maple is really dense. Then, its Janka hardness rating makes this wood the ideal material for sports flooring. When installing it, it is important to consider the hardness rating of the wood, especially if you will install it on areas where it’s exposed to higher-than-average, like in a gym or sports arena.

You need to know that Janka hardness rating of maple is 1450. Of course, this rating is higher than other domestic species commonly installed as wood flooring such as oak, walnut, and pine. If a gym floor uses a relatively soft hardwood like red oak, or a softwood like pine, I will likely accumulate damage from heavy athletic use faster than maple.

Appearance & Availability

Surely, maple’s bright, light-colored wood is very impressive. Besides that, its grain texture is very smooth, making it the perfect surface painting logos and lines on the floor.

For your information, maple trees are very common in the US so that its wood is widely available there. That’s why you can easily find indoor sports hall flooring in the United States.

High Shock Resistance

Another reason why you should choose maple for sports flooring is its high shock resistance. In fact, maple allows the sports floors to respond to foot traffic by bouncing back. So, it helps to reduce damage & fatigue in the joints of athletes.

In addition, its high shock resistance contributes to the ball bounce, that is an important concern when you install multipurpose sports flooring. Then, its high shock resistance makes this wood better able to sustain wear and tear, too. Even more, Bowling alley flooring uses maple wood for its material.

Besides that, it is more stable compared to other species like hickory, that is harder than maple. Since it offers more stability, maple is less responsive to the environment changes so that it is less likely to crack from too much contracting or expanding.

Wood Sports Flooring Finish and Subfloor

Indeed, it is not only about the wood. The finish on top and the subfloor underneath can add to and detract from the floor’s quality. Furthermore, a properly installed, sports-specific subflooring contributes to the wood’s strength & integrity. Then, a sports floor finish will make it glossy. In addition, its finish protects the wood floor from damage. So, maintaining wood sports flooring properly will work to preserve its attractiveness and integrity.

What to Consider Before Installing Wood Sports Flooring

Installing wood flooring for sports arena requires you to consider some things. Here are 3 conditions to optimize wood athletic sports floors installation.

The Concrete Slab Flatness

The concrete slab flatness level is essential for proper installation of wood floors installation. Slabs for any type of athletic performance floor must be within about 10-foot radius. Maybe, some concrete pourers use Ft/FI numbers to measure the concrete slab flatness. Of course, that’s not acceptable as there must be tolerance of about 10-foot radius.

To avoid costly arguments over concrete slabs, it is better to pour the slab at least 6 moths before wood flooring installations. Besides that, you should put the budget allowance for concrete slab flatness correction.

Then, the contractor has to write that the slab meets about 1/8” in a 10-foot radius tolerance. In addition, ask your contractor to approve the slab by reading taking reading with lasers. One more thing, don’t store anything on the slab before wood sports floor installation.

The Concrete Slab Moisture Content

When it comes to sports hall flooring material, you also need to consider the concrete slab moisture content. The recommended concrete slab humidity level for a non-glue-down maple sports floor is 85 percent or lower. Meanwhile, the concrete slab humidity level for a glue down maple sports floor system must be 75 percent or lower.

To establish the moisture content of concrete slab, you have to pour concrete with the proper water/cement ratio. Besides that, you should never pour and leave the concrete slab open or uncovered to the elements.

Then, you may need to ask your contractor to test the concrete slab before installing the wood sports floors. In addition, the environmental conditions has a direct effect on the time taken for a concrete slab to dry. Most importantly, you have to keep the relative humidity in the room low.

If you don’t want to wait for the moisture to meet specifications, you can use certain chemical, topical materials to solve the problem. However, it can be expensive and it should be the last resort.

Environmental Conditions

The environmental conditions of the sports arena are also important. Before the contractor delivers materials, you should complete some preparations. Make sure that all doors & windows are installed & functioning, the HVAC system is installed & has been operating, the athletic equipment is installed, painting is complete, and overhead work is all complete.

The environmental conditions are essential as wood belongs to hydroscopic materials. It means that wood can absorb & release moisture based on the room conditions. If the room’s relative humidity is higher compared to the moisture content of the wood, wood will absorb moisture & expand. However, wood will release moisture & shrink if relative humidity is lower.

That’s all about wood sports flooring. Jati Luhur Agung is a one-stop sports floor resource for you.

If you want more information on sports flooring options, just feel free to visit and contact our customer service.

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