Win 20 Free Home MMA BJJ Mats, a $242 value, in the Greatmats Video Contest!

Win 20 free home MMA BJJ mats in the Greatmats Video Contest.

Win 20 free home MMA BJJ mats in the Greatmats Video Contest.

Post a video of your best martial arts moves to FB. Include ‪#‎GreatmatsMMA‬ and tag Greatmats in your post to be entered to win 20 Home MMA BJJ Mats (+ free shipping in the continental U.S.) –

Make sure to Like Greatmats before you tag us.

Get an additional 5% off any Home MMA BJJ 2×2 ft floor tiles with the coupon code MMAVIDEO during the month of June. Contest ends June 30, 2015.

A quick guide to martial arts flooring: Which is best for your discipline?

Karate Mats

1 inch thick Karate mats are designed as a top quality interlocking martial arts mat for Karate and Taekwondo. This interlocking Karate mat is a firm, high density polyethylene (PE) and ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) foam tile with a smooth leather surface finish specifically designed for barefoot and soft shoe foot work and striking moves.

If you’re gaining interest in the exciting world of martial arts and are looking to take your commitment to the next level by setting up your own home or commercial training facility, knowing where to begin can be intimidating. With hundreds of different martial arts disciplines originating from dozens of countries, how can you be sure you and your training space are speaking the same language when shopping for the safest, most durable and most appropriate flooring for your needs.

The first thing to keep in mind is – where does your discipline originate? Are you creating a dojo, dojang, gym or kwoon? While all of those terms may refer to a similar space, each has a different origin and possibly a different intent. Knowing the terminology is important. Not all martial arts are created equal as each has a different focus.

Here’s a quick reference to some of the most popular forms of martial arts studios, their origin and some common disciplines performed in those spaces.

Common Training Hall Names

  1. Dojo: training place for Japanese martial arts such as Karate, Judo, Aikido or Jiu-Jitsu
  2. Dojang: training space for Korean martial arts such as Taekwondo or Hapkido
  3. Kwoon: training facility for Chinese martial arts (aka Kung Fu)
  4. Gym: general term for an American training hall for martial arts such as Western Boxing or Wrestling

Factors for proper martial arts flooring

When considering flooring for your training facility, material and construction can make a big difference in comfort, safety and ease of movements. Most martial arts flooring is made of an impact-absorbing foam material. Thickness, density and surface texture play vital roles in selecting the proper flooring for your discipline.

For striking martial arts such as Taekwondo and Karate, a high density foam is needed. If training with soft shoes a barefoot, a smooth, non-slip surface serves best to allow for proper footwork. Hard or slippery flooring can and will cause injury. A 1 inch thickness of high density foam will provide the ideal cushion and support for striking martial arts. Thatch top textures can increase the versatility and add resistance to wear and tear from shoes and boots for combat or aerobic training, but are not as gentle on bare feet. Greatmats Martial Arts Karate Mat Premium 1 Inch

When the majority of your sport takes place on the ground, such as in grappling or Mixed Martial Arts, you will want a slightly softer, thicker and more durable material that has a fall height rating of at least 4 feet. The surface texture should also be one that does not cause rug burns. A 1 5/8 inch thick EVA foam mat with a tatami texture is ideal for these situations. It will provide excellent support for grappling, take downs and ground work without burning the skin.Greatmats Grappling MMA Mats 1-5/8 Inch

For high impact landings, you’ll want a crash pad with a thickness of at least 2 inches. Crash pads are often available in thicknesses up to 12 inches with durable vinyl covers. The greater the impact, the thicker the mat you’ll need. These are ideal for practicing rolls, falls and takedowns. Greatmats Pro MMA Mats Smooth 1x2 Meter 2 Inch

All martial arts flooring should be non-absorbent, chemical resistant and easy to clean. Martial arts flooring can come in many forms including, rolls, tiles or fold up mats. Generally speaking, rolls are the most inexpensive option, but can be the most cumbersome to install due to size and weight. Interlocking tiles proved the most versatility for both design and installation. They are great for permanent or temporary installation and do no call for tape or adhesives. Fold up mats are good for crash pads.

Below is a quick guide to the top 15 forms of martial arts today.

Top 15 Martial Arts

  1. Wrestling: Dating back to the Bronze Age (3300-1200 BC) in France, wrestling is the original form of martial art which involves throws, takedowns, grappling holds, clinch fighting and joint locks. The goal is to end the match by way of a pin.
  2. Boxing: Born in the Iron Age (1200-550 BC) in Mesopotamia, boxing is a martial art in which all contact occurs using the upper body – almost entirely through the use of punches. The goal is to knock down or knock out the opponent
  3. Jiu Jitsu: A Japanese martial art of close combat that began during the Sengoku period (1467-1603) using no weapons or only a short weapon. Jiu Jitsu is known as a gentle martial art. Its strategy is to manipulate the opponent’s force against himself/herself using grappling techniques joint locks, throws and pins.
  4. Judo: A Japanese martial art with the objective of immobilizing or subduing an opponent with a pin or forced submission. Established in 1882, Judo uses throws, takedowns, joint locks and chokes. Hand and foot strikes and thrusts are involved, but not in competition. Judo is one of two olympic forms of martial arts.
  5. Muay Thai: Originating in Thailand in the 16th century, Muay Thai, originally known as Siamese-Style boxing, uses stand-up striking along with clinching techniques using fists, elbows, knees and shins.
  6. Karate: Primarily a striking art using punches, kicks, knee and elbow strikes, Karate also utilizes open hand techniques such as palm-heel strikes, spear hands and knife hands. Karate is believed to have begun secretively in the late 1300s in Okinawa, Japan, under a fighting system know as te.Fumio Demura The Real Mr. Miyagi Karate Kid Greatmats
  7. Hapkido: Primarily used for self defense, Hapkido is a Korean martial art that utilizes numerous forms of attacking methods, including kicks, punches, weapons, joint locks, grappling and throws. Weapons can include various sticks, swords, knives and ropes. Hapkido is believed to have begun in the 1940s.
  8. Taekwondo: Also a Korean martial art, Taekwondo places heavy emphasis on kicks, but also includes hand strikes. Believed to have originated in the 1940s or 50s, it has also been known as Tae Soo Do.Infinity Martial Arts Taekwondo Greatmats
  9. Aikido: A Japanese martial art, beginning in the 1920s, Aikido is used for self defense that also avoids injury to the attacker. Its techniques redirect the momentum of the opponent’s attack and finish with a throw or joint lock.
  10. Krav Maga: A martial art developed in Israel for self defense, Krav Maga is derived from street fighting skills and combined those from Aikido, Boxing, Judo and Wrestling in the 1930s and 40s to focus on counter attacks in real world situations. If confrontation cannot be avoided, the goal is to end a fight as quickly as possible by attacking the most vulnerable parts of the body. There are no rules in Krav Maga.
  11. Kung Fu: While the term Kung Fu refers any skill acquired through practice, it is commonly used as a general term for Chinese Martial Arts intended for self defense, hunting and military training using hand-to-hand combat and weapons. Legend has it, Chinese Martial arts began more than 4,000 years ago.
  12. Kickboxing: This form of martial art comes in two styles, Japanese kickboxing (started in the 1960s) and American Kickboxing (started in the 1970s), but in general includes all stand-up combat sports that allow both punching and kicking.
  13. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ): A martial art that focuses on grappling and ground fighting, BJJ’s roots are in Kodokan Judo ground fighting. It emphasizes the use of leverage and ground fighting to even the playing field between unevenly sized opponents. Opponents are defeated by applying joint locks and choke holds.Rodrigo Comprido on MMA MAts Smooth 1x2 Meter 2 Inch Thick Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Greatmats
  14. Jeet Kune Do (JKD): Founded by Bruce Lee in 1967, the premise behind his martial art is that it has no form or patterns, making it unpredictable and flexible. It is based on minimal moments with extreme speed, adjusting techniques for the given situation. JKD does use kicks, punches, traps and grappling techniques.
  15. Mixed Martial Arts (MMA): MMA leagues began in the United States in 1980, but were originally known as Tough Guy Contests. They really gained popularity in 1993 with the founding of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). These leagues allow various martial arts styles with both striking and grappling techniques using both standing and ground attacks.

Karate mats on sale while supplies last

Take advantage of Greatmats’ limited time offer on reversible Karate mats. While supplies last, all orders of at least 100 red/blue 40x40x1 inch interlocking Karate floor tiles will receive a discounted price of $16.50 per tile (originally priced at $24.95 per tile.) Orders typically ship within 1-3 days. Call our customer service team at 877-822-6622 for more details.

Our 1” thick Karate tiles are made of high density PE and EVA foams and feature a smooth, leather-like surface specifically designed for barefoot and soft shoe footwork and striking moves. Red on one side and blue on the other, the reversible tiles provide lasting quality and a variety of design possibilities for your Karate or Taekwondo training or competition area. These Karate mats are also non absorbent and easy to clean.

These 1” thick Karate tiles are made of high density PE and EVA foams and feature a smooth, leather-like surface.

Take advantage of Greatmats’ limited time offer on reversible Karate mats. While supplies last, all orders of at least 100 red/blue 40x40x1 inch interlocking Karate floor tiles will receive a discounted price of $16.50 per tile (originally priced at $24.95 per tile.) Orders typically ship within 1-3 days. Call our customer service team at 877-822-6622 for more details.

Green Flooring: Breaking down the top 11 eco-friendly materials

When laying out your next flooring plan, consider the use of eco-friendly materials for your project. Today’s flooring market has a surprising plethora of stylish and functional resources for eco-friendly flooring. There are many factors that go into not just which recycled material to choose, but what makes certain forms of flooring environmentally friendly.

Rubber flooring is recyclable at the end of its useful life.

Rubber flooring is made of recycled tires.

Among the options to consider are sustainability, recycled content, reclaimed materials, recyclability, carbon footprint, transportation and toxic content. Then there is the aesthetic, comfort, health, safety and durability components of making your flooring selection. We’ll take a brief look at each of the most popular recycled and eco-friendly flooring options on the market today.


Pros: Rubber flooring, typically used for gyms and playgrounds has also migrated into the kitchen due in part to its versatility and anti-fatigue properties. Made from ground up tires, rubber floors are durable, low maintenance and comfortable to stand and walk on. Rubber floors protect the existing floor beneath them as they are both impact and water resistant. Recycled rubber also serves as a thermal and sound insulator and is fire resistant. Rubber flooring can also come in numerous color and pattern options, lending to creativity in a modern home designs.

Cons: Many rubbers can emit gasses and odors, making well-ventilated areas the typical location for rubber floors. While many rubber floors provide solid slip resistance, untextured surfaces can become slippery. It is also susceptible to seepage and staining issues if not cared for properly.


Cork floors have natural elasticity provide for a comfortable flooring option.

Cork is both a recycled and sustainable flooring material.

Pros: Cork flooring offers a unique blend of being both a recycled product and a sustainable one. Typically made from the waste cork in the bottle stopper manufacturing process, cork floors can also boast that their material is easily replenished. Cork is carefully harvested from the bark of a cork oak tree, which can grow back its bark in approximately three years. This material is not only fire retardant, it also has natural insect repellant and antimicrobial properties, reducing allergens in your home. Corks’ natural elasticity provides “give” when a person steps or stands on it, making for a comfortable flooring option. It also provides both thermal and acoustic insulation and recovers well from marks and indentations left by high heels or furniture. Cork is also buoyant and impermeable to gas.

Cons: Unfortunately, cork trees only grow in a limited geographical area in the Mediterranean so careful harvesting is a must. Cork flooring can also be easily damaged by sharp objects such as pet nails or dropped knives. Permanent indentation can occur if heavy furniture sits on it for a long period of time. And while cork is water resistant, spills need to be cleaned up quickly to prevent absorption.

Cork flooring is not recommended for use in basements or over in-floor radiant heat systems.

Note: Some manufactures have created rubber-cork blended flooring.

PVC is resistant to most acids and oils.

PVC flooring tiles are often made of recycled plastics.

PVC plastic

Pros: While not typically viewed as environmentally friendly, PVC flooring can be a good option for green flooring as some manufactures have been able to use recycled plastic material to make a high quality, durable floor covering such as the black Staylock tiles sold at, which consist of 100 percent recycled material. They can also be recycled again at the end of their useful lives. Flooring tiles such as these also eliminate the need for adhesives and are non absorbent and resistant to most acids and oils.

Cons: PVC is a synthetic material and is much harder to give an natural looking appearance.


Pros: Harder than the hardest hardwood and quick to regenerate, bamboo has become a popular green flooring option. This durable grass grows to maturity in 3-6 years and is very lightweight. Bamboo floors are resilient, easy to maintain and easy to install and come in a wide array of colors. High quality bamboo is also insect, water and mildew resistant and does not crack.

Cons: Of the thousands of varieties of bamboo available, very few are appropriate for flooring. Improper varieties of bamboo are often sold and used and will not hold up to the demands of a flooring environment, resulting in shrinking, cupping and delaminating. Bamboo flooring cannot be used over in-floor radiant heat systems.


Pros: Often used as structural sub flooring, concrete can serve double duty when polished or tinted for a finished look. Concrete can also create a tiled effect using different colors. Other materials, such as glass, can be inlayed for endless design possibilities. Polished concrete is durable, easy to clean and will not conceal allergens such as dust or mold. It is also a good heat conductor and a viable option for use with radiant floor heating systems.

Cons: Concrete offers little-to-no physical comfort value as a hard, unforgiving surface.


Pros: Often confused with chemical-based vinyl, Linoleum is created with natural materials including linseed oil, cork dust, tree resins, wood flour, pigments and limestone. It is fire retardant and water resistant as well as durable against wear and tear. Natural linoleum is allergy and asthma friendly as well as being biodegradable. It can also serve as a sound absorption tool.

Cons: Linoleum must be polished to resist stains. While the linseed oil is non-toxic it does emit aldehydes that may produce an odor.

Reclaimed or Salvaged Wood

Pros: Reclaimed Wood reuses existing wood from trees that died long ago. It can be milled from previously chopped trees, standing dead trees or lumber from deconstructed buildings. Reclaimed wood gives a rustic look and gains character from imperfections such as streaking, nail holes and knot holes.

Cons: Some woods are not appropriate for radiant floor systems as it may cause them to warp or split. If the trees and/or lumber originates from a long distance away from where it will be used, the cost and resources used to transport the material may outweigh its benefits.

Note: Engineered wood floors can provide increased durability, but may also contain formaldehyde.

Natural Fiber Carpeting

Pros: There are several options for carpeting made of natural materials – such as wool, hemp, sisal, jute, seagrass, linen, coir and cotton. Wool is durable and can last for centuries. It can also be easily dyed so you can have the color of your choice. Wool repels water and serves as a good insulator while also being fire resistant. A wool-hemp blend adds in mold, mildew, pest and UV resistance. Grass-based carpeting is affordable, versatile, easy to install and sustainable.

Cons: Carpeting in general, collects dust, dander and chemicals and absorbs gases. Wool carpeting should only be used in well-ventilated and relatively dry locations. It is not a good choice for areas such as bathrooms. Grass-based carpeting in susceptible to deterioration when exposed to sunlight and water and has limitations to color varieties as some can not be dyed.


Pros: Terrazzo is made of small pieces marble, granite, glass, etc. set in concrete or an epoxy-based adhesive. It is nearly indestructible with an expected life span extending beyond four decades. Terrazzo typically won’t chip, stain, burn or support bacterial growth and has endless design possibilities. After its useful life, Terrazzo can be recycled.

Cons: Terrazzo flooring is very hard and is punishing to stand on for long periods of time. Epoxies often contain forms of volatile organic compounds which can be harmful to air quality.

Recycled glass

Pros: Making use of used wine and beer bottles that could otherwise fill up a landfill, glass tiles are non-absorbent, meaning they won’t mold or mildew in damp environments. They also come in limitless color options and won’t stain. Glass reflects, light providing extra illumination for otherwise dark rooms.

Cons: Glass is not an impact resistant material and can be quite fragile. It also can cause body fatigue as an unforgiving, hard surface.


Pros: Leather flooring provides a soft, warm feel under foot – ideal for bedrooms and other areas without a lot of heavy traffic. Like reclaimed or salvaged wood, leather also provides character as it ages.

Cons: Leather is not moisture resistant, making it a poor choice for areas such as kitchens, bathrooms or basements.

Flooring options made of recycled materials can go on and on. There is carpeting made of recycled plastic bottles, used vinyl and used nylon carpeting. There are hard floors made of antique bricks and cobblestones or gypsum from recycled drywall. Even standard vinyl or ceramic tile floors can be recycled and used again. With so many environmentally friendly flooring options available today, why not save our natural resources and give eco-friendly flooring a try.

Greatmats Sterling Roof Top Tile installed on roof

Roofing tiles and pavers: Rubber vs. Concrete

Rubber roof pavers are made with built-in legs that allow for drainage.

Rubber pavers are made with built-in legs that allow for drainage. They do not freeze or crack and are non-absorbent.

Roofing tiles date back to early Greek and Roman times, though their uses have evolved over the years. Originally made of heavy fired clay and installed using an overlapping pattern to keep water out of buildings, roofing tiles’ and pavers’ popularity expanded drastically in the 14th century due to their fire resistance capabilities. With the introduction of new materials, such as concrete and rubber, roof tiles and pavers have come a long ways in price, design and versatility.
There are several advantages to using a roof paver system on your flat room. Usually manufactured in 2×2 feet squares, roof pavers are easy to transport and install. They also provide a simple solution to wear and tear problems, as you can simple replace any damaged tile without the need to disturb the rest of the roofing surface. All roofing tile and paver systems are designed to allow for drainage beneath the tiles. Roof pavers can be easily uplifted to access the underlying roof surface for maintenance and/or repairs.
While roof pavers and tiles can be made of a variety of materials, – including fired clay, porcelain, stone and plastic – rubber and concrete are by far the most popular and versatile options for usable outdoor extensions of your home and/or business.
Here, we’ll compare rubber and concrete roof pavers.

Rubber roof pavers

Sterling Roof Top Tile Blue Rubber GreatmatsRubber pavers are made with built-legs that allow for drainage.
They do not freeze or crack and are non-absorbent.
The most economical roof paver material is ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) rubber – known for its heat, ozone and extreme weather resistance. Often made with recycled rubber, these tiles are one of the “greenest” choices on the market. They not only take less energy to produce than most other roofing materials but provide the dual benefit of insulating and heat reflecting properties, saving the owner money on both heating and cooling costs. To top if off, rubber pavers can last from 30 years to upwards of 50 years. They are not susceptible to UV, wind or hail damage, and are 100% recyclable at the end of their lives.

Greatmats Sterling Rubber Roof Top Tile Paver bottom viewRubber pavers are typically made with built-in legs to provide proper clearance under the tile for drainage. Although rubber roof tiles can come in varying thicknesses, they are still relatively lightweight, making them more suitable for roof structures without extra support. Rubber pavers are often connected using interlocking designs or secured to each other using caulk to prevent wind uplift. EPDM rubber pavers do not freeze or crack and are non absorbent, so they will not mold or mildew. The textured rubber material provides a high-traction surface that can also absorb the shock of a fall, preventing injury to a person and/or damage to the surface below the tile. EPDM rubber will also shift with the existing structure as it settles, preventing cracks and leaks that may form with some other roofing materials.

Concrete roof tiles
Concrete roof pavers come in a wide variety of colors, styles and finishes giving you options for a natural appearance. Also durable, concrete pavers should last approximately 30 years. Concrete roof tiles and pavers, however, are approximately double the price and weight of rubber roof pavers and require small pedestals under them to allow for draining. Due to the extra weight, structural support of the roof should be assessed before installation.

While both rubber and concrete roof pavers and tiles provide excellent quality and durability with minimal maintenance, you’ll get more bang for your buck going the rubber route.

Greatmats Sterling Roof Top Tile installed on roof

Commercial Rubber Roofing Pavers Sale

The Sterling Roof Top Tile is a high-end, professional quality outdoor rubber paver. is offering an additional 5% off its already great sale price on Sterling Roof Top Tiles in any color. The offer brings our regularly-priced $32.35 terra cotta commercial rubber roofing pavers down to just $24.61 per tile and is good only through the end of May, so don’t delay! Call us toll free at 877-822-6622 for more details or to place an order. Our friendly customer service team his happy to help. is offering an additional 5% off its already great sale price on Sterling Roof Top Tiles in any color. The offer brings our regularly-priced $32.35 terra cotta commercial rubber roofing pavers down to just $24.61 per tile and is good only through the end of May, so don’t delay! Call us toll free at 877-822-6622 for more details or to place an order. Our friendly customer service team his happy to help.

The Sterling Roof Top Tile is a high-end, professional quality outdoor rubber paver. This 2×2 foot rubber floor tile is 2 inches thick and comes with interlocking edges for easy installation. Sterling patio flooring, made of durable recycled rubber, qualifies for Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) points and comes with a 10-year limited warranty.

Most outdoor deck tiles interlock and can be installed on any semi-flat surface without the need for grout, adhesives or installation fees.

Choose your outdoor patios carefully. Consider versatility, beauty and price.

Installing an outdoor patio can make all the difference when it comes to enjoying or selling your home. In addition to adding curb appeal and expanding your living space, it can even have financial rewards such as reducing energy costs (cooking outdoors on hot days) and increasing property value.

There are a few things to keep in mind, however, when installing outdoor patio tiles – visual appeal, functionality, climate, surroundings, durability and cost.

Below is a breakdown of the features of the most popular outdoor patio tiles.

Outdoor deck tiles

Most outdoor deck tiles interlock and can be installed on any semi-flat surface without the need for grout, adhesives or installation fees.

Most outdoor deck tiles interlock and can be installed on any semi-flat surface without the need for grout, adhesives or installation fees.

Do-it-yourself (DIY) homeowners have great options in outdoor deck tiles which come in plastic, wood, stone and concrete. Equally as impressive as the variety of materials available for outdoor deck tiles are the array of textures and colors, giving designers options to match any style of home, community or functional purpose. Most outdoor deck tiles interlock and can be installed on any semi-flat surface without the need for grout, adhesives or installation fees. They can be laid down on top of and existing patio, deck or ground surface and most are water, heat and insect proof.

Outdoor carpet or turf tiles

Artificial turf squares allow water to drain through and provide a lush, non-slip surface that is easy to maintain.

Artificial turf squares allow water to drain through and provide a lush, non-slip surface that is easy to maintain.

Outdoor carpet squares are a convenient way to extend the comfort of your home outside. Resistant to moisture and high traffic, outdoor carpet tiles provide an excellent non-slip surface. Should a tile become worn or stained, it is easy to replace. Many come in interlocking squares that you can simply swap with no need for tools. High quality outdoor carpet tiles are odor, stain resistant and easy to clean.

For a natural look and the comfort of artificial materials, consider artificial turf tiles. Easy to install, they typically snap together on any hard flat surface. Artificial turf squares allow water to drain through and provide a lush, non-slip surface that is easy to maintain.

Outdoor rubber tiles

Outdoor rubber tiles are soft, slip resistant and inexpensive.

Outdoor rubber tiles can withstand extreme temperatures without cracking or chipping and most carry the rare benefit of being both porous and waterproof.

One of the most versatile outdoor patio tile options, outdoor rubber tiles are soft, slip resistant and inexpensive. They come in a large range of textures, colors and sizes and are extremely durable. The comfort factor of the rubber patio tile makes it ideal for areas where children will be present as it offers a soft surface with a superior grip.

Outdoor rubber tiles can withstand extreme temperatures without cracking or chipping and most carry the rare benefit of being both porous and waterproof. Water permeates through the tiles which are often also grooved to allow water to drain off the surface rather than pool. Rubber patio tiles are able to withstand heavy objects being dropped on them without breaking. DIY homeowners enjoy the benefits of easy installation, allowing them to save money both on the purchase price and installation.

Clay-based tiles

How tiles are formed and fired makes a big difference when looking at clay-based tiles. Ceramic tiles in particular are very diverse in colors, patterns, shapes and sizes. Commonly used for indoor tiles, there are limitations to ceramic tiles’ outside uses as they should have a minimum Porcelain Enamel Institute (PEI) rating of 4 or 5, meaning they are hard and durable. Anything rated lower than 4 is too fragile. Outdoor ceramic tiles should also be unglazed and sealed. Glazed tiles can be slippery and unsealed ceramic tiles will stain.

Porcelain tiles do not mildew or stain and are near waterproof. Their method of manufacturing allows for intricate textures that mimic stone tiles. Porcelain is also more durable and dense than ceramic tiles. Porcelain tiles are resistant to freezing and come in an unlimited number of colors and sizes, but are more expensive than ceramic tiles.

Quarry tiles are made from unglazed clay and are very tough but come in limited colors of red, brown and gray. They have a low water absorption rate, but need to be sealed to avoid staining. The unglazed material provides an effective non-slip surface.

Stone tiles

If you are looking for the beauty of nature, there are many stone tile options to fit your needs. However stone tiles can be much more expensive than the previously-mentioned options. Sandstone tiles offer a huge range of colors. A soft stone, sandstone is easier to carve than other stones without sacrificing strength and durability. However, as one of the most porous stones, they absorb a water and salt which can result in serious damage. They also need to be sealed to prevent staining.

Granite tiles are the strongest and most durable stone tiles. Naturally waterproof, granite will not stain or absorb oils. It is scratch, chip and crack resistant, easy to clean and nearly impenetrable to bacteria. Granite is also heat resistant and nearly maintenance free but is one of the most expensive options.

Like sandstone, limestone is also easy to cut while maintaining strength and durability. However, it does scratch easily and needs to be properly sealed. A somewhat porous stone, limestone is highly susceptible to damage by acidic cleaners such as bleach or vinegar. For a spongy-looking limestone tile, consider travertine tiles, which are known for their small pits.

Soapstone tiles, known for their soft texture, are heat resistant and waterproof and well as resistant to extreme climate changes. They are easy to carve, but also easily scratched.

Slate tiles are usually grey in color and offer unique uneven surfaces which provide excellent slip resistance. While good in wet conditions, slate is not tolerant of freezing temperatures. Despite being a dense material, slate is easily scratched and must be sealed to prevent staining.

As you can see, not all tiles are created equal. Take care in deciding whether you want the comfort, versatility and price of synthetic tiles or natural look and authenticity of stone. Your family, friends, neighbors, body and wallet will thank you!

Picking the perfect dance floor

adagio-dancersChoosing the right dance floor to install can be a daunting task. With literally hundreds of different kinds of dance out there, how can you be sure you have the right floor covering to meet the demands of your studio, hall or home?

Without getting too in depth, two key areas to watch are slip resistance and shock absorption. Both factors should play a large role in determining how  easy and comfortable the performance surface is to dance on. Dancing on an improper surface such as concrete, even for short periods of time, can cause pain, injury or even irreversible damage to your bones, joints and entire body.

Slip resistance

Each form of dance requires different levels of slip resistance. Ballet dancers need a much higher degree of grip than do ballroom or bare feet dancers. While much of that can be regulated through the use of proper footwear, floor surfaces still play a critical role.

Marley, or vinyl, floors such as the Rosco Adagio line of rolled dance floor provide a solid non-slip surface for dances such as jazz, modern, ballet, Irish, Flamenco, lyrical, drill team or tap and are typically preferred when more general community all-purpose use takes place. It provides a medium-fast floor speed and is excellent for semi-permanent or permanent installation. Adagio’s marley floor rolls also accommodate touring, although its specialty touring line typically works better in those situations.

Jill of Marietta, Ohio said, “I wish I would have had this a long time ago,” after purchasing Adagio dance flooring from for her dance studio which offers ballet, jazz, hip-hop, lyrical and tap classes. “I LOVE THIS FLOOR! and it looks really sharp.”

For more specialized applications, a smooth, unfinished hardwood floor provides less friction and is ideal for social or ballroom dancing. Meanwhile, its hard surface lends well to tap or Riverdance where sound is important. Hardwood is not appropriate in all environments, such as those exposed to moisture or outdoor conditions. In those cases, portable or laminate flooring is a good option, given an appropriate underlying structure.

Engineered wood is also common economical alternate to expensive hardwood dance flooring as it is less liable to warp or shrink.

No matter what material the floor is made of, proper care, storage and cleaning is critical to maintaining proper slip control on your dance surface and extending the life of your dance floor. Avoiding even minimal dirt and water can play a huge role in the life of your dance floor. Gym floor coverings are also an option to protect your floor.

Shock absorption

Most performance dance surfaces involve a sprung floor system underneath. The dance floors can be either laid on top of a sprung floors (also known as floating floors) or have one built in. Hardness of the surface greatly affects what type of protection a sprung floor can give to the dancer. Hard performance surfaces protect from serious injuries while soft surfaces defend against minor injuries. There is very little overlap.

Sprung floors can be supported by resilient materials, such as foam backing or rubber feet, or by mechanical cushioning – such as criss-crossing wooden slats.

An alternative to sprung floors is having the floor built over a wooden frame, which will provide some give and spring.

Keeping slip resistance and shock absorption factors in mind while choosing your dance flooring will surely help you find the proper dance floor for your needs.adagio-may2015-sale-email