Champions Centre Takes Advantage of Rubber Flooring

Event-Driven Church’s Switch to Rubber Flooring Allows for Even More Innovation

By Brett Hart

 

For an event driven church like Champions Centre, minimizing costs for maintenance and replacement of its flooring is a big deal – especially as its events become more creative. That’s why, in 2011 it began converting nearly all of the carpeted surfaces of its 180,000 square foot main campus in Tacoma, Washington, over to polished concrete and rubber flooring surfaces.

The non-denominational church has three campuses that include a school and dome event center (which served as inspiration for the Tacoma Dome) and hosts numerous large events throughout the year.

Champions Centre with Greatmats Rubber Flooring in Theater

The Need for Durable Flooring
Steve Shackett, whose father was the founding paster, found that ”our carpets were getting beat to death.”

Drawing upon his construction background, Shackett began looking into flooring that would be easily maintained, durable and long lasting.

”We’re constantly renovating and updating,” Shackett said. ”We have coffee shops and book stores in all of our locations and we allow our folks to bring coffee into the auditoriums. Once you spill a latte, its pretty tough to get it out. So we were looking for that kind of material and we found it. We found something comfortable and lasting in the rubber.”

Champions Centre Event Center with Greatmats Rubber Flooring

Extreme Floor Makeover
Shackett began Champions Centre’s switchover to rubber flooring by installing approximately 6,100 square feet of 3/8 inch thick 3×3 foot rubber tiles – which were black with a 10 percent tan/mocha color flec blend – in the first year.

A year later, he installed another 1,200 square feet of black rolled rubber of the same thickness and an additional 7,500 square feet of the rubber tiles – this time with 20 percent color.

”We like the rubber tiles,” Shackett said. ”We have that in our auditoriums, primarily because you can do it custom with a little bit of color speckles, and it adds just some depth, and it looks better. We use the rolled black rubber in our auditoriums and three different stages just for the solid black color on the platform itself.”

champions-centre-rubber-floor

In each of the last six years, Champions Centre has continued to convert more of its facility over to rubber flooring at a pace of anywhere between 900 and 8,900 square feet per year. From stage areas to hallways, auditorium floors and even stairways, Champions Centre continues to find innovative ways to use rubber flooring to its advantage.

This year, Shackett has a 1,500 square foot installation of rubber tiles planned for the school, bringing its total rubber flooring area to approximately 24,200 square feet – 17,000 square feet in tiles and 7,200 square feet in rolls.

champions-centre-staircase

Serving the Purpose
”We found that that was the most practical and efficient way to maintain our facilities,” said Shackett, who has been with the church for 40 years. ”It should be there until I’m long gone.”

”We do a lot of things in our auditoriums and on our stages with lighting,” Shackett added. ”It’s a progressive way to maintain your facility. It just makes sense. Our last men’s conference, we had motorcycles doing jumps in our auditorium off a ramp and it didn’t do anything to them.”

Champions Centre’s main auditorium seats 2,500 people, and it also has another auditorium with seating for 750.

”In both auditoriums, the rubber is very important to us because it allows us to always look fresh and clean, and yet it is so durable. It doesn’t look worn and beat up.”

To maintain the floor, Champions Centre runs a Zamboni-like floor washing machine across the floor 2-4 times per month, which Shackett says makes the floor look ”brand new and fresh.”

”We’re not a normal church,” Shackett said, noting it has a 7,000-8,000 member congregation and five services per weekend. ”Pastor Kevin Gerald is a forward thinking pastor. … We do a big Christmas production over the holiday. And we have all kinds of sleighs and different things going in and out of the auditorium. You can do so much with it, and you don’t have to worry about covering it or being aware that you may ruin the carpet.”

”Everyone that comes here, the first thing they ask is ‘Hey! Where’d you get that floor?”’ Shackett said. ”We love it. It’s durable. It makes sense. It’s practical and it looks great.”

Champions Centre with Greatmats Rubber Floor Tiles in Hallway

Steve Shackett
Champions Centre
Tacoma WA 98404
For more on this topic please review our Rubber Flooring product page.
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Monroe Youth Hockey Association Equips Ice Arena with Rolled Rubber

Rolled Rubber Flooring Eases Hassle at Wisconsin Hockey Rink

By Brett Hart

Durable seam-free flooring is a necessity for ice hockey rinks to withstand the abuse of sharp skates and prevent tripping hazards. That’s something the Monroe Youth Hockey Association, a not-for-profit organization in Monroe, Wisconsin, recently discovered when it replaced its rubber ice hockey rink flooring, previously consisting of 4×6 foot cow mats with 3/8 inch thick rolled rubber flooring from Greatmats.com.

monroe-youth-hockey-ice-arena

Association President Joel Fonseca said the old mats mat would move around in the 17-year old building.

”We’ve got a man lift that we would drive around on them and they would all bunch up,” Fonseca said. ”They were getting kind of messy and the corners were starting to peel up. They looked pretty ratty. That’s what prompted us to order (new rubber flooring).”

The ice rink, which is used primarily for hockey October through March is open 7 days per week and is also rented out for different events such as wedding receptions, home shows and – new in the spring of 2017 – arena football league play. With so many different forms of use, durability and versatility were a must when choosing the new flooring and rolled rubber fit the bill.

monroe-youth-hockey-ice-rink

”We wanted something that was continuous,” he added.

That is exactly what he found with Greatmats Rubber Flooring Rolls with a 3/8 inch thickness and confetti color flecks. The 4-foot wide rolls were available in any length between 25 and 100 feet.

With more than 6,000 square feet to cover, the large rolls were a welcome change from cow mats.

”They laid down real nice,” Fonseca said. ”You can see the seams, but not very good, and we installed everything ourselves. We glued everything down, and they turned out great.”

”The installation was way easier,” he added. ”To install a 4×6 mat was just more of a pain.”

Monroe Youth Indoor Hockey Arena with Greatmats Rubber Flooring

Fonseca, who’d been seeking out quotes for quite a while prior to the purchase from Greatmats, first learned about the specialty flooring leader from an association member who had ordered from Greatmats in the past. And with Greatmats’ pricing coming in well under its competitors, the choice was easy.

In order to protect their investment, association members clean the flooring 2-3 times per week.

”The flooring is great,” Fonseca said. ”Not that much different material wise, but the ability to get longer runs made things easier and easier to move things around.”

Monroe Youth Hockey Arena with Greatmats Rubber Flooring

Joel Fonseca
Monroe Youth Hockey Association
Monroe WI 53566
For more on this topic please review our Rubber Flooring Rolls product page.

Fitness Coach Karl Streit – ShokLok Home Garage Gym

CrossFit Competitor/Coach Brings Training Convenience Home

By Brett Hart

Thirty-four-year-old fitness coach coach Karl Streit has been involved with CrossFit training for four year and has coached at multiple gyms in the Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota area.
karl-holding-weight
When he and his wife, Tess, moved into their new how, Karl was able to include a garage gym into plans for their new space, with Tess’s support.

”Tess and I both really enjoyed working out when we met,” Karl said. ”We tried to find something that kind of met both of our needs and interests and CrossFit seemed to be a good fit. Obviously, I was very much into it at the time. Tess had her own lifting program. We started going to the gym together and one of the things we like was just being able to share that time working out.”

Training at least five days per week, 2-4 hours per day, Karl was excited to have the convenience of not having to drive to the gym every time he wanted to workout.CrossFit coach Karl Streit weightlifting with Greatmats ShokLok Rubber Floor

When looking for flooring for CrossFit training, he knew he wanted a rubber surface, and there were a few important features that stood out as must-have’s for Karl.

  • 1. Impact absorption – to protect his concrete floor from dropped weights.
  • 2. Non-abrasive surface – top protect his skin when doing floor based exercises.
  • 3. Not too soft – to allow for maximum output during power-based lifts.

 

Shok-Lok Rubber Gym Floor Tiles from Greatmats fit all those criteria and more.

”Delivery was really easy,” Karl said. ”It showed up on a truck. I signed for it. That was as difficult as it got.”

Admitting he doesn’t fit the bill as a handyman, Karl was also pleased to find that installation of the rubber tiles was equally as easy.

CrossFit coach Karl Streit installing Greatmats ShokLok Rubber Floor

”This was very straightforward and simple. It didn’t really require a whole lot of tools. Everything snapped together very easily, and I was done with it in maybe 20 minutes at the most.”

Once the Shok-Lok tiles were installed, he continued to be impressed with his choice, noting that despite have no glue, nails or significant subfloor prep work, the tiles did not shift.

”This is great,” he said. ”It offers enough friction that I’m not moving around at all. I’m also not tearing up my hands when I’m doing push ups and hand stands. … You don’t get the cushy feel where you’re losing power when you’re cleaning and snatching. … Dropping weights on this really doesn’t affect the flooring below it.”

CrossFit coach Karl Streit with Greatmats ShokLok Rubber FloorKarl Streit lifting kettlebells Greatmats ShokLok Rubber Floor

Karl Streit
Woodbury MN
For more on this topic please review our Cross Fit Training Flooring product page.

Are you sure you want that rubber floor in your house?

Putting rubber flooring in your home or business is an investment.  Before you pull the trigger on any rubber product, be sure you know what you’re getting.

Here are some things to consider:

1.)  Does the rubber reek?

These days, with homes being so well insulated, a strong rubber smell in your building is probably going to get circulated by your furnace or air conditioner over and over throughout your home or business.  In the old days, homes were so poorly insulated that, eventually, the smell would dissipate over time as the air turned over.  That’s not the case today.  If you have a newer home and a stinky floor, you’ll be bumming for a while. 

The key is the BINDING AGENT used when the rubber is vulcanized (which is a fancy way of saying “made”.)  If the rubber is made with a urethane binder it will have very low odor.  If the binding agent is sulfuric-based, it’s going to smell like a mountain of tires in your home for months if not years.

1a.)  It DOESN’T MATTER if the rubber is virgin or recycled.  The binding agent is the critical factor

1b.)  If you’re buying horse stall mats or a similar product for your home, you’re probably buying stinky product.  Be sure to find out before you pull the trigger.
2.)  What thickness do you need?  
Rubber is heavy.  That means it’s expensive to ship because freight companies usually charge by weight.  For your home gym, chances are you can get by with an 8mm rubber product.  This is thick enough for day-to-day abuse that comes in most gym environments.  While the standard used to be 3/8″, most people are opting for 8mm.  It is roughly 1mm thinner than 3/8″.  From a performance standpoint, you won’t know the difference.  From a cost perspective, you most assuredly will.  
Unless you’ll be dropping heavy weights to the floor on a regular basis (such as deadlifts or clean-and-jerks) you probably don’t need 1/2″ rubber.  If you are going to be beating on the floor, this is probably all the thicker you’ll ever need to go.
3.)  Rubber is NOT waterproof.  If you’re using it in a wet area, you’ll probably be disappointed.  It tends to suck water up like a sponge and hold on to it.

4.)  Rubber flooring is NOT good for a garage as a general rule.  This is because rubber tires + rubber floor = shredded rubber floor.

5.)   You should NOT use rubber outdoors.  Again, the water from rain and snow will damage your product.  Also, years of direct sunlight may cause it to curl up on the ends and lose its pliability.

Choosing the best home gym flooring

Because I work for a specialty flooring store, I am often asked which flooring is best for a home gym.  The answer depends on a few variables and I usually reply with a few questions of my own:

What will the home gym be used for primarily?  If you’re looking for a tough material to protect your concrete or hardwoods from being damaged by free weights or heavy exercise equipment, you may want to look at rubber.  Rubber is the traditional flooring for both home and commercial gyms and it is an economical solution for keeping your floors, as well as your equipment, protected.

However…

Rubber flooring is heavy.  By heavy, I mean REALLY heavy.  A square foot of 3/8″ rolled rubber weighs 2.3 lbs.  (8mm is slightly less)  That means to cover a 10×10 foot area, you’re dealing with a 230 lb roll of rubber.  “Well,” you say, “that’s not so bad.  A buddy and I could roll that baby out no problem.”  And maybe you’re right.  But here’s something else to consider:  the rolls show up at your front door on the back of a semi-truck.  If you get a liftgate included in your shipping costs (something to consider) they will lower the roll of rubber to the ground and drive away leaving you to wrestle it into your workout area.  If you don’t get a liftgate, you will have to pull that baby off the truck yourself and that’s a serious endeavor.

Another option is interlocking rubber tiles.  These come in various sizes (typically 2×2 foot or 3×3 foot) and can be installed without adhesive of any kind.  Depending on the type you buy, you can find them at a reasonable price, although generally more expensive than rolled, and they are much easier to handle.  Also, the fact that they require no glue makes it easy for you to bring them with you if you decide to move.

 However….

RUBBER IS NOT WATERPROOF.  Many people are under the impression that rubber is like plastic.  That it can be submerged indefinitely in a flooded basement and come out unscathed.  This is simply not the case.  The porous materials of most rubber flooring will absorb water and hold it.  Over time, this will break the rubber flooring down to such a degree that the floor is rendered all but useless.

If you are considering putting your home gym in a basement that gets mildly damp on occasion, this will probably not be an issue for you and rubber flooring may be your best bet.  If you’re considering putting your home gym in a wet basement that floods from time to time, you may be better served with a waterproof option  such as plastic, modular floor tiles that allow airflow beneath the tiles for a quicker dry.

Do you plan to do aerobic activities in your home gym area?  Zumba, P90x, or Insanity?  If so, you probably don’t want rubber.  Rubber is quite hard and provides little to no fatigue-relief.  If you’re looking for a flooring type to keep your teeth from chattering every time you jump up and down, you need something else.  I typically suggest foam.

Foam flooring is available in various densities and thicknesses.  The play mats that kids play cars on and the MMA mats that fighters throw one another around on are not the same.  Determining which type of foam product is best for your needs depends on what specifically you’ll be using it for.

Unlike rubber, foam is waterproof and can be submerged indefinitely without the foam taking in water and damaging the foam itself.  It provides great shock absorption, requires no glues for installation, and it’s lightweight.  It can be easily installed wall-to-wall because all you need to cut the interlocking tiles to fit is a straight edge and a utility knife.  It doesn’t get much easier than that.  However, under some equipment, foam will indent and stay indented for the life of the product.  If you can live with that, foam is generally your best bet.  It is inexpensive and, because it is so lightweight, is typically fairly cheap to ship.

Hopefully, this gives you some insight into what you’re looking for.  The easiest and fastest way to get your specific questions answered is to call one of our customer service reps and have a conversation.

Call Greatmats at 877-822-6622.

Rolled Rubber

Whether you’re looking for a floor covering for a home gym, commercial facility, industrial building, or even an ammunition room, rolled rubber is a great choice.  Excellent for protecting your floor, rolled rubber is tough and relatively inexpensive compared to many other options on the market today.

Rolls of rubber can be used in a variety of different places.  For workout areas where gym equipment or weights are used, rolled rubber protects the floor from damage while also keeping equipment safe from dust and debris.  For most of these situations, we recommend 3/8″.  It is thick enough to protect the floors from day-to-day abuse without being too thick, therefore, and cost prohibitive.  If you are using heavy weights and dropping them to the floor repeatedly (100 lbs or more) we recommend at least a half-inch thickness.  Otherwise, 3/8″ should be more than sufficient to meet your needs.

3/8″ is also the standard thickness for most industrial applications.  Rolled rubber in 3/8″ can be used in high traffic areas, mutions areas, and high traffic walkways in industrial applications.  For everyday walkways, the user can usually go with a 1/4″ rubber product.  

Rubber Flooring Rolls can be installed with either a tape-down or glue-down method. Rolled Rubber Flooring can add comfort and durability to an otherwise hard surface. However, it is worth noting that for situations where you will be doing aerobic activity, foam is usually the better product.  It is lighter and less expensive to ship.  It also provides varying degrees of cushion.  (For more information on our foam products, please click here.  
Rubber provides more cushion than concrete but it is still hard.  Rubber Flooring Roll material is most commonly ordered in 100 percent black or with a 10 or 20 percent color in the mix. 
Rolls of Rubber are the most common types rubber flooring available.  The rolls are heavy and will almost always ship via freight truck but the product itself is generally less expensive than other options such as interlocking tiles.  
Each roll of rubber will lay flat when unrolled for installation. Rolled Rubber can be cut with a utility knife for a wall to wall installation. Rubber Roll Floor will withstand high impacts in weight rooms. Rubber Flooring Rolls are all 4 ft wide per roll.  The rolls can easily be cut to fit in a wall-to-wall situation with a sharp utility knife and a straightedge.  Rubber Flooring Roll material is made with recycled rubber content and is considered a green product by EPA standards.  They are manufactured in the USA.
Call Greatmats at 877-822-6622.

Geneva Rubber Floor Tiles

For commercial gyms and health clubs, our Geneva Rubber Tiles are an excellent flooring option.  This durable, commercial grade, interlocking rubber floor tile is available in thicknesses from 1/4 to 1/2 inch in a 3×3 ft tile size.  All the tiles in this series are center tiles with interlocking tabs on all four sides.

Typically used to protect the floor from exercise equipment such as treadmills or stationary bikes, rubber flooring is also the top choice for most facilities for keeping the floor safe from free weights.  Rubber is a hard surface that can take a beating.  However, please note that if you’re looking for a soft surface for aerobic activities, you would probably be happier with a softer product such as foam or one of our modular tiles.

Greatmats Geneva Rubber Tile 8mm Color FlecksIn most scenarios, a rubber tile thickness of 8mm is sufficient protection for your floors.  For walkways and areas where there won’t be weights dropped, you can usually get by with 1/4″ rubber.  However, if you are looking at an area where heavy weights (100 lbs or more) are going to be dropped repeatedly, you will want to go with a thicker option.  1/2″ rubber is usually the choice for those situations.

This interlocking rubber flooring tile option is an excellent choice for large scale commercial projects for a couple reasons.  It is easier to install rubber tiles than rubber rolls.  They aren’t as heavy and do not require a glue or tape-down application because the interlocking edges will keep the floor solidly together.  Over time, the seams between tiles will actually begin to fade to the point where they become very hard to see.  These tiles are better than our smaller 2×2 tiles for larger installations because fewer tiles means less installation time and fewer seams..  

Greatmats Rubber Tile 3/8 Inch Color FlecksThe Geneva rubber floor tile series is our stocked line of 3×3 ft interlocking rubber floor tiles in standard colors and thicknesses, choose 8 mm for the best value.  It is only one millimeter thinner than 3/8″ tiles but is less expensive and you will not notice a difference in the performance of the product.

Because the interlocking design for the Geneva series of rubber floor tiles is a universal interlock design, you can spin the tiles in any direction and attach them to another tile.  This is particularly helpful when trying to piece the final few tiles in on a wall-to-wall installation.  Universal interlock tiles usually yield the least amount of material waste.  You can easily cut these rubber tiles for a custom wall-to-wall installation in your home gym or in large scale commercial installations. 

Greatmats Rubber Tile 1/2 Inch BlackTo determine how many tiles you need, measure the walls in your room.  Enter those dimensions in our convenient online floor planner and it will calculate the tile count for you.  If you’d rather, give one our representatives a call and we can help you to decide how many rubber floor tiles to buy.

Geneva floor tiles are available in six colors.  They are made in the USA of recycled content.

Call Greatmats at 877-822-6622.