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.
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Rio Gran – Indoor Doggy Daycare Play Area

Rubber Flooring at Dog Daycare and Training Facility Rio Gran

By Brett Hart

A love for dogs and an eye for opportunity led Jeff Peters to an exciting journey into the world of canine daycare, boarding and training. A former product and sales manager and director of business development, Peters surprisingly stumbled into the world of doggy daycare a couple of years ago when he and his wife updated their long-term family dog pack with a two much larger, and rowdier, companions.

rio-gran-dogs-play

”As puppies, they were absolute terrors,” Peters said. ”We have a sizable house, but it didn’t matter. It was shoes. It was recliner handles. Everything was getting chewed.”

At their wit’s end, the couple turned to a local doggy daycare facility for help, which Jeff admittedly thought was a bit ”Foo Foo.”

”Doggy daycare?” he said. ”Who would spend money on that?”

Much to his surprise and delight, these two menaces came home well behaved each time they went to daycare. They became much more social with other dogs and humans.

”I saw how happy the dogs were, how happy the clients were, and said, ‘This is a business I want to be in,”’ Jeff said.

Jeff Peters Rio Gran Doggy Daycare Minnesota Greatmats

So when Rio Gran, a reputable multipurpose dog service facility in Hastings, Minn., came up for sale, Jeff jumped on the opportunity to get on board, and ramped things up a notch with a number of upgrades. Jeff purchased the 15-year-old business in September of 2014 and quickly went to work redesigning some of the indoor and outdoor areas of the 3 1/2-acre property for training and play while maintaining the stylish flair of the popular boarding facility.

”It’s all about the creature comfort,” Jeff said. ”We really strive to be doggy heaven.”

Part of the indoor remodeling project involved converting a rundown kennel building into an additional indoor play area. A stickler for safety and cleanliness, Jeff began researching different flooring surfaces to put in the newly-remodeled building.

Rio Gran Doggy Daycare Hastings, Minnesota Greatmats Rubber Flooring

”We were seriously considering using an epoxy-coated concrete floor,” Jeff said. But after observing the daycare dogs running on different surfaces, he decided that concrete just wasn’t going to cut it.

”We do see quite a few dogs here that have hip issues or even torn ACLs,” Jeff said. ”They have to be very carefully looked after. My fear with concrete was that even if you put a grid in it, it gets slick. If their nails are a little bit long, when they go to make a turn or cut, they can lose their legs out from underneath them.”

Another indoor play area at his facility had a rolled rubber flooring that was about 10 years old and, after some thorough cleaning, still looked like new. Watching the dogs on that surface, he noticed the floor was tacky enough to allow the dogs’ paw pads to grip and keep them from slipping while also being gentle on the pads.

”They will run like crazy on that stuff,” Jeff said. ”If they’re on a hard concrete surface, they run the possibility of tearing up their pads.”

He began researching rubber flooring and found it was even better than he had hoped.

”We were concerned initially about the porosity of the material when dogs have accidents,” Jeff said. ”We get puppies in here a lot at the daycare.”

With a little online research, Jeff found just what he was looking for at Greatmats.com – low odor 3/8-inch thick Greatmats Rubber Flooring Rolls, which are made in the USA from recycled tires.

Rio Gran Doggy Daycare Minnesota Greatmats Rubber Flooring
”It’s a recycled product, but it’s not porous,” Jeff said. ”With… the proper cleaning procedure, you can keep any urine, feces, that sort of thing from getting into the material and staying in the material. I think it’s actually easier to keep clean than concrete.”

As for durability, the previously-installed rubber flooring (along with Greatmats’ 5-year limited warranty) gave Jeff the peace of mind he needed to know it is made to last – even with a facility like his that often reaches its 100-dog limit during the summer and holidays.

With the new indoor play area, Rio Gran now offers a little more than 6,000 square feet of indoor roaming area that is covered with this rubber flooring. ”It’s fantastic and it’s easy to keep clean,” Jeff said.

Jeff is also working on upgrading his 16,000 square foot area of off-leash outdoor roaming space.

”Part of what we do is we make sure they get exercise and played with to the point where they want to come back here,” Jeff said. ”Even in the best homes, the dogs aren’t getting necessarily exercised to the point of exhaustion every day. But when they come here, they do. And so they’re very content and always anxious to come back and play.”

Jeff Peters
Rio Gran
Hastings MN 55033
For more on this topic please review our Dog Daycare 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.

Geneva Rubber Tiles-3×3′

Designed for larger, commercial applications, the Geneva interlocking rubber flooring tile series is our stocked line of 3×3 ft interlocking rubber floor tiles.  These rubber tiles are available in standard colors and thicknesses from 1/4 to 1/2 inch in a 3×3 ft tile size. 

Great for commercial gym areas, these tiles are designed to protect the floor from the wear and tear of everyday weight lifting and exercise machinery.  In most situations, an 8mm or 3/8” thickness is best for weight areas.  1/4” is sufficient for walkways and other traffic areas.  For places where heavy weights (100 lbs or more) are consistently dropped to the floor, you may want to go with a 1/2” rubber for extra protection.
Standard colors for this rubber flooring product are as follows:
1/4” tiles are available in 20% colors.  8mm and 3/8” product comes in black as well as a 10% color fleck.  1/2” tiles are available in black.
The best value we offer is our 8mm thickness.  This is (roughly) 1mm thinner than our 3/8” product and you won’t notice the difference in performance between these two tile thicknesses.
The connection edges for these rubber floor tiles is a universal interlock design.  This means that the interlocking system is not dependent on which way the tile is oriented for the sides to connect to another tile.  This handy feature will maximize tile usage yielding the least amount of material waste.  Easily cut these rubber tiles for a custom wall-to-wall installation in your home gym or in large scale commercial installations with a sharp utility knife and a straightedge.
Interlocking rubber floor tiles are nice because, unlike some other flooring options, they require no adhesive for installation.  Simply piece the tiles together like a giant puzzle and you’re done.  If you decide to relocate, you can simply pack them up and take them with you.
To clean your rubber flooring, simply sweep and mop with a damp mop. 
Call our friendly and professional customer service team with any questions, to request samples or a volume quote.   This in-stock products ship within 2 working days!

Call Greatmats at 877-822-6622.