Reasons to Hire a Sports Flooring Professional #4: PRODUCT QUALITY

Sports Flooring Professionals

Everybody Wants to be a Floor Man Until it’s Time to Do Floor Man Sh*t!

This is the fourth installment in this series, so keep reading. If you missed the first three articles #1 Product Choice, #2 The Construction Environment , or #3 Design Options .




I intended this to be the last article in this series and I have found myself hung up on the topic of quality. I’ve been around to block once or twice in my life – currently pushing 60 years old with about 35 years in the flooring business. Quality comes down to product and people. What did you buy and who did you buy it from? In construction, this takes on a different aspect than buying retail goods. In construction, there is some agent in between what was manufactured and what was delivered. What was manufactured in a plant somewhere must be installed and serviced. I’ve seen great products installed poorly. I’ve seen great installations of mediocre products that served their purpose very well for a long time.


Since I am in the sports flooring business and we install a lot of rubber, I started writing this article with the intent of discussing binder quality and raw materials – why not buying quality materials will have your facility smelling like a tire store forever, and cause premature degradation of the material. Then I was going to talk about why having a sole source for raw materials was important and how that affects the overall strength of the rubber, and consequently the performance of you weight room rubber under stress. Then I was going to talk about subcontractors and installers and how to spot the good ones. But all that would be boring as hell and is better discussed over a beer or bourbon someplace.

Just be aware that there is a difference between the good and the bad in sports flooring like everything else. Your sport flooring professional WILL deliver you the best products, service, and value. The better manufacturers will generally gravitate toward the better companies that consistently deliver the best service and honestly represent their products. Better manufacturers sell tons (literally) of product, making their quality products cost less than lesser products that may sell for more. It’s an economics equation.

You might also look at how many middlemen are in the way between what you bought and where it was made. The better contractors are generally buying direct from the manufacturer. This is key when it comes to warranty issues. A direct relationship with the manufacturer is also important when troubleshooting the installation as they can respond more readily to real-time issues rather than go to a contractor who calls the store that calls a rep that may be available to call the plant.


Sports flooring professionals WILL be tracking with the best flooring installation crews that do this all the time. That makes a difference. Installers that do sports flooring all the time become very efficient at the process and will deliver flooring projects timelier, more effortlessly, more safely, and better than somebody who does it rarely. And it does not matter if the installer is an employee or a subcontractor. Most of the best sports flooring installers are subs, but that topic is better left to more happy hour discussions and floor-war stories.

“Price is what you pay. Value is what you get”. This quote has been attributed to Warren Buffet, but you know…the internet can be sketchy sometimes. It’s still the right sentiment for this article. I hope that when you buy your performance weight room flooring you get more than what you paid for. That’s good value. The best way to start is to locate, listen to, and hire a sports flooring professional.

If you have a project that needs a sports flooring professional, please feel free to contact us.  SPEC athletic is your sports flooring resource.


Sports Flooring Professionals

Everybody wants to be a Floor Man but nobody wants to do Floor Man Sh*t


Does the guy you are interviewing to partner with to do the flooring for your project offer you a lot of design options? Is he capable of answering the unique challenges of your training environment and your building?  Let’s explain.

A lot of flooring outlets (online and otherwise) will offer the same rolled rubber in several thicknesses (1/4”, 3/8” and ½”) and a few colors (white fleck, gray fleck, blue fleck, etc), and they call this giving you design options. If you feel like you have a “cookie cutter” facility with no identity or character, this might work for you.  In today’s training environment, almost everyone is now trying to open their space up by getting rid of their raised platforms and installing “inlaid platforms” with school/club graphics. That is now the most common request we hear, but here are some requests I have had that made me proud to be a sports flooring professional.

Questions only a SPORTS FLOORING PROFESSIONAL can answer –

  • We are concerned about seams. How many seams will I have?
  • We are building (or now have) a weight room over a suspended slab and are concerned about structural stability, vibration, and sound. What do we do?
  • We want a floor that meets a certain low GMax rating for a functional fitness room. What can you do?
  • My existing floor has asbestos and I can’t afford to have it abated, is there any other options?
  • I have a combination phys ed or multipurpose room and performance weight room. Do you have more than rolled rubber?
  • I want to push sleds and keep my space open to accommodate more kids, is there a design that can offer me this?

These are not issues that can be answered by most local flooring stores, or even some companies who claim to know sports applications.

Design options

Design options will be available and affordable only from a capable supplier who understands, and can address, your needs.

  • Do they offer custom colors? How many standard colors are available?
  • Will they offer you shop drawings so you and your staff can see what your facility will look like when completed?
  • Do they offer custom roll lengths to minimized the seams in your room?
  • How many of the design questions above can they answer?

If you feel that there is not a one-size-fits-all answer for your training facility project, hire a sport flooring professional to assist you.  A S&C coaches goal is to effectively train the most athletes in the least amount of time in the space they are allotted. The design of your facility is key to accomplish this. On top of that, your athletic facilities brand your program.  The athletes you train, the recruits that tour the facility, the identity of the program itself are all going to be influenced by the athletic facilities.

If you have a project that needs a sports flooring professional, please feel free to contact us.  SPEC athletic is your sports flooring resource.


Sports Flooring Professionals

Everybody wants to be a Floor Man but nobody wants to do Floor Man Sh*t


This is the second installment in this series. We are unapologetically flooring people – and SPECifically sports flooring professionals. I have been in flooring for over thirty years and sports flooring for over twenty – not just as a business professional, as an installer and technical resource to architects, general contractors, owners of facilities, strength equipment suppliers, and other flooring tradesmen.

Blame it on the big box do-it-yourself stores and the internet. We’ve become convinced that with YouTube videos and a little help from the guy at Home Depot, we can do anything. But to get the best products, a quality installation done on time and on budget, a sport flooring professional will help you get there.


First off, a performance sport flooring professional will know how to interact with and respond to the construction community. They will help navigate the project flow with your architect and general contractor. This is important and will save you TIME, MONEY, and HEADACHES.

Whether you are building a brand-new building or remodeling an existing space, a sport flooring professional with construction experience is the best choice.


This becomes more important when you are including inlaid platforms and other design elements in your project. A performance flooring professional will provide shop drawings for the Equipment supplier and work with them to accomplish the goals for the Strength and Conditioning coach.


A sport flooring professional will have access to the best suppliers and manufacturers available, and should offer the best warranty. Buying products from the internet or from a local flooring store that “has rubber” can be a risky proposition. Know who you are dealing with.


This should go without saying. Does the company you are dealing with have the ability and willingness to handle repairs to your floor? Even though it rubber and seems indestructible, things happen and need to be repaired well and in a timely fashion.  A sports flooring professional will be there for you throughout the lifetime of the floor to ensure the best possible environment for your athletes to train.

If you have a project that needs a sports flooring professional, please feel free to contact us.  SPEC athletic is your sports flooring resource.


A Sports Flooring Professional

Everybody wants to be a Floor Man but nobody wants to do Floor Man Sh*t



A Flooring Professional should know these options.  Depending on your project each product could benefit your facility.  Here is some information on the products to give you an idea of what can be accomplished with each.


In the evolution of sports flooring for weight rooms, an early and still viable choice is/was horse mats you get from the local tractor supply store. If all you want and need is some horse mats, you and your staff can probably pull this off on a long weekend. Horse mats are adequate to protect your concrete, but they are usually not fixed to the concrete. That means dirt and small animals can get stuck in the seams, so they aren’t the most hygienic choice. Plus, they will move over time and use. This creates a disarrayed look and an unsafe condition. They also are very dense, so they don’t provide impact reduction during athletic movements.


These are available on the internet, DIY stores, and local floor outlets. Why? Because they are easy to install. Start with a chalk line, a knife, a straightedge and some patience, and you can install this. You and your crew with a free weekend (or week depending on your numbers and ability) can pull this off.


This is where it starts getting difficult if you don’t have flooring experience. This type of product is going to be supplied on the internet, by your equipment company, or a flooring professional. These are usually doweled together with a plastic pin (dowel) and require a lot of muscle to move and install. They are difficult to cut and slam together to get a quality installation, even for good local flooring guys. Consider a sports flooring professional for this one.


Rolled rubber is another “need experience” product. The better products in this category will take on a seamless appearance if properly installed and will provide years of durable service. Rolled rubber should be fully adhered. Sometimes it is installed with tape, but fully bonded to the floor with proper adhesive is best for a quality, durable installation.

This takes some expertise. Floor prep is key, the rolls are heavy to move and fit properly, there is adhesive to trowel, and it is tough to cut. Get a flooring guy or a sport flooring professional.


This is becoming to desire of a lot of the strength community. The systems are usually 1” thick or more, come in a variety of colors, and offer the most design choices. This is the system where sport performance, durability, team building and branding all come together. Inlaid platforms, drop zones, graphics, plyometric areas, and inlaid training enhancements all play a part in the flow of your facility.

This is beyond the capability of any but a sport flooring professional. Let them help with your design and construction if this is what your facility demands.

If you have a project that needs a sports flooring professional, please feel free to contact us.  SPEC athletic is your sports flooring resource.

The 3 Benefits of Inlaid Platforms

Inlaid Platofrms
Benefit of Inlaid platforms

The 3 Benefits of Inlaid Platforms

The Aktiv weightlifting platform has been a staple at most private and university fitness centers. They provide a surface to preform a variety of Olympic lifts.  These lifts like the clean and jerk, snatch, and deadlift all require the athlete to drop the weights.  This impact requires a stable base to protect the lifter and the sub-floor.  A relatively new process of inlaying the platforms to sit even with the surrounding floors has sprung up in weight rooms across the world.  These are the 3 benefits of inlaid platforms.

1. Promotes Safety –

Inlaid platforms remove the change in elevation of the floors.  This reduces a lot of risk associated with raised platforms.  The inlaid platform removes the tripping hazard posed by raised platforms.  Also it removes the hazard of an accidental misstep off the platform after a lift. Injuries caused by these circumstance are avoidable with the installation of inlaid platforms. All athletes want to achieve their best and injuries can prevent them from continuing their training.

2. Easier to Clean –

Cleaning raised platforms required fitness center staff to treat it like a piece of equipment because it couldn’t be mopped with the rest of the floor. This added more labor time on to their routine. The inlaid platforms can be cleaned with the rest of the floor, removing the platform and the labor time associated with it. This allows fitness center staff the freedom to keep up with maintenance on their floors and equipment without extra hassle.

3. Allows for More Training Space –

Raised platforms create an exclusive Olympic lifting space in your gym. The benefit of aktiv inlaid platforms is that it frees up the space to perform any activity. The inlaid platforms eliminate the tripping hazards associated with raised platforms and that open space can be utilized for multiple activities. These activities include sprints, lunges, farmer walks, and other workouts that require you to move a distance.