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Health Club Management

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features

Flooring: Floor & order

Your flooring literally underpins your business and although it may not seem the most glamourous purchase you make, making the right choice will ensure the success of everything from your safety rating to your bottom line, says Liz Terry

By Liz Terry, Leisure Media | Published in Health Club Management 2019 issue 11
The right flooring creates and enables great experiences. Seen here, an installation by BLK BOX
The right flooring creates and enables great experiences. Seen here, an installation by BLK BOX
Calculate the areas which will get high levels of wear and configure these so they can be patch renewed

The choice of flooring in gyms, health clubs and wellness facilities is too often an afterthought or – for some mysterious reason – a decision made at the point of a fit-out where some specifiers seem to have a serious lapse of judgement.

In 36 years of writing about the health, fitness and wellness industry, I’ve seen some inspiring installations, but also some real howlers – even from world class operators in the middle of large roll outs, making it even more surprising.

Sip sliding away
My winner for the worst installation ever was the facility where the specifier had an obsession with marble and it was laid pretty much everywhere – lining the showers, along the poolside and in the changing rooms, for example.

As a result, within days of opening, a series of cracked heads, broken noses and bruised elbows and coccyx – as members tripped and slipped on the tretcherous surfaces – meant a massive order was placed for ribbed anti-slip matting to try to resolve the issue.

This functional product, in a range of primary colours, was then laid out everywhere, criss crossing the elegant marble floors, destroying the up-market ambience which had clearly cost a fortune.

You have to ask why no one on the development team had questioned whether a marble floor in a high volume, wet area was the most sensible choice.

Another challenging installation involved the gym operator who chose beautiful black tiles for the large shower area, omitting to check the local water, only to find it was exceptionally hard.

I visited two weeks after opening and the area was already heavily streaked with limescale, which really showed up against the black tiles. It was clear the only way to keep it looking even vaguely decent was going to be to use strong chemicals – completely at odds with the operator’s ethos – or copious amounts of vinegar and loads of elbow grease.

Costly matter
The logistics of replacing any type of flooring – from the gym to the changing rooms – are so onerous they underscore the importance of getting it right first time.

There’s downtime as equipment is moved and freight and storage costs if there’s no place available to temporarily relocate it. Then more downtime as the old flooring is removed, followed by preparation works for the new surface and installation. There may then be some making-good to be done before equipment can be reinstalled and members welcomed back.

All operators allow for a planned cycle of routine refurbishment, but a bad choice of flooring which leads to refits being necessary outside this cycle can push a profitable business into a loss.

Ease the pressure by calculating the areas which will get high levels of wear and configure these so they can be patch renewed without reflooring the entire area: these can include free weights areas, walkways and sledgeways.

Ground rules
So what are the ground rules? Ask any flooring professional and they’ll stress the importance of preparing the sub floor properly before laying.

A professional contractor will walk away from a job rather than have this stage compromised, so it’s a corner which must not be cut under any circumstances.

Choosing flooring is your chance to innovate and to futureproof your operation, so talk to the top suppliers and look at all the options before deciding.

We’re fortunate in this industry to have some great companies creating and supplying excellent, innovative products which can really bring life and style to your facility, while making it easy to maintain – if the right choices are made.

Dementia friendly
Consult to ensure flooring is dementia friendly – a new benchmark in facility provision which all operators are encouraged to adopt.

People with all degrees of dementia find it easier to get around if flooring has been designed with them in mind, which means ensuring there are suitable levels of contrast between surfaces such as floors, walls, skirtings and doors.

Abutting surfaces should have simular LRVs (light reflecting values), with the guideline for variances being 10 degrees. It’s also important that flooring and walls are contrasting, with a recommended LRV variance of 30 degrees.

Getting technical
Consider installing smart flooring with in-built lights and sensors to add another dimension to floor-based workouts – these products have decades of R&D behind them and have evolved to offer a wide range of functions, enabling you to add some really innovative and exciting options to both studios and gym.

Flooring is also available which eases wear and tear on joints for exercisers by absorbing impact, while other product types can absorb energy from impact and return it to the exerciser during workouts, to amplify the effect of the exercise, creating opportunities to improve the user experience.

up close and personal
Your customers will be in close contact with many areas of your flooring – especially in studios which are used for things like yoga and mat pilates and also in stretching and warmup areas and functional fitness zones.

Ensure flooring in these areas can be kept squeaky clean without breaking the bank, as research shows a lack of cleanliness in areas where customers are in close contact with surfaces is a major reason for people leaving a club or not returning to a studio.

In addition, a number of academic studies over the years have identified gyms as harbouring bacteria, including Staphylococcus, E.coli and Salmonella in areas where people make skin contact, such as kit, door handles and flooring, making maintenance especially important.

Transformation
New flooring can transform a health club or gym making it easier to sell to prospective members and giving existing members, customers and staff a boost.

You want to keep that new-floor feeling for as long as possible, so pick a product from a reputable supplier and invest in maintenance to ensure it looks its best for as long as possible.

Spend time planning and researching before you buy, to ensure the products selected are the right ones. You may find it pays to tender for a supplier to ensure you’ve explored all the options available before making your choice.

Kit and flooring specialist BLK BOX has worked with everyone from Pure Gym to Gym Box. A recent installation for Anytime Fitness
Kit and flooring specialist BLK BOX has worked with everyone from Pure Gym to Gym Box. A recent installation for Anytime Fitness
liveried flooring for Arsenal FC
liveried flooring for Arsenal FC
Pavigym creates gym flooring and interactive solutions for the fitness industry
Pavigym creates gym flooring and interactive solutions for the fitness industry
Ecore designs flooring which can capture the energy of impact and return it to the exerciser. The company makes a wide range of gym flooring, including safety and acoustic
Ecore designs flooring which can capture the energy of impact and return it to the exerciser. The company makes a wide range of gym flooring, including safety and acoustic
Jordan has completed a full flooring fit out for Norwich City FC including functional training and free weight areas
Jordan has completed a full flooring fit out for Norwich City FC including functional training and free weight areas
Sportec Style Tiles from TVS make spot replacement
far more straightforward
Sportec Style Tiles from TVS make spot replacement far more straightforward
http://www.leisureopportunities.com/images/imagesX/28675_865207.jpg
Flooring is a major investment for gyms and health clubs, changing the ambience and functionality. HCM looks at the issues relating to this often undervalued area
Liz Terry, Editor, Health Club Management,flooring,
People
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A three-year research project will look to provide the physical activity industry with a better ...
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The latest edition of the highly-successful This Girl Can Campaign has been celebrated for its ...
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The increasing popularity of streaming services and wireless earbuds – along with the introduction of ...
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Click on a catalogue to view it online
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features

Flooring: Floor & order

Your flooring literally underpins your business and although it may not seem the most glamourous purchase you make, making the right choice will ensure the success of everything from your safety rating to your bottom line, says Liz Terry

By Liz Terry, Leisure Media | Published in Health Club Management 2019 issue 11
The right flooring creates and enables great experiences. Seen here, an installation by BLK BOX
The right flooring creates and enables great experiences. Seen here, an installation by BLK BOX
Calculate the areas which will get high levels of wear and configure these so they can be patch renewed

The choice of flooring in gyms, health clubs and wellness facilities is too often an afterthought or – for some mysterious reason – a decision made at the point of a fit-out where some specifiers seem to have a serious lapse of judgement.

In 36 years of writing about the health, fitness and wellness industry, I’ve seen some inspiring installations, but also some real howlers – even from world class operators in the middle of large roll outs, making it even more surprising.

Sip sliding away
My winner for the worst installation ever was the facility where the specifier had an obsession with marble and it was laid pretty much everywhere – lining the showers, along the poolside and in the changing rooms, for example.

As a result, within days of opening, a series of cracked heads, broken noses and bruised elbows and coccyx – as members tripped and slipped on the tretcherous surfaces – meant a massive order was placed for ribbed anti-slip matting to try to resolve the issue.

This functional product, in a range of primary colours, was then laid out everywhere, criss crossing the elegant marble floors, destroying the up-market ambience which had clearly cost a fortune.

You have to ask why no one on the development team had questioned whether a marble floor in a high volume, wet area was the most sensible choice.

Another challenging installation involved the gym operator who chose beautiful black tiles for the large shower area, omitting to check the local water, only to find it was exceptionally hard.

I visited two weeks after opening and the area was already heavily streaked with limescale, which really showed up against the black tiles. It was clear the only way to keep it looking even vaguely decent was going to be to use strong chemicals – completely at odds with the operator’s ethos – or copious amounts of vinegar and loads of elbow grease.

Costly matter
The logistics of replacing any type of flooring – from the gym to the changing rooms – are so onerous they underscore the importance of getting it right first time.

There’s downtime as equipment is moved and freight and storage costs if there’s no place available to temporarily relocate it. Then more downtime as the old flooring is removed, followed by preparation works for the new surface and installation. There may then be some making-good to be done before equipment can be reinstalled and members welcomed back.

All operators allow for a planned cycle of routine refurbishment, but a bad choice of flooring which leads to refits being necessary outside this cycle can push a profitable business into a loss.

Ease the pressure by calculating the areas which will get high levels of wear and configure these so they can be patch renewed without reflooring the entire area: these can include free weights areas, walkways and sledgeways.

Ground rules
So what are the ground rules? Ask any flooring professional and they’ll stress the importance of preparing the sub floor properly before laying.

A professional contractor will walk away from a job rather than have this stage compromised, so it’s a corner which must not be cut under any circumstances.

Choosing flooring is your chance to innovate and to futureproof your operation, so talk to the top suppliers and look at all the options before deciding.

We’re fortunate in this industry to have some great companies creating and supplying excellent, innovative products which can really bring life and style to your facility, while making it easy to maintain – if the right choices are made.

Dementia friendly
Consult to ensure flooring is dementia friendly – a new benchmark in facility provision which all operators are encouraged to adopt.

People with all degrees of dementia find it easier to get around if flooring has been designed with them in mind, which means ensuring there are suitable levels of contrast between surfaces such as floors, walls, skirtings and doors.

Abutting surfaces should have simular LRVs (light reflecting values), with the guideline for variances being 10 degrees. It’s also important that flooring and walls are contrasting, with a recommended LRV variance of 30 degrees.

Getting technical
Consider installing smart flooring with in-built lights and sensors to add another dimension to floor-based workouts – these products have decades of R&D behind them and have evolved to offer a wide range of functions, enabling you to add some really innovative and exciting options to both studios and gym.

Flooring is also available which eases wear and tear on joints for exercisers by absorbing impact, while other product types can absorb energy from impact and return it to the exerciser during workouts, to amplify the effect of the exercise, creating opportunities to improve the user experience.

up close and personal
Your customers will be in close contact with many areas of your flooring – especially in studios which are used for things like yoga and mat pilates and also in stretching and warmup areas and functional fitness zones.

Ensure flooring in these areas can be kept squeaky clean without breaking the bank, as research shows a lack of cleanliness in areas where customers are in close contact with surfaces is a major reason for people leaving a club or not returning to a studio.

In addition, a number of academic studies over the years have identified gyms as harbouring bacteria, including Staphylococcus, E.coli and Salmonella in areas where people make skin contact, such as kit, door handles and flooring, making maintenance especially important.

Transformation
New flooring can transform a health club or gym making it easier to sell to prospective members and giving existing members, customers and staff a boost.

You want to keep that new-floor feeling for as long as possible, so pick a product from a reputable supplier and invest in maintenance to ensure it looks its best for as long as possible.

Spend time planning and researching before you buy, to ensure the products selected are the right ones. You may find it pays to tender for a supplier to ensure you’ve explored all the options available before making your choice.

Kit and flooring specialist BLK BOX has worked with everyone from Pure Gym to Gym Box. A recent installation for Anytime Fitness
Kit and flooring specialist BLK BOX has worked with everyone from Pure Gym to Gym Box. A recent installation for Anytime Fitness
liveried flooring for Arsenal FC
liveried flooring for Arsenal FC
Pavigym creates gym flooring and interactive solutions for the fitness industry
Pavigym creates gym flooring and interactive solutions for the fitness industry
Ecore designs flooring which can capture the energy of impact and return it to the exerciser. The company makes a wide range of gym flooring, including safety and acoustic
Ecore designs flooring which can capture the energy of impact and return it to the exerciser. The company makes a wide range of gym flooring, including safety and acoustic
Jordan has completed a full flooring fit out for Norwich City FC including functional training and free weight areas
Jordan has completed a full flooring fit out for Norwich City FC including functional training and free weight areas
Sportec Style Tiles from TVS make spot replacement
far more straightforward
Sportec Style Tiles from TVS make spot replacement far more straightforward
http://www.leisureopportunities.com/images/imagesX/28675_865207.jpg
Flooring is a major investment for gyms and health clubs, changing the ambience and functionality. HCM looks at the issues relating to this often undervalued area
Liz Terry, Editor, Health Club Management,flooring,
Latest News
Rockwell Group have unveiled designs for luxury hospitality and wellness amenities at Manhattan's 550 Madison ...
Latest News
The Gym Group is set to continue its fast pace of growth in 2020, with ...
Latest News
A new product aimed at the ageing population is combining wearable fitness tech with artificial ...
Latest News
A three-year research project will look to provide the physical activity industry with a better ...
Latest News
The latest edition of the highly-successful This Girl Can Campaign has been celebrated for its ...
Latest News
The increasing popularity of streaming services and wireless earbuds – along with the introduction of ...
Latest News
Stuart Broster, chief executive of Anytime Fitness UK, will step down from his role in ...
Latest News
Digme Fitness has acquired Another Space – the boutique studio arm of premium health club ...
Latest News
Looklen Architects have created a stripped back gym in Bangkok, Thailand, that uses steel latticing ...
Latest News
The number of people in the UK who are members of a private health and ...
Latest News
A study has offered new evidence of the association between cardiorespiratory fitness and brain health ...
Job search
POST YOUR JOB
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Incorpore: Creating a fitter, happier and more productive workforce
Inactivity is described by The Department of Health as the ‘silent killer’ of our generation.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Your personal invite to SPATEX 2020
Organiser of SPATEX 2020, Michele Bridle cordially invites you to attend the industry’s event of the year.
Video Gallery
How to use the MZ-Bodyscan
MyZone
The Best Product for the Best Clubs Read more
More videos:
Company profiles
Company profile: MiE FitQuest
FitQuest (MiE Medical Research) are specialists in the field of human performance measurement. We have ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Focus Training
Focus Training is a leading provider of Active IQ and YMCA Awards certified Personal Trainer ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Fitness equipment
Stages Cycling: Fitness equipment
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Audio visual
Hutchison Technologies: Audio visual
Direct debit solutions
Debit Finance Collections: Direct debit solutions
Independent service & maintenance
Servicesport UK Limited: Independent service & maintenance
Lockers/interior design
Crown Sports Lockers: Lockers/interior design
Whole body cryotherapy
Zimmer MedizinSysteme GmbH / icelab: Whole body cryotherapy
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: Trade associations
Locking solutions
Ojmar: Locking solutions
Property & Tenders
Derby City Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
21-23 Jan 2020
Harrogate Convention Centre, Harrogate, United Kingdom
Diary dates
28-30 Jan 2020
Ericsson Exhibition Hall, Ricoh Arena, Coventry, United Kingdom
Diary dates
29-30 Jan 2020
Holiday Inn San Francisco-Golden Gateway, San Francisco, United States
Diary dates
20 Feb 2020
The Old Truman Brewery, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
23-25 Mar 2020
Hilton, Barcelona, Spain
Diary dates
25-26 Mar 2020
Eastwood Hall, Nottingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
26-29 Mar 2020
The Winter Gardens Blackpool, Blackpool , United Kingdom
Diary dates
19-24 Apr 2020
tbc, Beijing, China
Diary dates
04 Jun 2020
Marriott Forest of Arden Hotel & Country Club, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
10-27 Jun 2020
tbc, Pinggu, China
Diary dates
13 Jun 2020
Worldwide, Various,
Diary dates
17-18 Jun 2020
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
21-24 Sep 2020
Loews Coronado Bay Resort, Coronado, United States
Diary dates
30-31 Oct 2020
NEC, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
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