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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,
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Gyms need to look at ways to deploy technology that helps them engage with customers on a human level. This can be done by encouraging customers to leave as much real-time feedback as possible
Opinion: Customer Feedback: the Good, the Bad and the ‘Could be Improved’ Why health clubs need to take action in 2020 to retain their New Year customers
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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
Rising workplace stress among employees has led companies to increase their investment in incentives as ...
Latest News
David Lloyd Leisure is facing prosecution by Leeds Council over alleged health and safety breaches, ...
Latest News
Taking part in regular aerobic exercise could decrease the likelihood of developing Alzheimer's disease in ...
Latest News
A self-help studio marketing itself as a "first-of-its-kind self-development wellness space" will open in the ...
Latest News
A report outlining membership habits and retention in the fitness sector will be released at ...
Latest News
Xponential Fitness has signed a master franchise deal for its Club Pilates brand in Singapore, ...
Latest News
The Bee Network initiative – a joined-up cycling and walking network in Greater Manchester – ...
Latest News
Multi-brand wellness operator Evolution Wellness plans to launch new concepts and brands into the Asian ...
Latest News
Four in five (81 per cent) disabled people want to be more physically active – ...
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Women-only kickboxing franchise 30 Minute Hit plans to open 50 new sites internationally during 2020. ...
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A white paper charting the effects of intermediary services – or aggregators – in the ...
Job search
POST YOUR JOB
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Training provider explains how a partnership with Fisikal transformed their business
Drummond Health & Fitness Education Academy has been providing quality health and fitness training and education for more than 35 years.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Speedflex enters new partnership with Gateshead Council
HIIT specialist, Speedflex, is set to launch a new studio at Gateshead International Stadium in partnership with Gateshead Council.
Opinion
promotion
Gyms need to look at ways to deploy technology that helps them engage with customers on a human level. This can be done by encouraging customers to leave as much real-time feedback as possible
Opinion: Customer Feedback: the Good, the Bad and the ‘Could be Improved’ Why health clubs need to take action in 2020 to retain their New Year customers
Video Gallery
Wattbike AtomX
Wattbike
Join our tribe. Become powered by Wattbike. 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: Crown Sports Lockers
Crown Sports Lockers has designed, crafted and fitted bespoke timber furniture for spas, hotels and ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Fitness equipment
FunXtion International BV: Fitness equipment
Skincare
Comfort Zone - Davines S.p.A: Skincare
Lockers/interior design
Fitlockers: Lockers/interior design
Audio visual
Hutchison Technologies: Audio visual
Professional services
Deloitte UK: Professional services
Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Fitness software
Go Do.Fitness: Fitness software
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Direct debit solutions
Debit Finance Collections: Direct debit solutions
Trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: Trade associations
Property & Tenders
Derby City Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
20 Feb 2020
The Old Truman Brewery, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
06-07 Mar 2020
Palazzo del Ghiaccio, Milan, Italy
Diary dates
23-25 Mar 2020
Hilton, Barcelona, Spain
Diary dates
25 Mar 2020
Executive Boardroom, Middlesex University, London, United Kingdom
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
27-29 Mar 2020
TeatroGoya Multiespacio, Madrid, Spain
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
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
17-23 Oct 2020
Pinggu, Beijing, China
Diary dates
30-31 Oct 2020
NEC, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
27-28 Nov 2020
Athena, Leicester, United Kingdom
Diary dates
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