Have you ever wondered why hard maple flooring is used for your gym floor? Maybe you didn’t even realize your floor was made of hard maple, or maybe you’ve never really thought about it. The truth of the matter is there are some very good reasons hard maple flooring is used for gym floors.
A gym floor needs to be durable and stable. We all know that your gym floor gets used for more than just the few hours on game day. Most schools use their gym floors for practices, gym class, out of season camps, and school dances. Many of your schools are the centerpiece of your communities and get used by the community for a whole host of activities. This means your floor gets a lot of traffic and dare I say abuse. To ensure it is safe and ready for that all important game night, the floor needs to be able to hold up to all the use and abuse. That is where hard maple flooring comes into play.
The Janka Hardness Scale is a commonly accepted test that measures the hardness of wood. Hard maple has a hardness of 1450 lbf, ranking it one of the hardest domestic woods available. That is one of the main reasons hard maple has been the wood of choice for most gym floors. There are a few woods that rank higher on the Janka scale, like hickory, but these woods are not as stable as hard maple. They are more likely to expand and contract with changing humidity levels, which make them more likely to move, leading to cracks between the boards.
Hard maple flooring also has the ability to absorb shock placed on it during competition. Its ability to respond to weight forced on it is an important quality. This ability provides a better ball bounce and alleviates joint pressure on the athlete. Good shock resistance helps with athlete health and endurance, allowing the athlete to play longer because of reduced muscle fatigue.
Hard maple flooring is not only good for the athlete, but it is also pleasing to the eye. Its light tone, smooth grain texture and pattern make it aesthetically appealing. With the advancement in water base finishes, your gym floor can keep that clear look for many years.
With a skilled professional, hard maple flooring is also stainable and accepts paint well. This fact allows your gym floor to have crisp lines and great graphics, making it a true show piece for your school and community.
Lastly, because hard maple flooring is durable, it will last if well maintained. Most well-maintained hard maple gym floors will be in your facilities for 50+ years, making it a great investment for your school.
The next time you are on your hard maple gym floor, stop and appreciate the hard maple flooring and all it truly does for you and your athletes.