Tread Lightly

A complete guide to selecting the right sports surface

By Margaret Ahrweiler

TOP LEFT: PHOTO COURTESY OF BSA ARCHITECTS; TOP RIGHT, BOTTOM LEFT: PHOTOS COURTESY OF PLEXIPAVE; BOTTOM RIGHT: PHOTO COURTESY OF SPORT COURT

The idea of a floor, on the surface, seems pretty simple: something to stand on. Outside, it meant grass or dirt. Add sports and recreation into the mix, though, and it becomes something to stand on, run on, jump on, sit on, roll on, bounce on, fall on, race on, dance on, meet on.

More complicated yet, every year seems to bring a new sport or fitness with new flooring requirements: Did planners have to worry about Pilates or inline hockey needs 20 years ago? On top of that, dozens of different manufacturers, each with an array of products, compete for a slice of the sports surface pie.

How is a facility manager supposed to make a decision? As it turns out, education and thoughtful planning can reduce the headaches and clear the path to the right floor.

Actually, say the experts, choosing the floor is the last and sometimes easiest part of the process. The hard part lies in asking—and answering—the questions that lead to the right floor.

PHOTO COURTESY OF HARO SPORTS
The sports hall of the university of sports of Innsbruck

The first question facility owners need to ask: How is the surface going to be used?

"It sounds obvious, but it's not," observes Sally Cottingham, whose Chicago-based firm, Moose Sports Surfaces Ltd. , brokers sport surfaces. "Rarely do you see a surface used for just one thing, and it's the secondary uses that often determine your choices."

The dozens of different materials are matched by dozens of different performance qualities best for different sports, with a quick lesson in physics and biomechanics necessary for each sport (see chart on page 9).

In basketball, for example, floors need to return energy to maximize the ball's bounce, enable athletes to jump well and allow for quick pivot turns. Meanwhile, tennis courts need to return energy for bounce as well, but to a lesser extent, and must enable horizontal movement by athletes—a controlled slide.

While a park district may consider artificial turf for a facility primarily used for soccer, Cottingham notes, volleyball may be a secondary use. Since artificial turf doesn't allow athletes the foot slides necessary in volleyball, this would be a poor choice that could lead to injury. There's a lot of factors to consider.

Likewise, a school may plan a field house and consider putting in a smooth surface in the center. But if the school follows through with plans to place six tennis courts there, textured surfaces more appropriate to tennis should be used. You get the picture.


The Foundations for Flooring

You'll find as many different opinions and options on flooring as there are systems and manufacturers—that is, dozens. But the experts all agree that sport surfacing choices must satisfy seven key factors:

Installation: How difficult is it to install the system? Who will be doing the installing? Does the manufacturer offer its own installation teams, or is your staff honestly up to the task? How soon can the surface be used after installation? Does it emit any toxic outgases or noxious smells?

Aesthetics: What kind of look are you trying to convey for your facility? Traditional? Contemporary? How does the flooring look under different lighting conditions? How does it hide or show soiling? Is glare an issue for users?

Maintenance: How much and what type of maintenance is required? Are some substances commonly found at your site harmful to the surface? Will your facility honestly be able to handle the maintenance schedule? Can your staff perform minor repairs or must the manufacturer be called?

Durability: How long does this surface last? How long do you want it to last? That is, do you really want to go 40 years before replacing the product? What types of wear does the product show and how can it be fixed? Does the type of usage you plan affect durability?

Performance: What is this type of floor designed to do best? Does that match your planned uses?

Cost: Don't just look at upfront costs, look at lifetime costs. How much does installation cost? What are the maintenance costs? How much are the products necessary for maintenance and how easy are they to obtain? What does maintenance cost in employee hours?

Safety: Does this floor meet the biomechanical needs of its intended uses? Is there proper cushioning for impact? Is it too slippery? Not slippery enough? Does it accommodate a range of users? Are there any protrusions that can cause a hazard?


It takes a village

Next, owners must consider the sometimes conflicting needs of everyone involved with a sport surface. This includes the owner, the facility manager, the architect, the contractor, the maintenance staff, the athletic director, the coaches, a community representative for a publicly funded space and even athletes, who may have strong opinions about comfort levels. Everyone involved needs to decide what's most important for the surface. While this step may seem equally obvious, it's frequently overlooked as planners try to move the process along quickly.

To help resolve these issues, Cottingham uses a ranking system, giving clients a sheet of flooring attributes and asking that the group number them in order of importance.

PHOTO COURTESY OF PLEXIPAVE
Combe Indoor Tennis Center at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.

These include:

Durability
Sound deadening
Cleanability
Resiliency/shock absorbency
Ball bounce/roll/performance
Coefficient to friction (slip vs. slide vs. nonslip)
Color
Installation time
Smell during/after installation
Warranty
Spike resistance
Permanence/portability

With all these needs and opinions layered on top of an already complex issue, an expert and mediator may come in handy. That's where flooring consultants can enter the picture, Cottingham says, since they can offer a greater level of expertise by, like the chicken people, doing just one thing right.

"Architects are at a disadvantage because they have to know a little bit about everything, and it doesn't always allow them to focus on flooring," Cottingham says. A flooring consultant serves as the "point person," bringing the various groups of decision-makers together and helping streamline the process.

Typically, flooring consultants charge between 0.5 and 2 percent of the total cost of a project and can often save the client at least the price of his or her fees by finding a more cost-efficient product or installation method. Hence, consulting fees for a $1. 5 million project might run anywhere from $7,500 to $30,000.

York Community High School in suburban Elmhurst, Ill. , for example, decided to hire a surface consultant to ensure that the school's new 60,000-square-foot field house would best serve its standout cross-country and track-and-field program.

PHOTO COURTESY OF MOOSE SPORTS
Northwood University in Midland, Mich.

"We felt we needed an independent voice, rather than picking a surface based on who had the best marketing materials," says Patricia Sumrow, assistant superintendent for York's Community School District 205. After hiring Duffy Mahoney of Carmel, Ind. -based Duff Athletic Design, the York team realized that they had been focusing on competition, but that was actually the fifth most important issue, after the field house floor's use for practice, physical education, community use and gatherings such as graduations.

According to Mahoney, his first task is to analyze the overall usage plan and design of the facility, looking at safety, spectator issues and configuration. Next, he educates clients on the range of products.

"[With York] I started with about 30 samples with a range of manufacturers, pricing and performance characteristics and tried to cut through the Tower of Babel on some of the product information," Mahoney says.

Next, he pinpointed about a half-dozen field houses for the York team to tour for comparison. That helped the team better eye up the situation.

Facility planners who have neither the budget nor the inclination to work with a sports-surface consultant can explore the alternative of a ready-made package plan. An increasing number of firms offer design-build services for sports facilities, where they offer a prepackaged program of set flooring options. A prepackaged program of good, better and best spaces can be offered, with all the design and materials choices already made.


A Comparison of the
Four Major Types of Sports Flooring

1. Area-elastic sports floor

Resilient, deflection-resistant floor with large deformation control area.

2. Combined sports floor

Area-elastic floor with point-elastic top layer. At the load-distribution layer, the deformation control layer is large, at the top layer it is tightly adapted to the load-bearing area.

3. Mixed sports floor

Resilient, supple floor with area-reinforcing component. The deformation control area is small but clearly exceeding the load-bearing area.

4. Point-elastic sports floor

Resilient, supple floor with a deformation control area tightly adapted to the load-bearing area.


Note: Independent of the manufacturer-specific properties, there are basically two types of sports floors: area-elastic and point-elastic. In between, you find various hybrid forms of combined and mixed constructions. The difference shows in their deformation properties and the resulting consequences on their suitability to the project at hand.

Diagrams Courtesy Of HARO sports

The physics of floors
PHOTO COURTESY OF CHAD WARTHAN OF WARTHAN ASSOCIATES/TARAFLEX SPORTS FLOORING
Fairfax High School in Fairfax County, Va.

Before determining what's best for your facility's surface needs, it helps to understand what sports surfaces do. While most sports-surface literature seems to require an advanced degree in physics to comprehend, it all comes down to a few principles, according to Robert Johnston of Cannon/Johnston Architecture in Victoria, B.C.

For most sports surfaces, he says, the goal is to reduce the amount of energy lost to the surface. An extreme example would be the way a runner's energy is lost when running in sand.

Next, sports surfaces can be either point elastic or area elastic. Point-elastic surfaces, which comprise most synthetic surfaces, give with pressure and provide cushioning but absorb energy. Area-elastic surfaces, primarily wood, don't give with immediate pressure but bend slightly over a wide area and provide energy return.

Johnston, a nationally recognized expert on flooring biomechanics and issues, advises that ideally, regardless of the level of competition, the athlete's comfort, the physical factors (construction and maintenance issues), then cost, and logistics all must be considered. The weight given these criteria will vary according to the project, he adds.

INDOOR

Thoughts on wood

When it comes to choosing indoor sports surfaces, the main choice that looms is wood vs. synthetic.

PHOTO COURTESY OF BSA ARCHITECTS
Red Morton Community Center in Redwood City, Calif.

Wood remains the gold standard for multipurpose spaces for a variety of reasons, notes David Ross, a partner with BSA Architects in San Francisco.

"It has a sense of quality that's hard to compare with," he notes. "People know exactly what they're dealing with. "

Wood is prized for its appearance, its ability to return energy—the level of "bounce"—and its durability. If properly maintained, it can last up to 70 years or more, although many architects put its actual life span closer to 40 years. It's a known entity with a long history of performance. Plus, the very appearance of wood can demonstrate a commitment to athletics.

"Don't even think of designing an Indiana school with anything other than wood gymnasium floors," remarks Sandra Kate, architect with Fanning/Howey Associates, Celina, Ohio, referring to the fierce dedication to basketball that permeates the state.

PHOTO COURTESY OF BSA ARCHITECTS
Marin Jewish Community Center in San Rafael, Calif.

On the other side of the ledger, though, wood requires precise, committed maintenance. It expands and contracts with humidity and temperature changes, requiring a constant ventilation system; it becomes damaged if it gets wet; it requires skill in installation; and as a hard material, it has no point-elastic, cushioning characteristics.

Next, wood floors can be installed three basic ways, although manufacturers have developed dozens of slightly altered systems. Typically, wood floors are installed over concrete bases. On top is the layer of wood strips, usually maple. Underneath is the subsystem, which provides the resilience. This can include wood "sleeper" support pieces, panels of plywood, foam underlayers or channeled synthetic support systems. The floor also can be free-floating, meaning it is not mechanically attached to the subfloor but isolated from the concrete by resting on synthetic cushioning channels or other systems. It can also be anchored, where the floor's sublayer, which usually also features some form of cushioning, gets bolted to the concrete.

According to Johnston, sleeper systems tend to be the least expensive but the least responsive biomechanically because testing has shown that sleeper floors do not deform under loading, which can increase the potential for injury.

Multi-sleeper systems, which can feature a grid of sleepers, perform much better, he notes. Anchored systems cost the most but can withstand changing environmental factors the best.

 
LEFT: PHOTO COURTESY OF FANNING/HOWEY ASSOCIATES RIGHT: PHOTO COURTESY OF BSA ARCHITECTS
Left: Zionsville Middle School in Zionsville, Ind. Right: Roseville Sports Center in Roseville, Calif.

The next choice is what type of wood strips go on top. Maple comprises more than 70 percent of wood floors, but other hardwoods can work well too. For example, York Community High School's new competition gymnasium will feature a beech floor because in rebuilding the 70-plus-year-old school, the architects wanted to create an older, established look.

It's all About the Motion

The best flooring choices match up a sport's actions with a surface's responses. Here are a few of the motions planners take into account:

Basketball
ball bounce
running
jumping
foot turning/pivoting

Volleyball
jumping
horizontal slide
falling/diving
ball bounce

Aerobics/group fitness
jumping
horizontal slide

Dance
foot slide
turning/pivoting
jumping
spike (heel) resistance
sound transmission

Soccer
running
turning/pivoting
ball roll
falling
ball bounce

Inline hockey
gliding friction/adhesion

Tennis
ball bounce
foot slide
controlled foot slide

Track and field
running
jumping
friction/grip

Weightlifting
dropping
standing
load bearing
sound deadening

Yoga/Pilates
sitting
laying
balancing
standing

Indoor baseball/softball
training
running
batting
pitching
catching
sound deadening

Next, wood's installation issues need to be examined. A skilled installation team is essential with wood floors. Wood often must "acclimatize" or become accustomed to the indoor environment, and the team must ensure room for expansion and contraction. On the other hand, some systems should not acclimatize, and the installation team needs to know which is which.

"You need to investigate past installations and ask how they've performed for the owner," advises Gary Miller, assistant athletic director of operations at the University of Illinois Urbana/Champaign. "Then you have to ask who's going to install this floor and make it very clear in your contract. "

Miller has learned the hard way about how wood floors react to humidity and climate changes, having had an unanchored floor fail recently. As a result, he now specifies only anchored systems.

Finally, planners also need to select the coating, the finish applied to protect the surface. Johnston says his firm specifies only oil-modified polyurethane whenever possible, since these do not side bond or panelize, although water-based and moisture-cured polyurethanes also are available, with water-based the easiest to apply. A caveat, Johnston adds: Some jurisdictions do not allow oil-modified coatings due to environmental concerns.

Synthetic ideas

While wood often seems the most obvious choice for gymnasium and multipurpose floors, it may not always be the best solution, experts advise. Building owners should also consider the wide range of synthetics, which can be a better fit in many cases.

Synthetics, which cover anything but wood, generally fall into three categories: urethane, rubber and PVC (polyvinyl chlorate).

Synthetics also can be installed three different ways: either poured on as a liquid, rolled out in long sheets or put together like a puzzle as interlocking tiles.

These types of systems may represent the best choice in facilities for whom "multipurpose" means more than just a mix of basketball, volleyball and indoor soccer; it might mean a day filled with youth sports and adult recreational leagues, then spaghetti dinners and teen dances at night.

In these cases, clients may need to be talked out of a wood floor, says Indoor Courts of America's Scott Knackstedt, because the architect or consultant knows it's not appropriate and can't be cared for properly.

"Why would I give you a Porsche if I know you're never going to change the oil, let it get banged up and ultimately trash it?" he says. "It's the same thing with floors. "

PHOTO COURTESY OF MOOSE SPORTS SURFACES
Parkside Athletic Club in Pekin, Ill.

Architect David Ross agrees, noting that heavily used multipurpose spaces often don't see enough down time for the maintenance involved with wood floors. For those reasons, Ross specified a synthetic floor at the Roseville Community Center in Roseville, Calif., and the system garnered rave reviews from the owners.

"It would be in use nearly constantly, and at 11,000 square feet, it was to be one of the few spaces of that scale in Roseville," he adds. The vinyl flooring with fiberglass backing features a simulated maple pattern that looks "pretty convincing," Ross says, and promises a lifespan of about 20 years, with far fewer maintenance costs.

Synthetic sport surfaces' durability also can create interesting combinations for multipurpose facilities.

For example, the Parkside Athletic Club in Pekin, Ill., primarily serves as an indoor tennis center but also houses horses and cows (no kidding) during the town's fair.

PHOTO COURTESY OF RB RUBBER PRODUCTS
Salem Family YMCA in Salem, Ore.

"We recommended PVC sheet goods," Cottingham says, "and they've been unbelievably durable and easy to clean—they go in there with a power washer. "

A caveat, however: When selecting synthetic floors that will be used for court sports, Knackstedt cautions, building owners must look carefully at the floor's bounce.

"You can check the manufacturer's specifications, but the best way to find out is to visit another installation," he recommends. "You may discover their bounce range is all over the map."

Synthetics have tended to be too frictional with not enough "slip," Johnston says, adding that manufacturers have revised their products to reduce friction. At the other end of the spectrum, even more frictional synthetics can become slippery when dusty, Cottingham says.

Owners must also consider the chemicals and aromas involved with installing synthetics when making their choices, Cottingham adds, especially for facilities that remain open 24 hours a day or get constant, heavy use.

As area-elastic systems, the performance issues involved with synthetics differ from wood. Whereas wood floors create worries about dead spots and resilience, synthetics raise issues of loading, where the cushioning "bottoms out," making a heavy impact on users' joints. According to Johnston, synthetic surfaces that are 9 mm or less will bottom out. He recommends synthetic systems of a minimum of 15 mm for users' comfort, based on biomechanical research. Other industry pros have offered the opinion that the tendency to bottom out varies according to sport and intensity, so that 9 mm is sufficient.


Talk the Talk So You Can Walk the Walk

If you speak the language, you can communicate more effectively as you do your sport-surfaces homework. Here are a few of the words you'll hear tossed around in flooring discussions.

Point-elastic surface A surface that bends at the point of pressure and absorbs energy. Most synthetic surfaces constitute this.

Area-elastic surface A rigid, nonbending surface that yields gradually to pressure and can return energy, such as wood floors

Composite surface A surface with characteristics of both point and area elasticity, often a synthetic surface over wood

Resilience A floor's ability to bend or give; synthetic surfaces often have greater resiliency than wood.

Moisture content The weight of water contained in wood flooring, as a percentage of a kiln-dried sample

Sleeper system Wood flooring system where the wood strips are installed atop strips of wood studs

Panel system Wood flooring system where the wood strips are installed atop sheets of other material, often plywood

Anchored system Wood flooring system where the wood strips are installed atop sheets of other materials, often plywood, with 2-by-3 "sleepers" under the plywood

Acclimatization The process where wood flooring materials must sit in the facility for a number of days to adjust to moisture levels

Force reduction The ability of a sports floor to absorb the shock of impact, compared to a nonresilient floor

Ball rebound The percentage to which a ball bounced back to the height from which it is dropped, compared to a nonresilient floor such as concrete. Ball rebound, or bounce, should be at least 90 percent on a sports surface where basketball is being played.

Standard deformation The depth to which a floor indents under a load of weight

Deformation control The spread of a deformation, or the area it covers, when a floor indents under a load of weight

Sliding behavior The distance a floor can permit an athlete's foot to turn or purposely slide, while still preventing uncontrolled sliding. DIN standards require floors to have a sliding distance of 0. 4 to 0. 6 meters.

EDPM Ethylene propylene diene monomer, a type of synthetic rubber flooring that comes in granule form

SBR Styrene butadiene rubber, another granulized form of synthetic rubber

PVC Polyvinyl chloride, a common form of synthetic flooring that, yes, is the same stuff of which your plumbing pipes are made

Polypropylene Another form of plastic, often used for sports-flooring squares or tiles

Prefabricated sheet systems or sheet goods Synthetic flooring manufactured off site and delivered in rolls or sheets

Cast in place systems Synthetic flooring systems created on site


Installation and maintenance

Unlike wood, synthetics can be installed without worrying about humidity or acclimatization, heavy equipment or technical expertise, but they have their own set of installation issues.

PHOTO COURTESY OF PLEXIPAVE
Riverside Park in Coral Springs, Fla.

With sheet goods, owners must make sure the substrate base—the concrete—is free of imperfections, since those will come through, and installers must pay special attention to the seals or seams between rolls, which can create weak spots that can trap water.

Poured-in-place systems can cover flaws in the base, but that resulting variation in thickness can vary the floor's performance. The pours also eliminate the issue of seams, but this makes repairs more difficult: Owners can't simply pull up a chunk of floor to fix or replace it. Likewise, poured floors require more quality control during installation.

Many manufacturers and consultants recommend a clear, sprayed-on urethane topcoat to further protect synthetic floors from dust and dirt. While this may increase the floor's shine, it does not affect performance.

For some sports, synthetics have become the flooring of choice. Polypropylene interlocking tiles have become the standard for inline hockey and skating arenas, such as the St. Cloud Sport Center in St. Cloud, Minn., for their friction coefficient, which allows both optimal puck glide and skate wheel grip.


Guidelines for Area-Elastic Sports Floors

1. Force Reduction

Force reduction is the ability of a sports floor construction to absorb the shock of an impact as compared to a nonresilient floor. In this test, the athlete must not be exposed to more than 47 percent of the impact.

2. Standard Deformation

Defines the vertical deformation of the sports floor under load. The minimum deflection required by this test is 2.3 mm.

3. Deformation Control

The area spread of a deformation is measured at a distance of 500 mm from the point of vertical impact (by a falling weight of 20 kg). Maximum deformation difference: 15 percent.

4. Ball Rebound

Defines the height in percent to which a basketball bounces on an area-elastic sports floor as compared to the ball rebound height on a nonresilient floor. The ball rebound should be at least 90 percent.

5. Sliding Behavior

Characterizes the property of a sports floor surface to permit turning movements of the athlete while preventing uncontrolled sliding. Required sliding distance: 0.4 to 0.6 meters.

6. Behavior Under Rolling Load

The ability of an area-elastic sports floor to withstand loads from rollers, coasters or wheels. Minimum requirement: axel load 1,500 N, without damage.

Diagram Courtesy Of HARO sports

Synthetic floors also surface in areas beyond sport courts. They are starting to take hold in aerobic and group-fitness spaces, where their resiliency appeals to users and variety of colors appeals to style-conscious designers.

In weight rooms and cardio-equipment areas, rubberized flooring systems have become popular for their sound- and shock-absorbing capacities. These cushioned systems, which can be made from ground rubber—one firm is marketing a surface made from recycled gym shoes—can come in either rolls or tiles. And since owners don't have to worry about bounce requirements or athletes' joint cushioning, they can take a more budget-conscious approach, says BSA's Ross.

 
LEFT: PHOTO COURTESY OF MOOSE SPORTS SURFACES RIGHT: PHOTO COURTESY OF GERSTUNG FLOORING
Left: Great Lakes Naval Base's Freedom Hall Physical Training Facility in Great lakes, Ill. Right: Dance studio at the Gerstung Center in Baltimore.

Rubberized flooring also is turning up in children's play rooms at fitness and recreation centers, for its ability to provide grip and cushioning, without the rug-burn issues of carpeting, as well as for its easy cleaning and sanitizing qualities. (Many synthetic surfaces now offer antibacterial finishes.)


Colors of all Stripes
PHOTO COURTESY OF UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA ATHLETICS MEDIA RELATIONS
Baseline Tennis Center at the University of Minnesota

It's a rainbow of color in the surfacing world. Color can boost a facility's identity, give it a sense of "branding," and reinforce team spirit. But when choosing colors, beware the laws of unintended consequences.

Depending on the lighting systems used, brighter colors can increase glare, notes Moose Sports' Sally Cottingham, and some colors show dirt more than others, especially yellow.

Color can also affect the visibility of sports striping. Ask manufacturers for samples to see how contrasts hold up with stripes.

Speaking of stripes, they should be determined during the planning stages when you hash out how your facility will be used because it's far more difficult to add stripes after the fact. Many synthetic surfaces do not hold paint well, and striping tape's durability can vary according to the surface where it's applied, the frequency of the floor's use and even the age of its users.

"I can't tell you how many times I've watched a group of kindergartners pick the tape off a floor," Scott Knackstedt says wryly.

 
PHOTOS COURTESY OF PLEXIPAVE
Left: Veterans Memorial Elementary School in Saugus, Mass. Right: Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, Calif.

Color has even found its way to tradition-bound tennis, as colors beyond green become more prevalent. The TPA, or Tennis Professionals Association, which hosts men's professional events, has begun promoting purple courts, such as those found at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, Calif. Purple courts give greater visibility to the ball and provide greater drama and contrast for television broadcasts, notes Art Tucker, a tennis-surfacing firm executive. And at the University of Minnesota's new tennis facility, players compete atop acrylic-finish indoor and outdoor courts colored in the Golden Gophers' maroon and gold.


Track where it's at

Indoors and out, synthetics have become the surface of choice for track and field, and with the growth of field houses' popularity, have become more prevalent.

For field houses and indoor tracks, the surface choices and installation method are the virtually same as for multipurpose areas, although the installation, levels of surface friction and cushioning vary. Field-house systems may be more inclined to use latex surfaces, since the area inside the track often gets used for indoor tennis. For example, York Community High School will feature either a high-performance poured in place or sheet goods rubberized mat system over a concrete subsurface. These synthetic systems can last from 10 to 20 years, depending on the level of maintenance.


A Facility Full of Flooring Decisions

Gary Miller has been thinking about sport surfaces a lot lately. As University of Illinois' assistant athletic director for operations, Miller is overseeing planning for the massive expansion of the campus's Intramural Physical Education Facility (IMPE), which will almost double in size from 260,000 to 440,000 square feet when construction begins in July. Originally opened in 1970, the facility in Champaign, Ill., will include almost every sport surface available to offer a full spectrum of recreational and intramural opportunities for its million-plus visitors a year. (That number is expected to triple with the expansion. )

For the new IMPE, Miller has selected anchored hardwood floors, with grade-two or -three wood, for all of its gymnasium and multipurpose sport areas. Group exercise/aerobics rooms also feature wood floors, albeit with greater resiliency in their installation systems. Wood reflects a level of prestige that U of I students, many of whom come from affluent Chicago suburbs, have come to expect in exercise facilities.

In cardiovascular-equipment areas, IMPE will feature carpeting. Miller admits this represented a tradeoff in appearance vs. maintenance and durability, estimating a three- to five-year replacement schedule for it.

Free-weight areas will have rubberized sheet goods, with mats covering some areas, he says, a change from the rubber tiles in the current, unrenovated facility.

Pool and locker-room wet areas will use ceramic tile, with carpeting in the locker pods, again reflecting the more club-like atmosphere the university plans to convey.

The new IMPE facility is a perfect example of all kinds of flooring options for all kinds of needs.


 
LEFT: PHOTO COURTESY OF OSCODA PLASTICS, INC. RIGHT: PHOTO COURTESY OF CSSI
Left: West Branch Athletic Club in West Branch, Mich.
Right: New York Health and Racquet Club

Standard of Care?

In addition to the chemistry of synthetics terms and the physics of wood, floor buyers must learn the alphabet soup of certifications. Currently, there is no one, unified standards system that covers all aspects of performance, installation and design for sports surfaces, but a number of organizations cover portions of these issues. They include:

DIN Deutsches Institut fur Normug eV.—German industrial standards that are the most widely used for sports surfaces. They specify performance standards and monitor quality but do not specify design codes.

ASTM American Society for Testing Materials—These standards show a product has passed guidelines for various characteristics, such as abrasion resistance, indentation, coefficient of friction and fire resistance. ASTM standards tend to appear most frequently in marketing artificial turf.

IAAF International Association of Athletic Federations—This track-and-field organization launched a certification system for track surfaces in 1999. To obtain the highest level of certification, samples of the actual, installed surface must be sent for testing.

FIFA The International Soccer Federation's Quality Concept sets quality goals for soccer equipment and licenses manufacturers that adhere to artificial-turf criteria.

PHOTO COURTESY OF MITCHELL RUBBER PRODUCTS

ISO International Organization for Standardization—Like the ASTM, the ISO outlines manufacturing and quality requirements for a variety of flooring surfaces. Many products note they meet ISO 9000 or 9001 standards.

Without an alternative, DIN remains the gold standard for flooring, but many in the field would like to see a North American system that includes design parameters and human performance test results.

Cannon/Johnston's Bob Johnston says he believes that the push to standardize surface testing standards, per se, will come from the sports-surfacing industry itself rather than the design community, in order to provide a competitive edge and separate themselves from their competitors. He notes some professionals in sports sciences, such as those at the University of Calgary, discount the importance of standards, since their research has shown that standardized tests have limited success in predicting a surface's biomechanical properties.

Many good floors do not specifically comply with DIN, adds BSA's Ross, saying that while it makes a good guideline, DIN standards don't provide a true measure of performance.


PHOTO COURTESY OF FANNING/HOWEY ASSOCIATES
Medina Community Recreation Center in Medina, Ohio
What's on deck

Sports surfaces mean more than just gymnasiums and fitness centers. Facility planners, of course, need to look at surfacing choices beyond the gym—all kinds of other floors for recreational work and play, including aquatic spaces and locker rooms.

Where there's water, there's a special surfacing need. Friction and the ability to fight mold and mildew take precedence to ensure safety and cleanliness.

Depending on budget, facility managers can use ceramic mosaic tile with a textured "grip" surface, which has been the traditional, sometimes priciest choice. Other options now include a textured resin poured over concrete or slip-proof vinyl tiles with welded seams. When dealing with coatings that cover a concrete base, Kate cautions, owners must ensure that the seal stays true, since cracks can create leaks that lead to mildew and mold problems.


By the Numbers

Upfront installation costs often drive flooring decisions. Below is a sample rundown of average capital costs, including installation, according to product type. Remember, of course, these general costs can vary according to geographic region and can fluctuate according to the raw materials market.**

Cost per square foot
HARDWOOD FLOORS
Single sleeper system$7.50 to $9
Panel system$9 to $10
Anchored systems$12 to $14
INDOOR SYNTHETIC SURFACES
Interlocking polypropylene tiles $4.75 to $5.75
PVC sheet goods with foam backing/6. 5 to 8 mm thick $6 to $7
Rubber sheet goods/10 mm thick $6 to $7
Full-pour polyurethane/10 mm surface thickness $5.75 to $6.75
Sandwich systems/9 mm plus 2 mm (11 mm thickness) $5.75 to $6.75
COMBINATION WOOD AND SYNTHETIC SYSTEMS
Panel system subfloor with synthetic top $9 to $13
Anchored system subfloor/synthetic top $11 to $15
OUTDOOR SYNTHETIC TURF
Two-inch pile height—infilled $4.50 to $5.50
Two-inch pile height infilled with 19 mm e-layer $7 to $8
Knitted nylon over closed-cell foam pad $7.50 to $9
Knitted nylon over 19 mm e-layer $10 to $10.50
Cost per square yard
OUTDOOR TRACK SURFACES
1/2-inch black mat poly $17 to $19
1/2-inch black mat with structural spray $22 to $23
1/2-inch sandwich system $35 to $36
1/2-inch full-pour polyurethane system $49 to $50
Sheet goods $58 to $59

**Figures courtesy of Cannon/Johnston Sport Architecture in Victoria, B.C., and Moose Sports Surfaces in Chicago. Note: Figures reflect 2003 prices.


If you fall climbing the walls
PHOTO COURTESY OF SKYDEX AND DAN SMITH OF THE SPOT BOULDERING GYM
The Spot Bouldering Gym in Boulder, Colo.

Surprisingly, no standards or guidelines exist for surfaces surrounding climbing walls, but the issue is under discussion in industry groups, says Sheila Raff of Vertical World in Seattle, which operates three climbing gyms. Her gym, for example, uses a minimum of 18 inches of pea gravel around bouldering areas, where falls are a possibility. Around top-rope walls, where falls are not an issue, her gym features two-inch pads or padded carpet. Rubberized sports surfaces would also work well around top-roped walls to provide cushioning for climbers descending, she says.

Again, whatever the recreational space, be sure to nail down all your facility's uses and needs when you do your homework.


Kids' Flooring Choices: Poor to Middling?

In the complicated world of flooring, competing manufacturers and designers may not agree on much, but they're unanimous on one topic: the need to upgrade flooring systems for youth sports in schools.

Due to budget and space limitations, most middle and elementary schools end up using vinyl composition tile (VCT) in their gymnasiums, which often double as cafeterias and meeting halls. While combining these functions may reduce building costs, it creates hardships for schools later on and creates safety hazards with flooring, says Sandy Kate, a partner with Fanning/Howey Associates architects based in Celina, Ohio.

VCT provides no cushioning or shock absorbency, increasing the chance of injuries during falls and increasing the possibility of joint damage after playing sports such as basketball over extended periods of time.

"There may not be an injury right away from playing basketball on a hard surface, but eventually there's going to be a problem," Kate says.

What's more, the tile can be slippery and doesn't provide much friction, raising the incidence of falls. And a combined eating/gym area creates scheduling difficulties as schools scramble to properly clean food off the floors and turn the space back over for physical education classes.

As an alternative, architects and flooring consultants are increasingly recommending that schools make room in their budgets for a synthetic surface floor.

"It may be at least a $5-per-square-foot price difference, but it's worth it," Kate says.

If budget limitations present a problem, schools can get booster and parent organizations involved to try and raise money to spring for a better athletic floor. Alternately, if a school can't budget for a better floor during construction, planners should make sure to choose a surface that is easily replaced, or which can allow a new floor to be placed directly atop it, adds Sally Cottingham of Chicago-based Moose Sports Surfaces.

Finally, elementary schools may compromise by selecting sports carpet with vinyl backing. While teachers like the carpet for its sound-deadening abilities and its comfort during the tumbling and rolling activities that make up a lot of fitness for younger children, the material can cause carpet burns and doesn't perform as well for ball bounce.


OUTDOOR

On track
PHOTO COURTESY OF PLEXIPAVE
Lawrenceville High School in Lawrenceville, N.J.

Outside, running tracks have traveled light years from the days of cinder ash or asphalt and now generally feature synthetic vulcanized rubber made of granules bound with polyurethane, or extruded vulcanized rubber. Like indoor surfaces, both poured-in-place and sheet-good systems are available. Sheet goods, which cost more, are easier to install and repair but run the risk of water entrapment at the seams between the rolls. Cast-in-place track systems provide a greater range of textures and eliminate the seam issues but warrant a very demanding, complex installation, according to Johnston.

These methods include a structural spray system, the least expensive, where the top layer is sprayed, with the bottom layer placed with paving equipment on asphalt; a sandwich system, more durable, where the top and lower layers are poured one after the other; and a full polyurethane system, the most expensive and most durable, since the product is essentially one solid, cast piece.

With any outdoor synthetic, "water and urethane are mortal enemies," Johnston says, and keeping the track properly drained and free of debris is essential. Likewise, cars and trucks need to stay off the surfaces, since oil products cause synthetics to break down.

And while cold per se does not affect the surface, freeze/thaw cycles in cold climates can wreak havoc with poorly installed or drained systems. Outdoor tracks can last anywhere from seven to 16 years, depending on construction and maintenance, Mahoney says.


Who Ya Gonna Call?

Many Web sites offer a wealth of information to improve your sports-surface learning curve.

The U. S. Tennis Court and Track Builders Association provides handy information on tennis surfaces, with brochures and guidelines for different styles and surface types. More information is available at www.ustctba.com.

The International Play Equipment Manufacturers Association (IPEMA) provides plenty of helpful information, including a list of certified products, at www.ipema.org.

The U. S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, www.cpsc.gov, publishes playground surface standards and other safety guidelines.

The Maple Flooring Manufacturers Association, www.maplefloor.org, provides a library of frequently asked questions, along with maintenance guidelines and other information.

FIFA, the International Soccer Federation, provides background information on synthetic turf and their standards and testing through the group's Quality Concept program. Visit www.fifa.com/qualityconcept.


Tennis surfaces, anyone?

Outdoors and in, tennis surfaces offer a wide range of choices, with dozens of different categories and subcategories for different levels and types of the sport that could fill their own magazine. In general, tennis courts are split into two categories. Traditional, soft-court exterior surfaces include clay and grass, along with artificial turf that emulates grass. Hard-court surfaces, which comprise about 70 percent of all courts in the Unites States, include concrete and asphalt overlaid with a color coating. This coating generally is composed of textured latex, rubber or other synthetic materials. In an increasingly popular option, courts may contain a resilient layer of cushioning 6 mm to 13 mm thick between the asphalt or concrete and color coating. Finally, interlocking polypropylene tiles and sheet goods are two other systems being used increasingly for tennis.

PHOTO COURTESY OF PLEXIPAVE
La Quinta Resort and Club in La Quinta, Calif.

The surface chosen depends on several factors, including the type of tennis is being played—a faster, athletic game or a slower, more strategic game—and the skill level of the players, among other things.

According to the U. S. Tennis Court and Track Builders Association, tennis surfaces can be fast or slow. This "pace" of the surface, and the ability of the ball to spin, depends on the size and quantity of sand or rubber particles mixed in with the color coating on hard courts. What's more, playing styles have a great impact on the type of surface players prefer. Athletic and competitive players, with strong serving skills, usually prefer a serve-and-volley type game and opt for a medium-fast to fast surface. Recreational or social players, on the other hand, look for longer rallies and a shot-placement emphasis. For this type of play, the USTCTBA recommends a medium to slow surface.

Geography matters when choosing a tennis surface too. In the Northeast and Midwest, planners need to take into account freeze/thaw cycles, along with heat and humidity in the summer. In the West, sun and heat can dry clay courts and bleach the color from hard courts. In the Southeast, algae or mildew can be issues. Wet climates need to consider drainage issues.

Surface choices can also affect injury rates, according to Cannon Johnston's Bob Johnston. He cites research by the Human Performance Laboratory at the University of Calgary showing that in tennis, the percentage of players with pain varies according to surface type, with surfaces providing a greater controlled horizontal slide creating fewer injuries. Clay surfaces ranked the lowest for injuries, according to Johnston, with synthetic/sand base and synthetic surfaces next.

Artificial turf

Artificial turf, which most manufacturers now call synthetic turf, has come a long way from its introduction in the 1960s, with a great deal of biomechanical research, product development, testing, chemical tinkering, number-crunching and more testing undertaken to make it more forgiving to athletes' bodies and more similar to natural turf.

PHOTO COURTESY OF SOUTHWEST RECREATION, INC.
University of Texas at Austin

As an indication of how far turf has come, FIFA, the International Soccer Federation now states it is "very much in favour" of the use of artificial turf in harsh climates and in stadiums where it is hard to grow and maintain natural grass. The most sophisticated turf systems mimic the grass's response to players and balls, in the way it deforms, in its slip resistance, and in its ball bounce and return, among other things.

Manufacturers have developed a number of different systems and grass fiber and shock-absorption types to try and replicate these responses. The two most common systems are conventional, or sandless systems, applied on a concrete base, and infill systems, applied atop sand or dirt.

Grass fibers, which can be made of polypropylene, nylon or a blend of the two, can be assembled in several ways. Some systems knit fibers together. While more expensive, Johnston says this method is more stable. Others feature fiber "tufts," similar to what carpeting looks like. Some products even feature shock-absorbing infill materials between each fiber to mimic the play of grass.

In addition to the turf fibers, several options are available for the underlayers. For the padding underneath, shock-absorbing assemblies include closed-cell foam pads, SBR rubber sheets, or cast-in-place elastic materials, called an e-layer. A turf system can even incorporate all these. More basic methods depend simply on the underlying infill to provide shock absorption.

The next consideration is installation methods. When installing the turf mats, the seams can be glued or sewn together. Glue requires less expertise and costs less, while sewn seams are more expensive but can provide a superior finish. Finally, the striping can consist of painted lines, which are less expensive and easier to change, or inlaid lines, where are more permanent and durable, but can create additional seams in the turf.

And while synthetic turf requires no mowing, watering or fertilizing, it brings its own set of maintenance issues. If water is the mortal enemy of outdoor running tracks, turf's mortal enemy is the sun's ultraviolet rays. UV rays can reduce the fibers' strength, make them more brittle and discolor the turf. Other wear issues include compaction of underlayers, seams wearing through and fiber loss, just as a carpet gets bare spots.


Playing it Safe
What you should know about playground safety surfaces
PHOTOS COURTESY OF LANDSCAPE STRUCTURES INC.
Top: The safety surfacing at the Enchanted Hills playground in Rio Rancho, N.M., looks like wood fiber but is actually a new safety surfacing made from recycled tires. Above: Blackhawk Family YMCA in Waterloo, Iowa, converted a racquetball court into a fun play space for pre-schoolers.

Indoors or out, the need to cushion children's playground bases is well documented. Playground surfaces must conform to ASTM standards on impact attenuation, or cushioning, and accessibility, to meet guidelines for disabled users. The International Play Equipment Manufacturers Association (IPEMA) has worked with the ASTM and the U. S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to create stringent guidelines for play surfaces as well.

Outdoors, wood chips remain a hands-down winner as a safety surface but they've evolved far beyond the leftovers from a village forestry program. IPEMA specifies engineered wood fiber, which takes wood chips a step further, grinding them to a fibrous consistency that lets the material "knit" together for greater cushioning and safety, says Ted Illjes, chairman of the surfacing certification committee for IPEMA. The CSPS sets guidelines about wood fibers' depth.

Synthetic outdoor materials include rubberized sheet goods or tiles made of either EDPM or SBR, with a cushioned surface made of rubber shavings underneath, or a surface shredded rubber or even foam. These materials are rated according to thickness required for a drop height—an 85-mm-thick rubber tile may be rated for an 8-foot drop height, for example. Beyond cushioning, the surface's response to weather conditions must be taken into consideration. Facility managers need to take into account how a surface may handle humidity, freeze/thaw cycles, and whether or not the surface retains its resiliency in the cold.

For indoor playgrounds, rubber also prevails, with pads or a granular-based surface similar to those found in weight rooms. BSA's Ross prefers granular rubber sheets goods to simulate the outdoor environment more and because playgrounds should provide all-around sensory experiences from ceiling to floor. The same ASTM standards for playground surfaces, with thicknesses according to fall height, apply indoors, Illjes adds.

IPEMA's web site, www.ipema.org, provides plenty of helpful information, including a list of products certified for playground use, and gives its rating according to thickness and drop height. The CSPS Web site, www.cpsc.gov, also publishes playground-surface standards.


Turf lite?

Turf's advances even offer benefits for natural grass fields. Grounds crews fed up with trying to keep grass fields properly striped can now get line stripes and other markings made of synthetic turf embedded into their fields to provide just a touch of the permanence of artificial turf.

The last word

Outdoors or in, the path to finding the right sports surface for your facility (with its own special mix of users, maintenance issues and budget) can often resemble a maze, with a different surface or system down every alley. But after working with your team to clearly identify your needs, hitting the books and the Web, and talking with experts to educate yourself, the path to the right system will become clear. And after that, it's just a walk in the park.


Supplier Directory for Sports Surfaces
AD Mats
5800 St. Denis
Suite 1206
Montreal, QC Canada H2S 3L5
800-971-0205
514-270-5556
Fax: 514-270-3290
e-mail: info@ad-mats.com
Web site: www.ad-mats.com
Products:
Aerobic Mats
Field Covers
Gymnasium Mats
Protective Covers

A-Turf
P.O. Box 157
Williamsville, NY 14231
800-999-0555
716-632-8413
Fax: 716-632-8324
Web site: www.surfaceamerica.com
Products:
Synthetic Turf Systems

Covermaster Inc.
100 Westmore Dr.
Suite 11-D
Rexdale
ON Canada M9V 5C3
800-387-5808
416-745-1811
Fax: 416-742-6837
e-mail: info@covermaster.com
Web site: www.covermaster.com
Products:
Field Covers
Protective Covers

Dinoflex Mfg. Ltd.
5590 - 46 Ave. SE
Salmon Arm
BC Canada V1E 4S1
877-713-1899
250-832-7780
Fax: 250-832-7788
Web site: www.dinoflex.com
Products:
Basketball Prefabricated Sport Tiles
Ice Rink Perimeter Flooring
Locker Room Floor Mats
Playground Safety Surfacing
Track Surfaces, Indoor
Track Surfaces, Outdoor
Weight-Room Flooring

Environmental Coating Systems, Inc.
668 N. Coast Hwy.
Suite 511
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
800-255-3325
949-497-4562
Fax: 949-497-8493
e-mail: info@alldeck.com
Web site: www.alldeck.com
Products:
Aquatic coatings
Deck Paint
Deck Surfaces, Pool
Decking/Flooring
Paints/Coating, Concrete
Paints/Coating, Skid-Proof
Paints/Coating, Waterproofing
Paints/Coating, Wood
Playground Safety Surfacing
Sealing Compounds

Dri-Dek
2706 Horseshoe Dr. South
P.O. Box 8656 (34101)
Naples, FL 34104-6100
800-348-2398
941-643-0448
Fax: 800-828-4248
e-mail: info@dri-dek.com
Web site: www.dri-dek.com
Products:
Locker Room Floor Mats
Locker Room Flow-Through Flooring

Gerstung/Gym-Thing, Inc.
1400 Coppermine Terrace
Baltimore, MD 21209
800-922-3575
410-337-7781
Fax: 410-337-0471
e-mail: info@gerstung.com
Web site: www.gerstung.com
Products:
Aerobic Mats
Aerobic/Dance Surfaces
Gymnasium Mats
Weight-Room Flooring

Jiffy Line Stripers
P.O. Box 35
Waunakee, WI 53597
800-844-5002
608-849-4770
Fax: 608-849-7456
e-mail: www.jifflinestripers@tds.net
Products:
Line Markers/Stripers
Line-Marking Materials/Paint

Landscape Structures Inc.
601 7th Street South
P.O. Box 198
Delano, MN 55328
888-438-6574
763-972-3391
Fax: 763-972-5291
e-mail: john_mcconkey@playlsi.com
Web site: www.playlsi.com
Products:
Playground Safety Surfacing

Lonseal Flooring
928 East 238th St.
Carson, CA 90745
800-832-7111
310-830-7111
Fax: 310-830-9986
e-mail: info@lonseal.com
Web site: www.lonseal.com
Products:
Aerobic/Dance Surfaces
Arena Concourse Flooring
Basketball, Prefabricated Sheet Goods
Deck Surfaces, Pool
Decking/Flooring
Racquetball, Handball, Squash Surfaces
Volleyball Surfaces

Mitchell Rubber Products Inc.
10220 San Sevaine Way
Mira Loma, CA 91752
800-453-7526
909-681-5655
Fax: 909-681-1479
e-mail: sales@mitchellrubber.com
Web site: www.mitchellrubber.com
Products:
Weight-Room Flooring

Musson Rubber Company
1320 E. Archwood Ave.
Akron, OH 44306-0038
800-321-2381
330-773-7651
Fax: 330-773-3254
e-mail: info@mussonrubber.com
Web site: www.musson.com
Products:
Locker Room Floor Mats
Fitness & Exercise Mats
Weight-Room Flooring

Natare Corporation
5905 West 74th Street
Indianapolis, IN 46278
800-336-8828
317-290-8828
Fax: 317-290-9998
Web site: www.natare.com
Products:
Deck Surfaces, Pool

No Fault Sport Group LLC
3112 Valley Creek Drive
Suite C
Baton Rouge, LA 70808
866-637-7678
225-215-7760
Fax: 225-291-3821
e-mail: Jennifer@4nofault.com
Web site: www.4nofault.com
Products:
Aerobic/Dance Surfaces
Playground Safety Surfacing
Track Surfaces, Indoor
Track Surfaces, Outdoor
Weight-Room Flooring

Permaline Sports Inc.
8600 Darnley Avenue
Ville St.-Laurent
QC, Canada H4T 1M4
866-546-3787
514-369-3432
Fax: 514-369-0150
e-mail: info@permalinesports.com
Web site: www.permalinesports.com
Products:
Athletic Field Construction
Field Layout Systems
Field Lines, Permanent
Line Markers/Stripers
Line-Marking Materials/Paint
Natural Turf Grass Systems
Paint, Grass Coloration
Synthetic Turf Systems

Playworld Systems, Inc.
1000 Buffalo Rd.
Lewisburg, PA 17837
800-233-8404
570-522-9800
Fax: 570-522-3030
e-mail:
webmaster@
playworldsystems.com
Web site: www.playworldsystems.com
Products:
Playground Safety Surfacing

Recreation Creations, Inc.
215 W. Mechanic St.
P.O. Box 765
Hillsdale, MI 49242
800-766-9458
517-539-1591
Fax: 517-439-1878
e-mail: rci@rec-creations.com
Web site: www.rec-creations.com
Products:
Playground Safety Surfacing

RenoSys Corporation
2825 East 55th Place
Indianapolis, IN 46220
800-783-7005
317-251-0207
317-251-0360
e-mail: renosys@aol.com
Web site: www.renosys.com
Products:
Deck Surfaces, Pool
Decking/Flooring
Locker Room Nonslip Coatings
Aerobic/Dance Surfaces
Weight-Room Flooring

RB Rubber Products Inc.
904 E. 10th Street
McMinnville, OR 97128
800-525-5530
503-472-4691
Fax: 503-434-4455
e-mail: fitness@rbrubber.com
Web site: www.rbrubber.com
Products:
Aerobic/Dance Surfaces
Deck Surfaces, Pool
Decking/Flooring
Locker Room Floor Mats
Locker Room Flow-Through Flooring
Paving Products & Materials
Playground Safety Surfacing
Porous Paving Systems
Skate Park Surfaces
Weight-Room Flooring

Schelde North America
4180-C 44th Street S.E.
Grand Rapids, MI 49512-4057
800-823-0182
616-554-4945
Fax: 616-554-1623
Web site: www.scheldesports.com
Products:
Basketball Hardwood Surface
Basketball Prefabricated Sport Tiles

SealMaster Industries, Inc.
2520 S. Campbell St.
P.O. Box 2277
Sandusky, OH 44870
800-395-7325
419-626-4375
Fax: 419-626-5477
e-mail: info@sealmaster.net
Web site: www.sealmaster.net
Products:
Basketball Outdoor Court Coatings
Inline Roller Hockey Surfaces
Line Markers/Stripers
Line-Marking Materials/Paint
Line-Taping Machines
Paving Products & Materials
Skate Park Surfaces
Stencils
Stencils, Turf
Synthetic Turf Systems
Tennis Surfaces
Track Surfaces, Indoor
Track Surfaces, Outdoor
Track, Patching/Repair Materials

Soft Play, LLC
12100 Vance Davis Drive
Charlotte, NC 28269
800-782-7529
704-875-6550
Fax: 704-875-6561
e-mail: softplay@softplay.com
Web site: www.softplay.com
Products:
Playground Safety Surfacing

SpectraTurf, Inc.
310 Reed Circle
Corona, CA 92879
800-875-5788
909-734-5617
Fax: 909-734-3630
e-mail: spectraturf@keyway.net
Web site: www.spectraturf.com
Products:
Arena Concourse Flooring
Basketball Outdoor Court Coatings
Basketball Poured-in-Place Surface
Basketball Prefabricated Sports Tiles
Basketball Synthetic Flooring
Gymnasium Mats
Ice Rink Perimeter Flooring
Locker Room Floor Mats
Locker Room Flow-Through Flooring
Paving Products & Materials
Playground Safety Surfacing
Porous Paving Systems
Portable Floors
Stadium Nonslip Concrete Coating
Synthetic Turf Systems
Synthetic Turf Underlayment
Track Surfaces, Indoor
Track Surfaces, Outdoor
Weight-Room Flooring

Sport Court Inc.
939 South 700 W
Salt Lake City, UT 84104
800-421-8112
801-972-0260
Fax: 801-975-7752
e-mail: info@sportcourt.com
Web site: www.sportcourt.com
Products:
Basketball Prefabricated Sport Tiles
Basketball Synthetic Flooring
Golf Greens, Synthetic
Inline Roller Hockey Surfaces
Portable Floors
Synthetic Ice
Tennis Surfaces
Track Surfaces, Indoor
Track Surfaces, Outdoor
Volleyball Surfaces
Weight-Room Flooring

SRI Sports, Inc.
701 Leander Dr.
Leander, TX 78641
800-233-5714
512-259-0080
Fax: 512-528-2301
e-mail: info@southwestrec.com
Web site: www.southwestrec.com
Products:
Basketball Poured-in-Place Flooring
Basketball Synthetic Flooring
Golf Driving Range Mats
Golf Greens, Synthetic
Golf Mats
Tennis Surfaces
Track Curbing
Drainage Systems
Patching/Repair Materials
Surfaces, Indoor
Surfaces, Outdoor
Natural Turf Grass Systems
Synthetic Turf Systems
Synthetic Turf Underlayment

Summit Flexible Products
P.O. Box 21
Ashland, OR 97520
888-FOR-MATS
Fax: 541-552-9050
e-mail: keith@summitflex.com
Web site: www.esportmats.com
Products:
Aerobic Mats
Basketball Prefabricated Sheet Goods
Basketball Prefabricated Sports Tiles
Deck Surfaces, Pool
Decking/Flooring
Gymnasium Mats
Ice Rink Perimeter Flooring
Locker Room Floor Mats
Locker Room Flow-Through Flooring
Weight-Room Flooring
Wrestling Mats

Surface America
P.O. Box 157
Williamsville, NY 14231
800-999-0555
716-632-8413
Fax: 716-632-8324
Web site: www.surfaceamerica.com
Products:
Basketball Poured-in-Place Flooring
Basketball Prefabricated Sheet Goods
Basketball Prefabricated Sport Tiles
Basketball Synthetic Flooring
Golf Greens, Synthetic
Ice Rink Perimeter Flooring
Inline Roller Hockey Surfaces
Playground Safety Surfacing
Portable Floors
Self-Leveling Floor Underlayment
Skate Park Surfaces
Synthetic Turf Adhesives
Synthetic Turf Systems
Synthetic Turf Underlayment
Tennis Surfaces
Track Surfaces, Indoor
Volleyball Surfaces
Weight-Room Flooring

US Tennis Court & Track Builders Association
2975 Ivy Road
Charlottesville, VA 22903
800-327-8379
804-295-6167
Fax: 804-971-6995
e-mail: tlynch@luckstone.com
Web site: www.leetennis.com
Products:
Tennis Surfaces
Surfaces, Outdoor

Welch Products, Inc.
2013 N. Missouri St.
Suite C
Macon, MO 63552
877-385-5544
660-385-5544
Fax: 660-385-1590
e-mail: dturner@missvalley.com
Web site: www.welchproducts.com
Products:
Aerobic Floors
Golf Mats
Locker Room Floor Mats
Playground Safety Surfaces
Track Surfaces, Indoor
Track Surfaces, Outdoor
Weight-Room Flooring




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