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Outfitting Your High School with the Right Sports Flooring

action floors outfitting high schoolEvery high school sports flooring project is unique. School districts come in different sizes, have budgets large and small, and specific needs depending on the scope of your school’s athletics program.

As daunting as the research and planning stages can be, everyone needs to start somewhere. Action Floor Systems® wants to help high schools around the country begin the exploration of sports flooring products with some advice on what should be considered.

Action Floors Vice President of Sales, Ron Fenhaus, has seen his fair share of K-12 sports floor projects and provides some valuable insight.

Choosing a Hardwood Sports Flooring System

The main high school gymnasium is like the heart of the school and serves as a central location for indoor sports and physical education. Choosing flooring is one of the most important decisions you’ll make regarding the entire athletic facility.

Fenhaus suggests taking time to carefully consider the biomechanics and kinesiology aspects of the hardwood maple sports floor systems on your list of candidates. Fenhaus explains that while a synthetic surface, such as Action Herculan MF, is excellent for multi-use purposes in an elementary school setting, you want the quality and performance characteristics of hardwood maple at the high school level.

Your investment in hardwood sports flooring is also an investment in your students and athletes. Fenhaus suggests looking at anchored resilient systems such as the Action ChannelFlex Ultra F or Action AnchorFlex. These systems receive some of the highest overall test scores evaluating attributes such as force reduction, vertical deformation, area indentation and ball rebound.

“We have other floor systems that provide similar performance, and each one has slightly different variations,” Fenhaus explains. “It may have slightly less shock absorption, or you may be giving up some uniformity.”

For student athletes, Fenhaus says shock absorption and uniformity are two of the key features to consider in a hardwood sports floor. A consistent sports floor makes players less likely to play tentatively, so the athletes can move across the court as they desire without any surprises to their bodies.

“Theoretically, you are minimizing the potential for an injury with uniformity,” Fenhaus says. “At the same time, good shock absorption minimizes impact on the joints and muscles of student athletes.

“Excessive vibration is purported to lead to fatigue and it is fatigue that increases the potential for injury,” Fenhaus explains. “However, most athletic floors don’t have the consistent harmonic vibration that would cause a fatigue injury and it would require extensive, long duration exposure.”

The performance standards to reference when examining your options and assessing your needs are ASTM F2772, MFMA PUR Standards, EN-14904 and DIN 18032 Part 2.

“These items should be the criteria you use to set some basic standards that you can relate to across the board as you compare hardwood sports flooring systems,” Fenhaus says.

Ask the manufacturer for test results and request information regarding the criteria that matter most. You can use Action Floors as a trusted resource during your research process.

Selecting Sports Surfaces Throughout the High School

If your school is updating basketball courts or the main gym, this is also a good time to consider replacing other surfaces in your school.

Here’s a look at the benefits of the synthetic floor surfaces Action Floors recommends for typical sports-related areas in high schools.

The Weight Room

Fenhaus believes the Action ReFlex Spin is an ideal choice for high school weight rooms for a number of reasons. One of the most important is how easy it is to clean and how much more hygienic it is compared to other options. That’s due to the fact there is a coating on the surface, which granular rubber sport flooring doesn’t have. There’s also the odor…

“Putting it bluntly, other options can become sweat-soaked and smelly in a very short period of time,” Fenhaus says.

Action ReFlex is made with recycled rubber. It is durable and resilient high-impact flooring that is available as squares or interlocking tiles as well as a rolled product. However, if athletes will be dropping heavy free weights on the floor during training, you should still lay down some drop mats for protection in certain areas.

Action Reflex Spin meets EN 1517-1999 and DIN 18032 standards with 11 nanometers of impact resistance. It has a long-life, installs easily, and provides a non-skid surface to prevent slips in the weight room.

Indoor Track/Sprint Area

The synthetic sports floor system Action Floors recommends for indoor tracks is the Action Herculan SR 10+4. This is spike-resistant sports flooring that allows student athletes to train on the track using the same cleats they’ll be wearing during competition.

The system includes a special shock absorbent underlayment with a wear-resistant top coating. So, it can stand up to cleats while still providing comfort and joint protection for athletes. Action Herculan SR 10+4 meets EN 14904 standards for indoor, multi-sport use. This is also one of Action Floors’ FloorScore certified pad and pour options, which means indoor air quality will not be compromised during or after installation.

For an excellent example of how one of our dealers combined the right systems for a gym, weight room, and indoor track inside a state-of-the-art athletic facility, check out the Unity Christian High School project profile.

Locker Rooms and Restrooms

Epoxy flooring is what’s needed for locker rooms and restrooms in your high school. An ideal choice is Action Herculan IG. This commercial flooring is extremely durable, easy to clean, and requires minimal maintenance. It’s ideal for high traffic areas in new construction or renovation projects.

Action Herculan IG is seamless and nonporous, so there’s nowhere for nasty germs to hide. It’s also aesthetically pleasing and provides anti-slip features. We can offer different sheens and color combinations that allow you to show some school spirit inside locker rooms and bathrooms.

This product utilizes low-VOC epoxy, which means it can be installed over existing surfaces while students and staff are in the building. No interruptions and no evacuations necessary.

Tennis Courts

Action Herculan TC is our synthetic sports surface designed for tennis courts. It’s an eco-friendly option that combines high performance with toughness.

If your school’s tennis courts are nothing more than asphalt with lines painted on it, your students are not getting the benefits of good shock absorption. Athletes notice a drastic difference between this system and typical, hard tennis courts. Adequate shock absorption also help reduce the chance for athlete injury, as does the surface’s ability to dry quickly after rainy weather making it playable and less slippery much faster than traditional surfaces.

Action Herculan TC is certified by the International Tennis Federation (ITF). It is quite easy to resurface old tennis courts with this option, which makes it a good choice for resurfacing old asphalt courts that are in disrepair. Action Herculan TC is also resistant to weather and UV damage, so it stays looking like new longer thanks to its structured polyurethane top-coating.

Wrestling and Cheer Areas

Whether the wrestling team and cheerleading squad are sharing a room or have their own areas, we recommend Action Herculan PE 14+2, which provides a cushioned underlayment and point elastic properties. This means the synthetic sports floor system provides shock absorption at the point of impact rather than over a wider area as with an area elastic floor.

“It’s synthetic flooring that provides great shock absorption and is very consistent, step to step,” Fenhaus says. “For wrestlers, it provides additional cushioning for off-the-mat falls. Coaches will appreciate the added protection and safety. The same goes for cheerleading and dance teams.”

This system is yet another hygienic choice that’s easy to maintain. Action Herculan PE 14+2 is EN 14904 and DIN 18032 Part 2 tested.

Fenhaus points out that if your high school teaches dance or requires a hardwood floor system for a show choir or other dance-related extra-curricular activities, we offer options such as Action Aero Studio that are ideal for those uses.

Plus, many of our synthetic floor products work well in other areas of the school, including classrooms and cafeterias. View our case study on Hurley High School for a real-world success story and download our free e-book for architects and facility owners to help guide decision-making around sports flooring.

Action Floors is ready to meet all your high school’s flooring needs. Do not hesitate to call us at 800-746-3512 or email, and we’ll happily answer all your questions and provide you with whatever information will help you make the right decision. We can also point you towards qualified flooring dealers in your region.

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