The new gym flooring is getting installed soon at Dedicated and I wanted to tell you a bit more about why we are excited over this, and why you should be too!
Gym flooring tiles are a dime a dozen. You've seen them all over the place. Rubber tiles that bend and look tacky, sometimes cut into jigsaw like pieces so they can interlock. These EPDM/SBR rubber tiles can vary in thickness but most places go with the smallest of 6mm to save cost. The positive is that they use EPDM/SBR (some use foam mats but lets not talk about those "gyms"), but they aren't exactly hard wearing. You've probably noticed gym flooring get roughed up over time, particles breaking away, holes appearing. If you want longevity, you need something that not only uses good source material, but manufactured to be "bomb proof" so to speak.
This is where the design of the tile comes into play. Not only that but the density of it too. The harder the density, the stiffer the rubber but its about finding that middle ground. After all if you make a tile too dense, you are limiting its shock absorption capabilities. So what do you do? You add in a "honeycomb" like design underneath called a fluted bottom. You'll see a few different designs, but finding the best one is where the research comes into play.
The new Dedicated flooring will come in 20mm and 40mm thickness, with the thicker of the two covering the majority of the gym, and a bevel transitioning between the two thicknesses so you don't trip over. They are shock absorbing, taking in 1200kg/m3, and sound absorbing, making it be more forgiving for when you drop a weight. This feature will also help look after your joints too. Something like an Olympic type lift can have high impact on your knees when you clean it, but the new tile design can help disperse the power that travels down your legs into the tile itself, rather than bounce it right back up your body. This can really minimise long term train and injury (provided you have good form).
The fluted bottom design allows the use of a 40mm thickness to be used, rather than the flat bottomed thicker tiles which don't really do much in comparison as the impact just stays in the tile to be dispersed back up to you, rather than the air pockets underneath allowing it to flow out so to speak.
The other benefit from these compared to tiles with a smooth backing is they are anti-slip, acting like grip. We've gone one further too, as our new gym tiles feature an interlocking socket that sits underneath the 4 corners of 4 different tiles, so when all the flouring is complete, every piece is locked into place by being locked against its adjacent tiles. They are dense, durable, 100% eco-friendly and fire resistant. and at the level we need now to take Dedicated to the future. Welcome to the elite.