Gym Floor Finishing
Gym Floor Finishing Coatings
The traditional aesthetic of gym floors that look golden has changed. Some still take the time-honored approach of treating bare sanded wood with oil-based sealer (often in two coats), followed by game lines and other court paint, and finally two coats of oil-modified polyurethane finish. That’s the classic gym floor finishing, solvent-based coating and has been the common method for the past 25 to 30 years.
Gym Floor Finishing Products
Gym floor finishing products have changed over the years, In California more stringent limitations on the levels of volatile organic compounds allowed in wood floor sealers, stains and finishes. Manufacturers have refinined their formulations to offer more environmentally friendly water-based coatings, giving buyers of gym floor coatings more options than ever. California was the first state to further restrict VOC levels, reducing the grams-per-liter allowance for finishes to 350 statewide and to 275 in Southern California. Member states of the Ozone Transport Commission — an organization created under the Clean Air Act that is made up of states from the Northeast and Midwest — have since followed suit.
For manufacturers of traditional gym floor finishing oil-modified polyurethane — which is commonly referred to as OMU, poly or, more generically, oil-based — the stricter regulations have required increased research and development. The restrictions also have created new openings in the marketplace for more environmentally friendly water-based finishes. On the whole, water-based finishes cure faster than oil-based and are equally if not more durable. The kicker: They are more expensive.
Cost, however, may not be a clear indicator of the quality of a finish. Floor contractors and facility operators alike have their own opinions about what gym floor finishing application performs best. As for aesthetics, oil-based and water-based each have their advantages, with oil-based tending to yellow with time to create the “golden hue” favored in the Hoosier State, and water-based essentially going on clear.
Most wood flooring experts recommend refinishing gym floors at least once a year, depending on the amount and types of usage. While the process works just as well for water-based refinishes, oil-based finishes demand the traditional screen-and-recoat method. The floor is thoroughly cleaned, and discs made of fiberglass screens are affixed to the bottom of an automatic floor polisher or buffer used to abrade the surface, preparing it for the adhesion of a new coat.
For a quote or advice on Gym Floor Finishing please call Coastal Sports Flooring at 818.850.0695