The Ultimate Guide to Gym Floor Covers

Maybe your facility has a beautiful gym floor that you’d hate to see damaged, or perhaps you would like to use your gym as a multipurpose event space for graduations or weddings. Whatever your reason, if you have questions about gym floor covers, this article has your answers:

What is a Gym Floor Cover?

Gym floor cover deployed in the University of Tennessee Gym

Why Do I Need a Gym Floor Cover?

Gym Floor Cleanliness

Time and Cost of Gym Floor Maintenance

The average cost of sanding and refinishing (including materials, labor, and painting) is $3.00 per square foot. So, for a 5,000 square foot gymnasium, this adds up to $15,000. Then there is the time during which the floor cannot be used; the entire process usually takes 3 to 4 weeks.

Then there is another issue: the Maple Flooring Manufacturers Association (MFMA) says that even the thickest grade of maple flooring can only withstand up to ten sandings. Keeping your gym floor in good condition will reduce maintenance and increase its lifespan.

And to complicate matters further, maple flooring can be damaged when cleaning and polishing are done incorrectly or the wrong chemicals are used. For example, harsh chemical cleaners, automatic floor scrubbers, and the overuse of water can quickly wreck even the highest-quality gym floor. That’s why it is considered wise to limit the maintenance and cleaning that needs to be performed. Gym floor covers will reduce the time needed to maintain the floors, limit the cleaning that has to be performed, and extend the useful life of your gym floors.

Multipurpose Event Spaces

By adding gym floor covers, your gym can become a source of income. In addition to school sponsored activities (such as dances or graduations) or weddings, gymnasiums can be rented out as polling places in some states, serve as a meeting place for civic groups and fundraisers, or serve as a venue for trade shows, church conferences, or political rallies.

And not only do the gym floor covers protect your floors, but they also enhance appearance, improve acoustics, and enhance safety. Your gym floor can be transformed by hiding the markings related to athletics. Or you can add colors and graphics to demonstrate team spirit, aid in advertising, and give a visual shout out to your sponsors.


A good Gym Floor Cover can stand up to heavy use

Do I Need New, Used, or Rented?

What Are the Different Types of Gym Floor Covers?

Vinyl Roll Systems

The rolls are made from an ultra-durable 3 ply fabric design that is PVC coated on both sides and has a tough polyester mesh in the middle. These gym floor covers are waterproof, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and rot and mildew resistant as well as fire-retardant to all standard fire codes (NFPA 701, CA Fire Marshal and UL 300). As mentioned, they are constructed in 10′ wide sections for easy handling and with heavy-duty seams made to lay flat and smooth. They come in 18, 22, 27, and 32 oz weights and are available in 15 different colors.

In addition to plain vinyl fabric, premium fabrics with a raised texture are available. These tarps have patterns that are highly slip-resistant and are available in 32 and 27 oz weights. They are produced in tan or dark gray, and come in 10’ sections.

Pre-cut Rolls

Floor covers come in plenty of colors to match any school or university facility

Gym Floor Tiles

Gym floor tiles are available in either carpet or vinyl and can be obtained various colors to enhance the aesthetics of your facility. Carpet tiles in particular are sometimes used because they can remove some of the echo in gymnasiums when they are used for school orchestra and band concerts.

Measuring Your Gymnasium Before You Order a Gym Floor Cover

Planning to extend the cover all the way to the wall is not recommended, as this makes installation and removal quite difficult. Instead, if 100% coverage is required, use of a runner down the width of the floor is advised. For more information and detail on how to measure a gym for your cover, take a look at this video that goes over the whole process.

What Should I Consider When Purchasing a Gym Floor Cover?

If you are thinking about investing in a gym floor, there are some key points to consider. The first is what types of functions you expect to host in your gym. If you plan to use your gym for concerts, speeches, lectures, or concerts, then carpet tiles would likely be your best bet because they can enhance the acoustics of the space. They also look more professional than vinyl covers, which might be better adapted to events such as banquets, weddings, or conventions.

You should also consider how often the gym will be used or made available for other activities (how many times per week, month, or year) and how much foot traffic you would expect. This is especially important with vinyl covers, as the heavier the fabric, the better it stands up to wear:

  • 18 oz. — 1–6 uses per year
  • 22 oz. — 7–12 uses per year
  • 27 oz. — 13–24 uses per year
  • 32 oz. — 24+ uses per year

Something else to give thought to is how much staff you have available to handle the installation and removal of the floor coverings. Carpet tiles, for example, can be put down more quickly when more people are available to help. Most roll systems, on the other hand, only need two people, but these heavier products take longer to put down.

Finally, consider how many rolls of floor cover you will need in order to figure out which size storage rack will work for you. Racks come in 6, 8, or 10 roll configurations.

What Does New Gym Floor Cover Cost?

Lightweight vinyl covers can cost as low as 70 cents per square foot, though typically they are somewhat higher. On the top end of vinyl, super-heavy-duty covers typically run between $1.10 and $1.25 per square foot. These thicker covers will stand up to a great deal more abuse, so the cost per use will end up being significantly lower than that of a lightweight cover.

Tiled floor cover systems tend to be higher cost per square foot, generally running somewhere between $2 and $3. Keep in mind, though, that for a vinyl system you will also need a storage system that can cost a couple thousand dollars, while for tiles you only need a flat cart.

How is a Gym Floor Cover Installed?

Storage racks for vinyl gym floor covers are built to make installation easy

How do I Store a Gym Floor Cover?

There are also storage rack covers that can further guard your gym cover from damage during storage, protecting it from dust, spills, tears, and cuts. And the addition of a power winder can make the entire process of rolling/unrolling the gym covers much easier (keep in mind that they are heavy and can be hard to handle even with a hand-cranked storage rack).

How Do I Maintain a Gym Floor Cover?

When you are not using the gym floor covers, they need to be rolled on the storage racks to keep them from creasing. This also keeps them from being exposed to unnecessary foot traffic and accidental damage. As mentioned earlier, the cover prevents damage to the rack and the floor covers and keeps the floor covers protected from leaks, spills, and dust.

A neutral color can work well for formal events

Is a Gymnasium Floor Cover Right for You?

If you are interested in getting a quote for a gym floor, contact the experts at a gym floor cover manufacturer like CoverSports today. We have over 145 years’ experience in providing protective covers for athletic facilities all over the United States. Our quality fabrics, competitive pricing, and outstanding customer service has enabled us to be an industry leader trusted by both professional and college teams, coaches, athletic directors, and facility managers. We look forward to helping you find the perfect solution to your gym floor cover needs!