Famous for its impressive versatility and durability, natural rubber is fast becoming the most preferred option for the flooring. Traditionally seen as an ideal fit for hospitals or gyms, rubber flooring is being used in several places like other Sports Floorings like Basketball Court, Badminton Court, Volleyball Court etc. These are suitable only for indoor. In fact, many interior designers are using rubber flooring in lobbies, living rooms, kitchens and even entrances.
In sports as well, natural rubber flooring finds myriads of applications. These include Martial arts, Badminton, Basketball, Volleyball, and Yoga amongst others. Natural Rubber is a sorted after material in this domain because of its durability and capability to soak in pressure. This ensures that players have a softer landing and, thus, lesser chances of injuries. Let’s get to know more about this miracle product.
There are two types of rubber mat floorings:
1. Natural Rubber Mats 2. Recycled Rubber Mats.
People generally use recycled rubber mats because these are more economical than a natural one without being aware of its negative effects. Recycled rubber mats have a very short lifespan as compare to the lifespan of natural rubber mats and these are highly toxic mats.
Natural rubber tiles come with shock absorption certification and 15mm passes the required parameters. The recycled mats do not have these advantages.
Advantages of natural rubber flooring in sports
Here’s the list of advantages that makes rubber flooring just unbeatable!
- Extreme durability and wear resistance
- Easy to install
- Easy to transport
- Low maintenance cost
- Has shock-absorbing ability
- Aesthetic and provide a uniform finish
- Free of PVC, halogens and phthalate plasticizers
- High compressive strength
- Low indentation behaviour
- Slip-resistant, even when wet
- Excellent impact absorbing properties
- Available in several colours
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Gym Rubber Flooring
Natural Rubber is hands down the best material for flooring material for application in gyms. Gymnasiums are home to heavyweights.
If this weight falls due to some reason on the ground, it may leave the tiles, or other flooring material cracked or even create structural damage to the floor.
However, natural rubber floorings have a high impact resistance (around 12 Nm for 8mm tiles). As a result, they can absorb the load effortlessly without causing damage to the structure beneath.
Gym flooring comes in interlocking natural rubber mats. Furthermore, tiles can be used as a standalone safety tool under heavyweight equipment.
- These mats are available in two thicknesses: 10mm and 15mm.
- One mat of 15m weights around 16kg.
- The minimum impact load resistance of the gym rubber flooring is 8 Nm, while the industry standard may range between 10-15 Nm.
- Impact sound improvement rating (dLw) should be approximately around 21 dB.
Yoga is known for combining physical, mental as well as spiritual disciplines to provide a complete fitness experience. And natural rubber floorings could be an excellent way of enhancing this experience. Rubber is one of the best materials to practice due to multiple reasons.
One, it provides excellent grip and is thoroughly anti-slip. Second, the rubber provides excellent structural strength while absorbing extra load at the same time. It is free of PVC, halogens and phthalate plasticizers, and, thus, non-toxic. Lastly, rubber is a decent thermal insulator, making it comfortable to use around the year.
Overview & Technical Specification
Yoga floorings are available as natural rubber mats. The choice depends upon the application. The standard specifications of mats are as follows:
Thickness: 10mm and 15mm
Length: 1meter x 1meter
Weight: 12-16 kg
Martial Arts Rubber Flooring
Martial arts involves a lot of falling down. In such a scenario, it is vital to have flooring which can absorb the impact without causing the player any harm.
Moreover, martial arts also demands excellent grip, as most sports like Taekwondo, Karate, Judo, and Aikido are played barefooted. Natural Rubber, thus, becomes the best flooring choice here.
Badminton Court Flooring
It is a natural rubber cushioned surface and can be used for multiple sports floorings that protect the floor and reduces sports injuries and fatigue.
Volleyball Court Flooring
Rubber surface is ideal for volleyball due to a number of reasons. It offers excellent skid resistance, anti-glare and impact resistance advantage to make the game more enjoyable and safe.
A standard volleyball court is 18 meters in length and 9 meters in width. It is possible to use either rubber tiles or rubber rolls here.i
What is PVC Flooring?
People often confuse between PVC and Rubber Flooring. However, there’s a significant difference between the two. PVC, or polyvinyl chloride, is an entirely artificial material made using injection moulds. You can make out a PVC flooring from its glossy surface. PVC rolls are used in indoors.
Why is Rubber Flooring in Sports the safest option?
As mentioned earlier, unlike PVC, Natural Rubber is an excellent Fire-retardant, meaning that it resists the spread of fire or at least reduce its intensity. Moreover, it gives out low smoke on being burnt, which is in-turn non-toxic in nature.
Apart from these, rubber is skid-resistant, antibacterial and emits no minimum pollutants in the air (unlike PVC). This makes it one of the safest flooring options available around.
Although Natural Rubber flooring is relatively costlier than its PVC counterpart, it lasts longer and has minimum maintenance costs. Given these benefits, natural rubber is hands down the best choice when it comes to flooring. It’s not that PVC is not a decent option. It’s only that it has limited applications.
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About Rebound Ace India
This expert article was brought to you by Rebound Ace India. Rebound Sports is an industry leader when it comes to Sports Training Equipment Manufacturing specialized in natural rubber flooring. Instituted under the “Make in India” initiative, it offers world-class sports products based on patented technologies and rigorous R&D. If its sports infra, its Rebound.