March 10, 2023

Flooring and Sports: How Hardwood Flooring Affects Athletic Performance

Stylish yoga class interior with mat and fitball with dumbbells, hardwood floor. Sport room with equipment and panoramic window on tropics.

Hardwood floors have become a significant part of many sports locations for decades. From game courts to fitness rooms, hardwood floorings are the go-to surfaces for many sports areas. In addition, many studies linked them with athletic performance. Recent interior design trends focus on sustainable, biophilic home additions like hardwood flooring and room add-ons centered on fitness and relaxation, like home gyms. But why are wooden floors significant to athletic performance, and how can they affect the room users?

The Significance of Hardwood Flooring in Sports and Workouts

Contrary to popular belief, the courts, rooms, and arenas affect an athlete’s performance and capabilities during matches and practices. Due to that, facility managers have established criteria to guide their decisions on sports flooring.

The factors each manager considers when installing sports floors depend on which events will use the space and the intensity of each fitness activity. In addition, there are other general considerations to ensure it fits the standards of different sports associations.

Some criteria for sports floorings are installation, maintenance, and longevity. In addition, they also focus on the durability, resilience, and flexibility of the materials to help enhance a person’s athletic performance.

Due to the general criteria of sports floors, hardwood floorings are the best option for many fitness rooms, gyms, and sports facilities. Several hardwood species, especially those with high Janka hardness scale ratings, fit the criteria for sports floorings, like maple, oak, and cherry.

Hardwood floors are durable, long-lasting, pleasing to the eye, and low maintenance. In addition, they’re flexible and adaptable, especially solid hardwood planks, because of their numerous refinishing options. But more than that, they can handle the wear and tear of each physical activity or sport without affecting the athlete’s performance.

Shock Absorption

Besides durability, hardwood floors offer maximum shock absorption, a crucial element in boosting athletic performance. Shock resistance or force reduction measures the floor’s response to forceful impact. Hardwood flooring in gyms and sports facilities makes the area more resistant, unlike other flooring options such as concrete which sustains more damage with wear and tear.

Hardwood sports floorings, like maple and oak, have excellent shock absorption properties. This quality makes them an ideal material for various arenas, courts, or facilities. Maple hardwood floors work best for basketball and volleyball courts, including dance and aerobic training facilities. These floors stay resilient despite the daily heavy wear and tear they experience.

Many sports require hardwood floors having high shock absorption levels to ensure comfortable athlete playability. One good example is during basketball drills and matches. Players who practice and compete on courts with poor shock resistance are prone to experience more soreness in their knees and ankles. These events happen because their muscles work harder to keep their balance and resist immediate force changes while playing or exercising.

There’s little evidence proving lower injury cases when owning hardwood sports floors. But some studies show floorings with high shock absorption levels, like hardwood planks, help prevent fatigue in players. In addition, the hardwood flooring protects the athlete’s lower-extremity joint movements because moving through the space is easier.

Surface Friction

A good amount of surface friction is crucial in sports or fitness activities requiring athletes or players to slide on the court or area. Floorings without sufficient surface friction can lead to unwanted slips from people across the gym that could cause multiple injuries, ranging from minor to severe ones. In contrast, excessive friction poses a problem to the user’s athletic performance.

Hardwood floors have an ideal surface friction level while durable and shock absorbent. In addition, different finishes can also affect the levels of surface friction that the arena or court sustains. Facility managers often check for this quality on dry, polished hardwood floors as their results are more consistent and accurate. For a hardwood sports floor to remain non-hazardous, the coefficient of friction on the planks used should meet industry standards.

Area Deflection

Area deflection refers to the measurement of energy dispersed across the hardwood flooring. When the flooring meets with an athlete’s impact, the area deflection calculates the space’s capability to contain the deflected parts. Unlike other criteria, this factor is highly dependent on the preferences of coaches and players.

With area deflection, the floors need to have uniformity to working well. It ensures consistency during an athletic game or match and ensures that there are no hindrances to the athlete’s performance. Hardwood floors present uniformity because each plank has similar measurements, and the installation requires specific spaces within floorboards.

Unlike other flooring options, laying out hardwood planks take precision, and homeowners can immediately feel the effects when the gaps are too big or when the floorboard placements are wrong. Due to this, hardwood floors in sports facilities are preferred by many managers because they’re uniform. Their smooth flow and transition within the space allow them stability and prevent any sudden movement changes that consume more energy or fatigue. 

Sports and Hardwood Flooring Services in Austin, TX

Hardwood floors are essential in many sports facilities and fitness rooms. Unlike other flooring options, hardwood floorings possess the qualities required to have industry-standard courts, arenas, and gyms. Besides their durability, longevity, and low need for maintenance, hardwood flooring stabilizes and boosts an athlete or player’s performance. In addition, they prevent injuries and protect the body from exerting too much effort.

Do you need hardwood floors for your home gyms? Check Kelly Hardwood Floors today!