Subfloor Prep: Pay Attention to What’s Underneath

Concrete Subfloor

Think of today’s top-tier professional athletes–people like LeBron James, Tom Brady, or Mike Trout. How did they become the superstars of their respective sports? Of course they were born with rare athletic talent, but we sometimes forget the arduous and difficult practice they endured to elevate their talents to the level of greatness.

It may sound strange, but you can think of sports flooring in a similar way. Gym floors like Padenpor or Tarkett’s Omnisports leave the factory with superior “talents” like shock absorption, versatility, and uniformity. But just like a talented athlete, those qualities can only shine when the hidden work that supports them is done properly.

The rule of successful gym flooring is this: a floor is only as good as the concrete underneath. Debris can telegraph to the surface, moisture can cause bacteria, or vapor pressure can cause a failure. If you discover the concrete is flawed after the floor is installed, it’s too late. Here are some ways you can give your superstar flooring the support it needs to perform.

  • Test for relative humidity in the slab. If hygroscopic pressure is high, the installation can fail.
  • Consider using a vapor barrier. Vapor barriers can improve floor performance on concrete with high humidity.
  • Clean the slab thoroughly. Organic debris in particular can lead to bacteria and mold. Clean concrete can help prevent issues.
  • Fix uneven concrete before installation. If the slab is excessively uneven, grinding or a self-leveling compound might be necessary to smooth it out.
  • Don’t be afraid to call for help. Abacus Sports is here to help you. Contact us or give us a call and take advantage of our experience and expertise.