Sanding Tips for Gym Floor Contractors

The Best Products and Equipment to Create Eye-Popping Gym Floors

When working with gym floors, contractors often have a lot of questions about how to sand their gym floor more efficiently. Some of the questions that we get are:

How do I choose the right grit sequence?

How do I pick the right gym floor finish?

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What are the right machines to use?

What is the best paint to use for the courtlines?

We hope to provide the answers to these questions and more in the following blog post.

What is the overall process of refinishing a gym floor?

One of the most important steps during gym floor refinishing process is to clean off any dirt or grime on the floor before you begin.

First, dry dust mop the floor. Then, vacuum thoroughly and tack with an untreated dust mop or slightly dampened terry towel. Afterwards, we recommend using the NaceCare TT1120 Autoscrubber to clean it as well as you can. Ensure that the floor is very dry before continuing with the finishing process.

Next, you can start applying the sealer and the finish.

After waiting the appropriate amount of time for the first coat of finish to dry, it is possible to start abrading and applying additional coats.

Finally, start applying the court line paint. After you give the first coat ample time to dry, abrade with 120-grit paper and then apply the final coat of court line paint.

How to choose the right grit sequence for a gym floor refinishing job

Gym Floor Abrasives

In the floor sanding process, floor contractors will generally begin with a lower grit and progress to a higher grit as the finish comes off. However, sometimes it is better when trying to sand a gym floor to use a higher grit sandpaper to sand the finish off than a lower grit.

While this is not always the case, a finer  grit will sometimes sand the finish off at a better pace than will a rougher grit sandpaper. A lot of times the rough grit paper will skip over some of the floor because it is not getting to the finish on a complete surface because of the size of the grains in the sandpaper.

It’s important to know the type of flooring you’re dealing with when figuring out your grit sequence – for example, a very old maple floor may need a more aggressive grit when sanding, such as 16-grit.

When in doubt, start with 36-grit paper in a testing area to see if you can get to completely bare, clean wood. If so, you might be able to follow a typical 36-60-80 grit sequence. If it’s not clean enough, go down to 24-grit and continue getting more aggressive until you are able to get to bare wood by the time you get up to 36-grit paper.

As for the type of sandpaper to use on a gym floor refinishing job, we recommend Norton Blaze, Blaze Plus, or Red Heat belts because they provide the aggression you need.

Click here  to read our blog post about how to choose the right grit sequence.

How to choose the right gym floor finish

Picking the best gym floor finish requires a bit of forethought and planning. The correct choice of finish will have a long-lasting impact on how the gym looks, and the amount of maintenance it will need.

Gym floors are meant to withstand excessive activity. From the daily damage that comes with activities, to exercise equipment moving across the surface, there is typically a lot going on––that’s what a gym floor is meant for.

Some of the gym floor finishes we recommend include Bona Super Sport, Basic Coatings StreetShoe NXT, and Bona Sport Poly.

How many coats of finish will you need? It depends on the type of finish you’re using. For example, water-based finishes like Bona Super Sport require two or three coats to achieve the protection you’ll need, whereas oil-based polyurethane finishes like Basic Coatings StreetShoe can potentially do with just two if you’re applying sealer in addition to finish. Make sure to abrade between each coat and allow the coat to dry enough before continuing, according to the finish manufacturer’s instructions.

What are the right machines to use when refinishing a gym floor?

If you are a gym contractor, we recommend investing in a CFS Gym Floor Rider to increase the amount of square footage that you can refinish during each job. The investment will pay for itself over time and ensure your customers get satisfactory results.

We also recommend having enough buffers, nailers, and edgers for all of the employees you have working on site, so that you can keep things moving along smoothly.

What is the best paint to use for gym floor court lines?

Gym Line Tape Machine

We recommend Bona CourtLines paint. Available in fifteen vibrant primary colors, all CourtLines paints are blendable to achieve an endless array of custom colors. With a quick drying time of 1 to 2 hours, this easy-to-use paint is perfect for painting lines not just in gyms, but also in tennis courts, racquetball and squash courts, as well as bowling lanes.

If you have any other questions about refinishing a gym floor, please feel free to contact our team of wood floor professionals at (800) 737-1786. We would love the opportunity to chat with you and provide more information on this topic.

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