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Linoleum Has Winning Advantages For Sports

Flooring can be vital in the performance of any indoor sports arena, says Peter Drew, key account team manager from Forbo Flooring Systems:

INSTALLING the correct type of flooring can have a huge impact on the safety and enjoyment of the sports people using a sports facility, as well as having long-term implications in terms of cleaning and maintenance.

A key factor to consider is the flexibility of the flooring and its shock absorption potential. The recommended floor type is classed as ‘area- elastic’, meaning that the pressure is distributed over a wide area, thus minimising the effect of impacts and reducing the risk of injury.

Only area-elastic floors are recognised by official sporting bodies such as Sport England and Sport Scotland.
Traditionally, indoor sports floors were constructed in timber or laminates but these can be expensive to install and maintain.

Specialist linoleum, for example has impressive sustainable benefits, which many councils, leisure centres and schools are increasingly seeking to incorporate into their projects. Linoleum is made predominantly from natural materials – for example, Forbo’s Marmoleum contains 97% natural raw materials, 70% of which are rapidly renewable (i.e. harvestable within 10 years), and a 40% recycled content.

In areas where Olympic specification standards are not needed, it’s worth considering a floorcovering that delivers high levels of sound reduction as well as comfort underfoot. Impact sound reduction of 17dB can be achieved with linoleum, perfect for gymnasiums full of noisy equipment.

Linoleum also creates a warm, comfortable floor, with excellent sound absorption potential – making it ideal for use in areas such as yoga studios.

When recommending flooring for sports areas, contractors should also give consideration to the floorcovering’s potential to contribute to a healthy indoor environment. For example, hardwood dust is a common cause of occupational asthma.

Given that traditional hardwood sports floors require sanding and resealing approximately every five years, resulting in substantial amounts of hardwood dust, the legal obligations under the Construction (Design and Management) Regulation 1994 and COSHH Regulation 2002 lean heavily towards designing out these health and safety risks from the beginning. Linoleum does not require resealing and therefore eliminates this issue.

This article has been reproduced from the Contract Flooring Journal website. You can find them at