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Life Cycle of Athletic Maple Flooring

Updated: Feb 20, 2023

Many items contribute to the life cycle of all products, good and bad, a maple gym floor is no different. Contributors that shorten a floors life cycle include, water infiltration or structural damage, use of automatic scrubbers, excessive loading, poor daily and annual maintenance, as well as the subfloor system type selected. What is the expected life cycle of 25/32” thick maple flooring if all the possible pitfalls are avoided? Unfortunately, there are additional factors that shorten the flooring life cycle; the number of available sandings of the floor depends on the people sanding the floor, a skilled sanding craftsman will remove the minimal amount of flooring surface necessary for the flooring to look rejuvenated, someone not possessing the equivalent skill and knowledge could shorten the floor systems life. Generally, athletic floor systems that feature continuous subfloor support of the maple flooring provided better lifecycles vs. subfloor systems such as simple sleeper systems. The only true way to tell would be to take a board out of the floor prior to sanding, measure the thickness, replace the board in the floor sand the floor, and remove the board gain and measure the thickness loss once the sanding operation is completed. In canvassing experienced athletic floor system contractors, the more frequently a floor is completely sanded (within reason) the less surface life or thickness will be removed during the sanding process. The process can be less aggressive since there is finish layer build-up. A floor that has not been sanded for an extended period of time (plus 15 years) will have more surface removed while trying to aggressively sand-thru the thick finish layers that have built-up. The overall consensus, there are up to six sands available in a 25/32” thick maple floor, if the floor is sanded at reasonable frequency and is maintained and sanded by a knowledgeable skilled flooring contractor and does not suffer any environmental or abuse damage. The general average of 8 to 12 years for owners having their floors sanded results in a typical average life span in excess of 75 years. Disclaimer: The MFMA provides general information to architects, specifiers and consumers. The MFMA, its members, officers and agents disclaim any responsibility whatsoever for the accuracy or applicability of these guidelines under all circumstances and conditions.


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