Foam Flooring

November 17, 2005
Foam flooring is used as sport mats and flooring, rubber and foam flooring in play areas, and even as anti-fatigue flooring in places like food service or shipping/receiving areas. Do you need a cushioned floor? Foam flooring is worth your attention.

If you’re an active family or have a business that demands a soft place to fall, then foam flooring may be a viable and safe option for you.


The invention of foam (as well as rubber) flooring began with the invention of polyurethane foam itself in the mid 1950s. This was created for insulation in walls and traditional flooring. And although it provided a slight cushioning effect, folks soon realized that they couldn’t use regular flooring when it came to more physical contact.
Foam flooring offers:

  • Cushioning and ease of fatigue
  • Durability
  • Easy to clean surface

But the drawbacks of rubber and foam flooring include:

  • Can fade in direct sunlight
  • Some manufacturers sell less effective choices

Foam sports mats and flooring are necessary when you’re practicing martial arts, gymnastics, or even just basic tumbling exercises. It’s a wonder that gymnastics ever survived with practices on concrete and wooden flooring. And since practice makes perfect, the durability of foam flooring helps to make sure that every tumble is free from unnecessary bruises and breaks.
The soft surface allows the body to be cushioned from the impact as well as a rough surface. The foam flooring is easy to clean — many martial art centers use a wet floor vacuum for an easy cleanup after a quick sweep. This keeps the foam free of bacteria and unwanted odors.
Foam flooring can be created to fit any size and need for physical activity. In many cases, you can even pick up large squares of foam flooring at your local hardware store to create your own tumbling area at home. These squares will interlock to create large and small areas, while also allowing you to put them away when you are finished.
Individual anti-fatigue foam flooring is an asset in areas of retail and food service. These mats take the pressure off the legs as well as the back after long hours of standing. If you’ve ever watched workers at coffee shops as they make the coffee drinks, you will see that they need to be upright for hours on end. These mats prevent their legs from becoming too tired and thus possibly falling.
The major drawback to foam flooring is that it has become such an important part of gyms and sports centers that some manufacturers are trying to lure customers in with lower prices. However, this is only because they are using less compact materials in the inner layers. This leads to injuries because the mat isn’t able to support and cushion the body anymore. Do your work when you investigate the possibilities for foam flooring. Quality should rule over price, especially if you have children involved.
Direct sunlight can cause the materials to fade, but if you’re really looking to stretch the life of your foam flooring, you can. Since a lot of the flooring is made to be moved, you can simply turn the piece or area over. Twice the life!
Foam sports mats and flooring are essential if you’re looking to create a home play area or a gym. Accidents do happen, but foam flooring helps to keep them from being a “pain”.

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