Sales of fitness flooring are experiencing a slight uptick for many flooring manufacturers compared to the height of the recession in 2008-2010. Various trends and markets are playing a part in the increase as the move toward small group training, boot camps and functional training has led club operators to purchase new flooring to convert areas of their facilities for these uses.
“Where once you saw just an area for weights, one for cardio and one for group exercise, now you see that same space divided into many other things, such as functional fitness, mind-body and stretching stations,” says Steve Chase, general manager at Fitness Flooring, Indianapolis. “It’s not less space but rather that the space is divided into so many types of surfaces to better accommodate the various specialties.”
Bamboo and recycled rubber are common flooring choices for these functional fitness spaces, so these two types of flooring are selling well, Chase says.
To accommodate the move to functional training and areas for programs such as TRX, yoga and martial arts, sales for Dollamur Sports Surfaces, which mostly manufactures mats, are higher as well, says Chuck Jefferson, sales and marketing manager with Dollamur Sports Surfaces, Albuquerque, NM.
Kate Lowry, marketing services manager for ECORE International, Lancaster, PA, says her company has had its best year ever, which she mostly attributes to the company’s recycled rubber product selling well, but she says the trend toward personal training and boot camp-style classes also has spurred flooring sales as club operators make changes to accommodate space for these activities.
The growth in performance training centers has been a boost for Centaur Floor Systems, Santa Barbara, CA, says John Donati, owner of the company. These centers need varied and resilient flooring, which has kept Centaur’s sales consistent during the last three years. Recycled rubber flooring is the highest seller by volume for the company.
Chase says that the trend toward higher or consistent sales, which his company is experiencing, is surprising because club consolidations, closings and reductions in public funding for military, state and local recreation centers would point to significantly lower flooring sales.
“One would expect sales to diminish,” he says, “yet there are areas where club owners continue to expand or remodel their facilities and where public money is still available.”
International sales and new builds have been the leading reason for flooring purchases the last couple of years for DinoFlex Group, Salmon Arm, British Columbia. Although the company focuses on the international market for recycled rubber flooring, Karin Walmsley, international sales, says DinoFlex is seeing more purchasing from the commercial club industry, followed by universities.
“There has been a significant expansion of fitness facilities into other countries that have created great opportunities for partnerships,” Walmsley says.
Growth at higher education and wellness facilities also led to an increase in sales for the first six months of 2012 for Dur-A-Flex, East Hartford, CT, according to Dan Voss, Southwest regional sales manager for the company.
The same can be said for Regupol America, Lebanon, PA, where John Aten, vice president of sales and marketing, says the commercial clubs, university recreation centers and wellness centers have picked up their buying. Nonprofits continue to be the least active in purchasing, he adds.