Refinishing gym floors is a very labor and time intensive process. I wanted to understand the effects of use on gym floor finish and how the damage to the surface caused the floor to lose it’s shine. I had an opportunity to take a closer look at a floor using a microscope at 400x magnification. I was surprised at what I saw.
Here is a picture of a hardwood gym floor after several years of use without refinishing. There are many things going on here.
Why Gym Floor Finish Doesn’t Shine
I knew that scratches on the floors surface disrupted the light reflection but was surprised by the amount of damage. Micro-scratches have completely destroyed the coating. So much so that there is not any smooth surface left to reflect light.
The gym floor finish is pealing. This is where the top coats of finish are actually separating from the lower coats, causing air and dirt to get in between.
The edge of the pealing area has also trapped dirt which grinds away at the lose finish. The deposits are from surface soils not being removed on a regular basis and sticky chemical residues.
There is also quite a bit of dirt that has been trapped in previous coats of finish. I have always known that preparing the floor for refinishing was important, but being able to see the results of poor preparation made it obvious how important it really is!
Why The Gym Floor Doesn’t Shine
Floors shine from the reflection of light. When light hits the surface of the gym floor, it bounces back to your eye. When a floor is scratched and or damaged. That light does not reflect. Smooth floors equal shinny floors.
Because the actual wood of the gym floor is very difficult to recognize, it was no wonder why there was little shine. These layers of dirt and scratched finish have blocked the view of the floor.
Keeping Gym Floor Finish Clean
Keeping gym floors clean may seem like a never ending task, but as you can see, it can really make a difference. To learn more about keeping gym floor clean, take a look at 5 Tips for Cleaning Hardwood Gym Floors.