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Why do people think a gym floor finish is the toughest floor protectant?

by Canadian Sanders

Why do people think a gym floor finish is the toughest floor protectant?

It’s not uncommon for wood floor owners to reach out to a flooring professional amid a flooring crisis, looking for a solution that will not only fix their current problem but also prevent future issues. This is understandable, as flooring can be a significant investment, and customers want to ensure that their floors remain in top condition for as long as possible.

Interestingly, some people insist on using a gym floor finish. This could be due to a belief that gym floor finishes have unique properties that make them tougher than other commercial wood floor finishes.

people inside a basketball gym

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It is commonly believed that gym floors are the most durable and resistant to wear and tear. However, this is just a myth. Quality residential finishes have a similar level of resistance to wear, and with proper maintenance, they can last just as long. In fact, gym floors are often better maintained than most wood floors in residential and commercial properties. Schools, for instance, have full-time janitors who keep the courts clean and free from grit and debris. Moreover, people who use gym courts wear soft and clean shoes that are not worn outside and are unlikely to scratch or wear the floors. The level of abrasion on a floor can vary depending on the type of shoe worn and the cleanliness of the floor. A clean, soft shoe on a clean floor is usually not very abrasive, while a high-heeled shoe on a dirty floor can damage the finish. In fact, the abrasive effect of a high-heeled shoe on a dirty floor can be similar to that of a sander, which can drastically reduce the lifespan of the finish.

Indeed, schools are generally more disciplined regarding maintaining their gym floors and keeping them looking great. One of the ways they do this is by recoating the floors every year, typically during summer or winter break. This process helps to keep the floors in good condition without the need for full sanding, painting, and finishing every three years. Because most people overlook the recoating process, they may assume the floor has a unique finish that can’t be ruined.

In reality, the longevity of the gym floor is mainly due to the regular maintenance and care it receives, including the annual recoating process. Most sports floors are coated with a glossy finish, which is grippier and safer for people using the court. These finishes also resist marks, scuffing, and other damage, which helps to keep the floor looking great over time.


Regular maintenance is critical to keeping your wood floor looking great over time. If you treat your floor like a school and add protection more often, you can help prevent wear and keep your floor looking beautiful for years. Waiting too long between maintenance cycles can result in significant wear and may require full sanding and refinishing to restore the floor to its original condition.

Recoating your floor with a commercial finish every so often helps prevent wear and tear. Quality wood finishes come in all sheens and can be more durable than what is used on a gym floor. Maintaining your wood floors with proper recoats can be more important than using the most durable finish you can buy.

At Canadian Sanders, we understand the importance of regular maintenance for gym floors and other high-traffic areas. Our wood floor products and services are designed to help you keep your floors in top condition, whether you’re a school, sports facility, or other commercial or residential space. With the proper care and attention, your floors can look great and last for years.

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