What makes sports flooring different?

Cleaning a Sports Floor

Sometimes players even get in on the floor-cleaning action.
Sometimes players even get in on the floor-cleaning action.
Mark Kolbe/­Getty Images

­Keeping a gymnasium floor clean is the most important factor in how long it will last. Dirt and dust are enemies of any hardwood. Dirt from the bottom of your shoe will act like a fine abrasive and wear away the flooring with every step you take. Ideally, a sports floor is cleaned on a daily basis. If you really want to protect and maintain your gym floor, it should be dry mopped between each activity. This will help to remove the dirt and dust. The daily cleaning should be done each evening with a wet mop. The wet mop will clean up all the fluids that can collect on a gym floor -- think sweat and Gatorade.

The wet cleaning should use warm water and a floor cleaner made specifically for cleaning sports flooring. These are water-based concentrates that clean the floor without leaving behind any residue. Wet cleaning the floor will keep the surface traction nice and tight. You don't want your star point guard slipping because of improper maintenance.

Maple is ideal not only for its strength and durability, but also because the grain of the wood is extremely tight. The fine fibers of maple help to keep it from splintering and also keep dirt and dust from finding a home "between the cracks." If the dirt is unable to firmly root in the grain, then it's easier to clean up, giving your sports floor and longer life span.

Related HowStuffWorks Articles


  • "Air Zone." Mondo. 2009. http://www.mondousa.com/mondousa_v02/index.cfm?action=airzone&impostalingua=en
  • "EcoSport™-- The Environmentally Friendly Flooring." Hammerhead Inc. 2009.http://www.hammerheadinc.com/WEcosport.htm
  • "Gymnasium Hardwood Flooring." Centaur Products Inc. 2009. http://www.centaurproducts.com/products/gymnasium_flooring_hardwood.asp
  • "Gymnasium Hardwood." Gym-con.com. 2009. http://www.gym-con.com/Content2.cfm?C=4399&SC=1&SCM=0&MI=3258&L1M=3253
  • "History of Basketball." Kansas Heritage. 2009. http://www.kansasheritage.org/people/naismith.html
  • "Maple Hardwood Flooring." The Flooring Lady. 2009. http://www.theflooringlady.com/maple_hardwood_flooring.html
  • "Proper Subfloors for Hardwood Flooring." Hardwoodinstaller.com. 2009.http://www.hardwoodinstaller.com/hardwoodinstaller/subfloors.htm
  • "Safe™ Sleeper Subfloor System." Horner. 2009. http://www.hornerflooring.com/systems/safesub.html
  • "Wood Flooring Species." County Floors. 2009. http://www.countyfloors.com/species_maple.html
  • "Written account of first game, other hoops artifacts sold." ESPN. Dec. 9, 2006.http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/news/story?id=2691961