November 6, 2019 • Athletic AdministrationBasketballVolleyball

Superior Performance: selecting the best flooring for your sports facility

{Sponsored} Since 1897, members of the Maple Flooring Manufacturers Association (MFMA) have been dedicated to producing some of the highest quality sports flooring systems throughout the world. And when it comes to deciding on your athletic facility’s next flooring system, MFMA’s Performance & Uniformity Rating, or PUR Standards, can help make sure you’re selecting the perfect floor for your facility.

Daniel Heney, MFMA executive director, said when selecting a new flooring system, it’s important to understand some of the specifics that often get overlooked throughout the process. “We want (athletic directors) to be aware that the floor system they’re putting in their facility is going to be something that’s going to be there longer than they will be,” Heney said. “It’s important to select proper flooring for your facilities based on the specific activities you anticipate being done on the floor.”


Before actually deciding on the flooring system itself, athletic directors are first tasked with deciding on the aesthetic of the flooring. This can include many different elements such as whether they want a light floor or a floor with more character, how to incorporate stains and paints, and where logos will be placed throughout.

After deciding upon the look for the flooring system, it’s time to get down to the specifics of the subflooring in terms of performance of the floor itself.

“How high-performance does (the floor system) need to be? Is it going to be highschool athletes or grade school athletes? That’s going to affect the level of performance you put in a facility,” Heney said. “If you’ve got a mix from young to old, you’re going to be better off with higher-performance system than you are with a standard-performance system.”

PUR Standards are a set of parameters that focus on the five key elements that create an optimal flooring system: shock absorption, vertical deflection, area of deflection, ball bounce and surface friction.

“Different activities that can be done on a floor — aerobics, dance, volleyball, squash courts, racquetball courts — those all have different levels of performance associated with them,” Heney said. “That’s not to say that just because a floor is going to be predominantly used for volleyball that it can’t be used for basketball — it just may not be as high-end (for) basketball.”


Following installation, proper cleaning and maintenance routines are vital in making sure the investment in your flooring system remains intact. In general, flooring systems tend to adapt to their environments, and without proper care, can see extensive expansion and contraction that can permanently damage the floor and subfloor.

“Some of the biggest mistakes I see people make is that they think that when you put a wood floor in, you put it in and then forget about it,” Heney said. “(A flooring system) is like a living thing — it responds to the environment it’s put into. When you ignore it and don’t pay attention to the environment, that’s when you see expansion and contraction of the floor system beyond what we consider to be normal.”

Proper environmental control of the facility and maintenance techniques, such as refraining from using power scrubbers, can help improve the lifespan of your flooring system and help prevent various issues such as splintering, graying of the edges of boards, cupping or buckling, peeling finish and chipped paint.


MFMA is dedicated to providing accurate information and being an authoritative source of information on everything maple sports floors and related sports flooring systems.

“There is a lot of different performance standards out there,” Heney said. “One thing that separates PUR is the uniformity — making sure you get a consistent performing floor throughout. As long as the floor carries the PUR compliant logo, that indicates the floor has passed all the tests.”

For more information on how to determine the best flooring system for your facility or to find a supplier or contractor for your new flooring, visit

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