Floor Care

Table of Contents

Floor Care
Caring for Your Maple Floor
Routine Maintenance
The Gym Floor Dust Mop
Floor Stains, Gum, and Shoe Marks
Daily Maintenance
Monthly Maintenance
Annually Maintenance

Approved Maintenance Products
General Care
Excessive Tightening
Excessive Cracks
Keep Water Off The Floor Surface
Prevent Exposure To Moisture
Expansion Joints
Anchoring Bleachers




This page is dedicated to our hard-working custodians.

Custodians can download a scheduled maintenance PDF here. <gymfloorcar.pdf>

You just spent a major portion of your yearly budget to design, sand, and refinish your gym floor.  Please protect your investment by following these recommendations:


It is your responsibility to care for and maintain your new maple sports floor.
It is of critical importance that you take necessary measures to assure the proper care and preservation of your floors. Maintaining proper conditions within your building
after the refinishing project is completed, is essential to assure a trouble-free life for your floor.


Establishing a maintenance routine first takes initiative to start, and resolve to keep going. The best way to set up a routine to accomplish this monumental task of keeping your gym floor clean is to just remember…

Work at it a little at a time.

Sweep the floor as often as possible. Dirt, sand, and grit act like sand paper under the students shoes. As often as you possibly can, sweep the floor. After every class, if you have the staff to do it. Sweeping or dust mopping is the single most important aspect of gym floor maintenance.


If the dust mop is the most important tool in the gym floor care "bag of tricks" then it stands to reason that keeping your dust mop in great condition is a top priority. Make sure to launder the cloth portion 2-3 times a week! Keep your dust mop off of the floor hanging on a hook in a back hall or in a back corner, out of the way, but handy for all your gym users to use. Encourage everyone who uses the gym to dust mop the floor after they use it. This includes the Physical Education teachers, the coaches, Community users, the band, the Choir, and so on. Suggest a rule that states: if you use the gym, then it is your responsibility to dust mop the floor afterwards.


Floor stains can be avoided by wiping spillage from the surface immediately. Staining occurs when spills are absorbed into the finish. Gum can be removed by using a gum-off aerosol spray (available with most custodial suppliers) and/or by scraping it off with a plastic putty knife. Stubborn stains can be removed with a pH neutral floor cleaner.

The tennis ball on a stick may be the oldest trick in the in the gym floor book, but it works, so that is why it is still around. Cut a small hole in a tennis ball, insert a broom handle and you are set to become a floor mark removing machine. Just walk around your gym floor and scrub out the shoe marks! It's not real glamorous, but it WORKS!


Daily sweeping with a properly treated dust mop will keep the floor surface free from dust, grit and abrasive particles. Keep all walk off mats clean of dirt and grit by using the vacuum every day.


Remove foreign debris and clean entire floor with an approved pH neutral floor cleaner. Use PH Neutral cleaner, in the mop bucket, wring out the mop to get as much of the water out as possible. Mop the entire floor walking backwards, pay special attention to the key areas, and areas under the bleachers.


Western Sport Floors, LLC recommends that your maple floor be "screened" and re-coated with a new coat of finish at least once a year.  Properly abrade and tack-clean the floor as recommended by the finish manufacturer prior to applying finish. Most gyms are recoated every year. These Maintenance coats add layers of finish to the floor; which provides additional protection to your floor, and covers most of the scratches and blemishes.


Contact us to determine the brand and type of finish used on your floor. You should contact the finish manufacturer for detailed maintenance products and procedures. When oil based finishes are used, a spot cleaning with 100% virgin mineral spirits may be performed for hard to remove dirt and stains. Recycled mineral spirits can contain any number of contaminates, based on where they may have been used. When mineral spirits are recycled it is impossible to remove all foreign materials in the liquid. When using 100% virgin mineral spirits you should allow it to "flash off" a minimum of one hour, no less, depending on conditions (humidity). "Flash off" is a term used to describe the process of the dissipation or disappearance of the mineral spirits. The other option is a pH neutral floor cleaner. It is important to make sure that your floor cleaner is pH neutral because if it is not pH neutral it will cause cleaning and adhesion issues in the future for your gym floor.


Temperature, Humidity and Ventilation
Be sure that your HVAC system is operating to provide a temperature range of 55-80 degrees and 35-55% relative humidity.  Ventilation equipment should be available for year-round use.  Humidity and Ventilation are critical considerations for your new wood floor.  35-55% relative humidity is normally required for long trouble-free floor life.  

If humidity rises to over 55%, promptly begin circulating air by opening interior doors and windows and by activating the ventilating system.  However do not draw warm, moist air in from outdoors, as excessive humidity will cause wood to expand.  Summer months are especially critical.  Inspect your wood floors regularly.  If necessary, turn on the heating system.  

If less than 35% humidity level persists, use humidification to prevent excessive dryness and possible wood shrinkage.  Maple flooring, being a solid wood product, is hygroscopic material.  It will expand and contract as it absorbs and releases moisture.  It will change dimensionally until it reaches equilibrium with the surrounding environment.  This is an uncontrollable, yet natural characteristic of solid wood flooring.  Excessive expansion and shrinkage issues that may result due to environmental conditions are not the responsibility of the manufacturer or the installer, and are not covered under warranty.


When excessive tightening of the floor becomes noticeable through cupping of individual boards across the floor, reduce the wood moisture content. Lowering relative humidity and providing airflow can assist this. One possible solution to excessive cupping is to increase airflow into the expansion joints around the floor. If the cupping persists, cease all use of water on the floor including the use of auto-scrubbers, wet mops and anything else that brings moisture into the area.


When unusually wide cracks begin to appear, increase the relative humidity in the room. This will bring expansion to the individual sticks of wood as they fill with moisture.


Avoid exposure to water from tracking during periods of inclement weather by the use of walk off mats at all entrances. Windows and doors should be closed during rainy weather. All leaks must be corrected immediately. Machine scrubbing or power machines that induce water under pressure should not be used. This is a critical point since industry warranties exclude damage due to moisture.


Any evidence of dampness within your building should be called to the attention of your architects and engineers. Interior drains and down spouts should be properly insulated to prevent the development of excessive condensation moisture. Exterior drains and downspouts should be kept clear and flow away from the building. All exterior doors should have watertight thresholds.


Expansion joints are located around the perimeter of every large surface wood floor. They allow the individual sticks of wood to expand and contract without buckling in the playing area of the floor. Expansion joints around the perimeter of your floor, at columns, or inserts, should never be blocked or obstructed. This will ensure that the floor can move as it absorbs and releases moisture from and into the air.


No fixtures, equipment or bleachers should be lagged through wood floors into concrete without first cutting wood away from lag bases and making provisions for expansion in the floor system. Depending on the specifications for your floor system, cuts should be made to ensure that there is adequate room for expansion. If no specifications are available a general rule is no less than three inches in diameter around lags and at least an inch and a half from any other obstruction. The rule is arbitrary in this case and, therefore, not universal to every flooring system. If there are any questions they should be directed to your flooring professional.