On Monday, September 5, our very lengthy basement renovation was nearing a conclusion. One of the remaining items left was the rubber floor for our exercise room.Every aspect of our basement project had been researched in detail with the exception of this floor.Our contractor brought a large sample of what was needed to meet the depth requirements created by a bordering stone floor. However, both the appearance of the sample and the fact that the rubber was about as hard as tire rubber, led us to conclude we wanted something a lot different. It was apparent that we needed to find an expert on these surfaces and so I went online. The good news was I quickly learned that home, apartment and condo complex, and school and college rubber gym floor demand has morphed rubber floors into a burgeoning industry. The bad news was there so much to learn in order to be able to ask a vendor good questions, I felt very overwhelmed.I made a number of calls to companies I found online and received almost as many call backs. I quickly learned that a big problem with many local vendors was going to be the time required to receive the material we needed for our project. Almost all rubber floors are manufactured either near Philadelphia or in Germany. Most orders are shipped from these locations, which meant delays of four to six weeks before the selected material arrived. Because of our lack of knowledge, we could have been dealing with a very painful delay in completing our basement project.
One of the callbacks we received was from Allison Coleman of Rubber Floors and More. During our conversation, Allison quickly transitioned to listening well and asking excellent questions. When she began to understand our objectives, she introduced a possible two layered solution to our discussion. Because I had absolutely no experience with rubber floors, her suggestion was beyond my ability to grasp. However, because we desired to be done soon with our renovation, I was intrigued to learn that Rubber Floors and More had both materials needed for this approach in stock at their Dahlonega warehouse.
Allison mentioned that her company was going to be at a major home show over the coming weekend at the Cobb Galleria. We arranged to meet with Allison and the owner of Rubber Floors and More, Alan Quinn, on Saturday, September 10. Allison promised to show us samples of a number of products, a promise she more than fulfilled.
The two layered solution wound up impressing my wife, who is a very detailed building expert. Two relatively thin layers of rubber results in just the right amount of give for an exercise and weight room. The bottom layer comes in four feet wide rolls and is topped by a layer of interlocking (like a jig saw puzzle) nearly two feet by two feet tiles. This approach results in a completely seamless appearance, which was one of our major objectives. We placed an order for the materials on Monday, September 12. The rubber floor materials were delivered to our home on Wednesday, September 14. In order to have the surface of the rubber floor be at the same height as the bordering stone floor, we had to have our contractor add concrete in our gym room, which had to cure for 48 hours. This concrete was skillfully added by our meticulous contractor on Monday and Tuesday and was cured by Thursday September 15.
On Friday, September 16th, the incredibly skilled independent contractor installer, Michael Lathrop, and his capable assistant, placed the two rubber layers in our gym in less than two hours. I had been worried before they arrived about problems with men working around already finished wood work and stone flooring. However, what we got was artistic craftsmanship equal to the substantial skill of the rest of the renovation as well as thorough clean-up. We learned that Michael had installed the previous month both the weight room floors of Miami Palmetto High School’s, ironically my wife’s alma mater, and the weight room floor of the University of North Carolina basketball team. In a mere 11 days we went from a real time crunch problem and complete ignorance to a wonderfully designed solution installed by a gifted craftsman.
-Joe and Kristine Hope