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The flooring blog at FindAnyFloor.com keeps you up to date with the latest flooring features, tips and hot topics? Find out what’s going on beneath those feet of yours! Visit the FindAnyFloor.com floor blog and stay up to date on all things flooring. Ask questions and find answers from our flooring pros! We also have a family of flooring blogs that cover topics such as green flooring, topics for floor professionals, and our corporate floor blog to keep up with everything at FindAnyFloor.com.

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FAF Blog

Hardwood Stains and Discoloration from Rubber and Foam Floors

By FAF Staff Writer, (309 words) Posted in Rubber Flooring on August 21, 2009
There are (48) comments permalink

Recently we had a question on our rubber and foam flooring blog from a consumer looking to put either type of flooring in their home gym. Below is the question from the flooring consumer followed by a detailed answer about rubber and foam from Rich Meyer of MyGymFloor.com.

Question from rubber and foam flooring consumer:

Will either rubber or EVA foam flooring placed on hardwood floors for a home gym cause discoloration in the hardwood? Which is a better alternative?

I'd like to purchase interlocking tiles for a home gym where I have an elliptical and weights, but don't want my hardwood floors to discolor from the tiles being unbreathable, etc.

Answer from Rich Meyer of MyGymFloor.com:

That is a great question. The staining and tackiness that can occur to hardwood floors when some types of rubber and foam flooring are placed over the hardwood is called plasticizer migration. Plasicizers are compounds that are used to increase the flexibility of rubber and vinyl floors . Most types of inexpensive recycled rubber flooring sold through mass retailers use low grade compounds that cannot be revulcanized and must be bound together with urethane fillers. These types of rubber and foam tiles will frequently cause staining on hardwood floors.

Recycled rubber flooring that is manufactured from a more homogeneous mix of rubber and as a result can be revulcanized is more expensive flooring option to consumers, but will generally not stain hardwood floors.

The best choice is closed cell virgin rubber tiles which are manufactured using premium, non–recycled compounds and will not cause the staining of hardwood floors. Virgin rubber also has higher physical property characteristics than recycled rubber and will provide greater resiliency over time and greater protection to expensive hardwood flooring over time.

Closed cell EVA foams tiles are non staining but are lightweight and will provide minimal protection to hardwood floors from damage from weights and equipment.

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Comments (48)

Pat posted on: August 25, 2009

I have recycled rubber floor tiles in my home gym. The rubber tiles are placed over my hardwood floors which has been a great tool for me and my home gym. It has really protected my floors. But until recently I kept lifting the mats so I can air out the floor. I didnt want my hardwood to get damaged from the pressure, sweat, humidity etc... I can now relax I guess. I have the recycled rubber floors so I know it wont stain. BUT is it a good idea for me to air the hardwood floors out anyway?

Rich posted on: August 28, 2009

Keep in mind that - depending on how the recycled rubber tiles are manufactured- they may or may not stain hardwood floors. As a general rule, you do not want to put the recycled rubber tiles sold through large retail stores on your hardwood flooring, as they may stain. If the tiles do not state "non-staining" or "non-marking", avoid using them over hardwood floors.
In your case, there is no real benefit in airing out the floors. If the tiles were going to stain the floor they would have done so regardless of whether or not you occasionally aired out the floor. Keep in mind that if yours is a new hardwood floor, the wood will begin to darken within a few week due to the effects of UV rays. The parts of the floor that are covered under mats will appear lighter when the rubber mats are lifted, since they have not been exposed to UV.

Jim posted on: July 18, 2012

Rich, Can you recommend or suggest something to put in between the recycled rubber mats and the hardwood flooring? Say a carpet pad or underlayment? Thanks

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