Sprung floors are used in areas where the floor needs to have some give, yet still maintain a rigid surface. The shock absorbent nature of these types of floors makes them popular in sporting arenas, gyms, performance halls and dance floors.
The spring in the floor could come from a few different sources or combinations of sources– a wood basketweave created from cross-laid battens under the panels, neoprene or rubber pads or a layer of foam rubber. Rarely are actual springs required, except in cases such as ballet performance floors which need additional bounce. These floors aren’t common in residential homes, though they could be used in a home gym, dance studio or dojo.
What should I look for?
Most modern sprung floors combine the wood basketweave with neoprene pads, which last longer than rubber. The pads used can vary the effect of the bounce; closed cell pads that act like a balloon will have more bounce than open cell pads which cushion and absorb shocks more like a sponge.
How is it installed?
A vapour barrier is laid down to prevent damp from rising into the wood, then neoprene pads are arranged in a pattern that will allow the wood battens to align horizontally. Once the first layer is down, more battens are positioned vertically. This can be repeated for three or more layers, depending on requirements. Two layers of plywood are laid over the top - the upper layer should be laid with the grain at 90 degrees to the lower layer to distribute the load evenly. Quality wood panels are then overlaid on top and the floor finished.
Suitability and maintenance
These floors can help prevent injuries in areas where falls are likely and frequent, as they absorb the shock, so are ideal for use in applications involving sports and physical activity. They are also commonly used in stages which need to have versatile flooring in order to host a range of performances.
Sprung floors can be maintained in the same manner as wood floors. Sweeping, mopping and polishing are all possible.