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Indoor Synthetic Sports and Athletic Flooring Guidelines

ASBA's Guidelines for tennis court and track construction are currently undergoing revision and are not current in all respects. To ensure access to the most up-to-date information available for tennis court and track construction, please refer to ASBA's construction and maintenance manuals.

Section IV.A. – General Conditions For Construction — Indoor Synthetic Sports And Athletic Flooring

1.0 Purpose and Scope

The purpose of this guideline is to promote the professional and successful installation of indoor synthetic sports and athletic flooring materials over a wide variety of substrates.

2.0 Definitions

  1. Contract Documents — The "contract documents" should consist of the construction contract, conditions of the contract, drawings (if required) and specifications defining the scope of work. These should be issued prior to signing the construction contract.

  2. Scope of Work — The term "scope of work" includes all labor, materials, equipment and transportation to complete the work as defined in the contract documents.

  3. Project — The "project" is the total construction defined in the contract documents of which the work may be the whole or only a part.

  4. Owner — The "owner" is the person or organization identified as such in the contract documents. The term “owner” means that person or his authorized representative.

  5. Testing Entity — The "testing entity" is the independent, qualified organization that has been employed by the owner of the owner’s agent to perform specified site testing.

  6. Architect — The "architect" is the person or organization employed by the owner to develop designs and specifications for the construction of the project, and to verify, throughout the duration of the project, that the project is constructed in accordance with the approved designs and specifications.

  7. Owner’s Agent — The "owner’s agent" is a construction manager, general contractor, architect or other party authorized to act on behalf of the owner in connection with the project.

  8. Athletic Surfacing Contractor — The "athletic surfacing contractor" is the person or organization identified as such in the construction contract whose responsibility it is to install the indoor synthetic materials. The term “athletic surfacing contractor” means that person or his authorized representative.

3.0 Construction Contract

  1. Execution — The construction contract should be signed by both the owner and the athletic surfacing contractor.

  2. Athletic Surfacing Contractor's Familiarity with Site and Work — By executing the construction contract, the athletic surfacing contractor acknowledges that he has familiarized himself with the local conditions under which the work is to be performed and understands the scope of work as defined in the contract documents.

  3. Contract Modification — Any modification to the contract should be set forth in one or more written change orders, signed by authorized representatives of the owner, owner's agent and athletic surfacing contractor. The athletic surfacing contractor should not be expected to implement any changes in the contract prior to receipt of an executed change order.

  4. Payment Terms and Insurance — The contract documents should set forth requirements for payments and insurance.

4.0 Construction Contract

  1. Manufacturer/Supplier Qualifications — All manufacturers and/or suppliers should be established firms specializing in the manufacture/distribution of the products specified.

  2. Athletic Surfacing Contractor

    1. The athletic surfacing contractor should be experienced in the industry and should have completed at least three (3) projects of similar magnitude and complexity.

    2. The contractor should be approved by the manufacturer and/or supplier and should provide documentation to that effect.

5.0 Submittals

The athletic surfacing contractor should submit the following to the owner or to the owner’s representative:

  1. Supplier's Product Data — Copies of the most current printed literature, specifications, and recommendations for preparation, finishing and testing of the substrate to receive the synthetic sports or athletic flooring.

  2. Samples — One (1) sample of the specified system.

  3. Care and Maintenance — Required copies of the manufacturer's/supplier's recommended maintenance procedures.

  4. Warranty — Warranty, to be submitted after completion.

6.0 Owner’s Responsibilities

  1. Jobsite Conditions — The owner is responsible for ensuring that the site meets all jobsite conditions set forth in the contract prior to commencement of the installation. Any corrective work also is the responsibility of the owner.

  2. Permits and Taxes — Unless otherwise provided, the owner should obtain and pay for all construction permits, fees, licenses, etc. as may be required by law. The athletic surfacing contractor's contract sum should include any federal, state and local taxes applicable to the performance of the contract.

  3. Specified Testing — The owner should provide to the athletic surfacing contractor reports and documentation demonstrating that all testing required by the contract has been performed by the testing entity and that the site meets the requirements and specifications of the contract.

  4. Owner's Agent — When the owner has engaged a construction manager, general contractor or other agent, the owner’s responsibilities may be performed by said party.

7.0 Athletic Surfacing Contractor’s Responsibilities

  1. Review of Contract Documents — The athletic surfacing contractor should carefully review the contract documents and promptly report any errors, inconsistencies or omissions discovered.

  2. Errors in the Contract Documents — The athletic surfacing contractor should not be liable to the owner for errors, inconsistencies or omissions in the contract documents.

  3. Schedule — The athletic surfacing contractor should submit a schedule indicating the intended starting date of the work, the different phases and timetable, if possible, and the intended date of completion. Any delays related to jobsite conditions should not be the responsibility of the athletic surfacing contractor.

  4. Performance of the Work — The athletic surfacing contractor should supply and install the synthetic surface in accordance with the plans and specifications contained in the contract.

  5. Communications — The athletic surfacing contractor should direct all communications regarding the work to the owner.

  6. Closeout Documentation — Upon completion of the work, the athletic surfacing contractor should submit to the owner or owner's agent all required closeout documentation.

  7. Guarantee — The athletic surfacing contractor should guarantee the work against defective materials or workmanship for a specific number of month(s) from the date of filing notice of completion and acceptance of such by the owner.

Section IV.B. – General Conditions For Construction — Indoor Synthetic Sports And Athletic Flooring — Types of Surfacing

1.0 Purpose and Scope

The purpose of this guideline is to define the standard types of synthetic flooring currently used for sports, athletic and recreational purposes.

2.0 General

  1. Description — Indoor synthetic sports and athletic flooring is a class distinct from wood flooring used for similar purposes. It is generally composed of synthetic materials, including but not limited to SBR or EPDM rubber, neoprene, polyurethane, polypropylene, polystyrene, polyvinyl chloride, nylon, or any number of petroleum derivative compounds that are either cast-in-place or prefabricated into some standard form including, but not limited to sheets, rolls and tiles. These floors are considered “point elastic.” This means that they deform under a single point when compressed; therefore, they rely on some measure of resilience in the synthetic material to give the flooring system shock absorption.

  2. Terminology — This is a list of standard terminology used in descriptions of indoor synthetic sports and athletic flooring.

    1. System — describes the sum total of all the components of the floor, as described in the specification of a particular floor type, necessary for the floor to be properly installed and to perform as intended by the supplier or manufacturer.

    2. Manufacturer — is one who blends, compounds or fabricates the components used in a flooring system.

    3. Supplier — is one who offers or supplies a system, but does not actually manufacture the system components.

    4. Cast-in-place — (or in situ) describes a floor that is fabricated on site as opposed to pre-fabricated. This generally applies to systems in which some or all of the components that comprise the main body of the system are liquid. This term does not apply to mixing the adhesive that is used to bond prefabricated materials.

    5. Pre-fabricated — describes flooring systems in which all of the components, except the adhesive that is used to bond the materials, are manufactured somewhere other than at the job site.

    6. Adhering — the process of bonding the flooring system or its components to the substrate.

      1. Fully adhered — the floor is 100% bonded to the substrate with an adhesive or primer.

      2. Partially adhered — the floor is adhered to the substrate, usually at the seams and/or at the
      3. end joints, but not over its entire surface.

    7. Loose laid — the floor is not bonded to the substrate.

  3. Sheet — a synthetic material that is formed by cutting and slitting or by extrusion into a unit that is thin (3mm to 20mm) and longer than 3 feet (1m).

3.0 Types of Indoor Sports and Athletic Flooring

  1. Cast-in-place floors

    1. Full depth polyurethane floors are composed of 100% polyurethane that is mixed and poured directly over the substrate in multiple layers until a specific thickness is achieved. The finished product may have a smooth finish or any variety of surface textures. All of the components of the floor are fluid applied in situ, resulting in a seamless surface. The final coat of the floor is a protective finish, also called a coating, varnish, topcoat or other name. Game lines are painted on with a special game line coating. Full depth polyurethane systems may be installed over new substrates, including asphalt, concrete or wood, or over old substrates, including VCT, acrylic coatings and existing polyurethane floors. Where they are installed over existing flooring systems, special techniques or bonding agents may be required. In fact, even when installed over new substrates, primer may be necessary to act as a bonding agent to insure proper adhesion.

    2. Padded polyurethane floors, also known as "sandwich systems," utilize a prefabricated underlayment, also called base mat or rubber pad, that is fully adhered, partially adhered or loose-laid over the substrate. The underlayment is then covered with polyurethane resin that is mixed and poured in one or more layers until a specified thickness is achieved and coated, in a manner similar to full depth floors described above. Except for the underlayment, the components are fluid applied in situ, resulting in a seamless surface. The finished product may have a smooth finish or any variety of surface textures. Game lines are painted on with special game line coating. Padded polyurethane systems may be installed over new substrates, including asphalt, concrete or wood, or over existing substrates, including VCT, acrylic coatings and existing polyurethane floors. Where they are installed over existing flooring systems, special techniques or bonding agents may be required. Padded polyurethane systems generally are bonded to the substrate with special adhesives, but may also be partially adhered or loose-laid.

  2. Pre-fabricated floors

    1. Rolled rubber floor systems are floors that are manufactured of a rubber compound (neoprene, EPDM, SBR, etc.) and either cast, extruded, cut or pressed into sheets of a single thickness, width and length. The rubber components may be either virgin or recycled materials. Thickness, width and length vary between types and applications. These sheets are bonded to the substrate with adhesive. The body of the rubber sheet may be solid rubber, granulated rubber bound with a binder, or two or more sheets laminated together to make a single sheet. The finished surface may be smooth or textured.

    2. Rubber tile systems are flooring systems that are manufactured from a rubber compound (neoprene, EPDM, SBR, etc.) The rubber component, which may be either virgin or recycled material, may be made into sheets and then cut into tiles, or cast into tile form. Tiles are generally any form that is 1m x 1m square, or less. These tiles are bonded to the substrate with adhesive. The finished product may have a smooth or textured finish.

    3. PVC sheet flooring systems are manufactured either totally or partially of polyvinyl chloride. They may be solid PVC or they may incorporate a resilient backing onto a thinner PVC top layer. The backing may be foam or other resilient material. These floors are usually bonded to the substrate, but they may be partially adhered or loose-laid. The individual sheets of the flooring system are usually welded together with heat or with special chemicals to form a "seamless": surface. The resulting product may have a smooth or textured finish.

    4. Suspended polypropylene tile systems are floors made of injection-molded polypropylene tiles that snap together with some sort of locking mechanism. They are loose-laid and may be installed over a resilient underlayment and may be open or solid surfaced.

  3. Finishes — Finishes may consist of coatings or treatments applied on site or furnished from the factory.

    They are used to provide desired performance characteristics, appearance and/or durability for the intended use.

    1. Smooth finishes are typically used for basketball, volleyball and similar sports.

    2. Textured finishes are used for track and for general exercise.

Refer to Guidelines for:
IV.A. – General Conditions for Construction — Indoor Synthetic Sports and Athletic Flooring

Section IV.C. – Site Preparations for Installation of Resilient Athletic Flooring

1.0 Purpose and Scope

The purpose of this guideline is to facilitate the installation of resilient athletic flooring over an approved substrate, including all materials for a complete and proper installation.

2.0 Delivery and Storage

  1. Building — The building should be fully enclosed and weatherproof, and the temperature should be maintained above 60 degrees Fahrenheit, prior to the delivery and storage of materials.

  2. Work Completed — All masonry, painting, plastering, tile, marble and terrazzo work should be completed and all overhead mechanical work, lighting and athletic equipment should be installed prior to the delivery of surfacing materials to the site.

3.0 Jobsite Conditions

  1. Project Conditions

    1. The General Contractor/Owner should perform all site preparation and should insure that the substrate and jobsite conditions comply with the specifications of the manufacturer/supplier prior to the installation of the resilient athletic flooring.

    2. The permanent HVAC and lighting should be installed and operating prior to the installation of the resilient athletic flooring.

    3. A moderate room temperature (above 60 degrees Fahrenheit) and a relative humidity of between 50%-75% should be maintained one (1) week prior to, during and one (1) week after installation.

    4. All interior and exterior doors, thresholds, in-ground equipment and basketball backstops should be installed prior to the installation of the resilient athletic flooring.

  2. Concrete Substrate

    1. Concrete should have been poured and in place a minimum of sixty (60) days and should be tested and found to be below the manufacturer’s/supplier’s recommended percentage for moisture content/vapor transmission prior to the installation of the resilient athletic flooring.

    2. The concrete should have a smooth, steel-troweled finish, but should not be polished or burnt by over-troweling.

    3. Variations in the concrete substrate should not exceed 1/8" in any 10' radius, non-cumulative. ASBA does not recognize Ff, FI numbers as a means of verifying levelness. It should be the general contractor's/owner's responsibility to make all necessary corrections to the concrete receiving the surface. Required leveling should be done by grinding down the high areas and filling the low areas with an approved underlayment. Particular attention should be given to straight edge all construction/control joints for curling.

    4. The concrete receiving the resilient athletic flooring system should be clean, dry and free of all bond-breakers including dust, dirt, grease, oil, paint, alkali and other foreign substances, which interfere with the adhesion of the flooring system.

    5. Added surface hardeners, curing compounds and sealers should not be used, as they may be incompatible with the resilient athletic flooring system.

Refer to Guidelines for:
IV.A. – General Conditions for Construction — Indoor Synthetic Sports and Athletic Flooring
IV.B. – Indoor Synthetic Sports and Athletic Flooring — Types of Surfacing

Section IV.D. – Maintenance of Indoor Synthetic Sports and Athletic Flooring

1.0 Purpose and Scope

The purpose of this guideline is to describe the current standard acceptable methods for cleaning and maintaining synthetic floors that are used for indoor sports, recreation and athletics.

2.0 Terminology

  1. Maintenance — periodic procedures that keep system performance standards within design criteria, aid in keeping a pleasing appearance and control external environment factors that may diminish either of the above.

  2. Repair — removal and replacement of a specific area that has been damaged that could be hazardous to the user, alters performance characteristics and/or mars appearance.

  3. Solvent — a volatile liquid, which may have a deleterious affect on petroleum-based flooring products. Consult the manufacturer/supplier for direction for use. Use of solvents is not considered a part of regular maintenance.

  4. Cleaner — a neutral PH solution (PH of 7.0 – 7.5), prepared and diluted in accordance with manufacturer’s directions, used to remove surface dirt, stains, contaminants or other materials. Cleaner is sometimes used in cleaning machines and/or scrubbers.

  5. Scrubbing Pads — mildly abrasive pads used with mechanical scrubbing units to remove dirt. Use red or blue pads only.

  6. Vacuuming — removal of soil or debris by use of a vacuum cleaner; part of the general maintenance of carpet or tile products.

  7. Mats — use of walk off mats at entrance areas is highly recommended.

Refer to Guidelines for:
IV.A. – General Conditions for Construction — Indoor Synthetic Sports and Athletic Flooring
IV.B. – Indoor Synthetic Sports and Athletic Flooring — Types of Surfacing
IV.C. – Site Preparation for Installation of Resilient Athletic Flooring

NOTICE: These Construction Guidelines are for use by architects, engineers, contractors, and owners. Parties not experienced in construction are advised to consult a qualified contractor, consultant and/or design professional. Experienced contractors, consultants and/or design professionals can be identified through the American Sports Builders Association. Due to changing construction technology and techniques, only the most recent version of these Guidelines should be used. Variances in climate, soil conditions, topography and other factors may make these Guidelines unsuitable for certain projects.

           

Copyright American Sports Builders Association 2014
8480 Baltimore National Pike, #307, Ellicott City, MD 21043
Phone: 866-501-ASBA (2722)  –  410-730-9595
Fax: 410-730-8833
Email: info@sportsbuilders.org