Today’s churches are no longer used just for worship. They must be able to accommodate sports, light recreation, social activities and an array of other events. Thus, it is important that a flooring solution be versatile in design and function in order to meet the demanding needs of a thriving church community.
A quality vinyl floor provides a cost-effective solution to churches that is easy to maintain, performs at optimal levels no matter the activity, and fits the overall design scheme of the facility.
A multipurpose flooring should also be aesthetically pleasing and fit the worship facilities’ existing design when necessary. Vinyl is a widely used product in worship facilities and multipurpose rooms and can be matched quickly and easily to other flooring surfaces not a
part of the overall installation or redesign.
Combining the strength and durability of vinyl flooring with the multitude of flooring patterns, designs and colors, gives anyone involved with the design of the church facility more flexibility. It is also important to note that with the advent of wood synthetics in the late 1990s, products like vinyl now have the same look of wood products and can give any space an instant facelift.
Safety and playability are two important aspects that separate a good sports flooring from a great one. Worship facilities must ensure that a multipurpose space provides athletes maximum return during sporting events, but also protects when slips or falls occur.
They can do so by adhering to the new ASTM F2772 standard, which defines the benchmarks for force reduction and ball rebound, deemed as two of the most important and culturally relevant biomechanical and mechanical characteristics for North American indoor sports flooring.
Force reduction, commonly known as shock absorption, is a biomechanical property used to evaluate a sports surface’s ability to reduce impact related forces compared to impacts on concrete.
Ball rebound or ball bounce is a mechanical property used to numerically determine if an indoor sports surface is appropriate for basketball based on the responsiveness of a ball and its interaction with the surface.
Additionally, a quality multipurpose flooring should be made of a multi-layered construction of pure vinyl and a reinforced fiberglass grid with a closed-cell foam backing. The quality and construction of the layers will have direct impact on the floor’s performance and aspects like the floor’s consistency, which means there is no area of deflection (no vibrations or dead spots).
Other items to consider when discussing performance are the flooring’s ability to deter the growth of harmful micro-organisms via its construction or surface treatment, optimal grip and slide in all directions, protection against skin burns, ease of maintenance, sound abatement qualities, low life cycle cost and recyclability.
These qualities ensure a vinyl floor’s versatility and provide architects, designers and facility managers a dependable, flexible solution throughout the life of the floor.
As mentioned, two factors that make vinyl flooring a cost effective choice for worship facilities are its construction and ease of maintenance. Used in the summer Olympic Games since 1976, Gerflor’s Taraflex sports flooring, for example, uses a combination of Very High Density (VHD) foam backing and a reinforced fiberglass grid to spread the load or impact over the surface, which provides even greater indentation resistance and shock absorption.
Therefore, the Taraflex floors are resistant to indentations caused by table, chairs and even high heels during dance events. As with any good vinyl flooring, quality materials used during construction can provide users a long lasting, reliable product.
Vinyl flooring is very easy to maintain and can provide users the benefit of little or no polishing when the correct option is selected. For ease of maintenance, a vinyl flooring solution should provide floor treatments that deter the growth of harmful micro-organisms, as well as disallow the need for expensive, environmentally caustic cleaning agents.
Unlike standard hardwood floors, for example, vinyl flooring solutions do not require screening, recoating, sanding or refinishing to keep them looking and performing like new. Vinyl flooring is extremely easy to maintain and when paired with no-polish floor treatments, they dramatically reduce the need for costly maintenance programs and improve the overall life cycle costs.
Vinyl flooring can be 100 percent recyclable and is an ideal choice for worship facilities that use the space for worship, athletic events, socials or anything termed multipurpose. It is extremely safe for indoor sports like basketball, volleyball or tennis because of qualities like shock absorption, consistent ball bounce, and protection against skin burns when a player falls.
Facility managers, architects, designers and church officials must consider performance, style, durability and maintenance in order to make the best possible selection. Vinyl flooring provides the delicate balance between aesthetics and function and makes the design of a space a seamless process.
Sonya S. Eggerton is CEO of Southeastern Surfaces & Equipment Inc., New Smyrna Beach, FL. [ www.sseteam.com ]
ADAPTING YOUR MULTIPURPOSE SPACE
Church leaders exercise sound stewardship principles to maintain church programs and facilities, especially while in the midst of a down economy. Leaders are implementing many different measures to ensure the best use of funds and available space. Portable room dividers can help leaders make much more efficient use of their facilities and help reduce costs.
These versatile products offer churches the option to keep a large room open for Awana groups, choir practice and other activities. Sound absorbing room dividers can be used in the exact same room to create smaller rooms for Sunday school, discussion groups and additional ministries. By making more efficient use of their existing space, administrators can avoid costly building programs.
Screenflex Portable Room Dividers were originally designed in the late 1980s to help easily create Sunday school classrooms out of multipurpose spaces. Creative church administrators quickly found other uses for the dividers such as: creating rooms during day care programs; making large areas “smaller” for bridal or baby showers, as well as, using them for backdrops during Easter/Christmas pageant plays.
Room dividers provide church leaders the ability to change the interior shape of a room in thousands of different configurations. Also when considering dividing an existing room, dividers do not interfere at all with existing heat, light, or ventilation systems. There is also no need to consider building permits, or the location of light switches or doorways. More and more churches are turning to versatile portable room dividers to address their needs to make better use of space.
— Rich Maas, vice president of Screenflex, Lake Zurich, IL. [ www.screenflex.com ]