Humidity & Ventilation

Now that the gym floor installation is complete the most important aspect for longevity and durability of your new wood floor system is to maintain proper relative humidity ranges and to have air flow. The air handlers should never be shut down, keep air flow moving in the gym. It might be necessary during very humid months to bring in additional floor fans.  Since all wood flooring will expand and contract as relative humidity varies, it is important to minimize extremes between low and high. Hardwood flooring is manufactured at moisture content most compatible with a 35-50% relative humidity range.

Excessive separation & Tightening

Separation between flooring boards commonly develops during winter low humidity and the floor typically tightens up during summer high humidity conditions. Moderate shrinkage and expansion is normal. Make use of available HVAC systems to prevent excessive tightening and shrinkage of flooring. Maintaining humidity between 35-50% will help the gym floor to provide years of worry-free service. We would recommend that you have a way to measure and monitor relative humidity in the gym. We also recommending talking to your HVAC contractor and ask how your HVAC can be set up to keep relative humidity between 35-50%.

Keep water and grit off the floor surface.

Protect your gym floor from tracking moisture and grit at exterior doorways into the gym by providing entry way mats. Check and change the mats frequently to assure no moisture is trapped underneath. Correct all leaks immediately and protect your floor from excessive condensation moisture.

Power Scrubbers

Both the MFMA (Maple Flooring Manufactures Association) and the floor manufacturer do not recommend the use of automatic power scrubbing machines.


Sweeping the floor

Sweep your floor daily with a dry dust mop. Floors with heavy use should may require mopping multiple times per day.

Cleaning the floor

Clean the floor as needed with an approved floor cleaner from manufactures like Bona Kemi Sport Cleaner or Polo Plaz Harwood Floor Cleaner. These cleaners are manufactured to be compatible with gym floor finishes and do not use waxes that can make the floor slippery. Both Bona Kemi and Polo Plaz hardwood floor cleaners are available in 5-gallon pails. Use separate microfiber mop heads for cleaning and dry dust mop heads for daily sweeping. Do not use dust mop treatment spray on mops used in the gym. Wash mop heads in just water, do not use soap. We recommend that mops be dedicated for use in only the gym, do not share mops with other areas in the school. Replace soiled mop covers as necessary. Do not allow the cleaning residue to build up on the floor surface and be careful to not apply too much cleaner to the floor surface.

PAW Hardwood Flooring and Supplies is a company that sells both Bona Kemi and Polo Plaz hardwood floor cleaners. We don’t recommend one over the other, they both are very good cleaners. PAW can ship direct to the school. Their contact info is 844-913-9136. PAW is located in Kalamazoo, Michigan. You may also purchase hardwood floor cleaner from your janitorial supply company—they might have a private label cleaner they recommend or you may be able to purchase Polo Plaz or Bona Kemi direct from them.

Spills / Spots / Stains

Wipe liquid spills and water from the floor immediately with a thoroughly wrung soft cloth or thoroughly wrung mop dampened with approved floor cleaner. Remove chewing gum by applying crushed ice in a plastic bag until the gum becomes brittle enough to crumble off the floor surface. Clean remaining residue with a cloth dampened with floor cleaner. Remove aggressive marks (black marks) with a cloth dampened with floor cleaner. Apply cleaners using a soft cloth, never use a rough or textured cloth.

Floor Loads

Significant point loads and/or area loads can affect the integrity of the wood floor surface and athletic subfloor components. Follow the loading guidelines from the manufacturer.

Point Loads

Point loads refers to concentration of weight on a small area of the floor surface. Examples of high point loads include wheels that are crowned or tapered rather than those making full and flat contact. Other examples of destructive point loads include shoe cleats and table or chair legs with small contact points.

Area Loads

Area loads refers to broad based loads that are less likely to compress wood fibers, but if significant are likely to damage flooring and/or subfloor components. Examples of excessive area loads include maintenance equipment such as hoists and lift vehicles.

Appropriate Protection

Application of loads such as portable basketball goals and equipment storage carts can require additional wheels. Maintenance equipment such as hoists, lifts and outriggers can require acceptable protective materials on the floor such as layers of sheeting and floor finish protections such as construction paper under the sheeting. Typical configuration of sheeting is 2-layers of ¾” sheeting panels placed in a brick pattern.


NEVER shut down the ventilation system in your facility for a prolonged period of time.

NEVER use a household cleaning product or procedure. They can be harmful to the floor finish and to the wood and may also leave floors sticky or slippery and potentially harmful to athletes.

NEVER attempt to modify or repair your sports floor without first consulting with your flooring contractor. Do not block or obstruct expansion spaces around the floor perimeter or adjacent to columns and inserts. Make adequate expansion provisions in flooring and subfloor before lagging fixtures, equipment or bleachers through the floor system into the concrete.

Floor Care Do’s and Don’ts


Sweep the floor daily with a dry dust mop to keep it free from dust, grit and other abrasive materials.

Keep water off the floor surface, being especially careful during inclement weather and near exterior doorways.

Immediately remove any water or moisture on the floor.

Remove marks with and approved floor cleaner compatible with floor finish.

Always protect the floor per your manufactures specifications.

The HVAC system must be functioning properly and set to maintain indoor relative humidity to 35-50%.


Never shut down the ventilation system in your facility for a prolonged period of time.

Never clean your wood floor with an automatic power scrubber that uses water. Water and moisture are your floor’s worst enemy.

Never use household cleaning products.

Never attempt to modify or repair your wood sports floor without contacting your sports contractor first.

Never use tape on a wood floor.