We’ve Got You Covered – Your Church Floors That Is

We’ve got you covered

Say your church just made a large investment in a multipurpose building, whether for a gym, cafeteria, classroom space or a worship area. Of course, the space is intended to serve multiple functions, changing from banquet facility to wedding reception room to children’s festival venue on a regular basis. So, what kind of floor covering accommodates multiple-use space?

Generally speaking, maple hardwood floors won’t do for fundraising dinners. And the cement gym floor can be too rough and hard for the awards banquet. But don’t worry, you have options, which fall into three general categories:
1. You can cover the existing floor with a temporary surface.
2. You can choose a heavy-duty permanent carpeting.
3. You can choose a commercial vinyl tile or sheet vinyl.

Cover it up
If you church has a hardwood basketball court, you’ll be careful to protect it from spills, chairs, and other hazards. It can easily cost $50,000 to $100,000 to replace such a jewel.
But you may also want to open your gym doors for special worship services or for community events like voting, special meals, and theater productions. Are the two desires mutually exclusive?

No, says Bob Curry, owner of Covermaster in Rexdale, Ontario. With an investment of $5000 or less for the average 6,000 square foot gym, your church can purchase a reversible, vinyl surface floor cover in custom or standard colors, he says. Covermaster offers four different gym covers, each with a core of reinforced polyester: the top of the line, heavy duty Universal Plus, which can withstand the rigors of concerts and graduations; the medium weight Classic 2000; the lightweight Spartan 1000, which is great for banquets, and the premium, extra thick Ultima 5000 with anti-slip surface. Spartan and Classic come with three year warranties, and Universal and Ultima are covered by six year warranties.

To help you install or remove your gym floor covering, Covermaster offers Covermate, an easy to use roller system. Ten foot sections of the covering unroll from six, eight or ten individual storage rollers. Simply place Covermate at the end of your church gym and walk each section over to the other side. To store the floor covering, just wind the sections back up onto their rollers. Coverclean, an optional, adjustable brush assembly, will sweep the cover as you wind it up. To save labor, a power winder, Powermate, is also available.

Two years ago, first Assembly of God in Grant Pass, Oregon, purchased a lightweight gray cover from Covermaster for its 8,125 square foot gym.

“We love it,” says Chuck Bahn, building superintendent. “It is the only thing saving our hardwood floor. We use it at least twice a week and are quite satisfied with it. It works well.”
Ron Nissenbaum, president of CoverSports U.S. A. in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, says it is important to ask three questions before deciding on a cover:
1. How often do you need to cover and protect the floor?
2. What events will the cover be used for?
3. What is the size of the floor?

CoverSports U.S.A.’s floor covers, made of fire retardant, rip-resistant polyester vinyl, come in different weights for different amounts of use. Part of Humphrys, a carpet company operating since 1874, Cover Sports U.S.A. will ship or deliver its products and show customers how to use them.

For the past five years, Coversport’s heavyweight GymGuard product has worked well at Bread of Life Mission in Camp Verde, Arizona.

“It’s great. It works out really well for us,” says Joan Wilson, Bread of Life’s office manager. “We feed 200-plus needy people every Tuesday night for the local food program. We cover up the wooden gymnasium floor with six rolls of GymGuard and tape it down. After dinner, we wipe it with a damp mop before rolling it back up.

Dress It Up
Another option, depending on the nature of your multipurpose space, is to install heavy duty carpeting. This eliminates the need for a cover and the carpet can easily maintained by vacuuming and regular cleaning.

“A lot of churches chose a very nice product that handles wear well and keeps a uniform look throughout the church,” says Roy Johnson, president/owner of Prestige Carpets in Dalton, Georgia. A commercial plush or tightly woven low-pile product may be selected for halls and classrooms. A carpet with an upgraded dye and backing is your best option for the gym or multipurpose space, he says.

“It is a bit more expensive, but the cost is worth it,” Johnson says. The yarn in Prestige’s premium carpet is back dyed (white yarn colored with dye all the way through it). And the special backing is twice as resistant to snags as regular carpet.

With more durable carpeting costing around $18.99 per square yard, some churches are putting carpet over concrete to expand their use options, he says. Prestige also bids on offices and sanctuaries and sends out free sample packets to interested churches.

First Assembly of God in Terre Haute, Indiana has been pleased with its Prestige Carpet, says secretary Cindy McCallister. Purchased a year ago, the carpet is used in the church’s multipurpose center, which serves as a gymnasium and a location for banquets and special events.

Church Carpet in Dalton, Georgia also offers carpet suitable for multipurpose areas.

“We recommend starting with a solution-died yarn nylon system for durability,” says owner Millicent Cheek. “It starts at about$8.20 per square yard. Most of the carpets of this type are multicolored and should last about 13 to 15 years.

Tile It
A third option is vinyl tile. “Commercial vinyl tile is the first thing I think of when covering the floor of a multipurpose area,” says Murray Bandey, president/owner of Carpet Express in Dalton, Georgia. “It’s durable, easy to clean, and will last at least five or ten years.”

Vinyl tile from Carpet Express comes in one-foot squares and starts at only 65 cents a square foot. It doesn’t require padding, and many patterns are available. Six- and 12-foot wide sheets are also available, starting at about $13 per square yard. Carpet Express also sells laminate flooring, which resembles wood but resists stains and warping.

“Tile is very durable; it wears like concrete,” says April Watson, a representative for Beaver Carpet in Tunnel Hill, Georgia. “It will last as long as 20 to 30 years. It needs rugs in the children’s areas and starts around 67 cents per square foot.”

To Sum It Up
So, whether you choose carpet, tile, or a temporary floor covering for your multi-purpose space, these companies say, “We’ve got you covered.”

Tips for handling carpet spills
Accidents happen. That’s life. If someone spills on your new carpet, take these steps.
1. Saturate it with water.
2. Suction it up with a wet vacuum.
3. Set up fans around it.

If that doesn’t remove it, then try using gentle cleaners such as vinegar, club soda, or Scotchguard.

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