The new face of fitness center decor

This is part two of Hotel Management's three-part look at fitness center design. Click here for part one, "Healthy renovations for fitness centers."

Fitness center floor design has stuck to its standard commercial carpet or rubberized padding for a variety of reasons. Chief among them: durability, easy maintenance and lasting quality. But John Sarver, founder of Hotel Fitness, sees more demand from this style due to its resemblance to the average guest’s local health club, creating an air of familiarity when working out on the road.

“There are pros and cons to both styles,” Sarver said. “Carpet has a softer look and is more variable with colors and designs. Rubber can be more durable, but it is often made from reconstituted rubber. This rubber is black, and it’s difficult to produce color variation in it.”

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Comparatively, Chris White, SVP of WTS International, feels that rubber flooring is becoming less popular compared to carpeted flooring.

“Especially for luxury and high-end properties, it has become desirable for fitness centers to have carpets with a warm pattern, and that are anti-microbial,” White said. “Carpet beats sweat and softens the appearance of the space visually and acoustically. It makes the area look less like a gym and more upscale.”

Sarver also recommends a bright, active wallpaper or wallcovering for the fitness space. “In the past, we had painted walls and mirrors, but custom and busy wallcoverings can help promote movement,” Sarver said. Sarver also suggested playing with scents to create a pleasing atmosphere, where it would normally be occupied with that of body odor.

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