Sanding


All unfinished maple gym floors should be sanded with a minimum of three cuts using coarse, medium and fine sandpapers. Final sanding of pattern floors should be performed with a screen and disk sander. This final sanding should provide a smooth and even surface, free from scratches, drum stop marks or gouges. After sanding, the contractor should thoroughly vacuum the maple surface with a heavy-duty commercial type vacuum to remove sanding dust and grit prior to sealing and finishing.

Methods for Applying the Seal and Finish Coats


There are two basic methods for application of seal and finish for new wood athletic floors — both are four-coat specifications. The first uses one coat of seal and three coats of finish (a "1-3" specification), and the second uses two coats of seal and two coats of finish (a "2-2" specification). The number of coats required may change with the use of a water-based urethane product versus an oil-modified urethane product.

Always follow your material manufacturer's guidelines for application of sealer and finish, as procedures may vary from product to product. The MFMA has authorized an independent testing laboratory to test floor sealer and finish products in accordance with strict industry standards. Contact the MFMA at 888-480-9138 or refer to the MFMA Athletic Flooring Sealer and Finish Specifications and Conformance List for information on specifying floor finish products that meet the MFMA standards.

Sealing


All unfinished maple gym floors should be sealed as soon as possible after final sanding is completed. Thoroughly clean the floor surface prior to applying the first coat of sealer. Using a clean lambswool applicator, apply a liberal and uniform coat of penetrating sealer with at least the minimum coverage per the manufacturer's instructions. Allow to dry completely.

If using a "2-2" specification, buff with steel wool, screenback disk, pad or as recommended by your finish manufacturer and thoroughly clean. Do not use steel wool if applying a water-based product.

Apply the second coat of penetrating sealer in the same manner as the first. The entire surface should then be lightly machine disked with #100 or #120 grit screenback under a buffing or polishing pad, and finally vacuumed and tack ragged in preparation for court layout and painting.

Caution: Follow your manufacturer's recommendations for providing adequate ventilation during the entire sealing and finishing process.

Court Lining


The project architect or specifier should furnish game line drawings with complete color selections prior to the start of floor sanding and finishing. Apply game markings using paint that is compatible with the chosen sealer and finish. Mask and paint game lines with proper colors according to the architect's or specifier's blueprints and with the aid of precision taping machines or striping tools.

When using masking tape, pull it up as soon as the paint begins to dry or set. After the game markings have thoroughly dried, lightly abrade using steel wool or a pad recommended by the finish manufacturer, then clean the floor surface.

Finishing


Immediately before applying the first coat of finish, maple gym floors should be thoroughly tack ragged, giving particular attention to edges and corners. Apply an even coat of finish in accordance with your finish manufacturer's instructions. Allow to dry completely.

Lightly abrade with #2 steel wool or screen to break the surface tension for bonding with the next coat. Do not use steel wool if applying a water-based urethane finish product. Vacuum, then double tack rag the floor.

Subsequent coats should be applied in accordance with the finish manufacturer's specifications. Do not abrade the final coat of finish. After applying the final coat, do not use the floor until finish manufacturer's recommended cure time has elapsed. Avoid heavy traffic on the floor surface for at least one week.

Note: During finishing and drying time, the floor surface must be free of dust and dirt. Avoid air currents that carry dust and dirt. Indoor temperatures and all sealers, paints and finishes should be approximately 65° Fahrenheit or higher during application. Allow adequate ventilation for proper drying. Maintain normal humidity conditions inside the facility to avoid blistering, flaking and abnormally long drying and cure times.

Daily Floor Care


Always keep your floor free of dust, dirt, abrasive particles and debris. NEVER USE WATER TO CLEAN YOUR FLOOR, and never use dust mops treated with silicone, wax or acrylic-based products. Your floor finish manufacturer has dust mop treatments specifically designed for compatibility with the finish used on your maple floor.

MFMA has published information on daily, weekly, periodic and annual maintenance that is available to architects, specifiers and facility owners and managers at no charge. Additionally, MFMA has produced several videos that address selection, installation and maintenance issues. Download the Video Order Form.

Contact MFMA Headquarters at 888-480-9138 or visit Maple Floor Care for more detailed information.
Disclaimer: The MFMA provides general information to architects, specifiers and consumers. The MFMA, its members, officers and agents disclaim any responsibility whatsoever for the accuracy or applicability of these guidelines under all circumstances and conditions.
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