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Solid Painted Areas on Maple Gym Floors

Maple flooring is a hygroscopic material that expands and contracts due to the influences of moisture, temperature and humidity changes. The application of sealers, finishes and paints on the surface of an installed maple floor can only slow down the rate of vapor transfer between the maple flooring and its environment — such applications cannot stop the dimensional changes inherent in this natural product.

When maple flooring is installed, sanded, sealed, painted and finished during the summer months, the maple's moisture content is usually at its highest annual level in most regions of the United States. With the onset of winter comes dryer air and lower ambient air temperatures. Such environmental changes typically cause individual flooring strips to contract. With such movement, flooring strips that are painted a solid color (basketball keys, sidelines, and logoed areas) tend to exhibit more noticeable shrinkage due to the visual contrast between the solid colors and the cracks that develop between individual flooring strips. In some cases, the surface finish has been known to peel at the edges of individual painted flooring strips if the amount of shrinkage exceeds the elasticity of the paint or the finish. This is a direct result of the wood adjusting to a new environmental set point.

If you have additional questions, please contact MFMA's Technical Director at 888/480-9138.


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