Posted on: August 7th, 2013 by Ben Gonzalez
Rubber… not the 2010 French horror film about the psychic tire that murders people (yes it’s real), the actual polymer; RUBBER! Ta-da! We sell a lot of that stuff. Due to it’s versatility and durability, you can see it used just about anywhere. From car parts, to electronics, household items, and yes, rubber mats. It’s hard to imagine a world without it. Generally, you can split rubber products into one of two categories: Recycled rubber or EPDM rubber. But what is the difference exactly? In a nutshell, recycled rubber is, as the name suggests, recycled, while the EPDM, is not. EPDM is also know by it’s full name
ethylene propylene diene monomer which is a synthetic rubber (as opposed to NATURAL rubber which comes a type of tree) or simply virgin rubber. Our recycled rubber flooring is also made from EPDM rubber, but since it is recycled from various rubber materials (mostly tire rubber), the term EPDM can not be applied as it is not produced so much as “compiled” from the “crumbs” of other recycled rubber eco-friendly products.
Recently, I had a customer request a quote for a client who was looking specifically for EPDM rubber for a military training ground. After touching base with the customer the differences between the rubbers and our limited availability of EPDM (it is only available as the colored TOP for our Bounce Back Tiles and the colored fleck in our Mega Lock Flooring and Tuff-n-Easy interlocking rubber tiles), it seems some clarification was needed. For a while, they were under the impression that because EPDM is virgin rubber, that it would have a much better load resistance than recycled rubber. NOT TRUE IN THE SLIGHTEST. After much testing by our manufacturer, the process involved in our selection of rubber crumb for our solid black recycled rubber reduces any difference in load tolerance between standard EPDM rubber and the recycled rubber we produce to a marginal difference which is effectively non-issue for the carious athletic or commercial applications that our mats are most often requested for. What this means for our customer is that we could provide him with a much less product he would have otherwise dismissed due to misinformation.
Posted on: August 2nd, 2013 by Ben Gonzalez
Playground flooring can be very expensive. We get customers all the time that are pretty shocked by the idea that it can cost them upwards of 2,000 dollars to have a decent size fall height rated rubber flooring for their kids jungle gym. However, as we get this all the time, we always implore our customers to really consider whether or not they need a fall height rated flooring solution.
Fall height can be viewed as an approximation of the playground fall height which is below the level that would be expected to cause a life threatening head injury. Naturally, one would say “Why would I NOT want that in my playground?”, the simple answer is cost vs. risk. If you have a small jungle gym and expect a fall from no more than about 3″, any rubber product will by its very nature break the fall and soften it as opposed to falling directly onto concrete. Our Mega-Lock rubber flooring and Tuff-and-Easy tiles can serve as a playground surface very well especially in these cases where fall height is non-issue.
Another product to consider would be our SoftRubber Tiles. These tiles have a solid recycled rubber top but up to a 3/4″ thick pad of foam as a base. Again, for your most common playground applications (small jungle gym, toddlers, or infants just learning to crawl or walk) these are a great and far less expensive alternative than the full blown Bounce Back approach. Not to mention, they are MUCH lighter and easier to install.
Since the materials we offer are so versatile, be sure that when you are looking for a particular application on one of our floors, never hesitate to ask your sales rep about less expensive alternatives. Chances are that there are various solutions towards a given application that you might be the first to think of!
Posted on: July 1st, 2013 by Ben Gonzalez
Recently I took a little trip to Pinks Hot Dogs. World famous Pink’s Hot Dogs, I should say. Celebrities from about five generations of Hollywood royalty have to come to this place as well as you average Joe to enjoy these deliciously decadent treats. Founded in 1939, this place offers interesting processed meat between buns of various varieties such as Lord of The Rings (a 10″ Stretch Dog with BBQ sauce), a Rosie O’Donell ( 10″ Stretch Dog, topped with mustard, onions, chili and sauerkraut topped with onion rings), and my personal favorite: the L.A. Philharmonic Conductor Gustavo Dudamel Dog ( Stretch hot dog, guacamole, American & Swiss cheese, fajitas mix, jalapeno slice, topped with tortilla chips).
Needless to say, after a night of partying hard with the homies (read: leisure with my fellow gentlemen), this is the stop for a post midnight meal. They are open until 3am!! Well, imagine my surprise (or lack thereof) to see one of our scraper mats right there at the entrance of this reputable establishment! I CAN’T ESCAPE THEM! MATS ARE EVERYWHERE! THEY CONSUME!! NOOO!!! But my reward was a delicious dog and an idea for my blog. I couldn’t complain.
After quickly scarfing through the last of my meal, a commotion at the front of the line started. Two girls were getting physical…. violently physical. Well, get this. One of the girls was wearing some funky shoes and as she made a lunge for this smaller enemy combatant, I noticed that the grip of the rubber door mat did a really good job keeping a grip on the floor. While not exactly the best example to boast functionality of these outdoor mats, it sure did what it was supposed to do.
Posted on: June 25th, 2013 by Ben Gonzalez
Vanity. Satan’s favorite sin. Well, at least in Al Pacino’s depiction of the devil. I don’t know why I found myself thinking about this other than the fact that I watched The Devil’s Advocate earlier this week. The movie is a solid 7.5 in my opinion. A perfect touch of Clinton-era cheese while people still had this post 80′s excess fascination with the ‘devil-lawyer’ archetype. Yes, lawyers are evil (no exceptions), but my point is that I came to very particular and nuanced conclusions about something while I was watching this film 16 years after it’s release:
a) Keanu is not a terrible actor.
b) I love Charlize Theron. Like… a lot.
c) I love Al Pacino. (there’s a reason he sits atop my cubicle screaming at me at the horror of seeing his anti-christ son commit suicide instead of serving him).
The real meat and potatoes, though, is that this whole experience left me thinking about another Al Pacino classic, Carlito’s Way! An undeniable classic tale of redemption with a tragic turn for the protagonist. I mean, the movie starts where it ends and you STILL hope and are even made to feel like things might work out. But anyway, the point is that in that movie, there is ONE brief scene where Carlito (Pacino), having just been released from prison, follows his old flame to a dance class. There, for a quick second, BAM, a ballet barre! And it all comes full circle. Maybe a shot of glassless mirrors too. I don’t know. The thing is that the more I thought about it, I thought that maybe my love and affinity for movies has just been a subconscious pre-conditioning to me learning all about dance accessories, commercial/industrial products, and exercise mats. I’ll be scouring my favorite movies looking for all these things I’ve missed before. Luckily with the power of HD Blu-Ray remasters, I might even see a MatsMatsMats.com label somewhere.
Posted on: June 12th, 2013 by Ben Gonzalez
I wrote about horses once before already, but HOT DANG I had to share my experience this weekend! I took my girlfriend out on a (romantic) expedition to the Morongo Valley and adjacent Joshua Tree desert area. We went to the Cottonwood Canyon Ranch which is basically a ranch that rescues and rehabilitates horses from slaughter auctions, neglectful owners, and other bad situations for the animals.
Because of my height and weight, I lucked out and got a BIG horse. And I’m talking BIG horse. She was driver named Rosie and if you could compare horses to cars, a regular horse is like a solid mid size pick up. My horse was Hummer. Big, comfortable, and all terrain! After an hour and a half ride where we got a tour of the local flora and fauna, we headed back for some pictures and a quick little tour of the ranch.
I resisted sounding too pitchy, but I immediately asked about the stall mats and what they use. It seems that they are currently using common recycled rubber tiles that, unlike ours, they weren’t sure if it was sulfur free. I of course, handed my card and just let them know that if they have any need for stall mats, rubber flooring, or any mats whatsoever, to please call us. Perhaps we’ll be exchanging some horse stall mats for group sessions? One can only hope!
Posted on: May 28th, 2013 by Ben Gonzalez
I was curious to go watch the new Iron Man movie last night at a midnight showing. I quickly realized I can’t hang with the late night showings anymore. Not at my age, anyway. How sad is that? Lately, between random bouts of insomnia, under-accomplishment blues, and marital woes, it can be extremely difficult to stand being surrounded by rowdy teenagers and all their witty anecdotes during the previews or the pre-show entertainment; a random flurry of local CPA’s, hair stylists, and tax lawyers all mixed in with useless celebrity trivia and Coca-Cola advertisements which, mind you, work like a charm. I got the largest syrupy coke they had to offer.
In my quest for searching for a blog topic, I was literally about to ask the girl at the concession stand what kind of anti fatigue mats they were standing on. Perhaps some Performa or other non-slip drainage mats? I stopped myself. I knew that If I opened my mouth not only would I ooze depression and desperation for some conversation, but this young female worker might assume that I’m hitting on her and I wanted to spare myself and her the embarrassment of having to clarify that I am not awkwardly trying to hit on her, but I actually really do have in interest as to the fatigue mats she is standing on.
After a nice long narrative involving good ol fashioned American exceptionalism (Mandarin in this movie, however, is not Mandarin at all), I found myself pondering in very deep ways the nature of the universe as I often do after a sci-fi action movie. When I got back to my car, instead of driving home, I drove up to a nice dark empty spot just outside the valley. Low light pollution but not quite rural yet. I went to the trunk and pulled out the embossed yoga mat that I had “borrowed” from work. You see, whenever a yoga mat order gets placed with an embossed logo on it, we get a free unit to make sure it is up to par with what the customer received. I got to keep this particular one since it was, unfortunately from an older plate manufacturer we no longer use and was not as nice as the rest of our regular lots. I hastily (I had precious little time to do so as I still had to be at work the next day) unfurled the yoga mat across the hood of my “new” car and watched the stars while sipping on the last of my watered down coca-cola. At that point, I felt small and insignificant enough to suddenly not care about any of my particular woes. The stars just guided me for the next hour and a half.
Posted on: May 24th, 2013 by Ben Gonzalez
I came down with a nasty flu this week. Not nasty in length, but in severity. 103 degree fever for a solid four plus hours or so. When it finally broke, I felt like I was hallucinating. And I actually was. You see, I thanked my girlfriend for bringing me the glass of water that I didn’t ask for and in reality, wasn’t even there. After stumbling from bed to the kitchen for some refreshment and battling my cat to not trip me as I shuffled my feet in what can only be described as an alien imitation of human bipedalism, I had a revelation. I was sick from the gym! Of course! All the grime, sharing equipment, and that one folding exercise mat
I used… I remember the one. I had a bad feeling about using the common exercise mat
but I went ahead and did it anyway. Four days later, BAM! Sick as dog. Now, I wouldn’t dare suggest that this particular facility does not disinfect its workout mats
regularly, but I have my suspicions.
I always wondered why we sell our mat disinfectant
. That sounds stupid… I know WHY we use them, but I never really thought about it in context. But the sweat, the grunts, the exhausting of ones body to the limits while perspiring sweat and salival grunts, well, let’s just say your gonna be swapping fluids (involuntarily) with a couple of people at your gym. I’d like to think that ALL gyms (and after researching OF COURSE THEY DO) disinfect their daily use common equipment with disinfectants and a mat cleaner
, but if you happen to be extra paranoid like me, take your own aerobic mats with you from here on out.
Posted on: May 8th, 2013 by Ben Gonzalez
Oh, Iâ€™m sorry. I didnâ€™t notice you reading there. I am seriously sleep deprived. I think Iâ€™ve touched on this topic before but I have a son. His name is Bobby and he has a crepuscular eating disorder. This means that he enjoys eating copious amounts of food at dawn and twilight. Occasionally heâ€™ll nibble throughout the day, but he gets up before his parents. A typical night will consist of me being out for the count rolled up with my body pillow sometime around 11:30pm midnight if Iâ€™m lucky. By 5:00am, he swats me across the face a couple of times knocking my sleeping mask off to wake me and then stares. Just stares… You see, Bobby is a cat. And what a cat. Heâ€™s an adorable little loverboy. There isnâ€™t a single violent bone on the catsâ€™ body and heâ€™s soft as a pillow. However, he is not the cleanest eater.
After stumbling my way half awake to the fridge to get him some wet food pre-dawn, I usually kick the dish on accident, spill some water, and on my worst mornings, step right ON his food from the day before… This is unacceptable according to my girlfriend, so it has been decide for me to make the investment in a pet placemat, as if we don’t have enough pet products already. That way if I spill more of the cats food (again, ME not the cat because that would be too far fetched), we can rest easy knowing that itâ€™s not on the carpet. The really very nice carpet that the cat grinds its claws on anyway. We may as well invest in some nice indoor kitchen mats and olefin carpet for him to destroy while weâ€™re at it.
Cats are jerks but… gotta love em.
Posted on: April 30th, 2013 by Ben Gonzalez
Spring time comes to town and allergies all around. I can already feel the sunshine on my face, the happiness, the overwhelming sense of joy at little critters being born and coming out of their cubby holes to eat one another. Also, delicious pollen and allergens floating in the air all ready to make us break out in hives, get sever sinus headaches, and all around very moody.
But not me… no sir. Iâ€™ve got a plan. That plan in copious amounts of indoor time. Thatâ€™s right. What better way to enjoy the rites of Spring then staying indoors with your comfort products watching nature shows. Itâ€™s like all the fun of the outdoors without the dangers of a foreboding urban landscape and even worse: nature! Iâ€™ll be turning on my stories (read: PS3) and exercising (read: rotting) my under stimulated mind with epic interactive action stories! However, I have a cramped space and currently lack a â€˜man caveâ€™ of sorts. I always thought it was funny that a ‘mans cave’ has so many ‘kids products‘.Â Anyway, my current living situation does not permit me to truly veg out in true Spring fashion. Thatâ€™s where our kids bean bag chairs come in. Not only are they small enough to serve as comfy rockers for my bum, but because kids furniture is technically compact for my size, they actually force me to sit up straight much better! Itâ€™s the perfect solution to keep me indoors, safe, and judging by how ridiculous this all sounds, possibly abstinent! Nice sports rugs would be cool too!Â Happy Spring everybody!
Posted on: April 17th, 2013 by Ben Gonzalez
Luckily for our customers, we do our best to navigate them through the various pros and cons of anything from 3/16″ PVC yoga mat vs the 3/16″ natural rubber yoga mat or 1-3/8″ thick crosslink vs 2″ thick. This,
however, can’t guarantee against the guiles of a stubborn customers who despite their best intentions and frugality do come into play in our daily routine.
Our SoftWood flooring is one of our most popular items and one of the ones surrounded by this exact kind of issue. A soft EVA foam with a nice laminate top emulating various wood tones like cherry, walnut, and two shades of oak are a perfect additions as kids playroom flooring, a family room in the basement, or most commonly, display booths at trade shows. This is where it gets ‘controversial’. While these tiles are very durable, a trade show has higher than normal amounts of actual foot traffic. A good portion of this foot traffic can be women’s (or men’s… we don’t discriminate) heels. While it depends on the type of heel and the person walking on it, we stress that THEY CAN but won’t necessarily leave an imprint or permanent indentation. In the worst case scenarios (happens less than 1/100 times!), a tile might even get punctured. It’s stressing these kinds of points to our customers and having an honest dialogue, as opposed to just driving a sale, that really makes a customer feel comfortable making a decision to purchase something online from a person across the country they can’t even see.
One of our recent customers, Allan from Picaboo Yearbook, just sent me this today:
“Hi there, Love the [trade show flooring] floor, it is a great compliment to our booth. I think I may have sold 2 more floors for you to other exhibitors. I gave them your company name. Thanks for your help!”