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.
August 2nd, 2013 by Kelly Green
Among the biggest rivalries in history is Mother’s Day versus Father’s Day. Think about the disparity between the two:
Moms get flowers, Dads get ugly ties.
Moms get candy, Dads get whoopee cushions and flatulence jokes.
Moms get to eat out, Dads end up choking on barbeque smoke.
Okay, I admit, I don’t have a problem with any of this. In fact, given the choice of waiting for expensive food prepared by a temperamental French cook and grilling my favorite chunk of meat on a mesquite grill with an icy beverage and some 60’s bebop blaring, I’ll take the grill anytime.
I bet you’re wondering how this all relates to mats. Me too. . . Wait, I got it!
Just as there is a perceived disparity between the two holidays, there may be a perceived disparity between two of our exercise floor mats, it all depends on the end user. Consider sports that use mats like wrestling mats versus gymnastic mats.
A wrestling mat is not a gymnastic floor. Typically a mat used for wrestling has fantastic energy absorption properties. When a mass with terrific kinetic force comes to an abrupt stop, generally speaking, you want that mass to have a fairly cushioned landing area so as not to have said mass break, spindle or mutilate. There has to be some degree of “pillowing”.
Contrast this with gymnastic floor mats need. Rather than absorb kinetic energy, it amplifies and returns the energy and softens landings without reducing kinetic energy. Without this property, tumbling runs would rely solely on the limb strength of the athlete to obtain height and rotation.
If you were to wrestle on a gymnastic floor, it would look like an old cartoon as bodies would be slammed about like Bam Bam Rubble from the Flintstones manhandling Barney BAM BAM BAM BAM! Whereas trying to do a double back or even a running front Russian on a wrestling mat would take legs the size of a youthful Arnold Schwarzenegger.
I look at the sentimental cards and handmade artsy-crafty stuff that makes my beloved wife get all teary eyed on Mother’s Day and I think, “What the heck is that?!” Just as I am sure my wife think, “That tie looks like a clown threw up, please don’t let him wear that outside where people can see.”
It’s all about the end user.
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!
July 26th, 2013 by Kelly Green
So, you want to set up a home exercise area. One of the first things you should do is decide what type of exercise regimen you will follow. Aerobics, Yoga, weight machines, free weights, martial arts, Pilates, Zumba. All of these programs require specific flooring needs. As an example, let’s look at the difference between the flooring needs of free weights versus aerobics.
With free weights, consider these important factors.
Sub floor protection. Weights are . . . well . . . weighty, and are generally not made of feathers or fluff. If you don’t believe me, just drop one on your toe. You need a durable, high density, wear resistant surface with great noise absorption properties. Dependent on the amount of weight being used and the type of apparatus, my suggestion would be a recycled rubber flooring. One of the thicker rolled rubbers or maybe one of the Tuff n Easy interlocking tiles. Rubber flooring tiles are ideal for weight lifting because not only do they provide great floor protection but they also provide perfect footing, focusing on stability while incorporating anti-fatigue properties. Since the product is made from rubber, its wear and durability characteristics are assured. Besides, when lifting a bar, it feels cool when you put the bar down to have it bounce a little, proving how heavy it was.
Now consider the different criteria for an aerobic surface. Rather than being stationary, aerobics involve bouncing about like a rabid wombat in heat. (I looked it up in the Australian Wikipedia) Traction, energy return, anti-fatigue and comfort, tops the list of preferred properties. I would look closely at either the premium SoftFloor tiles or maybe even a carpeted crosslink rolls. The objective is to provide a springy floor with a lot of “energy return” rather than energy absorption. Traction is a major factor when utilizing more robust movement and softness is desirable for when you plop to the ground in an endorphin induced coma.
When looking for flooring, it pays to inform your sales representative as to the purpose you plan to put the floor to. “I want to set up an exercise area”, means different things to different people and we here at MatsMatsMats.com can be your consultative resource to find you the perfect floor for your needs.
July 15th, 2013 by Stag
In the news this week: “A group of American tourists have been rescued from a drifting Icelandic iceberg that broke off from land as they were trying to picnic upon it, complete with folding chairs and table. The five imperiled picnickers are safe, plucked by a small rescue boat from the ice slab floating atop deathly frigid waters of the Fjallsárlón glacial lagoon in Iceland, five-and-a-half hours east of Reykhavik.” The naïve little adventurers practically froze to death on this giant block of ice all to have a little scenic picnic.
One thing that would have helped them in this little escapade would have been some rubber mats. Rubber pads would have been a good insulator from the wild icy tundra that they all ended floating away on. They all made it back just fine, no need to worry there. But perhaps in the future they will all think ahead a bit and find a rubber mat of some kind to lay down between them and the freezing ice. Let this be a lesson to us all; if you are going to have a nice picnic on a floating landmass of ice, you may want to plan ahead slightly and pack some rolled rubber or rubber tiles instead of your favorite picnic blanket. I am sure that you be thankful you did.
July 9th, 2013 by Kelly Green
In the beginning, flooring options were limited. There was dirt. Lots and lots of dirt. Maybe some rocks. If you were snooty, you had cave wall to wall grass. As we evolved, we started using wood with the dirt and rocks. If you were lucky you had some animal skins, sometimes still attached to the animal, and maybe some leaves that, hopefully, wouldn’t give you a rash. The next evolution of floor coverings was the woven rug, area rug, throw rug and herbal rug. Rugs were universally despised. This, therefore, is the origin of the term “cutting the rug”. NOBODY likes a rug, ask Trump.
We have grown past all of these inferior flooring products. There are now flooring materials that have been fine-tuned for very specific activities. Are you writhing in a pile of bodies on the floor? You may need one of our new, remnant or lightweight wrestling mats. Are people getting tossed about like so much detritus in the wind? Some of our martial arts flooring options would work better, like the seamless floor option, interlocking floor mats, deluxe bi-layer martial arts mat or even one of these options with the addition of a throw mat for repeated impromptu flying lessons.
For the outdoor aeronautically inclined, we have the durable and popular bounceback playground tiles. These bad boys can cushion falls from up to 8’ in height, just the thing for highflying swingers without a self-preservation bone in their body. These will keep what bones they have, intact and ready to soar again.
When your website is named MatsMatsMats.com, you can bet we have a vast landscape of specialty mats and other floor coverings. From display floors to greetings at doors, from weight rooms to runners for grooms, from horse stalls to giant exercise balls, from mats that can heat to mats that provide aid to fatigued feet. If it fits on a floor, in front of a door, whether it’s one mat or more, come gather our lore, for we are MATSMATSMATS.COM!
July 3rd, 2013 by Stag
It was a very hot weekend here in Southern California and in jest my friends and I took a little trip to the Ice Rink to cool down a bit. Now, I have not been on a pair of ice skates in at least 10 plus years; thus making this a very “interesting” trip to say the least. Although I was not the only one, we were certainly one of the least coordinated bunch in the building that day. With that said it was certainly a good thing that the ice rink had some rolled rubber flooring laid out. I am even worse with walking in skates than I am on the ice with them.
The rubber flooring not only kept me from completely and utterly annihilating the rented skates (keeping them from being purchased skates; by me) but also helped to absorb the multiple impacts that I and my fellow uncoordinated friends took, simply on our way into the ice. Now if only they would have had some kind of rubber inlays for the ice rink it self then perhaps I would not have this beautiful shiner on my knee and shoulder. But with venture and adventure per say comes risks and the inevitable battle wounds.
In conclusion, the pain was better than the heat by far. A big thank you to the rolled rubber and as for you mister ice…we will meet again.
June 27th, 2013 by Kelly Green
One of my clients came up with a unique idea. Buy a bunch of the interlocking floor mats, the SoftWood foam tiles, and paint a mini basketball court on them for his three boys’ basement playroom. Mini hoops with foam basketballs clinched the deal. Heck, I wanted to go there myself and play. The obstacle was figuring out how to paint the SoftWood flooring without the paint chipping, cracking or rubbing off. I was so intrigued; we spent half the day calling various “experts” asking how this could be done.
When I went home, thoroughly defeated, my loving wife asked why I was whiny and mopey.
“I neither whine nor mope.” I said nobly
My wife’s jaw dropped to the floor in a very unseemly manner.
“HA! You whine more than a piglet on Bonaficio Day.”
“Who, the what now?”
“Filipino, learn the culture tanga boy.”
“Does tanga mean handsome in Tagalog?”
“Um. . . yes,” She said with shifty eyes, “Why don’t you just go get some vinyl stickers from somewhere? Won’t they adhere to the film laminate and not rub off or crack like any paint would?”
As I sat there, trying to think of a reason why this wouldn’t work, my wife beat a hasty retreat to the kitchen, no doubt in fear of the rapier sharp rejoinder on the tip of my tongue. Or it would be on the tip of my tongue if I had not been thinking of vinyl stickers to go on the SoftWood floor.
“I HAVE IT! I yelled, “I’ll get some vinyl stickers and put them on the SoftWood interlocking foam floor tiles to make it look like a basketball court! This opens up a world of possibilities, want to play at a Mini Wimbledon? Grab some green SoftCarpet tiles and make your own tennis court! French Open? Substitute the green SoftCarpet with Clay colored SoftFloor tiles. How about the Long Beach Grand Prix? SoftRubber tiles for a surface that looks like asphalt and the make a path in vinyl decals. Golf courses, football fields, baseball, all could be replicated on these surfaces. How about a giant chess or checkers board with NO decals, just red and black tiles? GOOD GOD! I AM a genius.”
The silence from the kitchen was not at all ominous.
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.
June 17th, 2013 by Kelly Green
It has been brought to my attention that most of my blogs are high in humor and low on information. I agree. Therefore I shall try my best to keep the humor to a minimum and increase the edification quotient.
Three men go on a hunting trip together and decide to stay at a local motel before the big day. As they walk across the entrance mats and are checking in to the motel, the clerk says, “Okay guys, that will be thirty dollars for the room.” The hunters each pull out a $10 dollar bill and give it to the clerk. Soon after they leave, the clerk remembers that this week all rooms get a special rate. Calling over the bellboy, he gives him 5 dollars. “Quick, take these 5 dollars and give them to the three men in room 207. The rate is $25.00 per night for that room NOT $30.00.
As the bell boy is riding up the elevator looking at the five dollars, he realizes that he can’t divide the 5 dollars evenly between the 3 hunters. “I know, I’ll just give each of them a dollar and call it a night.” Saying this to himself, he pockets two of the five dollars and continues to the hunters’ room passing by many beautiful door mats. The bell boy reaches the room in question and knocks on the door, “So sorry gents, you were overcharged for your room! Here is one dollar each.”
The hunters originally paid $10.00 each for the room, they all received $1 dollar back from the bellboy so in fact, they each paid $9 dollars for the room. $9×3=$27.00. The bell boy pocketed 2 dollars. $27.00+$2.00+$29.00. . . Where did the other dollar go?
The motel where they stayed had an outdoor TireTuff™, CleanScrape, Eco friendly flooring, outdoor floor mats, and a color coordinated entrance logo mat. They approached the front desk on a matching vinyl runner and stood on an anti-fatigue marble rubber mat whist registering.
Another runner led them to the elevator where yet more anti fatigue mats gently caressed their feet as they glided up to their room. They also noted that this particular hotel had a weight room with rolled rubber flooring. In addition, a side room offered massages on an eco-friendly 2” thick yoga mat with an unbleached, natural cotton shell, stuffed with 8 pounds of pure, natural, untreated cotton batting. All these products provided by MatsMatsMats.com.