Best Tarps for Gym Floor Coverings

Why would a school or event center want to cover their gym floors? The reasons are endless. Gym floor coverings prevent scuffs and damage to a polished gym floor during an event like a dance or graduation. You can’t demand guests take off their shoes, but you can protect your investment with a heavy-duty, non-slip tarp. If you’re hosting an awards show, sponsoring a community dinner, or setting up a graduation breakfast, tarps can help you avoid costly repairs, refinishing, and maintenance.

What should you look for in a tarp that’s designed to protect gym floors? Here are the things to think about and some of our picks for the best tarps for gym floor coverings.

Qualities a Floor Covering Needs to Have

Every tarp has an ideal use. Some tarps are waterproof while others are only water-resistant. Some do not repel water at all and allow water to pass through with ease. You have tarps that rip easily, but other tarps withstand damage for years. Finding the right tarp for your floor covering project comes down to the reason you want the tarp.

Before choosing your tarp, come up with a list of the features you need. If the tarp slides around when you walk on it, it’s a lousy choice. You don’t want people coming to your gym and slipping. A slip and fall accident could be costly.

If you’re covering the gym floor for a fun fair or carnival where they may be games where there is water, you want a waterproof tarp to protect the floor. If you’re hosting a meal with food and beverages, a waterproof tarp that’s easy to clean is important.

You also want a tarp that can withstand heavy traffic. If people will be wearing heels, you want a tarp that won’t easily rip or tear. You don’t want a tarp that stains.

What if you’re painting gym walls and ceilings? You need to protect the floor from paint splatters. The right tarp offers the protection you need.

Our Picks for the Best Tarps for Gym Floor Coverings

What are the best tarps for gym floor coverings? The tarp you choose for a wedding aisle runner won’t be the same as the one you’re using for a big painting job. These are our favorite tarps and closer looks into when and why you’d want each of them.

Painting Projects

Painting walls and ceilings? The 10-ounce untreated canvas tarps are perfect. They’re lightweight but tough. They’re made from 100% cotton, which makes them washable. Grommets are spaced every two feet, so they’re easy to secure over bleachers or other fixtures. Order these canvas tarps in one of 20 sizes (5 by 7 feet to 40 by 40 feet) or complete the online form to order a custom size. If your project will require ladders, you’ll want a heavier tarp that can handle the damage a ladder could cause.

Another tarp to consider when you’re painting gym ceilings is the butyl rubber coated drop cloth. This triple-coated rubber tarp is slip-resistant and tough enough to have a ladder sitting on it. It’s not going to allow any paint to get through the material to the gym floors you’re protecting. Purchase one of four sizes that range from 4.5 by 15 feet to 12 by 15 feet.

Events and Banquets With Heavy Foot Traffic

Does your gym floor covering need to be non-slip? Are you trying to keep the floor protected from food and beverage spills? We have a couple of suggestions.

With 18-ounce vinyl coated polyester tarps, the back is non-slip, so it’s not going to move around as people walk on it. It’s also waterproof, which makes it one of the best floor coverings you can find for protection during a banquet dinner or graduation breakfast. Order the tarp in one of 10 sizes ranging from 5 by 7 feet to 20 by 30 feet. You can also order the 18-ounce vinyl coated tarp in a custom size.

Vinyl laminated tarp is another sturdy tarp to use for covering a gym floor. You can purchase 13-ounce vinyl laminated tarp in five-foot widths or in nine sizes starting at 5 by 7 feet and going up to 20 by 30 feet. Custom sizes are also available. If you’re stuck between this tarp and a vinyl-coated tarp, the vinyl-laminated is flame retardant.

Wedding Aisle Runners

To save money, some couples rent a school or recreation center’s gymnasium for their wedding. Wedding aisle runners are an attractive way to cover areas of a gym floor. Flame retardant muslin has a tight weave and is 100% cotton. Its natural color will fit into your wedding décor. If candles are part of your décor, the flame retardant material is ideal. Purchase flame retardant heavy natural muslin tarp in widths ranging from 9.83 feet to 39 feet. The material comes in a bale that measures about 65 yards in length.

For weddings that do not require fire-retardant material, you cannot go wrong with jute. The 10-ounce natural burlap has a natural, rustic look and is dyed to remove any odors. It comes in five or six-foot widths. If you want to purchase colored burlap, purchase it in a 35-yard roll. Colors include Ecliptic Blue, Florida Sand, Smoke Charcoal, and Snap Pink. Call us for a full listing of color options.

Tips for Buying Tarps for Floor Coverings

Chicago Canvas & Supply sells most tarps as cut size, and this is important when you’re ordering a tarp. Cut size means the hems and seams are not factored into the width and length of the material. If you need a tarp that is 12 by 12 feet and go ahead and order a 12 by 12 cut-size tarp, you’ll end up with a tarp that falls short. By the time you take out a few inches on each side for the seams and hems, you’ll end up with a tarp size more like 11.5 by 11.5 feet. Finish size measurements are the final measurements after seams and hems are added.

Once you have a list of your must-have qualities, give us a call. Chicago Canvas & Supply is happy to discuss your project or event and help you get the best tarp to cover a gym floor. We can also help you size the tarp correctly so that you have a tarp that fits your space once we add the grommets and hems. It may seem confusing, but we’re here to help. Give us a call and let us know how we can help you find the right tarp for your needs.