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Summer Renovation Season: Renovating Gym Floors
2024 Update

Once the school year ends, facility managers have a brief opportunity to complete critical cleaning tasks. Planning for this time is crucial because it will help you avoid common pitfalls. Shortfalls in cleaning supply inventory, trained manpower, or equipment capabilities can grind summer renovation progress to a halt.


A comprehensive summer renovation plan helps managers achieve desired outcomes by minimizing disruptions caused by resource shortfalls. Critical steps in this planning process include determining the scope of work, allocating resources, and developing a schedule to avoid troubles. Make the most of the summer renovation season by working with your local Hillyard representative to develop a comprehensive plan. Hillyard has everything you need to complete your summer renovation, including cleaning chemicals, floor finishes, equipment, supplies, and personal protective equipment.

Planning a Wood Floor Renovation Program

Hillyard recommends an annual scrub and recoating of gym floors. This process will generally include the following steps:

  1. Inspect the floor. Remove any tape or gum stuck to the floor.
  2. Clean and abrade the floor. By thoroughly cleaning and abrading the floor, the existing finish is prepared to allow new layers of finish to adhere to the floor.
  3. Tack the floor. This process removes any remaining dust from the floor.
  4. Apply the gym finish. This process will vary based on the type of finish on the floor. Applying a base coat between the existing finish and the new finish layers is sometimes necessary. See the specific instructions for the finish used to determine if a base coat is needed.
  5. Allow the finish to cure. Follow the instructions on the label regarding cure time. Some finishes can be ready for game use after seventy-two hours. Other finishes require a whole week to cure. Hillyard has detailed instructions for all types of gym finishes. See the links below for the procedure that applies to your specific application.

NOTE: Please get in touch with a wood floor contractor if your flooring needs complete sanding and finish. This process is far more complicated than scrubbing and recoating and will require additional steps like repainting logos and lines. Hillyard has relationships with many contractors, and we can help you find one in your area. Use the "I'm Interested" form to contact us and we will help you get your project done.

Instructional Videos

VIDEO: Wood Floor Preparation, Dry Method

VIDEO: Wood Floor Preparation, Wet Method

VIDEO: Wood Floor Finish Application

Wood Floor Scrub and Recoat Procedures

DOCUMENT: Scrub and Recoat Procedure, Diamond 1K

DOCUMENT: Scrub and Recoat Procedure, Trophy H20

DOCUMENT: Scrub and Recoat Procedure, Icon


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Facility Armor Contain Mat, 6' x 6'

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Case Study: Scrub and Recoat of a 10,000 square foot gym floor


This study will examine the materials and labor required to renovate a 10,000-square-foot wood sports floor. To get a rough estimate of your building, scale the results accordingly. Other parameters for this analysis include floor preparation by a wet abrasion process and Trophy H2O finish without a base coat. These parameters require that the floor have a sufficient finish buildup of two or three coats of a Hillyard water-based gym floor finish.

The exact procedure we’re analyzing, specific to Trophy H2O, is found at this link. A complete set of Gym Floor Scrub and Recoat procedures covering other gym floor finishes are found at this link.

Step 1 - Inspect the Floor

Proper preparation is the key to great results. In this first step, personnel will closely examine the floor to remove any gum or tape, review the product label instructions, and identify any issues, like damaged flooring, that must be addressed before proceeding.

Labor Required: This step is highly variable. For this example, we will assign 30 minutes to this task.

Step 2 - Clean and Abrade the Floor

In this step, we use Hillyard Pre-Game Tacking Solution, a cleaning machine, and Trident Multi-Finish Prep Pads (MFPP) to thoroughly clean and abrade the old floor finish. Abrading is making small, shallow cuts in the floor finish surface. These shallow cuts improve the adhesion of the new finish we will add to the floor.

Hillyard Pre-Game is a water-based formulation designed for floor preparation. Pre-Game helps remove dust, dirt, and other contaminants. Pre-Game leaves no greasy residue, ensuring a clean surface for better bonding of future coatings.

Use an automatic scrubber or a combination of an orbital floor machine and a wet-dry vacuum to abrade the floor. The automatic scrubber offers a substantial productivity gain over the floor machine. We will use MFPPs at a rate of 250 square feet per side. For this process, we recommend cleaning the floor at a slower speed compared to regular scrubbing. Our productivity rates during this step are 33% of the standard ISSA scrubbing rate.

Materials Used, Wet Abrasion Method

  • Area cleaned: 10,000 square feet
  • Cleaning Solution Usage Rate: 1.3 Gallons per 1,000 square feet
  • Total Cleaning Solution Used: 1.3 Gallons x 10 = 13 Gallons
  • Hillyard Pre-Game Dilution Ratio: 1:4 (20% solution)
  • Pre-Game Solution Used: 13 Gallons x 20% = 2.7 Gallons

Surface Preparation Pads: 250 square feet per side, 500 square feet per pad. For 10,000 square feet, we use 20 pads.

Labor Required, Wet Abrasion Method

Orbital Floor Machine & Wet/Dry Method20-inch Automatic Scrubber Method
33% Wet Abrasion Scrubbing Productivity Rate (sqft/hr)1,1003,060
Scrubbing Hours Required9.03.3
Wet Pickup Productivity Rate (sqft/hr)2,222N/A
Wet Pickup Hours Required4.5N/A
Total Labor Hours13.53.3

Now that the floor is cleaned and abraded, it's time for the next step.

Step 3 – Tack the Floor

In this step, we will remove as much debris as possible from the floor. Residual debris can lead to defects in the floor finish.


We will use 0.4 gallons of Pre-Game concentrate to make 2.0 gallons of RTU solution. Using a push broom and terry cloth towels, tack the floor with the Pre-Game Solution. Plan on using about 10 pounds of clean terry cloth towels during this process. This process will take about an hour. This process could be done in about 20 minutes using a Hillyard Quick-Pass.

Once the floor is dry, dry-tack the floor with Chix Brand Masslinn Dust Cloths. This process will consume two or three cloths and take about half an hour.

Step 4 - Apply the Trophy H2O Gym Finish

Now that the floor is abraded, clean and dust free, it’s time to apply the gym finish. Hillyard recommends applying Trophy H2O at 500 to 600 square feet per gallon. For this analysis, we will use the middle of that range, 550 square feet per gallon.

There are two methods that Hillyard recommends for applying Trophy H2O, a lightweight T-bar or the Multi-Flo XP. The Multi-Flo XP will save some labor.

Materials Used, Floor Finish Application

  • Total Finished Area: 10,000 square feet
  • Finish Coverage: 550 square feet per gallon
  • Total Trophy H2O Used: 18.2 Gallons

Labor Needed, Floor Finish Application

Lightweight T-BarMulti-Flo XP
ISSA Productivity Rate (sqft/hr)2,00010,000
Total Labor Hours51

Once the Trophy H2O has been applied, Turn on the exhaust system one to two hours after applying Trophy H2O. Allow Trophy H2O Gym Finish to cure at least 24 hours before opening up to light traffic and 72 hours before opening up to athletic use. NOTE: Temperature and humidity will affect the drying and curing properties.


Now that the floor is ready for game play, let's take a look at the scoreboard...

Here are the materials we used for this project.

ProductQuantity Used
Hillyard Pre-Game3.1 Gallons
Terry Cloth10 pounds
Chix Masslinn Cloth3 cloths
Trophy H2O Finish18.2 Gallons

The labor required to refinish a gym floor will depend on the methods selected. See the table below to estimate the labor required for the various combinations.

Slower ProcessFaster Process
Inspection0.5 Hours0.5 Hours
Wet Abrasion PreparationOrbital Floor Machine
(13.5 Hours)
Automatic Scrubber
(3.3 Hours)
Damp TackingPush Broom
(1 Hour)
Quick Pass
(0.3 Hours)
Dry Tacking0.5 Hours0.5 Hours
Finish ApplicationLightweight T-Bar
(5 Hours)
Multi-Flo XP
(1 Hour)
Total Labor Hours20.5 Hours5.6 Hours

Hillyard can help you plan and execute your project.

Hillyard has a network of experts stationed throughout the United States, ready to assist you in planning your gym floor renovation. Whether you're seeking guidance on selecting the right cleaning chemicals, floor finishes, equipment, or supplies, our knowledgeable representatives are equipped to offer tailored solutions to meet your specific needs. With their expertise, you can navigate through the renovation process with confidence, ensuring optimal results for your facility. Take the first step towards your renovation journey by filling out the "I'm Interested" form at the bottom of this page, and one of our experienced professionals will promptly reach out to assist you.

DISCLAIMER:  Specifications are subject to change without notice. Examples and recommendations in this article may not apply to every situation. This information is provided on an “as is” basis and does not supersede any other documentation. Always follow the instructions as written on the product label.

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