Safety. Protection. Appearance.
We understand modern-day wood sports floor care because our founder invented it. In the early 1900s, Newton Hillyard developed a modern-day urethane gym finish. Mr. Hillyard saw a need to improve safety for the athletes playing on slippery courts maintained with sawdust and oil. He invented a finish to protect both the floor and the athletes. And, since the courts were a source of community pride, Newton wanted to help maintain appearance. Since then, the Hillyard Companies have expanded on Newton’s legacy, continuing to develop innovative, state-of-art sports floor care systems.
Selecting a Sports Floor Coating System.
Hillyard Sports Floor Coatings can be divided into solvent- and water-based categories. Solvent-based finishes have been in use for a very long time. More recently, in response to customers’ interest in lower environmental impact systems, Hillyard pioneered water-based alternatives to solvent-based floor finish. To that end, Hillyard also developed the first Green Seal® certified gym floor coatings, Icon Gym Floor Finish and Star Wood Seal. While we still offer both systems, water-based has some benefits that give it a particular advantage.
Tone – Solvent-based finishes bring out the rich amber wood tones for a sports floor. Water-based finishes leave the wood with a more natural appearance.
Odor – Solvent-based finishes give off a strong smell that may bother workers and other building occupants, often requiring that the entire building be empty during application and curing. Water-based finishes, however, have virtually no odor and don’t require any special considerations about building occupancy or HVAC systems.
Drying Time – Water-based finishes dry faster than solvent-based finishes. Less drying time means that floors get back in service quicker.
When determining the total cost of finishing a sports floor, the price per gallon is only one factor. Other factors include health and environmental impact, time to return the floor to service, ease of application, and the time between sandings. Water-based finishes have a clear advantage.