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Sports Floor Care
Best Practices for Gym Floor Care

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.

Recommended Water-Based Gym Finish

Selection CriteraOption 1Option 2Option 3
Skill RequiredBasicAdvancedAdvanced
Number of ComponentsOneTwoThree
SolidsHigh (29%)Higher (36%)Highest (45%)
Drying Time4-6 Hours4-6 Hours12 Hours
Ready For Play72 Hours72 HoursOne Week
VOCsLow (<250)Low (<250)Very Low (<150)
Coverage500-600 sq ft / gal500-600 sq ft / gal500-600 sq ft / gal
Number of CoatsTwoOneOne
Recommended SealerCourt GuardCourt GuardCourt Guard
Recommended FinishDiamond 1KTrophy H2OIcon
Green Seal Certified SystemN/AN/AIcon Finish and Star Sealer

Protect The Finish

Dust Mop to Remove Grit and Soil

  • Dust mop after every two hours of use.
  • Treat dust mops with Super Hil-Tone the night before, not right before use.
  • Vacuum debris from the dust mop after each use. The labor-saving MopDoc® is an easy-to-use vacuum attachment to remove soil from dust mops.

Discourage Street Shoes

  • Street shoes track in dirt and debris that abrade and harm the finish. Sometimes shoes have dirt and stones embedded in the soles, a sure way to do much damage in a short time!

Scrub with an Automatic Scrubber or use a Hillyard Quick-Pass®

  • Automatic Scrubber Method: Scrub the gym floor with a white pad and Hillyard Pre-Game® or Super Shine-All®.
  • Hillyard Quick-Pass Method: Saturate a towel with Hillyard Pre-Game or Super Shine-All and drag the Quick-Pass across the floor.

ReconRevitalize with Recon

Recon® is a revolutionary technology developed by Hillyard’s chemists that gives floor maintenance crews an alternative to complete sanding and refinishing. As easy to apply as standard floor finish, Recon can revitalize sports floor finishes and be ready to play the next day. Learn more

Annual Gym Floor Maintenance

Once a year, Hillyard recommends removing and replacing a sports floor finish. After a thorough inspection to remove the gum and tape on the floor, clean and abrade the floor. Once the floor is clean and dry, use Hillyard Pre-Game and a tack cloth to remove all the dust. Apply one of Hillyard’s world-class gym floor finishes with either the Muti-Flo XP or a flat mop. Applying gym floor finish requires planning and training. Hillyard Account Managers are experts in this and many other cleaning processes. Use the “I’m Interested” Form to contact us, and one of our experts will reach out to help you.

Hillyard Gym Floor Finishes

ProductBaseResinSolidsVOCSq-Ft/GalDurability1Dry Time2Abrade3Skill4
1907 WaterOil-Modified Urethane29%<190500-550***4-6 HoursN/A51
Trophy H2O WaterUrethane36%<250500-600****4-6 HoursNo2
Icon WaterEpoxy45%<150400-600****12 HoursNo2
Diamond 1K WaterUrethane29%<250500-600****4-6 HoursNo1
275 Gym Finish SolventOil-Modified Urethane56%<275500-600*****24 HoursYes2
350 Gym Finish SolventOil-Modified Urethane50%<350500-600*****24 HoursYes2
450 Gym Finish SolventOil-Modified Urethane50%<450500-600*****24 HoursYes2
Gold Medalist SolventOil-Modified Urethane40%520500-600*****12 HoursYes2

1 Durability Range: ** Very Good, *** Excellent, ***** Extreme
2 Dry time can vary based on local conditions
3 Abrasion between finish coats required if applied within 18 hours
4 Coating skills required for application: 1 = basic, 2 = experienced
5 Court Guard is the primer for 1907, refer to Court Guard / 1907 label instructions


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