A Wooden Floor...

The week of August 23-28, 1998, Skate-A-Round USA, in Athens, GA, put a wooden floor over their old, worn-out concrete floor. The new floor is a fan-style floor.

Here's a list of the different styles of wooden floors.

The following are a few pictures of the process I took while helping. Enjoy. All of the pictures are less than 70K in size, so they shouldn't take long to load.

The first thing the rink did was allow customers to write on the old floor in markers. I took this picture after they left, so I don't know who wrote this. It sums up the situation quite nicely.

After all the customers left, we rolled out felt paper to protect the new floor from moisture, then placed two layers of plywood, one going the long way and the second crossing the first at an angle. This picture shows these three layers, looking along the right side of the rink toward the back. To the right is the carpeted area with a bench along the wall By the way, these three layers were almost completely done at the end of that Sunday night; most of the rest of the time went into laying the new skating surface.

After the plywood layers were completed, it was time to start laying the actual skate floor. Here you can see a section that is completed, and someone has started cutting off the 'scrap' pieces to form the smooth edge for each of the fans.

Here you can see the piles of wood we used in laying the floor. While it looks like there is a lot there, notice that each one is only two or three inches wide, so it doesn't go very far. On the left side of the picture is a nearly-full skid of the wood, while farther down you can see a nearly empty skid of wood. Also note the varying lengths: they were marked from 1 foot to 6 feet, but actually vary several inches within each bundle. You can also see on the right and near the center that some of the floor is done already. For the record, this picture is looking at the same side of the rink I called the 'right' earlier, but it's looking toward the entrance instead of away from it.

Air nailers are fast, but they have a limitation: they don't fit in at the very edge of the floor. So, around the entire length of the skating floor, the last row or two of boards had to be nailed in by hand...or, more correctly, with a smaller nailer. Which seemed like "by hand" after seeing the speed at which the rest of the floor was installed! This is again the right side, looking away from the entrance.

Here's a picture of the completed floor, about 20 minutes before the rink opened for that Friday night session (note how we still haven't finished cleaning up yet...it really got down to the wire). I've skipped a very important step here, sanding, but it wasn't very exciting, and I was busy helping in the far corner. This picture is from the snack bar, to the right of the center of the floor, looking toward the back of the rink. You can see one of the fans and then the straightaway, plus the middle of the floor. Of course, it isn't done with a palm sander; large walk-behind sanders did the job nicely. Unfortunately, there was still quite a bit of dust in the air that night, despite the large exhaust fan. My glasses were quite speckled with sawdust when I got home!

Well, I hope this was as interesting for you as it was for me. I took quite a few other pictures, but I think these cover the basic ideas. Comments and questions should be directed to webmaster@roller-skate.org.

URL: http://roller-skate.org/articles/floor/index.html
Written by RJ Marquette on 10/18/98. Revision 1.00 10/18/98.
Copyright © 1998 RJ Marquette. webmaster@roller-skate.org