Sports Flooring: The Daily Maintenance Essentials

A quality sports flooring installation is a significant expenditure, and there are several steps to be taken to avoid issues down the road. In addition to daily wear and tear, there are many environmental factors to consider when caring for your maple hardwood floor. 

Wood is a naturally porous material that can absorb and release moisture. If the humidity in your facility rises, your wood floor will absorb that moisture, causing it to expand. If the humidity falls, your wood floor will release moisture, causing it to shrink. 

Too much moisture causes abnormal expansion, which can lead to compression related issues, including buckling of your floor. In abnormally dry conditions the wood will contract, leaving separation gaps between flooring strips. To counter expansion, installations should include expansion voids around the perimeter, columns and floor inserts. These features permit natural, normal expansion and contraction without damage to the floor. 

To avoid these issues and increase the health and longevity of your maple hardwood sports floor, follow these care recommendations:

Six Steps for Proper Daily Maintenance:

  1. Sweep the floor daily with a properly treated dust mop. If the floor is used heavily, sweep it up to three times per day.
  2. Wipe up any spills or moisture on the floor surface immediately.
  3. Make sure the heating/ventilating and air conditioning units are functioning properly and are set to maintain indoor relative humidity between 35 and 50% year-round. In areas of consistently high or low outside humidity, a 15% fluctuation won’t adversely affect the maple.
  4. Remove scuff and heel marks using an approved floor cleaner applied with a soft cloth or a dust mop. Contact your floor finish manufacturer for approved cleaning products.
  5. Inspect your maple floor regularly for tightening or shrinkage. During wet weather, check for water leakage around doors and windows. Remove debris from the expansion voids.
  6. Always take steps to protect your floor when moving heavy portable equipment or lifts. Ensure portable equipment doesn’t have crowned wheels or wheels that include center ridges remaining from the molding process. These types of wheels can create significant damage to your floor.

Never Do the Following:

  • Never shut down the ventilation system in your facility for a prolonged period.
  • Never clean your maple hardwood floor using string mops or floor machinery — like a power scrubber — that introduce water onto the flooring surface. Water is your floor’s worst enemy.
  • Never attempt to modify or repair your maple hardwood sports floor without first consulting a certified contractor.
  • Never use household cleaning products or procedures. They can be harmful to the floor’s finish and to the wood and may leave floors sticky, slippery and potentially harmful for athletes. Your maple hardwood finish manufacturer will recommend the proper cleaning and maintenance materials.


John C. Evans is the technical director at MFMA. With more than 25 years of experience, he oversees all technical questions, field inspections, installer accreditation, technical content and literature, maintaining MFMA PUR Performance Standards, and maintaining the MFMA Grading Rules including oversight of onsite grading inspections. For more information on the installation, care and maintenance of your maple hardwood floor, visit