LANCASTER, PA—Guestrooms and fitness centers in hotels can be loud spaces, but perhaps the most overlooked producer of the noise is the floor. Feet stomping or the movement of luggage can be a disturbance for anyone sleeping in the guestroom below, while the dropping of weights on the fitness room floor could stop a lecture mid-sentence in a nearby meeting room.
Ecore, a nearly 150-year-old company based here, transforms reclaimed materials into flooring products designed to provide more safety; increased sound and vibration absorption; and an enhanced force reduction and energy restitution, according to Virginia Armstrong, the company’s director of hospitality.
“We eat, sleep and breathe fitness. While other companies are promoting suitable products for the floor, we are developing floors that go beyond the surface and address the human interaction,” she said. “We simply believe a floor can do more when it comes to ergonomics, acoustics and safety. For a hotelier, guest experience drives everything. And, with the swift evolution of fitness away from static equipment to functional and weight-based training, the flooring surface has become the most critical piece of equipment, not simply another aesthetic on the finish schedule.”
Ecore is a company that prides itself on sustainability. Ecore removes 86 million pounds of reclaimed materials annually but only generates two million pounds of waste, making it 43 times landfill-neutral, noted Armstrong, who added, “Our rubber surfaces support the ASTM E2129-05 Sustainability Assessment and meet Washington state’s standard for low VOCs (volatile organic compounds), contribute toward LEED points, provide product specific Health Product Declarations, and offer product-specific Environmental Product Declarations.”
Ecore is the approved fitness flooring vendor for Hilton, and the preferred flooring supplier for Marriott; Hyatt Place and Hyatt House; Best Western; and Cambria, according to Armstrong. “Though we may not be approved with other brands, many of them reach out to us for performance flooring solutions when they are refreshing their fitness center flooring,” she said.
Ecore offers a variety of surfaces for the hospitality industry, including vinyl over rubber products; underlayments with great acoustical features; reclaimed post-consumer rubber performance products; luxury vinyl tile (LVT) systems; and turf surfaces.
The Rx Collection, including Forest Rx, Strait Rx, Cosmos Rx and Infinity Rx, features Ecore vulcanized composition rubber backing fusion-bonded to a heterogeneous vinyl. The result of that, noted Armstrong, is surfaces that contain the sound in fitness spaces and guestrooms. “An undergraduate research study conducted by the University of Hartford’s Acoustic Program in 2014 concluded that Forest Rx is as quiet as carpet,” she said.
The ECOsurfaces Collection includes seven vulcanized composition rubber products, and delivers the necessary force reduction and energy restitution to provide ideal ergonomic and safety characteristics, according to the company. “In addition to providing comfort, the collection offers anti-fatigue capabilities, which is ideal for workouts,” Armstrong said.
She added that the preferred surfacing solution for guestrooms is the AttainSilence System, which combines the 16-pattern Attain collection of LVT (available in 16 patterns) and the ECOsilence underlayment (available in four thicknesses). “The AttainSilence System combines the varied look of Attain with the reliable performance of ECOsilence to create one warranted system that provides a supreme solution to the acoustical challenges of a hospitality environment,” said Armstrong. HB