BEFORE Fighting Chance Seattle holds its adult kickboxing classes at Outrageously Fit, a personal training gym in Ballard. Entering the second year of our partnership, Outrageously Fit was interested in upgrading the wood floor in its classroom.
STEP 1: UNPACK The tiles arrived in six large boxes of nine panels (with edge pieces). Since we were cutting to fit the room, we had leftover edge pieces.
STEP 2: GATHER TOOLS I used a t-square, utility knife, measuring tape and a blue pencil. Be sure to have extra blades handy, they dull fast on the thick EVA foam.
STEP 3: PICK A CORNER I started in the most square corner of the room. This saved time as I didn’t have to trim the tiles bordering these walls.
STEP 4: MEASURE TWICE By measuring out the obstacles one tile at a time I was able to anticipate angled walls and wavy molding. Don’t forget to accommodate the interlocking tiles in your measurements.
STEP 5: CHECK YOURSELF Line your measurements up with the wall. I erred on the side of cutting smaller openings. You can get an extra eighth of an inch to fit by forcing the piece in.
STEP 6: CUTTING I doubled-up the packaging for a handy cutting mat. I was able to score the foam with two or three slow, deep cuts but the blade isn’t long enough for a complete cut, so you must separate the pieces by hand.
STEP 7: OOPS It is possible that some edges may fall in a weird way against obstacles and result in tabs being partially cut or weakened. This isn’t a defect, it just worked out that the seam fell right against the obstacle I cut out.
STEP 8: FIX-UPS To fix this cut tab, I pushed a few toothpicks through the middle. I would only do this for aesthetic reasons on an edge piece against the wall. Nobody wants to get an accidental toothpick in the foot.
STEP 9: ANCHOR DOWN Once I fixed the loose tab, I fitted the opening around the column against the wall. With a sturdy anchor, we are now free to connect the mats in the center of the floor.
STEP 10: PLACEMENT I elected to have the surface lines all face the same direction (I thought it might help with sweeping the floor). The tiles all fit together nicely.
STEP 11: CUSTOM CUTS I cut pieces to fit around doors, cabinets and other obstacles. Because I chose one corner as an anchor, the floor is firmly locked into place and I can get precise measurements.
STEP 12: TRICKS I used a piece of discarded mat material to extend an angle from this pipe and mark down the cut I needed to make.
STEP 13: LAST PIECE I used a scrap for this last piece. By cutting and measuring carefully I ended up with two full tiles to use as replacements.
STEP 14: GAPS Here I measured the angle of the wall incorrectly and ended up with an unsightly gap. Rather than cut a new piece, I cut a long triangle from a discarded piece and wedged it into the gap.