How to cut and fit rollout mats
Rollout mats are an incredibly durable and versatile athletic flooring option. Boasting an impressive ability to cushion falls from critical heights over 1.5 m, rollout mats are great to use in a martial arts training centre. In addition, they’re incredibly portable, as they can be rolled up into tight cylinders and deployed with the help of one other person. As far as athletic flooring mats go, rollout mats are the perfect mats to use in either an established training centre or a mobile training space.
If you’re looking to install some rollout mats in your home, training centre, or to have them on hand if you are an independent martial arts trainer, it’s always best to learn how to utilize the mats to get the most out of them. Part of that comes from learning how to properly deploy, store, and even cut the mats to fit a bespoke mat layout. Below, you’ll learn some great tips to create a training space, and properly set up your rollout mats.
What are rollout mats, and how do I use them?
Rollout mats are an easy deployable type of mat, one that can be rolled up into a cylinder, moved about, and then laid out for a quick and easy setup. Rollout mats are made from high density XPE foam that is highly effective at cushioning falls, preventing injuries, and protecting the health of your athletes.
XPE is a cross-linked, polyethylene foam which is made up of tightly bonded molecules formed in the shape of a web, which creates an incredibly durable foam. XPE foam can be found in anything from home building to aircraft design, and the reason for this is that it has amazing thermal insulating properties. Overall, whether you want to create your own home gym to train your martial arts skills, or if you’re looking to branch out and start training other people, XPE is a wonderful mat.
What makes rollout mats great to use for martial arts training is that they not only are made from the best type of foam available on the market, but they are engineered to lay flat, preventing gaps, holes, and divots in the mats. In order to create a training surface using rollout mats, each rollout mat has Velcro connector strips which connect the mats together. This helps to prevent the mats from separating and helps to protect against injuries. Velcro strips are an upgrade from older models of rollout mats which used tape to hold them together, commonly coming apart when water, sweat, or movements affected the adhesive.
In addition, most rollout mats are made from 40 mm thick foam material, making it one of the best types of mats to use in martial arts training that involves throws, trips, or falls of critical heights over 1.5 m.
A wide variety of sports can be practiced on rollout mats, including wrestling, martial arts, and gymnastics. Rollout mats also feature a nonslip surface, which provides traction for athletes to perform lightning fast, blitz attacks, whilst also being safe to use for grappling, as it prevents friction burns.
If you’d like to see additional information, including details about how to pick out the perfect rollout mats, check out this article:
How can I cut rollout mats for a bespoke mat layout?
Great question! Rollout mats are incredibly easy to cut and fit into any space. If you know you would like to keep the mats in one spot, and you don’t want to lift them up, then cutting the mats to fit in your gym is a brilliant solution.
Most rollout mats come in rolls, ranging in length from 3 m to 6 m to 12 m and with a width of 1.5m. This means that you can outfit your home gym with rollout mats and you’ll likely be able to cover all the space that you have available in your training centre with one strip along the length.
If, however, your gym is a different size than those sizes listed up(3m, 6m, and 12m), by using a simple utility knife with a sharp blade, you can easily cut the mats to make them fit. Below, you can find a list of the materials that you need to properly fit your training centre with rollout mats:
- Sharp utility knife.
- Straight edge, like a ruler.
- Measuring tape.
- Chalk line
- Double-sided tape
- One or two people to lend you a hand
Step one: Measure your training space.
The most important thing that you can do when creating a bespoke mat layout for your training centre is to get an accurate measurement of the training space. You can do this by using a measuring tape and measuring all the walls of your training centre. Next, once you got the measurements for the length of the walls, find the square metres of the training space by using a simple formula for area (length X width = area).
Once you get the area for your training space, try to find out how many mats you’ll need to fill the space. For example, let’s say you’re working with a 11 metre by 11 m training space. In this case, purchasing 12 m full mat rolls would be the best for you, as it’s easier to cut back a metre with a utility knife, then buying smaller mats and trying to tape them together.
In this case, you’d need enough mats to cover 121 sq. metres of space. Each 12m X 1.5m rollout mat covers 18sq. metres, which means you’ll need 7 mats. However, there’s one more hiccup in the equation: Your training space is 11m long, and seven 1.5 metre mats only gets you to 10.5 metres. Therefore, you should purchase an additional mat, and cut it to a 1m strip to properly fit it into the space.
Too much maths for you? Don’t worry, as that’s the extent of the multiplication and division you’ll need to do.
After finding the area and how many mats you need, be sure to mention to the staff at British Martial Arts Mats, and they can help you to discern exactly what you need in order to fill your training space.
Step 2: Lay out your mats.
The next step for you is to grab one of the rolls of rollout mats and check to see how much physical space the mat takes up.
The goal is to layout tightly fitting mats, in order to avoid any void spaces. When measuring roll out mats, be sure to calculate the mats to fit the exact size of your training centre. It should be noted that martial arts mats need space to breathe near the wall, as they expand and contract due to temperature changes.
As a result, leave at least a 5 mm gap at the walls to make sure that you have room for movement. If you are placing the mats within your training centre, you may also wish to pull up the baseboards and any trim around doors and slide the mats underneath. You can use the baseboards then to cover any gaps that you have.
In addition, you may wish to use heavy duty, double-sided tape to prevent the mats from shifting. If you do this, place a strip of double-sided tape every 75cm on the bottom side of the roll. Double-sided tape can be an effective way to prevent the mats from shifting and moving when athletes are training on them.
Step 3: Cut back the mats.
When fitting rollout mats into a space, you’re bound to end up with a little bit of extra mat. You’ll need to cut back the mats in order for them to fit into the space. Since the mats are going to cover most of the training space, you’ll likely only have to make cuts on the far end of the mats.
Try to avoid cutting on areas where there are doorways or other openings, as people can see the lines which differ from the straight edge that comes with the mats.
The best way to get a straight cut is to draw a line with a straightedge or chalk line. In addition, set your straight edge on that line as a guide and cut back the excess foam mats.
When you get to the last roll of mats, you’ll have to make two different types of cuts: vertical cuts at the edge, and horizontal cuts that run the length of the mat. This is where having a chalk line will come in handy, especially if you have a rollout mat which is over 12 m in length. Snapping a chalk line can give you a straight line to follow, and you can also use a straightedge to get a perfect cut. Just put the straight edge up to the chalk line, apply pressure with your knife, and you should be able to cut back all the extra material.
How to properly provide upkeep for your mats
Once you have laid all the mats that you need for your martial arts training centre, it’s important to know how to properly keep them up so that you can enjoy years of using your martial arts mat. One of the best ways to keep up maintenance on your mats is to regularly sweep the mats off, as well as mopping with a mild cleaner.
Don’t use anything that has harmful chemicals or is corrosive, as this can affect the longevity of the mats, and can harm the athletes who are training on them.
A simple sugar soap and water mixture is great to use to clean off your mats after a busy training session. Sugar soap is an emulsifier, a chemical mixture which lifts oil out of materials, and can provide a great clean for your mats. In addition, using a mop can provide the mechanical action to sweep away any germs or bacteria which are growing on your mats.
Also, always test a chemical cleaner on a unseen spot on the surface of the mats, as this can help you to avoid discolouration.
Lastly, always check to make sure that the mats are properly Velcro’d to one another. After an intense training session, you may notice that the Velcro connectors are starting to come undone. If that happens, your best option is to reattach the Velcro after pieces.
Always inspect your mats prior to a training session, looking for any gaps or holes in the mats. If any mats have a gouge or a pit in then, do your best to replace the mat and get a new one in.
Rollout mats are an effective foam mat to use for martial arts training centres, as they are lightweight and durable, easy to deploy with just 2 people. If you’re considering making them a permanent fixture in your training centre, you may wish to lay the mats on a solid floor, and cut them to fit a bespoke mat pattern. Be sure to properly Velcro all the connector pieces together, and you should have a solid, singular training space to work on.
Regular upkeep and maintenance are important in order to keep the mats in perfect working condition and to prevent the spread of germs and bacteria. One of the best things about these mats is that they are great to use for both stand up striking sports, like karate, and grappling martial arts techniques like jujitsu and BJJ. You can’t go wrong with investing in a great set of rollout mats.