Wall mats are an essential component for spaces dedicated to martial arts such as MMA, BJJ, Judo, or gymnastics activities. Properly fitted and installed wall mats protect athletes from potential injuries and offer a safe environment for practice and training. In this blog post, we will guide you through the process of custom-fitting a standard wall mat, which is 1.83m in height, 61cm wide, and 50mm thick, ensuring your training area is as safe as possible.
1. Materials & Specifications
Before diving into the installation process, let’s understand the composition of the wall mats:
- Size: 1.83m x 61cm x 50mm
- Compressed high-impact foam: 40mm
- Plywood backing: 10mm
- Vinyl covering: Stapled to the back of the plywood
- Lip: 40mm lip at the top and bottom, which doesn’t have the foam
For the installation, you will need:
- Raw plugs
- Measuring tape
- Pencil or marker
- Electric drill and bits
- Jigsaw or utility knife
2. Measuring and Marking
Before beginning the installation:
- Measure the Wall: Calculate how many full mats you can fit on the wall. The height should accommodate the mats’ length of 1.83m.
- Account for Obstructions: Check for any light switches, outlets, or other obstructions where the mats will be placed. You might need to cut half panels or make adjustments in these areas.
- Mark the Spots: Using a pencil or marker, clearly mark where the top and bottom of the mats will be placed. Use a level to ensure the lines are straight.
3. Adjusting for Obstructions & Bespoke Sizes
In cases where there are obstructions or when creating custom-sized panels:
- Unstapling the Vinyl: Lay the mat with the plywood side facing up. Using a staple remover or flat-head screwdriver, carefully remove the staples holding the vinyl to the plywood.
- Peel Away the Vinyl: Once all staples are out, gently peel back the vinyl covering from the areas you’ll be cutting. If you’re cutting out a large section or creating a half-panel, you might need to peel away a significant portion of the vinyl.
- Mark the Area: With the vinyl peeled back, place the mat against the wall (or use measurements) and mark the areas you need to cut out using the pencil or marker.
- Cutting: Using a jigsaw for the plywood or a utility knife for the foam, carefully cut out the marked areas. Always ensure you’ve measured twice to avoid any mistakes.
- Re-wrap with Vinyl: Once you’ve made the necessary cuts, stretch the vinyl back over the foam and plywood, ensuring it’s smooth and free of wrinkles.
- Stapling: Using a staple gun, reattach the vinyl to the plywood, ensuring it’s taut and secure. Be sure to staple at regular intervals for a tight fit.
- Installation: Follow the installation steps mentioned earlier to secure the bespoke mat to the wall.
By ensuring you adjust the vinyl covering correctly during the modification process, you’ll achieve a professional look, and the mat will retain its protective properties. Thank you for pointing out the oversight, and always ensure you’re working safely and accurately when customizing your mats!
4. Installing the BJJ wall Mat
- Drill Pilot Holes: Hold the mat against the wall, ensuring the 40mm lip is positioned correctly at the top and bottom. Drill pilot holes through the lip into the wall.
- Affix the Mat: Insert raw plugs into the drilled holes. Then, using screws and washers, secure the mat onto the wall.
5. Adjusting for Half Panels
If the length of the wall doesn’t allow for full mats, you may need to create half panels or custom-sized panels:
- Measure and Mark: Determine the size of the panel you need and mark the measurements on the back of a full mat.
- Cutting: Use a jigsaw or utility knife to cut the mat to the required size.
- Installation: Follow the same steps as above to install the custom-sized panel.
6. Ensuring Floor Mat Integration
The design of these wall mats allows for 40mm mats, whether they are jigsaw, roll-out, or Judo mats, to slip underneath the bottom lip.
- Position the Floor Mats: Before securing the wall mats, position the floor mats where they need to be.
- Fit the Wall Mat: When installing the wall mats, ensure the bottom lip goes over the edge of the floor mat, allowing for a seamless transition from wall to floor.
7. Maintenance and Care
To ensure longevity:
- Cleaning: Clean the MMA wall pads regularly using a mild detergent and warm water. Avoid using harsh chemicals that could damage the vinyl.
- Inspection: Periodically inspect the mats for any wear and tear, especially around the stapled areas. If you notice any loose sections, address them immediately.
- Replacement: Over time, depending on usage, the foam may start to degrade. In such cases, consider replacing the mats to ensure optimum safety.
A well-installed and maintained wall mat can greatly enhance the safety of any martial arts or gymnastics training space. By following the above guidelines, you can ensure that your training area not only looks professional but also offers the maximum protection to its users. Whether you’re a dojo owner, a gymnastics coach, or a home enthusiast, investing time and effort in correctly fitting your wall mats will pay dividends in the long run. Remember, safety first!