Wall pads are an essential product in any martial arts and in many fitness facilities, as well. Wall pads prevent both damage to the walls of the facility and to the people training. In order to be most effective, wall pads must be installed properly.
Understanding the Construction of Wall Pads
Wall pads are most typically composed of plywood, foam, and vinyl. The plywood is cut to the requested size (usually two feet wide by four or six feet tall), and foam is glued to the board. Next, durable vinyl is wrapped around the front of the pad, hand folded at the corners, and stapled into place. The wood keeps the wall pads strong and anchored to the wall, the foam provides cushioned protection for the athlete, and the vinyl takes the beating of sweat, elbows, and bodies while protecting the foam.
Proper Installation is Necessary: How to Prepare
Wall pads are crucial, but without the proper installation, they can’t perform their job. When installing wall pads in a facility, it’s important to prepare for the installation first. Ensure you’ve taken accurate measurements before you order and are aware of where the order in which they go, particularly any logos.
While you’re waiting on your wall pads to arrive, take the time to prep your walls. Caulk any holes and evaluate how you’re going to hang the wall pads. The wall pads can be installed right into the wall, using screws through the plywood. However, many facilities prefer the cleaner look of wall pad channels. A wall channel is screwed into the wall and provides a sturdy and visually pleasing place in which to install your wall pads.
When Your Wall Pads Arrive
Once your wall pads arrive, double check that you have received the correct color and length. Often, facility designs require custom-sized wall pads to fit in corners or unique spaces. You can also cut your wall pads to fit in these spaces. Follow the instructions that come with your wall pads should you need to cut them yourself. Before you install the wall pads, make sure you have the correct screws for your preferred hanging method and your wall type. Concrete screws may be necessary in more industrial spaces.
It is important to constantly assess the wall pads while you’re hanging them. If the bottom is off the floor slightly, or the wall pad has been installed a little off kilter, the difference will become more pronounced as more are installed, causing an issue that may result in you having to take the wall pads down and install them again.
Make sure you are also installing your wall pads before you install your martial arts mats. Your mats should be tightly pushed together and fit snugly against the wall. If you install them before your wall pads, you’ll end up having to pull the mats up to fit the wall pad lip to the floor. Wall pad installation may also leave the ground covered with drywall or concrete dust. Installing your mats first puts them at risk of being dirtied or torn during installation.
Wall pads are the perfect protection for your facility and your athletes. They must be installed correctly in order to do so, so ensure you’re taking the important steps to do this correctly.