(Topic ID: 228014)

Best flooring for Pinball tables?


By dashv

5 months ago



Topic Stats

  • 42 posts
  • 28 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 months ago by OLDPINGUY
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders

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    Topic poll

    “Best flooring for pinball play and arcade mobility”

    • Luxury Vinyl Tile 3 votes
      6%
    • Carpet 29 votes
      59%
    • Laminate Hardwood 11 votes
      22%
    • Doesn’t Matter 6 votes
      12%

    (49 votes)

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    #1 5 months ago

    I’m having a new home built.

    The basement is a walk out basement that will be fully finished with generous space for arcade/pinball/air hockey.

    The flooring has yet to be done.

    It’s currently a concrete slab and the finishing options are:

    Hardwood (lamanite), luxury vinyl tile, or (regular, not low pile) carpeting.

    For a short while (just a few weeks) my pinball tables were in the garage. Being on concrete the tables played very well. Nudging gave very consistent and satisfying results. Moving inside it’s now on carpet and the nudging has certainly changed and become less consistent (shock absorption of the carpet I assume).

    This leaves me torn. Standing on cold hard surfaces is uncomfortable. But too soft seems to bring blah gameplay.

    Ignoring price for the moment does anyone have any opinions on the ideal flooring for pinball enjoyment and player comfort?

    Also worth considering is which surface will make it easiest to move pinball/arcade machines around for service, reorganization, etc?

    #2 5 months ago

    Laminate hardwood with the rubber feet from pinball life isnt bad but if you drop a part or tool you may chip the floor.

    Polished concrete is nice in a basement especially if you do in floor heating and/or area rugs

    #3 5 months ago

    I much prefer low pile commercial type carpet over concrete or wood. The machine doesn’t slide all over the place but it still has some “give.”

    #4 5 months ago

    Look into a product called Dricore. It's basically a plastic bottom with little feet, and then a layer of wood on top of it. It insulates the floor a bit, and if you get water in the basement it flows underneath the drycore, saving your carpet. You can then put the low pile commercial carpet on top of it. It makes the floor MUCH more comfortable to walk on as it feels like a "real" floor instead of concrete. It's especially nice in winter if you live in a cold climate.

    http://dricore.com/nw/subfloor_about.php

    #5 5 months ago

    We used a commercial carpet that got glued directly to the concrete. I didn't want that fluffy feel of plush carpet but being in MN, I also didn't want wood or anything cold feeling.

    Here's a pic of the carpet.

    IMG_0372 (resized).JPG
    #6 5 months ago
    Quoted from Bryan_Kelly:

    We used a commercial carpet that got glued directly to the concrete. I didn't want that fluffy feel of plush carpet but being in MN, I also didn't want wood or anything cold feeling.
    Here's a pic of the carpet.
    [quoted image]

    i was born in north dakota, i want a grain belt beer now. forgot about that stuff

    #7 5 months ago
    Quoted from Bryan_Kelly:

    We used a commercial carpet that got glued directly to the concrete. I didn't want that fluffy feel of plush carpet but being in MN, I also didn't want wood or anything cold feeling.
    Here's a pic of the carpet.
    [quoted image]

    This carpet also wears like iron. It's been here for roughly 23 years and it still looks like new. The lower pile also lets you move the games around a little easier.

    #8 5 months ago

    Carpet for sure.

    #9 5 months ago

    Carpet..yep

    #10 5 months ago
    Quoted from Fezmid:

    Look into a product called Dricore. It's basically a plastic bottom with little feet, and then a layer of wood on top of it. It insulates the floor a bit, and if you get water in the basement it flows underneath the drycore, saving your carpet. You can then put the low pile commercial carpet on top of it. It makes the floor MUCH more comfortable to walk on as it feels like a "real" floor instead of concrete. It's especially nice in winter if you live in a cold climate.

    http://dricore.com/nw/subfloor_about.php

    Have you installed this? I considered making at least part of my basement nice, but didn't want to attach flooring directly to the concrete.

    #12 5 months ago

    I only have Carpet in my game rooms. You don’t get the echoing. It’s easier on your knees and back. It keeps your pins from moving.

    #13 5 months ago
    Quoted from toyotaboy:

    Have you installed this? I considered making at least part of my basement nice, but didn't want to attach flooring directly to the concrete.

    Yup. I installed it in my last house and absolutely loved it -- as did my wife. The water protection is nice, but the biggest selling point for me is that it feels like a real floor and not a basement floor. When we bought our new house and did the basement, installing it was a requirement.

    #14 5 months ago
    Quoted from Mitch:

    Laminate hardwood with the rubber feet from pinball life isnt bad but if you drop a part or tool you may chip the floor.

    +1. I put laminated hardwood in my game room. I was thinking to put arcade style carpet in my game room. The reason I stopped this idea is if we decided to sell our home general buyers won't like it.

    #15 5 months ago

    Depends on Moisture, and Temperature for me first.

    For all reasons, Carpet.

    For Low Cost high end Vinyl Look at Berry-Alloc Dreamclick from Belgium or Box store...check the backing and virgin PVC.....redoing my house.

    #16 5 months ago

    I have a wood floor and have my games on rubber feet to avoid scratching the floor. I dont love the nudging as the feet dont move at all so it feels a bit weird but it plays ok. If I could find a solution that would let them slide and keep any possible dirt and crap out I would use it but nothing exists... if I was building a game room I would go with exactly what Bryan suggested- low pile arcade room style carpet. Its the way to go if you have a dedicated space. I think some of the commercial stuff may even come in glue down squares so you can easily fix anything that gets worn or whatever.

    And yes- I can confirm that if you drop sharp metal shit from a machine on an expensive wood floor it leaves a mark

    #17 5 months ago

    Asphalt & cardboard ?

    baywatch immamucalet (resized).jpg
    #18 5 months ago
    Quoted from rufessor:

    I think some of the commercial stuff may even come in glue down squares so you can easily fix anything that gets worn or whatever.

    Yes, some of the commercial carpet does indeed come that way. I used 2' x 2' commercial carpet squares for my game room. They have a rubber backing and a sturdy low pile top. As part of the same order I got spray cans of glue made for use with the carpet - you spray a few quarter sized shots of glue on each carpet tile before laying it down on the concrete floor. I've never had a tile move out of place in the ten years or so that they have been installed. But if I damage a piece or carpet, I could take up just one tile and put down one of the spare tiles (yep, order some spares!). I have no problem moving pins around on my Harbor Freight lift table on this carpet, and it doesn't "bunch" up when rolling a pin around on the lift table like a traditionally stretched carpet with pad would do.

    #19 5 months ago
    Quoted from SarverSystems:

    1 word: heated floors.

    Heatedfloors

    Seriously though - I went porcelain for my pin area/bar area. It allows for great nudging and just has a higher end feel than carpet. I do wish I went the heated route though. Next house maybe.

    #20 5 months ago

    Thanks for all the inputs! (And feel free to keep more opinions/experiences coming).

    I don’t have complete customizability. The builders have a set selection of materials and such to choose from.

    I will ask about dricore and low pile carpeting.

    Hadn’t even thought about the echo from a large uncarpetted floor.

    #21 5 months ago
    Quoted from Fezmid:

    Look into a product called Dricore. It's basically a plastic bottom with little feet, and then a layer of wood on top of it. It insulates the floor a bit, and if you get water in the basement it flows underneath the drycore, saving your carpet. You can then put the low pile commercial carpet on top of it. It makes the floor MUCH more comfortable to walk on as it feels like a "real" floor instead of concrete. It's especially nice in winter if you live in a cold climate.
    http://dricore.com/nw/subfloor_about.php

    This is what I did in the areas of the basement that tend to get damp; we have arcade/bowling alley low pile carpet on top of it

    #22 5 months ago
    Quoted from Rdoyle1978:

    This is what I did in the areas of the basement that tend to get damp; we have arcade/bowling alley low pile carpet on top of it

    I actually have regular carpet on mine, but since the OP wanted to be able to nudge pins better, it's not the best solution. Works for me though, I'm hardly an expert player, and it looks/feels nicer on feet.

    #23 5 months ago
    Quoted from Fezmid:

    I actually have regular carpet on mine, but since the OP wanted to be able to nudge pins better, it's not the best solution. Works for me though, I'm hardly an expert player, and it looks/feels nicer on feet.

    Yeah, laminate, regular carpet, or Luxury vinyl are my options.

    Going to ask about dricore installation.

    #24 5 months ago

    Carpet gets so filthy. My preference is hardwood and rubber feet

    #25 5 months ago

    I have a nice comfy carpet with carpet sliders under each leg. It's easier on your feet than a hard surface, and it also helps to absorb the sound.

    #26 5 months ago
    Quoted from WackyBrakke:

    Carpet gets so filthy.

    Not if you have a "no shoes" policy.

    #27 5 months ago
    Quoted from gweempose:

    Not if you have a "no shoes" policy.

    Still eventually gets filthy

    #28 5 months ago

    Had my machines on concrete, hardwood flooring, laminate, regular thick plush carpet, and arcade style thin carpet as listed above. The arcade carpet has been the best for comfort (warm), sound control (less echo and general noise), easy to slide pinballs but not so much that the machine will slide with nudges, ad quite frankly has a good look for a classic game room. As also stated by others in this thread it seems exceedingly durable and is relatively cheap. Shining black lights on carpet gives it a good look as most of them were designed for that and doesn’t cause reflection on machines. On the other hand, a shiny wood floor reflects lights in a cool way and looks classier but for all of the above stated reasons, I prefer the arcade low plush carpet.

    Can’t remember what padding I put under it but I remember i put something waterproof and thin which is plenty comfortable. I put sliders under the feet to move and they are almost effortless to slide on the carpet

    image (resized).jpgimage (resized).jpg
    #29 5 months ago
    Quoted from WackyBrakke:

    Still eventually gets filthy

    Carpet+Kirby=clean

    #30 5 months ago

    For use with carpet, tile or hardwood floors. Add a touch of sophistication.

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    #31 5 months ago

    When I first got out of High School,I installed carpet for seven years. I think if I walked into a gameroom full of pinball machines,that needed the carpet torn up,and then install a new one,I think I'd cry! If you do decide on carpet,please send me a picture of the carpet guys face,when it comes time to replace the carpet

    #32 5 months ago

    Gluing carpet to the concrete in a basement? Don’t you need to provide some sort of moisture barrier? I have concrete floors in my basement but it’s pretty beat up / uneven; can you carpet over that or should you prep the concrete first

    #33 5 months ago
    Quoted from Richthofen:

    Gluing carpet to the concrete in a basement? Don’t you need to provide some sort of moisture barrier? I have concrete floors in my basement but it’s pretty beat up / uneven; can you carpet over that or should you prep the concrete first

    Yes,it should be patched before putting the carpet down. A good floor guy will make it right for you. As far as a vapor barrier goes,I'm just guessing here,but I would think that once the glue dries,It'll provide a vapor barrier of its own. I've glued a lot of carpets to basement floors,but once we were done,we never really want back to the house. I can't say for sure,that you won't have moisture problems,maybe someone who has a glue down carpet in their basement,will chime in.

    #34 5 months ago

    Even with a perfectly flat concrete floor, In a basement you need a vapor barrier covered by an underlayment. Otherwise, you'll have a damp, musty smell in no time.

    #35 5 months ago

    +1 for dricore regardless of what floor covering you choose. I installed it myself in my prev home. It adds that air barrier for a layer of insulation and my basement never felt like a basement. Easy to install but make sure you use the shims where needed as no concrete floor is designed level. You dont want it bouncing under foot.

    1 week later
    #36 5 months ago

    Update.

    I decided to go with their carpeting option. It’s a level three carpeting so deeper than low pile.

    They say there will be an “insulating pad” between the carpeting and the concrete but couldn’t tell me if it was dricore or something else.

    I figure I can put the machine feet on sliders or coasters for now.

    I picked carpet because of better foot comfort and less echo surface.

    Plus if their carpet doesn’t work out, it’d be better and cheaper to rip it out and reinstall than tear up a luxury vynl floor.

    Thanks for all the inputs and ideas folks. It was quite helpful!

    #37 5 months ago

    It won't be dricore - that's basically a subfloor.

    I would personally be very concerned putting carpet directly on the cement as the surface is pourous and moisture can be an issue.

    #38 5 months ago
    Quoted from jj44114:

    Even with a perfectly flat concrete floor, In a basement you need a vapor barrier covered by an underlayment. Otherwise, you'll have a damp, musty smell in no time.

    I did the same thing as Bryan Kelly. Commercial grade black light carpet directly glued to concrete. I have had it for several years now and no moisture, no smell and still looks like new. If I could go back, I wouldn't do it any other way.

    And if you look closely you can also see I added a touch of sophistication with a set of pinfooties under each game.

    28471492_10213387937285860_6061184714708123001_n (resized).jpg

    #39 5 months ago
    Quoted from LesManley:

    I did the same thing as Bryan Kelly. Commercial grade black light carpet directly glued to concrete. I have had it for several years now and no moisture, no smell and still looks like new. If I could go back, I wouldn't do it any other way.
    And if you look closely you can also see I added a touch of sophistication with a set of pinfooties under each game.

    Wouldn't be the first time someone told me I was just paranoid about everything.

    #40 5 months ago

    Carpet for the Win. It will help insulate the sound.

    If you can't have Carpet - go for some wood or laminate like wood.

    Concrete Sucks and I'll never do that again. Will break your glass everytime. Even if you just set it on it.

    I have the crappiest carpet there is and it works. I will never go back to concrete.

    #41 5 months ago

    While this is not my photo, we are installing in 2 weeks a stunning Diagonal Herringbone pattern.
    Because the Vinyl has Tabs on all 4 sides, this goes down with all straight cuts, and about 1/3-1/2 the time as there is no block hammering. Kinda like Lego..Super fast.

    $3.40 sq ft inc. delivery and Tax made this a winner.
    Virgin PVC from Belgium, with a Solid Backing better then others, and a high wear layer.

    I just wanted to share again, in case anyone is hunting for floors to consider.
    I anally spent too many hours researching Luxury Vinyl Flooring.

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