Buying Guide: 5 Options for Home Gym Flooring
Buying Guide: 5 Options for Home Gym Flooring
Get started on your home gym with our 5 options for home gym flooring. Use this guide to choose from rubber, foam, carpet, turf or vinyl, and find the best option for you.
So you’re ready to build your home gym. It’s so exciting! You’ve picked your equipment, ordered your weights and added all of the home workouts to your Pinterest board.
But wait! There’s one critical piece that is often forgotten. The redheaded stepchild of home gyms – your floor!
I may be biased, but if you ask me, the floor is the most important piece in your home gym. It’s important to choose a floor that can protect both your joints and your subfloor from the demands of your fitness routine.
Traditional home flooring is hard and unyielding. It can easily crack under the pressure of dropped dumbbells or barbells.
Now to find a floor that is perfect for your workouts and, of course, looks great in your space.
There are a wide variety of floor covering options available for home gym flooring. Often, picking out the right solution can seem like a difficult task. The most popular flooring options for use in home gyms and exercise rooms are rubber, foam, carpet, turf and vinyl flooring.
Learn all about the benefits of each option, and choose the right fit for you!
Related content >> Rubber Floor Tiles Buying Guide
1. Rubber Gym Flooring
Rubber is the premier gym flooring option. Walk into just about any gym or fitness studio and you’re certain to see they use rubber flooring.
While you have many choices when it comes to gym flooring options, rubber is the most versatile, lending itself to just about any workout. It is also the most likely to protect your subfloor from the impact of heavy weights while you get swole.
Rubber gym flooring is available in tiles, rolls and mats. Each option has a wide range of thickness options to suit your needs.
To make your space look sharp, you can choose between a wide variety of color and color fleck options. My gym uses the orange color fleck rolls to match their orange accent wall. You have lots of possibilities.
Pricing ranges from a cheap $0.99 per square foot for recycled rubber floors up to and over $18.00 per square foot for the most designer series virgin rubber options.
Yes, that is quite a range! Typically, you can get a great rubber floor for your home gym for $1.50-$3.50/sqft.
Let’s take a look at your options.
Related content >> Rubber Flooring Rolls Buying Guide
Rubber Gym Floor Tiles
Rubber tiles are the most popular home gym flooring option on the market. They are durable, affordable and known for their easy, DIY, interlocking installation.
Homeowners love that installing rubber tiles is just like putting together a giant, life-size rubber puzzle. Each tile contains interlocking edges that come together way more easily than one of those Thomas Kinkade puzzles.
Choose from multiple thickness options to find the right choice to protect your subfloor. If you’re a total beast and plan to drop some 100# dumbbells, you’ll definitely want to choose a thicker rubber tile.
In terms of price, rubber floor tiles range in price from under $2/sqft all the way to over $18/sqft.
There are many variables that factor in to determine cost. However, our most popular home gym flooring tiles typically run anywhere from $2/sqft-$3.50/sqft.
Rubber Gym Flooring Rolls
Rubber rolls are known for their seamless appearance. When installed correctly, it is nearly impossible to see where one roll ends and another begins.
Rubber gym flooring rolls come in a variety of different thickness options to suit your needs. You can even purchase high-impact rubber rolls specially designed to keep your joints safe during high-impact, plyometric movements.
In terms of price, rubber gym flooring rolls range in price from under $1/sqft all the way to $7/sqft.
There are many variables that factor in to determine cost. However, our most popular home gym flooring rolls typically run anywhere from $1.50/sqft-$2.50/sqft.
Rubber Gym Floor Mats
Sometimes it’s more convenient to have a rubber mat to provide you with the right amount of durability, density and portability for your home gym. Especially, if you are working on your elliptical while watching favorite reality tv show.
It’s okay, we don’t judge!
But seriously, sometimes you just need to cover a small area, for example, a weightlifting station, underneath your treadmill, or just a small space to do your ab work without your tailbone digging into your tile floor.
Rubber mats are perfect for that!
You can choose anything from thin ¼” mats for bodyweight exercises all the way up to ¾” Shock Mats, which are specially designed to handle the impact of heavy Olympic weightlifting and dumbbell exercises.
Home gym flooring mats are typically sold by the full mat price, rather than by square foot. They range from about $40 to $150, depending on thickness.
Pros of Rubber Flooring
- Easy to install. Whether you choose tiles, rolls or mats, you can 100% install rubber flooring in your home gym without the help of an installation professional. Just make sure you have some swole friends to help if you choose rubber rolls because those bad boys get pretty heavy.
- Ultra-durable. Rubber flooring is perhaps the most durable home gym flooring option available. You will even see rubber flooring installed in ice skating rinks where skaters walk by ice skates. Like, with blades. And still, you won’t need to replace the floor for 10+ years.
Best shock absorption. For tough workouts and heavy weights, rubber gym flooring will absorb the shock, keeping your joints and subfloor safe and sound.
- Easy to clean. Just vacuum or use a damp mop when necessary.
- Antimicrobial. That’s a fancy way to say you won’t see weird things growing in your floor.
- Water-resistant. Sweat your heart out and create your home gym on any level, including your basement. Rubber isn’t particular.
- Excellent sound absorption. Drop those weights, pound away on the treadmill – rubber will help absorb the sound and keep your neighbors from hating you.
Cons of Rubber Gym Flooring
- Weight. With superhuman durability comes a pretty bulky floor that weighs quite a bit. If you choose rolled rubber gym flooring, you’ll definitely want to enlist the help of fit friends to help with installation.
- Little temperature insulation. Rubber is a bad insulator against temperature transmission. When you use rubber on cold basement subfloors, the rubber will still feel cold to the touch. However, rubber does work well over heated flooring systems.
- Price. Some rubber home gym flooring options to get pretty pricey. Although it may not always be the cheapest option, it does typically provide the best value. And you really can get a pretty darn affordable rubber gym floor.
Related content >> Rubber Flooring: Tiles vs. Rolls
Rubber Gym Flooring Installation
Rubber gym flooring is super easy to install on your own or with a little help from your friends. You have a few options when it comes to installation methods.
- Loose lay home gym flooring. If you are loose laying your rubber flooring, after you lay it down, you really are done! Most of the time, the rubber heavy enough to naturally stay in place with no extra adhesive necessary. If you loose lay your gym flooring, you can easily pick it up and move them at any time.
- Double-sided tape. For more intense conditions, consider using double-sided carpet tape around the perimeter of your floor. This is extremely easy and you will still be able to transport your rubber gym flooring in the event that you change locations.
- Glue-down. In extreme conditions, some CrossFit and high-intensity athletes prefer to fully glue down their rubber gym flooring. This is for rubber gym flooring rolls only and will ensure no movement and no curling up at the edges. However, once the rolls are glued, they cannot go with you if you move locations.
2. Foam Gym Flooring
For the lightest and most affordable home gym flooring, soft foam tiles are where it’s at. With tons of fun colors and beautiful wood looks to choose from, you can easily jazz up your space with this popular home gym flooring options.
Foam is great for bodyweight exercises and light workouts. Installation is truly a DIY dream. Just lay your foam down, interlock the tiles (if you choose tiles) and voila! Foam gym flooring in minutes,
I mentioned that rubber is pretty heavy. It’s like the bodybuilder of gym flooring. Foam is super light, more like a long-distance runner.
While it can’t hold up to intense dumbbells and Olympic lifting the way rubber can, it is a great option for any starter home gym.
Foam gym flooring is typically sold in interlocking tiles and mats. The tiles are most commonly referred to as soft tiles, foam tiles, or puzzle lock tiles.
Choose from different thicknesses and looks to find the perfect foam home gym flooring for your space.
As far as pricing goes, foam gym flooring is super affordable. It can run anywhere from less than $1/sqft to $4/sqft. Our most popular home gym foam floor tiles typically cost $1-2/sqft and come with free shipping.
Related content >> Home Gym: Foam vs. Rubber
HD Foam Gym Flooring
So I know I said foam flooring wasn’t a great option for heavier workouts, but I have an amendment to that statement.
HD Soft Tiles and Premium HD Soft Tiles are the exception to the rule. They give you the cost of foam gym flooring with the versatility and durability of rubber.
These soft foam tiles can take the abuse of heavy weights and plyometric (jumping) movements.
But seriously, these foam tiles are almost an oxymoron – soft AND strong? Yes, magic. Okay, not magic, just excellent manufacturing and a little bit of love.
Our HD Soft Tiles are made from high-density foam, making them durable to stand up to your heavy power cleans. In fact, they are so sturdy, you can even use them for horse stalls!
Pros of Foam Gym Flooring
- Price. Foam is the least expensive home gym flooring on the market.
- Lots of cushion. This is ideal for athletes who do a lot of floor work such as sit-ups and stretching.
- Easy to clean. If your tiles get dirty, just wipe them down with a damp cloth and they’ll look like new.
Safe for kiddos. Parents love that foam tiles also provide a safe surface for kiddos, absorbing the shock of those learning-to-walk tumbles. Go ahead and make the most out of your space, using it as a home gym and play area.
- Light weight. Foam gym flooring is super light, which makes it super portable.
- Easy to install. Lock the tiles together on the floor and you’re literally done.
Color and look options. Many home users also choose foam tiles since many colors can often be locked together to form custom designs like checkerboard or border patterns.
Cons of Foam Gym Flooring
- Not recommended for heavy weights and equipment. Unfortunately, it’s easy to compress foam tiles under heavy weight equipment. Over time, foam won’t completely bounce back if it’s compressed for too long.
- Sharp object-sensitive. You can easily puncture, cut or slice foam with sharp objects. That’s why we do not recommend walking on any type of foam flooring with high heeled shoes.
Note: The above statements do not apply to the HD Soft Tiles.
Related content >> Home Gym Flooring For Your Budget
Foam Gym Flooring Installation
Foam gym flooring is super easy to install on your own in just minutes. You have a few option when it comes to installation methods.
- Loose lay home gym flooring. If you are loose laying your foam flooring, after you lay it down, you really are done! If you loose lay your gym flooring, you can easily pick it up and move them at any time.
- Double-sided tape. Since foam is lightweight, it can require a little security to keep it in place during your workouts. For a more stable environment, consider using double-sided carpet tape around the perimeter of your floor. This is extremely easy and you will still be able to transport your foam gym flooring in the event that you change locations.
3. Carpet Tile Gym Flooring
Carpet is the most popular floor covering option in America. All-purpose, relatively inexpensive, comfortable to the touch, and fairly easy to clean and maintain, carpet is an excellent home gym flooring solution.
Now, we don’t mean a thick, plush living room carpet. That ain’t gonna work. Instead, for home gym flooring, we recommend a short, thin, low-pile carpet.
Low-pile is usually much more durable than fluffy shag or even soft Berber style carpets often found in homes. Commercial-grade carpet also works very well for home gyms due to its tight-knit loops.
One other form of carpet often used for exercise flooring is interlocking carpet tiles. These tiles interlock and are super DIY-friendly.
Home gym carpets come in a wide range in price between $1.50/sqft and $10/sqft. It’s important to make sure you go with a commercially-rated carpet to ensure it can hold up to the abuse of your workouts.
Our most popular home gym carpet tiles typically range $3-4/sqft, but there are certainly lower-cost eco options, as well.
Related content >> 4 Reasons to Use Carpet for Gym Flooring
Pros of Carpet Tile Gym Flooring
- Durable. Carpet tiles are an extremely durable gym flooring. They can hold up to many years of abuse before you need to replace them.
- Approachable. Carpet is also a favorite gym flooring option since it is a floor covering that the average home user completely understands and already knows how to take care of.
- A touch of softness. Just like foam, carpet can provide a multi-use space perfect for workouts and family time.
- Color options. Carpet tiles are available in a wide array of colors so you can easily choose your perfect look.
Cons of Carpet Tile Gym Flooring
- Trickier installation. While interlocking carpet tiles are easy to install, home gym carpet tiles that don’t interlock need to be installed by a professional.
- Long-term maintenance. Gym carpeting can stretch over time under strenuous use and require a carpet installer to re-stretch to fit the space.
- Water retention. There are some water-resistant carpet gym flooring options. However, others can hold moisture and require a professional cleaning every few years.
- Less subfloor protection. While rubber flooring is specifically designed as a protective home gym floor covering, carpet is not made for this and you will need a layer of underlayment to prevent cracks in your subfloor from repeated stress from heavy weights.
Rugburn. I’m just saying…have you ever done burpees or sit-ups on carpet? Eek.
Carpet Tile Gym Flooring Installation
Carpet is hit or miss with ease of installations. Interlocking and loose lay tile options can be done in a day, while broadloom carpets require a professional. Here are a few installation options.
- Loose lay home gym flooring. If you are using interlocking tiles and/or loose laying your home gym flooring, after you lay it down, you really are done! If you loose lay your gym flooring, you can easily pick it up and move them at any time.
- Double-sided tape. For more intense conditions, consider using double-sided carpet tape around the perimeter of your floor. This is extremely easy and you will still be able to transport your gym flooring in the event that you change locations.
- Glue-down. In extreme conditions, some CrossFit and high-intensity athletes prefer to fully glue down their carpet gym flooring. Once the rolls are glued, they cannot go with you if you move locations.
4. Turf Gym Flooring
Synthetic turf floors allow you to transform your workout area into a space where you can challenge yourself in fun and varied ways. From strength training and conditioning to yoga and stretching, you can reach your full potential in your workouts with a safe and resilient surface beneath you.
Gym turf is a durable and long-lasting option that is perfect for pulling or pushing sleds, completing your CrossFit WOD, or performing HIIT workouts.
While its sound-absorbing qualities make it perfect for weight lifting and high-intensity work, the softness of the artificial grass provides an inviting space for your yoga mat. Take advantage of the flat, cushioned surface for body-weight work and stretching.
Training for a 5k or warrior dash? Many runners practice speedwork on grass because of the lower impact.
If bad weather hits, take your workout inside while still getting the safety benefits of grass. Gym turf products make a great surface for speed and agility training because they’re made to absorb impact, helping to prevent athletic injuries.
While indoor sports turf is most common in commercial gyms, it’s also a great option for sharp and functional home gyms.
Artificial turf is not the cheapest gym flooring around, but it does come in a nice range with plenty of affordable options ranging from under $2/sqft to over $7/sqft. Our most popular options for home gym turf options are usually $2.50-$3/sqft.
Related content >> Indoor and Sports Turf Buyer’s Guide
Pros of Turf Gym Flooring
- Versatile. Artificial turf is a great home gym flooring option for running, calisthenics, CrossFit and more.
- Traction and cushion. Sports turf provides a safe surface that is easier on the joints, allowing athletes to push it to the max with less risk of injury.
- Durability. Synthetic turf can withstand plenty of wear and tear while still looking awesome all year long.
- Low-maintenance. Save costs and time with the little upkeep needed for your gym turf.
- Appearance. Functional and beautiful? Fake grass gives your gym a modern design element with plenty of functionality.
Cons of Turf Gym Flooring
- Little subfloor protection. While some sports turf options come with an added layer of protection, many require using an underlayment to protect your subfloor if you plan to drop heavy weights.
- Can be abrasive when doing floor exercises. Just like carpet, the turf texture isn’t always ideal for exercises like burpees and sit-ups.
- More challenging installation. Home gym turf flooring is not nearly as easy to install as rubber or foam. While turf tiles are DIY-friendly, traditional home gym turf rolls may require an installation professional.
- Price. Artificial turf is not the cheapest gym flooring option there is. However, you can still find options that won’t break the bank.
Related content >> 15 Home Gyms Worth Sweating In
Turf Gym Flooring Installation
Depending on which product you choose, you have two options when installing indoor sports turf.
- Double-sided tape. If you choose turf tiles, you can just use double-sided tape around the perimeter to keep them in place. This is extremely easy and you will be able to transport your synthetic turf gym flooring in the event that you change locations.
- Glue-down. Most indoor sports turf rolls require a glue-down installation. This ensures your turf will stay in place. However, once the rolls are glued, they cannot go with you if you move locations.
5. Soft PVC Vinyl Gym Floor Tiles
Originally designed as a garage flooring options, many homeowners love using soft PVC vinyl tiles in their home gyms, particularly in garage gyms.
Because they were originally created as garage flooring, they are ultra-durable, specially designed to hold up to the weight of heavy vehicles. And your heaviest lifts.
Soft PVC vinyl gym flooring comes in both tiles and rolls. Both options are perfect for the DIY homeowner, with no installation professional necessary.
Customers love the flexibility, durability and creative looks available with vinyl gym flooring. It’s especially great for a multi-use garage that you plan to use for both your vehicle and working out.
Related content >> Get the Perfect Squat: 5 Easy Tips
Pros of Vinyl Gym Flooring
- Easy to install. Whether you choose tiles or rolls, installing soft PVC vinyl gym flooring is an easy, DIY project.
- Plenty of color options. Create checkered looks or fun patterns to make your space pop.
- Durable. Designed to handle the abuse of cars and trucks, vinyl gym flooring will last for the long haul and usually comes with a hefty warranty.
- Easy to clean. Just a mild soap and water cleaning solution will do the trick. These babies are made to withstand oil and other car chemicals so they do not stain or damage easily.
- Mold, mildew and chemical resistant. These tiles are an excellent choice for garage home gyms where oils and solvents may be present.
Cons of Vinyl Gym Flooring
- Less shock absorption. The only thing customers tend to dislike about vinyl for home gym flooring is that it’s not as shock absorbent as rubber or foam gym flooring. While these tiles have some flexibility to them, once laid down, they tend to feel more like a durable vinyl floor. Like the type of surface you would find in a kitchen, rather than a shock absorbing gym floor covering.
- Price. These are often a more expensive gym flooring option.
- Patterns. Many vinyl gym flooring options come with either coin or diamond patterns which look great but can cause instability and may not be great for equipment. Smoother options are typically more expensive.
Vinyl Gym Flooring Installation
Vinyl gym flooring is super easy to install on your own or with a little help from your friends. You have a few options when it comes to installation methods.
- Loose lay home gym flooring. This is a great option for interlocking vinyl tiles. If you are loose laying your rubber flooring, after you lay it down, you really are done! Most of the time, the vinyl floor is heavy enough to naturally stay in place with no extra adhesive necessary. If you loose lay your gym floor, you can easily pick it up and move it at any time.
- Double-sided tape. When using rolled vinyl gym flooring or for more intense conditions, consider using double-sided carpet tape around the perimeter of your floor. This is extremely easy and you will still be able to transport your vinyl gym flooring in the event that you change locations.
- Glue-down. In extreme conditions, some CrossFit and high-intensity athletes prefer to fully glue down their vinyl gym flooring. This is for vinyl gym flooring rolls only and will ensure no movement and no curling up at the edges. However, once the rolls are glued, they cannot go with you if you move locations.
Home Gym Flooring FAQ
That’s quite a bit of information! Still have a few questions? Here are a few of our most frequently asked questions about home gym flooring.
What’s the best flooring for home gyms?
Rubber gym floor tiles are by far the most popular home gym flooring option. They are durable, shock-absorbent and easy to install.
Our most popular home gym flooring tile is our 8mm Strong Rubber Tile. These tiles are perfect for most home workouts and quite affordable. They give the athlete everything they need in one neat little package.
How thick should home gym flooring be?
8mm is the most popular thickness for home gym flooring. However, for CrossFit workouts and Olympic lifting, you’ll want at least ⅜”. If you plan to repeatedly drop super heavy dumbbells and/or kettlebells, we recommend choosing the ½” just to be safe.
Can you install home gym flooring over carpet?
Yes, you can! You can easily install rubber gym flooring over a short, low-pile carpet. Additionally, you can install ultra-thick 1” rubber tiles, such as Monster Tiles even over plush carpets.
If you go for a different material or thinner tile or rubber roll and cannot rip up your plush carpet, you can lay plywood over the plush carpet and install your home gym flooring over your plywood.
Related content >> Can You Install Rubber Gym Flooring Over Carpet?
How do you clean home gym flooring?
It depends which option you go with. Most gym flooring options require a simple cleaning solution of mild soap and water.
Each product offers specific instructions on cleaning and maintenance.
How much does home gym flooring cost?
Home gym flooring ranges in price from under $1/sqft all the way to over $18/sqft.
Whoa! That is quite the range, eh?
There are many variables that factor in to determine cost. Our most popular home gym flooring typically runs anywhere from $1.50/sqft-$3.50/sqft.
The good news is most of these options are super DIY-friendly so your cost (typically) just comes down to materials and shipping.
Here’s what it would look like to floor a typical 10’x10’ home gym.
|Good Deal Price
|Average Shipping Cost||Good Deal
8mm Rubber Tiles
8mm Rubber Rolls
Note: Prices vary and are subject to change at any time. Shipping costs vary by product and location. These averages were calculated averaging locations in the US, excluding Hawaii and Alaska.
Ready to get started on your home gym?