4 Options for Home Gym Flooring
December 7, 2017
4 Options for Home Gym Flooring
Get started on your home gym with our 4 options for home gym flooring. Use this guide to choose from rubber, foam, vinyl or carpet and find the best option for you!
There are a wide variety of floor covering options available for use as home gym flooring and often times picking out the right solution can seem like a difficult task. The four most popular flooring options for use in home gym and exercise rooms are carpet, rubber flooring, foam flooring, and vinyl tiles. Learn all about the benefits of each option, and choose the right fit for you!
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1. Carpet Tiles
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.
Low pile carpet is best for use in areas where exercise takes place. It is usually a little more coarse to the touch.
However, it is usually much more durable compared to 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
One other form of carpet often used for exercise flooring is interlocking carpet tiles. These tiles interlock and can be easily installed by the average person.
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Benefits of carpet tiles in a home gym:
Carpet tiles are available in a wide array of colors, durable enough to last for many years, and soft enough for young kids to play on while Mom and Dad get their workout in. 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.
Drawbacks of carpet tiles in a home gym:
Carpet tiles that don’t interlock need to be installed by a professional. They can stretch over time under strenuous use and require a carpet installer to re-stretch the carpet and can hold moisture and require a professional cleaning every few years.
One particular tricky spot for using carpet as home gym flooring is in basements. Over the years, we have heard from numerous Midwest customers that their basement flooded and that the carpet they had installed in their basement home gym was ruined. These individuals are often looking for a solution to prevent a similar situation from happening in the future which leads to:
You can purchase rubber flooring in rolls or tiles and is available in a wide range of thicknesses and color options. Pricing ranges from a cheap $0.99 per square foot for recycled rubber floors up to and over $4.00 per square foot for the most designer series virgin rubber options.
Related content –> Rubber Flooring Buyer’s Guide
Benefits of rubber flooring:
Rubber can be easily installed by the homeowner with no prior installation experience. Rubber flooring is perhaps the most durable shock absorbing 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.
Due to this extreme durability, rubber is often the gym flooring solution of choice for home users who lift heavy weights or have heavy cardio and weight equipment. It’s easier to clean and care for rubber flooring than carpet. Just vacuum or use a damp mop when necessary.
Rubber is also naturally antimicrobial and will not harbor mold, fungi or mildew growth. Since rubber does not absorb water, it makes for an excellent basement gym flooring solution since the rubber rolls and tiles can be picked up temporarily while the basement dries out. Rubber is also an excellent sound insulator and helps keep homes quiet during workouts.
Check out the differences between rubber tiles and rubber rolls >>
Drawbacks of rubber flooring:
Rubber flooring is very heavy. Since rubber is so heavy, some users may find it difficult moving the product around. Rubber flooring can range in weight from 1-3 Lbs. per square foot so if people are worried about being able to handle the product, we often recommend that home users purchase a rubber tile flooring rather than a rolled rubber solution.
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.
Additionally, rubber can get to be high in cost if the home user desires a bright colored solution. Most rubber flooring sold is predominately black and this type of rubber flooring is made from recycled tires and is thus very inexpensive. Bright colored rubber products are made from virgin rubber which is a more expensive raw material and thus creates more expensive flooring.
So how is a homeowner supposed to get bright and fun colored flooring for their home gym for a relatively low price? Well, that leads to the next two options.
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Foam flooring is most often sold in interlocking tiles and mats. The tiles are most commonly referred to as soft tiles, foam tiles, or puzzle lock tiles, and can be easily installed by a homeowner in mere minutes. Foam is available in many thicknesses and bright, fun color options.
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Benefits of foam flooring:
Foam is very low in cost, easy to clean, and offers enough comfort and cushion, providing a soft flooring solution. This is ideal for athletes who do a lot of floor work such as sit-ups and stretching. Foam floor tiles also double as an excellent kid’s play area flooring solution. Parents love their safe surface and excellent shock absorption qualities.
Many home users also choose foam tiles since many colors can often be locked together to form custom designs such as checkerboard patterns or border patterns. Foam tiles are also light weight portable. You can use them as an interlocking foam mat if you need a temporary workout space in a living room or family room. It’s perfect for Pilates, yoga, P90X, or aerobics.
Drawbacks of foam flooring:
Foam Floor mats and tiles are very popular for the home user who performs lighter workouts.However, we do not recommend them for heavy weight 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.
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. We offer a 1 year warranty on foam tiles. Rubber, on the other hand, we back with a 5 year warranty.
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4. Vinyl Tiles
Companies originally manufacturers interlocking vinyl tiles for use as a garage floor tile. However, their naturally flexibility and durability has caused them to become more of a multi-use floor tile over the years.
Benefits of Vinyl:
Vinyl floor tiles interlock together just like foam flooring tiles and are thus very easy to install for a homeowner. Vinyl tiles are also available in wide variety of bright colored flooring options and feel very much like rubber in that they flex and have similar cushioning qualities to that of rubber.
It’s easy to clean our vinyl tiles. Just sweep or use a damp mop. Vinyl naturally is extremely resistant to mold and mildew growth and most chemicals. These tiles are an excellent choice for garage home gyms where oils and solvents may be present.
Drawbacks of Vinyl:
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 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.
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Final Bits of Advice
When in doubt, we always recommend asking for samples of each type of flooring you are considering. Most reputable retail and online flooring stores will have no problem providing free samples so that you can see and feel the product in your own hands prior to purchase.
In addition, we also recommend asking your store representative a lot of questions. Many times, our customers will call asking for the thickest rubber gym flooring we offer. Of course, they want the absolute best.
However, we often find the customer will only use a cardio machine on the floor or practice light aerobics. In that case, the thickest flooring solutions would probably be overkill. You can probably save a few bucks by going to a thinner rubber or a foam option.
Ready to get started on your home gym? Here are a few of our favorite products: