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Can You Install Rubber Gym Flooring Over Carpet?

Can you install rubber gym flooring over carpet? This seems to be the million dollar question in the gym flooring world. Find out whether gym flooring will work over your carpet and how to go about the installation process.

So, you’re ready to create your own home gym? It’s super exciting, but it can also be really confusing.

If you have hard surfaces like wood, tile, vinyl, laminate, etc., it’s easy to figure out what to do with your floor. You just lay some rubber or foam gym flooring on top and, voila! you’ve got yourself a gym floor. But if you have carpet…?  That’s a horse of a different color. ( <–name that movie!)

Carpet can be tricky. Especially if you’re set on keeping your carpet. It can add a whole new level to your building and installation process.

This is the type of thing you don’t normally think about until you’re ready to hit purchase and then it’s like “Oh man! What am I going to do about my carpet?!” A flurry of google searches later, you can end up even more confused than when you started.

So…can you install rubber gym flooring over carpet?

You’re going to love my answer.

It depends.

I know, I know, but let me explain!

Related content >> 5 Options for Home Gym Flooring

If You Have Plush Carpet

Baby room carpet and toys

This is the first question we need to answer. Is your carpet short and flat like a commercial carpet? Or is it soft, squishy and plush like walking on a cloud?

While plush carpet is often ideal for bedrooms because it adds that extra comfort, it is not ideal for gym flooring. Not even a little bit.

If you want to install gym flooring and have this softer, high pile carpet, you pretty much have two options.

Related content >> Home Gym Buyer’s Guide

Rip Out That Carpet

girl working out on rubber floor tiles

I know, this is probably what you were trying to avoid. The truth is, this is going to be your easiest and least expensive option.

It’s just not a good idea to put rubber tiles, rolls or even mats directly over your soft carpet. It’s not stable and you could seriously injure yourself. Imagine lifting weights on a wobbly surface, or running on a treadmill with a wobbly subfloor. That is a recipe for disaster.

Because the floor is so uneven and unstable, rubber tiles will come apart at the seams and rubber rolls will lift, move and ripple.

Not to mention, your carpet isn’t really meant for this type of activity. Laying heavy rubber on top and then adding in weights, exercise, etc. will smush and flatten your carpet unevenly. While carpet can return to its normal thickness after being flattened (it does usually come in rolls), you’re not evenly distributing the weight, you will likely end up with a lumpy carpet.

The good news is, carpet is really easy to rip out yourself. I did it in my remodel and I am the least handy person I know. Once you rip out the carpeting, you can easily install your perfect gym flooring on the nice sturdy subfloor.

Use Plywood Between the Carpet and Rubber

Plywood over carpet

If you’re living in a rental and you can’t alter the space or if you’re 100% set on keeping your plush carpet, there is still an option! You can use plywood to create a subfloor on top of your carpet.

This is basically like building a giant platform. It will work great and protect both your carpet and your body. And to be fair, it’s not that much more difficult or expensive. It’s just an extra step.

Plywood typically costs around $0.50/sqft, about $50 for a 10’x10′ home gym.

Of course, this also adds more time and energy to your project, but it can be well worth it if you want a home gym but can’t ditch your carpet.

Related content >> Home Gym: Foam vs. Rubber

If You Have Flat, Low Pile / Berber Carpet

two chairs and table over low pile carpet

Good news! The answer is a big, fat YES you can! And easily.

How to Install Rubber Over Carpet

First of all, check to make sure your carpet really is low pile. Try putting something on top and standing on it – it should feel solid and sturdy. Now, there are a few options, depending on how much you care about keeping the carpet intact.

If You Don’t Care About the Carpet

interlocking rubber gym tiles over carpet

We hear this all the time. You don’t really care about your carpet, but you don’t want to deal with ripping it up.

In that case, you can lay the gym flooring of your choice right over top. No preparation necessary. If you’d like, you can use double-sided carpet tape along the edges to make sure you keep the floor in place, but honestly, it’s not usually necessary. Additionally, you can glue down, but some of the glue will absorb into the carpet and it won’t work quite as well.

Just follow the typical installation instructions for your particular gym flooring and it will be no different than installing over a hard surface.

Related content >> Home Gym Flooring for Your Budget

If You Want to Keep Your Carpet

If you’re renting, using a temporary gym flooring or just not sure you’re ready to give up on that carpet yet, not to worry! We can help you protect it.

If you’re not planning on using any sort of adhesive, you can easily lay the rubber directly down on the carpet with no extra precautions. The only negative here is if you have a light colored carpet, the rubber will make it look dirty. But good news! Any dirt/color from the rubber will come out easily with a traditional carpet cleaning.

If you want to use glue or tape (this is not necessary in most cases) or you don’t want to worry about cleaning your carpet, you can always just lay a big sheet of plastic between your carpet and rubber. Make sure the plastic is cut to fit the size of your room – you don’t want a bunch of extra material.

Once you lay your plastic, you can still loose lay your rubber. Or, you can use double-sided carpet tape to secure the edges.

Related content >> Rubber Flooring: 5 Myths Busted

The Best Gym Floors to Use Over Carpet

Can You Install Rubber Gym Flooring Over Carpet? Find out how to create your home gym without having to rip up that carpet!












You can really use any gym flooring over your carpet as long as you follow the above instructions. But if you’re still not sure what to get, here are a few of our most popular home gym flooring options.

Can You Install Rubber Gym Flooring Over Carpet? Find out how to create your home gym without having to rip up that carpet!

8mm Strong Rubber Tiles

Can You Install Rubber Gym Flooring Over Carpet? Find out how to create your home gym without having to rip up that carpet!

8mm Strong Rubber Rolls

Can You Install Rubber Gym Flooring Over Carpet? Find out how to create your home gym without having to rip up that carpet!

8mm Sport-Lock Rubber Tiles


Can You Install Rubber Gym Flooring Over Carpet? Find out how to create your home gym without having to rip up that carpet!

About Ari Ziskin


Ari Ziskin is our resident expert in all things fitness, dance and flooring trends. After five years of blogging at Ari’s Menu, where she was featured on sites like The Huffington Post and Buzzfeed, Ari decided to pursue writing full-time. Nothing makes her happier than sharing her knowledge to help people create their gyms and begin their fitness journey.

38 Comments on “Can You Install Rubber Gym Flooring Over Carpet?

  1. We are looking to update our play area 23’x23 ‘ and wasn’t sure if you could send us samples or your product. We are interested in the rubber flooring by the roll.

    523 Lower Oak Street
    Hudson Falls, NY 12839

    • Hi Lisa,

      Thanks for reaching out! One of our sales associates will be in touch with you regarding your sample. Please let us know if you have any further questions.

  2. Wow, this is a great article. I own a carpet store in the Ann Arbor MI area Believe it or not, I have had a few customers ask me this same question and I really had no idea. I had one client do it themselves and they told me it worked out very well. I will definitely keep this article for the next time the subject comes up. Thanks for publishing!

  3. We are looking to make a home gym, the room in question is carpeted, but doesnt have a solid concrete floor underneath. So it’s quite noisey if you jump on it (like you do!). This is ok for weights etc, but i’m concerned my wife’s treadmill will boom throughout the house as she stomps out the miles. Will some plywood and gym flooring be enough to dampen the sound? Or are there better methods? I guess it’d be the same scenario with most upstairs home gyms, so hopefully there’s some good suggestions?

  4. What kind of plastic sheets would be adequate for protecting carpet from the rubber tiles? Thanks!

    • Hi Carolyn, for plastic sheets we recommend a self-adhesive plastic protection film. You can get a roll of this and cut it to the right size.

      Good luck with your project!

  5. Hi, glad I came across this article as I’m confused with all the different opinions found across the web-YouTube etc. I have a ram Promaster 2018 with I’m in the conversion process and in the process of looking for my best flooring options. Lots of people are going the long way, applying insulation on the floor, play wood 1/2”to 1” and the another thick layer of the vinyl, carpet or rubber flooring. I’ll like to keep it simple buy well done and lol great lasting. I really love the strong rubber floor but my concern is the floor of the Van is uneven, with about 1’ gap in between all across the lines. Question, is it ok to put the carpet padding under the Rubber floor, 8mm possibly or I may even go 1/2”? Or do I need to put playwood in between? How would I secure the rubber floor whether is over the padding or the playwood? Thanks so much

    • Hi Manny,

      Thank you for your question. I’m not sure that you’d need to put carpet padding under your rubber floor if it’s not already in your van. But if it is already in your van, then I’d suggest adding the plywood and looking into a rubber underlayment. Rubber flooring can be secured with a glue-down solution or double-sided tape. Here is more information on installing rubber flooring.

      Hope this helps!

  6. Hi,

    we live in cold England and are building our home gym foundation up. we’ve heard that rubber alone may not always be the best solution for insulation. what would you recommend laying below the rubber, over concrete to insure insulation

    • Hello Sue!

      You’re right that rubber isn’t the best when it comes to insulation. I would suggest adding a foam underlayment below the rubber. Foam tends to traps the cold air and helps insulate the room better.

      • Do you carry this foam underlayment? Or where can I find it/what type do I look for?

  7. This was exactly the information I needed to start my @home gym. I’m still looking to see the different styles that are out there so I can put over my carpet. But I do love your recommendations.

  8. Can I lay rubber flooring in part of a room, meaning will not be touching all 4 walls?

    • Hi Wanda,

      Absolutely! Rubber mats are helpful if you just want to cover one area. They’re pretty heavy and sturdy and won’t move around much. Otherwise you can still lay rubber rolls with double-sided tape or adhesive and they’ll stay in place.

      Thank you, good luck with your project!

  9. Great information, thank you! I would like to lay rubber tiles over my carpet but fear it is too plush. Can the interlocking rubber tiles be laid over the pad or should I remove the pad as well?

    • Hi Nancy,

      We do not recommend installing rubber tiles over plush carpet as it can provide an even and unstable surface beneath the rubber, which would be unsafe for you. However, if you do not want to rip up your carpet, you can use plywood between the carpet and rubber to create a subfloor. You can see how to do that in our video:

      Thank you, good luck!

      • Michelle, my apologies, I wasn’t clear in my question. I was wondering if I can lay the rubber tiles over the carpet padding, as it is glued down. I’ve already removed the carpet. Thank you!

      • What about putting the tiles over just the underneath carpet padding? Not the actual carpet for a little extra cushion. Or should I take up the padding and put the tiles directly on the floor base?

        • Hi Chad!

          Thanks for reaching out. By installing rubber tiles over the underneath carpet padding, you run the risk of the tiles separating at the seams, causing an uneven surface. We recommend installing over plywood with 1 inch (or thicker) rubber tiles to combat the separation and make the flooring sturdy to ease your worry.

          I hope this helps, please feel free to reach out if you have any other questions.

  10. I am looking to install rubber flooring in a room that has plush carpet and have been told that removing the carpet isn’t an option. Instead of plywood, I am considering using vinyl floor runner over the existing carpet and taping at the seams. It seems as if this would prevent the separation of the tiles, while protecting the carpet. Has this been tried, and if so, how did it work/not work? Thanks.

    • Hello, Brad!

      We have had customers place vinyl rolls over their carpets before installing rubber tiles. Whether or not this will work really depends on the thickness of the carpet pad. If the carpet pad is too thick, the tiles will still separate over the vinyl.

      That’s why we recommend plywood, because it’s more rigid. However, installing rubber tiles over vinyl is still better than installing them right over carpet.

  11. I have a large carpeted area and I’d like to put rubber flooring over part of it. What kind or reducer would be recommended for something like this?

    • Hello Julie,

      Thanks for your question! The ideal thickness of the plywood depends on a few factors. You don’t want it to be so thin that it doesn’t offer a lot of support to the gym flooring, but if it’s too thick, the flooring might not fit under your doorframe. You want a happy medium, so I suggest you measure your space to find out how thick the plywood can be when added to the thickness of the flooring you want.

      I hope this answers your question. Please reach out if you need anything else!

      • is there a range you can recommend? we will only need it on part of our room – under an exercise bike and a small yoga mat size area. so probably 4 ft x 6 ft and we have a thick plush carpet, so i think the plywood idea is best. any idea what thickness plywood is best?

        • Hi Zubi! We’d recommend a 1/4″ plywood board for underneath your rubber floor. This will help create an excellent, even base for your workout equipment.

  12. I bought two rolls of rubber flooring to put on our basement concrete floor. We are looking to put something under it to provide a bit of “cushion” to the flooring as my wife does various aerobic type workouts. What do you suggest? We do not have to worry about thickness for doors or baseboards. It is an unfinished basement where she has her workout area.

  13. Hello! I reviewed your article which is very helpful. We are interested in purchasing an elliptical and only have carpeted area to place it on. What do you suggest? Instead of the plywood option, would the large rubber tiles that appear at the end of the video above work? Thanks!

    • Hi Megan!

      Thank you for your question. Large rubber tiles will absolutely work over a carpeted area. There are also large rubber mats that can be used over carpet that would work great under exercise equipment. If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to reach out and we will happily help.

  14. Great article, we are looking to install a power rack and weight equipment in one of our bedrooms. It has high pile carpet on it so, what is our best option? Can you send some samples?

    • Hi Samson,

      Thanks so much for reaching out. When installing rubber floors over high pile carpet, the best option would be Monster Rubber Tiles. However, any rubber tile flooring that is 1″ or thicker works due to how they interlock together.

      You can order free samples at any time to see if this floor works for your home gym here:

      I hope this information helps, and good luck on your home gym project. Please let us know if you have any other questions.

  15. We’re planning to setup a home gym in a room that has medium/high pile carpet in it. The total area is about 165 square feet but won’t cover the entire room. For the layer of plywood, what thickness plywood would you recommend, is a quarter inch sturdy enough or would you use ¾ inch?
    Since the workout area won’t cover the entire room, would you recommend using mats or tiles? What thickness mats/tiles do you recommend? Do they have to be taped or glued to the plywood? It seems that 1-inch tiles will interlock better, but I am worried about a high lip with the combined height of the plywood and rubber at the border of the workout area which may be a tripping hazard.

    • Hi Peter,

      Thanks for reaching out, this sounds like a great project. To help out, I outlined some information below!

      1. 1/4″ plywood is plenty thick and will support your home gym flooring.
      2. For a general use gym, based on the size of your space, I recommend 8mm Strong Rubber tiles since they are easy to build upon if you want to expand your home gym. However, rubber mats are also an excellent home gym flooring option.
      3. Neither tape nor glue is required when installing rubber flooring over plywood, as the floor will stay put under its own weight.
      4. To compensate for the potential high lip after installation, try using a rubber ramp to transition your gym floor to the carpet to minimize trip hazards.

      I hope this information helps and I wish you luck building your home gym! If you have any other questions, please feel free to reach out.

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