Rubber Garage Flooring : What You Need to Know
Rubber garage flooring is a popular option for garage gyms, workshops and several types of creative garage themes, but what kind of rubber material is best for your garage remodel? As the leader in rubber flooring, we have some answers.
Do you have big dreams for your garage? Maybe you envision a sweet home gym or the ultimate garage workshop. All that extra space has so much potential!
With the right flooring, that is.
Maybe you already know that rubber flooring is ideal for making your garage into a gym. But rubber is not limited to gym flooring. It can easily set the space for a workshop and plenty of fun garage themes.
But if you plan to keep your garage functioning as, well, a garage – a place where you park your vehicle – then you’ll need to be more critical of the type of rubber flooring you buy. Not all rubber garage flooring tiles and rolls will hold up well under parked vehicles.
What’s the best rubber flooring for a garage, then? Keep reading to learn what you need to look for to find rubber garage flooring that will last.
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What Kind of Rubber Flooring Should be Used in the Garage?
In our first house, my husband and I had a pretty sweet gym setup in our garage. We had the squat rack, TRX bands, dumbbells and a nice bench, but I felt that what really made the garage look and feel like a real gym was the rubber mats covering our concrete floor. We had bought a cheap product with extreme durability to withstand our (okay, mostly his) strenuous workouts, and it worked great.
I have no idea what kind of rubber it actually was, but it also didn’t matter. Our gym took up our whole garage, meaning we weren’t parking our cars in there. (Not the smartest choice during Midwest winters, but we loved our gym!)
The thing is, rubber flooring and cars are not always BFFs. Rather, rubber and oil specifically do not get along well. If you’re thinking about rubber flooring for your garage but want to be able to park your car in there, you will need to be mindful of the type of rubber product you buy.
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The Problem with Most Rubber Flooring for Garage Use
About 90% of the rubber flooring sold in the U.S. is made from rebonded rubber. Rebonded rubber is essentially rubber that is held together by polyurethane-based glue.
Oil from your car can break down that glue over time which then breaks down your sweet new flooring. Not cool! You put a lot of money and effort into creating your dream garage, so let’s make sure you don’t use the wrong stuff and have to start over.
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The Best Rubber Flooring for Garage Use
If you’ll be parking your car over your rubber flooring, we recommend going with a vulcanized rubber flooring or virgin rubber flooring. These products are not adhered together with glue; rather, they’re melted together with heat to form extremely durable flooring that is resistant to break down from oils and solvents.
The downside? This type of rubber garage flooring tends to be pricier, but you’re getting a lot of bang for your buck. Vulcanized rubber flooring is far more durable than your standard rubber mat, so you know you’re investing in a product that will stay strong for years to come. (Plus, no excuses not to go all out in your workouts!)
Additionally, if you plan to use your garage as a workshop, vulcanized and virgin rubber flooring will hold up better than standard rubber to any messes you make.
When Is It Okay to Use Cheap Rubber Flooring in the Garage?
While virgin and vulcanized rubber flooring are the best of the best for garage gyms, those aren’t your only options. If you’re wanting to create a home gym on a small budget, it’s perfectly fine to start out with an inexpensive rubber roll.
But if you know that your car tends to leak, it’s best to stick with the vulcanized products. If your car doesn’t leak, however, parking it over any rubber material is no problem. You can always opt to park your car outside as well.
Vulcanized rubber is typically thicker than reground rubber and standard rubber products. Thinner rubber garage flooring is still a viable option, though. Even ultra-thin rubber rolls can hold up to bodyweight exercises, light dumbbells and high-traffic areas.
Why Should I Use Rubber Garage Flooring?
If you’re planning to make a gym out of your garage, rubber flooring is the best material for workouts. Walk into just about any gym or fitness studio and you’re certain to see that they use rubber flooring.
While rubber isn’t the only gym flooring option, it is the most versatile, lending itself to just about any workout. High-quality rubber gym flooring is a top choice for the home-gym fitness buff because it is super durable, slip resistant and looks amazing in a DIY gym.
And of course, if you’ve bought vulcanized rubber you can still park your car on it, which is awesome. Now, let me just say this: your car is dirty. Just because you can park on it and use it for workouts doesn’t mean you should necessarily reverse the car then go face down into some burpees. Ick!
Additionally, rubber is super easy to clean, especially if you purchase nonporous rubber flooring. So whether you use it for a garage gym or any other fun garage theme, you can enjoy having a low-maintenance floor.
Pros of Rubber Garage Flooring
- Easy to clean: You can keep your rubber floor clean by using a gentle cleaning solution. No scrubbing or laborious cleaning days!
- Easy to install: Just like traditional garage flooring, rubber tiles are easy to interlock together and the rolls just simply roll out. Mats? Lay them down where you need them. Easy peasy.
- Durable: Rubber flooring is perhaps the most durable, shock-absorbing flooring option available. It can hold up to heavy weights – including the weight of your car. You can expect your rubber floor to last for years to come.
- Shock absorbent: That’s how it holds up to all those heavy weights. Rubber flooring is designed to absorb the shock of dropped barbells. It will protect your subfloor so you don’t have to deal with cracked concrete, which is expensive and time-consuming to fix.
- Multi-purpose: You can use vulcanized rubber as a garage gym flooring, to park your car, for pets, locker rooms and so much more.
- Anti-microbial: Rubber is naturally antimicrobial and will not harbor mold, fungi or mildew growth. Score!
- Sound dampening: Rubber is a natural sound insulator, so if you plan on working with loud power tools, cranking the music or using your garage as your band practice space, you (and everyone in your home) will love rubber flooring.
Cons of Rubber Garage Flooring
- Weight: Since rubber is so heavy, you may find it difficult to move around. Rubber flooring can range in weight from 1-3 lbs. per square foot. If you’re worried about handling the product, check out the rubber tiles rather than rolls. They are smaller and easier to manage.
- Temperature insulation: Rubber, unfortunately, will not make your floors feel warm when it’s 10 degrees outside. If you’re concerned about temperature, you may need to check out some other ways to insulate your garage or check out our floor heating solutions.
- Rubber and oil are not always BFFs: Unless you’re using vulcanized rubber, oil dripping from your car can break down the glue in traditional rebonded rubber. This can affect the durability and longevity of your floor. Solution? Use only vulcanized or virgin rubber in your garage if you’ll be parking your car there!
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How to Maintain Rubber Garage Flooring
Once you have your rubber floor installed in your garage, you want to keep it looking sharp. Good news – cleaning rubber flooring is super easy! Here’s how to maintain your rubber garage floor:
- Give it a quick vacuum to get rid of any loose crumbs, dust or debris.
- Occasionally, use a damp mop with a mild soap and water cleaning solution.
- Sit back and enjoy! Or rather, get back to your workout!
For ideal gentle soaps, you can purchase Tide laundry detergent or Dawn dish detergent. Or, get everything in one place – we offer some cleaning and seam-protecting solutions for your convenience.
- Rubber Floor Cleaner and Degreaser: Your easy, all-in-one rubber floor cleaner.
- Rubber Floor Finish and Sealer: Use this on the seams of your tiles to prevent liquids from seeping down into your subfloor.
Note: Do not use solvent or oil-based cleaners, such as Pine-Sol, Lysol. Murphy’s Oil Soap, WD40, paint thinner, etc. These cleaners may damage the floor over time.
How to Install Rubber Garage Flooring
Rubber garage 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: If you are loose laying your rubber flooring, after you lay it down, you really are done! Most of the time, the rubber is heavy enough to naturally stay in place with no extra adhesive necessary. If you loose lay your rubber garage 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 garage flooring in the event that you change locations.
Recommended Rubber Garage Flooring Products
Rubber garage flooring is available in tiles, rolls and mats. Each option has a wide range of thickness levels to suit your needs. If you plan to use your garage for high impact workouts, for example, you’ll want a thicker product.
To make your space look sharp, you can choose between a wide variety of color and color fleck options.
For rubber tiles and rolls, pricing ranges from a cheap $2 per square foot for vulcanized rubber floors up to and over $5 per square foot for the most designer series virgin rubber options. Garage rubber mats range from $40 per mat all the way to $140 per mat.
That’s quite the range! Let’s break it down.
Customer Favorite Rubber Garage Flooring Products
|Rubber Gym Tiles||Virgin Pebble Tiles||⅜” Heavy Duty Rubber Rolls||Pre-Cut Regrind Rolls||¾” Shock Mats|
|Vulcanized||Virgin Rubber||Virgin Rubber||Reground Rubber||Vulcanized||Vulcanized|
3/8″ 1/2″, 3/4″
|7/16”||3/8″||1/4″, 8mm, 3/8″||3/4″||
|Interlocking||Loose lay, tape or glue down||Loose lay, tape or glue down||Loose lay||
Rubber Garage Floor Tiles
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.
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 rubber garage flooring tiles typically run anywhere from $2/sqft-$3.50/sqft.
Rubber Garage Floor 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.
Garage rubber flooring rolls come in a variety of different thickness options to suit your needs. For working out, you may even choose to purchase high-impact rubber rolls specially designed to keep your joints safe during high-impact, plyometric movements.
In terms of price, rubber garage flooring rolls range from under $1/sqft all the way to $7/sqft.
Rubber Garage Floor Mats
Sometimes you just need to cover a small area – a weightlifting station, underneath your treadmill, or a small anti-fatigue space under your workshop counter for your comfort.
Rubber mats are perfect for that!
You can choose anything from thin ¼” mats for bodyweight exercises or standing for long periods of time all the way up to ¾” Shock Mats, which are specially designed to handle the impact of heavy Olympic weightlifting and dumbbell exercises.
Rubber garage flooring mats are typically sold by the full mat price rather than by square foot. They range from about $40 to $140, depending on thickness.
Rubber Garage Flooring Reviews
Want to find the best rubber flooring products for your garage? Here is what our customers are loving:
“Great product – easy to measure and order. Installation was a breeze. Two-sided tape is the way to go!”
“When I drop bumper plates or dumbbells, it absorbs the shock and sound and especially protects my floors. I’d recommend these to anyone who is thinking about starting their home gym.”
Get Started with Rubber Garage Flooring
Whether you envision a home gym, a workshop or a sports bar, your dream garage is achievable with rubber flooring. A low-maintenance floor that is ideal for harsh garage conditions, rubber material can help transform your garage space into the sleek version you imagined.
Be sure to buy virgin or vulcanized rubber if you plan to park your car in your garage and your rubber floors will be in great shape for years to come.
Want to test out our products for yourself? Order free samples of any of our garage rubber flooring products today!
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