home gym flooring

Best Home Gym Flooring — A Complete Buyer’s Guide

The floor undeniably faces a lot of traffic than any part of your home gym. And even though it is the most utilized part, it’s something many avid workout fans and fitness enthusiasts would rather skip.

They’re fine with training on the concrete floor of their unfinished basement or garage, as long as the floor offers them a stable surface and some traction for weight training and other workouts. Considering the substantial investment involved in setting up a complete home gym, leaving the floor that way is easily justifiable. After all, the concrete floor is very durable and free.

Unfortunately, working out on bare, cold cement with poor traction and shock absorption poses a safety risk, which could lead to injuries if you accidentally slip or fall during workouts. It doesn’t provide your knees, hands, or points of contact with the needed cushioning. Also when you drop a weight or drag equipment, such a floor won’t spare your expensive purchase from scratches and tears.

A gym floor is simply worth investing in. It can make your space functional and improve the quality of your workouts by increasing stability, as well as reducing body impact. In fact, you’ll find it more enjoyable to do exercises on the ground. A great gym floor can also go a long way in protecting your subfloors from taking a beating due to heavy traffic use.

Choosing the best home gym flooring

You are spoilt for choice when it comes to home gym flooring. With different options available to choose from, however, finding the best flooring solution for your gym can be an overwhelming and difficult task for many people.

What’s best for you basically depends on your gym space, type of equipment used on that space, and the nature of your workouts.

We’ve done thorough research and prepared a comprehensive guide that will help you make an informed decision on what gym flooring option fits your space. Well, read on to find out. If you would like to find out wether or not you can use home gym flooring on a carpet, check the link to reveal the answer.

Rubber Flooring

Rubber is one of the most after sought flooring option for both commercial and home gyms. What makes rubber a top choice is its versatility, sturdiness, and resilience. It proves to be a perfect home gym flooring over hardwood, concrete, and most other surfaces.

It is one of the viable options you’ll find on the market today. If you need to address a smaller space, rubber is available in the form of tiles or mats. For rooms with large spaces, you have the rubber rolls to choose from.

Better yet, manufacturers now provide rubber with different thickness options to match your budget and fitness needs.

Advantages of rubber flooring

  • Easy to install: You necessarily don’t need any installation experience. Just follow the manufacturer’s simple step-by-step instructions and you’re good to go.
  • Durable: Quality rubber basement flooring can withstand the most torturous workout sessions it is subjected to for a lot of years, typically up to a decade.
  • Shock absorbent: It effectively absorbs impact, preventing the heavyweights you drop from bouncing dangerously back up.
  • Super soundproof: Rubber flooring can help keep your workouts quiet. This is ideal when you don’t want to disturb your family members, especially if they’re studying or sleeping in the next room.
  • Water-resistant: The rubber type option does allow water to seep through it, meaning it will never breed mold or mildew that can affect your health.
  • Excellent cushioning: It doesn’t matter what type of exercises you’ll be performing. Whether it’s the free weights or yoga, rubber flooring will provide your knees, feet, ankles, or any other point of contact with top-notch cushioning to accomplish your sessions effectively.

Drawbacks of rubber flooring

  • Expensive: If you’re going to need rubber flooring with bright colors for large spaces, it might be an expensive option.
  • Poor insulator: Workout fans or fitness enthusiasts, especially those living in areas with cold climate may find rubber flooring quite cold. It is because this kind of flooring doesn’t allow a good amount of temperature transmission.

My pick:

IncStores Heavy Duty Gym Flooring Rolls

IncStores are a premier brand, known for producing a wide range of high-quality flooring options for commercial and residential home gyms. And they don’t disappoint with the IncStores Heavy Duty Gym Flooring rolls.

These 4’ x 10’ versatile gym flooring rolls are carefully designed with decent 10mm thickness to effectively absorb the impact of the intense weights and exercises you plan to do on it.

Simply put, they are powerful enough to tolerate almost anything you drop on them, including those notorious dumbbells and plyometrics. They also offer your subfloor just the needed protection, whether it is concrete or hardwood.

The rubber flooring rolls are available in 15 popular colors, so you definitely won’t miss a color that blends more with your gym’s existing décor.

Another great feature about the IncStores Heavy Duty Gym Flooring rolls is that they are waterproof. This could mean that no spilled water will find its way to the subfloor, so it’s added protection.

Don’t forget those sweaty workouts can also be an issue when the flooring material absorbs your sweat. It can easily leave your room with bad odor, and that’s something you obviously don’t want to happen. With this rubber flooring option, you can always look forward to fresh air every time you step foot in your workout space.

Pros:

  • High-quality rubber gym flooring rolls
  • Highly slip-resistant
  • Super easy to clean
  • Made in the U.S
  • Waterproof
  • Reasonable priced
  • Versatile
  • Easy to install
  • Comes with a 5-year warranty
  • Multiple color options

Cons:

  • Heavy (90lbs)
  • Rubber smell can take about two weeks to subside

Carpet Tile Flooring

Yes, Carpet! It’s an incredibly popular flooring option that you wouldn’t miss it in 6 out of 10 home gyms. Choosing top-notch quality carpet flooring can provide you with an excellent level of traction and stability to hold up against your cardio sessions and resistant training. It is soft and comfortable to the touch.

But wait… we’re not talking about that thick, plush carpet in your living room. You may need to consider installing at least a low, commercial-grade pile carpet in your home gym for better durability. And the good news is that, you can opt for the interlocking carpet tile option. They’re just DIY-friendly, particularly in the installation part.

Advantages of Carpet Tile flooring

  • Durable: Unlike the residential or shag carpets, the carpet tiles are way durable to withstand many years of constant abuse. In fact, they are often durable than the foam flooring option.
  • Easy on the body: This kind of flooring offers a better touch of softness than wood and vinyl. If you need a comfortable and peaceful yoga session, then you can go wrong with carpet flooring.
  • User-friendly: Since carpet is a familiar or favorite option for many people, it’s fair to say even an average home user already knows how to take care of it.
  • Comes in a variety of color options: You wouldn’t run into any issues, a far as finding carpet tile colors that blend naturally with the aesthetics of your gym space is concerned.

Drawbacks of carpet tile flooring

  • Difficult installation: Unless you’re going to purchase the interlocking type of carpet tiles, then you’ll need a professional to do the installation.
  • Absorbs and retains water: While manufacturers are embracing the production of water resistant-carpet tiles, the dominating types in the market today allow water to easily seep through to the subfloor.
  • This means they offer less protection to your subfloor. They can trap sweat and moisture that leads to bad odor and growth of mold and mildew. So professional cleaning may be required more often.
  • Not suitable for rigorous exercises: Carpet tiles are typically low-shock absorbers. They are a perfect option if you’re going to use them for yoga or to provide a base for treadmills or exercise bikes.
  • Tends to stretch over time: With strenuous use, your carpet is bound to stretch over time and you’ll need to hire a professional to fix it.

My pick:

IncStores Crete II Commercial Carpet Tile

The Crete II Commercial Carpet Tile makes way to our list of best home gym flooring, because it’s designed with some decent features that make it worth giving a shot.

First off, this heavyweight carpet tile with a diamond design is professionally engineered with a thickness of 7/16″ (11mm) and a face weight of 42oz. This is a great property, which allows the carpet to withstand constant foot traffic in your home gym setting for many years.

The 19.69’’ x 19.69’’ carpet tile is made of 100% solution dyed polypropylene and uses bitumen in the backside. With the structure of polypropylene carpets, they tend not to hold any unpleasant odor because of the water-resistant property. Bitumen backing means excellent safety.

Since IncStores designs Crete II Commercial Carpet Tile with many colors, you can be sure to find an option that matches your gym requirements.

Pros:

  • Extremely durable
  • Wrinkle resistant
  • Anti-slip
  • Easy to replace
  • Does not require special cleaning products
  • Available in different colors
  • Permanently anti-static properties
  • Lightweight design
  • Reasonable priced

Cons:

  • Requires frequent vacuuming

Foam Home Gym Flooring

If you’re looking for the super portable and most affordable flooring for different physical activities in your home gym, then you can’t go with foam tiles. You can use foam for both light and high-intensity workouts, as they have excellent shock resistance properties. However, they can’t support heavy weights and equipment.

The foam tiles are available in tons of colors and different thickness. Also, they are often sold as individual rolls, yoga mats, or interlocking tiles. Interlocking tiles can be used to create custom designs.

Advantages of foam gym flooring

  • Least expensive: Foam is super affordable, regardless of the option you to buy.
  • Excellent cushioning: With foam, you’re in for a perfect level of comfortability. It is the lightest and softest option you’ll find on the market, making it ideal for athletes that do a lot of floor work.
  • Versatile: Foam gym tiles can also double up as a great option for different training exercises. Let’s say you’re only confined by your imagination and budget.
  • Easy to clean: If your foam tiles get dirty, you can use a damp cloth to wipe them. It’s that easy.
  • Easy to install: Whether you’re purchasing the rolls, yoga mat, or interlocking foam tiles, they are super installation-friendly even for an average homeowner.

Drawbacks of foam gym flooring

  • Not suitable for heavy weights: While it absorbs the impact from your home gym machines, foam tiles easily compress when subjected to heavy weight equipment. When the foam is compressed for a long time, chances are it will lose the bouncing-back properties. If you’re looking for a gym flooring that will protect your subfloor from drop weights, you might obviously want to consider another suitable option.
  • Prone to cuts: If you drop a sharp and heavy object on your foam gym tiles, they can easily puncture or slice them. Even those high heels can cut your foam. To get the most out of this kind of flooring, just stick to the normal weight machines and cycles.

My Pick:

ProSourceFit Exercise Puzzle Mat

ProSourceFit Exercise Puzzle Mat is one of the best EVA foam interlocking tiles currently on the market, suitable to be used in garages, home gyms, and CrossFit. This high-density foam provides sufficient cushioning, creating a comfortable surface for exercises like crunches, sit-ups, and pushups. It can also be used for yoga or Pilates.

When the 6 interlocking foam pieces are assembled, they cover 24 square feet. Each piece is 12.7 mm thick, which is enough to protect your hard floors as long as you don’t drop super heavy and sharp equipment on it. ProSourceFit Exercise Puzzle Mat can provide a great base to support your weight lifting benches, kettlebells, and dumbbells.

The tiles are designed with end border pieces specifically for a polished, finished look. These non-skid textured puzzle pieces are available in color options and can absorb impact, as well as noise during workouts.

Pros:

  • Durable
  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable to perform exercises on
  • Easy to assemble and disassemble
  • Tile material does not contain the toxic phthalates
  • Easy to maintain
  • Water-resistant
  • Non-slipping
  • Very affordable

Cons:

  • Pieces, although rare, can separate a little bit especially during really intense workouts

Vinyl Gym Flooring

Vinyl is a popular functional flooring material, which is highly adaptable to virtually any flooring setting including high traffic areas. Originally, this type of flooring was designed to be used in garages, and it proved to be really ultra-durable that it could effectively stand up to the heavy weight of vehicles. It’s for this reason that homeowners are also embracing the use of soft vinyl tiles in their gym spaces.

Vinyl is a perfect home gym flooring over concrete in your basement, because it’s resistant to moisture that leads to the buildup of mold and mildew. You have a variety of colors and patterns to pick from, and you’ll surely fall in love with the creative designs and looks available with this flooring option.

Advantages of Vinyl Gym Flooring

  • Durability: Much like rubber, vinyl is also extremely durable. Literally, the traffic in your home gym is nothing compared to the abuse of cars and trucks.
  • Flexibility: Customers love vinyl for their home gym because it has plenty of styles, patterns, and cushioning options. Therefore, it is possible to customize it to your specific unique requirements and make your space pop.
  • Easy to install: Vinyl is typically purchased in assorted tiles or rolls, and you’ll have a simple task of placing them down across your space as you see best. Installing is an easy DIY project.
  • Super user-friendly: You can clean your vinyl tiles using mild soap and water. They do not damage easily even if you wipe them using the harsh cleaning chemicals and products.

Drawbacks of vinyl gym flooring

  • Lacks the shock absorbency property: While vinyl is the most practical flooring you’ve got, it does not absorb shock impact from heavy weights and workouts like rubber. Basically, this flooring option acts as a hard floor when laid down. Unfortunately, this means that there are some exercises you’ll not be performing on vinyl gym floors. If you opt for vinyl tiles, you may require a certain extra type of flooring.
  • Sensitive to sharp objects: If your workout space deals mainly with sharp and heavy objects, it is easy for the flooring to puncture or tear.
  • Volatile organic compound (VOC) emission: Vinyl flooring can emit volatile organic compounds, which may have some short-term and long-term health effects.
  • Pricey: As would expect, the durability and versatility come at a price. They are more expensive compared to other flooring options.

My Pick:

IncStores Nitro Commercial Vinyl Garage Flooring Rolls

This is a 7.5 ft x 17 ft commercial grade flooring constructed of premium grade polyvinyl, and is a perfect option to protect your concrete or any other hard floor surface. What we like about this type of flooring is that, it doesn’t contain filler materials can make it peel, crack, or split during those HIIT workouts.

Also, the rolls come in different dimensions to offer you added convenience. With the 7.5 ft width, you’ll also have 25 ft, 40 ft, 50 ft, 100 ft, and 140 ft lengths. There are also the rolls with similar lengths but different widths — 8 ft, 9 ft, and 10 ft.

These commercial vinyl garage rolls are 2.5 mm thick and create strong moisture barriers. They are resistant to stains or chemicals that can make them deteriorate. The rolls are quality enough that they won’t expand like laminate due to moisture.

This coil and diamond pattern can offer you the needed grip without moving the flooring at all, thus providing you with excellent safety for your equipment and rigorous exercises.

Pros:

  • Easy installation
  • Very durable
  • Creates a moisture barrier
  • Easy to maintain as it only requires the common household cleaner
  • Doesn’t require adhesives
  • Comes with a 7-year warranty

Cons:

  • Expensive

Artificial Turf gym flooring

Investing in artificial turf flooring can be an excellent solution to add fun to your workouts in varied ways and reach full potential. Synthetic turf provides a safe and resilient surface with optimal traction, which is great for yoga, stretching, sprints, resistant training, and conditioning.

Also with this absolutely unique surface, you can include pulling or pushing sleds, plyometrics, CrossFit, and HIIT workouts. It is incredibly versatile!

If you’re an athlete looking to boost his or her performance safely with minimal injuries, turf should be at the top of your list. Choosing a great synthetic turf can mean no trouble switching between your indoors and outdoors workouts.

Advantages of artificial turf gym flooring

  • Low-maintenance: Turf flooring is free of cracks and dents. Maintenance is a lot easier with regular brushing and cleaning. You won’t need a lawnmower.
  • Optimal traction and cushion: The flooring is easier on the contact points while providing a safe surface for maximum pulls and pushes, without being subjected to much risk of injury.
  • Aesthetically pleasing: That fake grass in your gym can also make a visual statement of beauty and functionality.
  • Durable: Artificial turf gym flooring can hold up to the constant abuse and remain in good shape all year long.

Drawbacks of artificial turf gym flooring

  • Pricey: Turf tiles aren’t the most affordable flooring solution available, although you won’t possibly miss a little less expensive option.
  • Abrasive: This often happens when you perform floor exercises like sit-ups and burpees.
  • Health risk: When your artificial turf flooring is not properly cleaned and maintained, it can pose a health risk of MRSA or Staph infection.

My pick:

Sorbus Grass Mat

If you’re an athlete looking for a great synthetic grass mat without breaking the bank, then Sorbus Grass Mat interlocking puzzle tiles can be a decent choice to consider. Made from an artificial soft foam turf, Sorbus Grass Mat provides a good level of comfort and cushion to hard surfaces while protecting the subfloors from continuous wear and tear.

The synthetic turf includes a set of 4, 6, and 12 interlocking pieces, which are about 1/2 inches thick. They are thick enough to offer sufficient protection while gripping to the floor for the ultimate balance. Since Sorbus Grass Mat comes with detachable edge pieces, you don’t need to worry about what tile will be at the center, corner, or border.

Another feature worth mentioning is the water-resistance property, which makes the grass tile pieces ideal for outdoor spaces like patios, walkways, and gazebos where you enjoy the more fresh air. When the weather doesn’t favor you, just get your grass floor mat indoors and continue with your workouts. It blends nicely with the existing room’s décor.

Pros:

  • Easy DIY installation
  • Water-resistant
  • Durable
  • Detachable edge pieces
  • Great for outdoor and indoor exercises
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Frequent vacuuming is needed

Wood Gym Flooring

Nothing beats the elegance of quality wood flooring. Wood flooring is a conventional choice for many settings, including gyms. Besides giving your home gym that professional and warm look, wood flooring is durable and resistant to wear and tear.

This type of flooring provides a perfect base for your equipment and is ideal for virtually any type of exercise. With the advancement in technology, wood options are now designed with an innovative foam-backing. This means wood can absorb more shock, helping reduce injuries during workouts.

Advantages of wood gym flooring

  • Easy to clean: Maintaining wood to always stay fresh is easier with simply vacuuming or damp mopping.
  • Durable for plenty of uses: If your workouts include aerobic exercises, dancing, and kickboxing, a wood floor can offer you a better return on investment.
  • Comes in a variety of attractive designs: This allows you to customize your home gym and transform it into a workout space you’ll enjoy being in.

Drawbacks of Wood Gym Flooring

  • Prone to scratches and splints: Wood flooring can put up with constant abuse in high traffic areas, but it can easily splinter when you drop weights too hard.
  • Poor traction: If this type of floor gets soaked in sweat, it can become slippery that it loses its traction.
  • Expensive: Unfortunately, wood flooring is one of the priciest options around. But, you can always get better deals if you take time with your search.

My Pick:

Sorbus Wood Grain

The Sorbus Wood Grain interlocking floor mats made of wood grain foam are quite affordable, offering you much flexibility in terms of how much floor space you can cover. With these budget-friendly mats, you can even cover wall-to-wall to maximize your space.

Each of the 6-floor mat wood grain tiles is about 3/8 an inch and provides a good level of comfort, cushion, and resistance to light home gym exercises. Well, they are durable enough to hold up to abuse from common foot traffic.

These attractive and realistic mats are available in a variety of colors and patterns that blend easily with your existing decor. They really help add a sense of style in your gym space.

Pros:

  • High-quality mats
  • Comfortable
  • Durable for most uses
  • Installation takes just a few minutes
  • Affordable
  • Water-proof
  • Easy to clean

Cons:

  • Not recommended for heavy use

Cork Gym Flooring

We round up our list of best home gym flooring options with cork, an eco-friendly solution. Besides being made of renewable and biodegradable material, cork has all the important features that make it ideal for a gym floor.

Cork is a unique type of flooring, as over half of its volume is basically made up of air, giving it the flex design. It can flex and compress without getting damaged, and that’s why it’s a favored option in most workout spaces. It’s a perfect flooring solution for weight training and high-intensity workouts.

If you want cork that effectively supports heavy equipment, you should opt for cork glue-down tiles instead of the cork floating floor.

Advantages of cork gym flooring

  • Excellent shock absorption: Although the base of cork is often the same as that of wood flooring, the ability to compress and flex makes it absorb shock incredibly good.
  • Inherently strong and durable: Even though it is flexible, cork can be a long-lasting solution to dropped weights. It can protect your subfloor from damage and withstand a lot of foot traffic in your gym. That’s why cork is often backed by impressive warranties.
  • Natural sound insulation: The structure of cork that allows for trapped air is good to muffle the sound of dropped weighs and footfalls.
  • Repels a lot of elements: It is highly resistant to mold, mildew, termites, ants, as well as fire.
  • Hypo-allergenic: It does not trap allergens such as dust, pollen, or pet dander that prove irritating for some people with allergies.

Drawbacks of cork gym flooring

  • Prone to scratches and tears: Whether you choose to install the cork floating floor or cork glue-down tiles, you should not drag equipment on it as you risk tearing the surface.
  • Sunlight-sensitive: If you want to maintain the master color of your cork flooring, be sure not to expose it to direct sunlight.

My Pick:

Gray Bamboo Cork Tiles

Manufactured by the reputable iCork Floor, the Gray Bamboo Cork glue down tiles provide a great flooring option that allows you to keep up with the latest flooring trends for home gyms.

It is made of natural cork and formaldehyde-free adhesives, and then neatly coated using three layers of water-based polyurethane. The flooring is soft and comfortable, and provides enough traction for performing most of your workouts safely.

This 12 ft by 24 ft tiles/planks are designed with square edges, meaning once you’re done with installation part, your floor will look just like a single large finished unit.

With a thickness of 1/4 an inch, these cork tiles can easily mute sound and vibrations so you won’t need a separate underlayment. Also, they provide excellent thermal insulation. Their elasticity is enough to protect you against strains on your knees, joints, feet, and back.

Pros:

  • Water-resistant
  • Hypo-allergen
  • Easy maintenance
  • Eco-friendly
  • Comes with a fantastic warranty
  • Returns are accepted
  • Durable
  • Reasonably priced

Cons:

  • Not suitable for dragging equipment

Final thoughts

You can make a difference in your home gym with any of these popular flooring options. You don’t have to stick to one gym flooring option, though. If it’s fine with you, you can consider having floors dedicated to certain types of exercises and piece of equipment.

Happy training!


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