3 Options for Home Gym Flooring
Get started on your home gym with our 3 options for home gym flooring. Use this guide to choose from rubber, carpet 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 gym 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!
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 that 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.
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-lb. 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.
Many variables factor in to determine the 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 your 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 1/4” Tough Mats
for bodyweight exercises all the way up to 3/4” 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/sqft to $150/sqft
, depending on thickness.
Pros of Rubber Gym 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 on their 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 can 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.
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 is heavy enough to naturally stay in place with no extra adhesive necessary. If you loose lay your gym flooring, you can easily pick up and move it 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. Carpet Tile Gym Flooring
Carpet is the most popular floor-covering option in America. All-purpose, relatively inexpensive, comfortable to the touch, 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.
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 it 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.
3. Soft PVC Vinyl Gym Floor Tiles
Originally designed as a garage flooring option, 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.
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.
- Durability: Designed to handle the abuse of cars and trucks, vinyl gym flooring is made to 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 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 need answers? Here are a few of our most frequently asked questions about home gym flooring.
Q) What’s the best flooring for home gyms?
A) 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 are quite affordable. They give the athlete everything they need in one neat little package.
Q) How thick should home gym flooring be?
A) 8mm is the most popular thickness
for home gym flooring. However, for CrossFit workouts and Olympic lifting, you’ll want at least 3/8”. If you plan to repeatedly drop super heavy dumbbells and/or kettlebells, we recommend choosing the 1/2” just to be safe.
Q) Can you install home gym flooring over carpet?
A) 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.
Q) How do you clean home gym flooring?
A) 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.
Q) How much does home gym flooring cost?
A) 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.
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.
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8mm Rubber Tiles
8mm Rubber Rolls
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