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Rubber Mats Buying Guide

Gym, office, kitchen – rubber mats are the perfect floor surface for a variety of uses. Find the best rubber mat for your application with this all-inclusive rubber mats buying guide.

Being on your feet all day can take a toll on your body. If your occupation requires you to stand or walk for long shifts, there are basically two ways to survive – strong, durable rubber flooring that relieves some of the fatigue, or fugly orthopedic shoes.

Guess which survival tactic I had to go with for my first job at Pizza Hut? As a 16-year-old girl, I was not thrilled to be handing over pizzas in those clunky clown shoes.

A few strategically placed rubber mats are the ideal flooring option for several situations, not only to help self-conscious teenagers survive their first job. Have you ever tried to do a sit-up on a hard floor? Or mop up muddy footprints tracked all over your house? Rubber mats provide the comfort, cleanliness and convenience you need from your flooring.

This guide will help you navigate the world of rubber floor mats and find the right one for your use. We’ll cover everything from the benefits of rubber floor mats to how to find the right size and thickness for your application.

Ready to dive in?
 
 
 
 

Why Choose Rubber Mats?

Rubber Floor Mats Buying Guide:

Sure, it may look like floor mats have no other responsibilities than to lay on the ground. But a quality rubber mat goes to work providing support to tired feet, cleaning up after messy cooks and taking a beating from weight-throwing bodybuilders.

Not just any floor mat is built to withstand that kind of abuse. Rubber floor mats in particular have specific qualities that make them the go-to flooring for heavy traffic or those who are on their feet most of the day.

As the go-to flooring solution for gyms, restaurants, building entrances and homes, rubber matting comes with a range of benefits to serve multiple applications. Easy to clean, comfortable for footing, water resistant – all of these features wrapped into one portable surface makes for an incredibly consumer-friendly flooring.
Here are the main benefits of choosing quality rubber mats:
  • Durability: Rubber is a strong material that withstands heavy foot traffic, heavy weights and any heavy use. Their durability makes them a long-lasting flooring option, so you can rest assured knowing you’re getting your money’s worth.
  • Convenience: Most rubber floor mats are lightweight and portable, so you can easily pick them up and move them around as needed.
  • Great for small spaces: If you’re looking to cover an individual work or workout space, a single rubber mat can do the trick.
  • Comfort: Rubber anti-fatigue mats can relieve the stress of standing on a hard surface all day.
  • Safety: Rubber flooring material provides good traction and is slip-resistant. Floor mats can help prevent falls and injuries in the workplace or gym.
  • Floor protection: Because of their durability, rubber mats will protect your subflooring from heavy weights or objects.
  • Appearance: Quality rubber mats have a smooth finish, making any gym or business look more professional.
  • No installation: Just lay it and leave it. Seriously, so easy!
  • Easy to clean: Simply vacuum or use a damp mop when necessary.
Now, think about which of these benefits are most important for your use as we take a look at different types of rubber floor mats.
 
 
 
 

Rubber Gym Mats

Rubber Floor Mats Buying Guide:

Whether you’re looking to cover a small weightlifting space, provide sturdy flooring under a treadmill or add an area for hardcore plyometric moves, you’ll want a durable exercise mat that doesn’t slide around as you do your thing. While rubber isn’t the only gym flooring option, it is the most versatile, lending itself to just about any workout.

The most durable rubber floor mats for gym use are machine cut and vulcanized from recycled rubber tires, which makes them a premium, high-density, long-lasting mat. Quality rubber flooring is strong, non-porous and low odor – a viable option for gym floor mats.

Gym floor mats are what the professional establishments use. You’ll see them in hockey arenas, school gyms, commercial gyms and ski resorts. But high-quality gym mats are also a top choice for the home-gym fitness buff because they are super durable, slip resistant and look amazing in a DIY gym.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

How and Where to Use Rubber Gym Mats

Rubber Floor Mats Buying Guide:

  • Home gym flooring
  • Commercial gyms
  • High-impact workouts
  • Weight rooms
  • Small fitness studios
  • Locker rooms
  • Sports arenas
  • Under exercise equipment
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Rubber Gym Mat Sizing Options

Rubber Floor Mats Buying Guide:

Once you know where you’ll be placing your gym mats, the next step is to determine what size exercise mat you’ll need. Rubber mats come in many different sizes to fit a variety of gym spaces and needs. These sizes vary between products, but include:

  • 3’x6’ (just larger than a traditional yoga mat)
  • 4’x6’
  • 4’x8’
  • 4’x10’ (large enough for workouts with plenty of movement)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Rubber Gym Mat Thickness Options

Rubber Floor Mats Buying Guide:

Next, consider the thickness level you’ll need for your gym floor mat. The thickness level you need all depends on the types of workouts you plan to do and whether you’re covering a home gym floor or commercial gym floor.

Rubber mats can range anywhere from ¼” to 1” in thickness. The typical rule of thumb is the thicker the rubber, the more it will protect your subfloor.

Thinner mats are great for light, at-home workouts, while 3/8” mats are the standard for commercial gyms and Crossfit gyms. Thicker mats typically include a higher price point, but also (usually) offer more durability and shock absorbency, making them the #1 choice for high impact workouts and Olympic lifting.
 
 
 
 

Top Gym Floor Mats

Rubber Floor Mats Buying Guide: Rubber Floor Mats Buying Guide: Rubber Floor Mats Buying Guide: Rubber Floor Mats Buying Guide:
Tough Mats Impact Mats Premium Mats Shock Mats
Thicknesses
1/4"
3/8"
3/8"
3/4"
Size 4' x 10' 4' x 10' 4' x 6' 4' x 6' and 4' x 8'
Durability
3
3
4
5
Material Non-vulcanized Non-vulcanized Vulcanized Vulcanized
Durability
$
$$
$$
$$$$
Best Used For Home gyms, exercise mats Equipment mats, plyometrics Commercial gyms, CrossFit, Olympic lifting Commercial gym, CrossFit, under gym equipment, Olympic lifting
 
 
 
 

Pros of Rubber Gym Mats

Rubber Floor Mats Buying Guide:

  • Premium appearance: Quality rubber mats have a smooth finish, making any gym look more professional and legit.
  • Water-resistant: Sweaty workouts, spilled water, even poolside yoga – rubber flooring exercise mats can withstand it all.
  • Shock absorption and durability: Gym mats, especially our Premium Extreme and Shock Mats, are some of the toughest and most durable gym flooring options on the market. For tough workouts and heavy free weights, these strong gym mats will absorb the shock and impact. This helps protect your joints from injury.
  • Sound insulation: Rubber floor mats are great sound insulators, so you can work out day or night without disturbing anyone else in your home.
  • Great for small spaces: When you don’t need to do an entire area, exercise mats will be your best option, saving you time and money.
  • Portable: Easily change your setup by simply picking the mats up and moving them where you want them.
  • Subfloor protection: Gym mats are strong enough that if you dropped heavy free weights on them, the flooring underneath won’t get cracked or dented.* You can also use rubber material for treadmill mats or under other exercise equipment to protect your subfloor.
*Dependent on weights and thickness of the mat
 
 
 
 

Cons of Rubber Gym Mats

Rubber Floor Mats Buying Guide:

  • Price: Although rubber gym mats may not be the cheapest option, they provide the best value. Rubber gym floor mats are affordable on their own, but they end up being more expensive per square foot.
  • Not appropriate for large spaces: If you have a big space to cover, you’re better off going with rubber gym flooring rolls, both financially and time-wise.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Anti-Fatigue Mats

Rubber Floor Mats Buying Guide:

Back pain, sore feet, poor posture – anyone whose occupation requires them to stand all day knows the exhaustion may bring them to curse the floor they stand on. An anti-fatigue mat made of rubber material will be your new best friend.

Rubber anti-fatigue mats are designed to alleviate fatigue from standing for long stretches of time on a hard surface. The rubber material is shock absorbent and provides a cushion for the feet.
 
 
 
 

How and Where to Use Anti-Fatigue Mats

Rubber Floor Mats Buying Guide:

  • Home kitchen
  • Restaurant kitchen
  • Garage
  • Workshop
  • Salon
  • Standing desk
  • Cashier
  • Bar or coffee shop
If you love to spend hours baking elaborate creations in the kitchen (is that just me?) or spend your Sundays in meal-prep marathons, an anti-fatigue mat can quickly become your new best friend. When it comes to the highest quality of anti-fatigue mats, the hard rubber ones win over the market. They are the most resistant and have a long lifespan, making them perfect for long working days.
 
 
 
 

Anti-Fatigue Mats Sizing

Rubber Floor Mats Buying Guide:

Anti-fatigue rubber mats come in various sizes. Whether you need an anti-fatigue mat for individual use or a long runner mat to cover a larger work space, there are plenty of options for you.
 
 
 
 

Anti-Fatigue Mat Thickness Options

Rubber Floor Mats Buying Guide:

With anti-fatigue mats, you’ll want something that provides some elasticity but is not so soft that someone cannot stand comfortably.
  • 1/2"
  • 3/4"
  • 7/8"
  • 1"
 
 
 
 

Pros of Anti-Fatigue Mats

Rubber Floor Mats Buying Guide:

With anti-fatigue mats, you’ll want something that provides some elasticity but is not so soft that someone cannot stand comfortably.
  • Reduce stress on body: Anti-fatigue mats allow for better blood circulation, reducing fatigue from standing.
  • Provide resistance and shock absorption: The relief from rubber mats lessens the effects on joints and legs from standing on hard concrete floors.
  • Help your posture: Long hours of standing can significantly affect your spine and posture. Anti-fatigue mats help reduce compression of the spinal cord and reduce poor posture and back pain.
  • Easy to clean: Simply hose off any dirt or debris to keep your anti-fatigue mats looking nice.
  • Portable: Anti-fatigue mats are lightweight. You can move them around wherever they’re needed.
 
 
 
 

Cons of Rubber Anti Fatigue Mats

Rubber Floor Mats Buying Guide:

With anti-fatigue mats, you’ll want something that provides some elasticity but is not so soft that someone cannot stand comfortably.
  • Design: Rubber anti-fatigue mats aren’t exactly a trend for your modern kitchen, but they make up in the comfort and cleanliness departments!
  • Smell: Rubber mats are known for smelling like, well, rubber, but this goes away after some time!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Rubber Mats Installation

Rubber Floor Mats Buying Guide:

Rubber mats are a consumer favorite because installation is typically a simple DIY endeavor. In most cases, all you need to do is lay the mat down where you need it. Flooring installation doesn’t get much easier than that!

Mats used for entryways or larger commercial purposes may be bigger and a little heavier. No need to hire a professional, but you may need to enlist some muscle-y friends to help you out.

Horse stall mats and interlocking rubber mat kits are also simple to put together. Each kit comes with a layout showing how to position the mats in the stall. All you have to do is make sure your subsurface is prepared correctly (more about that in the next section!).

If you are placing rubber mats in a horse stall or barn, we recommend a ¼” to ½” gap between the edge of the mat and the wall. Rubber can expand and contract in extreme temperatures, so be sure to leave some space.
 
 
 
 

The Best Subfloor for Rubber Mats

Rubber Floor Mats Buying Guide:

Rubber mats can be placed over concrete, asphalt, wood or any level, well-compacted surface. You can also install them over decomposed granite and limestone fines. For limestone fines, make sure the fines do not exceed ⅛” in size.
 
 
 
 

How to Cut Rubber Mats

Sometimes you end up with a little extra material. No worries! Learning how to cut rubber flooring is quite simple:
  1. Measure the size of your cut.
  2. Measure it again. No, really – you can’t go back once you make a cut, so we always say to measure twice, cut once.
  3. Use a straight edge and chalk to mark the cut.
  4. Place your straight edge on the chalk line and use a sharp utility knife to score your floor, adding a deep crease in the rubber.
  5. Pick up the rubber and bend it at that crease to break it open further.
  6. Return the rubber flooring to the ground and continue scoring the rest of the way through until your cut is complete.
 
 
 
 

Rubber Mat Cleaning and Maintenance

Rubber Floor Mats Buying Guide:

With how simple it is to clean and maintain rubber matting, this chore might be one you look forward to!
  1. Give it a quick vacuum to get rid of any loose crumbs, dust or debris.
  2. Occasionally, use a damp mop with a mild soap and water cleaning solution.
  3. Sit back and enjoy the extra time rubber flooring is saving you!
Note: Do not use any 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.
 
 
 
 

Rubber Mat FAQs

From the rubber smell to environmental responsibility, check out our answers to a few more common customer questions.

Q) How do I choose the right thickness for rubber flooring?
A) There’s more to it than this, but the typical rule of thumb is: the thicker the rubber, the more it will protect your subfloor.

Ultra-thin rubber can hold up to bodyweight exercises, light dumbbells, high-traffic areas, etc. Medium thicknesses are great for commercial gyms, CrossFit, powerlifting, Olympic lifting etc.

Here’s a quick breakdown of our most popular thicknesses:
  • 8mm – Most popular for home gyms.
  • 3/8” – Most popular for commercial gyms and CrossFit.
  • 1/2” – Ultra-thick commercial gym / CrossFit flooring.
  • 3/4” Ultra-thick commercial gym / CrossFit flooring.
  • 1” – Ultra-thick mats that you can lay over plush carpet.


Q) Does rubber flooring smell?
A) I mean….yes. Rubber flooring does have the smell of, well, rubber. Some rubber flooring products smell stronger than others, depending on the type of raw material used or how the flooring was made.

Here’s the real deal: when you first get your flooring, the smell will be the strongest, but after installing your rubber flooring, the room and floor will air out over the next few days/weeks.

Once your rubber floor has had the opportunity to fully air out, you won’t even notice the rubber scent without bending over and physically putting your nose up to the flooring.



Q) How do I get rid of the rubber smell?
A) Letting your rubber air out is the best way to reduce the rubber smell.

Additionally, you can give it a nice wash with a mild soap and water cleaning solution like Dawn or Tide. This will help alleviate some of that rubber smell.



Q) Is rubber flooring eco-friendly?
A) Absolutely! In fact, most rubber flooring options are made from recycled rubber.

Additionally, almost all of our rubber flooring options are made right here in the USA. Choosing American-made product reduces your carbon footprint by reducing carbon emissions associated with transportation, according to Recyclebank.
 
 
 
 

Conclusion

Rubber mats serve various functions. From providing comfort to those on their feet to keeping buildings clean and kids on the playground safe, rubber mats have a lot of responsibilities! As the toughest flooring option on the market, we trust that they’re up for the job.

So, where can you benefit from a durable, cushion-y rubber mat? Order a free sample today and get one step closer to safe, comfortable and resilient flooring.