Are you tired of having to lower your barbell to the ground gently? Or are your neighbors always complaining about how much noise your barbell and dumbbells make during your garage gym sessions?
Rubber flooring is your solution.
Rubber flooring is the best of the best when it comes to flooring material for your home gym.
Check out any commercial gym and, for good reason, you will find some variation of a rubber floor. It is durable, protects your underneath flooring, requires low maintenance, and is easy to clean. For these reasons and more, gym owners love to use rubber flooring in their spaces.
Let's look at the most common types of rubber flooring options.
1) Rubber Tiles
Rubber flooring tiles interlock on your floor like a big ole puzzle. They are easy to install and extremely durable.
Rubber tiles are great for a DIY project and can be installed without any glue, tape, or other adhesion to the floor.
One potential downside to using tiles is that you may not get the seamless look you desire for your flooring. Rubber floor tiles are cut by stamping or waterjet. Waterjet cut tiles will give you a sharper, more seamless fit.
Who are flooring tiles best for? Anyone looking to fill small spaces, like a bedroom gym or even a home gym.
2) Rubber Rolls
Rubber rolls are much larger than tiles. They are heavier than tiles and exactly what they sound like. They are also extremely durable and shock resistant. They can be installed without any adhesion, but depending on intended use it may not hurt to add a little extra stick.
One major benefit to rubber rolls is that it gives you that seamless look for your flooring that you may not get with tiles.
Who are rubber rolls best for? Anyone flooring a commerical gym or larger space. The rolls can cover much larger areas faster than tiles. Imagine how big the puzzle would be in a Planet Fitness?!
3) Rubber Mats
These are very similar to the rubber tiles so we won't repeat most of what was said. The biggest difference here is that mats are often used as a standalone - meaning they cover part of the gym.
For instance, say you want to put a single mat under a treadmill or want to have a designated spot for Olympic lifting in your home gym; however, you don't want to cover the entire floor. Rubber mats can be a great option in that situation.
Who are rubber mats best for? Anyone looking for standalone home gym flooring needs.
4) Horse Stall Mats
Now if you are just beginning your home gym, you are probably asking, "Why on earth would I buy horse stall mats?" I'll give you a few yays and neighhsssss. See what I did there.
All jokes aside, horse stall mats are a great option for your home gym because they are cheaper than the previously mentioned options and they are easy to find.
Since horse stall mats are also made of rubber, they share many of the same positives as rolls, tiles, and mats. I mean if they are designed to hold a horse, I think your power rack will be A-OK.
There are a couple of concerns with horse stall mats.
First, the smell. Some users complain that the smell is pretty bad, especially when they first start using the mats. Second, the mats are not cut with impeccable precision. They certainly get the job done, but you may find horse stall mats slide around a little bit more due to slightly uneven cuts and variations in sizing.
Who are horse stall mats best for? Anyone building out a home gym or even small commercial gyms on a budget.
Now that we have discussed the most common types of rubber flooring, let's look at the biggest pros and cons for using a rubber floor for your home gym needs.
Pros of Rubber Flooring
Honestly, there are quite a few here. So let's jump right in.
First, rubber flooring is easy to maintain and clean.
All you need is a mop and some cleaning solution and you are set - meaning low maintenance for you. Rubber flooring is also an antimicrobal material, which is a huge benefit considering how much sweat will end up on your floor. Plus, if you are installing flooring in your garage, simply use a leafblower to "sweep" out your gym for a fast and effective cleaning solution.
Next, rubber flooring is an incredibly durable material.
It not only can handle your heavy barbell and cardio machines but also your car. For a garage gym, there really isn't a better option especially if you plan on still parking your car in the garage.
A rubber floor is also relatively easy to install.
Now it may be heavy material, especially in the case of a rubber roll, but we both know you can handle it (or at least with a little help from a friend). Tiles are even easier and both options can be installed in a day. When compared to other flooring material like carpet, hardwood, or even concrete - a rubber flooring install is a breeze.
Rubber is great for sound absorption as well.
So whether it is your workout playlist, grunts, or heavy deadlifts, the rubber flooring will help absorb some of that sound. You know what they say, "Happy neighbors, happy life," or something like that.
Cons of Rubber Gym Flooring
There really isn't a ton here, but let's note a few things to be aware of.
Rubber flooring is heavy.
This is obviously a great thing for durability and the protection of your floor, but it also makes it difficult to adjust and move, especially after the initial install.
Second, if you are using rubber flooring in your garage gym, be cautious when parking your car in the garage.
Now, I know in the pros section I said that a rubber floor can withstand your car and it certainly can, the problem becomes when your car leaks oil. If you plan on parking your car on the rubber flooring, consider buying either vulcanized or virgin rubber flooring. These are made of a higher quality rubber that isn't affected by oil. The rubber used in standard flooring is recycled rubber that is held together by glue. In most instances, this isn't an issue at all, but this glue doesn't react well to car oil. Typically, higher quality means more expensive, but in this case, it is worth it if you want your rubber flooring to last.
What Rubber Flooring Thickness is Best?
Determining which thickness is right for your home gym floor is an important decision. Too thin of material and you could damage the underlying floor or even worse, your foundation. Too thick of material, and you will have unnecessarily spent too much money, although it certainly is better to go thicker than not.
Rubber flooring comes in pretty standard thicknesses dimensions - 8mm, 3/8", 1/2", 3/4", and 1". For almost any home gym, either 8mm or 3/8" will be perfect.
1/2" and 3/4" are geared more toward CrossFit and commercial gyms.
The thinner the rubber flooring, the less impact and shock it can absorb. If you are planning on doing simple exercises like lunges, squats, and pushups, you don't need anything that is super thick - 8mm should be just fine. The biggest decision-making factor for your home gym floor is going to be whether or not you anticipate dropping barbells or dumbells. If the answer is yes, and especially if you are trying to break the snatch world record, a thicker rubber for flooring would be advantageous. Even in this instance, 3/8" should be plenty thick.
Where to Buy Your Rubber Flooring?
Now that you know what type of floor you are looking for, the question becomes where do I get it? That's why we are here to help! There are many places to begin the journey of buying the perfect rubber floor for your home gym. Here are a few good places to start:
If you are looking for tiles, mats, or rolls many retailers can be found with a simple Google search. Use this guide to determine which flooring best suits your needs. Be sure to check for thickness, rubber quality, and price to get the best flooring for you.
2) Tractor Supply or Ag Store
If you are looking for horse stall mats, these retail stores can be a great option. If your home gym timeline is on a crunch and you don't want to pay the extra costs for shipping, going to a store like this can be a good solution to getting your mats as soon and as cheaply as possible.
3) Freedom Fitness Equipment
We sell multiple different types of rubber flooring. From tiles to rolls and even turf, we can help you find the best flooring for your home gym - all at a great price. Check out all of our rubber flooring options here!
You are now all set. Weigh the pros and cons and find your perfect rubber flooring for your home gym. We are excited to see the PRs you hit and the calories you burn in your garage gym. As always, we are here for you and all your garage gym needs.
Here's to dropping barbells and crushing all of your fitness goals!
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