Looking for the best flooring solution for your home gym?
You’re in the right spot!
In this Athletic Muscle guide, I’ll be covering:
- What is home gym flooring and why you need one?
- What is the best material for home gym flooring?
- Can you put a home gym on carpet?
- What are some consideration in buying home gym flooring product?
- My top 5 home gym flooring and a whole lot more!
Gorilla Mats Large Exercise Mat
|View on Amazon|
BalanceFrom Puzzle Mat
|View on Amazon|
Rogue Fitness Rubber Tiles
|View on Rogue Fitness|
IncStores Interlocking Rubber Mat
|View on Amazon|
YOGU Puzzle Exercise Floor Mat
|View on Amazon|
Top 5 Best Home Gym Flooring Products
Check out our below list for a summary of our results. Keep on reading to learn more about your home gym flooring options!
- Gorilla Mats Premium Large Exercise Mat (Our Top Pick)
- BalanceFoam Puzzle Exercise Mat (Best Workout Room Flooring for HIIT Sessions)
- Rogue Fitness 24″ x 24″ x 1.5″ Heavy Duty Rubber Mats (Best Home Gym Flooring Over Concrete)
- IncStores Interlocking Rubber Gym Mats (Best Interlock Option)
- YOGU Puzzle Exercise Floor Mat (Best Foam Flooring)
You’ve finally done it: You’ve begun to create your very own gym…in the comfort of your own home.
This is definitely a step in the right direction, and your fitness, physique, and overall health will thank you for it. Also, you are not alone. Since the pandemic there has been a major shift in how people are getting and staying fit.
At-home fitness equipment sales have hit an all time high. This is not surprising seeing the number of out of stock items when you search for some of the popular fitness equipment. Check out this infographic to see the trends in how people’s fitness habits are changing since the pandemic.
So how exactly do you optimize your workout space? Well, you have to start from the ground up…literally.
Your floor determines traction for both your shoes and your exercise equipment. So, if you want a terrific workout each and every time, your gym floor has to be tiptop.
In this article, we’ll go over everything regarding gym flooring, including whether you need special flooring, what materials are ideal for your workout floor, whether your carpet is good enough for your gym floor, and what you should look for when buying flooring.
Plus, we go over thickness, the best cheap gym flooring you can buy, and the top overall exercise mats you can get right now.
Without further ado, let us “floor” you with some knowledge. (Because we know we didn’t floor you with that awful, awful pun.)
Do I Need Special Flooring for My Home Gym?
In a word, probably.
Your home gym is where you will sculpt your body and create a healthy lifestyle. Other than the kitchen, your workout space is the most important facet of a solid fitness routine.
Let’s assume for a second that you don’t alter your floor. Odds are, you’re putting exercise equipment in your garage or spare bedroom, which means cold concrete or carpet underneath.
We’ll get into carpet in a few sections, but concrete or other smooth surfaces allow your benches or training shoes to slip and slide all over the place. Not only that, you deteriorate both the equipment and your floor; scuff marks and chips of metal will become the norm.
With special flooring options, you protect your actual floor from heavy weights, sweat, bench skids, and mildew. On top of that, these usually rubber mats are non-slip, making it the perfect surface to work with any type of resistance.
In short, you protect yourself during the workouts, and your house’s long term value.
The following video will tell you more about home gym flooring.
What Is the Best Material for Home Gym Flooring?
There are two main materials that you should look for when it comes to your home gym floor: foam and rubber.
Foam mats are spectacular for shock absorption. Also, they usually come in interlocking tile format, meaning you can assemble an entire floor from various interlocking pieces.
This is super helpful for spaces that are either oblong or big. You don’t have to conform to a predetermined mat size. Instead, you can build an entire gym floor from foam tiles like a two-dimensional LEGO layout.
The other best material, rubber mats, shouldn’t come as a surprise. They are sweat-resistant, can take on a lot of impact, and have been long used as exercise mats by any gym you’ve ever gone into. Rubber flooring also lasts a long time.
You can grab a few rubber mats, string them together, and have your home gym floor for the next decade or so. To add to this, they’re also relatively affordable and versatile.
The key question between foam or rubber flooring comes down to how you plan to use your gym. With heavy weights or not. Since rubber tends to do better for higher impact, you will want to go with rubber if you are using heavy weights in your gym.
There are other materials out there — carpet tiles, vinyl, and turf round out the accepted materials list for gym flooring — but the top two, by far, are rubber and foam.
Read More: Best Weight Bench For Your Home Gym
Can You Put a Home Gym on Carpet?
Carpet is a variation you can use for your gym floor. This is nice for some people who are using their spare bedroom or unused office space as a workout zone.
A carpeted floor has its benefits, including noise reduction. However, it is usually pretty absorbent, meaning sweat could theoretically get trapped into the fibers. (Some people don’t even eat or drink things on their carpets because of this exact fear.)
Not only that, exercising on carpet sounds…really warm. The point of gym flooring is to make your workouts both comfortable and quality.
Does carpet give you those advantages?
That’s up to you to decide. But you’re here for recommendations, and we say that in terms of ranking, here’s how it shakes down:
- Rubber or Foam
- Soft Wood/Wood Grain
It’s on the list because it will provide adequate traction at times and it’s great if you already have a space picked out that’s also carpeted. Other than that, we suggest looking elsewhere.
What are Some Considerations Before Buying Home Gym Flooring?
Our jaded stance on carpet should teach you a valuable lesson: Don’t just go with the easy option.
This is how you start your brand-new home gym! A little thought regarding this important aspect will go a long way for your workouts.
Here are some things to keep in mind when shopping around for your gym flooring:
- Material: We’ve harped on this enough, but to reiterate — look for rubber and foam first, then look at the benefits of turf (for athletic purposes) and bamboo (sustainable, natural, etc.). The material you choose should translate to your workout goals.
- Durability: You really don’t want to buy new gym flooring every two to three years. No, instead find a floor that will give you tremendous bang for your buck. That means high-quality materials, solid coatings, and known brands that you can rely on.
- Types of Exercises: This ties into what your goals are. If you use a lot of free weights, you’ll want a gym mat with shock absorption. If you have a bench or cable machine, opt for rubber or other materials that are non-slip. How you work out plays a major role in finding that ideal home gym floor.
- What’s Underneath? (Carpet, hardwood, concrete, etc.): Not only do you have to worry about the friction between the mat and your feet/equipment…you also need to think about the friction between your mat and the actual floor. If it’s hardwood and you do heavy lifts, get a thick mat that can absorb 100 percent of the shock. You’ll also want to cushion the blow if you work out over carpet; it can’t withstand the wear and tear. Instead of smooching those carpet fibers, use a foam or rubber mat that can take the brunt of the abuse.
- Thickness: Again, we’ve put the cart ahead of the horse. (Is that euphemism dead?) Anyways, the thickness is huge when considering purchasing an exercise mat. Sometimes you need a few inches of thickness to take away any damage underneath the mat. If anything, at least grab a gym floor that is thick. This will keep both your mat and the floor beneath intact.
As you can see, there are plenty of things you should consider. With these factors at the front of your noggin, you can select the best gym mat for your goals and needs.
How Thick Should Home Gym Flooring Be?
Again, this depends on your type of lifting. If you do CrossFit or Olympic lifting, you’ll want your gym floor to be almost half an inch thick.
At the very least, 3/8ths of an inch. And if you’re going to drop heavy dumbbells and kettlebells, better make it half.
These mats will most likely be rubber or foam. Many foam and rubber mats are super thick, making them ideal for both durability and shock absorption.
The minimum you should be looking for are mats that measure a quarter of an inch thick. You usually want some semblance of padding no matter how you work out. Therefore, the range is 1/4-1 inch in thickness.
What Is the Best Cheap Home Gym Flooring?
This would be either foam ($1 per square foot) or vinyl ($0.50 per square foot).
Vinyl flooring is something we haven’t talked about yet. But it’s a decent option if you’re an athlete on a budget.
Vinyl is long-lasting, is simple to maintain, moisture resistant, and mildew. Plus, you can get it in a variety of styles and sizes, allowing you to fit it in your workout room.
However, with a lower price comes some glaring issues. For one, sharp objects can easily puncture through the vinyl. For two, it has low shock absorbency.
Lastly, it emits volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which pose health risks due to toxicity. You don’t want to get sick because of your floor tiles, right?
Now, foam is another great choice and one that we recommend. It’s versatile and cushioned, to the point where you can do anything on your mat and it can withstand the weight.
That being said, it doesn’t last as long as its rubber counterpart and the heavier your equipment, the less durable it will be.
Foam and vinyl are fantastic options if you’re looking for inexpensive gym floors. But if you can, go for gym mats that are durable, long-lasting, and shock absorbing.
Read More: Top 6 Plyoboxes for Home Workouts
Top Home Gym Flooring Reviewed
Overall #1 Pick
First up on our list of the best home gym floors is the Premium Large Exercise Mat from Gorilla Mats.
This mat is extremely durable, complete with a non-slip surface and can be used with or without shoes. The bottom layer of the Gorilla Mat is a soft, non-toxic, eco-friendly surface with a unique circle pattern to prevent sliding.
As for the top layer, you get a durable surface that can last you a really long time with a shock-absorbent landing pad. It stays flat when you unroll it, plus you can do whatever workout while on the Gorilla Mat — CrossFit, P90X, Insanity, plyometrics, MMA, bodyweight works, cardio… you name it, this mat can handle it.
The non-slip bottom layer means you can put this anywhere in your house. Carpet, concrete, tile, it doesn’t matter; you can work out in your garage gym one day, then your living room the next.
This mat also includes a microfiber towel to help with padding and grip while wicking away moisture. When you’re done, you can use the Velcro straps to store it away in a compact form.
If you want a solid rubber mat that gets the job done while preserving any floor surface, definitely go with the Gorilla Mats Premium Large Exercise Mat.
Next up, we have the BalanceFoam Puzzle Exercise Mat, our first foam gym flooring and a great alternative to the Gorilla Mat rubber mat.
The obvious benefit with this mat is the fact that it’s a full inch thick! You could put a treadmill on this sucker. (It also comes in a variety of shapes and sizes — 1/2-1 inches in thickness and 24-144 square feet are among the options.)
It’s EVA foam that has interlocking tiles, making it excellent for MMA, gymnastics, pilates and other types of high-intensity exercise. It is double-sided with the high-density foam, creating a non-slip surface for your actual floor, any exercise equipment, and any body part that comes into contact with the mat.
This puzzle exercise mat is incredibly resilient. Not only that, it’s water-resistant and can be washed with soap and water. Simple. And the interlocking tiles and lightweight material makes for easy assembly.
For a foam gym floor that provides unparalleled protection, cushioning, and absorption, look no further than the BalanceFoam Puzzle Exercise Mat.
Think of this flooring option if you are using heavier weights in your home gym. You are also likely placing these on top of concrete in your garage or your basement.
The 1.5″ thickness is by far the most thick of the choices here, and is specifically for the heavy duty weight training athlete.
Since the tiles are only 2’x2′ they are small enough to fit unique room configurations. But common configurations include 8 tiles for a 4′ x 8′ platform, and 12 tiles for a 6′ x 8′ platform.
These tiles are not interlocking like other home gym flooring options that are fitted like puzzle pieces, but because each one weighs 28 lbs. they will not be moving much. In addition, they have a waffled pattern on the base that keeps the tiles from sliding.
These tiles also make for a great permanent home gym floor. Since they can take on any type of weight they also make for good flooring option for any type of home gym equipment, like a power tower for example. Choose this tile from Rogue Fitness if you are serious about having a long term option, and lean towards the free weights, or heavy equipment side of the spectrum.
One of the best floorings is the IncStores Interlocking Rubber Gym Mat, a rubber gym flooring option that gives you high quality at a reasonable price.
No doubt you’ve seen this style of mat before. These home gym flooring tiles are colored black with a speckled pattern, something many commercial gyms are all about.
Made out of strong rubber tiles, this interlocking mat is easy to install and provides a seamless appearance. It’s made in the USA and its American-tough, constructed from recycled tires from landfills.
With this high-quality rubber, you’ll get a heavy-duty, ultra-durable mat that can withstand your gym equipment and intense workouts.
The unfortunate thing with this mat is that it’s under 3/8th of an inch. It says it’s 8mm, meaning it’s only 3/10th of an inch. In other words, it’s a little on the thin side. This means it can be punctured more easily and might have to be replaced after a few years.
It’s rubber, but it’s a thin rubber. This provides pros and cons, something you’ll have to ask yourself when deciding on which home gym flooring you’re going to get.
However, just because it’s thin doesn’t mean it’s useless…in fact, the material is one of the best on this list. So definitely give the IncStores Interlocking Rubber Gym Mat a try.
Last on our list of the best floorings for home gyms, we have the YOGU Puzzle Exercise Floor Mat.
These interlocking tiles are made from EVA foam, making it sustainable and healthy for all of your workout needs. This protective flooring is ideal for a home gym because it boasts a cushiony 1/2-inch of thickness.
The high-density foam is shock absorbent, making it solid for any high-impact workouts. And if your actual floor is tile, hardwood, or concrete, no stress — this mat lowers the impact on any surface.
Plus, the interlocking floor tiles can be assembled in seconds, making it easy to set up and go.
This material saves your joints and other body parts from the harshness of a hard floor. Not only that, but you can cover 24, 48, or even 96 square feet; your entire home gym can be covered.
To top it all off, the name should clue you in on something; YOGU mats can be used as yoga mats as well, or maybe for floor exercises.
Backed by a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee on Amazon — much like the other floor tiles in this list — the YOGU Puzzle Exercise Floor Mat is the first step to a lifetime of fitness success.
Your home gym flooring is pivotal for having an excellent workout. Equipped with a supportive, durable, versatile floor mat, your DIY gym will get off on the right foot.
Make sure you look at our list of the top gym flooring again. Then, compare your favorite gym floor tile to the considerations above and pull the trigger on a mat that aids you in crushing your goals.
Whether you want to use your at-home gym for cardio, weightlifting, or a combination of sorts, you must begin with the right floor.
And with the right floor, you will become the best athlete you can be.