Buying the right flooring for your home gym is important, and it’s not something that should go overlooked.
When buying flooring for your home gym, you have a lot to consider–and if you don’t make the right flooring choice, you can cause serious damage to your subfloor and your equipment–both of which are expensive to repair!
I’ve spent thousands on gym flooring–I own an 8000 sq.ft strength and conditioning facility, so I know a thing or two about the gym flooring options out there.
I’ve tried and tested nearly every gym flooring option known to man for my home gym, and in my opinion, there is a clear winner (which I reveal below), that will save you time, money, and a headache.
So let’s dive in.
To save you some time, I’ll tell you that in my opinion, the Rogue 24” square rubber tile is the best overall flooring for your home gym. It’s not cheap, but there are some things that you just can’t economize on. Buying cheap flooring risks damaging your equipment and yourself.
Click here to check availability for the Rogue 24” square rubber tile.
Rubber tiles are the best option for a home gym. We’ll go through the characteristics of the flooring and what the needs really are. Many people focus on aesthetics and forget about the true function of the gym floor.
The first thing is to remember you’re buying equipment here, so forget what looks great and instead think about what works great. There’s a difference.
Your gym flooring has to do the following jobs…
Straight away you can rule out a lot of the usual options…
Carpet isn’t easy to clean and it’s too thin, so that’s out. A sprung wooden floor would smash to bits when a heavy clean and jerk is dropped on it, so that’s out. LVT is slippery when wet, plus it doesn’t deaden sound, so that has to go too. Concrete is fine, but you can’t lift directly on it because it offers no protection to the plates and it’d break apart with repeated drops of a loaded bar, so we need to protect that.
The best flooring combination is to lay thick, heavy-duty rubber tiles on top of a flat concrete subfloor. It’s important to note that when I say rubber tiles, I don’t mean the thin, interlocking EVA tiles you get from Amazon!
In my experience the EVA tiles just aren’t suitable for anything fitness related. They’re too thin, they’re not dense enough to cope with any impact and they pull apart when you do something as light as stretching on them. If you’re thinking about buying some…
STOP! DON’T DO IT!
Now we’ve cleared that up, I can tell you what you should buy and why. Thick rubber is the most versatile and hardest wearing.
If you’re a powerlifter or bodybuilder, rubber horse stall matting is suitable. Bear in mind though it doesn’t absorb shock very well, so although it protects the floor, it’s not ideal for protecting your plates. It’s also hard flooring, so it won’t deaden sound.
That being said, if noise isn’t a consideration and you can find a good deal on some, go for it.
If you’re a weightlifter or a CrossFitter, the only game in town is the thick rubber tile. It ticks every box–it’s thick, so it protects the floor well.
It compresses slightly under load, so absorbs the shock of a heavy bar being dropped on it repeatedly. The compression helps to deaden sound too.
Finally, it’s easy to clean and doesn’t get slippery when wet.
This is determined by what kind of exercise you’re going to be doing on it. If you’re powerlifting or olympic weightlifting you’re going to need a significantly thicker floor than a general bodybuilder or someone doing pure cardio in their home gym.
I’d never go any less than 1 inch (25mm), but I’d feel a lot more comfortable going for something around the 1.5 – 1.75 inch (38mm – 44mm).
For reference purposes, the gym flooring I opted for is 44mm rubber tiles. This is expensive, but it has excellent shock absorbing qualities, it reduces sound and it also protects the concrete subfloor. It will withstand millions of drops of a heavy bar.
These are commercial grade tiles that are at home in any gym. It doesn’t matter if you’re a weightlifter, a powerlifter, CrossFitter, bodybuilder or all of the above – these are my top choice.
The tiles are available in packs of 2, 6, 8, 12 or 16. They weigh 28lbs each and are top-coated with a recycled SBR/EPDM wear layer. This means they are able to withstand a fair amount of punishment, making them last longer. They’re suitable as a stand alone, or they can be placed on top of plywood and fashioned into a platform.
These tiles are perfect. They’re thick, so they protect the floor and the equipment. They’re easy to clean, flat and they absorb sound well. They’re easy to clean and they’re pretty non-slip on top.
Underneath they have a waffle pattern which helps to prevent them from slipping. They also protect the floor more effectively because there’s room for the tiles to compress slightly before they hit the floor. This means the weight never actually comes into contact with the floor itself, as it would with other flooring solutions.
The reviews here essentially back up my own personal experience – they tick every box in terms of floor protection, sound reduction, easy installation etc. The best flooring around in my opinion.
In my opinion the best home gym floor on the market. Thick, strong, durable, and designed to cope with any training type. Worth the investment.
The great thing about the Rep Fitness rubber mats is that they are designed with the home gym user in mind. They are available without a minimum order quantity and are easy to cut to size yourself. They come pre-cut at 6’ x 4’ with a ¾” thickness, so they’re more than suitable for most home users.
They’re a far better product than the Rogue equivalent for a couple of reasons–they’re almost zero odor (Rogue doesn’t have odor mitigate) and they’re up to $12 per mat cheaper. The odor thing is a huge issue, especially if you’re in an enclosed space–don’t underestimate how strong the smell is!
With stall mats there’s not much in the way of shock absorption, so whilst they’re OK to drop bumpers on, crash pads are useful if you’re going particularly heavy. There’s also the issue of noise–they don’t cancel noise particularly well, so bear that in mind if you have close neighbors.
The good news is they’re pretty cheap, they’re very tough, easy to clean and they’ll offer a decent level of protection to your equipment and floor. They’re also very heavy (nearly 100LB each), so they’re not going to be moving around!
If you don’t have the budget to go top-end rubber tiles, the rubber horse stall matting is a good second choice for home gym flooring. It ticks a lot of the boxes because it’s tough, easy to clean and install, it’s non-slip. The only benefits it lacks are top-level floor and equipment protection and noise deadening.
Regupol is a high quality, large area gym flooring option. It’s a tough surface that will withstand almost all basic home gym use. It’s water resistant, easy to clean and very cost effective at the lower ends of the budget spectrum. It’s available in a range of colors and 5/16″, 3/8″, 1/2″ or 8mm thicknesses.
The flooring is general purpose–it’s not the thickest, so the protection from dropping plates isn’t exactly stellar. If you choose to use this as your flooring, I’d suggest you add further protection measures under the areas where you’ll be lifting.
If you’re doing general exercise (bodybuilding, bodyweight exercise, yoga, Pilates etc) it’s absolutely fit for the purpose. It’s only if you’re going heavier and doing CrossFit, weightlifting and powerlifting that I’d take extra measures–that could be a platform or additional tiles on top.
It’s not going to offer the very best in protection to the floor and kit, plus it’s not a brilliant sound killer, but it’ll offer a good covering of your gym floor at a reasonable price. The slight issue is the minimum order quantities–you have to place a minimum order of 200 Sq. Ft, so check the size of your gym first!
Regupol is a cost effective general gym flooring option. It’s available in a range of colors, it’s easy to install and look after. The protection isn’t as good as tiles, but then it’s much cheaper so that’s to be expected. With a minimum order quantity, check your gym size before you order!
First of all you need to ensure the floor in which you’re installing a gym is suitable. The sub floor (the floor on which you’ll be laying your gym flooring) has to be strong enough to cope with repeated drops of a heavy weight.
The only real option here is a concrete base that’s at least 3 inches thick. I’ve seen people try to build a gym on wooden floors, reinforced plywood floors and chipboard. It ends in disaster every time.
Likewise with tiles – unless they’re thick, stone tiles you’re asking for trouble. It should be thick concrete every single time. Once you’ve established the subfloor is suitable, here’s how you lay your gym floor…
You can save money with a home gym floor by only flooring with rubber the areas where you’ll be lifting. You can place cardio equipment or racks on a level concrete floor without problem. If you want to protect the floor by matting under the heavier items of equipment, I’d suggest the rubber mat from Rep Fitness, which has no minimum order quota.
Certainly not for weightlifting or CrossFit. You’re unlikely to have a strong enough subfloor to cope with repeated heavy drops. You’ve also got to factor in the noise, plus the damage you’ll do to the joists and ceiling structure of the room below you!
For a home gym that isn’t going to be used for heavy lifting, there’s no problem with it in theory, but structural calculations may be required because the weight of the kit you buy may cause a concern. I’m not an architect or a structural engineer, so I wouldn’t want to give an unqualified opinion. Always check with a qualified professional first.
The main factors you need to consider for your home gym flooring are…
Finally, consider the budget. Always buy the best gym flooring you can afford, because going cheap on the floor can lead to VERY expensive problems further down the line. You can bring in cost savings – rubberize only the areas for lifting. Keep concrete for everything else.
For me, the best gym flooring is the Rogue 24’ tiles. They offer the best protection by a stretch, they’re easy to install, easy to clean, deadens sound and versatile – you can do any kind of lifting on these tiles. They’re perfect for the job.