The 5 Best Gym Flooring Options for 2018: Home, Garage, & Commercial

If you are ready to make a big life change and bring the gym directly to your home (or maybe you just want to improve upon or create a commercial gym), then you are going to need some good flooring to help aide your goals along the way.  Gym flooring is very important to help protect your floor.  This is the case no matter what type of floor you may have.  Whether you have carpet, wood, laminate, or are in a garage, it’s very important to make sure to have good gym flooring to help protect both your floors and your valuable gym equipment.

There are all kinds of different gym flooring that can be used today, and it can get to be pretty confusing if you are searching for it online.  Today’s buying guide will help you pick out the key features that you will need for your specific gym flooring needs.  We’ll go over a number of things that will leave you much more informed, and then we will look at some of the top options for gym flooring and review them for you.

Top Gym Flooring Comparison Chart

Reasons to Purchase Gym Flooring

Before we get too far along, we should go over some of the reasons that you should buy gym flooring.  Here is a quick list of things that you need to keep in mind to help you get the most out of your workout every single time you do it!

To Protect Floors

Gym flooring is great for protecting floors of all kinds.  Not all gym flooring is created equally, though, so make sure to stick with us and see what some of the differences are.  Depending on the type of workout you do, your floor can take a lot of strain.  If you are jumping up and down, you can do a lot of damage.  Even in garages, you can see the concrete slab give way at times without proper flooring.  Also, gym flooring can help protect the floors from heavy gym equipment.  Whether it’s a rack that dumbbells sit on or a multi-functional home gym, it will ensure that your floor lasts longer.

To Protect You

if you are someone that likes to do cardio or plyometrics, you are going to want to have something to land on that’s softer than normal floor.  Even people with carpet are encouraged to buy gym flooring as it is usually specially designed to help the human body take impacts.  Don’t use a yoga mat when you simply don’t have to do so!

Cleanliness

it’s really hard to keep things clean.  Whether it’s your garage (very yucky) or your spare room in the house, it can be hard to completely keep things clean.  Gym flooring does a better job at staying clean, and many of them will also allow you to take them various places so you can wash them.  You can take some apart and take them outside to dust off or whatever you need to.

Sanitation

there’s no secret that gyms can be a disgusting place.  The threat of spreading Staph infection is real, and it shouldn’t be taken lightly.  To counteract this, a lot of gym flooring is anti-microbial and will help fight against this from happening.  This doesn’t replace good hygiene, but it does help when paired with good, healthy practices!

Professionalism

having some type of gym flooring will just make your place look better!  We have a wooden floor set up here, and it looked terrible before we switched over to some gym flooring.  Now, it looks professional despite it being a home gym that only two or three people use.

Traction

if you have the proper gym flooring, you can gain better traction on the mats than you would with other surfaces.  Garages, basements, and wooden floors can be slippery from time to time.  With the right gym flooring, you can get a much better feel and traction and thus be much safer on it as a result!

These are just a few of the reasons that you should get some form of gym flooring.  There are many reasons and benefits that it brings, but we will leave it to these main six!

Types of Gym Flooring

Knowing the main types of gym flooring that can be found out on the market is very important information for you.  There are three main types that all gym flooring tends to fit into.  They are flooring rolls, gym floor tiles, and then interlocking floor tiles. We’re going to look at each very closely and break down the ins and outs of each one.

Flooring Rolls

Flooring rolls are the type that people will most often use in big commercial gyms or in home gyms that are quite large.  They are also the more luxurious type, so they will usually be at more of a premium to buy as a result.  They are much easier to use in large areas, so sometimes they definitely make it worth the price as it would be a ridiculous hassle to try and use another type of flooring.  They aren’t typically the most expensive, instead, they are in the middle of the pricing ladder as it is one big roll of material.  One of the big advantages to this type of flooring is that there are much fewer places where the floor joins together.  With the floor joins being fewer, you have a more level and smooth look, and there’s not much of a chance at all of seeing the floor develop gaps or move when people walk or run on it!

Gym Floor Tiles

This type of gym flooring is very much at a premium, even more so than the rolls.  This type is used at really big gyms, or where people aren’t afraid to spend the money.  This type isn’t seen very often in home gyms, but it can be used there to great effect.  These are square tiles, like you see at Home Depot or Lowe’s, for a lot of other types of flooring.  They are pretty thick typically, but they have to be installed very carefully as they do require you to fasten them to the floor.  This can be a painstaking process, so many people instantly rule out this type of floor as a result.  They have to go through this process because all of the edges must line up just perfectly, or you could end up having gaps or just having things slightly off a bit.  It’s not a bad way to go, but you will need to be handy with improvements or hire someone that is.

Interlocking Floor Tiles

This has to be by far the most commonly used type of gym flooring out there.  It’s very popular because  of its ease to install and because it is typically very inexpensive to use.  Not all kinds are as inexpensive as others, but that’s because there are varying qualities out there.  You’ve likely seen this type before. This type of flooring looks like a jigsaw puzzle.  You just fit the pieces together, and then you go on with your day!  The pieces just fit together without needing any glue or any other type of fastening system.  You do have to be careful, though, to make sure that flooring is thick enough.  The thinner the flooring is, the harder it will be for the connections to stay together.  Remember, not all kinds are the same, so don’t think that one set will be just like the other!

Honorable Mention: Stall Mats

Another type that you can look at are called stall mats.  Sometimes referred to as “horse stall mats,” this type of mat is inexpensive, decently thick, and can cover up a good amount of room.  This type would do well for someone that is looking to just cover their basement or garage with something to protect from heavy pieces of gym equipment.  It’s tough to find good mats that can support really heavy home gyms, so this type is a good answer in that regard because it’s designed for use in conjunction with horses!

Demands of Gym Flooring

The type of exercise that you will be doing is going to greatly impact your choice.  For some people, you’re going to need something for weights or for cardio.  Maybe you just use machines, whether they are a multi-functional home gym or a treadmill.  Or just maybe you love to have versatility and a little bit of everything. If you’re going to be doing Olympic style lifting, which means you have a whole lot of weight, you are going to need something very thick.  Where you are is also a factor.  If you need to have a certain amount of decorum (by keeping the noise as low as possible), then a thicker mat will also help when people inevitably throw the weights down.  We’ve never been big fans of this practice, but it’s only encouraged if you have a heavy duty mat or flooring that can take it.  Some flooring won’t be able to take it without still damaging the actual floor of your house…

If you’re doing cardio, then you won’t need as much flooring.  But you will want something that has good traction and will stay in place very well.  Some forms of flooring slide or come apart, so that won’t really do very well!  Most people need something that is a balance between cardio and free weights.  Free weight flooring is typically the strongest you can find out there because it accommodates those that like to throw their weights down, and it’s also thick enough for people to jump and run in place on.  And it provides a good option for traction as well.

There is one more thing to discuss.  If you have a dumbbell rack or a lot of other, smaller equipment, you can still will want a mat to protect your floor.  It also makes picking up barbell plates much easier as well than having to peal them off of the regular floor!  But if you have equipment, you are going to need to set it on top of something to help things out.  If it’s not too heavy and it’ll be a permanent fixture, then you won’t need anything that’s all that heavy duty in there.  But you just need to know that it is necessary to protect all of your investments.  It’s easy to accidentally drop weights when you’re trying to put them back on the rack, so you need some protection up under it.  You don’t have to break the bank to get it, either!

Best Gym Flooring Reviews

ProSource Puzzle Exercise Mat

#1 on our list in a very inexpensive option that will give you 24 square foot of coverage.  In fact, it also comes in three different colors as well to give you some options.  This is an interlocking floor tile set, so you know what you are going to be getting by purchasing this set.  It is made from EVA foam, which is very soft and it is water-resistant. That’s great for those of us that sweat a lot!  It also reduces noise, so that can be great for those that need to be a little quieter with their workouts.  This type is best for weight workouts and for storing lighter weight things.  It’s very easy to move and to store when you are finished as it’s very lightweight.  The tiles do tend to slide around when doing cardio moves like running in place, or burpees, so please be aware of that.

Pros

    • Very good price
    • Easy to move and versatile as well
    • Resistant to water

Cons

    • They aren’t great for heavy duty cardio workouts
    • Not great when you drop weights on them

 

Rubber Cal Shark Tooth Heavy Duty Mat

Here is a much more premium type of option from Rubber Cal. This heavy-duty matting mat can fit any size area and is available in three sizes at a ¾ inch thickness: 2 ft. x 3 ft., 3 ft. x 4 ft., and 4 ft. x 6ft.  To say that this beast is heavy duty would be to understate the situation!  It really can handle all you throw at it.  It can also protect floors from heavy machinery.  It’s MADE IN THE USA totally, out of 100% tire crumb (hey, that’s a great use for used tires I’d say!).  Rubber Cal goes on to tell us that the mat is as durable as the original tires!  Makes sense I guess!  Some have used this for their home office with great success.  The smell may bother some very sensitive users, so that would be my only caution.

This mat itself is fairly expensive, but it’s very thick, has a textured surface to prevent you from slipping.  This will not be the type of mat that you can move very easily, and that is actually a really great thing if you are looking to do cardio of any type!  We’ve seen here that the cheaper mats are great for yoga and weight workouts, but they do not do so well when you are trying to do things like burpees.  You can use the edges for your hands, but anything else is usually too much.  So, this mat would reverse all of those worries!  It’s also a good mat if you wanted to set something that is very heavy onto it.  It’d be great for that purpose as well.  Dropping heavy weights shouldn’t be a problem, either, given its size and thickness.  It will be difficult and costly to cover large areas, but it can be done with this type if so desired.

Pros

    • Very thick and won’t allow slips
    • Very heavy to keep it in place
    • Great for cardio and heavy weights

Cons

    • A little expensive if you want to cover lots of area
    • Hard to move because of its weight
    • may have “rubber” odor

 

IncStores 1” MMA Interlocking Foam Tiles

here is an option with some style and substance to it. These tiles have two two-toned color looks to choose from.  One is more traditional with black and grey and the other is blue and red. Either way, you can get a great cardio workout with these.  They are designed for use in conjunction with MMA fighters, so you can easily do that or karate or any other number of cardio or plyometric exercises on this flooring.  To get 24 square foot of flooring, you are going to be paying a much higher price than #1 on the list, but this type is much thicker and more durable.  This type still allows you easily move them around and to store them when you are finished with them.  They are a perfect answer for a place that has the occasional need for this style of mat! These are also made from EVA, so they do a good job at giving you a nice, soft landing if on the right surface.  This type isn’t really meant for use with storing weight equipment as much, so keep that in mind.

Pros

    • Great looks to the mats
    • Very thick and great for cardio
    • Excellent for placing and moving

Cons

    • Is quite a bit more expensive than other similar types
    • Not great for placing weights on

 

Square36 Extra Large Exercise Mat

if you’re looking for a mat that will allow you to do a number of different activities, then look no further.  This mat is 8 x 6, so you can be sure that it will give you a lot of the room that you need in a home gym.  Two of these will definitely give a single person more space than they could just about handle.  The price is pretty high, though, so you should definitely consider it before moving on further.  This mat can be used with or without shoes, so it is thick enough to give you comfort and traction!  This is definitely a mat that is designed more with cardio in mind, so it may not be wise to have heavy weights being thrown around on it.  It also probably won’t be great for people that want to store things for extended periods of time.  You can find cheaper options for that, anyway, so this should be primarily as a cardio mat.  It’s also latex and toxin free, so that could be a big plus to a lot of people that are finding it tough to choose a mat.

Pros

    • Latex free for those that need it
    • Covers a big space
    • Does a great job for all types of cardiovascular exercises

Cons

    • Quite expensive
    • Does have a bit of a smell to it

 

Sivan Health and Fitness Puzzle Rubber Exercise Mat

here is a great, safe, and soft option for schools and classrooms, so it’d be great to have around for kids (and yourself!).  This is a rubber mat with a great texture to it to help you prevent yourself from slips of all kinds.  For a bit of a high premium, you are going to be getting 24 square foot (in 6 tiles) of interlocking floor tiles. These tiles are very premium, though, so you are going to be getting your money’s worth.  They do not skid, they keep you in place, and they also look really great and professional.  Much more so than other types of interlocking flooring that can be found out there.  The bottom layer is EVA foam, so that reinforces it even more.  This would be great for Olympic style weight lifting, for storing heavy weights, and for doing cardio and/or yoga as well.  It’s a great all-around gym flooring solution that you can get a ton of use out of.  It’s also easy to move, so you know that you can do your very best time and time again!

Pros

    • Very soft and has great traction
    • Has great versatility to allow you to use it for many things
    • Easy to move

Cons

    • A little bit pricey to purchase

Final Thoughts & Recommendations

No matter what your purpose for gym flooring is, you are doing yourself a big service just by being here.  Getting into shape is a big investment for you and your entire family, and it’s also very important that you keep an eye out for everyone involved and your property as well.  By purchasing gym flooring, you are making sure to protect everyone as best as you possibly can do.  Gym flooring is great in a myriad of setups, and it’s going to help you improve your performance and help you stay happier and be more fulfilled.  No matter if you’re doing your own home gym or building a commercial gym for use, gym flooring is definitely the right way to go to keep people healthy, happy, and coming back over and over again!

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