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October 11, 2023
It's every fitness fanatic's dream to have a home gym. Finding the space, painting the walls, and picking out equipment is all part of the experience. Building a home gym empowers you to control your fitness journey in your own space. However, amid the excitement of designing your ideal fitness haven, a crucial question needs to be answered: How thick should the gym flooring be?
The answer to this question can significantly impact your workouts' safety, performance, and overall experience. In this article, we delve into the intricacies of selecting the right thickness for your gym flooring, exploring various factors that should guide your decision-making process.
Whether you're lifting weights, doing cardio, or wrestling, understanding the ideal gym flooring will ensure that your home gym is not only a place for effective workouts but also one of safety and comfort.
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The thickness of gym flooring is a critical consideration, and there's no one-size-fits-all answer. You can find anything from 1/4th inch to 1 inch in most home gyms.
Several factors come into play when determining how thick your gym flooring should be
The size of a home gym floor can vary widely depending on your available space, fitness goals, and the exercises you plan to do. It's essential to figure this out beforehand so you can order your flooring and get it laid down before any other gym equipment arrives.
As discussed, gym flooring mats have various types and thicknesses to accommodate different workout needs and preferences. Here is a list of some common types of gym flooring, along with their typical thickness ranges:
Interlocking Foam Tiles or Mats: Thickness varies from 3/8 to 1 inch.
Thickness varies, but synthetic turf is often around 1/2 inch to 1 inch.
If I had to pick the best overall thickness for gym flooring, it would be an 8mm (just under 1/3 inch) rubber floor.
This thickness is versatile enough to accommodate different workouts, making it an excellent choice if you have a diverse fitness routine. Whether lifting weights, doing yoga, or engaging in high-intensity interval training (HIIT), 8mm flooring balances cushioning and stability.
Additionally, this rubber flooring thickness is durable and can withstand the demands of a home gym for many years. It helps protect your gym equipment and the underlying subfloor from damage over time.
Our top pick is IncStores 8mm Titan Rubber Interlocking Floor Tiles, but for more home gym ideas, check out this article: 4 Best Home Gym Ideas & Setups We've Ever Seen.
Welcome to Mount Olympus, where even the gods themselves train on Titan's 8mm Rubber Tile. With its easy installation and maintenance, you'll have more time to perfect your...
When setting up a home gym outside, you need to account for the effects of the weather. From a flooring standpoint, you want something that can handle the elements and be effective for your workouts. The best option is rubber horse stall mats. They are thicker (3/4 inch), so you can do any training you want with them. The best part is the price. A 4 x 6 rubber mat is less than $50.
Here is a home gym user's experience:
"The rubber horse stall mats I got from Tractor Supply have channels on their underside for moisture control. The Tractor Supply I purchased them actually stored them outside, fully exposed to the elements. They have no sign of algae, etc." (source)
To do plyometrics and other athletic-style training, you will need flooring to accommodate the various movements. One option is turf. Plyometrics involve explosive moves like jumps, bounds, and agility drills that strain the joints significantly and require a surface that offers stability and shock absorption.
Turf flooring provides several key advantages for plyometric workouts. Its surface is designed to be forgiving on the joints, reducing the risk of injuries during high-impact movements. The natural texture of turf also offers excellent traction, promoting stability and preventing slips or slides, which is crucial for precise and safe plyometric exercises.
Additionally, the slight cushioning of turf flooring helps absorb shock and impact forces, sparing your joints from excessive stress. Furthermore, turf is durable, easy to clean, and can withstand the wear and tear of intense workouts, making it a practical and efficient choice for home gyms focused on plyometrics.
Its versatility extends beyond plyometrics, as it can also be used for various agility drills, prowler, and functional training exercises, making it a perfect multi-purpose surface for dynamic workouts in a home gym setting. We really like the Agility Turf Rolls from IncStores for our indoor plyometric workouts.
For lifting weights, thick rubber flooring (3/8 - 3/4 in) is one of the best choices. First, rubber offers exceptional durability, capable of withstanding the heavy use and wear and tear associated with heavy lifting.
Secondly, thick rubber tiles provide a stable surface to lift on. One of the biggest mistakes people make when they want to lift heavy is getting foam flooring. The foam compresses under your feet, creating an unstable surface. That is the exact opposite of what we want when lifting weights.
Additionally, if you plan to do Olympic lifts (snatch and clean) or heavy deadlifts, it makes sense to get a lifting platform. A lifting platform is a dedicated area with a reinforced surface, often wood and rubber, designed to provide stability and shock absorption. It offers a secure foundation for lifting heavy weights while protecting the gym floor and reducing noise. You can make a platform with a couple of pieces of plywood covered by rubber.
For the best rubber flooring to put atop your home gym lifting platform, look no further than IncStores Impact Foam Rubber Tiles. At 3/8 inches thick, these 2'x2' interlocking foam mats allow you to construct your flooring to the specs of your platform and available space. They're waterproof and anti-slip, which makes them perfect for extra sweaty or even outdoor sessions. Finally, the closed cell EVA foam provides a great impact profile, and the top layer is crafter from recycled rubber for extra grip underfoot.
If your home gym will only have dumbbells, you have many options for flooring. For the most part, you want something that can protect your floors. Of course, rubber will work, but you can get by with a thinner foam or vinyl to save some money.
We like the versatility of these Snap Together Dance Floor Tiles by IncStores because they're easy to install, offer a variety of prints to match your home gym aesthetic, and come in 10 different bulk-buying options to save you some money.
Growing up a wrestler, I always dreamed of having a mat in my own garage gym. However, not to age myself, but wrestling mats used to be much harder to find. Luckily, now you have a lot of options. Look for an 8 x 8 or 10 x 10 wrestling mat that is 1.25 inches thick. It will work excellently for any wrestling or martial arts training you want to do.
IncStores Rollout Wrestling Mats are our first pick for home gyms or training on the go. They're 1 and 5/8 inches thick, made from closed-cell EVA foam rubber, and topped with heavyweight vinyl to maximize cleanliness. Plus, they're lightweight and complete with underside relief cuts to allow for easy rollout anywhere, at anytime.
The information on gym flooring is necessary, but let's get down to the brass tacks. How much does it cost?
The cheapest type of gym flooring will be foam tiles. While not great for heavy lifting or plyometrics, if you are only going to be doing some light dumbbell work and stretching, you can get by with this. Most foam interlocking tiles will cost around $1 per squat foot.
The next level up is what I consider the best overall value. Horse stall mats are thick, rubber mats you can do any type of training on. The best part is they only cost around $2 per square foot.
If you like the idea of using rubber gym floor mats but want something that looks nicer than horse stall mats, you can go with a rubber roll. A rubber roll will have a high-end look and feel, which most commercial gyms use. The only downside is the price. It will cost you around $3 per square foot.
Last but not least is turf. Turf is expensive, but most people only use turf for part of their gym. In that case, you can have half the gym rubber with the other half turf. It's the best of both worlds. Most turf will cost between $3-4 per square foot.
Here are some answers to some common questions about gym flooring.
Gyms need particular flooring to absorb shock, reduce noise, and protect both the subfloor and equipment. Gym flooring also offers slip resistance, easy maintenance, and durability, making it crucial for a safe and functional workout environment.
Commercial gyms often adhere to industry standards, which typically recommend gym flooring thickness of at least 3/8th inch (8-10mm). These standards prioritize safety, durability, and shock absorption to accommodate various exercises and equipment.
The need for underlay depends on the type of gym flooring and the subfloor's condition. Underlay can provide extra cushioning, reduce noise, and address minor imperfections in the subfloor, making it a good option for certain gym setups.
Yes, you can install gym flooring over a concrete floor. In fact, concrete is a common subfloor for garage gym areas. Properly chosen gym flooring, such as rubber or foam mats, provides the necessary cushioning and protection over concrete surfaces.
The choice between foam and rubber for gym flooring depends on your needs. Rubber is durable and suitable for high-traffic and heavy-weight areas, while foam is softer, making it ideal for yoga and mobility exercises. Select the material that best aligns with your gym's primary activities.
In most cases, gluing down rubber gym floors is not necessary. However, if keeping the rubber gym flooring mats in place is an issue, you can try carpet tape.
To wrap things up, the cost of gym flooring can vary widely based on factors such as the type of material, thickness, quality, and the size of your gym space. Whether considering budget-friendly options or investing in high-end, durable flooring, weighing the long-term benefits against the upfront expense is essential.
Ultimately, the right gym flooring choice should align with your fitness needs, budget, and aesthetic preferences. We hope this article has provided valuable insights to help you decide on your gym flooring investment. Remember that the right flooring enhances your workout experience and plays a crucial role in creating a safe and supportive fitness environment.
For more information on how to create the perfect budget home gym, check out our article: How To Create The Perfect Budget & Space Friendly Home Gym.
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