I have to admit there’s not a lot I miss about working out at the club now that I’ve switched to at-home and outdoor workouts. But there is one thing we probably all overlooked when we set up our home gyms over the past few years: the flooring!
Carpet, tile and wood are not only slippery, but they simply don’t have the necessary cushioning or stability to protect our joints and reduce the impact of a hardcore workout. Not to mention they can be easily scuffed or damaged by dropped weights or heavy equipment.
Ever tried lunging on slippery concrete or damaged your delicate wood floor with a kettlebell? If so, you already understand that good flooring is the literal foundation for any at-home exercise routine. And luckily, there are a wide variety of options to choose from in materials like rubber, foam, vinyl and turf.
Of course, picking the right type of flooring for your fitness regime depends on a number of factors. Yes, you’ll have to take into consideration the size of the space you’re outfitting and your budget. (Note: Be sure to measure your space properly! Eyeballing it could be a costly mistake.)
But the most important factor of all is the type of exercise you do most often. Lower impact workouts like yoga and pilates won’t require a material with as much shock absorption as aerobics, HIIT or CrossFit routine. And if you’re a serious weight lifter, you’ll need even more durability and protection for your floor.
So before we get into our favorite picks, let’s go over the different materials that gym floors are made of, what exercises they’re suited for, and review the pros and cons of each one.
The Best Home Gym Flooring
Rubber Flooring INC 5/16" Rubber Rolls (Good for Large Spaces)
American Floor Mats Interlocking Rubber Tiles (Good for Smaller Spaces)
Tractor Supply ¾" Rubber Stall Mats (Good Affordable Option)
Rogue 8' x 8' Oly Platform (For Serious Weightlifters)
Amazon Basics EVA Foam Puzzle (Our Budget Pick)
Gorilla Mats Extra Large Exercise Mat (6' x 4') (Good for Small Spaces)
Rubber Flooring INC Premium Faux Wood Foam Locking Tiles (The Aesthetic Option)
Rubber Flooring INC Agility Turf Rolls (Good for Larger Indoor Spaces)
Rubber Flooring Inc Performance Turf Rolls (Smaller Spaces and Outdoors)
Rubber Flooring INC Modular Grid-Loc Tiles (The portable Option)
Materials to Consider When Choosing a Home Gym Floor
The world of home gym floors is surprisingly vast. Here’s a lowdown on some of the most popular materials used.
Rubber is one of the best materials when it comes to a gym floor for a number of reasons. It’s durable, water resistant, easy to clean and offers dependable protection from weights and heavy exercise equipment. No wonder it’s used in gyms so often! Ryan Horton with Horton Barbell uses considers rubber one of the greatest floor options. “Rubber mats are critical if you plan on dropping weights in your gym. If you plan on doing any type of Olympic lifts, deadlifts, or just dropping dumbbells, rubber mats will protect your floor and your equipment.”
Of course, rubber isn’t as soft as foam, so if your main type of exercise is yoga or pilates, you may want to consider that type of material instead.
Foam is a nice cushy material for low impact exercises and pilates and will make any floor exercise you do a lot more comfortable. It can also be placed under exercise equipment to avoid scratching your present floor and is easy to install.
However, it’s important to remember that it’s not as stable or shock absorbing as rubber which means it’s not as good for high impact exercises, heavy weightlifting or any type of activity which requires a grippy surface.
It’s also more porous, which means it can absorb water and be more difficult to clean.
If you have a large gym space and do a lot of agility work, turf has a nice, grippy surface to smooth out quick changes of direction while offering more stability than rubber. Some brands can even be used outdoors.
However, it’s definitely pricier than other materials and isn’t the best choice when it comes to floor exercises as it can be very scratchy.
If low impact exercises are your jam and aesthetics are important to you, vinyl could be a good choice. It will give you that yoga studio vibe and also makes a good surface for dancing or Zumba. An added plus is that it’s often mildew and water resistant.
However, you’ll still need to use a mat on top of it to do that floorwork, as it’s definitely not cushiony. Vinyl is also not suitable for serious weight lifting.
Now that you know a little bit about the different types of gym floors, let’s go over our favorite picks in each category.
Our Favorite Rubber Gym Floors
Durable, shock absorbing, stable and water resistant, rubber mats are one of the best choices for a home gym floor.
1. Rubber Flooring INC 5/16″ Rubber Rolls (Good for Large Spaces)
Made from recycled rubber with virgin rubber flecks, this flooring has a professional look and feel and provides great shock absorption and stability. It’s also extremely durable and is available in a variety of different fleck colors.
Each roll is 4 feet wide and a minimum of 15 feet long, so it’s more suited to larger spaces (although the material can be cut to size). You’ll also need carpet tape to hold it in place. Just be aware that at up to $3 per square foot, this is one of the pricier options.
Pros: Durable and professional looking
Cons: Pricey, not suitable for very small spaces
2. American Floor Mats Interlocking Rubber Tiles (Good for Smaller Spaces)
If you have a small to medium home gym, these 24″ x 24″ gym flooring tiles have an interlocking design that can be easily adjusted to the size of your space. As a plus, they are simple to set up and move. And at ⅜” thick, they’ll provide plenty of shock absorption for weight lifting and high impact exercises.
These rubber floor tiles come in a variety of colors and can also be cut to fit into any odd shapes of your home gym. Costwise, they come out to about $2 per square foot, which is quite a bit less expensive than our rubber rollout mat option above.
Pros: Adjustable to a variety of spaces, good shock absorbency, come in a variety of colors, easy to clean
Cons: The one drawback is that you’ll have to lock the tiles together instead of just rolling out a mat, but still, pretty easy!
Related: 5 Weightlifting Shoes [And Other Shoe Options] To Level Up Your Gym Game
3. Tractor Supply ¾” Rubber Stall Mats (Good Affordable Option)
In case you weren’t in the know, horse stall mats are considered to be a home gym staple by many fitness buffs. Thick and heavy, they’re ideal for powerlifting and CrossFit. Each mat is 4′ x 6′ and costs a little under $60, which also makes them quite affordable.
Just be aware that at about 100 pounds each, you’ll need to do some heavy lifting to install this flooring. However, they can be cut to fit the size of your gym.
These mats also don’t have a smooth surface which helps to make them extra grippy but slightly less easy to clean. Horse mats are also notorious for having a funky rubber smell.
But if you’re looking for an affordable and durable option for your home gym, these babies will withstand all kinds of punishment while also helping to absorb shock and sound.
Pros: Affordable, shock and sound absorbent, anti-skid, come with a 5-year warranty
Cons: Heavy, some people don’t like the smell, don’t have a smooth surface
4. Rogue 8′ x 8′ Oly Platform (For Serious Weightlifters)
If you’re a serious powerlifter, you’re going to need a floor that can really take a beating from heavy barbells. With a base made from 11-gauge steel and shock absorbing rubber tiles, this platform will allow you to do a killer workout without murdering your floor.
Of course, this baby isn’t cheap. The platform alone is $380, and the rubber tiles are sold separately. But if you’re seriously invested in bodybuilding, then you may want to invest in some serious flooring.
Pros: Heavy duty steel and rubber can withstand heavy weights
Our Favorite Foam Gym Floors
Soft and cushy, these options are a great choice for low impact workouts and floor exercises.
5. Amazon Basics EVA Foam Puzzle (Our Budget Pick)
If you’re on a budget and looking for something to protect your body from low impact workouts and your floor from gym equipment, these foam floor tiles work out to a little over a dollar per square foot.
Suitable for yoga, pilates and lightweight dumbbell exercises, they’ll give you a bit of cushion without breaking the bank. They’re also very easy to assemble and disassemble.
On the downside, they’re not as durable or slip-resistant as rubber and are not suitable for high impact exercise.
Pros: Affordable, easy to assemble and disassemble
Cons: Not as durable or slip resistant as rubber, not as easy to clean as they are porous, tiles may come apart easily with brisk movements
6. Gorilla Mats Extra Large Exercise Mat (6′ x 4′) (Good for Small Spaces)
If you have a small space and don’t like the idea of interlocking tiles, this extra large, 1/4-inch-thick foam mat will provide protection for your pressure points and can even be used while wearing sneakers.
It also has a textured, non-slip back to provide better stability and comes in three different colors. Of course, at $140, it’s not exactly a budget pick. But for ease of use and cushioning, we still think it’s a good buy.
Pros: Good for small spaces, no interlocking tiles, non-slip back, portable
Cons: A little pricey, only big enough for one person
Related: 9 Reasons Why You Aren’t Seeing Results In The Gym [Guide]
7. Rubber Flooring INC Premium Faux Wood Foam Locking Tiles (The Aesthetic Option)
Like the idea of foam for your low-impact workout but don’t love the way it looks? These interlocking foam tiles look like wood and will give you a bit of cushion while exercising. Each tile is 2’x 2′ and comes in 8 different color options.
You can also order them in ⅝” thickness ($1.89 per square foot) or ⅜” thickness ($1.49 per square foot), depending on your needs.
They’re also easy to install and allergen and latex free. Of course, these tiles aren’t meant for high impact workouts or heavy weightlifting. But if you’re looking for lightweight flooring with a bit of style, they definitely fit the bill.
Pros: Attractive wood-like appearance, lightweight, easy to install, economical
Cons: Not for serious weight lifting or high impact workouts, not as durable as rubber
Our Favorite Turf Gym Floors
High-quality and great for agility and CrossFit workouts, turf can also be a smart option for athletes in training.
8. Rubber Flooring INC Agility Turf Rolls (Good for Larger Indoor Spaces)
Both of our options for turf flooring come from the same company, but there are a couple of important differences in size and texture. Our first option is made of nylon and can be ordered with or without a rubber cushion backing.
The standard width is 12,’ and the length can be customized up to 100′. While nice and grippy for agility and CrossFit workouts, nylon is a bit scratchy for floor work without an extra mat on top.
This first turf option is also for indoor use only and is a bit pricey at around $3.65 per square foot.
Pros: Grippy, durable, easy to install, great for CrossFit workouts, 5-year warranty
Cons: Pricey, too scratchy for floor work, for indoor use only
9. Rubber Flooring Inc Performance Turf Rolls (Smaller Spaces and Outdoors)
Our second option from Rubber Flooring INC is available in smaller sizes. The standard width is 6.5″ and the length can be customized up to 82″. Like the Agility Turf, it can be ordered without or without an extra cushion. The difference here is that the non-cushioned version has drainage holes which make it appropriate for outdoor use as well.
Also, instead of nylon, this turf is made with polyethylene which makes it softer to the touch (although still a bit uncomfortable for floorwork). Carpet tape will easily secure this turf as well as the Agility Turf Roll. This version is also a little easier on the wallet, starting at $2.65 per square foot.
Pros: Versatile, durable, easy to install, softer than nylon turf, outdoor use, great for agility and CrossFit workouts, 5-year warranty
Cons: Pricey, a bit scratchy for floorwork
Our Favorite Vinyl Gym Floor
If aesthetics are important to you, and your workouts are mostly low-impact, vinyl could be the right option for your home gym floor.
10. Rubber Flooring INC Modular Grid-Loc Tiles (The portable Option)
Vinyl flooring will give you the look of hardwood while being less porous and breakable than tile or hardwood floors. These 12″ x 12″ interlocking tiles from Rubber Flooring INC can be installed using no tools and are scuff resistant, water resistant (for those extra sweaty workouts) and mold resistant.
Just remember that while they’re suitable for dance, cardio, pilates and yoga (with an extra mat on top), they’re not a good idea for heavy weight lifting or any exercise that requires a grippy surface.
Also, at $8.99 per square foot, this is the most expensive flooring option on our list.
But if you want the look of a yoga studio and a floor that will last for a long time with proper care, it could be worth the money.
Pros: Looks great, mold resistant, easy to clean, easy to install, 12-year warranty
Cons: Expensive, offers little to no cushioning or shock absorption, not suitable for weight lifting or exercises that require a grippy floor
Let’s Hit the Floor
It was there under our feet all of the time, but many of us never appreciated the value of good flooring until we started working out at home. Installing the right surface in your home gym will not only make it easier on your body but also help to protect your home from scruffs, cracks, and other damage.
Installing the right floor will also make your garage gym feel more like a proper workout space and may even encourage you to stick to your exercise goals.
Before choosing your flooring, be sure to measure your space and carefully consider what type of exercise you do at home. Whether you’re a yoga person, a CrossFit junkie or a serious weightlifter, there’s a floor that will suit your needs and may even help to take your home workout routine to the next level.
You might also be interested in: How To Build A Home Gym [13 Things You Can’t Live Without]
The Best Home Gym Flooring Options:
- Rubber Flooring INC 5/16″ Rubber Rolls (Good for Large Spaces)
- American Floor Mats Interlocking Rubber Tiles (Good for Smaller Spaces)
- Tractor Supply ¾” Rubber Stall Mats (Good Affordable Option)
- Rogue 8′ x 8′ Oly Platform (For Serious Weightlifters)
- Amazon Basics EVA Foam Puzzle (Our Budget Pick)
- Gorilla Mats Extra Large Exercise Mat (6′ x 4′) (Good for Small Spaces)
- Rubber Flooring INC Premium Faux Wood Foam Locking Tiles (The Aesthetic Option)
- Rubber Flooring INC Agility Turf Rolls (Good for Larger Indoor Spaces)
- Rubber Flooring Inc Performance Turf Rolls (Smaller Spaces and Outdoors)
- Rubber Flooring INC Modular Grid-Loc Tiles (The portable Option)