If you are setting up a home gym, or a proper gym, then no doubt you need to decide which gym flooring tiles you are going to choose. There are a handful of things to consider when choosing the best gym flooring, and this page hopes to walk you through each of these consideration, and help you choose the best gym flooring for your home or business.
The good news is that gym flooring isn’t too expensive. However, there are a few different types of materials available so it is worth taking 10 minutes to read through our recommendations. Buying high quality gym flooring now will ensure you get a durable product that will last for many years. If you buy cheap gym flooring, you will no doubt regret it if it starts getting ripped or torn every time you drop your weights onto it.
Here are a few of the best selling gym flooring products available.
- Price: Low
- Material: Foam
- Dimensions: 4 x 6 feet
- Thickness: Half an inch
- Colors Available: Black, Grey, Blue
- Reviews: Over 1,500 customer reviews
The Prosource Puzzle Exercise Mat is perhaps the most popular and best selling foam interlocking gym flooring available to buy online. There are over 1000 positives reviews of this product online, and all the feedback I have heard from other customers backs up my own experience with this product. Installation is simple, and the cost is low. They are made of thick high-quality foam which is comfortable when doing bodyweight exercises, yoga, or pilates.
- Price: Low
- Material: Foam
- Dimensions: 2 x 2 feet
- Thickness: ? inch
- Colors Available: A large selection of colours are available
- Reviews: Over 700 customer reviews
My wife wanted the WeSell Mats floor tiles for our home gym, mainly because they are available in nine different colours! They are great for setting up a vibrant yoga or pilates studio. They are also great quality, and very comfortable. These gym tiles are slightly thinner than the ProSource Puzzle foam tiles, but still a popular choice for many people setting up their home gym.
- Price: Low – Medium
- Material: Rubber
- Dimensions: Available in various sizes
- Thickness: 3/16 inch
- Colors Available: Black, with a selection of six different colored flakes
- Reviews: Over 100 customer reviews
The Rubber Cal Elephant Bark Floor Mat is one of the better choices for gym flooring that I have reviewed. It is a top quality product, and made to last a lifetime. It is also available at a very reasonable price. If you plan to be lifting weights on your flooring, then we would highly recommend a rubber mat (see a more in depth reasoning further below). When it comes to rubber mats for home gyms, then this is one of the more affordable and quality options you can purchase.
Foam VS Rubber Gym Flooring
The two most popular materials used to create gym flooring is foam and rubber. Visually they both look quite similar, but there are a few difference to note when choosing which to use for your gym.
Rubber flooring tiles are the most popular choice with people setting up gyms in their home, garage, or basement. Rubber tiles are generally higher quality and will last a lot longer than foam alternatives. If you plan to be using any free weights (bar bells, dumbbells, kettlebells etc) then we would strongly suggest that a rubber tile is the best option for you.
Another benefit of rubber flooring tiles is that they can absorb the impact of a dropped weight much better. The last thing you want after completing a set of dumbbell exercises is to drop them on the floor from a few inches, and for them to bounce onto your toes or ankle. With rubber tiles, you can be reasonably confident that they will absorb the impact from dropped weights.
The downside is that rubber gym mats can be a little bit more expensive than other interlocking gym mat materials. But at the end of the day, it will last longer, and you won’t get sore toes from bouncing weights!
Foam flooring tiles are similar in design, in that they are interlinking and can be snapped together to the area of your garage or basement. Foam is the cheaper alternative to rubber tiles. The reason for this is that they can be more prone to tearing, or getting holes worn into them if you use the same small spot frequently. However, this isn’t to say foam tiles are useless for your gym setup. If you plan to treat your flooring nicely, then you could save a bit of money by choosing cheap foam flooring tiles. What do I mean by treating your flooring nicely. If you mainly use your home gym for things such as a treadmill, rowing machine, a yoga or pilates area, stretching, or martial arts practice, then the flooring won’t take too much of a beating. It’s mainly free weights which will cause damage.
Other than being a cheaper option for gym flooring tiles, foam tiles are also great for people who are mainly focused on body weight exercises. Foam will be softer than rubber, so if you are coming into contact with the floor a lot, foam is the softer option that you should be considering.
Interlocking Gym Flooring, or Straight Edge?
After choosing whether you want rubber or foam flooring for you gym, you need to decide whether you want interlocking flooring, or flooring with straight edges that doesn’t interlock.
Before I explain why gym flooring comes in these two designs, let me say that you should mainly focus on choose between rubber or foam. This will have the biggest impact on the quality of your home gym.
So why are there two types of flooring? Well typically foam is a lightweight material, so doing activity on small sheets of foam may make the foam flooring actually move under your feet. Even a strong gust of wind will lift them up and blow them to the corner of your garage. For this reason, foam tiles are typically interlinking. Buy connecting 5 – 10 of them they are much more robust, and are able to cover large areas of floor without moving.
On the other hand, rubber is much more heavy, and less likely to move or slip. For this reason, rubber gym flooring is much more likely to come as large square or rectangle mats that don’t interlock. Once you purchase and lay down a rubber mat, it is unlikely to ever slide anywhere unless you put effort into picking it up and relocating it.
The bottom line is that in the majority of cases, foam flooring will be interlocking, whereas regular mats with straight edges are made of rubber. So instead of choosing whether you want interlocking gym tiles, or straight edge tiles, I recommend you base your decision on whether foam or rubber flooring is best for what you intend to use your home gym for.
Why Should you use a Gym Floor Mat?
You might be wondering, why is it even necessary to purchase gym flooring? Most people set up their home gyms in either their garage or basement, in which cases they are already very strong concrete floors.
But let me explain, using proper rubber or foam gym flooring tiles comes with many benefits.
The first and most obvious benefit gym floor mats provide is impact absorption. Anyone who has lifted weights before knows that poor flooring makes the weights bounce, and who knows where they will end up bouncing too! Good gym flooring prevents bouncing and absorbs the weight of the fall. This not only protects your feets from stray bounces, but also protects the weights themselves from being damaged, or nearby mirrors or furniture should they roll away.
Similarly, good gym flooring also offers protection to your flooring. Even if your gym floor is concrete, dropping weights repeatedly in the same place is going to eventually chip away at the concrete which will result in an uneven surface over time. If you plan to build your gym on a wooden surface, a quality rubber or foam surface is even more important. I would even say it’s a must-have. I don’t need to explain how much damage a dumbbell or barbell can do to all types of wooden floors.
If you plan to set up your home gym in a place where others may be nearby, then proper gym flooring also provides sound absorption. Dropping weights can be noising, but rubber floor tiles will absorb much or the sound. If you have flatmates, or others within the house, then they may get annoyed at the constant banging while you are working out. Rubber flooring lets you work out without having to worry about who you may be disturbing.
Lastly, good foam gym tiles are also comfortable and clean to workout on, and also warmer than some surfaces. If you are often on the floor (for yoga, or press ups and sit ups) then you want a comfortable surface. Concrete, or wood, is going to be painful to do many exercises on. Concrete also stays reasonably cold during the winter, so you don’t want to be spending too much time in contact with it. Foam gym tiles will provide up to an inch of insulation between you and the concrete so you can comfortably work out in any season.
Ease of Installation
Before choosing the best gym flooring for you home, you need to consider how much effort you are willing to put in when installing it. There is a few considerations here.
The first is, are you wanting to do a professional job the covers your floor perfectly from wall to wall. If so, then you are going to need to buy excess product and trim them with a strong blade so the reach into every corner. If this is your plan, then I’d recommend going with rubber flooring. They are heavy sheets that once you lay down, are unlikely to move. All you need to do is lay them out, and make a few measurements, before getting the razor blade and slicing them to fit tightly into each corner of the room. Rubber is simple to cut, and the straight edges typically found on rubber mats makes the process a whole lot simpler.
Foam tiles are tough to cut and you will find the edges crumble and don’t give a clean finish. I’ve tried installing a foam flooring in our of my previous houses, and tried cutting foam flooring, and the end result wasn’t as tidy and professional as I hoped for.
If you don’t want the floor to go all the way to the walls, and just want to place a square or rectangle area in the middle of a garage or basement, then the interlocking design of foam tiles makes them so simple to organise. Literally within 5 minutes of opening your delivery, you will have a quality floor laid and ready for you to use.
I personally prefer installing rubber flooring. It requires slightly more work to wrestle into place, and cut to shape sometimes, but they offer a much more stable surface that will last longer.
Most Comfortable Gym Flooring
This only matters if you plan to get up close and personal with your gym flooring. If you are doing yoga, pilates, body weight exercises, or any types of martial arts, then comfort will matter to you.
If you are just standing or walking on the flooring, comfort isn’t that important.
So lets assume you are getting up close and personal with the flooring you will be choosing. In this case, I’ve found foam gym tiles to be best.