Best Home Gym Flooring Options

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When it comes to home gym flooring, you don’t really have too many options. Most of the home gym flooring products are either made of EVA or rubber. We have briefly explained their benefits and demerits in our article on ‘The Ultimate Guide to Building a Home Gym’. 

Here, we will provide you with a more detailed explanation. We will also help you understand which one will be the best option for your home gym depending upon where you are setting it up and what your fitness goals are. We will also provide you with a list of home gym flooring products that we highly recommend. 

The products that we have selected for you are not the most affordable ones but they are the ones that are going to help you protect your floor and subfloor. Plus, they will also help absorb the shock and vibration generated from the machines, so you cause minimum inconvenience to your family members and neighbors. 

Here are some of the best gym flooring options that we recommend based on the type of floor you have. 

For concrete floors in a basement or garage

Concrete floor too can break if you do not protect it

Image Source: Reddit

‘Cement is durable, so let’s leave it as it is.’

If you ever thought so, you will regret it sooner than expected.  

Even if you want to create a very basic home gym using a treadmill, a spin bike, a rowing machine, and some free weights like adjustable dumbbells and adjustable kettlebells, you should still cover the cement or concrete floor with some form of soft but firm material to protect your equipment as well as joints. 

Here is why your bare cement or concrete floor is not ideal for a home gym (even though it is extremely durable): 

  • Cement is slippery. Your equipment will slide off. You will slide off! 
  • As we said above, cement provides no cushioning (nor does tile or wood floor). Basic cushioning will help protect your joints during bodyweight exercises or even otherwise.
  • Cement can damage your equipment. Just a small slip and your expensive Bowflex adjustable dumbbell will be of no use. 
  • Cement gets pretty cold in winter. You need to cover it up with something that is comparatively less cold such as rubber mats or foam tiles. 

Here are some of the best home gym flooring products that we recommend for covering up the cement floor of your garage gym:

ProsourceFit Puzzle Exercise Mat

ProSource Fit puzzle mats for light cushioning

With more than 25,000 ratings and thousands of 5-star reviews, the ProsourceFit EVA foam mat is one of the best home gym flooring options for garages and basements. 

The foam tiles are ½” thick, so obviously they are suitable only if you are not planning to throw your weights on the floor. 

EVA foam mats are not as dense as the rubber mats or horse stall mats that we will be reviewing below. They provide low impact-protection. So, if you are fond of deadlifts or Olympic weight training, or any other form of exercises where you will be using (and probably throwing) weights, ProsourceFit puzzle exercise mats won’t be a good choice. 

But, if you are a beginner or a casual home lifter, they can work for your garage or basement. They are also good to go under your workout equipment, as they can absorb a decent amount of noise and vibration

Being puzzle tiles, they do come apart occasionally

But that's a common problem with almost all EVA foam puzzle tiles. If you do a lot of cardio workouts, you should choose a single unit instead such as the Gorilla Mats that we have reviewed below. 

Many buyers have stated that you can duct tape the connections using gorilla tape or something equally strong. This helps keep them together for a long time. The below image has some instructions that one of the buyers has shared and we just love it!

Assembly instructions recommended by a buyer

The manufacturer keeps changing the interlocking pattern frequently, so order all you need in one go.  

This is a frequently reported issue with the Prosourcefit EVA foam exercise mat. Some buyers, who had reordered them or ordered more than one set, got a batch that didn’t match with the ones they were already using. The size was the same but the puzzle pattern and the texture were slightly different. 

A few buyers have also reported that the color of the mats does not match. The difference is negligible though but it would be great if the manufacturer would have maintained consistency. 

Our Rating: 4.7/5

Amazon Basics Foam Interlocking Exercise Gym Floor Mat

EVA foam files by AmazonBasics

They are also ½” thick puzzle-styled EVA foam mats suitable for placing your workout equipment such as spin bike, treadmill, etc. You can use light weights on them but they are not great for cardio because they come apart rather easily as stated by numerous buyers. 

They slip on wet floor and tiles

And that could be an issue if you have a basement gym where it is pretty common to get some water or moisture on the floor. Some buyers have stated that the tiles could slip from their position or come apart. If that happens, you might lose your balance and fall. 

The tiles are totally plain underneath. They should have had some kind of texture like the ProSourcefit exercise mats. Nevertheless, you can put some weight plates on them or anchor them to prevent such issues. Plus, water can make any surface slippery. So, this issue shouldn’t be a dealbreaker. 

Buyer's feedback on the quality of these AmazonBASICS tiles

Do not expect color and pattern consistency

Just like the Prosource home gym flooring mats, these ones also vary in color and texture pattern. If you order two or more sets, chances are there that they won’t match. Thankfully, their interlocking pattern matches, so you don’t have to struggle to lock them together.

Our Rating: 4.5/5

Gorilla Mats– not suitable for training with weights  

Single piece large size  mats for cardio

These mats are sold under the brand name ‘Yo Gorilla’, which is a renowned fitness brand that sells good quality exercise mats, specifically meant for home or light commercial use. 

The best thing about these mats is that they are just one piece unlike puzzle mats that come in small squares and you need to join them together. Puzzle mats often come off while doing cardio or yoga. If you are into cardio, kickboxing, dance, calisthenics, yoga, etc. you should consider Gorilla mats instead. 

The manufacturer claims that you can use them for weight training too but we disagree unless you are barely lifting more than 50lbs. That’s because they are just ¼” thick! 

They are ridiculously expensive 

The current price for a 8′ x 4′ Gorilla home gym flooring mat is $180. Plus, you may have to pay for shipping. Not many of us would be willing to spend that much money, especially if we are not going to train with heavy weights. 

However, these mats are great in terms of whatever they are. And, maybe their price is justified because after all they are made of eco-friendly material blended with non-toxic rubber and foam. 

They are quite dense and heavy when compared to the EVA puzzle mats we have reviewed above and even otherwise. 

They come with a lifetime warranty

That’s another reason why they come with a hefty price tag. The puzzle EVA foam mats do not last beyond a few years. Plus, if you use weights on them, they could last even less. Glad to know this one could actually last a lifetime. However, please note that the manufacturer has stated that the warranty can get void if you use equipment or weights on it.

Comes with a free microfiber towel and a mat case.  

They do not slip at all 

You can use them on cement, tiles, hardwood, carpet, etc. You can use them with or without shoes. Thousands of buyers have mentioned that the mat’s bottom has circular nubs that are grippy enough for almost all surfaces. The top surface might feel a bit slippery, especially when you have sweaty hands but not enough to make you feel unsafe and uncomfortable. 

Our Rating: 4.5/5 (only because of its high price) 

Best home gym flooring products for training with heavy weights

Horse stall mats 

Horse stall mats that we are offgassing on our driveway

As we mentioned above, the EVA foam mats and Gorilla mats are not thick enough to protect your floor against damage, especially if you train with heavy weights or if you have the habit of throwing your weights when done. Plus, they won’t last long when used roughly. Horse stall mats are a better alternative. 

They are expensive plus getting them delivered to your home can cost you even more! 

Each piece costs roughly $50 and measures 4’ X 3’. You may have to buy 2 of them or more depending on how much area you want to cover or how dense coverage you need. If you are using the horse stall mats on tiles, you may have to layer them up to provide better protection to your floor. 

Now, a major problem with these mats is that Tractor Supply Co doesn’t deliver them for free. You will have to either pick them up yourself or you may rent a pickup truck or pay extra for delivery. Wherever you do, you will have to pay a decent amount of money to bring them home. For us, the final cost of each mat including the delivery charges was about $80. 

They have an excellent shock absorption capacity 

That's exactly why we bothered to spend so much time, effort, and money on sourcing them for our home gyms. No other home gym flooring products can match the shock absorption capacity of horse stall mats, making them more reliable for deadlifts, Olympic weight training, and all form heavy weight training. 

If you are training moderately and do not intend to throw your weights, you can cover the entire floor with a single layer of horse stall mats. If you are training with moderate to heavy weights, you might want to build a proper deadlift platform. Here is a ‘how to guide on building a weightlifting platform’. 

Not fond of DIYing? That's OK. You can buy readymade ones instead. Here are some of the best readymade deadlifting platforms that we recommend. We also recommend Rogue crash cushions to further minimize the impact if you tend to drop weights. 

They have a typical rubbery smell 

The smell is not uncommon with any rubber product you buy. Even the EVA mats stink. 

But horse stall mats have a strong, unbearable smell because they are made of recycled rubber, which is treated with a binding agent and some strong chemicals for processing.

Due to their overwhelming smell, a lot of people assume horse stall mats are toxic, probably carcinogenic. But, don’t worry; they are totally safe for home use, even around kids and pets. So far, no official study has concluded that they are harmful to health. 

Just like you, we too had our doubts regarding their safety. But, then we thought we should test them thoroughly instead of forming a biased conclusion. 

We bought an air quality meter and tested the air quality of our home gym before and after installing the horse stall mats. Surprisingly, there was no significant change! Read our article on ‘Are horse stall mats toxic’ for more details. 

We have also created an entire article on ‘How to get the smell out of horse stall mats’. Soon, we will be coming up with more articles on how to clean them, etc. 

Our Rating: 4.8/5 (we rarely give a 5-star rating to a product) 

Fit Floor mats from Tractor Supply Co- premium quality rubber mats designed specifically for home gyms 

Premium Fit Floor mats

These are more expensive than horse stall mats because the company has specifically designed them for home or commercial use. 

They do not stink as much as horse stall mats 

If you have read our article on ‘How to get the smell out of horse stall mats’ you would have figured out that it takes some time and effort to make them bearable to have in your home. You will have to leave them in the sun for a few days. You may want to hose them down occasionally and flip them over every day, so both the sides get off-gassed equally. 

The premium quality Fit Floor Mats, however, are treated with premium quality chemicals that help minimize the odor. You may not have to air them out at all or maybe you just have to leave them under the sun for a few hours or a day. They are perfect for people who do not have a lot of free space in the driveway or do not want to go through the lengthy process of cleaning, flipping, drying, etc. 

They are specially designed for gyms 

They are 6mm thick and the manufacturer states that they have used a special kind of manufacturing process that makes it extra tough and durable. It won’t rupture or wear off any time soon, even when used in commercial gyms where they will be exposed to a lot of traffic and rough use. 

They are anti-microbial 

That’s an interesting feature! 

What it means is that the non-porous surface of these rubber mats won’t absorb your sweat or any liquid spills. So, these mats won’t start to stink any time soon. Plus, the non-porous surface can be easily wiped off with a damp cloth. You don’t have to buy any special cleaning solution for it. 

They are covered by 5-year limited warranty 

The manufacturer claims that these mats can bear up to 50lbs of occasional weight drops. If you use heavy weights and if you intentionally drop weights, the warranty will get void. 

The mats are quite dense, so we are pretty sure they can last for 5 or more years even if you train with heavy weights. But, make sure not to drop your weights unless it happens by accident. 

If you tend to drop weights, you might want to add a layer of plywood underneath because even cement won’t be able to bear 300lbs of weight being dropped on it. 

Our Rating: 4.6/5 

Rubber-Cal Shark Tooth Heavy Duty Mat

heavy-duty shark tooth mats by Rubber Cal

‘Shark tooth’ is the name given to highly dense, heavy-duty rubber mats. They are often used for semi-commercial and commercial purposes but can be used for home gyms. A lot of people, especially those who live in apartments, use them to absorb the noise and vibration created by washing machines, music systems, drilling equipment, etc. 

Since they are ¾” thick, they provide maximum possible protection to the floor. Plus, they may not smell terrible as the horse stall mats do. You may still have to air them out for some time, which is pretty common with any rubber product you buy. 

A buyer's reedback on the quality of these mats

They are thick and heavy 

A set of 2’ X 3’ shark tooth mat by Rubber-Cal weighs around 21.301 lbs. This weight plus 3.4” thickness is enough to keep them stable on the floor. Plus, they have an extremely coarse tractioned undersurface, so they won’t slip off, unlike the puzzle mats that start to come apart with the slightest pressure. 

Our Rating: 4.5/5 (only because they are quite expensive for what they are)

BCG home gym tiles

BCG home gym tiles

These are ¾” thick rubber tiles with an EVA foam base that provides a better cushioning than what standard rubber tiles do (as claimed by the manufacturer). Being thick, these tiles are great for cardio, weight-training, as well as for protecting your floor from shock and vibrations created by various home gym equipment such as treadmills, rowing machines, etc. 

Features and specifications of BCG floor tiles 

  • Sold as sets of 4. Each tile measures 24”, so one set can be used to cover 4’X4’. 
  • Made of EVA foam base with a top rubber layer.
  • Since they are puzzle tiles, you can easily assemble them. 
  • Each tile is ¾” thick. The rubber cal-shark tooth mats and the horse stall mats we have reviewed in this article too have the same thickness and density. 

Easily available at your local stores 

That’s the best thing about these home gym flooring tiles. Unlike horse stall mats, these are available at the local stores near you, including Academy. You can go to the store, check them out, and buy them right there, if you find them good enough for your workout needs. 

BCG tiles are as thick and dense as rubber horse stall mats 

As we mentioned above, both of them are ¾” thick. Both of them and the rubber-cal shark tooth mats are dense enough to provide adequate protection to your floor if you are training with light to medium weight. 

If you are training with heavy weights, we would suggest you to go with horse stall mats instead. You can build a dedicated weightlifting platform as we mentioned above. The BCG tiles can be used below the deadlift platform.  

Although these are dense and thick, we are not sure how long they will last when you drop weights on them. That's why horse stall mats are better for strength training. 

These home gym flooring tiles are antimicrobial 

That's what the manufacturer claims. It states that these tiles are designed to prevent the growth of bacteria, molds, and mildews, which are responsible for making your mats and your gym stink. 

We don’t know how much of this is true. And, we are not even bothered about it. 

If you don’t want your gym to stink, you should keep it clean instead of buying antimicrobial tiles. Here is how you can prevent your home gym from smelling.  

The EVA base starts to separate from the rubber top after a few months

Honestly, we had expected this. 

BCG home gym flooring tiles basically have a layer of EVA and a layer of rubber and they are glued together. After a few months, the top rubber layer will start peeling off from the base. If you are not quite frequent and rough in your home gym, these tiles could last up to three years. But, if you train hard, they won’t last beyond two years. Horse stall mats and rubber-cal shark tooth mats have no such issues. 

Thankfully, you can glue the rubber layer back. Just scrape away the old glue, wipe off the remaining glue with rubbing alcohol and use E6000 or similar glue to reattach them. This can make them last for another year or two.  

Our Rating: 4.6/5 

Home Gym flooring products for carpet  

Carpet, just like any typical home gym flooring product, provides cushioning to you and your equipment. It also helps absorb the noise and vibration to some extent.

So, doesn’t it make sense to set up your home gym directly on it?

Well, as expected, we are strongly against this idea. 

Short pile carpet may still be OK if you are planning to just have a treadmill or a spin bike or rowing machine. But, it is not suitable for cardio, strength training, and other forms of intense exercises

Further,  

  • Heavy gym equipment and weights can damage your carpet. 
  • A carpet is soft rather than firm. This softness and squishiness can make you feel unstable when training with weights. 
  • Carpet doesn’t provide as much grip as home gym flooring products do. 
  • Maintaining the hygiene of the carpet, especially when you sweat on it, can cost you significantly. 

Plus, needless to mention, a carpet is not enough to provide adequate protection to the floor underneath, especially if you are planning to use weights on it. You can’t set up a squat stand or squat rack on it. They will flip. 

Use plywood to cover the carpet and then add a layer of rubber mats 

This is how we have added plywood on our carpeted floor

Wondering why not just add horse stall mats? Is plywood actually needed? 

As we mentioned above, if you have a short pile carpet, you might just cover it with horse stall mats or the shark tooth mats we have reviewed above. But, if your carpet is rather thick and squishy, you should add a layer of plywood first and then cover it up with rubber mats. 

Plywood will help you create a firm base, which is very necessary to balance yourself while training. Plus, a firm but soft floor also helps you push through the floor and lift weight comfortably without pressurizing your joints. 

Create a deadlift platform if you are specifically into weight training 

Deadlift platform that we have built

DIYing could take some time. Plus, it could cost you around $400-$600 to build a good quality deadlift platform. But, you won’t regret it. 

Deadlift platforms are designed to help you provide a stable, grippy surface for weight training. Plus, they are designed to absorb the enormous amount of shock and vibration, so your family members and neighbors won’t get terrified.  

Need help with DIYing?

Here is how we have (and you can) build a deadlift platform for your home gym. 

Do not drop your weights if you have a home gym upstairs 

Crash Cishions can significantly reduce shock and vibration

Deadlift platforms are extremely stable, strong, and durable. Add these crash cushions by Rogue Fitness to them and you should be ready to train with as much as you possibly can. 

But, that’s suitable only when you are on the ground floor, especially in the garage or basement. If you have a gym upstairs, a deadlift platform is not enough to protect your floor from damage. 

In our article on ‘can you build a home gym on the second floor of the house’, we have explained how and why it is absolutely safe to build a dedicated, full-fledged workout space on any floor of the house. But, we have also explained that home gyms upstairs are only meant for light to moderate weight training, not exceeding 300lbs. Plus, no matter what, do not drop your weights when done. Nothing can protect your floor if you drop your weights frequently. So, try to get rid of that habit. 

You might want to use a smith machine to prevent your loaded weights from crashing the floor

Smith machines for those who can't lift free weight confidently

To be honest, we do not recommend smith machines because they do not let your body utilize its natural balance and stability. We have explained the issue thoroughly in our article titled ‘What is the best smith machine for home gym’.

But, if you have just started weight training and do not have enough balance and mobility, you can use it. Basically, smith machines have barbells attached to their frame. The barbell goes up and down and there are hooks where you can load it back when done. Smith machines are designed to avoid accidents such as failed or missed reps. So, there is no way the loaded barbel could hit your floor. 

Home gym flooring ideas that we recommend for wood or tiles 

If you are into calisthenic exercises, you can go with the Gorilla mats that we have reviewed above. EVA puzzle mats are great for placing a treadmill or spin bike or an elliptical, etc. But, if you want to train with weights, you will have to spend a good amount of money on floor protection because wood and tiles are extremely prone to damage. 

Cover your wood/tile floor with two layers of thick rubber mats 

A double layer is necessary because a single layer of horse stall mats will not be able to provide adequate protection to your floor against damages. 

You can also add a layer of plywood between the two layers of rubber mats. Or maybe, you can have two layers of horse stall mats, one layer of plywood, and then a layer of horse stall mats

Make any combination of rubber mats and plywood that you feel will be enough to handle your weight training needs. 

Also, no matter how many layers of plywood or rubber mats you add, make sure you never drop your weights. 

Wrap up 

As obvious from this article, you don’t really have too many home gym flooring products. But, you can experiment with whatever options you have and come up with a combination that best works for your workout needs and your home gym. 

We also recommend you check out this article on How to Stay Fit During the Winter with these Indoor Gym Essentials.

If you are building a home gym, we highly recommend you to go through our article on ‘The Ultimate Guide to Building a Home Gym’. It lists almost all products that you would need to get started, including the flooring solutions, the vacuum cleaners for cleaning your gym, a bunch of products that you can use to control the temperature of your gym, and several space-saving home gym products. We keep updating the article almost every other day, so you won’t miss anything.

We strive hard to provide you with the most accurate information and reliable product recommendations. If you have any queries or if you want us to review a specific product that you want to buy, please feel free to contact us.