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.
- 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
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
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
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
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.
Bonus: home gym flooring for putting over wood flooring or tiles
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.