Good flooring is absolutely essential for any serious home gym, especially if the room you’re building in has permanent floors that are easily damaged such as hardwood, tiles, or polished concrete. It also helps to prevent yourself and your home exercise equipment from sliding about while you get your sweat on, which can be both annoying and dangerous.
In this article we take a look at the best flooring options for your home gym. However, we recognize that not all home gyms are created equal, and different setups have different flooring requirements. For example, a serious lifter’s gym, containing a power rack or squat stand, with bar and weight sets, and other free weights is going to need a very different surface to that of a casual exerciser’s gym, which may have just one or two machines in it (e.g., home-gym, recumbent exercise bike, power tower, etc.). Therefore, we explore the different levels of flooring, from portable to heavy-duty.
|Best gym flooring at a glance|
|Best portable||Best lightweight||Best heavy-duty|
|Gorilla Mats Yoga & Exercise Mats||BalanceFrom Foam Puzzle Mats||IncStores 8mm Strong Rubber Tiles|
|Read review||Read review||Read review|
Best Portable Gym Flooring
Good portable gym flooring is a staple of most avid home exercisers, especially those working out in small spaces (e.g., a bedroom, studio apartment, outdoor shed etc.). Check out the portable mats below for a couple of high quality solutions to your flooring problem.
As with pretty much all exercise equipment, you get what you pay for. And although you’ll pay a bit extra for a premium mat from Gorilla Mats, you’ll get the best portable gym mat currently on the market.
Made from high-density foam, these things are built to last. The sign of a good company with a good product is that you don’t have to take their (or our) word for it either. All Gorilla Mats come with a lifetime guarantee, which covers all defects and failure during standard use**.
The exercising surface of Gorilla Mats is nicely cushioned and very comfortable. It’s also non-slip, and works perfectly, even when you’ve sweated heavily on it. Similarly, the underside has fantastic grip and makes the whole thing stable, so even if you’re using it to do high switch kicks on dusty hardwood floors, your Gorilla Mat should remain rock solid. You also get a free microfiber towel to help keep yourself and your mat dry. Score!
If and when you need to move your exercise area, Gorilla Mats roll up nice and easily, and include carry straps. That being said, you will definitely need the carry straps, as the size and weight of even the smallest Gorilla Mats can make them a little unwieldy if you do need to move them around.
Gorilla Mats come in a range of sizes (from 6’ x 4’, to 9’ x 6’, to 10’ x 4’), and a couple of variations. The Yoga mats are 8mm thick, and are less dense, more soft. As the name would suggest, these are great for doing yoga, and other floor exercises. We’d recommend against doing high intensity workouts on them, especially when wearing shoes, as this can damage the mat. If you’re looking to do more explosive, high intensity exercises, you’ll want to grab one of the Exercise mats. These are a ¼” thick, and more dense, less soft. Neither the yoga mats nor the exercise mats are suitable for placing underneath cardio equipment, free weights (short periods should be fine), or lifting rigs.
All in all, a Gorilla Mat will make for a great tough mat, and a perfect portable gym flooring solution.
The GoMat 2.0 is the ultimate go-anywhere, do-anything exercise mat. While it’s perfect for chucking down in your home and doing most types of exercise on it, you can also take it outdoors and use it on pretty much any type of ground.
Measuring in at 72″ long x 32″ wide, the GoMat 2.0 is constructed from ¾” thick foam padding that has 2″ slits in it, which allow the mat to roll up quickly and easily. This makes it nice and compact, and convenient to transport or store. The non-slip vinyl surface is super tough, as well as super easy-to-clean. You can give this thing a good beating and a quick wipe down with a wet cloth will have it looking good as new.
GoMat 2.0 is manufactured in the U.S. and backed by a 5-year warranty for home use. While we wouldn’t put machines or weight lifting equipment on it, we suggest you go ahead and use it for everything else. It’s a great option for the nomad exerciser.
Best Lightweight Gym Flooring
These lightweight flooring options are intended to provide the same level of comfort and functionality as the portable mats, while being a more permanent flooring solution for your home gym.
Made from high-density EVA foam, this interlocking puzzle flooring from BalanceFrom is absolutely perfect for protecting your floors and making your home gym look official. Whether you want to support your cardio machines, create a space for calisthenics workouts, or anything in between, this flooring will be a very solid option.
The puzzle pieces come in thicknesses of either ½”or ¾”, and measure 24″x 24″. The sides interlock and assembly is dead easy. Once together, the seams are precise and secure so they look great and stay tightly together, even under long-term heavy usage. The foam itself is nice and tough, and should be able to take a beating without showing signs of stress, wear or tear.
The only things these BalanceFrom puzzle mats are not really suitable for are supporting lifting rigs, like squat racks and stands, which have steel feet and carry very heavy weights. Similarly, they’re not ideal for repeatedly dropping heavy barbells on (i.e., after deadlifts or Oly lifts).
The interlocking nature of these puzzle mats means that you can add or remove pieces to fit the needs of your home gym. They come in packs of the following dimensions:
- 1/2″ Thick, 24 square feet
- 1/2″ Thick, 48 square feet
- 1/2″ Thick, 144 square feet
- 3/4″ Thick, 24 square feet
- 3/4″ Thick, 96 square feet
we’re sure you would do this anyway, but make sure you measure out the area to be covered first – it’s a pain in the backside to put the flooring together only to realize you need more.
If your home gym has custom dimensions, or irregular edges and corners, the EVA foam is actually very easy to cut to size.
The one drawback we have to note about the BalanceFrom Puzzle Mats, is that if you’re looking to do high-intensity, explosive movements on them, on their own they don’t provide the most stable grip on hardwood, especially if it’s a bit dusty. That said, the added weight of a cardio or cable-weight machine, or even some free weights, will solve this problem. Similarly, some double-sided or mat tape placed around the edges (on the underside) should also do the trick.
Alternatively, the Gorilla Mats reviewed above may be a more suitable option if all you’re looking for is a surface to do bodyweight and aerobic exercises on.
All-in-all, the BalanceFrom Puzzle Mats are a great low-cost, highly effective lightweight flooring option for your home gym. They’ll protect your floors from treadmills, exercise bikes, benches, free weights, and much more, while also being super comfy to roll and safe to train hard on.
**If you want a slightly cheaper, nearly identical product, check out the puzzle mats from ProSource
These flooring tiles from IncStores (who make a lot of good flooring solutions) are named after the traditional rice straw filled Tatami mats used in Japanese rooms and Karate dojos, only with a more modern take. Similar to the BalanceFrom tiles above, they’re interlocking puzzle pieces made from high density EVA foam.
The Tatami mats differ from the BalanceFrom flooring in that they’re just shy of 1″ thick (compared to the 1/2″ and 3/4″ thicknesses of the BalanceFrom tiles), and are primarily intended for use as martial arts flooring – the extra thickness provides added cushioning and safety needed for falls, rolls, wrestling, and other floor-based maneuvers.
Additionally, rather than the ‘diamond’ design that most foam tiles use on their surfaces, they utilize the wave pattern of traditional Tatami mats (hence the name).
Despite being intended for martial arts flooring, they do an excellent job as general-purpose, lightweight gym flooring. They’ll easily support a treadmill (or some other cardio machine), workout bench, and some free weights without being damaged or permanently indented. That said, if you have cats or dogs that are allowed on them, these tiles will show claw marks very clearly.
One of the niftier things about these tiles is that they come in reversible colors: Either grey and black, or blue and red. This means that you can spice up your home gym by installing them in a variety of patterns (e.g., checkered).
If you’re looking to do HIIT routines, basic calisthenics exercises, or you just want a good quality, lightweight flooring for your home gym, then look no further than these Tatami Soft Tiles from IncStores. They’re a quality product at a reasonable price.
Best Heavy-Duty Gym Flooring
Does your home gym need flooring that’s highly durable and can handle a good deal of abuse? Then check out the following recommendations, which will suit anyone looking to support heavy equipment such as power racks, lifting rigs, and squat stands.
Made in the USA from recycled SBR rubber, these tiles from IncStores are an excellent heavy-duty, home gym flooring solution. Like the lightweight flooring recommendations above, they’re interlocking puzzle pieces that are easy to put together, and will provide top-notch protection for your floors underneath.
IncStores’ 8mm Strong Rubber Tiles are perfect for supporting heavy equipment such as power racks and squat stands, as well as withstanding the punishment a serious Powerlifter or Weightlifter might dish out. You should be able to drop your barbell after a heavy lift on this flooring and have no issue with noise, deformation, or most importantly, damage to your floors.
The quality of these rubber tiles is evident in the precision cut locks around the edge of the tiles. They interlock perfectly, so that you get a seamless look and tight fit. Once correctly assembled, they’re easy to maintain: Just sweep or vacuum up debris, and give them an occasional wipe down with a damp cloth or mop.
When installing them, ensure that the arrows on the underside of the tiles are all aligned in the same direction. If you fail to do this, the edges will not interlock properly, and gaps will form along the seams. This is not something you’ll find in their info pages or videos, and believe us, you definitely don’t want to get half way through the installation before you realize. Just take your time and you’ll be fine.
Also, a rubber mallet won’t go astray in helping you sure up the seams once you’ve connected all the tiles.
Being 8mm rubber, these tiles sacrifice cushioning for sturdiness. Compared to the lightweight foam flooring options above, these tiles will be tougher on your body if you’re doing a lot of floor-based exercises. That said, they do provide some cushioning, and should be fine for basic calisthenics exercises. Consider getting an additional mat (e.g., the GoMat 2.0) if you’re going to be doing a lot of high intensity stuff that includes jumping and / or plyometrics.
In the end, as far as rubber flooring goes, IncStores’ 8mm Strong Rubber Tiles can’t be beaten on quality, functionality, or price.
If you don’t want to put flooring down over large areas of your home gym, but do want some way of protecting your floors that you can be absolutely confident in, then one or more of these XMats from XMark Fitness is a great solution.
The mats are a 1/2″ thick, and made from recycled SBR rubber, just like the IncStore tiles above. For these reasons, they’re perfect for placing under treadmills and exercises bikes, benches, home gym machines, and weight racks and stands. Their strong and dense construction should withstand a lot of weight without puncturing, tearing or deforming. They’ll also help dampen the noise from running (on a treadmill), jumping, and dropping weights. Chuck one of these XMats down, and you’ll be good to drop your barbell directly onto it.
However, they don’t make for great portable mats, as they weigh approximately 75lbs each and require a bit of effort to move around. Similarly, we wouldn’t be using them for HIIT or calisthenics workouts, or any other ground based exercises like Yoga or Pilates. The GorillaMats or GoMat 2.0 above is much better for this.
If you do want to cover a larger area with these mats, you can lay them side-by-side, but don’t expect a seamless finish like the lightweight interlocking puzzle piece flooring options.
The XMark Fitness XMats are absolutely best suited for a permanent home beneath heavy, metal-framed, and/or frequently used exercise equipment. And for this purpose, they’re second to none.
Well, there you have it: The best flooring options for your home gym. No matter what kind of exerciser you are, or what needs you have in protecting your floors, you should be able to find a good solution in the products above.
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As always, best of luck with your home workouts. Remember: We can make the effort or make excuses, but we can’t make both.
THFF (The Home Fit Freak)