More of us are working out from home these days. Replicating the public gym environment may not be easy, but there are certain things that you can do that will protect your home from work out associated wear and tear. Protecting your floor is one of them. So, what is the best flooring for a home gym? In this article we’ll compare and contrast various types of flooring materials and give our opinion on whether or not we think they’re a good idea.
Because many home gyms are set up in basements or garages, concrete might be the default flooring material. But is concrete the best flooring for a home gym? We think it’s actually one of the worst. Concrete doesn’t offer very good traction, especially if it gets wet. It also doesn’t offer any type of shock absorption – both for your weights and for your body. If you’re working with a concrete floor, we highly recommend that you place another flooring material over top to give you and your equipment the proper protection.
Rubber is probably the best bet for a gym flooring material – hence the reason you’re likely to find it in most commercial gyms. It provides excellent shock absorption qualities for both your body and your gear. Rubber flooring can come in large rolls, interlocking tiles or single piece mats. It can be installed on top of other flooring materials permanently or temporarily. Temporary installations can be easily removed and stored if necessary. Rubber is durable, easy to maintain and can also add some soundproofing to the room.
Vinyl is another popular material used for home gym flooring. Some vinyl has antibacterial properties which can be an advantage in a room where sweat is prevalent. It’s also impermeable to moisture while being resistant to mold and mildew. You can opt for thicker variants to provide extra shock absorbing abilities; however, it won’t do as good a job as rubber. You should also be aware that vinyl may release volatile organic compounds that could be hazardous to your health.
Carpeting may be more difficult to keep clean where sweat is involved, but it will definitely provide a soft, shock absorbent surface on which to practice your lifts. Carpet provides excellent traction and will allow you to perform all sorts of movements without the fear of losing your footing. If you don’t want to carpet the entire room, it’s easy enough to lay down an area rug that’s big enough to contain your workouts. Low pile carpeting will provide the best stability and be the easiest to keep clean.
Artificial turf is unique in that it will provide a decent amount of traction, but also let your feet slide when necessary. Today’s professional grades of artificial turf are designed to reduce injury while remaining strong and durable. If you want to give your home gym a unique look while providing stability and a decent level of shock absorption, artificial turf is a good option.
Wood flooring probably shouldn’t be your first choice when it comes to home gym flooring. Wood floors are often installed for their good looks, not their ability to withstand repeated shocks and blows. Although there are some more modern types of wood flooring available on the market that have foam backing to provide a little extra give, it still won’t be the most shock absorbing material out there. If your workout doesn’t involve setting or dropping heavy weights on the floor, wood might be usable.
Foam can be a great shock absorber, but it may not be strong enough for heavy equipment. If your exercise routine includes a lot of floor work or high impact movements, foam can provide a soft, shock resistant surface that can reduce the possibility of injury. It can usually be easily cleaned but may become slippery when wet.