The Best Gym Flooring of 2022

The flooring of a home gym can be just as important as the exercise equipment. Create a solid foundation for your workouts with one of these flooring options.

By Tony Carrick | Updated May 9, 2022 3:02 PM

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The Best Gym Flooring Option

Photo: depositphotos.com

Many people create places in their home to serve as a gym. While a good set of free weights and exercise equipment such as a stationary bike and rowing machine are often critical components in a home gym, a solid foundation is also important. Suitable flooring helps cushion the stress of high-impact workouts while also preventing damage from heavy exercise machines and dropped weights. Flooring in home gyms comes in a wide range of materials, ranging from sleek hardwood to dense foam to thick rubber.

This guide will detail the crucial factors to consider when shopping for the best gym flooring and review some of the top flooring products on the market.

  1. BEST OVERALL: ProsourceFit Puzzle Exercise Mat 
  2. RUNNER UP: We Sell Mats Multipurpose Exercise Floor Mat
  3. BEST UPGRADE: American Floor Mats Fit-Lock 3/8″ Rubber Flooring
  4. BEST CARPET: House, Home and More Indoor Outdoor Carpet
  5. BEST WOOD-LOOK: Lifeproof Essential Oak Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring
  6. BEST MAT: Gorilla Mats Premium Extra Large Exercise Mat
  7. ALSO CONSIDER: Goasis Lawn Artificial Turf Grass Lawn
The Best Gym Flooring Option

Photo: depositphotos.com

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Gym Flooring

Understanding which flooring options are best suited to specific workouts is important when choosing the best flooring for a home gym. Other factors to consider include material and type, flooring thickness, size, and texture.

Material and Type

Numerous options exist in floor materials for a home gym, including rubber, foam, hardwood, vinyl, and carpet. A clean, professional-looking floor can encourage users to pump iron or practice yoga. Flooring material can also impact noise, a crucial factor for second-floor home gyms or those living in an upper-level apartment. Safety is also essential; adequate cushioning helps protect knees and other joints while also preventing damage from dropped weights.

  • Rubber: Rubber is the flooring of choice at most gyms, so it may be the best option for a home gym. It can prevent slips and falls while also absorbing impact, ideal for high-impact cardio workouts or working out with free weights. Rubber flooring won’t dent, scratch, or gouge as foam or hardwood flooring might. It’s available in mats for smaller areas and interlocking tile squares for larger spaces or entire studios. However, it’s one of the more expensive flooring options.
  • Foam: Foam flooring also offers excellent impact absorption, traction, and different sizes and formats. While not quite as durable as rubber flooring, it’s significantly less expensive. Plus, it’s easy to swap worn-out old tiles for new ones.
  • Carpet: For home gyms that double as living areas, carpet endures impact well and provides cushioning for the joints. Low pile (shorter fibers) is ideal, as it provides traction and shock absorption without creating a tripping hazard. In addition to traditional wall-to-wall carpeting, it also comes in easy-to-install carpet tiles, which are often less expensive.
  • Vinyl: Susceptible to dents and scratches, genuine hardwood flooring isn’t an ideal surface for a gym floor. However, vinyl flooring offers the look of hardwood with more durability. Vinyl flooring uses a denser core, which won’t dent as easily from free weights or heavy machines. It’s also waterproof and does a better job of resisting scratches. Some vinyl flooring has a built-in underlayment that adds cushioning, features that make it useful for yoga, exercise ball workouts, resistance band exercises, and other low-impact routines.

Thickness and Dimensions

When selecting the right flooring for a home gym, consider its thickness and dimensions. Floors that don’t offer much shock absorption can be hard on the joints, so thicker flooring is ideal for high-impact workouts.

Thickness is also crucial for protecting your equipment. Dropping a dumbbell on a hard concrete floor can damage the weight and potentially chip or crack the floor. Foam and rubber flooring is typically ⅜-inch thick, while low-pile carpeting is generally about ⅛-inch thick.

Consider the range of movement required for a full workout. The flooring should, at minimum, cover the entire workout area.

Texture

Whether it’s lifting weights, practicing yoga, or doing a Zumba routine, many exercises require secure footing to be effective and safe. If the flooring is too slippery, it can lead to slips and falls that result in injury.

Rubber and foam flooring have surfaces that provide ample grip for athletic shoes. Low-pile carpeting typically has a subtle ribbed pattern to promote good traction. While hardwood and vinyl have smoother surfaces, these floors provide excellent traction for rubber-soled athletic shoes.

Our Top Picks

The following list uses these considerations to trim the field of flooring options to some of the best flooring products on the market by type. Any of these options should provide a sturdy base for various kinds of workouts.

Best Overall

The Best Gym Flooring Option: ProsourceFit Puzzle Exercise Mat
Photo: amazon.com

With ample thickness and an easy-to-install design, these high-density foam exercise tiles from ProsourceFit are ½-inch thick, providing plenty of impact absorption for saving joints during high-impact workouts and providing a soft place for dumbbells or free weights to land. A relief pattern on each tile’s surface creates a nonskid surface for a solid base for working out.

The interlocking pattern on all four sides of each square tile makes installing this floor fairly easy. Strips that create smooth ends on the tile provide a finished look on the workout area’s outer edges. Each tile is 24 inches by 24 inches, and they come in sets of 24, 48, and 144 square feet.

Product Specs

  • Thickness: ½ inch
  • Material: High-density EVA foam
  • Colors: 3

Pros

  • Simple installation
  • Available in three colors
  • Impressive thickness

Cons

  • Tiles can separate under heavy use

Get the ProsourceFit exercise mat at Amazon, Overstock, and Walmart.

Runner Up

The Best Gym Flooring Option: We Sell Mats Multipurpose Exercise Floor Mat
Photo: amazon.com

A home gym can get expensive quickly, but these versatile foam mats by We Sell Mats offer an inexpensive flooring solution. Each 24-inch by 24-inch tile is ⅜-inch thick, providing padding for workouts ranging from Zumba to weight lifting. The tiles feature interlocking ends on all four sides, allowing them to be connected to suit different-size workout spaces while making installation easy.

Each piece comes with finished ends that create a clean look for the workout space. Post-workout cleanup is easy: Simply wipe down with soap and water to clean away sweat.

Product Specs

  • Thickness: ⅜ inch
  • Material: High-density EVA foam
  • Colors: 13

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Multiple colors available
  • Easy to wipe clean

Cons

  • Quite thin
  • Less durable than others

Get the We Sell Mats floor mat on Amazon and at We Sell Mats.

Best Upgrade

The Best Gym Flooring Option: American Floor Mats Fit-Lock 3/8" Rubber Flooring
Photo: amazon.com

Although rubber flooring usually costs significantly more than other options, its durability and shock absorption can’t be beaten. These 24-inch by 24-inch rubber floor mats are ⅜-inch thick, providing excellent shock absorption. The rubber is thick enough to absorb the impact of falling dumbells and can endure the weight of exercise machines.

Each square uses an interlocking system that’s easy to install without adhesive. Center, border, and corner tiles create a finished look. Each set contains four tiles that can cover 16 square feet.

Product Specs

  • Thickness: ⅜ inch
  • Material: Rubber
  • Colors: 5

Pros

  • Made from durable rubber
  • Stylish color speckles
  • Multiple size options

Cons

  • Pricey

Get the American Floor Mats rubber flooring on Amazon and at American Floor Mats.

Best Rubber

The Best Gym Flooring Option: Rubber-Cal Shark Tooth Heavy Duty Mat
Photo: amazon.com

With ample thickness and rugged rubber material, this mat from Rubber-Cal is exceptionally durable. It consists of recycled ¾-inch-thick tire rubber, making it suitable for absorbing a high-impact workout or cushioning a heavy kettlebell landing. The rubber creates a nonslip surface over hardwood, concrete, or any other smooth flooring while also protecting it.

The mat’s coarse surface provides traction, making it a safe spot to do Zumba, barre, or any other workout that requires a lot of movement. Note that at 4 pounds per square foot, it’s a bit heavy for portable use.

Product Specs

  • Thickness: ¼ inch
  • Material: Polyester
  • Colors: 1

Pros

  • No interlocking required
  • Multiple pad sizes to choose from
  • Suitable for both indoors and outdoors

Cons

  • Only one color available
  • Pricey

Get the House, Home and More carpet at Amazon, Houzz, and House, Home and More.

Best Wood-Look

The Best Gym Flooring Option: House, Home and More Indoor Outdoor Carpet
Photo: amazon.com

Although more of an investment than some other options, it’s hard to beat the aesthetics of hardwood flooring. However, hardwood flooring isn’t the most practical choice. With Lifeproof’s luxury vinyl plank flooring, home gyms feature the stylish look of hardwood floors while benefiting from vinyl’s durability. With four different finishes available, this vinyl flooring offers options that fit a wide range of decors.

Lifeproof, which has a waterproof top layer that keeps it protected even during the sweatiest workouts, includes an Ultra-Fresh finish that resists the growth of mold and mildew. Thanks to a scratch-resistant surface layer and a rigid core, it also holds up to abuse better than real hardwood. While this material may not offer the same bounce as rubber or foam, the planks have a built-in underlayment layer that adds cushioning.

Product Specs

  • Thickness: 6.5 millimeters
  • Material: Vinyl flooring
  • Colors: 4

Pros

  • Affordable wood effect
  • Easy to install
  • Multiple wood colors

Cons

  • Less durable than other flooring options

Get the Lifeproof vinyl plank flooring at The Home Depot.

Also Consider

The Best Gym Flooring Option: Gorilla Mats Premium Extra Large Exercise Mat
Photo: amazon.com

At 8 feet long and 4 feet wide, this mat provides plenty of space for a full workout for one or two people. And, at ¼ inch thick, it’s cushiony enough to provide shock absorption.

The nonslip top and bottom provide traction for any workout routine from aerobics to weight lifting. Circle grips on the underside ensure the mat doesn’t slip on the smooth surface below, whether it’s hardwood, tile, or even concrete. It comes with a handy carrying case with a strap and a microfiber towel.

Product Specs

  • Thickness: ¼ inch
  • Material: Foam
  • Colors: 3

Pros

  • High quality foam material
  • Three stylish color options
  • Lightweight yet durable

Cons

  • Pricey

Get the Gorilla Mats exercise mat at Amazon, Yo Gorilla Mats, and Mercari.

Also Consider

The Best Gym Flooring Option: Goasis Lawn Artificial Turf Grass Lawn
Photo: amazon.com

Those working out indoors and craving a more natural feel for their workouts might consider this realistic-looking artificial grass mat from Goasis Lawn. Made of polyethylene, the turf is soft to the touch as well as water resistant. Its lush thickness offers excellent cushioning for high-impact training or weight lifting, and a rubber bottom prevents it from shifting during even the most vigorous workout. Because it’s designed for outdoor use, this artificial turf is durable enough to withstand wear and tear.

Product Specs

  • Thickness: ¼ inch
  • Material: Foam
  • Colors: 3

Pros

  • High quality foam material
  • Three stylish color options
  • Lightweight yet durable

Cons

  • Pricey

Get the Goasis artificial turf on Amazon and at Walmart.

Our Verdict

For a thick, cushioned, and affordable set of interlocking gym flooring pads, consider the ProsourceFit Puzzle Exercise Mat, which is available in three different colors and is easy to install. For a more durable albeit pricier option, shoppers will appreciate our durable rubber option from American Floor Mats, available in multiple size options according to your specific needs.

How We Chose the Best Gym Flooring

Our research showed us that gym floor mats are available in a variety of different materials—which vary widely in cost. We made sure to provide a range of options, from more affordable foam mats to slightly pricier (but much more durable) rubber selections. All of our recommendations are from reputable brands that use quality materials. We also took care to ensure that our top picks came in a wide selection of sizes to suit as many requirements from shoppers as possible.

FAQs

If you still have questions regarding how to choose a gym mat or flooring, then keep reading for answers to some of the most commonly asked questions.

Q: How do I choose the right size gym mat?

Choose a gym mat that’s large enough to accommodate the size of your body. For intense workouts, select a mat about a foot longer than your height to ensure it can provide a good base for your workout.

Q: What is the best thickness for my gym flooring?

For sufficient cushioning for high-impact aerobics or weight lifting, choose rubber or foam flooring with a thickness of at least ⅜ inch. For serious weight lifting, go with ½-inch-thick flooring to protect the weights and floor from damage.

Q: Is epoxy flooring good for my gym?

Extremely durable and water resistant, epoxy comes in a wide variety of colors, making it a good gym floor option. It will resist dents and chips from free weights. Just keep in mind that it won’t add any cushioning, which means you may still need a mat for certain types of workouts.

Q: Can I put gym mats on carpet?

You can place a gym mat over carpeting; however, it may reduce the mat’s stability by causing too much “give” when exercising on it. The lower the pile on the carpet, the better.