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What Flooring do Gyms Use? - Quick Guide to Choosing Gym Flooring

Michael Geraghty |

Young women in crossfit gym

When it comes to flooring for gyms, there are a few things you need to consider. The first is that the flooring needs to be able to withstand a lot of wear and tear. 


This means that it needs to be durable and tough. Another consideration is how easy the flooring is to clean. You don't want bacteria and dirt buildup, especially in a place where people are working out. 


Finally, you also need to think about the aesthetics of the flooring. It should look good and make people feel like they are in a healthy environment.


So, what kind of Gym Flooring do I use?


Gym floors come in wide varieties to suit any given facility's needs. Rubber flooring can work for most gyms, but it wouldn’t necessarily be the best choice for every gym. For instance, a CrossFit or Olympic weightlifting gym might prefer a different type of flooring to accommodate the dropped weights.

 


In this article, we'll take a look at the different types of flooring used in gyms and the benefits of each one. By the end, you should have a good idea of what kind of flooring would work best for your gym.


Let's get started.


Different Material Types for Gym Flooring


There are a few different materials commonly used for gym flooring, each with its own set of benefits. The best gym flooring options are:

  1. Rubber Flooring

  2. Foam Flooring

  3. Vinyl Flooring

  4. Sports Turf

Let's take a closer look at each of these options:


1. Rubber Flooring


A gym floor has to be able to handle a lot of use, which is why rubber flooring is such a popular option. Rubber is the perfect choice for any home gym because it can prevent slips and falls while also absorbing impact. 


Rubber flooring won’t dent or scratch and is easy to clean. It’s available in mats, tiles, or rolls and can be installed over any type of subfloor. Rubber floor tiles are the best option for those who want a DIY installation as they are very simple to install without assistance or specialist tools.

 


Rubber interlocking tiles are also a great option for DIY’ers and commercial facilities alike. They come in a variety of colours and thicknesses to suit different levels of use and either have a puzzle profile or a straight edge with hidden connector pieces linking the mats together.  


Rubber gym flooring rolls are a great option for covering large areas. They’re available in different thicknesses to accommodate any type of equipment.


2. Foam Flooring


Foam mats are a great choice for flooring because they are cushioning,  shock-absorbent, and soft to the surface. They are also relatively inexpensive and can be found in a variety of colours and thicknesses. 


While foam tiles are not quite as durable as rubber mats, it’s still a good choice for a home gym or commercial facility.  They are especially good for using in sports such as MMA and Boxing because they have excellent resilience and prevent friction burn.

 


Foam flooring is easy to install and can be done by anyone. It’s available in tiles or rolls and can be cut to fit any space. Foam flooring is a great choice for those who are looking for an inexpensive and simple fit option.


3. Vinyl Flooring


Gym floors need to be durable and easy to clean, and vinyl flooring ticks both of those boxes. It's also a more expensive flooring option and is predominantly used for large sports halls and recreation centres.  This type of floor tends to come in less thicker options than rubber or foam so may not tolerate heavier use or loads.  Another factor to consider is repairs and maintenance.  If vinyl flooring is damaged, it can be tricky to repair and you may need to replace whole areas if one section is punctured or dented.

 


Vinyl gym flooring comes in a variety of thicknesses, so you can choose something that will provide the level of cushioning and support you need. It's also available in a wide range of colours and designs so that you can create the perfect look for your gym.


4. Sports Turf


Another great option for gym flooring is sports turf.  This is highly durable artificial grass that comes in rolls or strips to be used as sprint tracks and sled pulling tracks.  

 


Available in a variety of bright colours, adding a sprint track or an area of sports turf for specific activities adds versatility to your gym.  The strong fibres are designed to withstand high impact and heavy footfall so are a durable option for your gym.


What to Consider When Choosing the Best Gym Flooring


When it comes to choosing the best gym flooring, there are a few things you'll need to take into account.


Activities


The main thing to consider when deciding on a suitable floor type is the key activities you will be performing.  If it is a commercial gym or home studio where there is Strength Training or high impact workouts, you will need to select a floor type and floor thickness that will accommodate those needs and provide the adequate protection for the user and equipment as well as reduce noise levels.

 


Most rubber flooring tiles come in thicknesses right up to 60mm for extreme weight lifting.  Your activities will also determine the type of texture you want to go for.  For example, if you are practicing Judo in your space, you might want to consider a Tatami surface finish for superior traction.  If you plan to train for dancing, you may want to think about a sprung vinyl or hardwood floor for performance aspects.


Your Existing Space


The next thing to think about is what type of space you have and its current condition.  Is it a commercial gym or domestic space?  What is your existing subfloor like and would it require to be levelled?  If so, what are the cost implications to your budget?  These are the type of questions you need to ask when thinking about your specific property.


Maintenance


When you have narrowed down the different types of gym floor you prefer, it is then important to take into account the ongoing maintenance required for each option.  Some floor types require regular treatment or specialist cleaning to keep them performing at their best.  Consider low maintenance, cost-effective floor options if you have a busy, high functioning space.


Colour/Design


The colour and design of your gym flooring is an important aspect of your decision. Most home gyms opt for darker colours like black or gray, as they're good at hiding dirt and wear and tear. However, you can find gym flooring in a variety of coloured fleck and light shades to add your own style and give your gym a strong aesthetic appeal that users will be drawn to.

 


Cost


Finally, you'll need to consider the cost of the flooring you choose. Gym flooring is available at a variety of price points, so it's important to find something that fits your budget. However, keep in mind that cheaper options may not be as durable or long-lasting as more expensive options.  They may end up costing more with having to replace them within a short period of time.


FAQs


If you still have questions about choosing the best gym flooring for your needs, here are answers to some common questions:


What is the best flooring for a gym?


The best type of flooring for a home gym depends on the activities that will be taking place in the gym. For example, if you plan on using a range of weights, rubber flooring is a great option.  Perhaps you plan to do a mixture of activities.  Rubber tiles are a versatile solution that is suitable for all style of workouts.  If you are doing specialist sports like Martial Arts then a softer foam solution would be better suited.


What is the most popular flooring for gyms?


The most popular type of flooring for gyms is rubber. Rubber is durable, easy to clean, and provides a good amount of cushioning.


What thickness is best for gym flooring?


Rubber rolls tend to range from 4mm right up to 12mm and are popular for areas with rows of equipment where the user does not require protection from intense body movement.  Weight zones and high functional areas should have a thicker floor type to withstand impact and protect the user from injury. 


Thicknesses for gym tiles start at 11mm right up to 60mm.  Most rubber floor products will indicate the maximum weight drop allowed which will give you an indication of what thickness to opt for.


How long does gym flooring last?


This is down to 2 factors - the type of gym flooring you opt for and how well you maintain it.  A rubber floor option has an approx lifespan of 10+ years if well looked after.


Final Thoughts


There are many different types of flooring that can be used in gyms, and the best type for your gym will depend on a variety of factors.


Rubber flooring is a popular choice for gyms because it is durable and easy to clean as well as foam options.  Other floor types like wood and vinyl are also used in gyms but tend to work best in a sports hall setting.


Whatever type of flooring you choose, make sure to pick something that will support your activities while remaining durable and high performing. Consider low maintenance options to minimise costly repairs and cleaning.


You may also be interested in reading:

Sprint Tracks: How they can Transform your Flooring

Gym Mat Formats: Gym Tiles or Rolls?

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