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Updated Aug 29, 2022 7:47 AM

More often than not, a home gym is something we build over time through the periodic acquisition and accumulation of new equipment, but we often overlook a vital element right beneath our feet: home gym flooring. The use of home gym flooring is vital for a number of reasons, ranging from its positive effects on your joints to its positive effects on your wallet, when you no longer have to repair damages caused by dropped weights or the constant floor scuffing of cardio equipment or squat racks. Implementing smart gym flooring material will protect you and your home from undue wear and tear.

Before pulling the trigger on just any old flooring, you should be aware of the many different options on the market and their intended uses. The type of gym flooring needed for Olympic deadlifts won’t be the same as the best flooring for high-intensity interval training workouts or yoga. In this article, we’ll break down our top recommendations for the best home gym flooring on the market today and provide you with what you need to decide which fits your intended need.

The American Floor Mats Fit-Lock Rubber Flooring takes our Best Overall spot because of its durability and versatility. Most of the Fit-Lock type mats on the market are made from EVA foam, which is fine, but oftentimes won’t hold up to the beating of repetitive heavy weights. Some of the foam mats even have a rubber coating on top, but the same limitations persist. The American Floors Mats are different in that they are made entirely of a commercial-grade, recycled rubber (of the same type and quality you’d find in car tires), meaning they can stand up to even the most aggressive of workouts.

The American Floor Mats Fit-Lock Rubber Flooring is heat- and weather-resistant, so these mats can easily be used indoors or outdoors and are completely capable of standing up to the elements. They are also mold- and mildew-resistant, making them a perfect choice for a gym where the atmosphere is often warm and humid.

These rubber tiles come in 24- by 24-inch squares and fit together like pieces of a puzzle. Obviously, not all home gyms are the same, varying greatly in size and shape. Whether you’re planning to cover the entire floor or just a portion, the rubber tiles can be easily cut with a sharp utility knife, though you may need to make several strokes to get all the way through the rubber.

The American Floor Mats Fit-Lock Rubber Flooring can be purchased in a wide range of set sizes to fit whatever dimension home gym you’re constructing.

Product Specs
  • Weight: 8 pounds per tile
  • Dimensions: 24 x 24 inches per tile
  • Thickness: 3/8 inch
  • Material: Rubber
Why It Made The Cut
  • The American Floor Mats Fit-Lock Rubber Flooring is a highly durable flooring solution that is easy to customize to whatever gym area you have available.
PROS

Extremely durable

Heat- and weather-resistant

Mold- and mildew-resistant

Easy to cut/tailor to available space

Easy to move and relocate

Multiple colors and set size options

CONS

Higher cost than typical Fit-Lock tiles

If you’ve blown all your cash on other workout gear, the ProsourceFit Puzzle Exercise Mat tiles are an excellent way to solve your flooring problem. I know this because these are the home gym flooring mats I purchased for my garage gym at home, after spending all my money on adjustable dumbbells. At $25 for a set of six tiles, you really can’t beat the price, and you can easily cover a large floor area for a fraction of the cost of rubber mats and tiles.

The ProsourceFit Puzzle Exercise mats are made of high-density EVA foam, giving them moderate durability and making them ultra-lightweight and easy to move. Every summer I move my home gym from my basement out to the garage and picking up these floor tiles is a snap. They are both easy to carry and quick to assemble. The EVA foam is also water-resistant and easy to clean, which means you shouldn’t have issues with mildew and mold.

The only downside to the EVA foam mats seems to be their durability. Foam is a naturally porous material with weaker bonding agents, so it is less likely to stand up to the repetitive beating of extremely heavy weights. If you’re an Olympic-style lifter, you may want to consider a tougher material, but if your workouts don’t involve dropping heavy dumbbells or iron plates, or you’re looking for something to protect your floor against the scuffing of cardio machines, these mats should suit you just fine.

Product Specs
  • Weight: 0.72 pounds per tile
  • Dimensions: 24 x 24 inches per tile
  • Thickness: 1/2 inch
  • Material: EVA foam
Why It Made The Cut
  • Costing just north of a dollar per square foot, the ProsourceFit Puzzle Exercise Mat tiles are a good, low-cost solution if you’re building your home gym on a tight budget.
PROS

Very Affordable

Lightweight and portable

Easy to cut/customize to available space

Easy to clean

CONS

May not be ideal for heavy weights

May slide when placed on smooth surfaces

Not into puzzles? Maybe tiles aren’t right for you. Maybe what you need is one solid mat to cover your entire workout space. If that’s the case, then check out the Gorilla Mats Large Premium Exercise Mat. This four- by six-foot and quarter-inch thick mat has been consistently rated as one of the top, most durable exercise mats on the market. It’s great for anything from HIIT workouts to cardio to yoga. The only caution I might take with this mat is with Olympic-style lifting, where you’ll have extremely heavy weights coming down hard. The mat may be durable, but ¼ inch is ¼ inch, and you don’t want to damage your floor beneath.

The Gorilla Mats Large Premium Exercise Mat has a non-slip grip pattern on its underside, making it great for quickly covering any surface in your home, though many of the product reviews suggest the mat can slip some when placed over carpeting. The top layer appears to be a woven durable woven fabric to protect the ProFoam cushioning below. This is a great gym flooring option for a smaller workout space and it’s quick to roll up and put away when finished.

Product Specs
  • Weight: 14 pounds
  • Dimensions: 48 x 72 inches
  • Thickness: 1/4 inch
  • Material: Ultra-durable ProFoam
Why It Made The Cut
  • The Gorilla Mats Large Premium Exercise Mat provides protection to any home floor surface while simultaneously providing comfort for your joints and back through a wide range of workouts.
PROS

Durable build

Great for dual purpose spaces; easy to roll up

Non-slip pattern on bottom

Product material is advertised as eco-friendly

Lifetime warranty

CONS

A bit more costly

May not be thick enough for Olympic lifting

May slide if placed over carpet

Two trusted individuals interviewed for this review have sworn up and down by the quality of the Tractor Supply Co. Thick Rubber Stall Mat. Before I go on, it should be understood that this floor mat was originally intended to line the stalls of horses and other barnyard animals, and the website description states: “built specifically for the needs of large animals.” Personally, I can’t think of a better compliment for serious weightlifters.

The Tractor Supply Co. Thick Rubber Stall Mat is made of 3/4-inch thick vulcanized rubber, and the whole four- by six-foot rubber mat weighs a whopping 94 pounds. Translation: This isn’t a mat you’ll be moving around the house with ease. This mat can be placed over any surface and features both a smooth surface side and a textured side. The textured side employs raised rubber “buttons” that help prevent surface slides when faced down or help prevent foot slides when faced up. The mat can be used either way. The non-porous surface of both sides makes this mat easy to clean, but can also make it a bit slippery when wet. Heavy sweaters beware.

Product Specs
  • Weight: 94 pounds
  • Dimensions: 48 x 72 inches
  • Thickness: 3/4-inch
  • Material: 100 percent recycled vulcanized rubber
Why It Made The Cut
  • The Tractor Supply Co. Thick Rubber Stall Mat is a cheap, extremely durable mat that can withstand the abuse of even the heaviest weights.
PROS

Thick and durable

Low cost

Withstand extremely heavy weight

Easy to clean

Made from recycled material

CONS

Heavy, not very portable

Can be slippery when wet

Not all workouts require a thick pad over your floor, and if you’re prone to a lower-impact or lower-weight workout, perhaps a more versatile flooring would be better suited to your home gym. For this, I’d recommend the House, Home, and More Indoor Outdoor Carpet. A durable indoor/outdoor carpet is a great way to add texture to otherwise slippery surfaces like tile and hardwood or to provide protection from dirty or abrasive surfaces like cement patios or your garage floor.

The House, Home, and More Indoor Outdoor Carpet is made of low-piled, polyester fibers and measures about ¼-inch thick (so you won’t want to drop any heavy weights on this one). The carpet is backed with a thin coat of rubber to prevent slipping and the edges are unbound, so multiple carpets can be placed side by side with little or no visible seams. This carpet is a great gym floor material if you’re like me and your home gym moves from inside to outside depending on the time of year. The carpet is easy to clean with a vacuum or broom and can be easily rolled up and stored away when not in use.

This carpet is available in multiple sizes ranging from six by 10 feet or six by 50 feet. Keep in mind that the carpet delivers in a roll, so it may take a little time before it lays completely flat.

Product Specs
  • Weight: 11 pounds
  • Dimensions: 6 x 10 feet
  • Thickness: 1/4 inches
  • Material: Polyester with rubber backing
Why It Made The Cut
  • The House, Home, and More Indoor Outdoor Carpet is a versatile flooring option, great for low-impact, low-weight workouts such as yoga and pilates.
PROS

Versatile, can be used indoors and outdoors

Easy to roll and move

Easy to cut and fit into available space

CONS

Not thick enough for heavy weights

Less cushion for high impact workouts

Oftentimes, our home gym space is not exclusively reserved for working out and we need to have a flooring solution that looks good for other purposes as well. The Sorbus Wood Grain Floor Mats are a slick solution that can add some style to your home gym floor. The Sorbus Wood Grain Floor Mats are interlocking foam pads, similar to those reviewed earlier in this article, only the Sorbus Mats are designed to look like hardwood flooring of various colors and styles.

The Sorbus Wood Grain Floor Mats contain no actual wood but are made of OPP plastic on top (printed with wood grain patterns) and polyethylene foam underneath. The ⅜-inch foam gives the mat a nice cushion making it ideal for high or low-intensity workouts, though you may still want to be extra careful when setting down dumbbells or other weights. I would still recommend not using anything too incredibly heavy on these mats and would certainly advise against throwing any weights down.

The mats are cut with jigsawed edges so that they interlock perfectly, creating barely visible seams. Twelve mats come in a single order, giving you a total of 48 square feet to work with.

Product Specs
  • Weight: Unspecified
  • Dimensions: 25 x 25 inches per tile
  • Thickness: 3/8 inches
  • Material: Oriented polypropylene plastic (OPP) surface, polyethylene foam mat
Why It Made The Cut
  • The Sorbus Wood Grain Floor Mats add style to your home gym, making it a fun, functional space you won’t mind showing off.
PROS

Available in multiple wood patterns

Good cushion for high-impact exercise

Single order covers a large space

CONS

Not good for heavy weights

May become slippery when wet

Things to consider before buying home gym flooring

Type of workouts

Not all home gym flooring is conducive to every type of workout. Incorrect flooring can have a negative impact on your workout, your body, and the original floor surface. 

For heavy-weight workouts or Olympic-style lifting, you’ll want to make sure you get a gym flooring material that’s thick and durable to protect your current floor from abuse. Rubber flooring is generally considered the best for these types of workouts, and the thicker the better. 

For lower-weight workouts or high-intensity, high-impact workouts, you can get away with foam mat flooring, which is slightly less durable but offers good cushioning for your joints. 

Finally, if you do low-weight, low-impact workouts, a simple, durable carpet may be all you need.

Available space

For most of us, a home gym gets built wherever it’s going to be most out of the way: the back of the garage, tucked into the corner of the basement, between the dryer and the hot water heater. For others, it may be integrated into everyday living spaces such as a living room or office. Whatever your situation, you want to make sure you have flooring appropriate for your space. 

If you live in a small apartment on the third floor, dragging up a 94-pound horse stall mat might not be the best option. Similarly, if your gym occupies the same space your truck often does, you may not want to lay out 48 square feet of fake wood floor mats that you have to move after every workout. 

Environmental implications

Home gym flooring isn’t going to last forever, but a lot of it will come pretty darn close when it ends up in a landfill. If you like living here on this planet, it might behoove you to take into consideration the environmental implication of your flooring choices. Fortunately, many manufacturers of home gym flooring are taking this into consideration and making their products out of previously recycled materials. These companies are also pretty proud of this fact, so it’s often easy to tell if you’re making an eco-friendly choice or not.

FAQs about home gym flooring

Q: How thick should home gym flooring be?

A: The most common thickness for home gym flooring is ⅜ inches thick, but thickness should depend on your intended use. Carpets and thinner mats are good for low-impact activities, but experts recommend ½-inch thick flooring for Olympic powerlifters. 

Q: How do you install home gym flooring?

A: Most mats or tiles are plug-and-play — simply roll them out and start your workout. Other mats or tiles need to be cut to the space provided, and a good, sharp box cutter will do the trick. Some come with adhesive tapes or glues, but that level of permanency scares me.

Q: How often should I clean my home gym flooring?

A: It’s good to give your home gym flooring a wipe-down once every week. For these light cleanings, Clorox wipes work well, but you should check if your flooring has any specific cleaning dos and don’ts. A good deep cleaning once every month is wise, depending on how much you sweat.

Final thoughts

The American Floor Mats Fit-Lock Rubber Flooring is our pick for the best home gym flooring option because it checks all the necessary boxes of functionality, durability, and thickness, while also being easy to transport and eco-friendly. Unlike mats of lesser build, the American Floor Mats Fit-Lock tiles’ tough rubber build will withstand the test of time and take whatever abuse you can throw at them.   

Methodology 

I know a lot of folks who said goodbye to their gym memberships during the COVID lockdowns and never went back. A good majority of them, like myself, started buying bits of equipment here and there and slowly built their own home gyms. The first thing I did when I started researching this article was to go around to each of those individuals and find out what type of flooring they are using, what types of workouts they are doing, and what they like or dislike about their choice of home gym flooring. 

With the personal interviews under my belt, I bounced my list off from previously established lists on reputable sites such as Garage Gym Reviews, Runners World, Men’s Health, and more. With my list narrowed down, I then consulted the customer reviews on the product pages to find out what actual users were saying, the characteristics they praised, and the things that went wrong. All of this information was then evaluated and narrowed down further to provide you with the best possible choices for a broad range of home gym scenarios.