Types of Gym Flooring

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The right gym flooring is functional and durable as it must be able to withstand sweaty workouts, heavy equipment and lots of foot traffic. Budget, intended activities and aesthetic preferences can help you choose the optimal flooring for your gym. Home gyms generally need flooring that meets a variety of needs while commercial centers may have several flooring types for different sections of the facility.

Rubber Merits

  • Rubber is inexpensive, durable and easily installed. It doesn't get particularly slippery when wet and cleans easily. It can also be a green option, when made with recycled materials such as old tires. Rubber absorbs sound and offers some support for joints during exercise. Heavy cardio equipment, weight machines and free weights can be placed upon rubber flooring with no complications. The flooring also shows no stains and hides surface dirt. Rubber is appropriate for commercial facilities or for home gyms. You can purchase it as interlocking tiles that make installation over an existing floor a breeze. If the look of your gym is important to you, note that rubber isn't especially upscale looking and can have an old tire odor, especially if made from recycled materials. Rubber for commercial facilities comes in many patterns, colors and textures that work for cardio floors, weight rooms and even indoor tennis courts or tracks.

Wood and Laminate

  • Wood and laminate are best for gym floors designed for ball sports, group exercise classes, yoga and dance. Wood and laminate can become slick during heavy sweating and offers little cushioning during high impact activities. It also dings, scratches and scuffs easily. Maple flooring makes up 95 percent of the gyms that feature a hardwood court surface. Wood is preferable to carpet for group fitness or dance as it's easier to move upon and doesn't soak up sweat and bacteria. If sustainable flooring is important to you, bamboo is another alternative for group fitness, dance and yoga flooring.

Vinyl

  • Home gyms may also use modular vinyl tiles, which usually fit over an existing floor. These are thinner and less durable than rubber, but are preferable for aerobic dance and lateral movement. Vinyl tiles aren't as sound proof and may require a rubber under-flooring to provide the most durability.

Carpet and EVA Tiles

  • Carpet tiles are an inexpensive solution to in-home gym flooring, but are hard to clean. Small fibers from the carpet can also work their way into cardio equipment motors and belts, creating maintenance challenges. Ethylene-vinyl acetate, or EVA, foam tiles are not an option for commercial facilities as they aren't durable and dent when heavy weights or machines are placed upon them. Purchase these tiles at home improvement stores or sporting goods stores and place them over a cement floor in a home gym to provide warmth and a bit of cushioning for simple floor exercises.

References

  • Photo Credit Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images
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