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Home gym floors must be durable enough to withstand the impact of your routine and the rigors of weights or machines. You not only want to cushion your body during workouts, but it's also important to protect your existing flooring from scratches or gouges!
Some of the most popular materials for home gym floors include rubber, EVA foam, vinyl, wood, and carpet. Which one is right for you depends on what type of equipment or exercises you regularly do and whether you're looking for simple installation or something more permanent.
Below, the best home gym floors that will give you a soft(er) spot to land and protect your flooring from damage.
Best Overall: TrafficMaster Rubber Gym Flooring Tiles
Material: Recycled Rubber | Dimensions: 56 x 0.3 x 37 inches | Thickness: 0.32 inches | Intended Use: Heavy and Intense Workouts, Heavy Fitness Equipment, Dropping Free Weights
Feels grittier if on hands and knees
Give your home gym floors a major makeover with these TrafficMaster tiles. Constructed of shock-absorbing foam with a rubber wear layer on top, each interlocking tile provides both cushion and durability. The puzzle-like design of these 18 x 18-inch tiles makes it easy to configure them for your space and add or remove tiles as necessary. Edge pieces are included to give your flooring a finished look.
A popular pick for home gyms that feature weight machines, cardio equipment, or space for plyometrics, these tiles are 0.32 inches thick. While slightly thinner than some other options for gym flooring, they provide a solid surface for any activity you have in mind and protect your floors from repetitious movements or heavy equipment. The textured surface provides plenty of traction but might be slightly grittier than expected if you are on your hands and knees for your workout.
Best Budget: ProsourceFit Puzzle Exercise Mat
Material: High-Density EVA Foam | Dimensions: 25 x 4 x 25 inches | Thickness: 0.5 inches | Intended Use: Indoor Workouts, Fitness Equipment
Easy to move between different locations
Comes in various sizes and colors
High-intensity movements can shift mats
Interlocking mats are one of the most popular and affordable options for home gym floors since you can easily configure the tiles to match your needs or move them to a new location. ProsourceFit’s Puzzle Exercise Mat features ½ inch thick individual foam tiles that come in packs to cover 24, 48, or 144 square feet.
Use these foam tiles to create a gym floor to cushion your joints as you squat, lunge, lift, and more to get your heart pumping. The underside of the textured tiles is grippy enough to stay put, though high-intensity movements might cause some shifting of the interlocked mats. The best thing about these mats is that they can be easily repositioned to fit your workout needs and aren’t a permanent gym flooring installation.
"The included pieces are big enough to create a 24-square-foot workout area. This is ample room for one person, but we can’t imagine two people sharing the space. That said, the set is so cheap that you can buy a few if you’re looking to cover more square footage."—Angelica Leicht, Product Tester
Best Mat: Gorilla Mats Extra Large Exercise Mat
Material: Foam | Dimensions: 8 feet x 4 feet x .25 inches | Thickness: 0.25 inches | Intended Use: Cardio, Strength, or Dance Workouts Such As P90x, TAM, Insanity, T25, Zumba, TRX, Kettlebell, Jumping Rope
Different color options
If a small workout space is all you need, consider using a heavy-duty mat over your existing home gym flooring or in your garage, basement, etc. Gorilla Mats use foam to create a durable surface for any fitness function you have in mind, including weightlifting, aerobics, or plyometrics. The 0.25-inch thick mat can also be rolled up and transported to a new location.
Comfort padding provides plenty of cushion for pressure points while the non-slip, textured backing gives this mat a firm grip on the floor. These extra large mats are 8 x 4 feet in size, which is plenty of room for a solo workout. If you need more coverage, then consider using two mats for your home gym floor.
"This exercise mat is solid. It’s thick, durable, and can handle any type of workout you throw at it. A lot of exercise mats require you to take off your shoes before using them, but the Gorilla Mats exercise mats are durable enough for you to leave them on."—Lindsay Boyers, Product Tester
Best Foam: Yes4All Interlocking Exercise Foam Mats
Material: EVA Foam | Dimensions: 24 x 24 x .5 inches | Thickness: 0.5 inches | Intended Use: Home Gym and Garage Impact Workouts, Children’s Play Areas
Comes in various sizes
Includes edge pieces
High-intensity movements can unlock mats
If you’re looking for home gym flooring to cushion your impact, consider using foam mats or tiles to cover your workout area. This material absorbs motion and gives you a soft spot to land when doing burpees or jumping jacks. Yes4All Interlocking Exercise Foam Mats provide connecting foam tiles that measure 0.5 inch thick and can be positioned to fit your workout area.
Each EVA foam tile measures 2 x 2 feet and connects in a puzzle-like design with the other tiles. Sets can be purchased to cover 24, 48, or 120 square feet. The interlocking design means that you can combine as many tiles as necessary for your home gym floor. And unlike some other interlocking mats, the Yes4All Foam Mats include edge pieces to finish the border of every tile.
"We used them for yoga and strength training and noticed an improvement in the amount of pressure we felt on our joints. The foam is also shock absorbent, so we noticed less noise and rattling in our home when we did higher impact movements, like jumping jacks, on the mats."—Sharon Lehman, Product Tester
Best Rubber: IncStores 1/4" Tough Rubber Roll
Material: Recycled Rubber | Dimensions: 120 x 48 x 0.25 inches | Thickness: 0.25 inches | Intended Use: Weight Machines, Cardio Machines, Dumbbells, Plyometric Movements. Intensity, P90X, Bumper Plate Olympic Lifts
Made from recycled rubber
Can handle weight of machines
One option for home gym flooring is to use rubber on a roll, like this Tough Mat from IncStores. Each roll of recycled rubber flooring measures 4 x 10 feet and measures about ½ inch thick. This rubber flooring is a versatile solution for a variety of home gym activities, including free weights, plyometric workouts, and for cushioning the weight of machines like a treadmill.
The Tough Mat rubber flooring is heavy enough to stay put during intense workouts, but doesn’t require any permanent installation or adhesion. This makes it a great option if you have to rearrange or relocate your home gym in the future. Simply roll up this rubber flooring and reposition it as needed.
Best Wood: OptiWood Waterproof Engineered Hardwood Flooring
Material: Hardwood Veneer with HDPC Vinyl Rigid Core and Attached Foam Pad | Dimensions: Varies | Thickness: 0.28 inches | Intended Use: Home Gym Workouts Such As Basketball, Weights, and Heavy Equipment
Doesn't require additional underlayment
Comes in various colors
For a natural solid surface option for gym flooring, consider installing hardwood floors. A more substantial investment for your flooring when compared to using rubber mats or foam tiles, the aesthetics of a home gym with wood floors is hard to beat. At the same time, this surface material offers strength and flexibility.
When shopping for wood gym flooring, consider using engineered hardwood. You’ll get improved durability and this flooring material can be installed below grade—which is an important consideration if your home gym is in the basement.
This engineered hardwood floor from Optiwood is made of white oak and boasts a Janka rating of 2500, which is about two times harder than solid oak. That’s an important consideration if you plan to do weights or use heavy equipment on your gym floors, since softer hardwoods may dent under impact. In addition, this engineered hardwood offers straightforward installation over existing wood, tile, vinyl, or concrete surfaces without the need for additional underlayment. The waterproof Rigid core of this wood also means it can stand up to sweat, spilled sports drinks, and regular cleaning.
Best Vinyl: LifeProof Essential Oak Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring
Material: 100% Waterproof LifeProof Rigid Core Luxury Vinyl | Dimensions: 47.6 x 7.1 x .26 inches | Thickness: 0.26 inches | Intended Use: Home Gym Workouts Such As Basketball, Weights, and Heavy Equipment
Prevents mold and mildew growth
Scratch- and stain-resistant
Not easy to cut
Considered one of the most durable choices in home flooring, it’s no surprise that vinyl is also a top pick for gym flooring. A vinyl plank, like this option from LifeProof, is one of the easiest and best looking ways to upgrade your home gym.
A few innovations make this vinyl plank flooring stand out for use as a gym flooring. LifeProof has developed Ultra-Fresh technology to prevent the growth of mold or mildew on the underlayment or surface of your flooring—an important feature to consider if your gym is in a damp or humid area of the home. In addition, planks have a top layer treatment to offer enhanced resistance to scratches and stains. This waterproof flooring can be quickly and easily cleaned with a pH-neutral solution to wipe away dirt and sweat while preventing odors.
Click-lock installation and an attached underlayment make this vinyl flooring simple to install above or below grade. Plus, it can be installed over existing flooring, including tile, wood, or concrete. While this is a more permanent option for gym flooring when compared to rubber or foam mats, it provides a durable, waterproof option that can be supplemented with spot cushioning where needed.
Best Carpet Tile: Pebble Path 24-in Peel-and-Stick Carpet Tile
Material: Natural Touch™ PET Fibers, Polyester | Dimensions: 24 x 24 x .3125 inches | Thickness: 0.3125 inches | Intended Use: Protecting Floor and Equipment From Scrapes and Scratches
Helps protect against scraps and scratches
Color varies between boxes
If you’re looking for a softer surface for your home gym flooring or a way to prevent your machinery from scratching the floor, check out carpet tiles. While typical carpeting with a plush pile might not be an ideal choice for a home gym where sweat happens, these Pebble Path carpet tiles offer a convenient way to install and maintain a carpeted home gym.
These peel-and-stick carpet tiles stand out for their durability. The proprietary Natural Touch™ PET fibers are made from recycled plastic and are stain-resistant and waterproof for spot cleaning of spills. The carpet tiles feature a fiber locking system that prevents fraying or unraveling, even if you cut tiles to fit your space.
Unlike wall-to-wall carpeting for your gym, these carpet tiles can easily be replaced if one becomes soiled or damaged beyond repair. While you still might want to supplement this gym flooring with a mat for extra cushion, it’s a great option for protecting your floor or equipment from scrapes and scratches.
Picking puzzle-like home gym flooring is a smart idea since you can easily arrange the flooring to suit your space. This makes TrafficMaster Rubber Gym Flooring Tiles our top pick (view at Home Depot) since you can pick up and put down the foam tiles to fit your gym. While slightly thinner than some other options for gym flooring, they provide a solid surface for any activity you have in mind and protect your floors from repetitious movements or heavy equipment. Another great option is the ProsourceFit Puzzle Exercise Mat, which is inexpensive, durable, and easy to clean.
What to Look for in a Home Gym Floor
Rubber, foam, carpet, vinyl, and turf are the most popular flooring options for home gyms. Rubber is the most common because it’s relatively affordable, durable, easy to clean, and versatile. Foam or carpet tiles are the least expensive options, but they can be hard to clean and aren’t suitable for rigorous exercise.
Rubber and vinyl floors are the most durable options, though rubber is more universally appealing—it absorbs shock more effectively and is more affordable.
Type of exercise
Choose rubber or foam flooring for intense exercises like jumping rope or weight training—they’ll absorb impact better than carpet, vinyl, or turf will. These materials are better suited for yoga or as a base for exercise bikes or treadmills.
How thick should home gym floors be?
Home gym floors should always be thick enough for rigorous workouts and weights or machines. Higher amounts of cushion will also be easier on joints and protect an existing floor underneath. Popular materials for home gyms include rubber, vinyl, wood, EVA foam, and carpet.
Materials like shock-absorbing foam are great for home gyms with weight machines and cardio equipment. This puzzle piece-like material should be around 0.32 inches thick or more to provide floor protection and traction.
Can you put a home gym on a second floor?
You can create a home gym on the second floor as long as you do so with caution. Before starting work on it, check to make sure the weight of your equipment doesn't outweigh the floor capacity in your home. Double check that the building or space is up to code.
You should also properly pad the floor with the right materials. Foam or rubber will work well if you're looking to equip your home gym with weight machines or cardio equipment. It provides much-needed cushion for your joints and overall floor protection underneath.
How do you install a home gym floor?
This will depend on what kind of material you use. Interlocking foam mats are easy to install and configure over existing floors to match your needs while hardwood floors might require a professional installation process. You'll want to think about what kind of surface best suits your home, workout style, and needs.
If you're building a home gym on the second floor, rubber and foam might be best to reduce impact problems. Installation of these materials is easily done by laying it out flat over the surfaces you'd like to cover and place your equipment.
Why Trust The Spruce?
A home workout enthusiast, Erica Puisis has been writing for The Spruce since 2017. Her own home gym setup features a low-pile carpet, but she has also used foam mats in the past to cushion the impact from her exercise routine.