What's the Best Home Gym Flooring?

What's the Best Home Gym Flooring?

Let’s face it: We’re all spending more time at home now. Although you might have started off your home workouts on carpet or using just a yoga-type mat, maybe it’s time for a major upgrade as you think about building a home gym that better fits your goals — and your budget. The right home gym flooring choice can give you the support you need for cardio and strength, and it can create a dedicated area that’s functional for your unique fitness plan.

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Here are some choices to consider:

Best for Every Workout

Top pick: Gorilla Mat Premium Large Exercise Mat

If you’re changing locations for your workout from indoors to outdoors, using weights and kettlebells, or taking on a cardio session — maybe all in the same week — it’s helpful to choose a flooring option that can stand up to anything (including heavy weights).

For that, try an oversize mat that has shock-absorbing padding, with enough grip that you can do MMA-style moves or your Rough Around the Edges workouts with ease.

 

Best on a Budget

Top pick: Rubber Cal Elephant Bark Floor Mat

Covering a larger space but want an economical option? Most likely, that will involve being willing to have flooring that you glue into place and is thinner than some other types (but still able to hold up to dumbbells, kettlebells, etc.).

But that doesn’t mean you have to skimp on durability and traction. There are plenty of affordable choices, usually made from rubber, that offer easy DIY installation and still have vibration reduction and impact protection. With these, you can break a sweat without breaking the bank!

 

Best for Weights Benches & Equipment

Top pick: XMark Fitness XMat

If you plan to put machines and weight benches on the flooring, it’s best to choose a thicker mat that has a textured surface, for more durability and no slipping risk. Rubber is worth considering. Although it can be more expensive than other options, it also holds up to heavy use, similar to a commercial gym floor.

 

Most Versatile

Top pick: ProsourceFit Puzzle Mat

If your workout space is an area that needs to transform for other uses occasionally, it’s helpful to have flooring you can dismantle and store easily. For this, consider using foam flooring that comes in interlocking squares, which allows you to create larger or smaller spaces depending on your needs.

This option is also the easiest to put over carpet. That means it not only provides a supportive surface, but it also helps protect your carpet from wear and tear that comes with regular workouts.

 

Best Durability

home gym flooring - home depot mat

Top pick: G-Floor Vinyl Universal Flooring

Although foam-based mats are great for cushioning and versatility, vinyl flooring tends to be more durable and can stand up to strong cleaners, too. That’s important for wiping up all that sweat from your crushing-it workouts. (Ahem, like T-Minus 30!)

It’s better to have this type of flooring in place permanently rather than as a temporary option. It’s also ideal for basements and garages.

 

Best for Outdoors

Top pick: Sorbus Grass Mat

If your home gym is outside, you’ll need flooring that stands up to any weather condition. In that case, artificial turf is a good choice. This type of “grass” has enough padding for proper shock absorption and can easily be cleaned off with a hose. Interlocking tiles let you customize the amount you need and relocate if needed.

No matter what type you choose, having a dedicated space for your workouts can be hugely beneficial — not just for your activity, but for your mindset. Even a modest home gym has the ability to jump-start your fitness goals.

Elizabeth Millard

About

Elizabeth Millard has written for Men's Health, SELF, Prevention, Runner's World, and several other health and wellness publications. Based in Northern Minnesota (yes, it's just as cold as you've heard), she's also a rock climber, obstacle course enthusiast, and registered yoga teacher. Follow her on Twitter.

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