We would typically recommend interlocking gym flooring for functional fitness and free weight zones. The reason we do so is because these areas of a gym experience high wear and it’s easier to replace one tile than the entire floor.
There are so many different types of gym flooring that it can be difficult knowing which is best for any particular application. Interlocking gym flooring is installed tile by tile, and it’s one of the most popular choices in commercial gyms.
The general purpose champion
Interlocking gym flooring is by far the most versatile kind of gym flooring because the rubber absorbs impact but isn’t bouncy. This means it provides adequate cushioning for HIIT and adequate protection from dropped weights.
We recommend utilising interlocking flooring in high intensity areas of a gym, including squat zones, deadlift zones, near power racks and in free weight areas because these areas are susceptible to dropped weights and plates.
What are interlocking tiles made from?
Interlocking gym flooring tiles are made from either polyurethane foam or EPDM rubber, although these materials are not interchangeable.
EPDM rubber floor tiles are used in gym lifting zones (heavy work) while polyurethane foam floor tiles are used in yoga and pilates zones (light work).
Polyurethane foam is a squishy material – this makes it ideal for supporting a person’s weight and reducing fatigue in light activities. EPDM rubber is dense and firm – this makes it ideal for absorbing impacts from weights and plates.
You will often find polyurethane floor tiles installed over EPDM rubber floor tiles to create designated fitness zones for yoga and pilates. Polyurethane tiles can be installed anywhere to create a mini studio when a room isn’t available.
EPDM rubber tiles
EPDM rubber tiles are available in interlocking and non-locking varieties. Interlocking varieties are preferred in commercial gyms because they are seamless. This not only looks better but reduces cleaning time because there are no gaps.
Interlocking EPDM rubber floor tiles are heavy-duty and ideal for free weight zones, powerlifting zones, machine zones and anywhere with weights and plates. We recommend a 40mm tile for gyms that see a lot of foot traffic.
It’s important to note that interlocking floor tiles can be removed individually if they get damaged. This significantly reduces maintenance costs.
You can install interlocking rubber gym tiles over concrete, tile or board so long as the subfloor is protected. However, you cannot install them directly over carpet or another soft surface because the floor would not be stable.
We recommend using a high-performance rubber crumb underlay for concrete, tile and board subfloors. The underlay will provide additional shock absorption and protection to the subfloor, helping to extend the life of your flooring system.
Thickness, installation and upkeep
Interlocking floor tiles are available in thicknesses of 30mm or 40mm and we tend to recommend the thicker version for commercial use.
The installation of the interlocking tiles is relatively simple however spaces must be measured, and tiles cut to size just like carpet. It’s also important to consider underlay to further protect the subbase. Rubber underlay will extend the life of the rubber tiles and help to improve protection for the subfloor.
In terms of upkeep, interlocking flooring is easy to maintain. Spills can be mopped up and cleaned with common cleaners. The tiles are interlocking but they lock tight, so there is no risk of dirt accumulating where the joints meet.
Rubber interlocking flooring is also non-slip and extremely wear resistant. It is designed to withstand abrasion and mechanical stress. It won’t split or crack under pressure and you can safely use it around benches and dumbbell zones.
Additional protection for your gym floor
Interlocking gym flooring is used to build a floor quickly but it is only one part of a flooring system. If you want to provide optimal protection for the subfloor, a rubber pad underlay is always a good investment because it reduces wear.
We also recommend impact protection slabs for deadlift zones. These are 80mm thick and provide outstanding impact protection. They absorb vibration and sound, helping to ensure deadlift and powerlifting activities do not impact other gym users.
Overall, interlocking gym flooring is the best gym flooring for heavy gym work because it offers consistent performance, and each tile is individually replaceable.
You should use interlocking gym flooring in functional fitness zones of your gym so you can replace single tiles when needed. This will save you money in the long run. Free weight zones are the best candidates for interlocking floor tiles. You should also consider underlay to extend the life of the tiles and protect the subfloor.
We sell a wide range of interlocking floor tiles in thicknesses of 30mm and 40mm. You can also choose from a wide range of styles and colours.