The Difference Between PVC And Rubber Sports Flooring

the difference between PVC and rubber sports flooring

In your search for high-performance sports flooring you will come across both PVC and rubber flooring that appears to offer the same performance. Differentiating between them can be difficult when they look the same. Some people also use the terms interchangeably, which is a mistake because they are not the same at all.

In this article, we will uncover the differences:


  • Harder than rubber
  • Tough
  • Grippy
  • Suited to court games

PVC is short for polyvinyl chloride, a synthetic plastic polymer. You may be confused because this is the same material used to make plastic pipes by name. However, PVC flooring is a flexible variant of the plastic that mimics rubber. Flexible polyvinyl-chloride is made using a range of elastomers to make it flexible.

PVC sports flooring offers excellent performance for sports surfaces in gyms and halls. It feels hard underfoot but absorbs impacts very well. When paired with a soft underlay, it’s suitable for functional fitness zones and sports halls.


  • Softer than PVC
  • Shock absorbing
  • Noise insulating
  • Suited to lifting zones

There are two types of rubber: natural and synthetic. Rubber sports hall flooring is made from a synthetic rubber called EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer). EPDM is made from ethylene, propylene, and a diene comonomer. These components are vulcanised with heat and pressed to form rubber sheets.

EPDM rubber sports flooring is softer and less stiff than PVC. This makes it a better choice for free weight and power lifting zones in a gym. EPDM is used to make rubber rolls, rubber floor tiles and interlocking rubber floor tiles.

Which sports hall flooring is right for you?

Sports halls are best-served by a hard material. PVC fits the bill better than rubber. It’s stiffer, harder and suitable for ball games. You can play basketball, netball or badminton on a PVC sports hall floor with no problem.

When your sports hall transitions to free weight areas, that is the time to use rubber flooring. Rubber is softer and thicker than PVC, so it protects the subfloor a lot better. Heavy weights dropped on a rubber floor will do no damage.

We’re happy to provide free advice if you need it. To speak with one of our sports flooring experts, call us today on (0)1706 260 220 for a chat.