Rubber gym flooring is the standard in gyms across the world because it is durable, replaceable and easy to maintain. The gyms of old used to have concrete floors or carpet, but these materials aren’t suitable for heavy lifting.
The rubber flooring you see in gyms is only the top layer. Underneath the rubber gym flooring, there is always underlay of some kind. Underlay protects the substrate from damage and the flooring too because the flooring has something to compress into under load. If that weren’t the case, the rubber would wear.
Gym underlay protects the substrate (e.g. concrete or boarding) from damage. Rubber flooring is never enough to do this on its own because it has limited shock-absorbing qualities. If you were to drop a 20kg plate onto a 20mm rubber floor with no underlay, the substrate would be at risk of damage.
Underlay also makes a massive difference to the quality of the floor in terms of how it feels to walk on. It feels spongier and more forgiving.
You can definitely tell the difference when rubber gym flooring has underlay in the same way you can with household carpet. The underlay acts as a dampener and extends the life of the rubber flooring by eliminating contact with the substrate.
Do I have to use underlay?
Commercial gyms should always use an underlay to protect the substrate. If you were to skip the underlay, the floor could get damaged real soon.
The risk of not using underlay is a weight breaking a board or cracking the concrete underneath the rubber flooring. It’s also important to consider how underlay makes a floor feel to lift on. The floor feels more solid and more forgiving. This creates a better surface for people to perform a workout with confidence.
How much will it add to the price?
Quotes for rubber gym flooring include underlay where required, but in terms of cost, it will typically not make up more than 30% of the total price of the project. It depends on the grade of the underlay (how thick it is) and the brand. We only use the best-quality underlay because it’s important to us that your floor lasts a very long time.
If you are resurfacing your gym, we can recommend the right rubber gym flooring including a suitable underlay. Feel free to contact us for advice.