The best flooring for a gym depends on what equipment will be used. Most gyms have separate areas for cardio, functional fitness and free weights. While all these areas can utilise universal rubber tiles, gym goers will experience greater satisfaction from flooring that caters to the workout they are performing.
With that in mind, here are some expert recommendations:
HIIT and yoga
Foam is a good flooring option for yoga, pilates and HIIT areas. It lacks support for heavy weights, but that’s the point. Instead, it cushions the foot and absorbs body weight impact, making it a safe surface for yoga and pilates. It’s also suitable for martial arts so long as the foam is a good thickness.
Rubber flooring is what you want. It’s non-slip and can be paired with a shock-absorbing underlay to protect the sub floor. This makes it suitable for functional fitness areas where free weights might be used, and speed and agility drills are performed. Most of this flooring is made from 100% EPDM rubber.
Free weight areas
Free weight areas see weights dropped and benches dragged across the floor. They need a durable, non-slip surface to be safe and usable. Nothing beats heavy-duty interlocking rubber tiles for this. These are available in 30mm and 40mm thicknesses which on their own work well. They are also available in a variety of colours.
Deadlift and rack areas
These areas see even more punishment than free weight areas. Barbells will be dropped, and weight plates will be too. It’s important these areas have dedicated impact protection slabs made from rubber. These can be up to 80mm thick. At this thickness, deadlifts pushing over 600lbs will be no problem for the floor.
Sled lanes should be made from needle-punched polypropylene, which is very similar in appearance to felt or artificial turf. This flooring has outstanding abrasion resistance and is very grippy underfoot. Sleds glide across it, ensuring that the weight plates on the sled are the only thing providing resistance in the workout.
These should absorb body weight impact and provide unfaltering grip, even when wet. 100% EPDM rubber surfaces are good and should have a fine grain. SPORTEC Fusion is an excellent product with its elastic layer. Choose a flat surface so there is no risk of tripping. Tiles aren’t really suitable for sprint areas because of this. Instead, you want smooth and flat flooring which will come as a roll.