Your garage probably has a hard-concrete floor. Concrete is durable but has no impact or shock absorption qualities. If you were to drop a heavy dumbbell on a concrete surface, it’d crack, and the damage could be significant.
It is therefore necessary to protect the floor with an insulating material. This will protect both the floor and you during your workout. But what is the best flooring for a garage gym? And are there any materials you should avoid?
The best flooring
Rubber floor tiles are the best flooring for a garage gym. These interlock so can cover specific areas without covering the whole floor. For example, you could have them installed under the squat rack but not where the treadmill is.
A good performance to cost ratio can be found in 12mm thick rubber tiles. These will protect the floor for general fitness work. In areas where weights might be dropped, the floor will need additional protection. We recommend 30 to 40mm thick rubber tiles in free weight areas to provide sufficient impact protection.
If you do really heavy work, 70 to 80mm impact protection slabs may be needed. A hard surface like concrete will benefit from these if you push or lift over 100kg. Dropped weights will smash concrete if there isn’t sufficient impact absorption. The rubber surface should be up to the task of insulating the concrete from impact.
The worst flooring
Any hard surface, but also any soft surface that isn’t designed for gym use. A lot of homeowners building a garage gym will buy cheap rubber tiles or rubber flooring on the internet which was never designed for gym use. These will typically be the wrong density to absorb the impact from free weights and plates.
Foam is also a common mistake in home gyms. Interlocking foam tiles are a perfectly legitimate and functional choice for yoga, pilates and HIIT, but in a garage gym with free weights and plates it isn’t suitable. Foam is not the right density; it is too soft and bouncy to protect the substrate and can be quite dangerous.
For a home gym, use 12mm rubber tiles in general fitness areas and step up to 30mm rubber tiles for free weight areas. Racks and bench areas may need additional protection in the form of 70mm impact protection slabs if you are prone to dropping weights.
And remember – the right gym flooring will help save both you and your floor from harm. It’s always worth buying the best gym flooring you can.