Home Gym

Home Gym Flooring Options

I’m still working on the guest bedroom closets, but when my mind wanders, do you know what I think about? Obsess about? Get the most excited about? You might think it’s the master bathroom, since demo day is tomorrow. But nope. It’s our future home gym.

And y’all, evidently Instagram can read my thoughts, because every time I get on Instagram lately, I’m bombarded by ads for exercise equipment. And I’m pretty sure these are things I can’t live without! 😀 I NEED these in our home gym.

I mean, who doesn’t need the Feetup Trainer. 😀

home gym equipment - feetup inversion yoga trainer

Never mind the fact that I haven’t done any kind of inversion anything since high school. I want this. I need this! 😀

And then there’s the Bootysprout. I mean, I’d buy it for the name alone! Well done, marketing team!

home gym equipment - bootysprout

And finally, there’s The DB Method. If I do this 15 minutes a day for 30 days, I’ll look like her, right? I’m pretty sure that’s how it works.

home gym equipment - the db method

There’s another exercise machine that they’ve been showing me lately, and I’m sure I need that one also. Sadly, I can’t remember the name, but I’m sure I’ll see it as soon as I start scrolling Instagram! And now that I’ve shown these to you (and especially if you clicked on the links to see any of them), I’m sure Instagram and Facebook will start bombarding you with these ads as well. You’re welcome. 😀

Anyway, all of that to say that I think about and dream about our home gym way more than seems normal, especially for a person who has made it a goal in life to find every excuse NOT to work out.

I want the gym to be colorful and fun, and I have a plan for it, but I’m going to save that for now and share the details as I get closer to working on that room. But overall, the design will be determined by what flooring I have in there.

My plan of action right now is to finish some projects in the guest bedroom (building the closets and installing trim), and then after all of the work with power tools is finished in there, I’ll install the missing flooring in the hallway and the closet area of the home gym. Then I’ll refinish the flooring in the guest bedroom, hallway and home gym all at the same time. Once the floor is done, I can continue on with the guest bedroom until it’s finished.

But as I’ve been looking at pictures of home gyms, it seems that the majority of them have hardwood flooring with mats under the equipment.

I don’t really understand why those are placed under some but not others. What’s the purpose? To protect the floors? Keep the equipment from moving on the floor? The only (relatively) big exercise equipment that we’ll have is a treadmill and exercise bike. If I just stick with the hardwood floor in there, I don’t know that those two items will need rubber mats under them.

But wouldn’t a home gym need a softer flooring in general? That brings me to the second most common flooring I’ve seen in pictures of home gyms, which seems to be rubber flooring…

This rubber flooring seems to come mostly in really dark colors. I like the look of it, but doesn’t that seem like a nightmare to keep clean? If any of you have experience with this type of flooring, I’d love to hear about it. Is it as high maintenance as I imagine it would be? I’m pretty sure that this is the most common flooring used in commercial gyms, though. So it must be easier maintenance than I imagine it is.

What I’d really like to use is carpet squares. They’re thin enough that Matt’s wheelchair would roll easily over them, and it seems like they’re easy to replace if one of them gets damaged. They seem like a perfect solution for a home gym, so I was surprised that I didn’t find more examples of carpet tiles being used this way. I did find a few, though.

I’m pretty sure that could go right over the hardwood floor without damaging it, although I’d probably have to wait at last 30 days to install it over the refinished floor. It would be soft under foot, without being too thick to cause problems for Matt. It can be vacuumed. And since it comes in hundreds of colors and patterns, I could find something that wouldn’t show every speck of dust like a dark rubber floor would.

Doesn’t that seem like a great option for a home gym? But I feel like I must be missing something, because if it’s as good an option as I think it is, then why don’t more people use it in their home gyms?

Anyway, if any of you have used carpet tiles in your home (home gym or anywhere else), I’d love to know what you think of them in general. Are they pretty durable? Did they cause any damage to your floor underneath? Are they easy to vacuum? Unless there’s a problem with them that I’m overlooking, I’m pretty sure this is the direction I’ll go with our home gym. With all of the colors available, I can come up with something really colorful and fun!



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43 Comments

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sherre
    January 24, 2020 at 10:18 am

    I think carpet can end up being kinda slippery when trying to do resistance training. I find that I can’t do side planks directly on my carpet because my feet and hands slide out from under me. Also, it’s rough on the knees and elbows if you’re doing any floor work. The rubber tends to provide more grip and padding. If you go to the picture from J Martin Builders, you can see the puzzle-piece lines in the rubber floor. They’re pretty cheap on Amazon, can be rearranged how you like, and can be broken down and easily cleaned.

    https://www.amazon.com/Gaiam-Essentials-Interlocking-Exercise-Multi-Purpose/dp/B07T1FHVMT/ref=sr_1_11?dchild=1&keywords=workout+puzzle+mats&qid=1579882494&sr=8-11

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Krikit
    January 24, 2020 at 10:24 am

    I would think the padding underneath equipment is for multiple reasons: wood surface protection, non-slip grip, and helping to keep the weight of equipment from making permanent indentations in wood flooring.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Dana
    January 24, 2020 at 10:31 am

    I would think the one of the problems would be the sweat. Sweat dripping off of your face, body and making the carpet a stinky sweaty mess. I think something you can wipe up would be easier to maintain.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Theresa P
      January 24, 2020 at 11:06 am

      Yes to this! Where I live there is LOTS of sweat on the floor underneath the equipment. Carpet would be a hard pass for me. Rubber seems like the way to go.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Donna Brooks
      January 24, 2020 at 11:19 am

      Yes!! Sweaty mess is what I was thinking too!!

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        Marianne in Mo.
        January 24, 2020 at 1:21 pm

        Sweat is an issue! At our previous house, my husband worked out in our basement. We had laminate flooring there, and his sweat went flying sometimes! Ever try cleaning up puppy slobber? It’s the same issue with sweat – hard to really get off. Can’t imagine what it would do to carpet. Also on occasion, he would drop his 20# weights (because -sweat) and managed to dent the floor bad enough that it had a small crack. The treadmill would travel on the laminate too. Now we have mats around the equipment, because we once again have laminate! I would stay away from carpet squares though.

        • Reply To This Comment ↓
          Letitia Irwin
          January 24, 2020 at 2:12 pm

          Yes I was going to add sweat! I have a peleton and I’m so glad I have the mat under the bike for the sweat alone – it’s amazing how much sweat rolls off of you as your cycling.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Katy
      January 25, 2020 at 4:03 pm

      I owned a gym for 10 years and we had carpet, rubber and LVT ‘wood’ floors in different areas. The main gym floor was commercial grade carpet tiles, made of synthetic fibers (so it didn’t absorb liquid like sweat and didn’t smell). So you could pull one up if it was damaged or stained, although it was adhered to the concrete sub floor, not floating. It was very low pile and a bit rough in texture, so not slippery at all. We would actually use furniture movers so people could slide during various exercises. Super easy to vacuum.

      The free weight area was rubber. You can get the rubber with lighter color flecks in it. Higher percentage of flecks, higher the price. Flecks are great because 1) it lightens up the color so you do t have a black floor and 2) it hides the dust. Rubber is great if you’re concerned with dropping weights – no denting that stuff. Cleaning consisted of vacuuming up dust bunnies and mopping occasionally (swiftering didn’t work, not enough liquid)

      Finally the LVT in our functional training area. Not slippery (we were running back on forth on it constantly)., but we wouldn’t allow certain exercises or equipment over on that part because it would scratch.

      Overall, I would recommend carpet tiles or rubber for your space. I would rate the carpet as easier to clean.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    CathyR
    January 24, 2020 at 10:43 am

    In the first pic, there’s no rubber mat under the weight machine e on the left. A mat would protect your floors. And as noted by others, it’s less slippery and easier to clean. I find floor tiles a lot like sand paper when I’m on all fours, or my belly.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Kathy
    January 24, 2020 at 10:52 am

    If you dig around on Amazon a bit, those foam rubber puzzle piece floors come in a variety of patterns. I have terrazzo tile-looking ones in my laundry room. I think they would be the ticket. Cushiony, comfortable, easily cleaned.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Susan C
    January 24, 2020 at 11:05 am

    One of things our company does is repair carpet squares in commercial properties such as grocery stores. They are usually at the entrance where the shopping carts are or in the pharmacy area and certainly get commercial size foot traffic on them. They start coming up at the corners, so we take them up, pressure wash them, clean the concrete slab by scraping it and using acetone, and reapply with carpet adhesive to the slab. The adhesive is strong and gets black and gross with the dirt and breakdown of the carpet. Can’t imagine it being used on hardwood floors. Are there other ways to put the carpet down?

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Lynne
      January 24, 2020 at 11:21 am

      There are installations where carpet tiles are stuck to each other, but not the floor.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Mrs. Morris
      January 24, 2020 at 12:10 pm

      Agreed, in every instance that I have seen carpet tiles, they have been glued down to an underlayment or concrete. I don’t think you could leave them loose-laying without major problems with shifting and raised corners/edges, and vacuuming would probably be a nightmare. I’ve never had carpet tiles in my home, but I do like them in theory, and I think they’d be a great choice for a home gym, but not over hardwood.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Kristi
      January 24, 2020 at 12:22 pm

      Flor carpet tiles come with sticky dots that stick them to the floor, but it’s not permanent. They’re not supposed to damage the floor.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sewducky
    January 24, 2020 at 11:08 am

    Personal notes for clean-ability of carpet. Parents put a stiff berber over a concrete floor in our basement, and it was difficult to get a consistent clean with a vacuum. We were told it was because we were told there’s less air for the vacuum to get suction with being on concrete. I assume that this is the case with carpet tiles that they the vacuum can’t get good suction because of the backing will limit what it can pickup. I volunteer where they use tiles on the floor and EO uses vacuum at night, but general clean up is done with a broom on short piles. for stains they pull out a powder (fancy baking soda) then scrub in with a stiff brush, then vacuum up. At home, I bet you could power wash carpet tiles one by one.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Jacqualyn Lindo
    January 24, 2020 at 11:18 am

    Rubber floor has many pros as many have said above. Non-slippery for safety and better exercises. It’s much better for your knees and back impact-wise. And easier to clean the sweat off. I have chronic back problems and would love an entire house of this rubber floors 😆.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Marianne in Mo.
      January 24, 2020 at 1:28 pm

      Jacqalyn Lindo you made me laff out loud! Sometimes I think rubber floors would be great too, like when my husband has to get up early and walks like King Kong down the hallway! And yes to helping back and knee issues!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Lynne
    January 24, 2020 at 11:19 am

    I vote for Dri-core with carpet tile on top. Dricore is elevated floor underlayment tiles….easy to install. They provide some insulation and just a little give, like a dance floor. I heard Irish dancers practice on them. I put FLOR tiles on top in a fun pattern and we’ve been super pleased. It’s a comfortable floor for floor exercises or just sitting. The carpet tiles can be removed and brought to the sink to cleanup spills (or replaced if something awful happens.)

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Karen
    January 24, 2020 at 11:20 am

    My husband works out a lot … elliptical, tread mill, weights. The amount of sweat that puddles around the equipment is amazing. That’s why there are rubber mats under some of the equipment In the pictures … easy to clean and dries pretty quickly. Also you can drop a weight on it and not hurt anything.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Maggie L
    January 24, 2020 at 11:20 am

    I have a home gym (nothing like those in the pics…drool) in my spare bedroom. We put the interlocking foam pads over the carpet. I would not want all that sweat soaking into my carpet! Gross lol. Plus I find when I am doing planks or any other floor work the carpet irritates my skin. The floor pads provide much more cushion and are easily pulled up to be clean/wiped down.

    Now, regarding gym equipment. You don’t need all those separate things! A set of dumbbells, a bench and some resistance bands will go a looooong way! Except for the feet up trainer, I love yoga and want one of those!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    jenw
    January 24, 2020 at 11:26 am

    How the carpet would be applied is also my key question to using carpet squares…either adhesive or possibly staples maybe?…both sound like nightmares over wood floors. I don’t think you could just lay them loose, they would shift terribly. Is there a removable adhesive option? Like adhesive backed tiles (like a giant sticker?)? I’d still worry about the adhesive ruining the floors. However, you’ve said many times (and I agree!) this house is for you and Matt, not a potential buyer sometime down the road, so perhaps maintaining the wood floor isn’t a concern?

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sheila
    January 24, 2020 at 11:35 am

    I have rubber, interlocking mats (4 ft x 4 ft) in a very light wood pattern over cement in my garage where I’ve set up my home gym. If I’d had hardwoods like you do, I would have gone with that but I needed some cushioning and since the laundry is out there, I wanted something I could take up and dry out in case of a leak. I got mine from Sport Court and had them do the install but that was 10 years ago and they no longer carry the same product.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Tracy
    January 24, 2020 at 12:23 pm

    Start with the basics! Add some free weights a bench and bands to the equipment you already have before you buy anymore. Until a routine of exercise becomes ingrained in your daily life these gadgets won’t make you exercise More! There is a reason garage sales, Craigslist is over run with gym equipment. As for the flooring, a few yoga mats will do just fine for floor exercises. Yes you will want flooring with a little gription🙂

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Lisa Johnson
    January 24, 2020 at 12:28 pm

    We have luxury vinyl plank flooring under our treadmill- love it!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sandra Cardoso
    January 24, 2020 at 12:29 pm

    What if you change your mind in two years? And want to put a guestroom in the gym? I would do hardwood floors with rubber floor pads.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Becky Swaim
    January 24, 2020 at 12:34 pm

    We finished our basement last year and have an exercise room. We originally planned on having a rubber floor installed, but I visited a home where they had a rubber floor in their gym. We ultimately decided against it because our gym is open to the rest of the basement and the rubber floor has a pretty strong odor to it. I didn’t want that smell permeating the entire basement area. If you have a room that will be closed off, this would be a good alternative. We ended up continuing the LVP flooring into the home gym. Easy to keep clean, very sturdy and we can lay down rubber mats when necessary.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    flo fixx
    January 24, 2020 at 12:45 pm

    Hi and yes we actually put down the rubber squares in our basement over the concrete floor because we had 7 dogs , yes I said seven — 3 greyhounds and 4 bassets and I cat , and it was the most wonderful we had gotten the snap together kind so I could take up sections where there was an accident from the 2 older , so as to bleach the titles ……. then a bright idea was to put it in the office upstairs and let me tell you it was a hit with everyone that came in ….. for me it was a breeze to clean and never did I slip again and it looked beautiful and unique next to the hardwood flooring down the hallway that it was next too , I would recommend the roll out kind that you cut to fit not the snap squares like I got ….

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Linda
    January 24, 2020 at 12:51 pm

    My only experience with carpet squares was several years ago, and they stuck to my floors and had to be scraped off in some places. I would hate the thought of ruining your brand new floor. JMO.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Rosemarie
    January 24, 2020 at 1:17 pm

    I actually have that DB Method.. it doesn’t look like much but OMG 10 mins is about all you can stand!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Christine S.
    January 24, 2020 at 1:31 pm

    We had carpet tiles in our living room for a while while our kids were babies and toddlers. We also had four dogs at the time. I HATED the tiles. It was not super easy to change out stained tiles because the sticky dots on the underside no longer stuck well on the new tiles, which meant I had to replace the dots as well, and they are a royal pain to remove from the tiles. Then the tile colors on the new tile would be much brighter than those on the older tiles, making it obvious that it was a new tile. I also hated the unfinished look around the perimeter of the carpet tile “rug.” Plus, dirt gets in between the tiles, so when I periodically lifted the entire “rug” to clean underneath, there was quite a bit of accumulated dust and dirt underneath, much more than we have ever had under any area rug ever. Finally, those carpet tiles were rather pricey. I could have purchased several area rugs for what I paid for our carpet tiles and replacement tiles. I was so glad to get rid of them and am much happier with an area rug in that space now. I hope our carpet tile experience gives you some food for thought.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Betsy
    January 24, 2020 at 2:34 pm

    Not everyone who works out has sweat dripping and flying about. I can see carpet tiles working out (ha ha) fine. Carpet tiles are starting to be used in a sorority house that I work with, laid down without glue, as in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Aip_xxpia4 So far so good with them and we are going to continue to slowly replace bedroom floors with them as we renovate the college girls’ rooms. Carpet tiles are also used in many houses of worship, with a glue down installation. These commercial tiles hold up to hundreds of feet, coming in from outdoors, weekly. We have them shampooed about once per year or so; they clean up beautifully.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Donna T
    January 24, 2020 at 4:35 pm

    My home gym is a carpeted bedroom with a treadmill, pad for floor exercises, resistance bands, hand weights and a TV and chair. Also a DVD player for exercise routines and music. I often watch my iPad on the treadmill. The point is to get things you will use and use them.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Chris
    January 24, 2020 at 4:48 pm

    You need real exercise equipment mats like the ones in the first home gym photo, not the inexpensive lock together type, under a treadmill or you risk damaging your hardwood flooring. Found this out the hard way. It also helps with vibration in a house that’s not on slab. If you use carpet squares, remember that the motor of a treadmill can heat up and it will be right above that synthetic surface. For the bike, it would depend on if you plan to use it leisurely or you plan to spin. Spinning would also require a mat to prevent damage. I’d just cough up the expense of the good mats; if you change your mind about the home gym, you’ll be able to sell the equipment with its mat and you’ll have the nice hardwood floor for using the room for another purpose. If your going to cover the entire floor with something, I wouldn’t bother to refinish it because you’ll just have to redo it again when you take the rubber/carpet tile floor up. Small bits of dirt etc. always seem to make their way through seams and around edges.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Cat
    January 24, 2020 at 4:54 pm

    I’m surprised more of you haven’t used carpet squares! I used them in a home daycare setting for over 10 years and they were a Godsend with ride-on toys and heavy wear and tear! Easy to clean and replace, rubber backed, so no adhesive (they use sticky circles, glue side up, to connect the corners) and are held in place by tension. When you install them, trim them to fit tight to the baseboards and then add your quarter round. They’ll stay put and won’t present a tripping hazard and would be ideal for a wheelchair. We got them at a discount home center that had overstock from commercial installations and they were very inexpensive. Perfect solution for a home gym!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Ellen Shook
    January 24, 2020 at 5:36 pm

    Cork floors maybe?

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Brenda Pawloski
    January 24, 2020 at 5:54 pm

    You have pets and unintended things happen, I know from experience. I have dogs and cats and I’ve pulled up my last bit of carpet and pad for my lifetime. Consider sealed cork floor, a gym I belonged to had it and it was pretty and had some give. Also I like the idea of your red oak just traveling under the door from the hall with no threshold. However if you want to explore carpet squares check out https://www.flor.com they have some BOLD TEAL patterns that you could find inspiring! Also if you have something neutral like oak or cork you don’t have to have boring black rubber or boring skinny strip squares, you can have something bold, colorful and Kristi-like.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Chris
    January 25, 2020 at 12:53 am

    Do you have a home carpet steamer? I have 2 bikes on carpet, and I find the steam cleaner keeps the stains and sweaty smells down to a minimum. Personally, I would run not walk towards the rubber flooring/mats. Admittedly, that’s partly because I strongly prefer it for yoga and dance – carpet burns suck. I think I saw someone else suggest this as well – if you want a bunch of equipment, check out the local estate sales, Craigslist, and Facebook Marketplace. If I had room, I could equip a home gym 3 times over for cheap.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    designdreamer
    January 25, 2020 at 2:47 pm

    I DO and have belonged to the same gym since Feb 2009. It’s a nice gym, and I DEFINITELY pay (IMHO) for it. I pretty much do EVERYTHING (I workout 5 days a week): use equipment – Stairclimber, elliptical, do stationary cycle (spin) classes, group fitness classes (mat pilates, CRT- cardio resistance training, a stretching class, kettlebell, and yoga. The flooring is different in each area. In the machine/equipment area it IS the carpet squares which they switched to a few years back, and seem to have stuck with (Their IS a walkway from one end of this area to the other that is some sort of smooth wood substance(?) The cycle/spin room is bamboo flooring – and YES is gets a lot “sprinkles of sweat” The group fitness flooring is I believe hardwood – it always shocks me when people just kind of drop (throw) their weights down. They refinished the floors a few years back, and they’re DEFINITELY dented up from this practice (insert googly eyes here) I believe the yoga studio is also bamboo, but I’m not positive about this (we use mats in there so although I’ve been doing yoga for a very long time there, I’m just not sure, dah! It’s either bamboo or hardwood) They recently added an “Alpha training” area and I THINK they might have that cushion-y black flooring there, but I don’t use that area so not sure. Good luck with whatever you choose, but I would probably look into bamboo.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Cherlynn Lindsay
    January 26, 2020 at 7:04 pm

    Bamboo would be fantastic. Its harder than hardwood so it wouldn’t get dented. Cork would be better than rubber. You get the give like rubber without all the off gassing.

    However with bamboo, you’d be limited to the nature colour which is yellowish. I comes in darker colours but they are achieved by ‘burning’ which appears to decrease its hardiness.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Connie
    January 27, 2020 at 1:02 pm

    I have a home gym and we used the rubber tiles over our existing wood floor. This site has rubber tiles or carpet squares in a variety of colors and styles. The soft floor is great for exercise and protects our wood floors. I love it! https://www.rubberflooringinc.com/soft-flooring.html?i=1&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIoe2XwLuk5wIVyEXVCh384gkHEAAYASAAEgLAxPD_BwE

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Andrea B.
    January 30, 2020 at 8:09 pm

    I would say go for the carpet tiles. I have worked on many hotels and so many of them use carpet tiles in their fitness centers. Not all carpet tiles are made the same though so I would try to find something that could be used in a commercial setting. Those hotel fitness centers were made to take a beating and wear incredibly well and you want the same result from yours.

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