Home Gym Window Treatments & Flooring Progress

Our home gym is really starting to take shape! I know many people questioned my use of curtains in a home gym, and it’s definitely not a standard addition to a home gym (I’ve looked at plenty of home gym pictures on Houzz, and agree that it’s very out of the ordinary), but y’all know me well enough to know that if I can add fabric to windows, I’m going to do it. 😀 It doesn’t matter to me if it’s a home gym. Windows (in my home) need fabric if at all possible.

So yesterday, I finally unpackaged the curtains that I bought a year ago for this room. These are the sheer curtains that I bought in the color Off White, and I’m really impressed with the quality. They come with pinch pleats and adjustable drapery hooks, so there’s no need for clip rings.

Home gym with colorful striped walls, white sheer curtains, black foam floor, woven wood shades, Bellicon rebounder

They look a little messy right now because they’ve literally been scrunched up in small packaging for over a year, so they’re very wrinkled. And as you can see, the length is too long, so I’ll need to hem them. But once they’re hemmed, steamed, and tidied up quite a bit, I think they’ll look great!

Home gym in progress.

I still haven’t had a chance to put the Walmart dresser together. You can see the pieces stacked up by my rebounder. But I did make more progress on the foam flooring.

Home gym flooring -- black foam flooring with a wood grain print, called Forest Floor -- installed over hardwood floor

The more I put this flooring down, the more I’m starting to have second thoughts about it. You can clearly see in the photo below where the two slightly different mats meet. The first three rows (i.e., the first three packages that I opened) are darker (a truer black) and shinier. The rest has an ever so slightly blue undertone and more of a matte finish.

Home gym foam floor issues -- two different lots with two slightly different colors and sheens

I originally thought that I’d be able to push past that, but I’m struggling with it now. In addition to the color/sheen differences, I’ve found that there’s no way that this flooring will stand up to Cooper’s claws. I have to bring him through this room and through the bathroom to get to his yard, and Cooper doesn’t go anywhere at a normal walking pace. He gets from point A to point B by running, jumping, and twirling the whole way. So the very first time he “walked” through this room, he poked a hole in one of the mats with his claws.

Home gym closet area still in progress

I know you’re going to say, “Just keep his nails cut short!” That sounds easy enough, except that he’s a 100-pound dog who won’t let me touch his feet. He’s never let me or anyone else touch his feet.

I had to take him to the vet about a year ago because of a pain issue he was having in his back/tail area. While we were there, I asked the vet to clip his nails for me. Well, she tried, and one of the other people tried, and neither of them could do it, either. She finally determined that he needed X-rays, and in order to do that, they had to give him a sedative, so they were able to clip his nails while he was sedated. But I don’t feel nearly as guilty about my inability to clip his nails now that I know that even the vet and the vet tech couldn’t do it.

So he’s on his own with the claws. But in the meantime, he’s poking holes in the foam floor. And I only have this much left to put down — a little bit in the main part of the room, the closet area, and then entry area.

Colorful home gym still in progress -- needs gym flooring, storage, wall mounted TV

So I’m not really sure what to do. This flooring wasn’t expensive at all. I think I paid just over $200 for enough tiles for the whole room. So at least if I change my mind and get something else, it’s not a huge loss. I’m sure I can find someone locally who could find a use for them.

Home gym with colorful vertical stripe walls, still in progress.

But at this moment, I’m thinking I might order some Flor carpet tile samples. They would be much more durable, and would look great. I wouldn’t have to deal with different colors and sheens.

Home gym foam flooring being installed over hardwood floor

I’m going to order some Flor samples today, and hopefully they’ll get here quickly. In the meantime, I’ll just keep the foam tiles where they are, and I’ll move on to the other projects in the room. I still have to put down hardwood flooring in the closet area, and then I can put the dresser together, hem the curtains, get the entry light installed, etc. There’s still plenty to do while I decide on flooring.



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  1. Oh dear. The black rubber tiles seemed so perfect for what you needed. I do see how the color variation would be an issue, for sure. And Cooper’s nails. Will this be a problem with carpet tiles? Our daughters dog dug up spots in their low pile carpeting. Not sure what the answer is.

    1. I think the carpet squares would be able to withstand Cooper and his claws. He’s not actually allowed to spend time in this room, so he’s never just hanging out in the home gym while playing and jumping and twirling. I literally opened the door, and he ran straight through to the bathroom, and poked a hole in the floor. So he’d never be in there long enough to dig on the carpet squares, chew on them, etc.

  2. OH, well who knew? If Coopers claws do that, some of the equipment might make holes too over time. Capet tiles sound perfect! For now maybe a runner for Cooper might help. There is a way to train him to allow clipping. It takes a long time though and patience. I cannot do our tiny dogs myself either…so the groomer does. I think they all hate it!

    1. Our last dog hated it as well, but I was able to get him to trust me enough to cut his claws. But Cooper is a whole different level of crazy. 😀 I mean, he’s big and sooooo strong and thrashes about any time I try to even touch his feet, much less clip his nails. I’ve tried everything I can think of, but it’s been five years, and we’ve made no progress. He’s gotten so much better and more trusting in every other area, but not with his feet.

      1. There is some kind of “enrichment” thing that one of the rescue groups here uses. It apparently has a rough surface, and they found out it files dogs’ nails! I am going to look on Chewy and Amazon and see if I can find it, because I have one of those dogs too. She will let them do them at the vet, but they charge me $25, which I think is crazy, since it takes them about two minutes! She is a wimp with them for some reason! As for the tiles, bloggers Deb and Danelle Designs (Instagram too) just did a home gym with similar tiles that are supposed to be super strong. They have an LTK with all the stuff they have bought.

      2. Oh I totally get it. It IS a tough job. My mom and I were trying to do our small dog once, and we cut too short – he yipped, we jumped and we NEVER tried again. The video I watched made sense but it would take a very long time to get him used to you trying to trim. Play with him on a concrete area, and he will wear them down faster. I just let the groomer do them. I cannot do it at all…even if they were behaving. 🙁 He is a sweet crazy puppy still!

        1. PS) MY husband used to have a carpet/flooring store. Just don’t buy a Berber or looped kind of carpet – the cats love it…to pull at, and the dog’s nails get caught and it causes problems. But I’m sure there is almost a heavy felt like or solid type carpet tile that would work…and if some get worn or stained, just pull them out and replace. Look for a commercial grade and it will last a VERY long time.

  3. I have similar foam tiles in my basement in Oregon. They are in a high traffic area between the stairs and the laundry machines/guest room. I’ve had them in for about four years. One of those years, my sister lived with me with her two lab mixes who had very large toenails. I have to small dogs. I love them for my basement because they provide enough thickness to insulate the cold concrete as well as cushion and I can easily pull them up and mop when we have heavy rains and the basement gets damp. But, they definitely are not made to stand up to high traffic areas for long periods. I replaced the center strip (the most walked on tiles) after two years and that has helped them look fresh. But the top layer is peeling off on some parts and there are definitely holes and scratches. Since you are in Texas with a wood base flooring, I would think a carpet tile would hold up much, much better to dogs, wheels and even dropping weights or moving equipment around than foam tiles. The foam will last, but it won’t stay pretty, and unless you plan to replace the path Cooper walks every year or so, you should look into something else.

  4. Kristi – In your “spare” time, you might want to check out Emily Larlham’s YouTube channel: Kikopup. She’s an amazing dog trainer with a number of different techniques for dog nails. My last dog hated nail grooming. I used her technique of just shaving a bit off, rewarding, shaving a bit off, rewarding to take care of his nails. Using the clipper to shave a bit off and not actually clip off the end was a big help. She has other creative techniques as well and always works with high value rewards. Her first advice would probably be to reward a fast touch of his paw to your hand (not you to him). Then slowly work up to the actual nail removal process. I noticed she has one where she gets the dog to scratch on sandpaper. I may try that on my current dog who also hates nail grooming. Good luck!

  5. If you have to take all the tiles apart anyway to you change the flooring, any chance you might just mix them up this time and put them back down so the variances between the dye lots would not be so noticeable? That would solve that problem and the OCD triggering.

    If the variances aren’t the issue and durability is, carpet has its own problems. Flor carpet tiles cost as much or more than hardwood in a room that size, don’t they? They would need to be vacuumed, be prone to stains, stretching, pet hair, and absorbing sweat and odors (unlike most gym floors that are non-porous).

    I know you said there were reasons you weren’t going to re-do the hardwood in that room (I forget what they were), and the closet hardwood floor still needed replacing, but if it was me (it’s not) I’d be at the paint-the-existing-floor with enamel stage, and scrap the mismatched and less durable padded floor, or expensive carpet tiles. Maybe place an area rug where you set weights down or need padding, and call it good.

  6. I had been worried that the foam floor wouldn’t hold up well, especially with a wheelchair rolling on it. We’ve used various foam mats for our kids’ play area, and had multiple issues with even the more expensive ones: they are easily dented or torn with anything heavy or sharp on them, our cats love scratching on them, and they tend to collect dirt underneath at every joint (which will be hard to clean with the duct tape.) I think a low pile carpet or some other kind of padded flooring without seams would last longer.

    1. Perhaps just refinish the wood floors and use a movable yoga mat if you’re going to be doing floor work where you need the padding?

  7. I’m sorry your floor tiles have been such a disappointment. I also struggle with perfectionism and the sheen and color issues alone would cause sadness whenever I entered the room. Carpet tiles sound like a good idea. I like the drapes with the shades. I would add a ring to the leading edge and return so the flat part doesn’t sag.

  8. It’s easy enough to say “just keep their nails trimmed”. Well, unless my nail trimmer comes out every other week, the nails aren’t going to stay that short for that long. Our wood flooring definitely shows it, too. While the cushioned flooring is really nice for working out on, just go with the carpet squares.

      1. Hah! I am going to suggest that to my GSD that also does not want her nails clipped. After 5 years I can “buy” a nail before dinner, but I am the only one. Mostly we play fetch on a black top trail and hope for a sanding effect!

        1. I think flooring specifically made for a home gym would be interesting to look in to. The mismatched colors & different SHEENS are a let down, but I’m sure you’ll find the perfect result for the gym floor!

          Taking dogs on daily walks down a concrete sidewalk will keep their nails short & somewhat filed. Unfortunately, my disabilities prevent that & my son I live with works 2 jobs plus overtime, so he can’t on a regular basis. Our 2 yr old 50 lb black lab is such a sweetie but her nails are solid black & we don’t want to clip into the quick & hurt her, so every month she has a spa day at the vet. A warm bath, massage & nail clipping…she loves it & is so relaxed when she gets home. Like Cooper, her main gear is RUN, even on the hardwood floors. And we don’t mind because they can be refinished but Bella can’t be replaced. My 2 previous dogs, a rat terrier & a chihuahua would start showing teeth as soon as we walked into the vet’s office. Both had “BITER” written in red on the front of their charts, so they were muzzled for their nail clipping. The techs did great jobs with their clippings. Having a dog with overgrown nails can be a hazard to them. I’d call around & ask different vets about their procedure for clipping. It’s hard to believe there are vets/techs who just give up on nail clipping. Time to find a new vet, not that I’m doubting you, but that sounds like an easy way out for the vet & the techs. If taken on a regular basis, Cooper will get accustomed & not mind the clipping so much. Good luck!

  9. I have been thrilled with FLOR tiles I put down over Dri-Core on a concrete floor about 15 years ago. No problems whatsoever.

  10. Well that’s a bummer about the flooring not holding up to Cooper’s claws, but the rest of the room is looking fabulous! What a cheerful, upbeat home gym! The colors just make you want to smile. Will Cooper’s claws catch in the carpet tiles too?

    1. I sure hope not! If they do, I’ll just have to figure out a way ASAP to get his nails cut. Maybe I can find a magician of a groomer who can deal with him. Or some calming chewable supplements. There has to be an answer.

      1. For a gym, you’ll want to go with rubber tiles or rubber topped, not foam. There are lots of options.

        Dog nails – our vet suspends our dog in a sling in the doorway and he loves it! We use cheese wiz on a lick mat to distract him as well. After going to multiple groomers who the dogs end up disliking, we found one who used the dremel instead for the first few visits. Lola and Archer (pitties) love going there to get their nails trimmed now. We’ve gone from 2-3 people trying to manage them and a muzzle at previous places to no muzzles, 1 person and a leash. It just takes finding the right place.

  11. Hi,
    I definitely understand about not being ablle to trim nails. I don’t know anything about FLOR tiles but getting samples seems like a great idea. What about LVP flooring? It’s supposed to be very durable.

    Also wanted to add that the white curtains are really pretty and tie in nicely with the white trim. I am not sure what style you envisioned but to me looks like a combination of fun, pretty, a little funky and a little bit elegant. I just love how it us coming together!!

  12. Kristi, perhaps you could use the foam floor as carpet padding? You’ll still have the soft bounce with the sturdier carpet on top. I sympathize with your doggie toenail dilemma. My 12 lb. Chihuahua nips at my hands and cries like I’m beating her if I try to trim hers. My 50 lb. Labrador has such soft nails that walking on cement files them short. He’s so chill he’d let me clip them, but I literally have never trimmed them in all of his 6 years.

    I love reading your blog, and it inspires me to continue with my little projects.

    1. One step further – we have thick 4 foot x 6 foot rubber horse stall mats in our home gym. We got them from tractor supply and are $55 each. If you read the reviews, tons of people use them for home gyms. They’re super heavy duty and really great for a gym floor.

      The only thing though, is that I think they’ll be too big and heavy for Kristi to move around by herself to get them in place. I really highly recommend them for a home gym if you can figure that part out.

  13. I too have a large, 90+ lb dog, she’s a Rottweiler/black lab mix. She was a stray/rescue who clearly had had a rough first two years of life. She HAD to have her nails trimmed, or she was at serious risk for hurting herself (trip, fall, break a leg, etc.) 10 years ago when we got her she needed a muzzle and two people to hold her down, but now she is so good. Not a peep out of her! You can only clip their nails so short, so she slips on our LVP floor unless we have throw rugs where she travels. We all do what we gotta do for our dogs!

  14. The color wouldn’t bother me, if I could mix them up, but that sheen difference–too much to handle. I was wondering if you could paint them, but I can’t think of anything that would hold up and then you probably could re-sell them. I guess just chalk it up to “lesson learned.”

    The gym is looking gorgeous!!!

      1. In when I was buying carpet, the sales person recommended that we buy a short shag because any looped pile will get pulled out by our dogs (golden retriever). But I wonder how that would work with a wheelchair- if it would hard to roll? Perhaps just have your current tiles under the equipment? You are on a slab so the dense foam is nice for comfort. Perhaps keep the wood floor for the path going to the outside door & have the tile (re-laid so not noticeable w the variations)?

  15. So sorry about your floor tiles….i know you’ll figure it out. The room is gorgeous and I love the curtains! Now, far be it from me to know how you can get to clip the dog’s nails…but I saw one tip where the lady put one of those disposible shower caps on her head and covered the top with peanut butter, so the dog was interested in licking the peanut butter while she was bent down in front of him and clipped his toenails….lol, ya never know….

  16. I agree with the stall mat suggestion. As a former horse owner, I will testify to their durability and moving difficulty. However, there’s a gripper thing that makes moving them around doable.


  17. Instead of foam or carpet tiles, perhaps check with local flooring suppliers to see if they have commercial grade gym flooring. My brother was working for a flooring supply company when we turned a bedroom into a home gym. He was able to get commercial grade gym flooring for us to replace the carpet in the room. It is beautiful and durable. He got the kind that looks shockingly like hardwood but comes in a roll and is laid down similarly to carpet. My brother pulled out the existing carpet and laid this on the subflooring. It is springy and quiet. This stuff that he got for us was leftover product from a project he did installing this flooring in a university gymnasium floor. One would think it would be tough enough to withstand Cooper.
    I would be glad to send you photos of our flooring if you would like to see and I can ask my brother what the name of it is.

    1. I’d like to also note that we have a cat here who goes into the gym to watch the birds out the window and she has never even tried to “knead” the floor with her claws like she doors to the carpet on the stairs. It’s very smooth.

  18. So sorry you’re having trouble with the floor when you’re so close to finishing this room. I admire your ambition and you have done a wonderful job on your home. I follow you because you inspire me to complete my much smaller projects with my far more limited skill set! I think this room is wonderful with such a unique paint job. Although the curtains are lovely, I’m disappointed that they cover so much of the great paint colors. But I understand because I am a fabric-loving, window treatment kind of gal, too! Can’t wait to see the finished room.

  19. Oh well. It was a great idea. How about LVT in the same color? It would be easily cleaned, goes down easy and locks much better than previous flooring. I have it in my high quality rentals and you can’t see any damage from a wheelchair or dog nails.

  20. Clipping my dogs nails were a big issue as well. The vet suggested throwing a ball for him on concrete or asphalt, sounds horrible but it worked and he never complained or tore a foot pad. I have rubber mats under my treadmill and stationary bike and the new one is far more fragile than the older mat.

  21. Flor tiles will make a lot more sense to me. I was concerned Matt’s wheel hair would tear it up sooner than later. Everything is looking good though.

  22. Plus your heavy Gym equipment is going to make dent,s in them, you need a very short woven type of floor tile, something in the line of Industrial carpeting,. with perhaps underlay as well. if you need it to be thicker and softer underfoot.