Home Gym

When Dreams And Budgets Collide (Just A Slight Change Of Plans)

Last week, I posted my preliminary plan for the colors and wall design for the home gym. I had decided to go for the bold look of stripes on the walls and ceiling in an ombre rainbow sort of design using stripes that were at least eight inches wide. If you missed that post, you can find it here…

I was pretty excited about that plan, and after doing some quick math, I determined that I’d need 27 colors to do the striped walls, not including the solid end walls. So in all, I’d need 29 colors. I headed to Home Depot and picked out about 100 colors, brought them home, and started eliminating and arranging that selection to get to 27 colors. I took a few pictures along the way so that as I arranged, I could have a reference to go back to in order to remember the arrangements I really liked. This was one such arrangement, although I’m missing a few colors, and it looks like there are some repeats.

When I thought I had the colors just right, it dawned on me that these colors represented actual cans of paint. Paint that costs money. And that I’d actually have to pay for. 😀

Hmmm…how much would I need? I’d need enough of each color to do two coats of paint on a stripe that goes up one wall, across the entire ceiling, and down the other wall. Would a quart be enough? I honestly don’t know. But a gallon would be way too much. And there’s no such thing as half gallons. But once you’ve bought two quarts, you’ve paid for a gallon.

I started figuring, and realized that if I could squeak out a full stripe out of one quart of paint (which is questionable since it’s new drywall, and even though I always prime new drywall, that first coat always takes more paint than the rest), I’d be spending a minimum of $550 for the paint, and that doesn’t even include the primer, the rollers, the tape, etc. In my mind, that’s absurd. If one quart wasn’t quite enough for some of those stripes, It could be way more.

That just seems like a ridiculous amount of money to pay for paint for the walls of a home gym, especially when I have big projects coming up like my studio cabinets. I mean, even if I can save $250 to put towards the studio, that would cover the cost of six full sheets of plywood. That would go very far on my studio cabinets if I decide to make them from scratch.

I started narrowing down the colors, and finally came up with this smaller selection of colors…

paint color selections for home gym

So now I have the colors I want to use, but I’m back to square one with the design.

I also had to rethink the flooring I was planning to use in the room. I’ve spent quite a bit of time researching flooring for home gyms and the types of flooring that are common, comparing brands, reading countless customer reviews, etc. The most common flooring types are (1) rubber, (2) foam, and (3) very low pile carpet, like a commercial carpet.

After searching and searching, I was leaning towards the carpet, and I found one at Flor that I absolutely love. It’s called Rush Street, and I thought the black was perfect.

The cost for that flooring to cover the whole floor would be about $1200. That just didn’t sit well with me, either. So I kept looking.

The thing I loved the most about the carpet is that it isn’t solid black. It has color variation, so lint won’t show up as much as it would on solid black. All the rubber floors I found seem to be solid black. And actually, most of the foam floors I found came in solid colors as well. Plus, the customer reviews on foam flooring seem to vary pretty wildly.

Then I came across a site called We Sell Mats, and they had all kinds of flooring. But all of their foam mat floors had incredibly high customer ratings and rave reviews. They have two in particular that really caught my eye. One is this printed foam mat called Forest Floor in the color Carbon.

I can do the entire floor in that room for $350, and I love that the color is varied and not solid black. I was poking around on their Instagram page, and they had linked to this man’s gym where he used this exact foam tile on his floor. I think it looks amazing! And if you watch how active he is in his videos, the floor seems to be very durable. And again, those customer reviews have me sold.

They also have this version, which is a more traditional wood grain look…

I really like both of those, but I prefer the first one. I like that it has more of a modern look to it, so that’s the one I went with. I’ve decided not to refinish the hardwood floor in that room since I’ll just be covering the floor with foam mats anyway. Going to all that trouble and cost to refinishing the floor just to cover it up seems like a big waste of time and money. So as soon as I get the rest of the hardwood flooring installed in the closet area, I can just clean the floor and then install the floor mats. This room could have a finished floor very soon!

And that means that I need to decide on my walls since those need to be done before the mats are installed. *Sigh* Maybe a color block design?

So in the end, I had to compromise on both the walls and the floor in the home gym. But at a savings of $850 on the floor, and a potential savings of about $250 on the walls, that’s $1100 that can be better spent on my studio cabinets. I think I can live with that.

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  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sue Rood
    March 11, 2021 at 11:22 am

    I like your floor option a lot. As for the cost of the paint, could you get away with a quart of paint per stripe if you painted everything with a solid primer first? That way the new material would absorb the primer instead of expensive paint. Just a thought…

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Patrice Luckey
      March 11, 2021 at 2:44 pm

      How about lightly battened upholstered walls in a striped fabric? It could use
      different fabric for each color.
      Or decoupage the stripes in colored papers?
      Could even rip the edges for a painterly effect although crisp cut edges might be more pert and sporty if that’s the feel you’re going for…

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      March 12, 2021 at 11:06 am

      It is a good thought 😉 but Kristi addressed this: “I started figuring, and realized that if I could squeak out a full stripe out of one quart of paint (which is questionable since it’s new drywall, and even though I always prime new drywall, that first coat always takes more paint than the rest), I’d be spending a minimum of $550 for the paint, and that doesn’t even include the primer…”

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    March 11, 2021 at 11:27 am

    The paint costs would be expensive, but it was a great plan. Can’t wait to see what you end up doing; it will be awesome, I’m sure. I love that flooring! What a great choice for a home gym floor or any gym floor. Your finished rooms are always spectacular!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Carole Prisk
      March 11, 2021 at 9:25 pm

      What if you mixed white with colors and did gradients of shades? That would require less paint.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    March 11, 2021 at 11:31 am

    Will you have any workout equipment that needs to be hung up? Weights, ropes or even a hook for a towel? Looking at the inspiration picture, I can just imagine having like a smaller feature carved out with the stripes. Or could you make a couple zone areas with the stripes? (like the trampoline area gets horizontal stripes?) I love them so much but the cost to do the whole room would make me run too!!! 😉 EEK!!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    March 11, 2021 at 11:32 am

    could you do wider stripes or repeat the pattern-either 1,2,3,…,13,14,15,1,2,3…13,14,15 or 1,2,3…,13,14,15,14,13,12…3,2,1 and get a similar effect?

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      March 11, 2021 at 11:38 am

      also, young house love recently did their sons room in similar colors: https://www.younghouselove.com/colorful-planked-wall-treatment/

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        Joni Barens
        March 11, 2021 at 1:52 pm

        What about just having a few stripes going from the top of the door to the bathroom , up and across the ceiling and down to the floor on the other side. Fewer colors and narrower stripes…4-6inches. Let those be your pop of colors that you can use for artwork etc.

        • Reply To This Comment ↓
          Lori Riggs
          March 11, 2021 at 4:57 pm

          Here’s my two cents and as you know everyone has an opinion. My two cents are about the paint. Why not just have one wall painted in the stripes as your feature wall. Leave the ceiling white. I’m thinking two walls and the ceiling too is too much of a good thing. Perhaps as an alternative you could extend 2-3 colors at varying lengths that end with a design of some sort like an arrow or curve. Or use the same colors on artwork to say a motivational thought of inspiration to read as you are working out. Just another thought for you.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    March 11, 2021 at 11:37 am

    Do you think something like this might work? They used samples of paint and said they spent less than $50 https://www.younghouselove.com/how-to-paint-colorful-wall-mural/

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    March 11, 2021 at 11:38 am

    What about doing stripes just below a chair rail height? That would cut you down by possibly 2/3. I would think you could get away with a quart per color. Or could you buy a gallon base color and parcel it out and tint it yourself?

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Ritta Cunningham
    March 11, 2021 at 11:41 am

    Two things. First, my bathroom was painted Summer Dragonfly for years and I LOVED it and paired it with a chocolate brown taffeta shower curtain with dragonflies:). Second, are you sure you want to put rubber on unfinished hardwood floors? I have pets, too, so I always worry what if I didn’t see a vomit or pee area and it seeps through to the unfinished wood. Also, what if you spill a cup of water or something. Just my two cents! Love the colors!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      March 11, 2021 at 11:44 am

      The floor in the main part of the room has a finish on it already. I was going to sand them and refinish them. The flooring in the long entry to that room, as well as the closet floor, is unfinished. I can very easily put a quick coat of sealer on those areas before putting the mats down so that anything spilled won’t be able to penetrate the wood. I just don’t want to go to the trouble of renting the big sander, filling all the cracks, staining, sealing, and getting it looking all pretty and new, just to cover them up.

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        March 11, 2021 at 2:46 pm

        Kristi – I love your floor choice. I’m not sure about the paint yet but I am sure it will look great. I would have to move the theracycle so I could see the tv when cycling. Just a thought. Great job… can’t wait to see the progress.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    March 11, 2021 at 11:43 am

    Ugh, it’s too bad things cost money 😉 I love the colors you’ve chosen and look forward to seeing the final result. About those mats – be very careful with them. I had some that I used in my workshop (they make it much more comfortable for standing long periods of time). They got very messy so I took them to the driveway to wash them, and stood on them to hose them down (the hose kept pushing them away). The back of them is V-E-R-Y slippery when wet, and I took a bad fall: I shattered my wrist and suffered a grade 3 hamstring tear. I get facial tics whenever I see those mats now 🙂 Bottom line – just be very careful with them!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    March 11, 2021 at 11:58 am

    I absolutely love the flooring you chose – even more than the original idea. Sometimes things work out better than you planned! Can’t wait to see the finished room!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    March 11, 2021 at 12:19 pm

    Could you tint your own paint? Maybe buy 3 gallons of the darkest colors and mix them with the cream to ombre the paint. Whatever you do will look awesome.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      March 11, 2021 at 4:22 pm

      This is what I was thinking. Buy the darker and lighter value of green, for instance, in gallons. Put aside half a gallon of each and then see if you can mix up two intermediate tones to get another two half gallons of shades in between those. Repeat for beige, etc.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    sharon smits
    March 11, 2021 at 12:26 pm

    Hi Kristi,
    As an artist who paints murals and furniture, I agree with Melissa and Kay’s idea to use samples of paint. I use Sherwin Williams Color to Go quarts all the time. [note; I add a clear poly on the furniture.]
    Full price per quart is $8.50, but with a business account, retail coupons or a sale, that price is reduced. Right now, I think the sale runs 20%, so that would be $6.50/quart, or just under $100 for your beautiful colors.
    Your ideas and work always inspire me — I’m eager to see how your project develops.
    All the best!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    March 11, 2021 at 12:34 pm

    Kristi, my girlfriend in her work has used that product. She advises it doesn’t hold up to heavy use. Good for kids. But it will twist/separate under wheelchair use and doggy claws will go thru it.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      March 11, 2021 at 12:56 pm

      Do you know if it’s this exact brand? I saw plenty from other sites that had very poor or very mixed customer reviews. This company’s products have pretty glowing reviews.

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        March 11, 2021 at 1:03 pm

        I’m suspicious when reviews are too good🤨

        • Reply To This Comment ↓
          March 11, 2021 at 1:39 pm

          Me too Tracy! I’ve read too many stories about the companies making up reviews to make themselves look good! Consumer Reporting is my go to. They have usually done the work themselves to truthfully review products.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    March 11, 2021 at 1:00 pm

    Maybe rethink foam/rubber tiles with Matt’s wheelchair. We have mats and they get dirty easily. Not sure how a vacuum beater bar would treat these. His turning is his wheelchair probably will separate them and will drive you crazy! There are standard commercial carpet tiles that are WAY less expensive than Flor. I like someone’s suggestion of highlighting the different stations with the stripes.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    March 11, 2021 at 1:00 pm

    I’m glad you went with the rubber mats; the commercial grade carpet is so hard to kneel on and even lay on. It’s like a bumpy rock.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Judy E OBrien
    March 11, 2021 at 2:05 pm

    I think it is time to call in your Mom. She could paint a beautiful mural on opposite sides of the room to look like you are in a garden or meadow. Think of the open feeling you would get from such a landscape? Your Mom is so talented and I think she would love to help you out with this.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    March 11, 2021 at 2:18 pm

    No cats allowed in the gym if you go with the mats. Even my oldest cat, who doesn’t do much playing these days, loves to shred the mats in a work area of my basement.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Maryann P
    March 11, 2021 at 2:46 pm

    I’m sure whatever you do will be amazing! Could you do a vertical stripe from the floor , up the wall and across the ceiling meeting in the center ? The ceiling stripes would be pie shaped to end in the center?

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    March 11, 2021 at 3:34 pm

    The top one looks like what Aldi has sold occasionally ($10/4pk), but it’s a fight to get enough for your room, if thats what you’d like.

    On paint, Don’t discount the sample size if you find you need a little more. Parents did the little drywall surrounding a kitchen with 2-3 sample paints. They started with one to try it out, and were amazed at the coverage. I thought you’d be mixing your own colors when you said Ombre. With the range of color change, I see how it’s necessary.

    Not to be a Debbie downer, but was researching wood prices (for a deck) and they went up big time, since September! Mills were C19-slowed, wildfires, and the industry in general had strategically anticipated a lower need that never materialized. I’d hate to push a delay on that project, but there’s something to consider.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      March 11, 2021 at 3:51 pm

      A google search later, & found it. What I was thinking of go on sale around jun/july the past few years. Link is below, it just shares the image and price. The plain ones were $9.99/4pk (sold around Feb), These are $12.99 4/pk and different pattern than what you found. link for reference. Most stores only get a few boxes worth and people were a little enthusiastic last time, about the wood-look.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Marianne in Mo.
    March 11, 2021 at 3:45 pm

    I think the mats sound great in theory, but I have no experience with them. I would check with some carpet stores on the commercial stuff. Sometimes they have end rolls they want to get rid of, and will discount them. You can also tell them it will aid your husbands’ disability – maybe they would discount for you on that also. I think that would hold up better for this use than the mats. As for the paint, I expected stronger colors than the ones you chose (not that I don’t like your choices!) but I would scrap the stripes idea if it means settling for something you aren’t crazy about. Paint can be done any time, so I would maybe pick two or three colors and work with them. just do random shapes you like here and there in a large scale design and call it done for a while. Then after you both use the room for workouts, you can see what comes to mind as you are in the room using it! Every day you could jot down “what about this” thoughts, and see if it brings a design to the forefront. I bet you will come up with a total different idea in using the space.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Janice Jeanne Dinse
    March 11, 2021 at 4:42 pm

    What if you painted each wall a different color or just did two or three strips somewhere. Your hall is striped also, if I remember right, will that be too much stripe? The rubber floor is a great idea. Also maybe you could go to a place like Planet Fitness and see what type of floors they use. They get a lot of wear and tear.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Mason Leskowitz
    March 11, 2021 at 4:50 pm

    For the walls,could you just buy the main primary colors and then add white/black to get them lighter/darker?

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    March 11, 2021 at 5:56 pm

    I love you colors you chose. I also like the idea of color blocks (with white in between, kind of like trim), going in the roygbiv order. If they are large enough blocks then you can hang art or motivational phrases on them or whatever. No matter what you decide on it’ll look amazing!!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Molly Miller
    March 11, 2021 at 5:59 pm

    Have throes mats in natural wood look in my basement and they are great quality

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    March 11, 2021 at 8:34 pm

    Store personnel state sample paint is NOT small containers of regular paint. Iris an inferior product to be used for color only. My guess- use only for very light use areas. Good luck deciding.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Cynthia Turner
    March 11, 2021 at 10:38 pm

    If you paint a base coat underneath the stripes, you will be amazed at how little paint the stripes take. Sherwin Williams has large sample paints for $8, and I’ll bet you would get away with one of those for each color.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    March 12, 2021 at 7:10 am

    I used to own a health club and we had LVT, carpet tiles and rubber in various parts of the gym. While the rubber looked great and was functional, I can tell you it was a pain to clean!
    Darker rubber (even with flecks or colorations) shows all the dust bunnies. It does not sweep easily and you have to mop it to really clean. Swifter doesn’t work becuase the spray absorbs into the rubber too quickly. You really need the saturated mop. Foam may be better than rubber in this aspect, but you may want to check reviews for that topic. If you go with carpet, it vacuums easily. They make carpet squares (easy to pull up and clean/replace) specifically for gyms, so they don’t absorb sweat and odor. We had squares from Target’s commercial line, but if you google gym carpet tiles, you can find a bunch.

    P.S. Love the stipes idea, hope you can make it work. Can’t wait to see how it turns out!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    March 12, 2021 at 9:06 am

    Hi Kristi. I do like this flooring as it looks comfy and seems that it will decrease sound. Just a thought/question. You didn’t mention how this flooring would stand up to a wheelchair. Also, will Matt be able to push himself on this flooring? Good luck to you!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      March 12, 2021 at 11:16 am

      I don’t know how it will hold up to a wheelchair. This is all new to me, and none of the customer reviews I read mentioned a wheelchair. But Matt has a power wheelchair which travels very easily over grass and gravel, so I don’t think 3/8″ high density foam will be a problem.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Emily Hoffman
    March 12, 2021 at 9:11 am

    If you have a friendly Benjamin Moore store they might be able to help. You could purchase a 5 gallon pail of paint and a bunch of empty gallon cans. Have them pour off half gallons and use a half tint formula into the can. It would save you a lot. It’s honestly an easier task than some of the colour matching they do. I know when I worked at a small paint store I would try to accommodate any kind request that was accompanied by coffee and some donuts 😊

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Daniele Baker
    March 12, 2021 at 11:56 am

    I love the colors you picked. Have you seen the Behr Architect color box? I was able to order one (no charge) and it’s saved me sooo many trips to get color swatches.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Cheryl S-B
    March 12, 2021 at 8:06 pm

    Girl, what are you worrying about? You got this! You did your Bathroom in your office, ambre. You mixed it all your self. All you need is one gallon each of the main colors plus white, and you mix the in betweens to match your sample colors. I know you can do that! I can’t wait to see it! If you need help your Mom is the best one to ask!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Chris Quisenberry
    March 15, 2021 at 7:23 pm

    I always have leftover paint. I started mixing my own colors with my leftovers. All I ever have to buy is a gallon of White to lighten up the colors or tone them down. I did my kitchen, dining room and entryway all with the same base color. For each room I added the white/cream to make it lighter. They all blend but each room has its own personal color. I am currently redoing my farmhouse getaway the same way.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    March 16, 2021 at 10:07 am

    I wonder if you use the colors you’ve picked out to do solid stripes on the two opposing walls and then as you move to the ceiling, you fade those colors into white. Almost a watercolor effect on the ceiling. That could help save a little paint so you only need a quart of each color. I know you will come up with something amazing.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    March 16, 2021 at 11:13 am

    Word of warning – we did rubber tiles on our foster sons’ room and couldn’t open the door due to the thickness of the tiles. Plus, they absorbed everything. Now, traumatized boy/teen messes are much nastier than a gym mess, but it is something to keep in mind.