Many garage floors are uneven and have a noticeable slope to one side. If you have a garage gym sloped floor, there’s nothing more frustrating than having your weights and equipment roll, and it can make working out a lot harder than it needs to be. In this guide, we'll help explain how to level a sloped garage gym floor so you can sort the issue quickly.
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Why Do Garage Gym Floors Need To Be Leveled?
If you've put up with a sloped garage gym floor for a while, you may be asking yourself, why do I need to do this? Well, the truth is that it's important to have it level for your safety, your convenience, and your performance.
It’s unsafe to use a lot of gym equipment on an uneven surface because there’s a risk it can move and slide. We’re talking about heavy gym equipment here, so the last thing you want is it falling down on top of you mid-exercise.
You may also have flammables or other dangerous items in your garage, and the risk is that they may roll somewhere they shouldn't. All of this means that a sloped garage gym floor can be a real hazard in your home.
An uneven floor can also impact your gym performance. A slope can stop your body from moving in the right way, and if you are squatting or deadlifting, you might not get the right angle. If the slope is extreme, you may find your body is naturally readjusting too, which can put a strain on one side of your body as you lift.
Weights are generally round, which means they'll roll on an uneven garage gym floor. Dumbbells, barbells, and even larger equipment can start to slide, which will be really inconvenient as you work out. When you're exercising, you want to be in the zone, but if your equipment is moving around, it can be extremely distracting.
Leveling up your garage gym floor can help prevent this from happening and give you a better all-around experience.
How To Level Your Garage Gym Floor
What You’ll Need
Leveling a floor can seem complicated, but it's actually reasonably straightforward. Before you start, you need to make sure you have:
- 1Clear The Space
Start by emptying everything out of your garage because you'll need a completely clear space to carry out the work. Make sure you get a friend or family member to help you lift heavy items.
- 2Measure The Floor
Start by measuring the uneven floor around the edges. It’s worth marking around the edges what the best level should be, so you know the level you're aiming for. Then, you can use a marker pen or tape to indicate the right level.
- 3Apply The Primer
The primer helps the new coat of cement stick as it helps to give an even surface and fill any small gaps in the floor. Apply it evenly to the floor of your garage gym.
- 4Mix The Cement
Follow the instructions on the self-leveling cement and pour the water and powder into the cement mixer. This is usually a 1-2-1 ratio (so 1 bucket for each bag), but it can vary. It will usually take 3-5 minutes to mix, but you might have to split the cement into batches if you have a larger area to cover.
- 5Spread The Cement
Use the squeegee broom to spread the cement over the floor. You need to make sure you’re spreading it quickly into the corners of the room because it can start to set and level quickly. If needed, apply a bit more water to the mixture so you can spread it as needed. Keep going until you’ve covered the new floor and it is all level.
- 6Let It Dry
If you've bought a quick dry cement, then your floor should be set in just a few minutes, though it's best to give it a couple of hours to be sure. When you come back, check if it's level by using a spirit level, laser, or just place a ball in the middle of the room and see if it rolls.
- 7Apply The Topcoat (Optional)
If you’re happy that the floor is level, then you can apply the protective topcoat. The instructions for these do vary, but you generally just need to brush it over the top of the new concrete and leave it to dry for a few hours. This will help to protect your floor from dampness and damage.
- 8Fit The Gym Mats (Optional)
Now that you have an even floor, it's the perfect time to install some gym mat flooring. You can purchase these online (usually per square foot), so measure the area and stick it down. You can find out how thick of rubber flooring you need in our detailed guide.
- 9Replace Your Equipment
You can now move everything back into your garage gym and start using it.
How To Stop Deadlifts From Rolling? (On An Uneven Platform)
There is nothing more frustrating than the bar rolling away from you when you’re trying to lift, especially if you’re trying to reach a PB and don’t want to lose focus. It may not be practical to resurface your entire garage floor, but you can install an even platform to help you lift. To do this, you'll need:
If you’re building yourself a new platform, you’ll need to measure out a rectangular space (usually 8x4 feet) and cut the strips of plywood to match. You’ll want the platform to be roughly 2 inches from the floor, so you'll have to stack and glue them on top of each other.
If you have an uneven floor, you may need to use your wedge under one side or bend pieces of cardboard underneath that section. This will help give you a level surface and stop the bar from rolling.
Alternatively, if you have a platform already, you can just use a wedge to make it level by sliding it underneath the lower side. This tends to be less stable than using plywood, so it's a useful quick fix, but not one for the long term.
How To Install Power Racks On An Uneven Floor
Your power rack helps facilitate a lot of different exercises, but it needs to be able to support a large amount of weight. If you have a sloped garage gym floor, it can be dangerous to have an unsecured power rack, and if it's even a few degrees off, it can impact your performance by preventing you from squatting as low as possible.
It's advisable to install your power rack against the back wall in your garage gym, but this is often where you'll notice the slope the most, so you need to level it up. The easiest way to do this is by using metal shims.
These are small metal slices that can be installed underneath the power rack on the sloped side. They come in a range of different thicknesses, but the most common is ¼ inch. These screw into the bottom of the rack and should help make it more level.
You can also buy plastic shim sheets which allow you to cut out the extra layers you need to make your power rack level. These are very cheap, but you will have to do the cutting yourself.
Remember, you'll need roughly ½ inch of shims for every degree of slope on your garage gym floor. If you have a very extreme slope, you may want to consider leveling the whole floor.
If you're ready to get a power rack to enhance your home workouts, head over to our review of the best power racks for home gyms!
Garage Gym Flooring FAQs
Why are garage floors sloped?
Many garages have boilers or water heaters, so they are designed to slope slightly to prevent any flooding if the machine malfunctions. You need to check your insurance policy because if you level the garage floor, then your home may no longer be covered in some situations.
Can I level the garage gym floor myself?
Yes, it’s totally doable yourself if you have some basic DIY experience. Don’t be afraid to get professional help if it starts going wrong, though.
How much does it cost to level a garage gym floor?
If you're doing the work yourself, you’ll only need to pay for materials which will probably be $200-$500, depending on the dimensions of your garage. If you hire a professional, it will generally cost $800-$2,000 for materials and labor.
How long does it take to level a garage gym floor?
If you have a small garage, you can do the work in a day, leaving it to dry for a few hours afterward. If you have a larger gym, it could take a bit longer, but it’s generally a quick job.
Garage gyms are all about convenience and being comfortable working out at home. An uneven garage gym floor can ruin that experience, but hopefully you now know how to level the floor and feel comfortable doing it yourself.
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