Rubber is one of the best materials (if not THE best material) for gym floors, so if you’re looking for something to cover and protect your home’s flooring, you’ll definitely want to consider rubber.
Rubber is not only protective, but it’s also lightweight, durable, and shock-absorbent, so it’s gentle on the joints but tough enough to accommodate your heavy home gym equipment.
If you’re new to setting up a home gym, you’re probably wondering, how thick should rubber gym flooring be? Find out here in this complete guide and height comparison for different workout setups and fitness needs.
Table of Contents
Different Types Of Rubber Gym Flooring
Although all rubber gym floors are made from the same material (rubber!), there are a few rubber flooring types to choose from. Here’s a quick breakdown of the different types and a few benefits for each:
What To Look For When Choosing The Right Thickness
Before deciding on the best thickness for home gym flooring made from rubber, there are a few things to consider, including:
The Type Of Floor You Will Be Covering
The first thing to think about when deciding on the best rubber thickness is the material of the floor that it will be covering, also called the sub-floor. Concrete flooring is sturdy and won’t require as much protection, but materials like wood and tile are more prone to damage. For that reason, you’ll want to use a thicker rubber if you’re covering wood or tile flooring.
The Type Of Equipment You Will Be Using & Your Fitness Routine
Heavy equipment like power racks, home gyms, or strength training weight machines will need to be used on a thicker rubber flooring. However, if you plan on using lightweight equipment like dumbbells and resistance bands, then a thinner rubber will do just fine.
Your Home Gym Budget
Lastly, consider your budget. It’s no surprise that thicker rubber costs more per square foot than thinner material, so if you’re on a budget, you’ll probably want to stay away from the thickest rubber flooring options.
That said, try to stay away from the “cheap” mentality. If you end up going with the cheapest, thinnest rubber on the market, you might actually end up having to pay more due to damage to your sub-flooring.
Home Gym Rubber Floor Thickness Guide (What Do You Need?)
It’s now time to talk about what thickness rubber flooring for home gym is best. There’s no official thickness recommendation since it depends on the subfloor material, the equipment you’ll be using, and your budget, but there is still a specific thickness that you can personally benefit from based on your fitness routine and home’s construction.
Check out this complete thickness guide for deciding on the best rubber thickness for your home gym:
5/16 - 3/8 Inch Rubber Flooring
This rubber thickness is the thinnest we recommend using for a home gym, and you’ll typically find this thickness from rubber floor rolls. While 5/16” or 3/8” rubber can protect your subflooring, it’s not ideal if you plan on using heavy weight machines or dropping weights onto the floor after each rep.
It’s most suitable for cardio machines that will remain in one place, like treadmills, ellipticals, and rowing machines, or if you plan on doing low-impact workouts like yoga or Pilates. In other words, this thickness won’t protect against heavy weights, but it will protect the floor from scratching and scuffing.
1/4 Inch Rubber Flooring
Rubber that is 1/4” thick won’t do much to protect your floors. Similar to the 5/16” to 3/8” thickness range, it will keep your floors protected from scratches and scuffs, but that’s about it.
1/2 Inch Rubber Flooring
You'll often find 1/2" rubber floor tiles and mats, which is an excellent choice if you want some extra cushion for your joints and added protection for your subfloor.
Another great thing about 1/2" thick rubber is that it starts to become sound-dampening, so if you tend to be noisy with your workouts, this is the minimum thickness option to consider.
3/4 - 1 Inch Rubber Flooring
Similar to 1/2” rubber, the 3/4” to 1” thickness range is great for its subfloor-protection, cushion, and sound-dampening quality. While it’s much heavier and generally more expensive than thinner rubber, this thickness is ideal for heavy lifting with bench presses, squat racks, and power cages. Most serious home gym owners will want this thickness in their garage gym.
People Also Ask (FAQs)
What are rubber gym floors made of?
The rubber that covers most gym floors is made from a material called ethylene propylene diene monomer rubber. You’ll find that some companies specialize in recycled rubber that’s used from old vehicle tires, so if you want to be environmentally conscious with your home gym setup, this is a great option.
Can exercise rubber gym flooring be too thick?
The ideal range for rubber thickness is between 1/2" to 3/4". While you're more than welcome to go for a thicker 1" rubber, this material is extremely heavy, making installation a challenge. Plus, thicker rubber is pricier, so if you want to stay within budget, it’s best to choose a material that’s no more than 3/4” thick.
Is it OK to work out on carpet?
Yes, working out on carpet is another option. However, if you plan on using heavy gym equipment, carpet doesn’t offer much protection to the sub-floor, so keep that in mind if you’ll be using weight machines, a power rack, or a full home gym system.
How long does rubber flooring last?
The key to making your rubber flooring last for this long is to keep it well-maintained, so check out our guide on how to clean rubber flooring.
Do you need underlayment for rubber flooring?
Underlayment is an additional layer of protective material laid between your subfloor and your new rubber flooring. Whether or not you need underlayment depends on the sub-floor material as well as how heavy your gym equipment is. When in doubt, it’s best to use an underlayment which is often made from cork, felt, or foam to keep your floors protected.
There you have it, the complete guide to home gym rubber flooring thickness recommendations.
Remember, deciding on the right thickness depends on the type of floor you’ll be covering and your general workout routine, so while one person can settle for 1/2” rubber, another will benefit from thicker 3/4” material.
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