T Nation

Home Gym Flooring

I am turning my garage into a home gym. I want to use rubber flooring but I can’t seem to find anything at a reasonable price. I found these on ebay -

http://cgi.ebay.com/New-Daytona-48-Pack-1-x1-ft-Exercise-Floor-Mats-Gym-Mat_W0QQitemZ180074344685QQihZ008QQcategoryZ44079QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

They are foam and not rubber but WAY less expensive. Does anyone have any experiences with the foam interlocking flooring? It says that it is made for high impact gym flooring, but I’m not sure what their idea of high impact is.

Also, is it OK to just lay the foam or rubber directly over the cement, or do I need to lay something down first?

Do your self a favor and go to a tractor supply store etc. Get horse matting same thing just better and much cheaper. its hard rubber about $40 for a 6x8 peice I think

Phill


If that’s still too expensive, you can put down plywood and use rubber mats only where weight plates actually hit the floor.

Mine are about 1 meter by .5 meter.

I’ve heard the horse mats can smell a bit. Probably not a big deal in a garage home gym but something to think about.

Getting even more fancy, I saw this somewhere. Unfortunately, I forget who to give credit.

Deeps Plan for Way too Heavy Bulletproof 8’*8’ Platform

No blueprint but the platform I made for the meets was made as follows:

  1. seventeen 2"x6"x 8’ boards
  2. 2 3/4" (or thicker if you can find it) sheets of plywood. Get the good stuff, with no surface holes or gaps, etc
  3. 1 3/8" sheet of plywood
  4. 3/8" rubber flooring
    1)Lay the 2x6’s left to right to make and 8’x8’ square
  5. Screw the thick plywood sheets on top of the 2x6s in the same direction (left to right). The seam between the sheets will land in the center of one of the 2x6’s. That will allow you to break it down into two peices if you ever need to move it.
  6. Paint the 3/8" sheet of Plywood with Tuf Trac. It’s a non-skid acrylic coating made by Sonneborn. I special ordered it at Sherwin Williams. The color is French Gray. Actually, you have to roll or trowel it on.
  7. When that is dry and has set up - 3 days - screw it onto the plywood sheets in the opposite direction - front to back.
  8. Cut the 3/8" rubber sheets into 4 4’x2’ sections and screw in place one the sides of the center plywood section.
    It helps to glue them down with contact cement. I left the edges near the center unglued to facilitate breakdown for moving.
    IT works pretty well with the grippy stuff in the center and the rubber on the sides. The rubber absorbs the dropping of the bar during deads and dumped squats and the grippy stuff gives good traction for squatting and benching.
    The only negative is you will have to mop up powder if you use it for benching and pulling in training as the powder will wind up making the feet slip when benching. Nothing a quick mop job won’t fix either.

Options:
1)Use 1/2" rubber and plywood for top surfaces - more durable.
2) Make separate center section which is covered with carpet for the bench. That eliminates the chalk/powder from the squat/dead affecting the bench footing.

[quote]Phill wrote:
Do your self a favor and go to a tractor supply store etc. Get horse matting same thing just better and much cheaper. its hard rubber about $40 for a 6x8 peice I think

Phill[/quote]

Ditto. Look at the pics of my garage gym in my profile and you’ll find the floor covered with horse stall mats that are 3/4" thick and measure 4’x6’. Normal price is $40 each but I got them on sale for $35 each. Twelve mats cost me just under $400 and they will probably outlast me. And no Phill, I’m not stalking you in case you were wondering,lol!

Correction. I purchased the mats for $30 each (on sale) from Orscheln Farm and Ranch Supply and total cost after taxes was 391.91. Tractor Supply Co. or just about any farm and ranch supply store will carry these mats for $40 or less and you can’t go wrong.

[quote]TornadoTommy wrote:
Correction. I purchased the mats for $30 each (on sale) from Orscheln Farm and Ranch Supply and total cost after taxes was 391.91. Tractor Supply Co. or just about any farm and ranch supply store will carry these mats for $40 or less and you can’t go wrong. [/quote]

How’s the smell?

[quote]GreenMountains wrote:
If that’s still too expensive, you can put down plywood and use rubber mats only where weight plates actually hit the floor.

Mine are about 1 meter by .5 meter.

I’ve heard the horse mats can smell a bit. Probably not a big deal in a garage home gym but something to think about.

Getting even more fancy, I saw this somewhere. Unfortunately, I forget who to give credit.

Deeps Plan for Way too Heavy Bulletproof 8’*8’ Platform

No blueprint but the platform I made for the meets was made as follows:

  1. seventeen 2"x6"x 8’ boards

  2. 2 3/4" (or thicker if you can find it) sheets of plywood. Get the good stuff, with no surface holes or gaps, etc

  3. 1 3/8" sheet of plywood

  4. 3/8" rubber flooring

1)Lay the 2x6’s left to right to make and 8’x8’ square

  1. Screw the thick plywood sheets on top of the 2x6s in the same direction (left to right). The seam between the sheets will land in the center of one of the 2x6’s. That will allow you to break it down into two peices if you ever need to move it.

  2. Paint the 3/8" sheet of Plywood with Tuf Trac. It’s a non-skid acrylic coating made by Sonneborn. I special ordered it at Sherwin Williams. The color is French Gray. Actually, you have to roll or trowel it on.

  3. When that is dry and has set up - 3 days - screw it onto the plywood sheets in the opposite direction - front to back.

  4. Cut the 3/8" rubber sheets into 4 4’x2’ sections and screw in place one the sides of the center plywood section.

It helps to glue them down with contact cement. I left the edges near the center unglued to facilitate breakdown for moving.

IT works pretty well with the grippy stuff in the center and the rubber on the sides. The rubber absorbs the dropping of the bar during deads and dumped squats and the grippy stuff gives good traction for squatting and benching.
The only negative is you will have to mop up powder if you use it for benching and pulling in training as the powder will wind up making the feet slip when benching. Nothing a quick mop job won’t fix either.

Options:
1)Use 1/2" rubber and plywood for top surfaces - more durable.
2) Make separate center section which is covered with carpet for the bench. That eliminates the chalk/powder from the squat/dead affecting the bench footing.

[/quote]

Great info, thanks!

If you go to Ironmind’s site, they’ve got a good how-to on building a lifting platform that’s 8’X 8’. It’s constructed of plywood and a minimum of rubber matting.

Judo mats would probably work aswell.

I actually prefer plywood covered with commercial grade or outdoor carpet.

The problem with rubber is chalk, powder and dust/dirt cling to it. You then have to mop it or, in the middle of a training session rub it down with a wet towel and wait for it to dry.

Additionally, most rubber mats have a grip surface molded into it and over time the rubber will wear and start to get smooth in places you would rather not be slippery.

Bottom line, we no longer pull on rubber. We pull on carpet for the same reason we use a carpeted platform when we direct meets.

Powder and chalk tend to not accumulate on the surface of carpet as badly, and in the event a lifter has powder or dust/dirt on the soles of their shoes the carpet will prevent a slip wheras a rubber mat will tend to yield at the highest point of force which can be disastrous in particular for a sumo puller.

My recommendation would be to go to Menards or Depot and price out outdoor carpet. Then maybe call a commercial flooring store and ask if they have any larger remnants. Obviously you want a very low, tight pile or a woven carpet (outdoor).

[quote]BlaKistKneeGrow wrote:
TornadoTommy wrote:
Correction. I purchased the mats for $30 each (on sale) from Orscheln Farm and Ranch Supply and total cost after taxes was 391.91. Tractor Supply Co. or just about any farm and ranch supply store will carry these mats for $40 or less and you can’t go wrong.

How’s the smell?

[/quote]

I purchased them on 10-30-06 and the strong smell lasted only a few weeks since they’re in the garage and not in an enclosed area. There’s still a little smell but it’s not bad and makes me feel like I’m in a hardcore gym.

SAM’s sells 3/4" thick mats in packs that you put together like a puzzle. Cost was around $15 for a 4x4 section

if you’re looking for an economical way to do this, phone up a local belting or gasket producer/distributor. You could pick up some heavy duty 1/4 thick Neo for next to nothing, or (if you dont mind the smell) SBR. A 4x8 pad shouldnt put you out much at all.
Hope this helps
Mike

[quote]apwsearch wrote:
I actually prefer plywood covered with commercial grade or outdoor carpet.

The problem with rubber is chalk, powder and dust/dirt cling to it. You then have to mop it or, in the middle of a training session rub it down with a wet towel and wait for it to dry.

Additionally, most rubber mats have a grip surface molded into it and over time the rubber will wear and start to get smooth in places you would rather not be slippery.

Bottom line, we no longer pull on rubber. We pull on carpet for the same reason we use a carpeted platform when we direct meets.

Powder and chalk tend to not accumulate on the surface of carpet as badly, and in the event a lifter has powder or dust/dirt on the soles of their shoes the carpet will prevent a slip wheras a rubber mat will tend to yield at the highest point of force which can be disastrous in particular for a sumo puller.

My recommendation would be to go to Menards or Depot and price out outdoor carpet. Then maybe call a commercial flooring store and ask if they have any larger remnants. Obviously you want a very low, tight pile or a woven carpet (outdoor). [/quote]

I had thought about this. I know with indoor carpet, you lay the particle foam stuff underneath the carpet.

I wasn’t sure on what they do with outdoor carpet since you don’t want it to be “fluffy”, especially for a gym. Can I lay it down right over the concreate? I am concerned with heating and cooling of the garage. Is the floor a concern?

[quote]reconbyfire wrote:
SAM’s sells 3/4" thick mats in packs that you put together like a puzzle. Cost was around $15 for a 4x4 section[/quote]

I bought something similar at BJ’s, too for my basement.

[quote]Jillybop wrote:
reconbyfire wrote:
SAM’s sells 3/4" thick mats in packs that you put together like a puzzle. Cost was around $15 for a 4x4 section

I bought something similar at BJ’s, too for my basement.[/quote]

Is it foam? How is it working for you. Would dropping dumbells on it be bad? I don’t have any BJ’s in my area, just Sam’s Club and Costco.

[quote]BlaKistKneeGrow wrote:
Jillybop wrote:
reconbyfire wrote:
SAM’s sells 3/4" thick mats in packs that you put together like a puzzle. Cost was around $15 for a 4x4 section

I bought something similar at BJ’s, too for my basement.

Is it foam? How is it working for you. Would dropping dumbells on it be bad? I don’t have any BJ’s in my area, just Sam’s Club and Costco.

[/quote]

It was marketed more towards like a garage/shop flooring on the package. It’s not as heavy-duty as in a real gym, but it’s good enough for my purposes (and cheap). I don’t oly lift and haven’t dropped any big weight on it. I hope that helps :slight_smile:

i used to lift on my cement floor in my basement but during a deadlift i dropped the weight back down and a plate shattered, now i just deadlift on a cheap carpet, it does the trick.

One of the cheapest I found when looking for a rubber floor was called “Loktuff” by Humane manufacturing. It is revulcanised recycled rubber and has a mitagating agent to help reduce the smell. It fits together with the corregated edges. It was about $2-$2.50 per sqft if I recall. Haven’t bought it yet because once I get it over the boarder, with shipping and taxes it comes to about $5 a sqft. Still the cheapest I could find in canada, other than horse mats.

http://www.humanemfg.com/flooring.htm

[quote]BlaKistKneeGrow wrote:

I had thought about this. I know with indoor carpet, you lay the particle foam stuff underneath the carpet.

I wasn’t sure on what they do with outdoor carpet since you don’t want it to be “fluffy”, especially for a gym. Can I lay it down right over the concreate? I am concerned with heating and cooling of the garage. Is the floor a concern?

[/quote]

You can buy outdoor carpet without the padding which is what I think you are describing. You would not want to use padding. Institutional carpet works well, too.

We basically have two sections of the gym on top of 3/4 inch plywood with a real low, tight pile carpet.

The power rack, plus another sheet in front of it to accomodate a bench in the rack, stiff legs, RDL’s etc. off the pins, and a place to set plates and dumbbells during sets. We also have a seperate platform for pulling.

Arguably, the rest of a home gym could be concrete. You really only need to protect your working surfaces.

I would state you need plywood b/t the iron and the concrete under all circumstances.

Even when we used to use 4x8 rubber mats, we put sheets of plywood under them.

The carpet is much easier to maintain. Just vacuum it periodically and rotate the carpet 180 degrees every now and then to help it last longer.

Good luck with your project.