The garage has slowly become more than a place to park your car and store your stuff. To the exercise enthusiast it’s also a great place to set up a home gym as well. And since hard concrete is not a good surface for exercise, it’s only natural to seek out the proper type of gym flooring or rubber mats. So what are the best gym flooring options for a garage?
The answer lies in the type of workouts you perform and/or the equipment that you use. Weight lifting and crossfit training that may require workout benches, universal machines, and power cages is going to require much different gym flooring than someone doing mostly Pilates or yoga with light weights. Tumbling and gymnastics is another example.
The size of your garage workout area and your budget may dictate which type is best suited for you as well. With this in mind, we will discuss the different options available based on the workouts you plan to do, including our own recommendations for the best gym flooring for your home or garage.
Rubber gym flooring
Rubber flooring and mats is considered the best choice for most home gym flooring applications and is used extensively in the commercial markets. It is a multipurpose athletic style flooring that is very durable and will support the weight of heavy equipment such as exercise machines, treadmills, and lifting cages.
The black material of the flooring is made of recycled rubber while the colored flecks are a synthetic rubber made of ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM). This type of construction is extremely tough and durable, it provides good traction either wet or dry, and it absorbs the shock of dropped weights especially well.
The higher quality rubber flooring has a much denser surface structure that makes them easy to clean by damp mopping with mild soap and water. Some of the cheaper rubber mats however have a much more porous surface that receives many complaints about holding dirt and grime.
Now that we know how they are constructed, there are three basic types of rubber flooring to choose from.
Rubber gym flooring tiles
Because rubber flooring can be so heavy, interlocking rubber tiles provides for the easiest of home installations for the garage floor. Custom sized workout areas can be constructed with nice border edges.
The 8mm (5/16”) and 3/8” thick flooring are the most popular for home gym and commercial use. They are much less expensive than the thicker options and perform well for a wide variety of workouts. This includes weight lifting, Pilates, P90X programs, and etc.
They can accommodate treadmills, universal machines, and weight lifting as long as the very heavy weights are not repeatedly dropped. Basic black is the standard with the option to choose flooring with different colored flecks as well.
TrueLock rubber gym tiles
Our first choice we can recommend is from Garage Flooring LLC. Named after their TrueLock line, these rubber gym tiles are American made and LEED accredited. LEED stands for Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design and is a rating system devised by the United States Green Building Council.
They are low odor and have excellent slip resistance both wet and dry. No adhesives or special equipment is needed for installation. The very dense construction of the recycled rubber make them easy to clean. Just a damp mop with mild soap and water is all that is needed.
They are 8mm thick (5/16”) with each tile measuring 24”x24”. Black, blue fleck, grey fleck, and red fleck are the basic colors available. More intricate colors can be purchased at a higher price point. You will find these colors listed under the color Zone options.
We like this tile for the simple fact that it’s the highest quality available and at one of the lowest prices you can find. At the time of this article, the 4 basic color tiles cost average at a lower price than many of the comparably sized cheap rubber flooring products manufactured overseas.
Garage Flooring LLC has excellent customer service and can answer any questions you may have. All of their pricing includes free shipping and no sales tax as well.
When ordering you will need to choose 3 different tile styles. These include the basic center tile which has four interlocking sides, an edge tile which has three interlocking sides, and a corner tile which has two interlocking sides. The tiles can also be trimmed for wall to wall installation as well.
Inc.Stores Gym Flooring Rubber Tiles
If you feel the need for a slightly thicker tile, then the IncStores interlocking tile would be our next choice. These rubber home gym tiles are 3/8” thick and come in a 36”x36” size. Made in America as well, they are waterjet cut to create an almost seamless look.
Like the TrueLock tiles, no adhesive is necessary and the dense construction makes for easy cleaning. The larger size of the tile also means that there will be fewer seams for the same square footage.
You have a choice of four different colors. Basic black, blue fleck, grey fleck, and tan fleck. They ship in a package of 8 tiles for a total of 72 square feet and each tile is a center cut with two removable edges to create your border pieces. More than 1 package can be combined together for more square footage.
Though they are only 1/16” thicker than the TrueLock tiles, that extra 1/16” is going to cost more. The additional cost is still less than other similar quality American made rubber tiles in the 3/8” thickness however.
Inc.Stores Evolution Rubber Floor Tiles
At 5/8” thick, this tile comes in a 36”x36” size, not including the separate border pieces. It is ideal for high impact training including heavy weights. The underside of the tiles feature multi-nib backing which helps to reduce foot fatigue from high impact exercises.
It also provides for a much more attractive and professional looking option when compared to some of the other choices for real thick gym flooring. The optional ramped border edges are also available and help to reduce trip hazards which can be common with rubber flooring this thick.
One thing to be aware of however is that this tile will show foot prints, scuff marks, and scratches due to the all-natural rubber composition. This can be one of the drawbacks to gym flooring options that consist of natural rubber. It is easy to clean though by damp mopping with mild soap and water.
Rubber gym flooring rolls
If you have a larger area to cover, say the entire garage floor or basement, then the rubber rolls tend to be the better home gym flooring option. The price per square foot is less than the interlocking rubber tiles and they show fewer seams as well.
Though the rubber rolls are heavy, they are not connected together to form one large unit like their interlocking counter parts. As a result, they can move slightly by pulling away from the seams when laid side to side.
It’s generally recommended to use double sided carpet tape on the perimeters to avoid movement when constructing large workout pads with rubber rolls. This tape here is a good example and works very well. If doing a complete wall to wall installation, the use of a rubber flooring adhesive is the recommended procedure.
If doing a wall to wall installation, it’s best to let the rolls acclimate for a couple of days in the room or garage they are being installed. This will allow for better fitment due to expansion and contraction from temperature changes.
TrueLock Rubber Gym Flooring Rolls
This is the same American made rubber gym flooring from the TrueLock line of interlocking tiles by Garage Flooring LLC. Available in the popular 8mm thickness, these rolls are 4’ wide and come in both 25’ and 50’ lengths. The 50’ rolls cost even less per square foot than the 25’ rolls.
The four basic colors of black, blue fleck, grey fleck, and red fleck are the least expensive color options. More colors are available from the different color Zones at a higher price point. There is no sales tax on orders and shipping is free.
These rolls make for an excellent choice if doing an entire room. However, if putting these down in your garage, they are not intended to be used as a replacement for garage flooring. In fact, this is the case for all rubber home gym flooring.
Inc.Stores 3/8” Rubber Gym Flooring Rolls
Another great option is the IncStores 3/8” rubber rolls for home gyms. Made of the same material as their interlocking line of rubber tiles, these are 1/16” thicker than the TrueLock 8mm rubber rolls.
All rolls are 4’x10’ and are available in up to 14 different colors besides black.
Since the rolls are only 10’ long they aren’t the best choice for a wall to wall application. This length is popular however for constructing large workout pads. One popular application is to line up two 4’x10’ rolls side by side for 80 square feet of exercise space or one 10’ roll for cardio equipment or a weight bench.
Rubber gym mats
Rubber mats is another gym flooring option for the garage. Most are made in a 4’x6’ size and with a thickness of 1/4” all the way up to 3/4”.
The thicker sizes of 1/2″ and up are the more popular as they work very well for power cages, squat racks, and lifting areas where very heavy weight is dropped.
Xmark Ultra Gym Flooring Xmat
The 1/2” thick size is excellent for dead lifts and other lifting movements that require heavy weight that may be dropped.
Weighing in at 75lbs, this mat will not move when placed on the concrete in your garage. No adhesive is necessary for installation, particularly if heavy equipment will be placed on it. There are some complaints of a rubber smell with this mat, but it will dissipate after a while.
Maxx-Tough Heavy Duty Rubber Mat
The underside has a diamond pattern with deep relief cuts to absorb vibration from cardio equipment as well as to provide comfort for high impact exercises.
One occasional complaint of these mats is the bad smell they can sometimes have when new. Like the Maxx-Tough mat, this is a characteristic of some natural rubber mats, but it does tend to go away after a while. However, since these will be used in the garage and not in the house, the initial smell shouldn’t cause too much concern.
Rubber Horse Stall Mats
One of the cheapest options available for thick rubber gym flooring that you can install in your garage is rubber horse stall mats. These mats are 4’x6’ in size and 3/4″ thick. If you have a Tractor Supply Company nearby, you can pick these mats up for as little as $40 each.
These are a popular option for those on a budget looking for inexpensive and thick rubber gym flooring. Made of recycled rubber, these mats are very heavy and weigh approximately 100lbs each. Because these mats are too expensive to ship, you will need to pick them up directly from the source.
If you don’t have a Tractor Supply Company nearby, you can always check with your local feed store or farming supply store for rubber horse stall mats.
There are a few drawbacks to horse stall mats however. The quality of the cut and sizing is not as good as standard rubber gym flooring. Common complaints are sides not square or straight and sometimes one mat can be slightly thicker than its neighbor when lined up together.
They also have the tendency to transfer black rubber to your hands, socks, or anything else that comes in contact with the mat. If you are on a budget and don’t mind these issues, then these could be a good choice for you.
Foam gym flooring mats for the garage
Dense EVA foam can be the best gym flooring for you if your exercise routines consist of light weights, yoga, Pilates, or other light to medium weight training programs like P90X. It absorbs impact well under feet, it’s soft enough to lay down on for stretching and other exercises, and it’s not very heavy. In fact, most can be quite light.
It’s also less expensive than rubber gym flooring. If you don’t need anything heavy duty, then this can be a good budget alternative. It is also a popular choice if you want something that you can easily setup and put away quickly and easily.
It is not a good choice however for exercise equipment, cardio equipment, or heavy weights. The foam will deform and compress from the weight and create deep indentations in the flooring. Under stress or vibration, this could cause the foam to tear and separate from the equipment or under feet.
ProSource Puzzle Exercise Mat
Our first recommendation is the ProSource Puzzle Exercise Mat. Made of high density EVA foam, this inexpensive interlocking gym mat will cover 24 square feet. It comes with six 24”x24” interlocking tiles at 1/2″ thick, including 12 border edge pieces.
Available in black, grey, or blue, these are a very popular choice for both in the home as well as the garage. Because they are so light, these mats can be disassembled and stacked on a shelf in the garage when not in use.
These exercise mats get high reviews for general multipurpose workouts from people that do not require a more permanent flooring solution.
One point we would like to make is that these are not the best choice for some high impact exercises with a lot of movement. Side lunges and exercises such as burpees may cause the tiles to separate from each other under repeated use. A large single piece foam mat or heavy duty foam tile would be a better option under these conditions.
The mat is 4’x6.5’ and approximately 5/16” thick. Made of all synthetic materials, this high density workout mat is non-toxic, no odor, and produced with Eco-friendly manufacturing techniques.
The Pogamat can be rolled up and stored away when not in use and the edges will not curl up. Though more expensive than traditional EVA foam mats, this is a high quality mat with great reviews and will last for years.
It makes for a great workout mat for the garage if you need something that can easily be stored in the corner or on a shelf when not in use.
One thing to be aware of is the mat does come with a protective coating that wears off during the break-in period. You do have the option of removing this protective coating first however by scrubbing it with a nylon brush and pumice soap. Rinse with fresh water and let it dry logo side up and you are ready to go.
Inc.Stores Jumbo Soft Interlocking Foam Tiles
If you like the idea of an EVA foam tile but want something thicker, then these will make for an excellent choice. At 7/8” thick, these 24”x24” gym flooring tiles are made of high density, non-toxic, EVA closed cell foam.
This particular gym flooring is tough enough for high impact and high intensity training programs, light martial arts, kick boxing, wrestling, and other programs that do not depend on heavy training equipment.
You have a choice of two tiles with reversible colors; black and grey or red and blue. Each tile comes with two detachable edge pieces which will allow it to become a border edge, corner, or center tile for your mat.
This is a great solution to someone looking for a more heavy duty foam tile that can be used as a more permanent option or something that is still portable. Keep in mind that even though it is very thick, it is not designed to hold cardio equipment or heavy exercise equipment.
One question that has popped up with this type of tile is how durable it is on concrete. After contacting the manufacture, we were assured that concrete in the garage or basement is not going to cause excess wear on the surface of the tile unless it is extremely rough.
Gymnastic Mats and Tumbling mats
Finally we don’t want to leave out mats for gymnastics and tumbling. This type of activity requires a thicker flooring that will absorb impacts safely for this type of activity. Most tumbling and gymnastic mats for home are panel mats constructed of 2” thick dense foam with a protective covering.
Soozier Gymnastics and Tumbling Mats
For a home use or a garage floor we highly recommend these quality mats by Soozier. These are panel mats made with 2” high density EPE foam with a PU leather covering. They come in 4’ widths with a choice of 6’, 8’, and 10’ lengths.
Each mat has Velcro on all 4 sides to allow connection to other mats for longer tumbling runs. Available in a variety of different colors, these mats have an excellent reputation for quality and are very popular for home and commercial use.
Home Gym Flooring Tips for the Garage
When installing gym flooring in the garage, make sure that the surface is clean and free of oils or other chemical residue. Petroleum products can cause rubber and foam to break down over time and deteriorate the flooring.
If you are installing rubber gym mats, tiles, or rolls on bare concrete, it’s a good idea to seal the concrete first with a simple penetrating sealer. Since rubber flooring does not breath, moisture from the concrete can collect under the rubber flooring and cause mold and mildew issues if the concrete is not sealed.
All rubber gym flooring can easily be trimmed to fit if necessary with a sharp utility knife. A metal straight edge can be a big help to keep your cut edges straight and clean.
Finally, when choosing the best gym flooring for your garage, make sure that what you select is going to be durable enough for the type of equipment you plan to use. If a cardio machine or weight lifting racks are in your future for example, then rubber flooring is what you should be looking for and not high density foam.