gym flooring thickness

How Thick Should Gym Flooring Be?

People are increasingly taking advantage of the opportunity to have a home gym. A home gym gives you freedom and flexibility in terms of how you work out, it’s private, your entire family can enjoy it, and it becomes an amenity. You’re also saving time and making it easier for yourself to complete your workouts every day. With that in mind, some considerations are important in the design process. One question people tend to have is how thick gym flooring should be.

We’ll talk more about choosing flooring and, once you do, the appropriate thickness for your needs.

Choosing Flooring For Your Gym

First, how do you choose the right gym flooring? Maybe you’re setting up your workout space in an existing basement, converting a garage, or you might have a spare bedroom that will become a gym.

You’re probably wondering why you can’t just leave the existing flooring as-is. For example, why not leave the concrete flooring in a basement, garage, carpet, or hardwood in another room?

There are some good reasons against this and in favor of specialized flooring.

One of the first considerations is safety. You need flooring that will be easy on your joints and back, comfortable, and have some grip. You don’t want to slip or trip, and you don’t want heavy machinery to move around on potentially slippery floors. 

Another consideration?


Your gym floors will inherently take a lot of wear and tear. From plyometric and body weight moves to dropping weights and other equipment, the flooring must be made to maintain its integrity no matter what.

Something that’s also a key consideration is soundproofing. Home gyms can be noisy, and you want a material that will absorb not only shock to protect your joints, but also sounds so that everyone in the house isn’t affected by noisy workouts or equipment.

With all that in mind, rubber flooring is the best choice for most homeowners with home gyms.

What Are the Benefits of Rubber Flooring?

If you opt for rubber flooring, it will give you the functionality and aesthetic appeal you’d typically see in a professional gym. Rubber flooring is the go-to-for workout spaces of all sizes because it’s:

  • Highly durable and can often last for decades. Rubber flooring is non-porous, repelling water and keeping mold from growing. These floors are also stain-resistant and aren’t going to degrade over time.
  • Rubber is an eco-friendly and recyclable material.
  • The low-maintenance element of rubber makes it great for a gym. It’s easy to wipe clean when needed.
  • If you live somewhere that gets cold in winter and the space will have any exposure to the elements, rubber flooring is frost-resistant.
  • The price is more affordable than many options, and this type of home gym flooring can often be installed over your existing surface.
  • Rubber is non-slip and feels comfortable.

What Are the Types of Rubber Flooring?

There are three broad rubber flooring categories, and each can work well as your home gym flooring.

These include:

  • Rubber floor mats are versatile and easy to install. You can add thickness and cushion to any area, and they’re available in a range of sizes, small to large. Regarding the thickness, you can choose between rubber tiles, typically between ¼ and 2 inches. You can use a rubber mat on its own or install them in a way that covers a larger area. If you cover a larger area, mats with interlocking edges will stay secure.
  • Flooring tiles made from rubber are incredibly popular in residential and commercial projects. They’re a great size for multi-purpose spaces, including a home gym. Rubber floor tiles are available in various squares and can be cut into different sizes. They’re easy to install, with most locking together like a puzzle. Outdoor rubber tiles can have a thickness of up to five inches, and indoor rubber tiles usually vary between 2 mm and ¾ inch.
  • Rubber floor rolls are a smart choice to cover a larger area. There aren’t many seams, and they’re the most affordable of this type of flooring. You buy rolls in sheets that let you cover a room entirely, sometimes with just one or two.

How Thick Should My Gym Flooring Be?

Now, back to the original question—how thick should home gym flooring be?

This decision depends on how you’ll use the space primarily. For example, the thickness of gym flooring where you will mostly do cardio might vary from a space where weightlifting is your focus.

If your home gym is entirely indoors, you could opt for a thickness of anywhere from ¼ to ½ inch. 

If you’re creating an outdoor workout space, you need something thicker. You would need at least 2-3 inches of thickness, if not more.

How Thick Should Gym Flooring Be For Lifting Weights?

For weight training specifically, you need a dense, durable floor that will provide a lot of stability. You have to consider that your weights will be dropped on the floor quite a bit, and you want a thickness that will withstand that. 

If you lift heavy, ½ inch is a good thickness for your gym floor, and you could realistically drop weights over 100 pounds onto a floor of that thickness without worrying you’ve damaged the subfloor. If you do a lot of Crossfit workouts, ½ inches is usually considered the standard thickness for flooring too.

Anything thicker is typically more suited to professional and commercial uses. For example, the flooring might be an inch thick in facilities where professional or college athletes work out.

How Thick Should Gym Flooring Be for Plyometrics?

Plyometrics can include jumps, jumping jacks, and similar explosive movements, which are great for cardiovascular training. If you do plyometrics, your gym flooring could range from 6 mm to 1 inch in thickness, and at least ½ inch is ideal. If you have enough thickness in your rubber flooring, you’ll be better able to protect your joints and get more out of your workouts.

What About Gym Flooring For Yoga or Cardio?

If you’re doing low-impact cardio or workouts like yoga or Pilates, you might not need as much thickness as you do for other workouts. You could have flooring that ranges from 3/8 inch to 8 mm.

Final Thoughts

When asking what the best thickness for gym flooring at home is, you want to think carefully about how you’ll use the space. 

You also want to consider how your needs could change over time. For example, maybe you start out doing light cardio and yoga, but you’re interested in weight training as you advance in your workouts. Rather than changing your flooring to suit your new interests and workout routines, you might want to err on the side of thicker flooring from the start because it will be more multi-purpose and versatile.

If you have questions about choosing flooring for a home gym or are ready to start your project, Dalton Flooring Center can help. The above details on the thickness of gym flooring are also a broad set of recommendations, but our expert team can help you choose the perfect flooring for your specific needs for a fully customized home gym. Contact us today. 

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