a hardwood floor

Are You Exercising on the Right Flooring?

A home gym is convenient, especially when going to a public gym might not be the safest option. Setting up your own gym saves you time and money usually spent on a gym membership.

But turning a part of your home into your personal studio isn’t as simple as rearranging furniture and bringing in equipment. The type of floor you use is just as important to your exercising as your equipment is.

Good floors make your workout comfortable and safe while also protecting your equipment from damage. Here is a guide on the right flooring for different kinds of exercise.

Carpeted Floors

Carpets are a popular choice when setting up home gyms. They are usually already installed in homes, making it easy to turn a room into a fitness center. A carpet is also easy on the body for different exercises.

The American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine recommends only low- and moderate-impact exercises on carpeted floors. Dynamic routines could be risky due to friction between rubber shoes and the carpet.

Frequent exercises lock in bacteria and odor, so carpets need to be washed regularly. Seek the assistance of professional carpet cleaners, who have the resources to disinfect carpets with human-safe materials.

Hardwood Floors

Many public gyms and dance studios use hardwood flooring because they are easy to maintain while also boasting above-average shock absorption. Its flat surface also helps maintain balance while doing high-impact workouts.

Hardwood can be ideal in a home setting due to its durability and the cozy appearance of wood. It is also simpler to clean than other floorings, although it still requires regular sanitation.

Rubber Mats

If you want to minimize damage on your home floors, laying out rubber mats are the best option. They work well with just about any kind of exercise and can be moved around your room or house as required. Rubber floors also insulate noise well, minimizing any disturbances caused by excessive movement.

Note that rubber is on the expensive end of the spectrum. It is an investment you need to be certain about before buying. If you decide to get rubber mats, you can keep them looking clean and new with non-acidic cleaning solutions.

Foam Floor Mats

Similar to rubber floorings, foam provides a great cushion for intense exercises. It is a comfortable surface for floor-heavy activities due to its softness and excellent heat insulation. Foam also works as a play mat for children, allowing your gym to double as a play area.

Foam is multipurpose and affordable, but it also has its limitations. Foam mats are not advisable for use with heavy equipment since they can leave permanent dents. They also tend to have a shorter lifespan but are perfect for multitasking parents who love to stay active.

Vinyl Floors

Vinyl is another inexpensive option that is also water-resistant and versatile. If the aesthetic value is important, vinyl also comes in a wide variety of designs.

Similar to foam, vinyl does not readily withstand the impact of heavy equipment. It is also highly vulnerable to sharp objects. Still, it is a cost-efficient choice that lasts long and keeps moisture away from your fitness room.

woman doing yoga

Criteria for the Right Floor

Whether you are building an at-home gym or simply re-purposing a room in your house, it is important to research which options are best suited for you. A couple of factors mainly impacts your flooring decisions.

Preferred Exercises

Think about the exercises you like to do. This will help you decide on the best setup for your home gym.

If your workouts require much movement, such as dancercise and HIIT, go for surfaces that have effective shock absorption. Wood floors and rubber mats are widely used for these. If they are mostly stationary, such as yoga or Pilates, carpet and foam provide a good cushion for your body.


Are you a parent? Do you live on your own? Are you frequently on the go? Your answers to these questions will help determine the kind of studio you will need.

On the one hand, rubber, hardwood, and vinyl are easy to clean, making them good floors for busy professionals. On the other hand, carpet and foam are harder to clean but provide a good cushion for active children at home.


Your flooring can make or break your home gym. Consider this first before purchasing equipment and other accessories, as it will dictate your fitness experience and the overall safety of your workouts.

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