Gym Equipment

How Thick Should Gym Flooring Be : A Comprehensive Analysis

How Thick Should Gym Flooring Be

When it comes to flooring for commercial gyms and home gym flooring, you’ll likely encounter many options ranging from the material, whether it’s tiles or rolls and the thickness. It’s important to remember that not only does it need to be durable, water resistant and long-lasting, it also needs to be thick enough to provide the necessary cushioning and support based on the type of exercise being performed.

How Thick Should Gym Flooring Be?

Most gym flooring is available from 10mm up to 60mm thick, and the thickness of gym flooring will depend upon what activities are being undertaken.

For example, for high impact training using heavier weights, choosing a thicker flooring would be most suitable. This minimises shock and keeps noise to a minimum whilst protecting the hard floor underneath. Conversely, if the flooring is for low impact training such as yoga or Pilates, 10mm would be an appropriate thickness.

This essential guide will help you understand the basics of gym flooring thickness so you can make the best decision for your fitness facility. From the types of materials and the purpose of the flooring to the recommended thickness for your particular needs, this guide will help you make the most informed decision when selecting the best gym flooring for your business.

How Thick Should Flooring Gym Be Based On Your Activities

Plyometrics Training

The ideal thickness for gym flooring used for plyometrics training would be around 10mm (0.39″) to 20mm (0.79″) thick. This thickness will provide the necessary cushioning and shock absorption for high intensity jumps and movements whilst providing a stable surface for a safe and effective workout.

The thicker the material, the better the cushioning and shock absorption. However, it’s worth noting that the thicker the flooring, the more expensive it becomes. This may not be an issue if you have a small space to cover but if you need to cover a larger area, you’ll need to consider any budget constraints.

Rubber floor tiles, plywood, foam mats, and interlocking tiles are all popular choices, each offering different cushioning and shock absorption levels.

Home Gym

The best thickness for gym flooring at home depends on the activities you will be performing.

If you plan on putting in some heavy equipment and performing exercises such as Olympic lifts and other strength training movements using heavy weights, the best choice would be thick rubber tiles or rubber rolls that are a minimum of 20mm (0.79″). This will reduce shock and limit noise (important if you have neighbours close by!)

If, however, you plan on using your home or garage gym for low impact activities such as yoga, a great option would be foam tiles or rubber gym mats of around 10mm (0.39″) thick. This would be perfectly sufficient for floor exercises and light weights.

Weight Training

Thicker options for flooring is often preferred for weight training exercises and areas where heavy lifting is undertaken. This is because they provide extra protection for the flooring underneath. This is important if heavy weights are being dropped on a regular basis. Rubber floor mats should be a minimum thickness of 20mm (0.79″) and you’ll want to opt for tiles that are made from heavy-duty rubber.

Additionally, you should consider the type of flooring. Rubber gym floor mats are usually the best flooring option as they tend to be the most durable.

Barbell And Dumbbell Areas

The best thickness for gym flooring within a barbell and dumbbell area should be at least 20mm (0.79″) thick. A thicker and denser flooring material can provide superior shock absorption and cushioning, which is beneficial when repeatedly dropping heavy weights.

It also offers better protection from potential damage from impact, particularly in a commercial setting where the floor is likely to see higher traffic when compared to a home gym. The total durability is also impacted by the material’s different thicknesses.

Martial Arts And Wrestling

Typically, gym floors with a thickness of between 30mm (1.18″) and 60mm (2.36″) are ideal for martial arts or wrestling. This thickness will provide enough cushioning helping to reduce the risk of injury and help absorb impact when athletes throw themselves onto the floor.

Mats with thicker foam layers are better suited for grappling or judo, whilst mats with thin foam layers are more suitable for karate or taekwondo. Material such as Eva foam is the best option for these areas as it’s both soft and durable providing a safe surface for martial arts.

CrossFit Training

The ideal thickness for gym flooring used in CrossFit training is 20mm (0.79″). CrossFit typically involves exercises such burpees and box jumps so you’ll want a flooring that is both durable and firm.

As CrossFit workouts involve many high-impact activities, it’s important to have a floor that can handle the intensity and provide enough cushioning to protect the athlete from potential injuries. CrossFit’s best type of flooring is a rubber tile, which is durable, shock-absorbent, and slip-resistant.

What Are The Types Of Gym Flooring


Rubber gym flooring is an excellent choice for any fitness facility, it’s also the most common. It’s available in both rolls and tiles. The rubber tiles usually look like large puzzle pieces which simply slot together.

Rubber can tolerate a wide range of temperatures and is also simple to clean and maintain. Rubber gym flooring is also a fantastic option for sustainability. For the eco conscious, it’s also a good option as is often made from recycled materials.

PVC Plastic

PVC Gym Flooring looks similar to that of rubber flooring but is quite different. PVC gym flooring is much more rigid when compared to rubber, it’s also stronger. Not only is it durable and long-lasting, but it is also easy to maintain and perfect for high-traffic areas. PVC gym flooring is made from a high-quality plastic material that is resistant to scratches, dents, and scuffs and designed to withstand even the most challenging workouts. It’s also easier to clean when compared to rubber as it’s no porous.

It also provides excellent shock absorption to help protect your athletes from injuries and limiting both floor damage and noise. Plus, it is easy to keep clean and free from bacteria, making it a perfect option for any gym or sports facility. It is more expensive when compared to rubber, but it is likely to last longer.


EVA foam is usually available in different thicknesses making it suitable for a range of gym environments. Foam is softer than rubber tiles and anti-slipping making it a better option for MMA gyms and yoga studios. They are resistant to temperate but slightly porous so they’re not completely waterproof.

Horse Stall Mats

Horse stall mats can be a more economical choice when compared to rubber mats. Horse stall mats are extremely strong and can certainly withstand the environment of a busy commercial gym. Whilst both are made from rubber, the recycled crumb rubber used for horse stalls can carry a very strong smell. As they’re designed to be thrown down (and not installed the same way as rubber flooring) they do tend to move around underfoot, especially when performing certain high impact exercise.

These are a good option if you want something purse friendly, as long as you can withstand the strong smell and are probably better suited for home gyms as opposed to commercial facilities.

Composite Flooring

Composite gym flooring is made from rubber, foam, and polyurethane. This combination makes this gym flooring highly durable and slip and stain resistant. It also offers superior shock absorption, making it perfect for any gym that offers free weights or other heavy object sports.

Unlike some other types of gym flooring, composite gym flooring won’t fade, scratch, or discolor over time. Therefore, you can relax in the knowledge that your gym flooring will continue to look great for many years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do I Need To Place Anything Under Rubber Gym Flooring?

If you have a flat and level concrete floor, then there’s no need to add any additional layers between the concrete and rubber. However, whilst the rubber tiles are waterproof there are seams which could let in water and moisture. A vapour barrier underlay beneath the rubber flooring will help to protect it from moisture damage.

What Are Most Gym Floors Made Of?

Gym floors are typically made of rubber tiles or rolls. This is because they are easy to install, cost effective and available in a variety of thickness and colours.

Is Foam Or Rubber Better For A Home Gym Floor?

Deciding whether foam or rubber is better for your home gym floor depends on what type of exercises and activities you plan to do. Foam flooring is softer and more comfortable, making it ideal for exercises like yoga and Pilates. Rubber flooring is a better choice if you plan to do high-impact exercises, as it is much more durable and will provide more cushioning and support.

How Much Weight Can A Typical Floor Support

A typical residential flooring system is designed to support a maximum weight of 40 pounds per square foot, but this number can differ depending on various factors. For example, a concrete slab floor may withstand up to 60 pounds per square foot, while a wood floor may support only 30 pounds per square foot.

This is important to consider if you plan on setting up a gym on a first or second floor.

How Long Do Gym Floors Last?

The lifespan of a gym floor largely depends on the type of flooring material used, level of maintenance, frequency of use, and other factors. Well-maintained gym floors can last anywhere from 10 to 25 years. Gym flooring is designed to withstand heavy foot traffic and regular use.

Hardwood gym floors can last anywhere from 5-10 years with proper maintenance, while some synthetic floors may last up to 15 years.


When it comes to gym flooring, one of the essential considerations is the thickness of the material you choose. The proper thickness of gym flooring will ensure that your flooring is durable and can withstand the heavy traffic of daily use. Additionally, the right material will help to protect your body from potential injuries. 

Take into consideration your budget, floorspace that needs covering, any doorways, and awkward gaps and also the types of exercises being performed before you make your choice.

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