Putting rubber flooring in your home or business is an investment. Before you pull the trigger on any rubber product, be sure you know what you’re getting.
Here are some things to consider:
1.) Does the rubber reek?
These days, with homes being so well insulated, a strong rubber smell in your building is probably going to get circulated by your furnace or air conditioner over and over throughout your home or business. In the old days, homes were so poorly insulated that, eventually, the smell would dissipate over time as the air turned over. That’s not the case today. If you have a newer home and a stinky floor, you’ll be bumming for a while.
The key is the BINDING AGENT used when the rubber is vulcanized (which is a fancy way of saying “made”.) If the rubber is made with a urethane binder it will have very low odor. If the binding agent is sulfuric-based, it’s going to smell like a mountain of tires in your home for months if not years.
1a.) It DOESN’T MATTER if the rubber is virgin or recycled. The binding agent is the critical factor
1b.) If you’re buying horse stall mats or a similar product for your home, you’re probably buying stinky product. Be sure to find out before you pull the trigger.
2.) What thickness do you need?
Rubber is heavy. That means it’s expensive to ship because freight companies usually charge by weight. For your home gym, chances are you can get by with an 8mm rubber product. This is thick enough for day-to-day abuse that comes in most gym environments. While the standard used to be 3/8″, most people are opting for 8mm. It is roughly 1mm thinner than 3/8″. From a performance standpoint, you won’t know the difference. From a cost perspective, you most assuredly will.
Unless you’ll be dropping heavy weights to the floor on a regular basis (such as deadlifts or clean-and-jerks) you probably don’t need 1/2″ rubber. If you are going to be beating on the floor, this is probably all the thicker you’ll ever need to go.
3.) Rubber is NOT waterproof. If you’re using it in a wet area, you’ll probably be disappointed. It tends to suck water up like a sponge and hold on to it.
4.) Rubber flooring is NOT good for a garage as a general rule. This is because rubber tires + rubber floor = shredded rubber floor.
5.) You should NOT use rubber outdoors. Again, the water from rain and snow will damage your product. Also, years of direct sunlight may cause it to curl up on the ends and lose its pliability.