Are you sure you want that rubber floor in your house?

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.
Advertisements

Choosing the best home gym flooring

Because I work for a specialty flooring store, I am often asked which flooring is best for a home gym.  The answer depends on a few variables and I usually reply with a few questions of my own:

What will the home gym be used for primarily?  If you’re looking for a tough material to protect your concrete or hardwoods from being damaged by free weights or heavy exercise equipment, you may want to look at rubber.  Rubber is the traditional flooring for both home and commercial gyms and it is an economical solution for keeping your floors, as well as your equipment, protected.

However…

Rubber flooring is heavy.  By heavy, I mean REALLY heavy.  A square foot of 3/8″ rolled rubber weighs 2.3 lbs.  (8mm is slightly less)  That means to cover a 10×10 foot area, you’re dealing with a 230 lb roll of rubber.  “Well,” you say, “that’s not so bad.  A buddy and I could roll that baby out no problem.”  And maybe you’re right.  But here’s something else to consider:  the rolls show up at your front door on the back of a semi-truck.  If you get a liftgate included in your shipping costs (something to consider) they will lower the roll of rubber to the ground and drive away leaving you to wrestle it into your workout area.  If you don’t get a liftgate, you will have to pull that baby off the truck yourself and that’s a serious endeavor.

Another option is interlocking rubber tiles.  These come in various sizes (typically 2×2 foot or 3×3 foot) and can be installed without adhesive of any kind.  Depending on the type you buy, you can find them at a reasonable price, although generally more expensive than rolled, and they are much easier to handle.  Also, the fact that they require no glue makes it easy for you to bring them with you if you decide to move.

 However….

RUBBER IS NOT WATERPROOF.  Many people are under the impression that rubber is like plastic.  That it can be submerged indefinitely in a flooded basement and come out unscathed.  This is simply not the case.  The porous materials of most rubber flooring will absorb water and hold it.  Over time, this will break the rubber flooring down to such a degree that the floor is rendered all but useless.

If you are considering putting your home gym in a basement that gets mildly damp on occasion, this will probably not be an issue for you and rubber flooring may be your best bet.  If you’re considering putting your home gym in a wet basement that floods from time to time, you may be better served with a waterproof option  such as plastic, modular floor tiles that allow airflow beneath the tiles for a quicker dry.

Do you plan to do aerobic activities in your home gym area?  Zumba, P90x, or Insanity?  If so, you probably don’t want rubber.  Rubber is quite hard and provides little to no fatigue-relief.  If you’re looking for a flooring type to keep your teeth from chattering every time you jump up and down, you need something else.  I typically suggest foam.

Foam flooring is available in various densities and thicknesses.  The play mats that kids play cars on and the MMA mats that fighters throw one another around on are not the same.  Determining which type of foam product is best for your needs depends on what specifically you’ll be using it for.

Unlike rubber, foam is waterproof and can be submerged indefinitely without the foam taking in water and damaging the foam itself.  It provides great shock absorption, requires no glues for installation, and it’s lightweight.  It can be easily installed wall-to-wall because all you need to cut the interlocking tiles to fit is a straight edge and a utility knife.  It doesn’t get much easier than that.  However, under some equipment, foam will indent and stay indented for the life of the product.  If you can live with that, foam is generally your best bet.  It is inexpensive and, because it is so lightweight, is typically fairly cheap to ship.

Hopefully, this gives you some insight into what you’re looking for.  The easiest and fastest way to get your specific questions answered is to call one of our customer service reps and have a conversation.

Call Greatmats at 877-822-6622.

Customer Review-Playground Ergo and Pebble Mats

 

 “I am a big fan of your projects and I hope to do more.”
-Lisa F.

Lisa is the principal designer for Vonn Studio in Charlotte, NC.  She has used a variety of our specialty flooring products for her projects for various customers.

Greatmats Ergo Matta CushionTred Solid“I am an interior designer and I was charged with finding a “cool” gym floor.  The client…wanted a pattern using yellow, grey, and black.  We continued the yellow and grey stripe up the walls and across the ceiling giving a banding effect.  Very cool.”

Lisa used our Ergo tiles for this gym flooring.  Ergo is a flexible modular plastic floor tile that comes in a variety of colors.  It is made of 100% recycled materials and, because it mixes PVC with rubber, it’s very resilient.  These modular floor tiles are guaranteed for five years.  Ergo is often used as an outdoor playground surface area for younger kids where fall heights aren’t a huge concern.  Ergo is easy to install and care for.  It requires no glues or special surface to attach it to.  Just snap in together and you’re done!

Lisa goes on to say that she used our Pebble mats for someone who wanted to practice Yoga in their space.  “The installation was very simple.  I even installed one myself.  The only challenge with the Pebble Mat was understanding the interlocking pattern in the corners.  After that, it was so easy to install and easy to cut to size when I reached the wall and steps.”

Pebble mats are fantastic foam flooring product that is so dense and rugged we are able to use it in horse stalls.  However, it is soft and provides a great cushion so people enjoy using it in their home gyms or workout areas.  Lightweight, it can usually ship via ground carrier and is much easier to move around and work with than heavier rubber tiles or rolls.

Like the Ergo plastic floor tiles mentioned earlier, Pebble Mats are a breeze to install.  Just lay them out and cut to fit with a straightedge and a sharp utility knife.  These foam floor tiles measure 2ft x 2ft and are 3/4” thick.  They are great for areas with light free weights and other equipment.  They come with a one-year warranty and two border strips per tile.  They are waterproof also which can come in handy.

“I am very happy with the products, “ Lisa says.  “I hope to have the opportunity to specify Greatmats in the future.  I would recommend Greatmats to clients, family, and friends.  A very diverse product for many types of applications.”

Thank you, Lisa, for the kind words and the wonderful photos!

If you have questions or would like to discuss the possibilities for your area with one of our professional specialty flooring representatives, we hope that you’ll give us a call.  We would love to help you find the product you need to make your project a success.  Samples are also available upon request.

Call Greatmats at 877-822-6622.

 

Home Gym Flooring

When it comes to choosing the best flooring for your home gym, you have a few options.   Selecting the right type of flooring for your particular application is going to be critical.  Choose the wrong home gym flooring and you can have a real problem on your hands and one that’s not easily (or cheaply) replaced.  But how can you know that the flooring type you select is the right one?

The most important thing you can do is talk to flooring professionals.  At Greatmats, our customer service people have a solid handle on which products work best for which applications.   We strongly recommend you discuss your options with us prior to placing an order, especially if the room you’re looking to cover is large.   However, here are some basic pointers to get you started in the right direction.

The most popular product for most home gyms is rubber.  At Greatmats we offer both interlocking rubber tiles and rolled rubber in a variety of sizes, colors, and thicknesses.  Rubber is very effective for protecting both your equipment and your floors.  It offers sound dampening qualities and is rugged enough to withstand the abuse that comes from dropping heavy weights provided you purchase a thick enough product.  It is an excellent surface to use under equipment and weight benches/racks.

However, a common misconception about rubber flooring is that it’s soft and will provide fatigue relief for the athlete.  People also tend to assume rubber is waterproof and will hold up well in wet areas.  This is NOT the case.  If you’re looking for a soft, waterproof surface, you’re looking for foam.

Like our rubber tiles, foam mats are also available in various thicknesses, colors, and sizes.  Interlocking mats are easy to install, require no adhesive, and can be easily transported from room to room or house to house.  They are excellent for aerobic exercise and will give you a soft workout area for aerobic exercises like P90x, Jazzercise, or Zumba.  Foam is waterproof and also provides some sound dampening properties.

There are exceptions to these basic rules.  We do offer Plyometric rubber flooring that is soft and great for aerobic exercise.  It is less dense than standard rubber and specifically designed for running, jumping, bounding, etc.  We also provide Pebble Foam Mats that are tough enough to be used in weight rooms.  However, as a general rule, rubber is best for weight areas.  Foam mats are best for aerobic areas.

A final option is the modular floor tile.  This product is nice for areas where you’d like to create a multipurpose area that won’t be specifically used as a workout area all the time.  We have modular floor tiles that create a great looking room that can double as your aerobics area.  Tiles provide some fatigue relief though not as much as foam and also look fantastic when you’re using the room for other purposes.  Modular tiles are a great selection for aerobic activities but, like foam, aren’t great for weight room areas.

Hopefully, this provides you with some clarification and helps you when trying to decide what product to use for your home gym floor.  Again, we strongly recommend that you discuss your particular situation and needs with a customer service rep prior to buying product if you’re not sure what you need.  We are always happy to help you find the floor that you’ll be happy with for years to come.

Call Greatmats at 877-822-6622.

Gym Flooring Pebble Mat 3/4"

     

Built for home gym flooring or for commercial health clubs and weight rooms, this rugged, high-density, waterproof, EVA foam mat is excellent anywhere a lightweight and durable flooring is needed.  These pebble mats are dense enough to bear all types of exercise equipment including treadmills and weight machines.  The product comes with a one-year manufacturer’s warranty.
One nice feature about the Pebble Mat 3/4” is its portability.  You can lay this home gym floor down quickly because it requires no tape or adhesives to install.  Rest assured that this flooring will stay in place, no shifting or moving around under equipment or athletes.  When you’re ready to relocate, you can simply un-install the flooring and stack it up to take it with you.  It’s remarkably lightweight and easy to maneuver.
Because this flooring for home gymsis an interlocking style, you can expand your floor as needed.  Start with a small area under one or two machines if you’d like.  You can always add more home gym flooring at a later date.  Each foam tile comes with two border strips so you can create a finished look no matter how large or small an area you choose to cover.  If you decide to go with a wall to wall install, you can check out our handy online floor planner to determine how many square feet you’ll need.  Please note that there is some loss at install.  We recommend that you talk to one of our friendly customer service reps to address this issue prior to ordering so you get enough product to suit your needs.
One thing to consider:  You do NOT want to expose this product to direct sunlight.  Over time, these home gym mats will expand and deform as a result.  EVA foam mats are subject to expansion and contraction with exposure to direct sunlight or significant humidity.

Should you decide that the Pebble Mat 3/4” isn’t perfect for your application, please take a look at our extensive line of foam mats.  We offer a number of different sizes and thicknesses to fit many different purposes with some priced as low as 99 cents per square foot.

Call Greatmats at 877-822-6622.