Editor’s Note: This question came from one of our readers on how to choose a home gym flooring. If you have a question you would like answered, contact us.

Hello. I have been repairing my friend’s apartment. The apartment is modestly decorated and one of the rooms is reserved for the gym. The gym is planned to include the best weight bench for bench press with racks, free weights (dumbbells, barbells, pancakes), the treadmill desk with a computer, a small sofa, 3 horizontal bars and a large mirror. The room is relatively small – 16.6 sq/m.

The first question: Which are the best materials, colors, and design solutions for the room? Should I use wallpaper or paint the ceiling?

The second question: Which material should be used for the floor?

I am trying to make the apartment uniform,  so I’m planning to simply use linoleum for the floor of the apartment. However, for the sports part (3/4 of the room or even a little more), using linoleum is not suitable. I need something solid. Should I just put linoleum on the floor and remove, if necessary, rubber, PVC, or linoleum sports? ,Which is more economical and suitable for such requirements and conditions?

Warcus Editorial Team Answer

Hello, we’ll try to answer your questions as in depth as we can. Let’s get started.

Home Gym Floor Covering

To begin, the concrete floor, in principle, is not suitable for sports. The only really comfortable and energy absorbing design is a wooden floor with relatively thick bars or narrow planks glued or nailed on logs laid on the shock-absorbing pads. Boards or beams of different thicknesses can be made from various species of trees and laid on top of an additional coating.

Sports wooden flooring has great properties: sufficient hardness and elasticity needed in almost all sports. For gym flooring, there is no viable alternative for to wooden floors. The floors are used everywhere, from the modest to the best indoor Olympic arenas. You probably do not have the ability to change the design of the floor without reducing its length.

In a 16 sq/m room, you cannot play ball or run. However, there are various home exercises you will be doing, for example jumping rope. For this exercise, a concrete base is not suitable and no additional cover can make it suitable. If you will be jumping, always wear sports shoes.

When constructing the floor for a  gym, the boards or beams should be fitted with shock-absorbing pads on logs. You can cover the pads with any special coating, if desired.

Today, manufacturers offer a variety of flooring for gyms. Generally, the better the product, the more expensive it is. If you want something “affordable” (read – cheap), avoid using linoleum and synthetic carpet.

Carpet is much cheaper and can be used for specialized sports surfaces. However, while quite durable and non-slip, it will not last much under the weight of sports equipment. Carpets have quite a “home” view and are available in a wide selection of colors.

Special Coatings for a Home Gym

PVC Coating

Modular coating of reinforced polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or dense rubber is durable, wear-resistant, and long-lasting. However, it us hard and therefore not the best choice for home gyms. PVC tiles are very practical and are often used in exercise rooms. The materials are extremely wear resistant, easy to replace, and relatively inexpensive. The big plus is that any tile is easy to replace if a sports equipment weighing 150 kg accidentally fell on it from a height. The color of PVCs are solid and  sports-specific. For design, you can  lay the tiles in two colors to form a “checkered” pattern.

Rubber Tiles

Tiles made of dense rubber are specially designed for gyms where heavy loads are used. Composite tile-based rubber can be interspersed with other polymers and mineral components to increase its strength. The rubber costs more and has some attractive characteristics

Multilayer Coating

Rolling multilayer coating are highly elastic, have a complex multi-layer structure, are thick (more than 8 mm) and  are used as base cushioning foams. The coating is good for fitness but are not strong enough for heavy loads gym. Multilayer coating provided comfortable cushioning for running and jumping exercises. However, if you want to accommodate heavy sports equipment, they are not the best option.

Single-layer Coating

Round single-layer coatings have worse absorption properties than multilayer coatings. However, they withstand the impact of heavy objects better. The coatings are more resilient than rubber, harder than sports linoleum. As such, they occupy an intermediate position between them  i.e. synthetic rubber. Roller rubber coatings work well for the operating conditions in the gym. However, they are not cheap.

Synthetic Rubber

Synthetic rubber with mineral fillers  us used in the gym and fitness rooms but can be used for even more. The elasticity and strength of the rubber is due to it having various characteristics. When handled carefully, the rubber coating is very durable. The coating does not have a topcoat layer. Instead, it has the same structure, thickness and uniform wear throughout. Synthetic rubber comes in a variety of colors.

Sports Linoleum

If you are trying to find a “middle ground” between consumer characteristics and price, it makes sense to buy sports linoleum.  Manufacturer position it as a cover for table tennis, but it is quite wear-resistant and can withstand large loads. Moreover,  it is relatively affordable. Apart from the typical plain colors, there are two variants of the coating: imitating oak and maple flooring. Sports linoleum has acceptable features  for gym floors but is not the best cover. Its price is reasonable and the material is quite cozy.

In big cities, it is not difficult to find a company that offers dozens, if not hundreds, of sports flooring types from different manufacturers, both foreign and domestic. You can visit the companies  and indicate your preferences to the manager. You will be offered the most suitable flooring options and can choose the best for you in terms of design and price. It is advisable to test the proposed designs, jump on them to compare experiences.

Home Gym Decoration

Now, for the first question: Which are the best materials, colors, and design solutions for the room? Should I use wallpaper or paint the ceiling?  Excuse me, how do we know what style you would choose for the interior of the apartment? Maybe you love the Rococo style and want to hang  a wall mirror with richly ornate gilded frame and tighten the walls purple silk wallpaper with silver thread. Or maybe prefer high-tech, polished stainless steel, frosted glass and restrained palette of colors.

For this point, as they say, the taste and color of all the markers are different. Choose something that will please you. From a functional point of view, there are no special conditions to consider.

Whether you should glue wallpaper or paint the walls, we do not see any difference. Given the size of the room and the sports equipment that you plan to place, the finish will shine with freshness but dents and scratches will appear soon enough. Wall panels (e.g. made of laminated chipboard) built a few meters from the floor would have been more practical, although it may not suit your design.


By SophiaW

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