You are ready to convert one of your rooms into a home gym and look forward to doing it right!
If this is a new home where you are yet to think about interior design, there should be no problem in getting the flooring requirements correct on the first go.
Even if you have wood, laminate, tile, or vinyl flooring, you will find it helpful to lay some rubber/foam gym flooring that stays super sturdy.
But, if you have the most beautiful handwoven carpet, this could be most confusing.
Are you going to install the gym flooring over the carpet? Firstly, is a gym flooring necessary on top of a carpet?
Also, does your carpet support home gym equipment providing the support and sturdiness needed? Let’s find an answer to all our queries.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Putting Home Gym Directly on the Carpet
Carpets are predominantly seen in most US households being one of the most-used flooring options not only in the bedrooms or study rooms but even in the home gym space.
Surprisingly, carpets occupy a prominent place in commercial gym spaces, too, making them a versatile choice.
But, mind you, we are not talking about the plush, soft, luxurious, and delicate carpets that decorate our rooms, adding pomp and exquisiteness to our homes.
If you have a comfortable and straightforward carpet that adores your flooring, many would wonder why to rip it apart or use some other flooring on top of the carpet to install the home gym.
The main requirement for gym flooring is to minimize noise and provide sturdiness, which a carpet does too!
It is also not a brilliant idea to put rubber tiles or mats too, for that matter on top of the carpet as you might end up suffering from imbalance and injuring yourself.
That’s mainly because of the wobbliness of the surface. Never try running on a treadmill or doing jumping jacks on such surfaces.
There are advantages and disadvantages of having a home gym directly on the carpet, as discussed below.
There are not one or two but many good reasons as given below to leave your carpet as it is while setting the home gym:
1) Simple to use. There is no pressure to remove the entire carpet and work once again on redoing a new flooring (right from choosing the correct flooring to fixing it correctly) which increases efforts and time spent
2) Saves ample money. You don’t have to shell out any money on buying new gym mats or flooring that would suit the place as the carpet is already sitting quite comfortably on the floor
3) Minimizes noise. Gym equipment is well-known for the loud noises generated most times; however expensive the product might be.
Carpets handle this well by reducing the noise generated such that your family/friend in the other room is undisturbed.
Think about suddenly losing balance on your barbell while exercising and dropping it on the floor.
The noise generated is irritating, but the presence of a carpeted flooring prevents much ruckus
4) Carpets protect the flooring and the equipment just like your gym flooring. Falling weights do damage the flooring or even the equipment, which is once again prevented by the carpet that’s laid out.
5) Laying down creative, unique, and colorful carpets add fun elements to the home gym preventing the user from skipping fitness schedules. That is why people love to create a workout space that’s inviting and serene.
While some readers could have set their mind to readily go with carpeted flooring for their home gym after realizing the benefits, please read the disadvantages too before coming to any conclusion.
1) Lacks much stability, which is an integral aspect while working out.
Carpets might be squishy depending on the type of carpet and also the flooring that’s been used underneath it.
All these together can cause instability, which is extremely bad when lifting weights.
Instead of focusing on using all your energy towards the workout much of it is spent on keeping yourself stable.
2) Durability is of great concern here.
Dropping weights or other equipment on the carpet can cause ample wear and tear over time. You could even end up with holes or flat spots that never go away.
3) Walking requires typically some amount of balance, which depends on the carpet used as not all carpets provide optimal grip.
If you plan to workout with a heavy barbell, there is a strong requirement to prevent your feet from any movements or slippages that could cause injury.
4) Some equipment such as power racks requires that holes be drilled through the carpet for assembling and keeping them steady.
There is no harm in a hole, but be aware that the hole stays permanently there.
5) Exercising involves sweat, ample sweat, without which the workout becomes useless.
While our clothes absorb most of it, there is always the risk of sweat hitting the carpet.
The carpet is well-equipped to absorb sweat, but the primary problem is that the sweat can’t be removed from it as easily as it goes into it.
This could lead to an unpleasant smell, stains, or even mold formation if you sweat badly.
6) Many carpets provide the user with an uneven surface. That’s not a good sign for lifting weights.
Pros & Cons of Using Gym Flooring Over Carpet
So, if you have made up your mind to settle down for a good gym flooring to go with your home gym equipment, what’s the decision on the carpet that’s already present?
Can you add the gym flooring over the carpet, or would you like to remove the carpet, putting it aside for later use? Always go with the best option after going through the pros and cons.
- The gym flooring acts as a good protection layer over the carpet without which the carpet could suffer from holes and more.
- Adding an extra layer of flooring prevents you from straining, and working hard to keep your carpet clean. Of course, the gym flooring must be cleaned too. But, it’s easier to do it as you would get a sparkly surface by simply using some soap and water over it. Whereas carpets need more sophisticated equipment such as vacuum cleaners and still, there is always the doubt of how clean your carpet could become.
- Even surfaces are of primary importance for providing stability, and gym flooring do this. When laid correctly, your flooring provides you with an even surface for exercising, which is safer and comfortable compared to the uneven surfaces that exist when home gym equipment is placed directly on a carpet.
- Gym floorings are designed and manufactured to provide the user with ample grip while doing any kind of exercise without the fear of skidding and slipping down. All that we look forward to is this.
- All kinds of gym flooring are not the same. For instance, rubber flooring can pave the way for stains on the carpet which once again becomes a pain for the user while cleaning
- Using carpets seem to be a cheaper affair initially. But if you decide to replace them with gym flooring, they double your expenses.
- Gym floorings don’t promise 100% stability as they have a little ‘give.’ Even the slightest instability coupled with the squishiness of the carpet underneath it can lead to debilitating damage to the user as well as the equipment. It is always ideal to choose a harder floor to avoid any such damages.
What Kind of Gym Flooring Can You Put Over Carpet?
Generally speaking, plywood, stall mats, interlocking floor tiles are three good types of gym flooring that you can put over the carpet.
What kind of carpet you have has a great impact on the type of gym flooring you decide to use over it.
Carpets with higher pile lengths are a greater pain to maintain as they offer minimal grip, maximal squishiness, and get dirty often.
Also, carpets generally have a soft foam layer underneath them, which increases their ‘squishiness’ quotient.
Hence, it is always suggested that a short pile carpet stands better chances of offering more stability than high pile carpets.
But, despite the advantages/disadvantages offered by the carpets used, if you insist on having the flooring over it, different kinds of gym flooring could be used, each coming with its pros and cons.
Plywood: You can use a plywood slab on the area where you use the squat rack or do weightlifting.
Putting a power rack on plywood also decreases the squishiness of the carpet underneath it.
On the brighter side, while plywood is easier to clean compared to carpets and also has optimal grip, it does succumb to persistent wear and tear when heavyweights are dropped often.
Stall Mats: These are the best alternatives to gym flooring if you are looking for something inexpensive.
But they come with a handful of disadvantages of their own.
Firstly, they smell bad, not only ruining your workout experience but could seep through the carpet as well.
Secondly, they could stain the carpet too as they are made of black rubber.
Interlocking Floor Tiles: These could not be the best choice as you are not assured of 100% stability if the carpet lurking underneath it is too soft.
There is also the danger of some types of rubber mats sliding around on the carpet flooring, making it dangerous to work out.
Things to Consider When Putting Gym Flooring Over the Carpet
While there is no doubt that one can install gym flooring over the carpet, it is also necessary to know that not all types of flooring are suitable for the purpose.
But whatever type of flooring has been decided for installation, it should ensure that it protects your gym equipment as well as the flooring, minimizes noise, provides the user with the perfect grip and even surface that promote stability of use, and above all, is hygienic to use.
Maybe that’s why none recommend working out on a soft carpet.
Even if you are the proud owner of a thick carpet flooring, you don’t benefit from it when there is a lot of ‘squish’ that using a rubber flooring over it is not going to make any difference in improving the stability or so.
Let me put in a way such that you understand it much better—do you feel good lifting weights on a trampoline?
Never, as the surface is exceptionally slippery without any stability.
If your carpet is short and hard, it is suggested to opt for rubber flooring.
Stall mats too could be used, but they are not comparatively cheaper and could even smell worse, making them inadept for use.
For those who have thick shaggy carpet floorings, it is possible to opt for plywood as it is hard but flexible too.
It is cheap and easy to replace, but on the downside, longevity is a question mark, especially when you drop heavy weights continuously.
On comparison, it seems that the best is to procure a dedicated weightlifting platform that consists of sturdy/stiff pieces of wood/metal with rubber plates that protect both the flooring and the carpet.
The stiffness of the material helps in bringing about the required sturdiness and stability such that no inappropriate movements or slippages is occurring while exercising.
But, please remember that while this could be the best choice, it is also the costliest option.
How to Install Gym Flooring Over Carpet
Each type of gym flooring is useful in its way and needs to be installed too in a different way.
Interlocking floor tiles: This is popular among home gym users resembling the pieces of a puzzle.
Installing them is simple as all that you must do is to place them next to each other and lock them together such that the tile pieces don’t move.
You can also border the walls with small strips that come with the kits. The tiles are very simple to install and remove too.
The primary point to be taken care of while installing floor tiles is to fit the tiles up to the wall (wall-to-wall fitting) to provide strength and stability.
Mats: This is an uber-cool way to simplify your process as all you have to do is to spread the gym mats over the carpet area where you exercise.
We also have interlocking rubber mats that are of the same shape as floor tiles, which makes them easy to install, and there is no problem of cutting the mats into the required size as well.
Performing Workout on a Carpet-Only Home Gym
Flooring is crucial for performing exercises, but it’s not only the type of flooring that decides your ability to exercise.
It is also the type of exercise that has an equal impact on performance.
1) Can I Deadlift on Carpet?
If the carpet is hard and low pile, it will give you good results as you are provided with ample grip and even surface for safety. But if the carpet is soft underneath, don’t expect any stability nor strength while lifting heavyweights.
It’s as good as weightlifting standing on a trampoline that’s all mushy and unsteady.
2) Can I Squat on Carpet?
Not recommended. In order to perform squats correctly and precisely, it is required to have much control in your feet. They are done heavy, and any wrong movement could cause damage to your entire body. Hence, one is required to always take the utmost precaution while squatting directly on a carpeted surface.
Squishiness factor is also as important as in a deadlift, which makes it even more important to have a stable and even surface.
Please take the utmost caution while performing a squat directly over a carpet as instability while performing it can result in more dangerous consequences and involves greater recovery time than that taken for a deadlift.
3) Can I Stretch on Carpet?
You tend to sweat more, and this sweat, in turn, gets transferred to the carpet. So it is recommended to use a Yoga mat for stretching.
Every fitness session involves some amount of stretching, which makes it integral for any workout routine.
Stability is not of much concern here, and in fact, stretching on a carpeted surface is even more comfortable than using gym flooring for the same.
But, stretching on the floor implies lying down on the carpet directly, which makes the user come in direct contact with the carpet. That is not good.
4) Can I Do Yoga on Carpet
You might end up with scratches or abrasions on your hands or legs when doing yoga directly on a carpet. Also, directly lying down and doing asanas causes dripping of sweat onto the carpet, creating hygiene-related issues.
Is It Ok to Put Home Gym Equipment on the Carpet?
There is no harm in putting a home gym equipment on a carpet until you are ready to handle the consequences that arise as a result.
For instance, assembling a power rack directly on a carpeted flooring requires holes to be drilled that ruin the look and feel of the carpet surface.
1) Can I Put a Power Rack on the Carpet
Yes, but a power rack is supposed to remain stable throughout the workout session while racking or unracking weights. If the surface on which the rack is placed is too soft or fragile, there are chances of the rack moving in and out of place every once a while using it.
But such movements are sure to reduce overtime when the equipment will ‘sink’ but once this happens, be sure of having lasting marks/impressions that are present on your carpet.
2) Can I Put a Treadmill on the Carpet
Direct placement of the equipment causes dust and dirt accumulation in due course of usage, which in turn can damage the treadmill.
Belt and motor could be severely affected due to this, and the only way to prevent it is by taking proper care and maintaining the equipment when you place it directly over a carpet.
While there is no way to prevent debris and dust from entering crucial treadmill parts, it is always possible to take them off with constant care and maintenance.
3) Rowing Machine on the Carpet
The rowing machine should be placed on a level and stable surface, and you can place them directly on a carpet too.
But also remember that all the sweat, dust, fibers, and debris get absorbed by the carpet, giving you the impression that maybe you have committed a big mistake by placing the rowing machine directly on the carpet rather than using a good mat.
What Is the Best Flooring Over Carpet?
Rubber mats. They are made of the same material as gym mats but come in the same shape as foam tiles that makes them lighter and easy to use, providing impact resistance, stability, and great look.
Interlocking rubber mats combine the advantages of both foam tiles and mats into a single product that’s both durable and affordable.
Another great option is to go for weightlifting platforms that cannot be called a ‘gym flooring,’ but if you desperately need a good gym flooring for your power racks or weightlifting equipment, this platform could be the ideal choice.
It’s made of the metal frame, and inside this frame are rubber tiles/mats, which even come with wooden/bamboo platforms in the middle to provide more stability and evenness.
The entire platform is solid, looks uber-cool, and guarantees everything that you would need to lift weights safely, but all of this does come at hefty pricing.
It isn’t practical for everyone planning on a home gym to rip apart their carpets and install specific gym floorings that do well.
Firstly, it is time-consuming, and secondly, it doubles the expenses.
At the same time, it is also required that placing home gym equipment directly over the carpet comes with its own set of pros and cons.
Such placement doesn’t guarantee ultimate stability, especially for lifting weights, and grip is also a concern here.
But most homes come with default carpeting, and if you find it difficult to replace them, there is no harm in placing the home gym equipment directly on top of it.
All that you have to do is to take extra caution and more excellent precaution while exercising to avoid slippages and falling outs.