Gym flooring is the foundation of a commercial/home gym and is essential for a quality exercise regimen. If you are serious about your gym, you need durable and long-lasting gym flooring for placing your treadmill and providing an area for rigorous workouts.
Are you ready to convert one of your rooms into a home gym and looking 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 getting the flooring installed correctly on the first go.
Even if you have wood, laminate, tile, or vinyl flooring, you will find it helpful to lay rubber or foam gym flooring that stays super sturdy. But, if you have the most beautiful handwoven carpet, this will be most confusing.
Can you install the gym flooring over the carpet? Is gym flooring necessary on top of a carpet? Does your carpet support home gym equipment providing the support and sturdiness needed? Let’s find an answer to all our queries.
Things to Consider When Putting Gym Flooring Over the Carpet
While there is no doubt that you can install gym flooring over the carpet, it is also necessary to know that not all types of flooring are suitable for the purpose. Do you feel good when lifting weights on a trampoline? Never, as the surface is slippery without providing any stability. That’s why none recommend working out on a soft carpet.
Good gym flooring should ensure that it protects your gym equipment and the flooring, minimizes noise, provides the user with the perfect grip and even surface that promotes stability of use, and above all, is hygienic to use.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Putting Home Gym Directly on the Carpet
Carpets are predominantly seen in most US households as one of the most-used flooring options in the bedrooms or study rooms and the home gym space.
Surprisingly, carpets occupy a prominent place in commercial gym spaces, 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.
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 makes loud noises. Carpets handle this well by reducing the noise generated such that your family/friend in the other room is undisturbed. The presence of a carpeted flooring prevents much ruckus.
4) Carpets protect the flooring and the equipment just like your gym flooring. Falling weights damage the flooring or even the equipment, which is once again prevented by the laid out carpet.
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 before coming to a conclusion.
1) Lacks much stability, which is an integral aspect while working out. Carpets might be squishy depending on the material and also the flooring that’s been used underneath them. All these together can cause instability, which is extremely bad when lifting weights, meaning that instead of focusing on using all your energy towards the workout, you focus on keeping yourself stable. This will prevent you get the most out of your training and even lead to injuries.
2) Durability is of great concern here. Dropping weights or other fitness 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) High-volume workouts require balance, which depends on the carpet used as not all carpets provide optimal grip. If you plan to work out 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 bolting down 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. 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.
1) The gym flooring acts as a good protection layer over the carpet, without which the carpet could suffer from holes and more.
2) Adding an extra layer of flooring prevents you from straining and working hard to keep your carpet clean. Of course, the gym flooring should 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 doubt of how clean your carpet could become.
3) Even surfaces are of primary importance for providing stability, and gym flooring do this. Your flooring provides you with an even surface for exercising when laid correctly, which is safer and comfortable than the uneven surfaces that exist when home gym equipment is placed directly on a carpet.
4) Gym floorings are designed and manufactured to provide the user with ample grip while doing any exercise without the fear of skidding and slipping down. All that we look forward to is this.
1) 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.
2) Using carpets seems to be a cheaper affair initially. But if you decide to replace them with gym flooring, they double your expenses.
3) 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 and the equipment. It is always ideal to choose a harder gym flooring to avoid any such damages.
What Kind of Gym Flooring Can You Put Over Carpet? And
Which Is the Best Option?
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 to go for short pile carpet, which 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, various kinds of gym flooring could be used, each coming with its pros and cons.
In most cases, rubber flooring is the best option (especially for low pile and hard carpet), in terms of the price and versatility. They are made of the same material as gym mats but come in the same shape as foam tiles, making them lighter and easy to use, providing impact absorbation, excellent stability, and a great look.
Horse Stall Mats (Rubber)
Horse stall mats (a kind of rubber mat) can be used for gym flooring. They are made with high-quality recycled crumb rubber and designed for horses and other large animals. These are the best alternatives to gym flooring if you are looking for an inexpensive option that can absorb a high level of impact. Horse stall mats typically cost around $2/sq.ft.
They are ideal for HIIT programs like P90X, plyometrics and CrossFit and allow you to throw the barbells and heavy free weight without damaging your carpet.
However, they smell bad, not only ruining your workout experience but could seep through the carpet as well. And they could stain the carpet too as they are made of black rubber.
Interlocking Floor Tiles (Rubber)
Interlocking floor tiles is another kind of rubber mat (also called Interlocking rubber mats). They combine the advantages of both foam tiles and mats into a single product that is durable and slip-resistant.
They have professional looks. They are easy to cut to fit the shape of your room and the installation is simple (although a bit time-consuming). You don’t even need any glue or tape in the whole process. But they are more expensive than gym mats or horse stall mats
Gym Mats (Rubber)
The most durable rubber gym mats are machine cut and vulcanized from recycled rubber tires. They are often used in commercial gym because of its premium-quality, high-density, long-lasting feature. But you can also use it in your DIY home gym because they are super durable and slip-resistance. Compared with horse stall mats, gym mats are a bit expensive, ranging from about $40 to $150, depending on the material and thickness.
In terms of the durability and the shock absorption capacity, gym mats and horse stall mats are both durable enough for the fitness equipment you plan to use. If aesthetic and style of the gym matter to you, you will want to go for gym mats. If you need super-durable flooring, resilient gym floor mats are the best solution.
Rubber isn’t the only gym flooring option. You can use a plywood slab on the area where you use the squat rack or do weightlifting. It is possible for those who have thick shaggy carpet floorings to opt for plywood as it is hard and flexible.
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 than carpets and has optimal grip, it does succumb to persistent wear and tear when heavyweights are dropped often.
Plywood is cheap and easy to replace, but on the downside, longevity is a question mark, especially when you drop heavy weights continuously.
Any Other Options?
Another great option is to go for weightlifting platforms that consists of sturdy/stiff pieces of wood/metal with rubber plates that protect both the flooring and the carpet. They might cannot be called a ‘gym flooring,’ but if you desperately need good gym flooring for your power racks or weightlifting equipment, this platform can be the ideal choice.
The material’s stiffness helps bring about the required sturdiness and stability such that no inappropriate movements or slippages occur while exercising.
The entire platform is solid, looks uber-cool, and guarantees everything you need to lift weights safely, but all of this does come at hefty pricing.
How to Install Gym Flooring Over Carpet
Interlocking Floor Tiles
This is popular among home gym users resembling the pieces of a puzzle. Installing them is simple, as all you need to do is place them next to each other and lock them together so that the tile pieces don’t move.
You can also border the walls with small strips that come with the kits. The tiles are straightforward to install and remove.
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.
This is an uber-cool way to simplify your process as all you have to do is spread the gym mats over the carpet area where you exercise. You can also go for interlocking rubber mats of the same shape as floor tiles, which makes them easy to install, and there is no problem with cutting the mats into the required size.
Performing Workout on a Carpet-Only Home Gym
Flooring is crucial for performing cardio and both strength 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 a surface for safety. But if the carpet is soft underneath, don’t expect any stability nor strength while lifting heavyweights. It’s the same as weightlifting standing on a trampoline that’s all mushy and unsteady.
2) Can I Squat on Carpet?
Not recommended. To perform squats correctly and precisely, it is required to have much control over your feet. Squating is done heavily, and any wrong movement could cause damage to your entire body. Hence, you are always required to take the utmost precaution while squatting directly on a carpeted surface.
The squishiness factor is also as important as in squating, making it even more important to have a stable and even surface.
Please take the utmost caution while performing a squat directly over a carpet. Instability while performing it can result in more dangerous consequences and involve great recovery time.
3) Can I Stretch on Carpet?
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.
Every fitness session involves some amount of stretching, which makes it integral for any workout routine. But, stretching on the floor implies lying down on the carpet directly, which makes the user direct contact with the carpet.
You tend to sweat more, and this sweat, in turn, gets transferred to the carpet. So it is recommended to use an exercise mat for stretching. 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 the 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 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 when 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 while using it.
But such movements are sure to reduce over time when the equipment will ‘sink’ but once this happens, it will have lasting marks/impressions present on your carpet.
2) Can I Put a Treadmill on the Carpet
Direct placement of the treadmill causes dust and dirt accumulation in due course of usage, which can damage the equipment. 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 treadmill when you place it directly over a carpet.
The contact points on the floor need additional protection and a treadmill mat help you do this. While it is less possible to prevent debris and dust from entering crucial treadmill parts by using a treadmill mat for carpet, it is always possible to take them off with constant care and maintenance.
Moreover, a treadmill mat will prevent some of the noise that the treadmill makes and possible damage occurring. They also reduce the vibration in the room. Given the affordable price, it is recommended to choose to buy one.
3) Rowing Machine on the Carpet
The rowing machine should be placed on a level and stable surface, and you do can place them directly on a carpet and get benefits from cardio rowing workout. 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.
It might not be practical for everyone planning on a home gym to rip apart their carpets and install specific gym floorings that do well. It is time-consuming and doubles the expenses.
At the same time, it is also required that placing home gym equipment directly over the carpet doesn’t guarantee ultimate stability, especially for lifting weights, the grip is also a concern.
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.