When you’re opening up a gym location, you’re undoubtedly going to spend a lot of time and energy thinking about the layout, the machines, the staff, the facilities, and whatnot, but what about the floors?
Pros and Cons of Different Gym Flooring
How much have you thought about them? Obviously, you know you need flooring in the gym, but have you given thought to what types of material you will use? If it’s the first gym you’re opening, then it’s important to consider your options and shop for a range of gym flooring options.
If part of your brand is being green and eco-friendly, then cork is a good option because it’s a renewable and sustainable material that is also fully biodegradable.
It’s soft enough to absorb the impacts of gym-goers while remaining comfortable and supportive at the same time. It’s quite well-suited to those very lively gyms where people are doing CrossFit or similar programs.
Furthermore, it’s one of the more affordable options in the gym flooring range. On the other hand, it isn’t the most durable, especially if it gets wet.
In a commercial gym setting, therefore, it’s not always ideal because it can start to look tatty quickly with the heavy foot traffic and possible dampness. A wet cork floor also expands and can become uneven, which isn’t safe.
Some people look to concrete first, especially when they’ve limited experience opening or operating gyms. Concrete is abundant, inexpensive, relatively simple to lay down, quick-drying, and easy to enhance with paint and boost traction. What’s more, it’s hard as nails and therefore very durable.
Its hardness actually proves that it’s not a good option for a high-quality or premium gym. For a gym on a strict budget and offering budget-friendly memberships, it’s a possibility, but for those operating a more premium brand, they should rethink it.
If you drop large weights onto it, it can get chipped, which makes it a safety hazard. Furthermore. It does little or nothing to absorb sound or physical impact.
Like concrete, carpet is cheap and readily available and provides comfortable cushioning for all kinds of different workout styles. The problem is in its durability.
Where concrete is a little too hard and durable, the carpet doesn’t offer anything strong enough for the rigors of a busy gym. There’s also the issue of dampness and stains that will leave it discolored and possibly with bad odors.
It’s not a bad choice for your home gym, but for a commercial space, it’s not best suited.
Rubber is a great choice for many gyms because it comes in many different forms. You can coat the entire floor in rubber tiles or just lay down rubber mats in areas where people can benefit from the cushioning and supportive effect of the rubber.
This means you can use rubber to mix and match with other surfaces such as wood or concrete, strategically playing rubber in places where additional support is needed.
Rubber is both water and odor resistant and doesn’t easily tear, but if you go for the tiles or mats, then you have to have places to store them and will have to spend time shifting them back into place when they inevitably become dislodged. The only other option is to glue them down.
A final option you could consider is wood, the pros of which are its beauty and durability. Real hardwood when polished lends a gym space a classy and premium feel. Those surfaces are also great for those who offer dance and kickboxing in their gyms.
On the other hand, wood can be easily damaged by heavy objects like a weight being dropped on it. The floor also offers very poor traction, especially when polished. That can be a safety concern in a gym.