After years of being told to limit movement and interaction outside the home to stem the spread of Covid-19, many people are returning to working in the office, travelling, attending in-person events and taking part in their favourite pastimes like going to the gym. But there are some pandemic holdouts who find they prefer to Peloton, pump iron and plank from the privacy of their humble abodes, fuelling an increase in demand for at-home gyms.
Whether that ‘gym’ is located within a spare bedroom, garage or backyard shed, the right flooring is critical to a winning design and workout, be it using a treadmill or elliptical machine, doing burpees, practicing yoga or lifting weights.
Several factors go into selecting home gym flooring, chiefly comfort, durability and practicality. Here are four options that can be installed underfoot to create a home health oasis.
Step Up to Luxury Vinyl
Luxury vinyl tile and plank flooring is durable, resilient, visually appealing and offered in a variety of colours, styles and designs, including both wood and tile looks, so there’s no need to sacrifice beauty for comfort with this option. What’s more, it’s mould, mildew and water-resistant, so it can handle even the sweatiest workout sessions.
Post workout tip: Most luxury vinyl can stand up to harsh chemicals, making it easy to clean and maintain. Just be sure to check the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions to sustain the floor’s life.
Hit the Hardwood
Used in commercial gyms for years, hardwood is an excellent choice for home gyms because of its long-lasting nature. It is offered in a variety of different species, stains and finishes, allowing for easy integration into the rest of the home’s design style. Hardwood can also be refinished multiple times over the years, bringing a brand-new look every time.
Post workout tip: In homes that already have hardwood and where the owners aren’t looking to invest in a flooring overhaul, shock absorbent foam flooring (often available in foam tiles), interlocking tiles and alternative gym flooring tiles laid overtop is a great way to protect the wood from scratches and heavy impact.
Carpet for Cardio
Carpet is soft on the joints and easy to maintain, making it the perfect flooring for lifting weights, cardio, practicing yoga and more. One of the best carpets for this type of space is a tight loop like Berber because of its low pile and durability.
Post workout tip: Instead of wall-to-wall broadloom, consider carpet tiles as they can be easily replaced. After one too many sit-ups in a single area, simply swap out the specific tiles to keep the room feeling fresh and new.
Running to Rubber
Like rubber mats, rubber flooring provides great traction to prevent slips or falls. Plus, it’s sturdy and resilient, making it ideal for any type of exercise equipment, including mats, rubber rolls and heavy machines used for weight training. Impact and shock absorption is extremely high with rubber flooring. It’s stain-resistant, easy to clean and simple to install.
Post workout tip: If planning on putting a gym in the home’s garage with a car, try a vulcanized rubber floor. This type of floor does not require glue for adherence and it won’t break down from oils or solvents that may drip from a car.
Cathey Gundlach Links is vice-president of merchandising and retail groups at CCA Global Partners, a cooperative of local flooring experts including Flooring Canada. Flooring Canada’s online room visualizer and project planning tools are a great place to start when planning a home gym project.