Commercial Gym Flooring – What’s the Best Solution for Your Commercial Training Facility?
There are thousands upon thousands of commercial gyms across the country managed by numerous public and private business entities. Commercial gyms and weight room facilities often cater to many different types of clientele. Some large scale nationwide gyms like Gold’s Gym, LA Fitness, Lifetime Fitness, etc. are huge facilities that can fit just about everyone’s needs. A large contingent of commercial gyms however are private training studios, Olympic weight training facilities, and 24 hour fitness centers that are designed to meet the needs of niche clientele who need the specific training options or flexibility in training times that these types of gyms offer. No matter what type of commercial training facility you operate or plan to open in the near future, you will at some point have to decide on proper gym flooring for your new or existing facility.
At RubberFlooringInc.com, we specialize in rubber flooring, foam gym flooring, and vinyl gym flooring which are all common gym flooring options when used properly. In this article, we will briefly discuss the most popular commercial gym flooring solutions we sell and talk about the most common gym flooring we don’t sell, carpet, and explain the benefits to each floor covering.
Rubber flooring is the most common gym flooring solution installed in new commercial gyms today. The most common form of rubber flooring installed in commercial gyms is rolled recycled rubber flooring. Recycled rubber floors are often low in cost, extremely durable, easy to clean, and easy to install. Many times, rolled rubber is even installed by the gym owner or gym staff due to its extremely easy installation process which only requires some double sided carpet tape and a utility knife. This helps to save the cost of hiring a professional installation team. One of the most famous gyms in the world, “The Biggest Loser” gym, for example currently uses 8mm thick recycled rolled rubber flooring. The Biggest Loser staff is extremely demanding of their flooring since weights are often dropped on the product and sleds are often pushed across the surface of the flooring.
The only downside’s to using recycled rubber flooring is that the flooring is very heavy which can make it hard to handle when installing and it is predominately black since the flooring is made from recycled tires. Brightly colored virgin rubber flooring products are also available for purchase. These products are also very durable however not normally quite as durable as a recycled rubber floor. Virgin rubber flooring is not often used in commercial gyms due to its hefty price tag which is often 2-4 times that of recycled rubber flooring. Rubber tiles are also available for use as a commercial gym flooring however rolls are more commonly used since they are often have a lower per square foot price.
Here are a couple quick links to show you what we offer in rubber flooring solutions:
- Rolled rubber flooring can be found here: http://www.rubberflooringinc.com/rubber-roll/index.html
- Rubber tiles can be found here: http://www.rubberflooringinc.com/rubber-tiles.html
Commercial grade carpet is the second most popular floor covering for use in commercial gyms. Carpet is often inexpensive, fairly easy to clean, and durable as long as weight training equipment is not dragged across the carpet frequently. One of the main reasons why commercial grade carpets are still very popular for use in commercial training facilities is that they are available in a wide array of colors. So if you are looking for cheap commercial gym flooring in a custom color to match your décor, carpet might be the best solution for you.
Some of the downsides to using carpet are that carpet will almost always require a professional installation crew to ensure proper installation and many times will need to have a crew come back in and re-stretch the carpet once it naturally starts to stretch during daily use. This can be a headache since the weight equipment will need to be moved when the carpet is tightened back up. This is usually only an issue however during the first few years of a carpets installation. Another downside to carpet is that it is not very durable for use in areas where free weights are dropped or gym equipment such as sleds and benches may be dragged across the floor. Many times, gyms will install carpeting in their cardio equipment and stationary weight equipment areas and then use rubber flooring in the free weight area because of these limitations. Lastly, carpet easily absorbs liquids and can be stained by protein and other workout drinks where as a rubber flooring can just be wiped clean with a damp rag.
Carpet tiles have also grown in popularity recently due to their ease of installation and custom design options. We are seeing a growing number of commercial gyms use commercial grade carpet tiles in office areas and entrance ways. A typical carpet tile installation usually is as easy as taping the tiles down using double sided carpet tape. The downside to this is that the tiles are usually more expensive per square foot compared to broadloom or roll carpet. Another positive to using carpet tiles is that multiple colors can be used or directional tiles can be rotated to create custom upscale designs.
All of our carpet tile options can be found here: http://www.rubberflooringinc.com/carpet-tile/index.html
Foam flooring is a fun and low cost flooring solution that can be purchased in bright colors. Foam gym flooring is usually made of a closed cell EVA foam which is nonporous, easy to clean, lightweight, portable, and insulates extremely well against temperature and sound transmission. Foam flooring is most commonly available as an interlocking tile that can be easily installed by gym owners and staff members relatively quickly. Foam tiles are not normally recommended as general flooring for use in commercial gyms however they can be useful to most commercial gyms when properly used. The most common places interlocking foam mats are used in a commercial gym are in a kids play area or areas designated for use as places to stretch and do other floor exercises such as sit-ups, exercise ball work, etc. Many gyms also purchase rolled up foam mats to sell to their members who can then lay the mats down as temporary matting in aerobics rooms when high impact works out are being performed or yoga and Pilates classes are being taught.
Foam gym flooring does have its negatives too just like any commercial gym flooring option. The biggest downside to using foam flooring is that it will eventually have to be replaced. Foam is designed to be a safe and soft surface. However due to its soft surface, it does not have the same high level of durability that a rubber or even a carpet gym flooring will have. If used properly, foam floor tiles will last a few years in a commercial gym setting at most. The nice thing about foam though is that it is cheap so as long as it is used sparingly in areas where it would be beneficial to a commercial training facility, most gyms will find it a welcome addition to their overall flooring plan.
All of our foam flooring and matting options can be found here: http://www.rubberflooringinc.com/soft-foam-mats.html
Vinyl flooring is probably the least used commercial gym flooring however it does offer many unique benefits. Commercial vinyl flooring is very similar to the vinyl flooring installed in many home kitchens and bathrooms however the commercial grade used in gyms is often much thicker, more durable, solid in color, and available in a variety of surface patterns such as diamond plate, coin top, or a textured surface. These elevated surfaces patterns help to ensure the commercial grade vinyl is more slip resistant than the smooth vinyl floor solutions used in residential applications. Many of these vinyl flooring options were actually initially developed as garage flooring options however over the years, most of these solutions have become a multi-use floor covering. Commercial vinyl gym flooring is sold in both rolls and tiles and each type is both easy to clean and fairly easy to install.
Here are a few links to show our vinyl and PVC flooring options:
- Tiles: http://www.rubberflooringinc.com/soft-plastic-pvc.html
- Rolls: http://www.rubberflooringinc.com/vinyl-rolls.html
Final Bits of Advice
- When in doubt, ask for samples. There are hundreds and perhaps thousands of flooring options out there that can be used and used successfully in a commercial gym. Depending on who you talk to, different people will often have different advice over what options to choose. That is why we always appreciate when our customers order our samples which are totally free by the way. When you can see and touch the flooring yourself, you will almost always make a better informed decision.
- Thicker isn’t always better. Rubber, carpet, foam, and vinyl are all sold in varying thicknesses. Many times gym owners think I have to get the thickest floor possible since that should be the best. Well it is true generally that the thicker the floor, the more durable it will be and the more shock absorbing capabilities it will have. However, many times anything over 3/8″ thick rubber can be over kill even in a commercial gym. Half inch thick rubber and and thicker are often only needed in areas where people are dropping weights. i.e. a Crossfit gym or an Olympic weight training gym.
- Ask questions. Each gym is designed to cater to a different group or clientele. Once you know what kind of gym you are opening, ask your potential flooring supplier all the questions you can about how their solution is going to fit your needs. If the person cannot easily answer your questions specifically or if it feels like they are only telling you what you want to hear, they are probably not very trustworthy. Additionally, if a potential supplier is not asking you about your gym and what kind of equipment it will have, that supplier is probably not doing a good job of identifying your needs. Our goal is and has always been to get our customers the right flooring to fit their needs. That is why we believe in a consultative sales approach here at RubberFlooringInc.com. If you have any questions we can help you answer today, please give us a call at 800-613-0996.