Gym flooring is one of the most simple and effective ways you can improve your home gym setup while protecting your original floor finish from damage. They can also help make your workout environment safer and more practical, especially if you train regularly.
However, if your new to home fitness and are starting out with a limited budget, you are probably looking for a good balance between descent quality and low price.
Today we’re going to be looking at the best budget gym mats so you can protect your home flooring without breaking the bank! We will also be discussing what to look for when choosing your gym mat and why adding them is important when building your personal gym.
Let’s dive right into our list of recommended flooring options!
The Best Budget Gym Mats: Product Reviews
Puzzle 1-inch Thick Exercise Mat
This is a thick gym mat, measuring at 1” and uses high-density foam tiles, offering good water-resistant material for repelling moisture and maximizing grip. It provides an above-average quality floor/equipment protection, which is great for any home gym set up.
The design of this product is very convenient: the puzzle style flooring using an interlocking system that fits together for easy use, as well as disassembly and storage. At 24”x 24”. It’s also a good size, allowing you to tuck it away when you have guests or when needing to transport them around.
The different colored mats don’t seem to line up effectively, so make sure you get them all in one color to avoid these problems.
This is good flooring with some of the best thickness options on the market – a quality we absolutely love. The quality does let it down a little, but with a little ingenuity these mats provide an awesome option for reliable coverage from heavy exercise equipment.
Puzzle Gym Mat
This product is made of durable EVA foam tiles, with a ½” thick design, offering a standard level of home flooring protection from heavy exercise equipment. It can be used as a reliable lining for underneath a squat rack, treadmill, or, elliptical.
The assembly of this flooring is much easier and more consistent than the previous piece, with an effective system using interlocking tiles. The price is also on the lower end of the spectrum, however, it comes with the challenge of the occasional misprint/blemish on the surface after some time.
This is a decent mat for general exercise needs, but not for the use of heavy barbells, as you might expect from the brand. The thickness and designs are all decent to good but don’t stand out among its competitors, which is expected for a lower-priced gym mat.
Training Puzzle Mat
Surprisingly, Amazon Basics offers a reliable gym mat that is half an inch thick, making it very versatile for all situations. This is fine if you’re performing aerobic exercises or are using standard gym gear, including moderate to heavy equipment.
The design also uses an interlocking system, making it easy to put together and taking them apart for storage or when traveling. The material is also water-resistant and easy to keep clean.
What we loved most about this gym mat was its level of comfort and its ability to reduce fatigue using impact-absorbing material. It’s also very reliable at reducing noise when dropping weights or performing high impact movements, making it great for any type of situation where you don’t want to disturb others at home during your sessions.
This is a decent product and offers descent quality for what you pay. If you’re looking for lighter gym mats that are designed for machines that aren’t overly heavy, or are looking to perform body weight exercises while reducing noise, then you wont be dissapointed with the Amazon Basics gym mat!
1/4″ Tough Rubber Roll
This is another multi-purpose soft floor mat that comes rolled is made from tough rubber, offering maximum durability. Though this a great option for heavy machines and equipment, expect it to be really tough on your joints if you are looking to perform body exercises that are high impact.
Some key benefits of a tough rubber flooring mat such as this one are easy maintenance and cleanliness. They also reduce slipping and last longer while maintaining their original shape without wearing over time.
The downside in terms of design is that it is difficult to store, as it doesn’t feature an interlocking system like most gym mats. The mat is also heavy due to the weight of tough rubber which also makes it a hassle to move around.
This is a good product for those who are looking for a tough gym mat that can sustain the heaviest equipment and impact. However, we would not recommend this type of flooring if you are looking to do aerobics and floor to body contact workouts.
Overall, this is a great option if you are looking for a tough gym mat that stays fixed and don’t plan to move it around.
Puzzle Exercise Mat
These mats are made up of ½” high-density foam, which is the standard thickness for most gym mats.
The durability and quality of these mats do seem to out-perform the thickness, however, it has a good reputation for durability and shock absorption. They’re not perfect and will wear down over time since they’re made from foam, but are still a reliable choice for exercising and using moderate weight equipment.
The quality of these mats is also pretty reliable if you’re looking for longevity, however, there are concerns around the different batches not locking together properly. They seem to change the manufacturing process regularly, so be cautious if you’re ordering twice, as they may look off once put together.
This is a pretty standard entry on the list. The thickness, style, design, and quality are all relatively good. This is an industry-standard flooring mat, offering all the fundamentals when it comes to protection, longevity, and reliability.
Wood Grain Floor Mats
The Sorbus Wood Grain Floor Mats have a unique focus on aesthetics and have a 3/8” thickness, making this a very thin mat for those who are looking to use it for lighter aerobic exercise, rather than dropping weights or heavy equipment.
The material for this mat is a more plastic-style design that offers less wear and increased durability. However, it’s still susceptible to scuffing and other damage you’d expect from a finish like this, but it’s definitely a good choice for light to moderate equipment and stand-alone exercises.
Some downsides come with the design itself which can be somewhat of a hit-or-miss when it comes to assembly, with some edges not always lining up/flattening effectively. This can occasionally require additional work, which does make for an unnecessarily frustrating installation process.
This is an interesting step for the design of gym floor mats and offers a compromise between appealing design and hard-wearing plastic material choices. It’s certainly unique within this list for the plastic finish, which can be a great choice for home workouts, offering increased density compared to most EVA foam alternatives that are this thin.
Our Top Pick, And Why!
We found that the best budget floor mat for heavy lifting is the BalanceFrom mats, due to the extra thickness and high-density material. This is definitely a reliable option if you want to drop weights, reduce noise, and improve the look of your home gym.
The CAP barbell puzzle mat is the best choice for light, bodyweight, or mobility workouts due to the price-point, safety, and lighter construction that provides shock absorption that makes high impact exercises easier on the joints!
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Should I Install Home Gym Flooring?
There are a few crucial factors that gym flooring can help with:
- Wear and tear: Matting helps to reduce damage to the floor and to your workout equipment, saving you money, and avoiding unnecessary repairs.
- Safety (even, non-slip, non-compressible, stability): good flooring needs to be even, must prevent slipping, and provide stability. It shouldn’t be compressible and should keep your footing during training to avoid injury.
- Effective training: non-compressible floors make for better training results, ultimately reducing injury risk and improving force transfer during exercise.
- Volume: good flooring reduces volume from lifting or high impact, where floor-impact could be loud. This is great for houses with children or unusual training spaces!
- Comfort and friction: if you’re doing anything on the floor, you want to be comfortable, this is where effective cushioning can be a benefit. Yoga, mobility, core work, etc. should all be as pain-free as possible.
How Thick Should Your Exercise Mat Be?
How thick your gym mat should depend on the kind of workouts you’re planning on doing, and what you’re putting the exercise mat on. For more demanding workouts, or placing your mat on a hard floor, a thicker exercise mat is going to be more comfortable and will wear slower.
Standard thicknesses of these mats tend to be around half an inch in thickness, but more is usually better for durability and protection. This depends on what you’re using it for, and excessively thick mats may change certain exercises (like the deadlift). Equally, you want to avoid thickness at the expense of density: spongey materials are no good, whereas rubber flooring or EVA foam is reliable.
It’s always better to make sure you’re getting the best quality product, before worrying about the thickness of the mats. For example 5/8” of foam isn’t better than ½” of effective high-density rubber. Quality over quantity is key!
Can I Put Home Gym Flooring Over Carpet?
It’s definitely possible, but there are a few factors to consider such as what type of exercise you are doing. Carpet isn’t ideal for heavy lifting and can cause the floor to be easily damaged, and can even increase the risk injury.
The mats will likely weigh down and compress the carpet, reducing the quality of the flooring as well. This can be a concern for your home, so ideally you’d want to be using gym floor mats somewhere like a garage where there’s no carpet.
What you have to make sure of is that whichever gym flooring you choose, it has substantial grip underneath. Not having enough grip can sometimes cause the tiles to slide which can make your floor a safety hazard.
What Should I Look For When Choosing My Home Gym Mat?
The materials that are used in your gym flooring are crucial. Things like thickness, design, and other factors only matter if the materials chosen for the flooring are effective. As you’ve seen on our list of reviews, stronger materials are the most important aspect of a good gym flooring setup.
Low-density or low-resistance foam is less effective for absorbing impact as well as transmitting force and will deform under pressure in a way that high-density and rubber floors will not. This is crucial for the effectiveness of the material, but also its longevity. These are key factors in the kind of flooring you should buy, and they can make a world of difference as you continue to build your gym.
The thickness of a gym mat is important because it determines how much support it will offer, and how effectively it can guard your floors from damage. This also protects any equipment you might be using – such as a kettlebell or barbell/plates from scuffing the floor.
More thickness is also helpful for absorbing shock, which is great if you live in a quiet neighborhood or want to avoid making too much noise. As mentioned above, material quality comes first, but by and large, a thicker mat will always be a better choice.
Ease of use/assembly
The best mats can be easily assembled and disassembled without ruining their function. This is why puzzle style mats are well-regarded: they slot together and apart without affecting their use too much.
This kind of convenience is great if you need to store your home gym mats or are moving them around. Larger mats with less moving parts are better for a more consistent, static home gym set-up, but not when seeking to be mobile with your mats or want to hide them occasionally.
Gym flooring can be a serious investment for saving your joints, floors, and your gym kit from becoming damaged. Effective choices here knock on to better experiences down the line, and can prevent you from replacing something more expensive in the future.
We’ve outlined some of the most popular choices on the market for a fair price. If you follow these principles, and focus on quality first and foremost, you’re going to get a great product for all your home gym needs!