Many gym flooring tiles say “rubber” when they contain no rubber at all. But these mats are real rubber, and this is the material gym flooring might use. If price is no object, this is what you want.
It is 100% virgin, not recycled, rubber formed into 24″ x 24″ mats, 3/8″ thick, with a slick pebbled surfaced that the industry calls “hammered.”Closed cell construction means it does not absorb moisture and the shiny surface means it is easy to clean. One great advantage of virgin rubber is that it does not come with the unpleasant odors that recycled rubber does–heady chemical scents hardly being conducive to hard exercise. Another option for Gym flooring is Cork flooring because it is an eco-friendly material (100% renewable and biodegradable). Because cork is soft, it seems like it could serve as gym flooring. Cork will absorb some impact, but not as much as the name implies. In fact, cork is only a little more impact-resistant than good sheet vinyl flooring. Another downside using cork for Gym flooring is that cork may tear if a piece of gym equipment is dragged across it.
EVA foam is typically the first gym-friendly flooring you encounter at home improvement stores. Here is why.EVA (Ethylene vinyl acetate) foam is light-weight and easy to obtain. It comes in a myriad of pretty colors. Those are the positives. The purchase-killing downside is that EVA foam dents easily and does not decompress well. Dropped weights have the unfortunate tendency to bounce back, creating a hazard. The surface is mushy and unstable, especially when you are holding heavy weights. These mats are best used in children’s playrooms, not gym flooring. If you want to use them in a gym, they can be called into action as individual exercise mats, as shown here, not as general gym flooring.
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