With fitness and an active lifestyle being such a focus in modern day society, we are seeing new and innovative places to exercise pop up all the time.  From yoga studios and cross-fit facilities, to large gym chains and lifestyle clubs- they all offer something a little different; however, no matter what purpose the fitness center is fulfilling, it needs a floor that is geared towards performance, safety, resilience, and durability.

Large Fitness Facilities and Commercial Gyms

Today’s fitness facilities meet the needs of many types of people, with different fitness goals.  The different spaces within fitness centers dictate its flooring needs.  The flooring that is needed in the locker room or on the weight floor is different than what you would choose to put in the multi-purpose room or cardio equipment space.  What is common for these spaces however, is they all need to be anti-microbial, slip-resistant, and durable for heavy use.

Rubber flooring is the most common surface used in the weight lifting area because of its durability and ability to withstand the punishment of having free-weights continuously being dropped upon it.  It is also low cost and can reduce the noise in a large facility.  Cork flooring is another option that can absorb the shock of fitness workouts with its resilient and flexible qualities.  It is often used in yoga and barre studios but is strong enough to support exercise machines and give them a level surface.  Cork can provide an earth-friendly option if you want to create a green exercise room.  It is a renewable resource and doesn’t give off chemicals or gases.  Therefore, cork provides healthier air to breathe in during exercise.

Carpet is commonly used throughout the machine equipment and general areas to enhance aesthetics.  Carpet tiles are less expensive and easy to replace when they experience wear and tear since you only have to replace them tile by tile.

The flooring in the locker rooms needs to be anti-microbial and slip resistant since it is dealing with people of all ages and moisture that can build up on the floors.  There are a lot of germs and bacteria found in locker rooms and the flooring needs to be one that will help keep these at bay.

The gymnasiums or multi-purpose rooms, such as where they would hold fitness classes, have the same needs as other gymnasiums.  There are a variety of activities and sports being played on their floors, so they generally have two options: wood or a poured urethane surface.  A hard surface without much give is most desirable so that balls bounce and players can jump. For a multi-purpose room, you can usually use wood or synthetic hard floors.


Gymnasiums are increasingly called upon to play multiple roles acting as multi-purpose spaces hosting a variety of activities and sports and there are generally two options for gymnasium flooring; wood or a poured urethane surface.

Wood flooring is the traditional choice and is more expensive but does not always serve the modern day need of versatility. This type of flooring is also very sensitive and more easily damaged by water and the wrong type of foot traffic. However, there are overlay options to protect the hard wood such as matting and other portable rubberized applications, but those options incur an added expense.

Synthetic flooring (such as luxury vinyl) is less expensive, not as easily damaged and offers a great deal of versatility.  This choice is virtually worry-free and ideal for all types of sports such as basketball, indoor tennis, volleyball and jogging.

Home Gyms

When you create a home gym, there are many factors to consider, including the type of equipment you will include and the layout that will be best for performing various types of exercises. One element of a home gym that’s important not to overlook is the flooring. You need the flooring to be sturdy, easy to clean, and appropriate for your equipment.

You will most likely use your home gym for multiple reasons such as practicing yoga, exercising to aerobic DVDs, using free weights and possibly exercising on a machine such as a treadmill, elliptical or stationary bike. A multi-purpose floor should suit your needs, since you most likely won’t have specialized needs such as a basketball court or other specific sport. Wood flooring is generally used for multi-purpose areas; alternatively, a synthetic hard floor is a less expensive option or if you know you won't be able to keep up with the maintenance that wood requires.

If you choose to go with a wood floor, you might want to invest in some rubber equipment mats that will protect the flooring and provide cushioning under foot.