If you haven't given much thought to flooring since you were a toddler, expect to get up close and personal with your exercise room floor. Whether you have wall-to-wall carpeting or natural hardwood, working out can really bring your floor into sharp focus -- like from a distance of a couple of inches. Installing an exercise room in a bedroom can present even greater flooring challenges because the limited space may make it necessary to carry (not drag) equipment around. You'll also want flooring that's stable but offers some cushioning power for your aching back -- and backside.
- Standard carpet - If you're on a budget, go for standard residential carpet with low-cut pile and a thick, rubbery pad. You want a carpet that's either professionally installed or that you can peel and stick to your flooring with a sturdy adhesive. The idea is to create a cushioned surface that won't shift when you're using it.
- Workout tiles - You can also install permanent cushioned exercise tiles over your existing floor. These shock absorbing tiles can create a workout surface in a few hours. They're available in textured, smooth or rubber surface treatments and can even mimic the look of hardwood.
- Rubber floors - Rubber flooring in an exercise room offers good traction, cushioning power, and sound dampening properties. Some rubber flooring options on the market are also made from recycled rubber, making them a green choice, too. Rubber floors are available in rolls or as interlocking mats (or smaller tiles) designed to fit together like puzzle pieces. Some varieties can be moved from room to room as needed, too. Mats are available in a number of thicknesses and colors, including heavy duty bully mat flooring designed to protect floors from heavy weight lifting equipment.
- Custom mats - Another option is to purchase a specialty rubber or foam mat designed for the specific workout you have in mind. If you don't want to change your current flooring, a specialty mat offers the comfort and protection you need just where you need it. Some options are: