How Thick Should Gym Flooring Mats Be?

By Greatmats Staff Created: July, 2017 - Modified: September, 2023

Rubber flooring is the most popular surface for home and commercial gyms. This is due to a number of reasons including durability, affordability, and the insulative properties that rubber brings to a gym. Rubber tends to deaden sound and feels much warmer to stand on than harder surfaces.

Once you've determined that you would like to use rubber for your flooring and you know if you want rolled or tiled rubber, it's time to determine the rubber flooring thickness you need for your facility.

As a general rule, we make these recommendations for the question of ''How thick should gym flooring be?'':

1/4 inch thick rubber mats:

1/4 inch thick rubber matsThis product is great for areas where heavy equipment such as treadmills or elliptical machines will be used. It will do great job of protecting both the machinery and your floor from being scratched. It is also durable enough to withstand dropped weights if they are VERY light. You will also find 1/4 inch thick floor mats in high traffic areas such as aisle ways. At 1/4 inch, you'll most often find rubber flooring as a rubber mat roll.

8mm or 3/8 inch thick rubber matting:

8mm or 3/8 inch thick rubber mattingThere was a time not long ago when 3/8 inch rubber was the standard thickness used in most home and commercial facilities. However, the standard is starting to shift towards 8 mm. This is due to the fact that 8 mm is less expensive as well as slightly lighter than 3/8'' material. Because it's a little lighter, the shipping costs for 8mm are less than 3/8 inch. This becomes more noticeable as you begin to buy larger quantities. From a performance standpoint, the difference between 8mm and 3/8 inch thick rubber mats for gym use is negligible.

Either 8 mm or 3/8 inch rubber is great for weight rooms where weights between 50-75 lbs will be used on a regular basis.

1/2 inch thick rubber flooring

1/2 inch thick rubber flooringHalf inch thick rubber mats is adequate for facilities where weights over 100 lbs will be used but not deliberately dropped on a regular basis. This thickness of rubber flooring can be found in tiles, rolls and even 4x6 rubber stall mats.

3/4 inch -1 inch thick rubber mats

3/4 inch -1 inch thick rubber matsThis thick rubber flooring is generally reserved for areas where power lifting will done. These thicknesses are usually more than most people need unless there is a great deal of dropping weights of more than 100 lbs on a regular basis. (Such as in dead lift or clean-and-jerk areas.) This thick rubber matting is almost always in rubber tile or 4x6 rubber stall mat form. One of the main differences between the 3/4 inch and the 1 inch thick rubber mat options is that at 3/4 inch you have a lot of options of vulcanized rubber, which is more durable than non-vulcanized rubber.

3/4 inch -1 inch matsAt 1 inch thick and thicker, non-vulcanized rubber mats start to be more predominant. These will generally have some sort of support structure on the underside, which will offer more cushion and/or sound absorption. It also makes them no longer reversible in most cases.

Rubber Thicknesses & Activities

Activities 1/4 In 8mm 3/8 In 1/2 In 3/4 In 1 In  2+ In
rubber flooring roll for home exercise gym rolled sport rubber flooring for gym gym flooring rolled rubber interlocking rubber gym floor mats 1 inch thick rubber tiles for weights and gym 2 inch thick rubber tiles for weight lifting noise reduction
Bodyweight Exercises ✓  ✓ 
Exercise Machines ✓  ✓  ✓  ✓  ✓ 
Free Weights Up to 50 lbs ✓  ✓  ✓  ✓  ✓ 
Free Weights Up to 120 lbs   ✓ 
Free Weights Over 120 lbs       ✓  ✓ 
Intentional Weight Dropping         ✓  ✓ 
Vibration/Noise Reduction             

If you have additional questions about the thickness of rubber you will need for you weight lifting area, please call our customer service representatives.