Gym flooring is expensive and a pain to get in place. You’ve already got carpet in the room that’s going to be your home gym. Is it a good idea to just use that carpet as flooring? Let’s find out.
Carpet is not a good substitute for gym flooring. Carpet is hard to clean and keep hygienic especially when sweating a lot. Gym flooring is easier to keep clean, provides more grip and protection for your equipment. Using carpet as gym flooring will destroy the carpet.
What are the pros and cons of using carpet as gym flooring? You can find out below.
Pros of using carpet as gym flooring
There are a few good benefits of using carpet to build your home gym on top of.
- Dampens noise
Cheap: You probably want to use the carpet because it’s already there or you’ve got some rolled up in the garage. So it really isn’t going to cost much. However, keep in mind that you’re probably going to ruin the carpet so while it’s cheap now, it can become expensive later on.
If you’re planning to buy new carpet to use in a gym, don’t. The price difference is not that big and as you’ll see from the cons below, that difference in price is well worth it.
Easy: Carpet is everywhere and if it isn’t already installed, it’s pretty easy to roll some out and cut it to the right size. There’s no need to do it very neatly because it’s a gym anyways.
Comfortable: especially if you live in a colder climate, carpet is very comfortable. It’s warm and soft. What else do you want? You could even train barefeet and it’s super comfy.
Dampens noise: Noise is often a big issue in home gyms. Throwing weights around in a small room with other people nearby is often a recipe for very irritated housemates, spouses and/or neighbors. Carpet is great at absorbing noises. And if you have a soft underlay, it absorbs quite a good amount of vibrations as well.
Cons of using carpet as gym flooring
Of course nothing in life is only good and putting a gym on carpet is definitely not only good. Here are the biggest drawbacks of doing so.
Hygiene: For me personally, the biggest reason to get some gym flooring. Working out makes you sweat. Sweating in the same spot multiple times a week is going to create a very nice environment for bacteria, mildew and other organisms to thrive. Its very hard to avoid all sweat droplets from getting to the carpet. It just happens when you work out hard.
Sweat is water but it also carries a lot of other compounds that are perfect breeding grounds for microorganisms. Also, sweating a lot in the same place will probably leave stains and can deteriorate the carpet pretty quickly.
Sure you can steam clean carpet but are you going to do that after every workout? Or even every week? I don’t think so. After a few weeks you’ll have ruined the carpet and then you still have to get some gym flooring.
Good gym flooring is non-absorbent so any sweat, dust and other things are easy to clean up.
Grip: This depends on the type of carpet but some can be surprisingly slippery. This can cause equipment to slide around with heavy use. But even more dangerous, it can make you slip. Losing grip with a heavy barbell in your hands is a great recipe for injuries and damage to other things. You really don’t want that to happen. Gym flooring is grippy in almost all conditions, even if you stand on it with sweaty bare feet.
Dust: Carpets release dust and fibers. Those particles get into the moving parts and electronics of your gym equipment and can cause problems. Dust and dirt in bearings can ruin them causing your machines to not work smoothly.
Especially complicated equipment like a treadmill has a lot of moving parts and electronics you want to keep dust and dirt away from. On carpet, this is difficult to avoid. Sure you can vacuum carefully but any agitation will stir up more dust from the carpet.
Gym flooring doesn’t release any dust or fibers and is much easier to keep dust/dirt free.
Damage: We all know what a heavy wardrobe does to the carpet it stands on. It creates dents that take weeks to bounce back. A wardrobe barely moves or vibrates. Now put some heavy gym equipment on top and move it around forcefully. THat carpet isn’t only compressed but there is also some friction going on. This can wear holes in the carpet.
If you have any plan to use the carpet or room for something else later on, this isn’t going to help. Gym flooring provides an extra layer between the floor and the equipment, protecting both from each other. And if you get a high quality rubber gym floor, you’re really not going to wear through that anytime soon.
Why you’re better off with real gym flooring
As you’ve probably understood from reading the previous paragraphs, I’m not a fan of putting any gym equipment on carpet. The hygiene issue is a big one but there are some other drawbacks that are just too much for the benefits to overcome in my opinion. Of course you can make your own decision.
What gym flooring provides
Gym flooring might cost a bit of money but you do get good value;
- Protects both your equipment and the flooring underneath
- Good grip
- Non-absorbent (rubber)
- Easy to clean
- Dampens noise
- Can be removed and relocated later on.
What if you don’t have anything else?
What if you only have carpet and no money to buy some gym flooring? In that case I’d see if removing the carpet is an option to preserve it. Take the carpet out of the room, roll it up, and store it in a way that the elements can’t get a hold of it.
If you have a concrete floor, I’d personally prefer that over a full carpet. Concrete is a bit easier to keep hygienic, it’s durable and has decent grip as long as it isn’t polished. To dampen noise, you can cut out squares of carpet and put them under the legs of equipment and have them in places where you drop weights. These squares will catch less sweat and if they do get dirty, they’re easy to take outside, hose down and dry in the sun.
Gym flooring on top of carpet?
The carpet is already there but now you want gym flooring. Can you put gym flooring on top of the carpet without any issues?
In most cases, it’s fine to put gym flooring on top of carpet. This way you can leave the carpet in place, put a gym floor on top and keep the carpet in good shape.
One thing to keep in mind is stability. If the carpet and underlay are very thick and soft, adding another squishy layer on top might be too much. However, if you’ve got a relatively hard carpet and underlay, there is no problem.
If you only want to place a treadmill in a room, putting a treadmill mat on top of the carpet is the best option. No need to go for a full gym flooring.