Gym Flooring: Tiles vs Rolls


The foundation of every great gym (residential or commercial) is a solid and sturdy floor. Rubber gym matting is the most common type of flooring that is used to support the daily activities that occur in every gym.

Interlocking tiles and basic rolls are the two main types of rubber flooring, but they have very significant differences. Interlock tiles are superior to rolls because they are easy to put together and can be added to at any point in time. They are also ideal for almost any situation and workout environment because if they are damaged, only one piece needs to be replaced rather than the whole roll. Rubber rolls also tend to bubble underneath causing an unsafe and inefficient surface to exercise on. The rolls will usually require lots of cutting to fit the desired space, while the interlocking tiles can fill out a set space with minimal cutting involved.

Rubber tiles generally come in 2’x2’, 3’x3’, or 4’x4’ squares and varying thickness from ¼” to ¾”. The best rubber tiles are non-slip and non-porous, so they do not come apart when put under intense use and do not let off an odor. Another important quality to look for when purchasing rubber interlocking tiles is the density of the mat. Often times companies will advertise a certain thickness, but will not take the density into account. Density is more important than thickness because it will determine the durability of the floor as well as it’s shock absorption. An interlocking gym mat that is ¼” thick can be more durable and have more shock absorption than a ¾” mat if the density and quality are higher. Ecore Athletic is an example of a company who manufactures high quality rubber interlock flooring that is non-slip, free of carcinogens, and made in the United States.

Rubber gym flooring comes in various sizes as well as colors. The best color option to consider would be a colored speckle. The speckle configuration makes the floor look flush and clean as compared to just black tiles. Odor is the last thing to be weary of when looking for rubber gym flooring. Depending on the manufacturer, recycled rubber gym flooring can have an off gas period where the mats will emit an odor. Higher quality recycled rubber or virgin rubber will have little to no off gassing period. This will ensure and fun, safe, and odor free workout environment.