How to Install Rubber Gym Flooring

If you are building your own gym space, whether a home gym in your garage or a large commercial gym, having the right kinds of floors is crucial.

One of the best types of floors for any gym environment is rubber tiles or rolls. With that being said, installing rubber floors can seem like a daunting task.

However, installing rubber gym flooring is a straightforward process. This step-by-step guide will walk you through the entire installation process, from measuring and planning to securing and finishing your tiles.

Learn how to stagger joints for added stability, when to use glue for larger areas, and ensure your gym floor is perfectly installed for optimal performance and safety.


How to Install Rubber Gym Flooring

Step 1: Measure and Plan

Begin by measuring your gym space accurately. This helps you determine the number of tiles needed and ensures an efficient layout. You will want to add an extra 5% to 10% to the floor area to allow for wastage and mistakes.


Step 2: Prepare the Subfloor

Ensure the subfloor is clean, dry, and level. Remove any debris, dust, or grease. A clean subfloor ensures a smoother installation process. Plus, if you do need to use any glue, then it will create a stronger bond.


Step 3: Lay the First Row

Start in one corner of the room. Place the first tile snugly against the wall. Continue laying tiles along the wall, making sure each tile fits tightly against the next.


Step 4: Stagger the Joints

For each new row, begin with a half tile or a cut tile to create a staggered pattern. This technique increases the floor’s stability and reduces the likelihood of gaps forming over time.


Step 5: Secure the Tiles

For areas less than 10 meters wide, a good quality heavy tile should stay in place without glue. For larger areas, glue every sixth row to ensure the flooring remains stable. Apply adhesive to the subfloor where the row will be placed, then press the tiles firmly into the glue. You can also look to use a good quality double-sided sticky tape.


Step 6: Finishing Touches

Once all tiles are in place, walk over the entire floor to ensure all tiles are securely set. Trim any excess material around the edges with a utility knife for a clean finish.


By following these steps, you’ll have a durable, professional-looking rubber gym floor that enhances your workout space.


How to Cut Rubber Gym Flooring Tiles

Cutting rubber gym flooring tiles is a straightforward process that ensures a precise fit around edges and obstacles. Here’s how to do it:

1. Measure and Mark: Measure the area where the tile needs to fit, and mark the cutting line on the tile with a chalk or pencil. Use a straightedge to ensure an accurate line.

2. Secure the Tile: Place the tile on a stable surface. Secure it with clamps if necessary to prevent movement while cutting.

3. Cut with a Utility Knife: Using a sharp utility knife, make several passes along the marked line. After the first pass with the knife, you can place a piece of wood underneath the cut line to separate the cut slightly to allow for more cutting passes.

Apply firm, even pressure to cut through the tile. For thicker tiles, you may need to make multiple passes.

4. Smooth the Edges: After cutting, use sandpaper to smooth any rough edges for a clean finish.


The Best Conditions to Install Rubber Flooring

The Best Conditions to Install Rubber Flooring

Although rubber floors can be placed virtually anywhere, there are certain conditions you first want to meet.

First and foremost, to install rubber floors properly, the floor below should be flat. The flatter the floor is, the easier the rubber floor will be to install.

Moreover, you don't want any kind of bumps or dips in your rubber floor, because that can be dangerous when you're exercising.

Therefore, if there are any cracks, gaps, or large spaces in the concrete or floor below, you'll need to repair these first.

On that note, when you install rubber floors, the surface absolutely needs to be dry. If the surface is not dry, all of that moisture will stay trapped under the rubber once it's installed.

This can lead to mold and mildew, and can even degrade the subfloor below. The bottom line is that any floor that you install rubber gym flooring on needs to be hard, dry, and flat.


Rubber Gym Floors and Subflooring

Something you need to be familiar with is the subflooring underneath the rubber floor.

A lot of people wonder whether or not it is necessary to use a subfloor, and if it is necessary, which type to use.

Generally speaking, using subflooring is recommended. This is especially the case if you have delicate or fragile materials underneath.

For instance, if you have a tile or stone floor, these can be cracked and damaged fairly easily. To avoid this from happening, installing a subfloor between it and the rubber is recommended.

A cushioned surface to absorb impact from your exercise is crucial if you plan on the floor underneath staying in good condition. A cushiony type of subfloor is recommended for any kind of fragile surface that easily cracks.

If we are talking about wooden floors, using a layer of craft paper or something similar is recommended to use as subflooring. The reason for this is that rubber mats have black colouring, and over time, this can seep into the hardwood floor and cause stains.

Rubber may also react with some wood finishes, causing damage to both the wood and the rubber.

Using a layer of paper in between the rubber flooring and the hardwood protects from any stains and reactions.

To avoid moisture issues, a subfloor may also be used when installing rubber flooring over concrete.


Are There Any Reasons to Avoid Rubber Gym Floors?

Are There Any Reasons to Avoid Rubber Gym Floors?

Rubber flooring is one of the best types of floors to use in a gym. There are however some cases where a rubber floor is not ideal.

For instance, if the floor underneath is extremely damaged, warped, cracked, or anything else of the sort, a rubber floor may not be ideal. This is especially the case if you don't plan on performing any repairs first.

You don't want wrinkles and bulges in the rubber floor, because that can be inconvenient and dangerous while you are exercising.

You don't want to install rubber flooring over any surface that has significant gaps, such as wooden decks with gaps in between the boards.

You don't want to have any seams or ridges in the floor, as this can also be dangerous.

Furthermore, if you have tile floors with very deep grout, this might also not be the best for rolled rubber flooring.

That said, in any of these cases, the thickness of the mat can counteract the gaps and spaces below. The thicker the mat is, the more of the cushion surface you'll have.

Related Post: How Thick Should Gym Flooring Be?


Installing Rubber Gym Floors on Various Surfaces

Let's take a look at some of the most common surfaces that you might install a rubber gym floor over, and the most important things that you need to know about doing so.


Ceramic Tile

Ceramic Tile

A pretty common flooring material is ceramic tile, and it is quite suitable to use as underlayment for rubber flooring. That said, ceramic tile is somewhat fragile and breakable, so using subflooring is recommended.

Even the highest quality ceramic tiles can be fragile, particularly when weights are dropped on them. 

Therefore, using a cushioned subflooring with a thick rubber main floor is recommended.



One of the primary materials that you'll likely be putting your rubber gym floor on is concrete. One of the best surfaces is flat concrete. If you install rubber gym flooring on flat concrete, you'll have a long-lasting and consistent foundation that is ideal for long-term use.

Because rubber gym floors need a level and solid surface, a flat concrete area is perfect.

Just make sure that the concrete and underneath don't have a high level of moisture, because that water can seep upwards and become trapped in between the rubber and concrete.

This can cause issues. Keep in mind however that if you are installing rolled rubber flooring for your home gym over concrete steps, you may need to glue it down.

Rubber flooring can shift if placed on steps without being glued down, therefore posing a danger.

Related Post: How to Clean Rubber Gym Flooring?




There's just something that needs to be said about the beauty of hardwood. It's an attractive and elegant surface that anybody would be proud to have in their office or home. However, hardwood is not the best option for gyms. 

Hardwood is quite expensive, and if you drop a weight on the hardwood floor, you'll likely damage it irreversibly. Therefore, using rubber flooring to cover your hardwood floors is ideal for any gym situation.

Remember that you need a protective paper layer between the hardwood floors and the rubber, or else the black colour from the rubber can rub off on the wood.

The paper underlayment keeps the colour from transferring, therefore preserving the aesthetic appeal and quality of your wooden floors.

If you have very large gym floors, rubber can be quite heavy, in which case it might be better to use some kind of protective vinyl sheet.



Interlocking Tiles

Something to take note of is that rubber floors should not be installed over carpet. It can make the floor very springy and also more likely to move. So we recommend removing the carpet before laying home rubber gym flooring.


Final Thoughts on Installing Rubber Gym Floors

Installing Rubber Gym Floors

The bottom line here is that there are some surfaces that are ideal for rubber gym floors, and others that are not. Take a closer look at everything we've said here today to make an informed decision. As long as you are well informed, creating a rubber gym floor should be more than doable.

Author's Photo

William Parrett

Will, co-founder of Home Gym Supply, launched the company in 2019 after 15-years in the fitness industry. His expertise stems not only from his professional background but also from his athletic pursuits. A former competitor in the World Beauty Fitness & Fashion (WBFF) and a competitive rugby player, Will has always been dedicated to health and fitness.