Are you shopping for high quality rubber gym mats for your home or club? First, let’s ask ourselves two basic questions that will help determine which mat selection is best for our application. What is our budget? What type of equipment are we using? A lot of times when we purchase rubber flooring, or anything for that matter, budget will often dictate size and even the material content. If budget allows, we recommend doing some research and buying rubber mats that are best suited to your equipment and lifting style. Heavy dumbbells and barbells require different flooring than weight stack machines. Listed below are the three types of materials used in rubber gym mats and their different characteristics.
Recycled Rubber Gym Mats - Recycled mats get their rubber from truck and passenger tires that is shredded and then pulverized into crumb rubber. This clean crumb rubber is then mixed with a urethane bonding agent and then turned into large rubber sheets that are ultimately cut to size such as 4’ x 6’ or 4’ x 8’. The advantages of recycled rubber mats are that they are often the most affordable out of the three mat choices. They also keep a lot of used tires from being buried forever in landfills all over the country. Thicknesses available are 3/8”, ½” and ¾” so no matter if you are using them under a home gym or to absorb heavy weight drop from barbells and dumbbells, there is a perfect thickness for everyone. The tensile strength, or amount of force it takes to tear apart, is the lowest of the three. But for most garage gyms or even commercial gyms, most are very happy with this choice.
Vulcanized Rubber Gym Mats - Vulcanized mats are very similar to recycled in that they are both made from recycled rubber and are available in the same size options. They will cost a bit more than recycled though. The advantage of this material is that the vulcanization greatly increases the tensile strength to 3-4 times more than recycled. This means it can withstand a lot more weight impact year after year without coming apart. Vulcanized deadlifting mats are perfect for lifting platforms.
Virgin Rubber Gym Mats - Virgin rubber mats are another highly impact resistant material and has a tensile strength just under that of vulcanized. Virgin rubber offers vibrant, solid color choices and diamond plate patterns not found in the other two choices. These mats are typically used in home gyms and commercial gyms that have more room in the budget for a high end flooring and want to make their space really pop. Not only is this flooring beautiful but it is very durable.
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