2022 Rubber Mat Guide: Everything You Need to Know
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Published: May 18, 2022 | Updated: May 18, 2022
Find the best rubber mat for your application with this all-inclusive buying guide. We’ll cover everything you need to know – including benefits, thickness options, installation advice, top recommendations, and more.
Rubber Mat Basics
Rubber mats are one of the most versatile flooring options and are perfect for a commercial gym, office, or home kitchen. They combine a comfortable and easy-to-clean material without the hassle of a time-consuming installation.
Benefits of Rubber Mats
- Durability: Rubber is a strong material that withstands high foot traffic, heavy weights, and any intense use. Its durability makes it a long-lasting investment for most applications.
- Convenience: Most rubber floor mats are lightweight and portable, so you can easily pick them up and move them around as needed.
- Great for small spaces: A single rubber mat can do the trick if you want to cover an individual work or workout space.
- Appearance: Quality rubber mats have a smooth finish, making any gym or business look more professional.
- Easy to clean: Simply vacuum or use a damp mop when necessary.
- Slip and water-resistant: Floor mats can help reduce falls and injuries in the workplace or gym. Sweaty workouts, spilled water, and even poolside yoga is no problem for rubber mats.
- Shock absorption: Rubber gym mats absorb the shock and impact of challenging workouts and heavy free weights. A plus is that they also work as sound insulators.
- Subfloor protection: Gym mats provide excellent protection underneath exercise equipment to reduce cracking or denting to your subfloor.
Cons of Rubber Gym Mats
- Price: Although rubber gym mats may not be the cheapest option, they provide the best value. Rubber gym floor mats are affordable, but they are more expensive per square foot than rubber rolls.
- Not appropriate for large spaces: If you have a large space to cover, Rubber Rolls may provide an easier installation and a lower overall cost.
- Deteriorate: While rubber is resistant to stains from most agents, grease or oil can still break down the material and cause it to flake. Be sure to wipe up spills immediately to prevent staining.
- Mats may shift: It may shift if you’re too aggressive. Simply add double-sided tape to secure it to your subfloor if this happens.
Gym floor mats are what professional establishments use, such as hockey arenas, school gyms, commercial gyms, and ski resorts. They’re a top choice for home gyms because they are super durable, slip-resistant, and look great.
Most mats are made from recycled rubber tires, making them high-density, long-lasting and eco-friendly choices.
Where to Use Rubber Gym Mats
- Residential/commercial gyms
- Fitness studios
- Locker rooms
- Weight rooms
- Sports arenas
- Under exercise equipment
Rubber mats are growing in popularity for horse stalls, barns, trailers, and even dog kennels.
Animal flooring needs to be durable and withstand large horses and heavy traffic from hooves or paws. Rubber is not only the most durable flooring on the market, but it serves as a comfortable bed for animals.
- Comfort and safety: These mats provide a soft cushion for animals and keep them warm from cold subfloors.
- Non-porous: Rubber horse stall mats will not harbor or grow bacteria.
- Low maintenance: Simply hose off any dirt or debris to keep your animal mats looking great.
Where to Use Animal Rubber Mats
- Horse stalls
- Doggy daycares
- Animal training facilities
Top Rubber Mat Options
Explore three of our most popular mats to find the right one for your needs!
These mats are ideal if you’re looking for premium durability, a sharp appearance, and an economically smart choice.
- 5-year warranty
- Rated for commercial/residential use
- 100% recycled and non-porous material
- Easy to sanitize
Our 3/4″ thick Extreme Mats are our most popular thickness and offer the most extensive color fleck selection, including vibrant blue, green, and red options. Use them as a permanent gym solution or on the go for various indoor and outdoor fitness routines.
- Indoor/outdoor use
- Made for high-impact routines
- Certified clean rubber
Shock Mats provide an impressive shock and sound absorption for residential and commercial gyms. With non-slip material,
- Mold and mildew resistant
- TRX® approved rubber
- Beveled edge design
- Sound absorption
Rubber Mats Installation
Rubber mats are easy to install! Lay them out, and you’re good to go. Usually, you won’t need to use adhesive since the product’s weight is enough to keep the mats from moving. However, if you experience slippage, you can use some double-sided tape or one of our adhesives to prevent any movement.
Note: Commercial installations are more challenging to do solo, so we recommend having a couple of helpers.
Horse stall mats and interlocking rubber mat kits are also simple to put together. Each kit comes with a layout showing how to position the mats in the stall.
If you are placing rubber mats in a horse stall or barn, we recommend a ¼” to ½” gap between the edge of the mat and the wall to account for expansion and contraction in extreme temperatures.
How to Cut Rubber Mats
- Measure the size of your cut.
- Use a straight edge and chalk to mark the cut.
- Place your straight edge on the chalk line and use a sharp utility knife to score your floor, adding a deep crease in the rubber.
- Pick up the rubber and bend it at that crease to break it open further.
- Return the rubber flooring to the ground and continue scoring the rest until your cut is complete.
Rubber Mat Cleaning and Maintenance
- Give it a quick vacuum to eliminate loose crumbs, dust, or debris.
- Occasionally, use a damp mop with a mild soap and water cleaning solution.
Note: Do not use any solvent or oil-based cleaners, such as Pine-Sol, Lysol, Murphy’s Oil Soap, WD40, paint thinner, etc. These cleaners may damage the floor over time.
Rubber Mat FAQs
Check out our answers to the most common customer questions, from the rubber smell to environmental responsibility. For a full rubber flooring breakdown, explore our FAQ guide.
How do I choose the right thickness for rubber mats?
The typical rule of thumb – the thicker the rubber, the more it will protect your subfloor.
Ultra-thin rubber can hold up to bodyweight exercises, light dumbbells, high-traffic areas, etc. Medium thicknesses are great for commercial gyms, CrossFit, powerlifting, Olympic lifting, etc.
Here’s a quick breakdown of our most popular mat thicknesses:
- 8mm: Most popular for home gyms.
- 3/8”: Most popular for commercial gyms
- 1/2” – 3/4”: Ultra-thick commercial gym / CrossFit flooring.
Do rubber mats smell?
Yes, but the intensity of the rubber mat smell depends on the person and their sensitivity to scents and the type of rubber material purchased.
The smell will be most potent when you first unroll your rubber mat. Let it air out in a well-ventilated room for at least 48 to 72 hours, and so the material can acclimate to the environment.
How do I get rid of the rubber smell?
You can mop it down with a mild soap and water solution if you’re still sensitive to the rubber smell after airing your mat out.
Let the mat air dry in a well-ventilated area, and repeat the process as needed. This should make the scent a bit more amicable, and the rest of the smell should dissipate over time.
Are rubber mats eco-friendly?
Yes, most mats are made from recycled rubber, and many of ours are manufactured in the USA. Choosing American-made rubber flooring also reduces carbon emissions associated with transportation, according to Recyclebank.
Rubber mats are a staple for various high traffic areas and offer the benefits of durable material, shock absorbency, and water resistance for a lasting and reliable choice you can feel confident in. Shop our selection of rubber mats to find the perfect one for you!