Rubber Floor Tiles Buying Guide
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Published: July 10, 2023 | Updated: July 11, 2023
Rubber floor tiles are known for their ease and simplicity. Clicking in together like puzzle pieces, they are truly one of the easiest DIY exercise flooring solutions on the market.
To choose your perfect rubber floor tile, you’ll want to consider:
- Your application
- Tile thickness
- Colors and appearance
Pros of Rubber Floor Tiles
- DIY, glue-free installation
- Easy to cut to fit your space
- Ultra-durable for tough workouts and lots of foot traffic
- Low maintenance
- Virtually seamless*
- Lightweight compared to rubber rolls
- Many USA-made and FloorScore® certified options
*Note: This does not apply to all tiles but the majority have a seamless appearance.
Cons of Rubber Floor Tiles
- Tedious installation for big spaces
- More seams than rubber rolls
We offer the largest selection of rubber floor tiles to ensure you get exactly what you want.
But, in case you need a little help narrowing things down, let’s take a look at our customer favorites!
How & Where to Use Rubber Floor Tiles
Rubber flooring tiles are extremely versatile. While primarily used as gym flooring, rubber tiles are also commonly used in playgrounds, outdoors, and other high-traffic areas that require durable and/or waterproof flooring.
Rubber tiles are the most popular home gym flooring option on the market. When it comes to gym flooring solutions, rubber is the most versatile. It is perfect for virtually any gym or workout, and you have plenty of options to find the perfect solution for you.
Rubber gym tiles come in a variety of thickness options to suit your needs. You can even purchase rubber tiles specially designed to keep your joints safe during high-impact, plyometric movements.
Choose rubber gym flooring tiles for:
- Home or commercial gyms
- Fitness studios
- Physical therapy facilities
- DIY installations
Playground tiles are the most popular safety surfacing we sell. These tiles come in many different colors and thicknesses. Because playground tiles are porous, they allow water to easily penetrate through the floor, ensuring a dry playing surface even after heavy rain.
Rubber playground tiles are the most trusted playground flooring on the market. Each playground rubber tile comes with a certified fall height safety rating*, giving you the peace of mind that kids will be safe at play.
Use rubber playground tiles for commercial playground flooring, such as:
- Skateboard parks
Rubber playgrounds may be overkill for the smaller home playground. In those instances, we recommend using rubber mulch or playground turf.
* Fall height refers to the highest point that a person can fall without being severely hurt. Ex: if a tile has a 2′ fall height, if they fall 2′ from the playing surface they won’t be severely hurt. Fall height is determined by testing the shock absorbency of the flooring.
Outdoor rubber tiles come in many stylish options comparable to natural stone, but without any of the pitfalls. They’re highly durable, comfortable underfoot, and naturally slip-resistant, especially when wet! Outdoor rubber tiles also stay cooler than concrete in direct sunlight. However, if the tiles do get too hot underfoot, go ahead and soak them.
Use outdoor rubber tiles for:
- Patio pavers
- Porch and deck flooring
- Horse stall flooring
- Walkway pavers
- Pool decking
Other Uses for Rubber Floor Tiles
People typically choose rubber flooring to use in high-traffic spaces and areas that see a lot of water because rubber is both durable and waterproof.
Rubber floor tiles are an excellent choice for:
- Doggy daycares
- Boat flooring
- Utility rooms and sheds
- Ice skating rinks
- Locker rooms
- Any high-traffic area
Rubber Floor Tile Size & Thickness Options
Choosing the size and thickness of your rubber tile is an important part of the buying process.
Rubber Floor Tiles by Thickness
One of the most important decisions you need to make is which thickness you want for your rubber floor. There’s more to it than this, but the typical rule of thumb is the thicker the rubber, the more durable the floor.
Ultra-thin rubber tiles can hold up to bodyweight exercises, light dumbbells, high-traffic areas, etc. Medium thicknesses are great for commercial gyms, CrossFit, powerlifting, Olympic lifting etc. Ultra-thick rubber tiles are typically used for playgrounds where you need premium shock absorbency and safety ratings.
Here’s a quick breakdown of our most popular thicknesses:
- 1/4″ – For light, at-home workouts.
- 8mm – Most popular for home gyms.
- 3/8″ – Most popular for commercial gyms and CrossFit.
- 1/2″ – Ultra-thick commercial gym / CrossFit tiles.
- 3/4”– Ultra-thick commercial gym / CrossFit tiles.
- 1” – Ultra-thick gym tiles that you can install over plush carpet or playground tiles.
- 2-3” – Residential playground tiles.
Rubber Floor Tiles by Size
Sizes vary by product. Typical sizes for rubber floor tiles include:
Rubber floor tiles come in many different sizes to fit all spaces and needs. Larger tiles are great for covering a large space but can require extra cutting and material.
Smaller tiles are lighter and typically result in less waste. If you have a small or oddly shaped room, they might be your best bet.
Rubber Floor Tile Materials
Did you know there are three main types of rubber you can choose from when you purchase rubber floor tiles?
Traditional rubber floor tiles are made from recycled rubber, but you can also purchase vulcanized or even the purest virgin rubber.
If you’re concerned about rubber scent, vulcanized rubber tiles are the way to go. They naturally have a significantly milder scent than non-vulcanized rubber, which appeals to many homeowners. During the vulcanization process, the rubber is compressed into a dense, ultra-durable, non-porous rubber.
Another bonus? they’re non-porous, they’re even easier to clean than traditional, non-vulcanized rubber tiles and they don’t trap any of the sweat from your workout.
These super-dense, durable gym tiles are pros at absorbing the shock from your heaviest weights.
Non-vulcanized rubber tiles are more common. When comparing vulcanized vs. non-vulcanized rubber tiles, the biggest differences are density and porosity.
While non-vulcanized rubber tiles are still incredibly easy to clean and maintain, they are not 100% non-porous the way vulcanized rubber tiles are. Additionally, they are lighter and less dense.
Also, good news: non-vulcanized rubber is super affordable and you can find just about any thickness or style you want.
For the purest natural rubber, you can choose virgin rubber floor tiles. Virgin rubber is guaranteed to have no additives or latex.
One thing that makes virgin rubber tiles especially unique is the option to have bright colors throughout the tile. Because of the color density, virgin rubber tiles will not fade, even in harsh environments.
These ultra-dense rubber flooring tiles can offer a bit of sticker shock with their higher price point, but they do bring something special to the table.
American-made gym floor tiles are something you can feel good about every time you step foot in your space.
Additionally, many of these gym flooring tiles are FloorScore® certified, which means they are free of many harmful chemicals found in lower-quality products.
Rubber Floor Tile Interlocking Systems
You have a lot of choices when it comes to interlocking rubber floor tiles. So, what is the actual difference between tiles? A lot of the time its thickness, price, colors, and materials.
The other thing that can set tiles apart is the way they are cut and how they interlock together. Tiles are either waterjet-cut or stamped.
- Waterjet. Perfect cuts made by waterjets. These provide the most seamless appearance.
- Stamped. Tiles are cut with a rolled stamp. These are not quite as perfectly cut as waterjet cuts.
Rubber Floor Tile Colors & Appearance
Most of our rubber floor tiles come in a variety of color options so you can choose the perfect color to match your space. Some tiles have over a dozen color options to choose from.
While most rubber floor tiles are black with confetti-looking color flecks throughout, you can also up the ante by going with one of our designer series tiles which offer more color variety and different base colors.
Rubber Floor Tiles Installation & Maintenance
With easy installation and maintenance, rubber tiles are highly recommended for DIYers, renters, and individuals looking to create a convenient workout space.
The Best Subfloor for Rubber Tiles
Rubber tiles do best with any concrete, low pile carpet, hardwood, ceramic or porcelain tiles, or even on top of compacted dirt. Any subfloor must be leveled to ensure safety and a flat surface for workouts.
Create Your Space
To ensure you have a fully finished look, we provide center pieces, border pieces, and corner pieces. This way, you don’t have any puzzle pieces sticking out at the edge of your space looking weird and unfinished.
Here’s how they all work together:
- Center pieces. These pieces look like the middle of a puzzle with interlocks on all sides. Use them in the center of your room or mat.
- Border pieces. These pieces have interlocks on 3 sides with one straight edge, similar to an edge puzzle piece. Use these on the perimeter of your space.
- Corner pieces. These pieces have 2 interlocking sides and 2 straight sides to form a corner.
How to Install Rubber Floor Tiles
You can install your rubber gym floor tiles by either loose laying them or using double-sided tape for a more permanent installation. We do not recommend gluing your rubber tiles to the subfloor because the glue can seep up through the seams and nobody wants that.
- Loose lay gym flooring. If you are loose laying your gym tiles, after you lock them together, you are done! Most of the time, the tiles are heavy enough to naturally stay in place with no extra adhesive necessary. If you loose lay your tiles, you can easily pick them up and move them at any time.
- Double-sided tape. For more extreme conditions, consider using double-sided carpet tape around the perimeter of your floor. This is extremely easy and you will still be able to transport your rubber gym tiles in the event that you change locations.
Rubber Floor Tile Installation Tools
Rubber tiles are famous for their easy, DIY installation. Here are some tools that can help you with your rubber flooring tile installation:
- Double-sided carpet tape. Use around the perimeter, if necessary, to avoid tile movement.
- Seam sealer. Use on tile seams, if necessary, to prevent liquids from seeping through the cracks. This is great for pets and water-prone areas.
- Adjustable t-square. Use to measure and mark your tiles during installation.
- Utility knife. Use it to effortlessly cut tiles to fit your space.
- Knee pads. Use for added comfort during installation.
Cleaning Rubber Floor Tiles
To keep your rubber flooring tiles shiny and clean, simply vacuum them regularly and occasionally go over them with a damp mop.
Rubber Floor Tile FAQs
Still have questions? Here are some of the most common questions customers ask about rubber floor tiles.
How much do rubber floor tiles cost?
Rubber floor tiles range in price from under $2/sqft to over $18/sqft.
Many factors determine cost. Our most popular gym flooring tiles typically run anywhere from $2/sqft-$3.50/sqft.
The good news is, rubber floor tiles are super DIY-friendly so your cost simply comes down to materials and shipping.
Are rubber floor tiles waterproof?
One of the best things about rubber flooring is it’s extremely water-resistant! If you need to be 100% certain no water ever reaches your subfloor, you can use a seam sealer where the tiles interlock since the interlock isn’t 100% impenetrable.
Can you install rubber floor tiles over carpet?
Yes, you can! You can easily install rubber tiles over a short, low-pile carpet. Additionally, you can install ultra-thick 1” rubber tiles, such as Monster Tiles even over plush carpets.
If you go for a thinner tile and cannot rip up your plush carpet, you can lay plywood over the plush carpet and install your rubber tiles over your plywood.
Can rubber tiles be used outdoors?
Rubber floor tiles are a great outdoor flooring option, as well. They are ultra-durable, and specially designed to handle lots of use and abuse.
Tips for outdoor rubber flooring success:
- Keep tiles covered. These rubber floor tiles are rated for outdoor use; however, they are not UV stable and they may fade in direct sunlight.
- Be cautious of the elements. While these tiles are waterproof, many more elements get into our rain and snow, such as salts. These rubber flooring tiles are porous and salts can get trapped in the pores.
- Account for expansion. With temperature fluctuation, these floor tiles may expand and contract.
How do I clean rubber floor tiles?
Good news; learning how to clean rubber floor tiles is super easy.
- Give them a quick vacuum to get rid of any loose crumbs, dust, or debris.
- Occasionally, use a damp mop with mild soap and water cleaning solution.
For ideal gentle soaps, you can purchase Tide laundry detergent or Dawn dish detergent. Or, get everything in one place – we offer some cleaning and seam-protecting solutions for your convenience.
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.
How do I cut rubber floor tiles?
Sometimes you end up with a little extra material. Not to worry; learning how to cut rubber floor tiles is quite simple.
- 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 tile, adding a deep crease in the tile.
- Pick up the tile and bend it at that crease to break it open further.
- Return the rubber tile to the ground and continue scoring the rest of the way through until your cut is complete.
Does rubber flooring smell?
Some rubber flooring products smell stronger than others, depending on the type of raw material used or how the flooring was made. When you first get your flooring, the smell will be the strongest, but after installing your rubber flooring, the room and floor will air out over the next few days/weeks.
In addition to giving your rubber flooring proper time to air out, give it a nice wash with a mild soap and water cleaning solution. This will help alleviate some of that rubber smell.
Ready to get started? Build your home gym today with ultra-durable rubber tile solutions!