Durable Flooring Options for the Best Home Gym | Ep. 90

Home gym
Converting a spare room into a home gym? You’ll need durable flooring. (DepositPhotos)

If you’ve got a spare room or an unused garage and like to stay fit, it’s tempting to convert that into a place for exercise. But what’s the best home gym flooring?

That’s just the question one caller has on this week’s episode of the Today’s Homeowner Podcast.

“My gym closed six months ago because of the pandemic, so I’m considering building a home gym in my basement,” Jay in Connecticut says. “Do you guys have any suggestions about what type of flooring and lighting would be best? I’ll be mostly using free weights but may also need to fasten equipment to the walls.”

Commercial carpet that comes in 2-by-2-foot squares is inexpensive, easy to install and durable. It’s the best home gym flooring because it’s great for walking, setting weights on, and it comes in a variety of colors.

Interlocking rubber flooring is another option. It’s more expensive and holds its own against dropped weights. But it may trap dirt and moisture; and it’s not that easy to lift and clean if you have lots of exercise equipment on top of it.

One solution is to use thick, dense rubber exercise pads on top of the carpet wherever you lift weights. It’s durable, shock-absorbent and there’s less worry about cracking the concrete subfloor.

You also might consider horse stall mats, which are 4 by 6 feet and ¾-inch thick. Joe thinks they’re the best home gym flooring because you can double them up as needed. In addition, you can easily make a deadlift platform that protects the floor and the weights.

Listen to the Today’s Homeowner Podcast for more home improvement tips!

  • [1:22] Why lights that dim sometimes take a while to turn on
  • [8:27] Why aluminum patio furniture fades and looks dull and chalky — and how to revive it
  • [11:55] Best New Product: Cellular Shade Motorization Kit from Home Decorators Collection
  • [12:54] Suggestions for the best flooring in a home gym
  • [24:42] Simple Solution: This excellent grout cleaner uses something you may already have in your home
  • [26:22] Question of the Week: The basement walls are peeling — here’s what to do about them

Simple Solutions

Quick and Easy Grout Cleaner — There are plenty of specialty products on the market specifically made for cleaning dirty, grungy tile grout. But you might just have something in your home right now that works just as well: toilet bowl cleaner.

That’s right, the same squeeze bottle of cleanser used to clean toilets does an excellent job of cleaning tile grout. Just squirt a bead of liquid toilet bowl cleaner (like the Lysol or Clorox brand) along the grout joint, wait a few minutes and then wipe off with a scouring sponge.

Protecting a Sink Cabinet from Water Damage — The insides of kitchen and bath sink cabinets shouldn’t get wet, but often they do because of a plumbing leak or excessive condensation dripping from pipes.

And if water sits on the cabinet floor long enough, it’ll eventually warp or rot out.

Here’s a way to prevent that: Go to the home center and buy a few adhesive-backed vinyl tiles. They’re only about a buck apiece.

Use a damp sponge to clean the sink-cabinet floor, making sure you remove all dust and dirt.

Wipe the floor dry, then peel off the paper backing from one tile and stick it down to the cabinet floor. Start at the edge of the floor closest to the cabinet front, and continue to lay tiles as you work your way toward the back. Be sure you butt the tiles tightly against one another.

When you get to the last row, you’ll likely need to trim the tiles to size using a utility knife and straight edge. Apply a bead of tub-and-tile caulk around the perimeter of the floor, and you’ll now have a sink cabinet floor that’s not only water-resistant but also is really easy to clean!

Watch: How to Protect a Kitchen Sink Cabinet from Water Damage


Question of the Week

Q: “We have a wine cellar in our basement with block walls that, (in spite of applying ‘moisture-proof’ sealant) are peeling and flaking and look terrible! What can we do?” 

A: Moisture is definitely seeping its way into your basement walls. So, start with Drylok, which has a whole line of waterproofing products.

Drylok Extreme Masonry Waterproofer can withstand 15 pounds of hydrostatic pressure — that’s equivalent to a wall of water that’s 30 feet high.

If you need to step up to a commercial product, LastiSeal is a brick and concrete sealer that you brush on and it seems 3 to 4 inches into the concrete. This is assuming the moisture is coming through the wall and not the top or bottom of the wall.

First, you’ll need to prep the surface. So, remove the efflorescence, that chalky powder, and scrape off what you can, then mix trisodium phosphate as directed and clean the surface, then dry it with a fan for a day and apply the waterproofing agent.  



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