Using a rubber exercise mat underneath your exercise machines and equipment can prove to be a cost-effective and easy way to protect both your floors and your equipment. Fitness machines and heavy workout equipment can, over time, severely damage your floors simply from use so, it is important to find exercise mats large and durable enough to withstand even the largest and heaviest of fitness machines. Rubber exercise mats are designed to keep your floors safe and reduce the amount of noise produced by fitness machines when they are in use. The recycled and reclaimed rubber variety rubber exercise mats are made from makes them the ultimate choice for floor and equipment protection as well as being the ideal choice of exercise mat; rubber, additionally, may provide extra slip-resistant properties that will ensure your fitness machine stays in place.
How is Rubber the Ideal Material for Exercise Mats?
Rubber is an extremely durable material whose naturally high coefficient of friction offers excellent non-slip qualities as well as being thick enough to protect your floors and reduce noise. The two main purposes for using rubber exercise mats are to reduce noise and protect flooring and equipment. Depending on the material of the sub-flooring, rubber exercise mats will significantly reduce the amount of noise created by fitness machines while in use. This is especially useful for those living on the second floor (or above) of an apartment building, shared residences or homes with thins walls and floors since fitness machines constantly shake and rattle against the floor. This constant banging on the floor can eventually cost you hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars in reparations if not protected by an exercise mat; large and heavy fitness machines will definitely require some sort of barrier between it and the floor to reduce the chances of this possibility. To prevent this from occurring, a rubber exercise mat is designed to absorb the force of impact protecting the floors underneath from any damage while, simultaneously, reducing noise. The recycled and reclaimed variety rubber exercise mats are made of used/old or unused vehicle tires in their composition making them extremely durable and allowing them to be able to provide excellent abrasion resistance for shifting and moving machines that may scrape your floors.
Rubber vs. Concrete Floors
While concrete floors may not need help with soundproofing, they do need protection against the vibrating and rattling of an exercise machine and vice versa. Exercise machines are heavy and they emit a constant vibration that can eventually crack or damage concrete over time. Fitness machines themselves can also be damaged by the shifting and rattling on concrete flooring when used for exercise; rubber mats offer protection for both your floors and your machine. A rubber exercise mat will distribute the vibrations of the exercise machine evenly across the surface of the mat to prevent it from focusing on a singular point and causing damage. In addition, rubber exercise mats will also reduce the amount of shaking and rattling of the machine to protect its underside from the hard surface.
Rubber vs. Foam Tiles
Foam tiles provide top-notch comfort but not enough cushioning for the type of abuse gym floors face as a rubber exercise mat would. Made of PVC, foam tiles are softer and less durable than their rubber counterparts and are made primarily for comfort purposes and not to use as exercise mats; rubber, on the other hand, is extremely durable and provides enough cushioning between the gym floors and fitness machines/equipment. Gyms are filled with heavy equipment and fitness machines that will tear through foam tiles easily whereas rubber exercise mats made of recycled or reclaimed rubber mirror the durability of vehicle tires. An exercise rubber mat also offers better traction qualities than PVC foam tiles; this quality of rubber will help keep your fitness machine in place.
Rubber vs. Wood
Hardwood is one of the more costly flooring options available on the market today. Although hardwood flooring can be pricy, they are not exactly durable and resistant to damage and will need some sort of barrier, such as a rubber exercise mat, to protect it. In fact, hardwood floors are highly susceptible to damage such as dents, cracks and abrasions. Hardwood floors are also extremely slick since it is a smooth surface; therefore, it is much easier to fitness machines to slide and shift on the floors causing scrapes and abrasions when using fitness machines for exercise. Rubber mats provide ample cushioning and tractions between the floor and fitness machines which prevents the rattling or shifting of the machine from damaging the hardwood flooring. The addition of a rubber exercise mat on hardwood flooring is extremely beneficial, not only for floor protection, but also for noise reduction for residences with shared walls and ceilings/floors and second floor (and above) apartments.
Rubber vs. Carpet
Carpet may look plush and cushiony but, do not be fooled, carpet is usually very thin and does not provide much protective or sound proofing qualities. A rubber exercise mat will reduce the noise created by fitness machines by absorbing the force of impact, protecting the floors underneath. If there is any damage to carpet, generally it can be hidden under all the carpet fibers; however, damage can be done to carpets which is why it is important to use some sort of exercise mat; large and heavy fitness machines in particular can dig their way through the carpet fibers and damage the hard surface of the bottom of the carpet. Rubber exercise mats will also prevent exercise machines from pulling out carpet fibers leaving your carpet looking as good as new.
Rubber vs. Ceramic Tile
Ceramic tiles are usually very susceptible to damage due to their fragile nature. While tolerant to extreme temperatures, ceramic tiles can be easily cracked with enough force or with heavy fitness machines and weights/dumbbells. Ceramics are “usually ionic or covalent bonded materials, and can be crystalline or amorphous. A material held together by either type of bond will tend to fracture before any plastic deformation takes place, which results in poor toughness in these materials (wikipedia.org). It is almost a necessity to use a rubber exercise mat under fitness machines if they are being placed on top of ceramic tiles due to its fragile nature. Another contributing factor to ceramic’s weak structure is that ceramic is very porous and “the pores and other microscopic imperfections act as stress concentrators, decreasing the toughness further, and reducing the tensile strength” (wikipedia.org). Additionally, ceramic tiles are not sound proof. Most often, sound proofing measures are taken by installing noise reducing padding underneath the tiles; this lack of noise reduction qualities can also be contributed to ceramic tiles’ porous nature. Noise will be heavily reduced with the addition of rubber exercise mats on ceramic tile flooring.
Rubber exercise mats are the most ideal and simplest way to protect your floors, fitness machines and equipment and to reduce the amount of noise produced. Expensive flooring options such as hardwood and ceramic tile almost requires a rubber exercise mat because of the sheer fragility of these materials. Concrete and carpet are the opposites of each other; with concrete being too rough and hard for fitness machines and carpet being too thin to reduce noise. Rubber’s natural qualities make it the perfect material for protection and noise reduction. Rubber exercise mats, especially rubber mats large enough to cover the required space, are highly recommended for those looking for a new way to protect your floors and fitness machines/equipment and to reduce the noise emitted by the machines.
Comparing Exercise Mats: Rubber vs. Other Flooring