Fitness has surged in popularity over the last few years. As a result, more people are dedicating a room or space in their home for exercising. This can take many forms, from a simple space for yoga or body weight exercises – to a full multi-gym setup.
This page looks at the key considerations in renovating a space for home fitness activities. This starts with the flooring – and covers lighting, entertainment and sound-proofing too.
Before you get started on any renovation, make sure you list all the current and future uses of the space. These fall into three broad categories.
- Exercise Machines: Treadmills, exercise bikes, elliptical trainers and others.
- Weights Gyms: This can range from a complex multi-gym, to a bench with weights
- Exercise Space: Yoga, aerobics, abs exercises and more all need a dedicated (and comfortable) space
Flooring Options for Your Exercise Space
Before getting to the popular gym flooring options, lets rule one thing out. Carpet is the worst option for any form of home exercise. It collects sweat, wears unevenly and does not provide a solid base for your equipment.
Laminate / wooden flooring makes for a good base – though you’ll need to add some protection to avoid damage.
Heavy duty rubber matting is a solid choice. These are large preformed pieces of rubber 1cm+ thick. Commercial grade matts are a bigger initial outlay than the other flooring options. What you’ll have is a floor that will last – often for many years.
Lighter rubber matting covers the types that come in rolls. This is not something you’d cover the entire floor with. Instead, get a piece for every exercise machine. This provides a stable base – and is a great value option.
Interlocking foam squares fit together like a jigsaw. They are a great way to cover an area where you’ll be doing stand-alone exercises. What I like about this option is that you can easily replace those squares which get the most wear and tear without needing to re-do the entire room.
Noise Considerations for Home Exercise Spaces
Some fitness equipment is noisier than others. Treadmills (unless you choose the top-end commercial versions) can be loud. There is often no escaping the clatter of free weights or those on multi-gyms.
Noise might influence the choice of where you build your exercise space. For example, you could a room with no walls adjoining neighbouring properties. If you are in a flat, or don’t have a choice of room, then some extra soundproofing can be a good investment. This can be as simple as a cork tile underlay on your floor, or on the adjoining wall.
Build in the Entertainment
It is a rare person that enjoys exercise with no entertainment. Some people like to have a TV screen to watch, while others will prefer a good sound system.
It is worth considering both options when you plan the refit of your room. TVs should be wall mounted, and visible from the natural position on the fitness equipment to be used.
Your Home Gym Room – The Finishing Touches
Mirrors are not just about checking your progress towards that perfect body. These can be very useful in refining your technique – or checking that those yoga / Pilates poses are correct. Consider the lighting (both natural and artificial) when deciding which wall to mirror. Tiles are a popular choice – with any becoming worn / damaged easy to replace.
Finally, gym rooms can become hot and sweaty. Ventilation, heating and air conditioning should be considered before you set up.