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Old 03-11-2013, 03:24 PM   #1
Robert Caputo
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Flooring layout

I will be starting my home garage gym this coming week (of course I'll be posting photos along the way). Like most of you, I've gone back and forth over the best floor covering. I've decided to go the horse stall mat route from tractor supply.

I am planning on putting down 3/4 inch plywood and then the matting. I rational is for ultimate protection of the garage floor below. I plan on screwing the mats in place by pilot drilling 1/4 inch holes and countersink the head the same 1/4 inch. I am planning on 6 inch spacing at the edges and 12 inch spacing in the center of all mats.

My questions are.....
1) Am I nuts for going to those extremes?
2) Is the 3/4 inch plywood necessary? If I don't do it, how likely am I to crack/damage the concrete floor?
3) Has anyone gone to these extremes? If so, what have you done and how have you secured the mats to the subflooring?
4) I have heard that the mats will expand and contract with the weather (obviously). The mats will bulge when expanded and show a gap when contracted. Has anyone run into this? How significant is it? This is my main reason for securing the mats to the plywood.

Thanks very much in advance! All advice is appreciated.
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Old 03-11-2013, 03:40 PM   #2
Lincoln Brigham
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Re: Flooring layout

One approach is to put in 1/2" more mat than the width of your floor. If you have 20' between walls, put in 20' 1/2" of matting. The rubber will compress and stay put.
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Old 03-11-2013, 03:59 PM   #3
Robert Caputo
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Re: Flooring layout

That's a great idea. However I'm only bounded on two sides. I have two adjacent walls and two open areas. One opens to the garage door and the other opens to the 2 cars side. The gym will be going in the smaller 3rd car bay.
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Old 03-11-2013, 06:53 PM   #4
Matt Davies
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Re: Flooring layout

I just put down 3/4" mats, no ply. The only weights i drop are bumper plates, no damage to my concrete floor (I oly lift near the front edge so I've lifted the mats to have a look.) I don't think you're likely to damage your concrete floor unless you're dropping your 2 pood kettlebell from overhead or dropping steel plates....but then you'll also be wrecking your oly bars as well.

The mats do shrink when it's cold, last year I just had a squat stand with nothing anchored through the mats so when they shrank, I just kicked them tight and away I went. Now I have an R6 bolted to the floor and the mats cut out around the feet of the power rack so the mats stayed in place and there is a small gap (maybe 1/16") between the mats. I'm not super hung up on it, it'll warm up in a few weeks and the gap hill be gone.

If you like overkill (and who doesn't) you could probably just throw down the ply without bolting the mats to it and you'll be happy as a clam with your results.
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