Rubber Gym Flooring vs Horse Stall Mats: What’s Better?

Are you aware of the potential dangers lurking in your gym flooring choice? It’s time to delve into the world of comparing rubber gym flooring and stall mats. While these two options may seem similar at first glance, there are crucial differences that could have a significant impact on your safety and workout experience.

Rubber flooring specifically designed for gyms, is better than stall mats for intensive weightlifting, and noise reduction, and comes in larger sizes for fewer seams. However, for most home gyms, stall mats are sufficient, especially if aesthetics and noise reduction are not a priority. 

Concerned about your gym flooring choice? It’s time to dive into a comparison between rubber gym flooring and stall mats. Let’s explore the unique characteristics of each material and discover which one is the right fit for your needs.

Is Rubber Gym Flooring Better Than Stall Mats?

Below we’ll go over the exact differences between the two but here is a quick rundown of what is the better flooring for a home or garage gym.

Real gym flooring, such as rubber rolls specifically designed for gym use, is preferable over horse stall mats in certain situations:

  • Commercial Gyms: If you’re setting up a commercial gym or a high-traffic fitness facility, investing in professional gym flooring is recommended. Real gym flooring is designed to withstand heavy use, constant foot traffic, and the demands of a busy gym environment. It is typically engineered to be more durable and long-lasting than horse stall mats.
  • Customization and Branding: If you want to create a unique aesthetic or incorporate branding elements into your gym, real gym flooring provides more customization options. Gym-specific rubber rolls come in various colors, patterns, and designs, allowing you to create a personalized and professional look for your gym space.
  • Noise and Vibration Reduction: Real gym flooring is typically engineered to minimize noise and vibration. If you live in an apartment or have neighbors below your home gym, gym-specific rubber mats may help reduce noise transmission caused by heavy weightlifting or cardio equipment.
  • Warranty and Support: Gym-specific rubber floorings often come with warranties and customer support from the manufacturer or supplier. This can provide peace of mind and assistance if you encounter any issues with your flooring.

However, for low and medium-intensity weightlifting, stall mats will do fine, especially in a home gym where aesthetics and noise damping aren’t the most important. 

You can find high-quality rubber gym flooring by clicking here.

Are Horse Stall Mats OK As Gym Flooring?

Since they are largely the same, stall mats are perfectly fine as gym flooring. Yes, there are a few differences but if you can get a good deal on some stall mats, go ahead. 

In general, rubber mats made specifically to be gym flooring are usually finished a bit nicer. They have a better appearance and make your gym look sleeker and more professional. For some people that’s a big deal but if you just need pure functionality, stall mats are fine. 

I wouldn’t use mats that have actually been used in a horse stall since they won’t be really clean in my mind. However, Wen buying new stall mats or gym flooring, the price difference isn’t really that big between the two.

Comparing Rubber Gym Mats And Horse Stall Mats

Rubber rolls and horse stall mats are both popular flooring options for home gyms due to their durability, shock absorption, and ease of maintenance. 

However, there are some differences between the two that you should consider when choosing the flooring for your home gym. Here’s a comparison of rubber rolls and horse stall mats:

  • Installation: Rubber rolls typically come in large rolls that need to be cut and fitted to the desired area. This requires careful measurements and may require professional installation. On the other hand, horse stall mats are usually a bit smaller and are easier to install. They usually come in standard sizes and can be easily interlocked or laid side by side.
  • Cost: In general, horse stall mats tend to be more affordable compared to rubber rolls. If you have a limited budget, horse stall mats can be a cost-effective option. However, nowadays many stall mats are also marketed as gym flooring so that has decreased the difference. 
  • Thickness and Shock Absorption: Both rubber rolls and horse stall mats offer excellent shock absorption, which is important for reducing the impact on your joints during workouts as well as protecting the floor underneath. However, rubber rolls often come in various thickness options, allowing you to choose a thicker roll for enhanced shock absorption. Horse stall mats are usually available in standard thicknesses, which are typically sufficient for most home gym applications.
  • Durability: Both rubber rolls and horse stall mats are known for their durability. They are resistant to heavy weights, dropped equipment, and are generally long-lasting. However, rubber rolls, especially those specifically designed for gym flooring, may have higher density and be more resistant to wear and tear.
  • Surface Texture: Rubber rolls and horse stall mats have different surface textures. Rubber rolls often have a smooth or slightly textured surface, which is easy to clean and maintain. Horse stall mats, on the other hand, usually have a textured or ribbed surface to provide additional traction, which can be beneficial for activities that involve lateral movements. However, gym flooring usually looks better. 
  • Odor: Some rubber rolls, especially those made from recycled materials, can have a distinct odor initially. This odor may fade over time with proper ventilation. Horse stall mats, which are typically made from vulcanized rubber, tend to have minimal odor. Of course, used stall mats will have more of a smell…
  • Versatility: Rubber rolls are available in a variety of colors and patterns, allowing you to customize the appearance of your home gym. Horse stall mats are generally only available in black. If aesthetics are important to you, rubber rolls may offer more options.


Hey, I'm Matt. Welcome to After working out in many different gyms for almost 20 years and helping people build their own home gyms, i've learned a few things i'd like to share with you.

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