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  1. #1
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    Flooring, stall mats, and platforms. What I got/what I want/and what I actually need

    Hi guys. Looking to “do” my basement area right. I’ve done a lot of reading, and have somewhat of an idea. I also overthink things and consequently overlook things that are blatantly obvious. Paralysis by analysis.

    So all my stuff is in the basement. It’s not a room, nor will it ever be. It’s been treated as an “exercise area” rather than a gym. My area is 10 feet wide by 24 feet long. It’s covered with 3/8” stall mat that’s been acquired over the years as we got more stuff.

    The intent of the mat was to keep everything off the concrete. It’s wasn’t for floor protection. There’s a power rack but no deadlifting was ever done until a few years ago.

    Since adding deadlifting I’ve purchased 2 additional stall mats, 3/4” thick on top of, and under the power rack. Everything works tickity boo, but there’s 3 things that bother me that I’d like to address:

    1. There’s a height difference due to the 3/4” mats under the rack. I’m used to one complete level surface. Compounding this is that the 3/4” mat is the same color so I don’t see it and always hit the edge. Annoying, and could possible be solved by an actual platform for the rack, trimmed with a wood frame.

    2. I hate checkerpkate. A bit harder to clean. I want a smooth surface, and preferably a consistent surface which leads to….

    3. Because the 3/8” mats were acquired over the years some of them are smooth on the non checkered side, and some have grooves.

    It seems the general consensus is to have 2 layers of 3/4 ply or osb, topped with 3/4” mat. A few people say 3/4” mat on concrete is all you need.

    Some people here have some type of foam, the. Ply, and sometimes 3/8” over the ply.

    Is it the wood, or the mats that protect the floor? Is the wood more so to screw the rack down?

    So as far as I can tell (unless I’m missing something really obvious) my solutions are:

    1. Upgrade “wall to wall” 3/4” mat purchased at the same time. Smooth side up, gorilla tape the seams and get on with life. This is assuming 3/4” is enough protection.

    2. Wall to wall 3/4” ply (ply under rack, osb everywhere else) then 3/4” OR 3/8” mats on top. This assuming it’s the wood, and not the rubber that protects.

    3. Keep my current 3/8” wall to wall and replace the groved mats with newer smooth mats. Then I build a 6 x 8 platform for the rack, except I trim it out with a wood frame so that I see it and stop “bumping” it. 6 x 8 is enough room and I can build a 2 layer platform with 3 sheets of ply and use the existing mats. Only one seam down the middle.

    Current preference is a complete level surface although I also like the look of a dedicated platform where the lifting is done.

    3/8” rolled flooring isn’t really a consideration because I’m literally in the basement next to the furnace and shelving. Rolled flooring would be overkill unless there’s a benefit other than looking awesome??
    I’ve read that 3/8 rolled is the same as 3/4” stall mats and if that’s the case I may go rolled if it means I don’t need ply or osb under the stall mats and may be cheaper??

    That’s all I can think of. Maybe there’s something I overlooked? Other options? Anyone have any input “wish I woulda, shoulda, coulda”……..

    Thanks.
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  2. #2
    Registered User Murser's Avatar
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    All in 3/8” rolled flooring is minimally more expensive than all the other options. I redid my workout area in it last year, with the high color % from Rogue. IIRC it was something like 30 cent more per square foot.
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    Registered User Oldandfat1's Avatar
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    Would 3/8” rolled on top of 2 layers of ply/osb be sufficient to protect the floor from deadlifts? Is 3/8” rolled better than 3/8” stall mats? (Protection)
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    Multi-Platinum User radrd's Avatar
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    3/8" rolled rubber on concrete slab is fine unless you are going to drop iron weights on a regular basis, which you shouldn't. Deadlifting will be fine. You don't need to multi-layer.
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    Registered User Murser's Avatar
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    I put the regupol directly over concrete. Putting it over plywood would ruin the appearance. I deadlift directly on it. I have leftover regupol I could put down temporarily if I wanted to get stupid. Never have though, I put down my deadlifts cleanly.
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    Registered User Oldandfat1's Avatar
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    So 3/8” rolled is the same as 3/4” stall mat then? Or are you saying that 3/8” period is fine even for deadlifting? Why does everybody do layers then?
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    Registered User Murser's Avatar
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    I don’t know the scientific answer to the rolled vs stall mats question. I think most people build ridiculously thick deadlifting platforms, because…

    1: It is a very easy project that says they’re committed to “clanking and banging.”

    2: They imagine themselves as Eddie Hall dropping a 1000lb deadlift from standing height. When in reality the majority of the platforms will never have 405 pulled from them.

    3: They saw some rando on the internet build one, and they said you’ll destroy your house if you don’t follow their advice.

    I’m more worried about causing damage from dropping a heavy dumbbell when pressing, than a sloppy deadlift.
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    Registered User Oldandfat1's Avatar
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    Well my “platform” has seen 405. So I’ll never be an Eddie hall but still want the best protection. I never drop my deadlifts, but they are also not soft landing like cohen

    Do you think 3/4” stall mats are enough? Most cross fit boxes are simply 3/4” on concrete. They drop weights all day long.
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    Registered User Murser's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Oldandfat1 View Post
    Well my “platform” has seen 405. So I’ll never be an Eddie hall but still want the best protection. I never drop my deadlifts, but they are also not soft landing like cohen

    Do you think 3/4” stall mats are enough? Most cross fit boxes are simply 3/4” on concrete. They drop weights all day long.
    3/4” stall mats or 3/8” rolled are enough in my opinion.
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    Multi-Platinum User radrd's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Oldandfat1 View Post
    So 3/8” rolled is the same as 3/4” stall mat then? Or are you saying that 3/8” period is fine even for deadlifting? Why does everybody do layers then?
    I don't know why everybody does it, but I'd only layer plywood and rubber if I was trying to protect wood or tile flooring. It's highly unlikely you're going to damage your concrete slab foundation. If you really have concerns, you could do rolled rubber and add a stall mat on top of that for deadlifting or just do two stall mats. I really wouldn't bother with plywood unless you just love the idea of having a platform. In that case, knock yourself out. Nothing wrong with that and some prefer the feel of a platform.
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    Originally Posted by radrd View Post
    I don't know why everybody does it, but I'd only layer plywood and rubber if I was trying to protect wood or tile flooring. It's highly unlikely you're going to damage your concrete slab foundation. If you really have concerns, you could do rolled rubber and add a stall mat on top of that for deadlifting or just do two stall mats. I really wouldn't bother with plywood unless you just love the idea of having a platform. In that case, knock yourself out. Nothing wrong with that and some prefer the feel of a platform.

    I’d prefer one single layer of whatever (I.e no platform or differing levels) but I’d also like to screw my rack down. It’s a flat foot model and doesn’t need to be bolted, but it does slide around and “lift” on rerack. It doesn’t have tabs so I’d drill through the 2 x 2 tubing.

    If you e ever been on the art of manliness website my rack is the same as his. I’d like to do what he did except I’d like my floor to be the same level. That’s optimum.

    But I can make do with a platform I suppose. Right now I have the w/4 mat over 3/8 mat and I can’t “see” it and always bump it. At least with a platform I’d trim the edges with wood.

    Just wanted to know if 2 layers of ply and a layer of mat was overkill. Sounds like it is.
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    Originally Posted by Oldandfat1 View Post
    I’d prefer one single layer of whatever (I.e no platform or differing levels) but I’d also like to screw my rack down. It’s a flat foot model and doesn’t need to be bolted, but it does slide around and “lift” on rerack. It doesn’t have tabs so I’d drill through the 2 x 2 tubing.

    If you e ever been on the art of manliness website my rack is the same as his. I’d like to do what he did except I’d like my floor to be the same level. That’s optimum.

    But I can make do with a platform I suppose. Right now I have the w/4 mat over 3/8 mat and I can’t “see” it and always bump it. At least with a platform I’d trim the edges with wood.

    Just wanted to know if 2 layers of ply and a layer of mat was overkill. Sounds like it is.
    I bought Rogue’s wall mount kit, drilled four holes in it to match the width of my Titan rack, and mounted it to the wall. Dry wall is easier and cheaper to repair than flooring. I had previously bolted my rack into the concrete. There is no movement now, before I could rock it easily.
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    Originally Posted by Murser View Post
    I bought Rogue’s wall mount kit, drilled four holes in it to match the width of my Titan rack, and mounted it to the wall. Dry wall is easier and cheaper to repair than flooring. I had previously bolted my rack into the concrete. There is no movement now, before I could rock it easily.
    Are you referring to rogues monster lite wall Mount kit with the metal header?

    That would work. My rack is 2 x 2 so the wall Mount brackets would stick out 1/2” each side. And it’s a stud wall no drywall. Sounds like a solution provided 3/4” stall mat is enough
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    I was reading starting strengths equipment section in the blue book. They say to use 3 layers of ply and rubber on top for a total of 3” thick. Does that sound a little overkill?
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    I got two huge horse stall mats for 40 bucks each at tractor supply and they are super thick, don’t slip or move and protect my floor, they fit my power rack, bench and deadlift area
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    Originally Posted by Oldandfat1 View Post
    I was reading starting strengths equipment section in the blue book. They say to use 3 layers of ply and rubber on top for a total of 3” thick. Does that sound a little overkill?
    Yes for concrete slab underneath. Maybe not for protecting nice flooring, especially if doing power cleans and oly lifts.
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    Originally Posted by Oldandfat1 View Post
    I was reading starting strengths equipment section in the blue book. They say to use 3 layers of ply and rubber on top for a total of 3” thick. Does that sound a little overkill?
    Overkill. There is some good stuff in that book. But there is also quite a bit of nonsense, such as this, grinding yourself to dust, and the GOMAD kid.
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    Pick whatever you want including how much you want to spend. You can spend more on rubber flooring than tile or hardwood floors in your main living areas. My gym has two sections. All in my basement with cement floors. One section, floored in the 1/2 thick eva foam, has a rower, bike, treadmill, punching bag station and place to do floor stuff / stretching. The foam is really for comfort when doing flooring exercise (sit-ups, pushups, etc) and to limit echo/noise. The other is decked out with 3/4" horse stall mats and is my lifting area with my rack, barbells, iron, etc. This works for me. One consideration I had to make was to limit how high my flooring would be due to the height within my basement. Hence, no plywood for me to double up on. With lifting shoes, I can just barely safely do OHP with standard 45's on each side (I'm 5'9"). I have no ceiling and removed all of my insulation.

    Also, just moving the horse stall mats around will be your workout for the day!

    Good luck!
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    Originally Posted by Murser View Post
    I bought Rogue’s wall mount kit, drilled four holes in it to match the width of my Titan rack, and mounted it to the wall. Dry wall is easier and cheaper to repair than flooring. I had previously bolted my rack into the concrete. There is no movement now, before I could rock it easily.
    My rack is bolted to the concrete and does not budge, but if I ever have to move it to a different spot in the garage (might be about to happen), I probably will do the wall mount for just the reason cited by Murser.
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