Opening a new fitness studio comes with lots of considerations, from figuring out a class schedule to striking the right atmosphere with the studio’s decor. But when it comes to the space where the class will actually be taking place, the details are pretty important. Depending on what type of workout you’re offering to clients, you’ll need to decide where you’re going to place the barre, what equipment you’ll need and where to store it. And of course, you’ll want to put down the right group fitness studio flooring to ensure that your clients have the best experience possible during the workout.

We asked a few fitness studio owners to give us their recommendations on the types of flooring to consider installing in your studio, based on different workout needs. Here’s what they had to say about the best options for installing floors in your new studio.

Best studio flooring for dance and cardio workouts

If your students are going to be jumping, bending and pushing off of your floors during workout routines, Jennifer McCamish, owner of Dancers Shape in Austin, TX recommends you equip your studio with sprung wood floors. “At first glance a sprung wood floor and a regular wood floor may look identical,” she says. “However, a sprung wood floor sits approximately three inches off the ground. A regular wood floor lays wood planks directly onto the concrete slab, which offers zero give in the floor — a critical point when exercising.”

“A sprung wood floor begins with 3/4″ cushioned discs spaced out evenly on the slab in order to float the floor off the cement and give it bounce. Then, a layer of wood and planks are built on top of the cushioned pads giving it the sprung effect. This translates to gentle impact on the joints and spine.” If you’ve ever taken a cardio class on a regular wooden floor, your body will let you know the next day — likely in the form of your calf muscles aching (and not in a good way).

Flooring for traditional yoga

If you’re running a traditional yoga studio, Doreen Foxwell, owner of The Children’s School of Yoga says that traditional wood flooring is the way to go. “Wood floors allow yogis to be able to do balance poses of all kinds with their feet firmly planted,” she says. “If the floor is a carpet for example, it is more difficult to find your balance. Wood floors allow for an even surface to connect to the ground and earth for standing and balance poses, and are preferred in most yoga studios for the warm, earthy connection. Wood floors are one of the best places for a yoga mat to lay on, and not ripple or move when a student is practicing on it.”

Heavy-duty workout flooring

If you own a studio that sees a lot of foot traffic, or a space that heavy weights and cardio machines call home, Max Robinson of Floor Heating Direct suggests going the heavy duty route in the form of rubber flooring. “Unless you want to be changing your flooring every six months, you’re going to need to choose a fairly robust and tough type of flooring for your fitness studio,” he says. “Fitness studios generally host a range of different activities, so you’ll need a type of flooring that can stand up to a variety of different challenges. Our recommendation would be rubber flooring, purely because it is comfortable to lie on and can withstand weights being dropped on it, so it’s the ideal choice for a multi-purpose fitness studio.”

Studio flooring for boxing

For boxing workouts, easy to clean flooring with shock absorption is key. “We use performance flooring imported from Spain, made of 100% recyclable non-toxic PVC free virgin rubber,” says Felicia Alexander, owner of BoxUnion. “The benefit of having rubber floors is the high impact absorption. It also aids in energy return, which means if you jump, not only will your joints be protected, but it will also offer an added spring to jump higher than you would on cement. This flooring is great because we offer a total body workout. Whether you’re doing the lateral movement that boxing requires or the cardio blasts from the plyometric programing, this flooring is known to be the best for performance — and on your joints.”

Best flooring for hot yoga

If you frequently offer hot yoga and pilates classes at your studio, you’ll want to go with flooring that not only benefits these workouts, but is also easy to keep clean and sanitary. “We love our Zebra flooring,” says Lauren Porat, owner and founder of YogaSpark. “It’s slightly cushioned, so it feels good under your feet, and it’s great for the joints — especially the knees! But it also challenges your balance in standing poses, so you actually have to use more core, glute and upper body strength to balance on it. It’s like a secret extra workout! Plus, since it’s relatively soft, we find that people are less afraid to try new things like funky arm balances on it. Sweat evaporates right away so you don’t get big puddles, and it’s antimicrobial and antifungal — super important in a hot yoga setting, especially for clean freaks like us!'”

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