Finding the Right Flooring


Lyman Hiter thought he hit the jackpot when he found a warehouse for his Box with rubber flooring already installed. “I got to save about $7,000 in flooring. It was perfect,” said Hiter.

When he first opened CrossFit Immense in Portland, Oregon, he really had found the perfect situation. The space previously belonged to a kid’s gym and though it was used, the rubber mating was “flawless,” according to Hiter. There weren’t any stretch marks or imperfections. The rubber mating was a quarter-inch thick and rolled out on top of concrete floor.

It wasn’t until the past year and a half Hiter began noticing wrinkles in the mating and its unevenness was affecting the WOD space.

Now, he and his Coaches have been talking about an overhaul project for the Box, leveling out the floor with concrete and installing half-inch rubber mat flooring. But they have not decided on the best material. “I know we’ll have to pour concrete down first to level it, and then it’s going to be [asking] what’s going to be the best material? What’s going to last the longest?’ And obviously, [we want it to] look good and clean easily,” explained Hiter. “As for specific material in mind, not yet. We’re going to be open-minded as to what’s going to be the best for us.”


When Barry Baldridge and Leslie Heywood opened Southern Tier CrossFit, formerly CrossFit Kinesis, in 2012, their space didn’t come pre-rubber mated. But they knew exactly what flooring they wanted.

Both owners had a background in functional art and wanted to create a space that was both functional for CrossFit workouts and aesthetically pleasing. To marry the two ideas, Baldridge installed rusted 16-guage steel flooring tiles, finishing with a varnish in the stairs and lobby’s floor. In the functional space of the gym, the co-Affiliates installed lanes of wood flooring for lifts and an area of stall mats for gymnastics movements.

The oak flooring is used both in Olympic lifting and CrossFit classes. “[It’s] partly for aesthetics, but partly because we like to lift on the harder surface of the wood. When you’re pushing up off the floor, it’s good to be pushing on a hard surface. It’s just kind of good to be standing on something really solid when you’re picking up something heavy more than it does when you’re standing on a stall mat, which can kind of feel squishy, especially if you’re picking up like 300 pounds at a time,” explained Baldridge.

Merging the different flooring makes the space functional for all members. Baldrige said some members like to lift on the rubber mating, as opposed to the hard flooring. And members have the choice of choosing to do certain workouts, such as double-unders, on the wood floor or the stall mats.

This diversity in flooring is something Hiter is looking for when deciding on his next flooring choice. “I think getting the members’ feedback before you make a really impactful change like [flooring] is super important, because obviously it’s about our members and what they like and what you’re looking out for. It’s great to have a great-looking gym, but the members use it day in and day out. You want to have something that they like,” said Hiter. “And if they feel like they have their input as well, it makes it feel like more of a community.”

Both Affiliates agreed before deciding on flooring, visit Boxes to see what other owners have chosen.

Hayli Goode is the former digital editor for Peake Media.