Whether you’re looking into a home gym or a much more commercial type of gym, the concept of exercise mats is unavoidable. But do exercise mats have the capability of reducing noise?
Exercise mats reduce noise by virtue of their design. High-density EVA foam or rubber are the primary materials used for exercise mat manufacture. These dense materials aid in absorbing sound waves and deter wave reverberation.
This article will give you additional information on the nature of exercise mats and how their design leads to dampening sound. If you’re interested in how exercise mats function as a soundproofing material, be sure to keep reading for more information.
How exactly do exercise mats dampen noise?
Firstly, it is crucial to break down the science behind sound. Acoustics is the science of sound. What is sound? Sound consists of periodic vibrations of air perceived by the human ears.
Noise, on the other hand, is an unwanted sound. So how do exercise mats dampen noise? Exercise mats can absorb noise or sound waves thanks to their design.
The design of exercise mats
Users require that exercise mats be comfortable. They serve as a product that protects the human body from external factors that may impend their exercise regimen. Exercise itself is tasking and having exercise mats makes the entire process fluid.
How do exercise mats reduce noise? It’s all thanks to the high-density EVA foam used in their construction. However, other more commercial exercise mats consist out of rubber.
This article will cover more on the EVA foam below.
The high-density EVA foam comes in different shapes and functions in different ways and for different purposes. Some foam comes with a foldable design, while other brands have an interlocking design.
These different design choices allow users to have different types of exercise foams installed in different ways. Different design choices will also have a different impact on your soundproofing impact.
Regardless, due to the material used to construct the exercise mats, the soundproofing design aspect remains the same. If you’re in the market for exercise mats, ensure you countercheck the product description and whether it has soundproofing as one of its capabilities.
The consistency of the exercise mats
As shared earlier, exercise mats consist of high-density EVA foam. This foam allows for high absorption rates. But what exactly is the foam absorbing?
A gym environment will produce three types of noise. These types of noise are exclusive to this environment. However, they are also applicable to other similar environments with the exact source of the sound. Here are the three types of noise reduced by exercise mats:
The sound of motors
Some exercise equipment such as treadmills, stationary bikes, and elliptical machines tend to have motors. When these motors are running during a workout session, they vibrate and release noise. By using exercise mats, you will reduce the noise from these motors.
The EVA foam is thick enough to absorb the sound waves coming from the motor and stopping it from reflecting and causing a lot of unnecessary noise to you and the people around you.
Reverberations refer to the multiple reflections of the soundwaves from the room. Ideally, you could consider reverberations as numerous reflections as they bounce off surfaces such as walls, ceilings, or floors.
The gym equipment may also have its form of reverberations coming from it. A good soundproofing material will reduce the number of reverberations and therefore dampen the noise.
Exercising mats tend to absorb the sound waves instead of letting them bounce back. Therefore, reducing reverberation time entirely. Reverberation time refers to the period required for the sound level to decrease from the minute the source of sound stops generating the sound.
All in all, the foam will reduce reverberating time and absorb preexisting sound waves.
Dampen impact noise
Impact noise is the sound generated when you walk or drop something on a surface. Some workouts require more of your muscles than interacting with gym equipment. In the case of such a heavy muscle-intensive workout, impact noise is likely to be generated.
Through using the EVA foam, reduction of impact noise is within reach. The foam will consistently absorb the sound waves and reduce the impact noise caused by exercise regimens.
Exercise mats vs. Soundproofing material
The design of exercise mats allows the products to have a particular level of soundproofing.
As shared earlier, the EVA foam is one of the design aspects that aid the mats to provide excellent soundproofing. But are they as good as soundproofing material?
Soundproofing materials are specialized materials used solely to dampen noise from different types of environments. An example of these environments is industries, theatres, cinemas, or airplane hangars.
These environments are but a few of the buildings that typically utilize soundproofing. What are the soundproofing materials used in these buildings?
Here are some of the materials used to absorb noise:
- Acoustic Membrane
- Acoustic Mineral wool cavity insulation
- Resilient Channels
- Acoustic hangers
- Soundproof drywall
- Soundproof floor underlay
- Anti-vibration soundproof floor mats
- Acoustic plaster
- Acoustic Putty
Other soundproofing materials exist in the market for different purposes. Nevertheless, the results will be the same, but the effects may be different.
Not all soundproofing materials will correlate with exercising mats, but one close soundproofing material would be the anti-vibration soundproof floor mats. Not only because they are mats but because they offer about the same functionality as exercise mats.
Here lie two situations. Exercise mats can consist of either high-density EVA foam or rubber. In some scenarios, both the exercise mats and the soundproofing material are on the same level.
There also lies the case of the high-density EVA foam, which is a lot less rigid than the rubber used in the rubber material of soundproofing material.
Regardless of these scenarios and the different advantages and disadvantages brought forward, both of these materials try to achieve the same result.
The only difference is that soundproofing materials are specialized solely for reducing noise and nothing else.
On the other hand, exercise mats have a wide array of design features and not only soundproofing. They are required to be comfortable, durable, and easy to install in a matter of hours.
The capability of exercise mats
Exercise mats are pretty capable of dampening noise. It is part of their design element. Whether rubber or EVA Foam, they are still a good contender in the gym soundproofing niche. However, they may not suit the general soundproofing industry.
Soundproofing methods and materials are catered solely to soundproofing specialized rooms and buildings. With the variety of reasons highlighted in this article, you will choose soundproofing materials that are well suited to your goals.
Here are some ingenious FAQs posed by other like-minded individuals.
Do exercise mats reduced noise?
Exercise mats are an excellent soundproofing material for gyms. They can meet all the requirements of gym-type clients, and most of all, they will reduce the noise produced by the gym equipment and exercise regimens.
They are, however, not a great choice when you’re looking for a specialized soundproofing material.
Do rubber mats absorb sound?
Yes, rubber mats do absorb. Soundproof materials made of rubber tend to be highly dense. Because of this factor, they can absorb the sound waves instead of letting the sound waves bounce off, causing noise in your intended space.
Do treadmill mats reduce noise?
Treadmill mats are just one of the numerous types of exercise mats. However, they are specialized for treadmills because treadmills have motors. These motors produce sound, and treadmill mats can absorb this sound.
- Floormat company, Will Exercise Mats Help to Dampen the Sound of Workout Equipment? Floormat company http://www.floormatcompany.com/rubber-floor-mats/rubber-mats-articles/exercise-mats-dampen-sound.html
- Acoustiblok, 30 Types of Soundproofing material explained, Acoustiblok https://www.acoustiblok.co.uk/soundproofing-materials/#Types_of_Soundproofing_Materials
- Marc Asselineau, Building Acoustics, (CRC Press: New York, 2015) 248.
- Flooring Inc, Home Gym: Foam vs. Rubber, Flooring Inc, https://www.flooringinc.com/blog/home-gym-foam-vs-rubber/