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  1. #1
    Registered User jackiejoynerker's Avatar
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    A few questions about a deadlift platform

    I want to lift on my ceramic tile floor, it's the only place I can lift inside. I figure if I build a 4 x 8 deadlift platform, I could put the squat rack in the middle and just deadlift inside the rack. I keep it controlled and I lift under 400 lbs, do you think this would damage the floor?

    When building a deadlift platform, how important is the wooden piece you stand on in the middle? Is there any issue with the entire top layer being 3/4" rubber mat?

    Every plan I see says to screw the layers of plywood and rubber mats together but would it be just as effective floor protection if I did not screw or glue them together?

    Thanks a lot for any help.
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    Originally Posted by jackiejoynerker View Post
    I want to lift on my ceramic tile floor, it's the only place I can lift inside. I figure if I build a 4 x 8 deadlift platform, I could put the squat rack in the middle and just deadlift inside the rack. I keep it controlled and I lift under 400 lbs, do you think this would damage the floor?

    When building a deadlift platform, how important is the wooden piece you stand on in the middle? Is there any issue with the entire top layer being 3/4" rubber mat?

    Every plan I see says to screw the layers of plywood and rubber mats together but would it be just as effective floor protection if I did not screw or glue them together?

    Thanks a lot for any help.
    People have tried doing this with dropping olympic lifts on a platform over tile, and in that light setting down controlled deadlifts suddenly sounds very reasonable. Hard to say. Depends on how thick and strong the tile is, I guess. Concrete floors are like that too. Some start cracking with 3/4" rubber over them, while high quality concrete jobs are fine.

    You also need something under the platform to prevent the wood from scratching the tile, like a canvas dropcloth.

    All rubber top is fine. Wood is glitz.

    If you don't attach the layers they're going to shake apart.
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    Registered User dagdafitness's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Squeebo View Post
    All rubber top is fine. Wood is glitz.
    Wood is used as a more stable lifting platform, not glitz. Wood is recommended by most. You can use rubber but why would you want that tiny bit of movement under your feet while doing squats and deadlifts?
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    You could start with a layer of carpet foam underlay to prevent scratching of the tiles, then a layer of 3/4' plywood the full width of the platform, to form the top layer, a second layer of 3/4" plywood under the rack and 3/4" rubber to either side, where the plates impact.

    If you're really concerned about the tiles and cost is not to much of a concern, you could add a second layer of rubber between the foam underlay and the plywood, but this is probably overkill.
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    Registered User jackiejoynerker's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies. I think I'll buy some cheap interlocking gym mats instead of carpet foam and use that as a bottom layer. Then I was thinking a 3/4" rubber mat, 2 3/4" layers of plywood and a rubber mat on top.

    To dagdafitness: I've only ever lifted at gyms with the whole room covered in that rubber flooring and I never noticed any movement. Would this be any different? Im genuinely curious, I have no idea. I liked that I wouldnt need to make any cuts if I just use rubber on top but its not a big deal to make those cuts if it makes a big difference.

    Also what do you think about the layers not being glued or screwed together? I figured the mats would be heavy enough not to move around, especially with a squat rack sitting in the middle.

    Thanks again for your help guys
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    Originally Posted by jackiejoynerker View Post
    Thanks for the replies. I think I'll buy some cheap interlocking gym mats instead of carpet foam and use that as a bottom layer. Then I was thinking a 3/4" rubber mat, 2 3/4" layers of plywood and a rubber mat on top.

    To dagdafitness: I've only ever lifted at gyms with the whole room covered in that rubber flooring and I never noticed any movement. Would this be any different? Im genuinely curious, I have no idea. I liked that I wouldnt need to make any cuts if I just use rubber on top but its not a big deal to make those cuts if it makes a big difference.

    Also what do you think about the layers not being glued or screwed together? I figured the mats would be heavy enough not to move around, especially with a squat rack sitting in the middle.

    Thanks again for your help guys
    You wouldn't notice movement from a single layer of stall mats. They're made for animals that weigh a lot more than we do and that have very hard "feet". I think you'd be fine with stall mats, but some of the interlocking gym mats are pretty soft.

    I like the interlocking gym mats on the bottom, then wood, then stall mats top idea. You definitely want the plywood layers connected to each other. It will be stiffer and stronger that way. I'd glue and screw them together. I also screwed and glued my top mats down. Burying the screws below the top of a stall mat is obviously easy.

    One thing to make sure of is that your floor is strong enough. Even if you spread the weight out with a platform, if the joists are not very stiff, floor flex will damage ceramic tiles. If you didn't subscribe to this thread, you'll probably never see this since it's been a week since the last post, but I'm curious if you can see the joists under the floor, and if reinforcing them is possible if they aren't extremely stiff? My friend had tiles cracking and had to double upsome of the dimensional lumber joists, and also block them to prevent tile cracking just from people walking in his kitchen. It won't be the point impact above the platform that cracks your tiles, it will be the floor flexing while the tiles can't.
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    Originally Posted by JustTheDad View Post
    You wouldn't notice movement from a single layer of stall mats. They're made for animals that weigh a lot more than we do and that have very hard "feet". I think you'd be fine with stall mats, but some of the interlocking gym mats are pretty soft.

    I like the interlocking gym mats on the bottom, then wood, then stall mats top idea. You definitely want the plywood layers connected to each other. It will be stiffer and stronger that way. I'd glue and screw them together. I also screwed and glued my top mats down. Burying the screws below the top of a stall mat is obviously easy.

    One thing to make sure of is that your floor is strong enough. Even if you spread the weight out with a platform, if the joists are not very stiff, floor flex will damage ceramic tiles. If you didn't subscribe to this thread, you'll probably never see this since it's been a week since the last post, but I'm curious if you can see the joists under the floor, and if reinforcing them is possible if they aren't extremely stiff? My friend had tiles cracking and had to double upsome of the dimensional lumber joists, and also block them to prevent tile cracking just from people walking in his kitchen. It won't be the point impact above the platform that cracks your tiles, it will be the floor flexing while the tiles can't.
    OP, if your tile floor is not laid on top of a concrete floor, I would not advise DL's on it. As JustTheDad mentioned, it takes very little flexing to start cracking a tile floor.
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    Originally Posted by dagdafitness View Post
    Wood is used as a more stable lifting platform, not glitz. Wood is recommended by most. You can use rubber but why would you want that tiny bit of movement under your feet while doing squats and deadlifts?
    LOL come on man seriously? Where is that post about lsi1 DL 405 in street shoes, jeans and a 9mm in his belt?

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    Registered User dagdafitness's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by JustTheDad View Post
    You wouldn't notice movement from a single layer of stall mats. They're made for animals that weigh a lot more than we do and that have very hard "feet". I think you'd be fine with stall mats, but some of the interlocking gym mats are pretty soft.
    Yeah you'd probably be fine but they are used as antifatigue mats for animals that big so there is some give. Probably wouldnt notice unless youre pulling a lot.

    Originally Posted by chadsalt View Post
    LOL come on man seriously? Where is that post about lsi1 DL 405 in street shoes, jeans and a 9mm in his belt?

    Less thinking more lifting.....
    Lol thinking is easier on the body but when I do lift... Full unitard. Suns out guns out
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    Originally Posted by chadsalt View Post
    LOL come on man seriously? Where is that post about lsi1 DL 405 in street shoes, jeans and a 9mm in his belt?

    Less thinking more lifting.....
    I'll be impressed when he does it on a unicycle.
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    Might check into something like these as well; this is a link to Rogue's, so not cheap, but that's just an example, lots of companies have them:

    https://www.roguefitness.com/crash-cushion-pair
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    Registered User jackiejoynerker's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by JustTheDad View Post
    You wouldn't notice movement from a single layer of stall mats. They're made for animals that weigh a lot more than we do and that have very hard "feet". I think you'd be fine with stall mats, but some of the interlocking gym mats are pretty soft.

    I like the interlocking gym mats on the bottom, then wood, then stall mats top idea. You definitely want the plywood layers connected to each other. It will be stiffer and stronger that way. I'd glue and screw them together. I also screwed and glued my top mats down. Burying the screws below the top of a stall mat is obviously easy.

    One thing to make sure of is that your floor is strong enough. Even if you spread the weight out with a platform, if the joists are not very stiff, floor flex will damage ceramic tiles. If you didn't subscribe to this thread, you'll probably never see this since it's been a week since the last post, but I'm curious if you can see the joists under the floor, and if reinforcing them is possible if they aren't extremely stiff? My friend had tiles cracking and had to double upsome of the dimensional lumber joists, and also block them to prevent tile cracking just from people walking in his kitchen. It won't be the point impact above the platform that cracks your tiles, it will be the floor flexing while the tiles can't.
    Thank you, I'm going to put it together exactly how you described. I am renting the apartment so Im not positive but I am pretty certain there is a concrete slab underneath and no wooden joists. Its a ground level apartment in Phoenix AZ with no basement or anything underneath the floor.

    One more dumb question. If the entire top layer is stall mat, is there any issue with putting my squat rack in the middle of the deadlift platform? I'm almost positive its no problem but I figured I would ask. Thanks again for your help.
    Last edited by jackiejoynerker; 11-11-2019 at 01:46 PM.
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  13. #13
    Registered User jackiejoynerker's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by sera310 View Post
    Might check into something like these as well; this is a link to Rogue's, so not cheap, but that's just an example, lots of companies have them:
    Thanks for the link. They look interesting. I could buy those and just build a 6" wooden platform to stand on...or maybe these would need to go on top of the deadlift platform since they are not distributing the weight across as much surface area...haha I am clueless. I'll probably just build the deadlift platform.
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    I did a layer of stall mats, a layer of plywood, then 1 sheet of plywood (cabinet grade) and mats on the side. I found some 4x8 rubber mats on CL which worked out perfect for this build. I wanted to protect the wood floor underneath.

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    Originally Posted by jackiejoynerker View Post
    Thanks for the link. They look interesting. I could buy those and just build a 6" wooden platform to stand on...or maybe these would need to go on top of the deadlift platform since they are not distributing the weight across as much surface area...haha I am clueless. I'll probably just build the deadlift platform.
    Well, your concern is just damage to your tile floor, right? Your feet aren't going to crack the tiles, only plates, especially iron plates, hitting the tiles too hard would do that.
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    Registered User jackiejoynerker's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by sera310 View Post
    Well, your concern is just damage to your tile floor, right? Your feet aren't going to crack the tiles, only plates, especially iron plates, hitting the tiles too hard would do that.
    Yeah, I was worried the squat rack would crack or at least scratch the tile when I put the bar back in the hooks when Im squatting. Its a cheap rack and it kind of rattles around, Im probably just being paranoid. I also like that I save space by deadlifting inside the rack.
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    Originally Posted by jackiejoynerker View Post
    Yeah, I was worried the squat rack would crack or at least scratch the tile when I put the bar back in the hooks when Im squatting. Its a cheap rack and it kind of rattles around, Im probably just being paranoid. I also like that I save space by deadlifting inside the rack.
    Ah, good point, I hadn't thought of that as mine is bolted down. Before this 1 I had a much lighter 1 that was designed to just sit on the floor; it scooted all over the place on a hard re-rack, even with weights on the feet. I had to mark the floor to get it back to the right spot. I bet that WOULD scratch a tile floor.
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