Necesity of multiple layered platform
How necessary is it to build a platform with multiple levels of plywood?
I've seen a ton of designs with two sheets lengthwise, then two sheets on top of them, then the top layer is rubber and some decent grade wood.
I know some places just drop a single sheet of ply in between mats, usually right on top of the cement floor. Does that not cut it?
Also, I've seen some (like the ones at California Strength) that look like a ton of 2x6's stacked up side by side.
So again, what's the benefit of the extra cost of a couple more layers of ply?
I would say to do a couple layers for a home gym, or if you are running an oly gym.
Residential concrete is not the same as commercial in a lot of areas, your home will need more protection.
If you are using something like hi-temps, you might get away with just mats and a piece of wood with moderate usage and moderate weight.
If you are using a competition style plate, have higher lifts, or will do daily training on it, take the time to build a proper platform
I would say it is like a seatbelt, you might never need it, but the one time you get in an accident you would be damn happy you were wearing it.
You might never damage your floor, but if you did you would be damn sorry you didn't spend the extra $$ for another couple sheets of 3/4'' osb
So for a home gym, spend the money on plywood instead of foundation repair.
Stacking several pieces of plywood on top of each other and screwing them together help prevent the possibility of the wood warping or creating any type of "bubbles".
As far as dropping one piece of ply in your matted floor, you definitely need to make sure the concrete below it is good quality. I also believe that way will have a greater chance of the wood warping, especially if your area's weather fluctuates a lot along with the humidity.
The best way to go is just to lay out a couple stacks of plywood to keep the platform flat and solid.
Go to the experts - hopefully that's the place you will be buying your concrete from and explain what you want to do. There are more options than you might first be aware of besides just the thickness of the pour. Richer (stronger) mix - fiber in the mix - screen or rebar reinforcement etc. I have seen first hand what impact loads too a small area (like bumpers hitting the same spot repeatedly) and it ain't pretty - and redoing it is tough at that point (and expensive). The secret is spreading the stress out and that's why the multilayer plywood platform works so much better than the rubber alone. As stated before a well compacted base, an appropriate thickness or the correct type mix. with some type of reinforcement such as screen or rebar - then a suitable multilayer platform. Don't be penny wise and pound foolish.
Oh man where do I start on this....
Been doing this for 23 years now and have ALWAYS put two sheets of plywood down with one more sheet on the top in the middle then two strips of rubber along the side...
Have went as thin as 1/4" plywood and rubber and the floor and platforms have held up for years and years...In my garage, in junior highs, in high schools etc...
Get to my new job in a brand new 6,000 sq ft wtroom with 22 platforms in a high school (1/4' rubber flooring with a heavy duty 3/4" rubber 4x8 rubber mat on top) and within a year I have a spot on the flooor where it was wire mesh and its desinigrated a spot 2x2'......
Order 66 sheet of plywood and split all the rubber mats into 2x8 sections. Put down two 3/4" sheets with another sheet on top and the rubber strips along the side. Within a year I have two more spots to repair-ends up costing about $5k...
Now we added TWO MORE sheets under each platform so we have platforms with three 3/4" sections of plywood or rubber.....
Cross your fingers and whoever said a penny of prevention and pound of....well, you get it now....
Heres the awesome bumpers we used on them too, never buy anything from Troy Barbell/ USA Sports
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