How to Turn Your Basement into a Home Gym

Having a home gym has many advantages, and your basement may be just the perfect location. There are two approaches on how to turn your basement into a home gym. You can have a whole basement remodel or make a few simple changes in the existing space and turn it into a workout area in no time. There are a few tips and tricks you should have in mind for both approaches before starting the project.

Making a good plan is crucial

Remodeling your basement is different from remodeling your living room or any other space in your home. You’re probably so excited about having a home gym, and your primary focus is on the equipment you plan to buy. However, the first thing you need to consider is the design of the space itself. Take the necessary time and make a good plan for the area that will soon become your dedicated workout oasis.

Designing the space

For starters, estimate how much available space do you have and measure everything. If your basement consists of one large room, there are plenty of possibilities. On the other hand, if your basement is divided into smaller rooms, planning may be more complex. If you want an extensive home gym, one solution is to remove a few walls. The other option is to have a few dedicated rooms. You can assign one room to your cardio training and dedicate another to weights and resistance training.

Clean up the basement

If your basement is full of things, you won’t be able to do anything else before cleaning it up. You need to free up space and use the opportunity to get rid of some things you don’t use for a long time. Decide what to throw away, what to sell, or donate. The items you need to keep for future use can be stored away later when you know exactly how much usable space you have. When you clean everything up, organize it and sort it, it will be easier to see if there are any significant issues in your basement that you need to deal with right away.

Almost empty basement, ready for remodeling
Before doing any major change, make sure to free up space and clean it thoroughly.

Potential problems you need to fix

Water intrusion and moisture problems are common in basements. Before you begin any major renovation, check if you need a special treatment for the walls, floors, or windows. It’s something that you shouldn’t miss doing in the beginning because those issues become more and more severe as time goes by. Don’t let any of your equipment rust and deteriorate because of the problems with moisture.

Mold is another problem connected with moisture levels. However, mold is sometimes a ventilation problem as well, and sometimes it’s a combination of these two issues. Mold is not only ugly, but it’s also unhealthy. It can make you really sick, so prevention is key here.

Pests are another big problem in basements. If you struggle with any of these issues, the best solution would be to contact professionals to fix them. When that’s done, you can relax and continue making your workout haven.

Ceiling limitations

The complete design of your space may depend on the height of your basement ceiling. If you have a basement with low ceilings, it can limit the use of some workout machines. Realize how low your ceiling is to avoid frustrations and waste of time because you’ll choose only the right height equipment that can fit in.

Natural airflow

Whenever you’re working out, it is crucial to get enough oxygen. Your body will need a lot of fresh air to stay healthy and energized. So, preferably, your basement should have a lot of natural airflow. To make that possible, maybe you’ll need to convert your windows. Getting air straight from outside is the healthiest and the best option for your home gym. Also, consider adding a plant or two, especially if it’s an air-purifying kind, such as Aloe or Jade plant.

Fit sportswoman unfolding fitness mat on a floor
Air-purifying plants are a good addition to your home gym.

Proper ventilation

When planning to turn your basement into a home gym, proper ventilation is an important aspect that you shouldn’t overlook. Your workouts should be pleasant and enjoyable in your new space. If your basement isn’t climate controlled, it definitely should be now when you intend to turn it into a gym. Fans can also help in keeping the air circulating.

There’s also the option of hooking your basement up to the house HVAC system for maximum comfort. That’s also the best solution for heating during the winter, keeping in mind that the basement is usually cooler than the rest of your house. A space heater could also work well. It all depends on your budget, and if you’re making a long-term commitment to exercising at home, it will all be worth it.

Flooring options

We all know the type of kitchen bathroom flooring we want, but what about our other rooms? Concrete floors are very common in basements, and luckily, they are great for home gyms because they support heavy exercise equipment. They can also withstand all the roughness of a hard workout.

If you’re looking for other flooring options, consider tiles that are easy to install. Some of them are great for absorbing sound and impact, so conduct proper research before buying them. Look not only for aesthetics but mainly for their functionality.

You can also consider a gym floor – a rubber or foam floor specially made for gyms. It’s great because it’s:

  • Easy to clean
  • Perfect protection for your floor and your equipment
  • Made to reduce the noise
  • Provides grip


For the walls of your basement, you can use panels that are good for absorbing the sound and reducing the noise levels. There are many different designs on the market. However, keep in mind that basements are usually damp environments, so when choosing the best solution for your walls, you need to make sure that it is mildew resistant above anything else.


Adequate lighting is vital for safety during your workouts. Proper lighting will also make a more enjoyable environment. When you want to turn your basement into a home gym, consider LED ceiling lights as a cost-effective option that will fit in nicely.


One of the lasts steps is to put the mirrors in your new home gym. Don’t do it before everything else is done because they can break easily – if you plan to move things around often during a renovation. They should be placed in a few places where you’ll need them most, such as in front of the areas where you do your lifts, stretch, do dumbbell and kettlebell exercises.

Consider putting a mirror on the wall behind the power rack as well. Depending on your training routines, you may need more or fewer mirrors.  If your basement is small, one big mirror may be enough for all the exercises.

Decluttering your storage

One of the most important steps in this whole process is to find the right place for the items you previously stored in your basement. If you followed our advice, you already organized and sorted away everything you want to keep and put it out of sight. Those belongings would probably make a permanent mess and clutter in your living room or any other room in your home. Hopefully, you already have a storage unit you rented, but before putting more things inside, you’ll first need to declutter it. Luckily, spring is perfect to organize your storage unit and make space for new items. If your storage is big and messy, you can call a friend or a family member to help you.

Again, use the same approach – check if there are items to sell or gift to someone and get rid of anything that lost its purpose. With good planning and organization, you can finish this step in no time and place the new items to rest there safely.

Bringing the equipment in

After all the necessary preparations, now it’s finally time for the fun part – assembling the equipment you ordered. First, move all the boxes with bigger equipment into the basement and assemble them there. Then, move in all the smaller stuff and put them in the right place.

In the best-case scenario, you already know where everything goes. If you’re still not sure, take your time and consider what would be the best and the most convenient. When everything is prepared, try the equipment and exercise you plan on regularly doing. If any adjustments to the layout are needed, you can do them now.

When you turn your basement into a home gym, try all the equipment and see if it's working properly.
Man exercising in his home gym

Final thoughts

Now you know how to turn your basement into a home gym. Being able to have a great workout without leaving your home is fantastic. It saves your time, and it can keep you motivated because you only have to walk a few steps downstairs. Best of all, you won’t lose any precious time for a commute to the gym.

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