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Ask the Expert / DIY Crafters

  Author   Comment  
Reply with quote  #1 
I own a gym and do constant repairs.  The foam on my benches is very firm.  I know it is difficult to guess but I was wanting to order your 3 inch very firm foam even though my foam doesn't appear to be quite 3 inches.  Do you think the 3 inch very firm foam would work?  If it is too soft the patrons will feel the wood underneath as they lift weights.  Thanks! I will be re-covering the benches with your Naugahyde so I can size the Naugahyde to the new foam.
Reply with quote  #2 

I just happened to see your message and thought I would reply.  Having a gym myself, I can tell you that my personal preference for padding is not any type of foam rubber or furniture padding.  What I use is polyethylene foam.  Polyethylene foam is a closed cell material and won't soak up water.  As such it is sometimes used as a 2 ft. wide mat for floating on in a swimming pool.  If you've ever seen the noodle float toys for swimming pools in Walmart, those are made from polyethylene foam.  In fact, I have used those noodles to replace padding on things like leg extension/leg curl machines. 

Polyethylene foam is very dense and not easily crushed.  A one inch thick piece of foam is all you would need on something like a bench press.  And I guarantee you won't feel the board underneath, even when pressing several hundred pounds. 

Unfortunately, I can't tell you where to get this type of foam in a mat form.  Last time I needed some for reupholstering a weight bench I bought a swimming pool floating mat and cut it down.

Good luck,


Reply with quote  #3 
Chris is correct.  Regular foam is not appropriate for weight benches.   A good closed cell works well  as does  "rebond".  A good upholstery shop can  order exactly what you need.
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