Covering for mats?

Now I have to be pathetic and TTT my own thread. How sad. C'mon guys, someone's gotta know somethin'!

No idea. But TTT so you don't have to do it again.


I'm kinda in the same process as you sifu. I found a good/economic supplier for foam but am at a loss for surface coverage. Kind of depends what type of surface you want. Some aikido/judo guys like to use canvas. I'm more into a wrestling type mat which is foam painted with vinyl paint. That's where I got stuck. How does one paint foam?

Plastic-ized canvas.

Where do you GET that sort of thing, though?

Not sure, but that's what we used at the WMU judo club

Will do!

A heavy-duty poly-ethylene tarp works well. Smooth
seams, no abrasion, very affordable, easy to replace, and
easy keep to clean.


I did a search for tarps of that nature, and those suckers ARE cheap! You'd have to add a bunch of grommets if you were going to build yourself a floor or platform ring (so you can keep it flat and tight), but that's no biggie at all! I believe I'll be going that route. Thanks, shooter! I can't believe that had never occurred to me. Too many shots to the head in training lately. :)

Oh, and Eddy...I'm looking at making a 20'x20' surface, although I'm starting to think maybe I should just build a floor ring, which would require 24'x24' of padding. I found a source that sells foam off the roll cheap when they have it in stock. I'll get some more info from them and keep you posted.

Keep us all updated.

This link might be the way I'm going

yee have little faith.

I'm looking to cover a 16X16 boxing ring inexpensively.

How large do you need each mat cover? How large are the cell foam pieces? How thick are you going?

Drop cloth material is less than $60 for 12 X 18 pieces around here. I just wanted one big seamless cover without spending hundreds for something that had a logo on it

I'm looking into sailboat sail material myself.
I'll let you know what I find out by Tuesday.

Tell me more about closed cell foam, please.



Closed cell foam is the foam they use in wrestling mats, or as padding for boxing rings. It doesn't absorb moisture. Theoretically, you could use the foam without a covering, but if you don't have any exposed seams, it looks better. And it would stand to reason the foam panles or sheets would alst longer being covered.

Keep us posted on the sail material Eddy, although I'm guessing that's one of the more expensive ways to go.

I'm planning on making some mats to replace the ones I'm using now...I love the old mats, but they're starting to fall apart! I found a good source for closed-cell foam, but I want to make a cover for the surface area (I'm building a low platform, the idea off a website, and it looks sharp!). Anyway, I have no idea where to even begin looking for material for a good covering. Any ideas, guys? You're a resourceful bunch. :)

Poly-tarps are cheap and lots of color choices with grommets.

Thanks Shooter.

This thread has been archived.

Good night everyone.

Keep the ideas and info flowing.


Checked on the vinyl paint thru pinnacle mats, not cheap, that is for sure, just to do one 12 x 12 section, they recommend 2 cans of paint @ $40 each, plus a can of primer to guarantee it adheres well to the foam @ $40, for a total of $120 plus $20 shipping. Then, i talked to the foam place about it, and they said even with the primer, it will begin to crack and peel. Plus it is a pain to apply.

Thought about doing the plywood thing, but we have to take the mats up each night, and store them in a large utility closet, no way to get them in and out right now, as the need to be flexible. Think I will try taking one of my poly tarps and see what kind of traction it gets. If it is good, I will invest in one large ehough to cover the entire area.

I'll let you guys know how it works in my test run. Not sure how to attach it, guess I could run rope through the gromets and under neath the mats.

hey guys, check out for closed cell foam. They have some 1" thick stuff that is 6' wide, and it is on rolls, they will cut any length you want. It is about $10 per linear foot. So, to get 10' x 12' are would be about $200. We use their 1 1/2" sheets. These were pre cut factory over runs, so we got 6' x 12' sections for $75 per sheet. They usually have over runs and stuff in stock. Good guys and good service too.

About the poly-tarps, wouldn't that be an awfully slick surface to work on? Anyone have any experience training on that type of surface? Are they strong enough for grappling?

Could you vinyl paint a canvas tarp? You would get decent traction and have the moisture barrier. Just an idea.

So how bout it guys. Anybody worked out on an area covered with the poly tarps? Too slick of a surface, or was the grip ok?