By Jayden Mark
Whether you’re a contractor who does a lot of flooring, or embarking on a DIY renovation project, this review of the best flooring knee pads is the first step in guaranteeing your health and safety. Jobs like flooring and roofing require the correct protection for knees, we’ve taken the effort to find the right products for this purpose. This should make it easy for you to buy what you need, in the knowledge that you’re getting good value for your money.
Flooring materials aren’t all the same. Though, one thing’s for sure, you’ll be spending a lot of your time bending and getting down onto your knees. While the hazards may differ, all flooring protective gear must provide you with the comfort and support needed. This protects you from the long-term health implications that may stem from working on your knees.
Furthermore, you may need to protect your knees from scratches, cuts, and glass. Laminate and bamboo flooring is usually easier in this regard. Traditional wood flooring can pose some risk with regard to nails, wood splinters, and other hazards. Tiling has its own set of issues. Pieces of broken or chipped ceramic, and tile adhesive, need to be considered. Some of the best flooring knee pads will offer full protection for all situations. Whilst those with softer exterior layers may be more comfortable for less demanding jobs. Knee pads with a tough, rigid plastic shell will be better for wood floors and tiling. These tasks generally require greater knee protection.
We’ll be reviewing some affordable products for lighter duty work and some of the best professional-grade knee pads for every type of flooring. The latter will often be just as good for roofing, as the working conditions are quite similar. If you’re not sure how to go about choosing the best PPE for the project you intend doing, I’ll provide a few buying tips after the review.
1. NoCry Flooring Knee Pads
NoCry Flooring knee pads are great for general household use. They are comfortably lightweight, only 7.2-ounces, and are not all bulky. This versatility is great for doing more than flooring, and other light-duty DIY work, many find them to be excellent for gardening, or just cleaning floors. Knee protection with a softer leather pad are usually cheaper than those with a more durable hard covering layer. This lower cost is great if you don’t require heavy-duty protection. One of the advantages to using leather is that it doesn’t scratch sensitive bamboo and laminate flooring. The texture of the leather also provides a non-slip surface.
The downside to leather pads is that they don’t offer much protection from hard or sharp materials. Not the best for nails and similar debris. The High-density foam padding is thick and comfortable. These knee pads are designed for a perfect fit between 10 and 22”. The neoprene straps can cross over to prevent movement. Or, if you prefer, the straps can also be fastened horizontally, just above and below the knee.
Durability is well above average, especially in this price range. They’ve used 600D polyester fabric and double stitching to ensure that this product will endure for years. The leather also seems to be good quality and should last just as long. Cleaning the NoCry Flooring Knee Pads is pretty simple, just hand wash in warm water, using a mild soap.
This is one of the most popular choices for homeowners, seeking affordable multi-purpose knee protection. For general construction, they might not cover all bases. You may want to use a tougher product most of the time. However, these will come in handy for those times when you need something more gentle that won’t harm softer wood surfaces. NoCry offer a 30-day free replacement guarantee and a lifetime warranty. Though, I’m never sure what a lifetime warranty actually covers. There always seems to be a long list of limitations. Either way, I’m quite confident that this product will hold up to fairly tough conditions.
2. Crain 197 Comfort Knee Pads
This is a wonderful combination of lightweight comfort and ultimate hardcore protection. Like many similar products, intended for flooring, they don’t have a hard exterior. This is obviously great for protecting sensitive wooden floors, not the best for nails and sharp objects. The design is superb, offering a lot of extra protection that will be greatly valued when moving about as you work. The thick, lightly padded Velcro straps offer superior comfort and are pretty good for eliminating extra sweating. This is particularly nice if you’re working in shorts, the straps wont pinch and are not abrasive on the skin.
The foam padding is super thick and really tough. The heavy-duty neoprene material seems to be suitable for pretty heavy-duty applications. One thing that may bother some users is the tendency to collect dirt. This could be quite annoying if you’re using tiling adhesive, as that stuff clings to everything and is tough to remove. The good news is that these knee pads are machine washable. So there’s no need to scrub away that extra dirt.
More expensive than most of the lightweight, softer equivalents, the Crain 197 comfort model displays a high grade of quality materials and excellent design. Possibly the most durable, for this type of product, they are certainly one of the most comfortable. Additional support and super-comfortable straps will be greatly appreciated during a long hard day’s work.
3. Knee Pads for Work by Thunderbolt
These are heavy-duty, all-purpose, knee pads for flooring and general construction work. In this context, the Thunderbolt Platinum series is refreshingly affordable. I would highly recommend this product for concrete floors and tiling, because of the heavy-duty caps covering the knee area.
The heavy-duty Powershield is built tough for a hardworking construction environment. Whilst providing extra protection against nails and other sharp objects, the durable plastic shields are gentle enough for most types of flooring.
A non-slip tread is great for smooth surfaces and roofing. Apart from generous layers of foam padding, comfort is further enhanced by a gel interior.
Ample support above the knee, and wide neoprene straps, ensure great comfort for long hours and the kind of durability that professional contractors expect. Additional 7” extensions for the straps, mean that this knee pad will fit all sizes. Industrial grade materials, like engineered PVC and ballistic nylon look mighty impressive. I believe this is among the tougher options for contractors.
To make your day easier, the design offers a lot of extra support for the patellar tendon and quadriceps. Reducing fatigue and preventing long term damage to your knees and joints. You can work for longer and feel confident that no harm is being done. At the end of the day, they’re easy to clean. Usually a wipe down with a damp cloth should do the trick. Or you can wash them in warm soapy water and leave to dry.
This would be one of my first choices, particularly for floor tiling, concrete and heavy-duty construction jobs. At home, many will appreciate the sophisticated design and materials, offering more than just protection to the knees and great comfort. Certainly, a professional grade product. Though, for some softwood floors and laminates, they may leave marks, possibly even some scratching.
4. RFG Gear Professional Construction Flooring Knee Pads for Work
Of the soft knee protection, which are better for delicate flooring, the RFG Professional Construction knee pads has to be my favorite. They don’t have leather pads, but the woven ballistic neoprene material looks pretty indestructible to me. Apart from being one of the toughest in this category, they are extremely comfortable, offer a lot of extra support, and are wonderfully practical.
Something that really won me over, are the loops that create a tool belt around your knees. This is much more practical than a waist belt when you’re doing flooring.
You don’t need to stand up when pulling out your tools. They’re right there you want them. If the RFG Gear knee pads weren’t already such a great product, this would just seem like an extra gimmick. Instead, they add another advantage to one of the best options around.
You can really work for hours, in perfect comfort. This is thanks to a super thick, ¾” gel layer, surrounded by soft and comfortable neoprene. The Straps are also quite exceptional, using military grade materials and Velcro for quick and easy adjustments. Three straps make for a wonderfully secure and incredibly comfortable fit. This is a two piece design, providing a lot of protection above the knee, whilst ensuring easy natural movement. They’re designed for a circumference of 14 – 21” around the leg, with a middle strap that can accommodate 12 – 28”. Large or small, you’re guaranteed the perfect fit, with no unwanted movement.
Durable non-slip material make this the perfect product for flooring, actually any job where knee protection is essential. Lightweight, with good ventilation, and incredibly flexible, RFG Gear Professional knee pads are wonderfully comfortable. They are, undoubtedly, intended for hardcore professional work.
5. Carib Gear Pro Safety Knee Pads for Work
I really like this product. Especially for the extra value that you get. Not only are Carib Gear Pro Safety work knee pads, high-quality, but they’ve added in heavy-duty work gloves and safety glasses to the deal. Yet, the price for the full kit is completely in line with you’d expect to pay for heavy-duty construction knee pads. This a genuine bargain. Three great PPE products for the price of one.
Perfect for all types of flooring, carpentry, and general constructions. Carib Gear Pro have a tough, ridged shell. Under this, lies heavy-duty foam and gel.
All adding up to a wonderfully ergonomic fit with full protection against all hazards. A linear tread pattern offers great slip resistance.
Obtaining the right fit, regardless of your size, is accomplished using comfortably soft, really thick straps. By including 10” extensions, they easily fit any circumference. Carib Gear Safety pads extend well above the knee with a perfectly flexible piece. They won’t move and snugly wrap your leg.
Often add-on merchandise is simply cheap, unwanted stuff, aimed at sweetening the deal with no real value. Not in this case. Top-quality leather work gloves are always welcome, as are protective eyewear. Since the Carib Gear Pro Safety knee pads cost about the same as other professional grade equivalents, you really are getting outstanding value. General quality can’t be disputed here, as is evident with their 1-year money-back guarantee.
6. BESKAR Pro flooring Knee Pads
We’re ending off this review with another fantastically affordable option. Definitely one of the best for softwood floors, the BESKAR Pro Flooring Knee Pads have a soft, no-skid leather pad. All around good quality and design.
The general concept is excellent. A durable, breathable, polyester mesh envelopes your knee with sublime comfort. You hardly notice that you’re wearing protective gear and sweating is kept to a minimum.
Underneath this, is high-density foam padding and a gel pad. All the protection, with maximum comfort.
Two flexible straps attach with easy, quick release, slip buckles. These buckles don’t look quite industrial grade to me. None the less, for a medium-duty product, at a very average price, they are of sound quality. I’d call them above average, which makes them more than great for the price.
Blissfully comfortable, possibly one for the best for lightweight, easy to wear knee pads, this an amazing product for around the home and not so heavy-duty construction work.
7. McGuire Nicholas Stabilizer Shock Absorbing Heavy Duty Gel Foam Protective Knee Pads
McGuire Nicholas have been in the PPE business since 1932. These guys have the experience and have gained a lot of respect over the years. While their heavy-duty Gel Foam protective knee pads live up to their name and the reputation of the brand, some have had issues with the gel leaking. I think that heavier set guys, with a few extra pounds, might not get the best use from this product.
In most cases, though, the verdict has come back as excellent. Thick foam and gel are fantastic for the greatest comfort. I like the non-slip tread, both for the safety they offer and the softer, shoe-like tread.
Of the solid hard protective knee pads, I think these could be the best for softwood, bamboo, and laminate floors, that are easily damaged by harder materials. The stabilizer caps have a shock absorbing effect, which is great for preventing long term damage to the kneecaps.
The pads extend a little below the knee, in a tear drop shape. This provides some shin protection, whilst reducing bulk and excess weight. They fasten with two straps that are both secure and very comfortable. The straps have a hook and loop design to prevent bunching.
Good quality, a reasonable price, and great protection for your knees. This makes the McGuire Nicholas Stabilizer Shock Absorbing Heavy Duty Gel Foam Protective Knee Pads sound value for money. One of the best options if you have previous injuries, as the shock-absorbing design does a lot to prevent further damage.
This section is going to look at what specifically applies to flooring knee pads. There are general considerations, like comfort, durability, and traction. However, flooring has it’s own requirements. The decision lies in what type of flooring materials you’re using and, probably, other uses that you may have, apart from flooring.
Essentially, not all knee protective gear is the best for all types as flooring. I mentioned this in the introduction to the review, now it’s time to elaborate. Contractors may have more general purpose needs, as they do all sorts of jobs and will probably use a variety of flooring materials. I think many professionals would prefer two sets of knee PPE. One for heavy-duty work, and one for more gentle applications.
The home user will often be buying protective gear for a specific project, probably one type of flooring. Of course, you will want to keep using them after the job is done. So you may want to consider other applications, like gardening, or sporting activities.
There are many types of wooden floors. Technically, bamboo and laminate flooring can also be considered wooden floors. Though, some laminates are plastic composites. I want to differentiate here. When discussing wooden floors, I’m talking about traditional tongue and groove flooring.
This requires using a hammer and nails, or a nail gun, to join individual strips of hard or soft wood. Once the floor is laid, you will be sanding it down to remove blemishes and smooth the surface, before sealing.
This means that you are exposed to a few extra hazards, unique to this type of flooring. Splinters, nails, and sharp edges, need additional protection. You generally want a knee pad with a hard cap for this type of work. Since you’ll be sanding the floors, you don’t need to worry too much about marring and scratching that could result form the hard shell.
Bamboo and Laminate Floors
This is the easiest type of flooring to install, making it a big favorite amongst DIYers. The pieces slot together without any nails or screws. They usually arrive pre-sealed and you just have to join the dots, so to speak. Some cutting to size is the only real skill involved.
As the risks are minimal, you don’t need the extra protection of general construction, hard knee pads. The most important consideration is not to damage the softer, polished surface. For this reason, soft leather padded knee protection would be my recommendation for this type of flooring.
The main consideration, when tiling, is the adhesive. There are different products on the market, but all have two similarities. Tile adhesive contains chemicals that is harmful to the skin and can damage some materials. Being an adhesive, it sticks to everything and is, therefore, difficult to clean.
This is something to consider when choosing the best protective gear for tiling. Not just your knees, but your hands, arms, and feet. You want the most washable materials and check that they won’t be damaged by the chemicals in the tile adhesive that you’re using.
Carpeting has no specific requirements when choosing the best knee pads. Potential risks are minimal, as this is a soft product with no real hazards. Knee pads, regardless of their design, cannot harm carpets.