Working as a floor installer is hard on your knees. Knee aches and stiffness are part and parcel of the job, and sometimes you have to hold on to something just so you can stand or sit without causing more pain to your knees.

That’s why proper knee protection is essential if you’re working as a floor installer, plumber, cleaner, or any job that requires you to be on your knees more often than not. Knee pads cushion your knees against the hard floor, as well as act as shock absorbers when your knees hit hard surfaces. They can prevent scrapes, fractures, and punctures. Moreover, knee pads can make working more bearable if you have bursitis, tendinitis, and other knee problems.

But what makes a good pair of knee pads? Is it the type of material used by the manufacturer? The knee pads size? Or whether they stay in place or not while you work?

There are a lot of things you have to consider when buying knee pads, but don’t worry because we’ve got you covered. We’ve compiled a list of the best knee pads for installing flooring, as well as discussed some of the important knee pad features you have to check out before buying a pair. Check them out below.

1.
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Sellstrom KneePro Knee Pads - Ultra Flex III - Heavy Duty Protection and Comfort for Construction, Gardening, Army, Flooring Work - Grey and Orange
  • PRO PROTECTION: Ultra Flex III knee pads have a super hard outer plastic shell that’s strong and durable. They’re made for professionals whose work calls for kneeling, crawling or squatting
  • SOFT PADDING: Its triple layer, 3/4" thick, closed cell foam pad provides the ultimate protective layer, plus the best comfort you’ll find. Sold as a pair of 2 knee pads
  • NO PRESSURE: Soft elastic woven straps are positioned well above and below the knee and have a speed clip for quick attachment. Adjustable, unisex design can be worn by adult men and women
  • FLEXIBLE MOVEMENT: Knee pads are constructed with a metal rivet hinge, which offers ease of movement when walking or kneeling. Its non-marking grip strip can be safely used on any floor or surface
  • PROFESSIONAL USES: Heavy duty knee pads are a must-have for many jobs, including military/tactical, flooring, tiling, roofing, landscaping, and HVAC work. Comes with a mesh carry bag for portability
2.
ToughBuilt - Gelfit Thigh Support Stabilization Knee Pads - Heavy Duty, Comfortable and Adjustable - (TB-KP-G3)
  • RESISTANT AND DURABLE: Made with the highest standards to ensure durability, withstand harsh work environments, and save time and money on having to constantly buy replacements. Covered by our limited lifetime warranty to the original purchaser against defects in material.
  • COMFORTABLE GELFIT ™ - Unique gel cushion and foam design embraces the natural shape of the knee and upper shin, maximizing pressure distribution for an extremely comfortable fit. Put them on and leave them on.
  • STAY ADJUSTED: Combination elastic/EVA/buckle thigh and calf straps comfortably hold their place without cutting off circulation. Kneepad never rotates off your knee, so no time wasted on having to constantly adjust your equipment.
  • MOBILITY: Thigh support keeps the knee ergonomically centered within the kneepad, so your range of motion is not compromised. Our design provides ultimate stability combined with easy side-to-side agility.
  • PREMIUM MANUFACTURING: Made with abrasion-resistant 1680D fabric, rugged double-injected shell with non-slip rubber and shatter-resistant plastic. They are heavily textured on contact surfaces, so you feel safe and at ease while on the job.
3.
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SuperSoft Leatherhead Kneepads - (Large Size / Bagged in Pairs)
  • Troxell USA Patented Comfort Design
  • Single Front Fastening Strap design won't pinch the back of your legs
  • Can be worn with shorts - Super Comfy on the Knees
  • Premium Grade Neoprene - 100% Washable
  • Made in the USA
4.
CLC Custom Leathercraft G361 Professional Ultra-Flex Gel Kneepads
  • Special CLC "Comfort Zone" gel center provides maximum cushioning for all-day wearablility
  • Super thick, high density closed cell foam for all day comfort
  • Soft, flexible outer shell protects and grips most surfaces without scratching or scuffing
  • Super-accordion, Ultra-Flex construction for comfort and protection
  • Durable rubber straps are adjustable to fit all sizes
5.
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Ergodyne ProFlex 380 Kneeling Pad, Foam Knee Cushion, Water Resistant Kneeling Mat, 14" x 21" x 1", Orange, Standard
  • DURABLE FOAM PADDING – Made with high density, thick NBR foam rubber that will not compress over time, protecting knees against hard surfaces
  • LIQUID RESISTANT – Water resistant and petroleum resistant construction make it perfect for everything from bath time to work in the garage
  • LIGHTWEIGHT AND PORTABLE – Kneeling pad is lightweight and has a built-in handle making it easy to carry and transport and convenient to hang and store
  • MULTI-FUNCTIONAL – Use to support pressure away from other areas; cushion elbows, shoulders, hips and other body parts when working in tight, constrained, twisted postures
  • SIZE DIMENSIONS – 14in x 21in x 1in (36cm x 53cm x 2.5cm)
6.
Crain 197 Comfort Knee Pads
  • Built-in protection for both kneeling and knee-kicking
  • Extra-wide Velcro straps won't pinch - even while wearing shorts
  • Made from super-durable neoprene that is also machine-washable
7.
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Klein Tools 55629 Knee Pads, Tradesman Pro Professional Knee Protection with Foam Padding and Gel Cushion, Quick-Fasten Buckle
  • Five layers of impact resistant material for protection and comfort
  • For comfort: an inner fabric layer of neoprene, an over-sized impact-absorbing gel layer, a molded polyurethane foam layer
  • For protection: a super-tough 600d outer fabric layer, a protective outer shell with stabilizing non-slip surface
  • Single strap doesn't bunch behind your leg
  • Quick-fasten buckle

Flooring Knee Pads Buying Guide

Flooring Knee Pads Material

Knee pads are made of different materials, and each material has its own pros and cons. The most common knee pad insert is foam, specifically closed-cell foam

This type of foam is sturdy, and it offers greater resistance to wear and tear than ordinary foam. It is also non-porous, and provides fantastic protection to your knees, especially when working on concrete and other hard surfaces. But be prepared for sweaty knees as it is not as breathable because of its density.

Gel is another type of material used as a knee pad insert. This material is more responsive than closed-cell foam, and molds to the contours and movement of your knees to make working more comfortable. Just like foam, however, gel knee pads are hot and can make your knees sweat profusely.     

Some manufacturers combine the responsiveness of gel inserts with the durability of closed-cell foam inserts in their knee pads. Choose whichever is most comfortable for you, and that fits your budget. 

Light Duty vs Heavy Duty Knee Pads

Light duty knee pads are ideal for occasional projects. These knee pads are thinner and more flexible as you probably won’t spend more than 30 percent of your time at work on your knees.

What if you’re a professional floor installer or you have a job where you spend more than 50 percent of your time at work on your knees? Then it’s best to purchase a pair of heavy-duty knee pads. Choose knee pads with excellent gel or foam inserts and better shock-absorbing properties.

Knee Pad Outer Shell

If you want a versatile pair of knee pads, then those with flat shells might be the ones you are looking for. These knee pads are some of the most common and least expensive in the market. Flat-shell knee pads can be used on hard and soft surfaces, and are great if you’re not going to move around a lot.

Choose knee pads with hard plastic outer shells if you’re planning to kneel on carpets and other softer surfaces. The smooth plastic shell allows you to slide easily on softer surfaces. The downside is that it might scrape laminate flooring, or it might not be as comfortable if you’re working on other hard surfaces.

Other knee pads come with rubber outer shell. These caps are softer and are often textured for improved traction on slippery floorings, such as tiles and marble. They are more versatile when it comes to movement, so you’ll be able to move side to side or pivot easily. If you want this type of knee pad, then make sure that the outer shell is textured to prevent you from slipping on the floor while you work.    

Fit 

When buying the right knee pads, always consider the type of clothing you’re going to wear while using them. If you mostly wear long pants at work, then make sure that the straps are longer and they can be adjusted to fit the fabric around your legs. You should also make sure that the straps will not pinch your skin if you frequently wear shorts at work. 

Always check the manufacturer’s sizing chart when buying a pair of knee pads. If you can visit the store, then it’s better to do so. Try them out and make sure that they will fit properly and that they are comfortable. 

Go for knee pads that fit snugly around your knees, but are not too tight nor too thick that they cut off the circulation in your legs. Moreover, make sure the knee pads stay in place when you kneel, move side to side, or swivel.

Conclusion:

The best knee pads for installing flooring is this pair of Sellstrom KneePro Ultra Flex III Knee Pads. These knee pads cover the entirety of your knees, as well as a part of the lower thighs. These are unlike your ordinary knee pads that cover and protect only the patella and leaves the area surrounding your knees vulnerable to injury.

The outer shells are made of heavy-duty polypropylene plastic that can protect your knees from impact. Meanwhile, the inner cushion is made thick closed-cell EVA foam molded to fit and protect your knees. Don’t worry about slipping and sliding while working on tile or any slippery surface as these knee pads come with large non-marring orange grip strips.

These knee pads are secured around the knees with a soft elastic strap. Each strap has a convenient slip-on closure and can be adjusted to make them more snug around the knees.   

These knee pads are also some of the least expensive ones on the market. So if you want something budget-friendly and sturdy enough, then the Sellstrom KneePro Ultra Flex III Knee Pads are a good choice.

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