15 Things to Consider When Buying a Home Gym Treadmill

home gym Ttreadmill

Treadmills are one of the most popular pieces of home gym equipment, but not every home is equipped for one. If you’re thinking about buying one for your own home gym, there are several things you should think about first.

The 15 things you should consider when buying a home gym treadmill are:

In this article, I’ll help you determine whether or not it’s possible to add a treadmill to your home gym and answer some questions you should ask yourself before buying one.

1. How Much Space Do You Need Around A Treadmill?

space needed for a treadmill

According to the American Society for Testing and Materials, there should be at least 19.7 inches of clearance on each side of the treadmill and 78 inches of space behind the treadmill. While these standards were created for commercial gyms, home gym users should follow them as well to prevent accidents.

Most treadmill accidents occur when people overexert themselves and become disoriented, falling and getting pinned between the treadmill and a wall or another machine. Treadmill belts can also cause third-degree burns if you get stuck and can’t get off the machine safely. Having an adequate amount of space around your treadmill reduces the risk of these types of accidents.

You should also keep the area surrounding your treadmill free of power cords, dumbbells, jump ropes, or any other items that you can trip over. If you have to dismount the treadmill quickly, you don’t want your feet getting caught on something else that could cause you to fall back onto the moving treadmill.

Additionally, you’ll also want to leave at least two feet of space in the front of the treadmill. This allows the motor to cool and ventilate when it’s not in use, which prevents it from overheating.

2. How Tall Should A Ceiling Be For A Treadmill?

how tall should a ceiling be for a treadmill?

Ideally, your ceiling should be at least 8’ high for a treadmill, but it depends on how tall you are and how high the maximum incline on the treadmill goes. As a general rule of thumb, you can take your height in inches and add 6-12” to it to determine how tall your ceiling should be.

Putting a treadmill in a room with tall ceilings is important because you don’t want to hit your head while you’re walking or running. You’ll be bouncing up and down as you run, so you should make sure there’s enough clearance between your head and the ceiling.

Increasing the incline adds height as well and can make the treadmill as much as a foot taller. You should be able to set the treadmill to the highest incline and still have a few inches of space over your head.

You should also keep in mind that your sneakers make you taller too, with many running shoes adding at least half an inch to your height.

And if you put a mat under your treadmill, you’ll want to account for that as well when determining how much height you need. Most mats are less than an inch thick, but you should still make sure that the tiny bit of extra height won’t cause you to hit your head on the ceiling.

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3. Can I Put A Treadmill On Carpet?

You can put a treadmill on the carpet, but to prevent any damage to the carpet or the machine, it’s best to put a treadmill mat underneath it.

Most treadmills that are built for residential use weigh at least 200lbs. Keeping a heavy piece of stationary equipment on a carpet can cause its material to break down over time and leave permanent dents in it. Dust, pet hair, and carpet fibers can also get caught in the treadmill’s motor, which can cause it to burn out.

Carpets are also generally not the most stable of surfaces, and even a heavy treadmill can slide around from the impact of you running on it.

If you absolutely must place your treadmill on a carpet, you should do your best to put it on a carpet that you don’t care about. Vacuum well before you put your treadmill down, and if possible, lift up the treadmill and vacuum underneath it every couple of weeks to help keep the area around it clean.

4. How Thick Should A Treadmill Mat Be?

A treadmill mat should be at least 4-5mm thick, but if you’re able to get a mat that’s 9-10 mm thick – or at least ⅜ inches – it will provide even more benefits.

While the primary purpose of a treadmill mat is to protect your floors, it also helps to reduce noise, absorb shock, and dampen the vibrations that occur from the impact of your running. It also adds stability and prevents the treadmill from sliding. The thicker the mat, the greater its benefits will be.

When you buy a treadmill mat, you’ll want to check the length and width as well as the thickness. Most treadmill mats measure 6’x3’, but some home treadmills are 7’x3’ or larger. You should have at least six inches of excess material around each side of your treadmill, so double-check your treadmill’s dimensions before you buy a mat.

5. Can You Put A Treadmill Upstairs?

can you put a treadmill upstairs?

It is safe to put a treadmill on the second floor. Buildings in the US that are up to code are built to support 30-40lbs per square foot. A 100 square foot room can handle 3,000-4,000 pounds. Even if the room has other furniture in it, it’s unlikely that the weight of the treadmill plus your body weight will exceed those limits.

However, you’ll also need to consider how much force you generate with each step you take. When you run, the impact from your feet striking the ground is equal to 1.5-3x your body weight.

So, when calculating how much weight will be in the room where you want to put your treadmill, you’ll need to combine the weight of your treadmill, your body weight multiplied by 3, plus the weight of any other equipment or furniture in the room.

If you put a treadmill on the second floor, you’ll also want to keep an eye on your walls. It likely won’t cause your entire house to come crumbling down, but the vibrations from the treadmill can cause small cracks in your drywall.

Aside from structural issues, one thing to consider is that some delivery people won’t bring your treadmill past your front door. If you’re going to put it in an upstairs room, you should make sure you have the ability to transport it up a flight of stairs.

And, if you live with other people or have neighbors that live below you, the treadmill will make a lot of noise that can disrupt people sitting in the room beneath you. You should only use your treadmill when everyone else is awake or not at home. Putting a mat underneath the treadmill will also help reduce some of the noise.

6. Can A Treadmill Fall Through The Floor?

If you live in a modern house or apartment building, it’s unlikely that your treadmill will fall through the floor. As long as your residence is up to code, your floors should be able to support the weight of the treadmill.

If you’re concerned about your floors not being able to support your treadmill, you can put it directly on top of a floor joist or above a load-bearing wall for more stability.

And if you don’t trust your own judgment, you can ask a home inspector or someone who specializes in floor inspections for their opinion. You can check sites such as the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors® or the National Institute of Certified Floor Covering Inspectors to find inspectors near you.

7. How Can You Hide Your Treadmill In Your Living Room?

If your living room is the only space large enough for you to keep your treadmill, you can find creative ways to hide it when you’re entertaining guests, such as by hiding it behind plants, putting shelving units around it, or putting it behind curtains.

Here are a 5 ways you can hide a treadmill:

  • Buy a decorative folding screen. They’re easy to move so it won’t be a big hassle to fold and unfold them every time you want to use your treadmill.
  • Put it behind indoor plants. Tall indoor plants can not only add some flair to your living room but can also hide your treadmill. They may not be able to hide it completely, but they’ll help keep the attention off the treadmill.
  • Install bendable curtain rods. If your treadmill will be in a corner of your living room, you can install bendable curtain rods such as the UrbanRod Bendable Curtain Rods to hide your treadmill behind a curtain.
  • Build a “wall” with shelving units. You can get storage racks or shelving units that act as a wall to block your treadmill from the rest of your living room. As an added bonus, you’ll have more storage space, and you can put picture frames or plants on the shelves to add to your living room’s decor.
  • Store it under your couch. Many home treadmills are foldable. If you have a foldable treadmill, you can simply fold it up and slide it under the couch when guests come over so it’s not in the way.

8. Can You Put A Treadmill Next To A Wall?

It is not recommended to put a treadmill right next to a wall. If you fall, you can get pinned between the moving belt and the wall, which can cause burns or other injuries.

Putting a treadmill right next to a wall can also affect you mentally since you won’t be able to focus on running if you feel like you’re in a cramped space.

As such, you should leave at least 19.7 inches of space next to your treadmill and 78 inches of space behind it. This way, if you fall or you have to get off the treadmill quickly, you won’t get trapped between the wall and the machine.

If your treadmill is too close to a wall, it can also cause vibrations and noise to filter through the rest of your home. If you live with other people or have next-door neighbors, you’ll want to keep your treadmill far enough away from the wall that it won’t be disruptive to others.

9. Can You Put A Treadmill In The Bedroom?

can you put a treadmill in the bedroom?

It is safe to put a treadmill in the bedroom. If your bedroom is on the second floor, the chances of it causing any damage are low, especially if your home is up to code. The bigger concern is how much noise it will make when your spouse or partner is sleeping.

Putting a treadmill in the bedroom can be beneficial in many ways. You’ll have more natural light from the windows, which isn’t possible if you put it in the basement. You may already have a TV in your bedroom, which makes it easier to entertain yourself while you work out. And it’s harder to skip your workout when the treadmill is in a place where you see it every day.

If you’re married or live with a partner, you’ll just need to make sure that you use the treadmill when the other person is awake so you don’t disrupt their sleep.

10. Where Should You Not Put A Treadmill?

While you can put a treadmill in almost any room in your home, it is not recommended to put it in a garage or attic. You should also avoid putting it in a room that pets and young children spend a lot of time in.

Most attics are intended for storage only and are not meant to be lived in. Therefore, they have lower structural standards than other rooms. As a result, the floors are often less sturdy. Combined with the weight of the treadmill and your body weight, the impact of running on a treadmill can damage your attic floors.

Treadmills should also not be stored in garages, especially ones that are not well-insulated, because extreme temperatures can cause them to malfunction.

You’ll also want to keep the treadmill in a room where children and pets can’t get to it. Curious young children may be tempted to put their hands all over the treadmill, and children and pets may try to crawl underneath it. This can lead to severe injuries, especially if the treadmill is on when a child or animal gets too close to it.

11. Can You Store A Treadmill in The Garage?

can you store a treadmill in the garage?

The ideal temperature for treadmills is 50 – 105° F. So you can put a treadmill in the garage, but if you live in an area with very cold winters and hot summers, the weather can cause the treadmill to break faster.

Freezing cold temperatures can make the belt brittle and more likely to tear. Cold weather can also cause the LCD screen, incline function, and other electronic parts on the treadmill to stop working properly.

Storing your treadmill in a cold garage will also make it less convenient. It’s recommended to keep a treadmill in a room that’s at least 68° for three hours before using it if it’s been exposed to freezing temperatures. So in the winter, you’d either have to move your treadmill inside or let your garage warm up for several hours before using it.

The heat isn’t as much of a concern as the cold is, but if you live in a humid climate, the moisture in the air can build up on the treadmill and cause it to stop functioning correctly.

If you do want to store a treadmill in the garage, you should check the manufacturer’s instructions and warranty first. Many manufacturer warranties are voided if you leave the treadmill in the garage, so you’ll have to pay a lot of money for repairs.

12. Can You Put A Treadmill Outside?

In general, most manufacturers will advise you not to put a treadmill outside because rain, snow, and extreme temperatures can damage the machine. But if you like to run in the fresh air instead of a musty garage or basement, there are some precautions you can take to protect your treadmill from the elements.

If you do want to keep your treadmill outside, you’ll need to protect it from water, ice, pollen, dirt, and even curious critters that may try to climb on it. You should keep it out of direct sunlight as well since the heat from the sun can damage the electrical parts of the treadmill. You can cover it with a tarp or treadmill cover when you’re not using it or keep it under a canopy.

Your treadmill should also be placed on a flat, even surface. If you want to put it on a deck or balcony, you’ll need to make sure it can support the weight of the treadmill.

Lastly, you should note that keeping a treadmill outside may void your warranty. If any part of the treadmill gets damaged while it’s outdoors, the manufacturer won’t cover the repair costs.

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13. Can You Run A Treadmill Off An Extension Cord?

It isn’t recommended to run a treadmill off an extension cord. If you have no other choice, you can do so as long as the cord can handle the power draw of the treadmill. Most treadmills draw 15 or 20 amps so the extension cord should be able to handle at least that much power. You should also only plug the extension cord into a grounded outlet.

Any extension cord you use for your treadmill should also have three prongs, be at least 14-gauge (if not 10 or 12), and should not be longer than six feet. Using an extension cord that doesn’t have enough power can cause the cord to overheat and cause fires. And if the cord is too long, it will have more resistance and produce more heat that can lead to melting.

You can check the owner’s manual that comes with your treadmill to find out what the electrical requirements are for your specific machine. If you’re still not sure, check how many amps your wall outlet can handle — most outlets in residential buildings are 15 or 20 amps — and buy an extension cord that can handle at least that much power.

If connecting your treadmill to an extension cord makes you nervous, you can also consult with an electrician to either install a new outlet or help you determine what kind of extension cord you need.

14. Do Treadmills Use A Lot Of Electricity?

How much electricity your treadmill uses depends on the model, how long you use it for every day, how fast you run, and what incline you set it to. On average, treadmills use anywhere from 300-900 watts, but some can use much more wattage than that.

To calculate exactly how much electricity your treadmill uses, you can check the owner’s manual or look at the label on the power cord to find out its wattage rating. You can then multiply it by the number of hours you use your treadmill each month and divide that number by 1,000.

Let’s say you have a 600-watt treadmill and use it for 200 hours per month. 600×200 = 120,000. 120,000 ÷ 1,000 = 1,200, meaning your treadmill uses 1,200 kilowatts of electricity each month.

If you wanted to calculate how much money that would cost you, you can multiply the kilowatts by the average kWh (kilowatt-hour) price in your country to find out how much it costs you per hour to run your treadmill.

Some treadmills provide their energy requirements in horsepower instead of watts. One horsepower is equal to approximately 746 watts, so if your treadmill uses 2.6 HP, the wattage will be about 1,940.

To save on your electricity costs, you should turn your treadmill completely off when you’re not using it. You don’t have to unplug it, but if you leave it on, it will consume more electricity, even if it’s idle.

To be safe, you should also only plug your treadmill into a grounded outlet, preferably one with a 20-amp 120-volt circuit. You may also want to consider getting an electrician to put the outlet for your treadmill on its own circuit so it doesn’t have to compete with other electrical devices for power.

15. Are Treadmills Quiet?

are treadmills quiet?

Treadmills aren’t very quiet. Aside from the sound of the belt moving on the machine, your feet will also make noise as you strike the platform and the pounding can cause your floors and walls to vibrate. Worn out parts on your treadmill can also cause a lot of noise.

Some treadmills are louder than others, but it largely depends on the quality of treadmill you get. On a lower quality treadmill, the motor has to work harder, so it makes more noise. Higher-quality treadmills tend to have more powerful but quieter motors.

Damaged parts can also cause your treadmill to make more noise than usual. For example, if the belt on your treadmill becomes too tight or too loose, or if the bearings or rollers have gone bad, it can cause squeaking, grinding, or thumping sounds.

You can reduce the noise a treadmill makes by:

  • Putting your treadmill on a stable surface
  • Putting a mat underneath your treadmill
  • Running at a slight incline, which makes less noise than if you were to run on a flat surface
  • Lubricating the belt every 3 months or after every 130 miles (the owner’s manual should tell you which kind of lubricant works best with your treadmill)
  • Checking the bearings and rollers on your treadmill every couple of months to make sure they’re in good shape

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About The Author

Amanda Dvorak

Amanda Dvorak is a freelance writer and powerlifting enthusiast. Amanda played softball for 12 years and discovered her passion for fitness when she was in college. It wasn’t until she started CrossFit in 2015 that she became interested in powerlifting and realized how much she loves lifting heavy weights. In addition to powerlifting, Amanda also enjoys running and cycling.