An average treadmill measures approximately 3’ wide x 6’ long x 5’ high. What may surprise you is that a treadmill of this size needs an area about 7’ wide x 12’ long x 8’ high. I cover all the reasons why in my article here, but in the end, treadmills take up a fair amount of room!
In fact, they take up a lot more room than most people first assume. This makes treadmill placement in the home a challenge for many. If there is no dedicated home gym, the treadmill usually ends up in a multipurpose living space.
One of the most common places that treadmills end up in this scenario is an upstairs bedroom. And this leads many treadmill owners to wonder if it’s safe to install a treadmill in a second-floor room or apartment.
It is safe to install a treadmill on the second floor of any modern home or apartment built to current building codes. The average weight of a quality treadmill is between 250-300 lbs. Even with a 200+ lb person running on it, this is well within the weight capacity of a second-level floor.
While it’s safe to install a treadmill on a second floor, the real question is, should you? There are various things to consider when deciding to put your treadmill on a second floor or higher.
Whole gym or just a treadmill?
One of the most-read articles on this site is, “Is it safe to build a home gym on the second floor?”. In that article, I outline what home gym owners should consider when installing a home gym on their home’s second floor.
But the bottom line is that your floor can support plenty of weight. Thousand of pounds, in fact. Building codes state that a bedroom floor on a second level must be able to support 30lbs per square foot.
That means that a standard 10’x10’ bedroom must be able to support at least 3,000 lbs. Builders rarely build to the bare minimum, so a second-level floor’s actual carrying capacity is often much more than that. This is more than enough support for a treadmill or a home gym.
Whether you want to install a complete home gym or just a treadmill, you aren’t going to have any issues with the floor supporting the weight you place on it.
How much do treadmills weigh?
The average weight of a treadmill is between 250-300 lbs. The bulk of this weight is made up of the frame and the motor. Some higher-end models can reach over 400 lbs. Some more entry-level models are closer to the 200 lb. mark. This does not take into account the weight of the user.
The heaviest treadmill I recommend is the Nordic Track x32i (a truly awesome treadmill!) weighs 462 lbs. Max user capacity is 300 lbs, so the total weight would come in at almost 800 lbs for the heaviest possible combination.
When you add a person on top of the treadmill, you are usually dealing with a total weight of 400-500 lbs. You also have to take into consideration the force generated by that person running.
As I noted above, the weight itself will not usually be an issue pertaining to the floor’s structural integrity. But that weight, especially the running part, can cause other problems.
Treadmills cause noise and vibration.
The more significant issue in placing a treadmill on a second floor is the noise and vibration it will transmit to the floors underneath. How you set your treadmill up will have a significant impact on what the people below you hear.
This is extremely important when dealing with apartment building installations. Considering your neighbors below will be an essential part of your decision to get a treadmill, as well as how you set it up.
It’s important to note that no matter how nice a treadmill you get and how well you install it, the people below will know when you are running on it. A best practice is to come up with some type of mutual agreement as to when you will use your treadmill so as to minimize disturbances. You can still do some things that will really help limit the noise and vibration created below you.
The type of flooring under your treadmill matters
The type of floor you install your treadmill on will directly impact how much noise it makes not only in the room it is in but also in the room below you.
Hardwood and laminate flooring will create the most noise. It will be loud in the room with the treadmill, and nothing will prevent noise and vibration from penetrating the floor below.
In this instance, a treadmill mat is required. I cover treadmill mats in another article here on GymCrafter, but for hardwood floors, I think this mat that you can buy on Amazon is ideal for both hardwood and carpet.
Carpet is a much better flooring option than a hard surface. The combination of carpet and padding will significantly cut down on any noise created. It won’t eliminate it altogether, but it will be a ton better than hardwood, laminate, or tile.
You’ll still need a treadmill mat as carpet tends to send lots of little fibers and dust particles up into the open and exposed underside of a treadmill. This can damage your treadmill, so a mat is a must!
An unforeseen consequence of installing your treadmill upstairs
When I first bought a treadmill, I didn’t have a garage gym. Instead, I had two cars parked in my garage with very little room for anything else.
Because of that, I decided to install my treadmill upstairs in my bedroom.
Treadmills come unassembled. Typically, they come in a flat box weighing in at somewhere around 300-350 lbs.
Pro tip… Pay for the experts to install your treadmill. Doing it yourself is NOT a great idea. About halfway through putting mine together, I was very much regretting my decision to do things myself!
Not only are they extremely heavy, but there is a wiring harness in every treadmill that is tricky to install. Getting all the wiring routed without damaging anything is a complete pain. Even something like a tiny or bend crimp in any wire can cause your treadmill not to work!
I also didn’t think about what I would do when I would eventually want to move my treadmill out of the bedroom. What a nightmare!
Once assembled, a treadmill will not fit through a standard door. It’s certainly not going to be something that can be carried down a flight of stairs.
You are going to have to disassemble it and carry it down in pieces. It can be done. Mine is now in my garage. But it was an ordeal and a half!!! Keep that in mind when you are deciding where to put your treadmill.
Sometimes upstairs is a lousy option for purely logistical reasons!
You have to put it somewhere!!!
In the end, you gotta put your treadmill somewhere. If the only place you have is upstairs, so be it! Get yourself a treadmill mat, have your treadmill assembled upstairs, and start using it!
You won’t be the first or the last person to do this, so enjoy your new treadmill, and congrats on taking a big step towards getting and staying in shape!
Is there anything different to consider when installing bikes, ellipticals, or rowers on the second floor?
Nope. The only real difference will be that all of those tend to be a lot quieter than a treadmill. Those three machines are popular because they are low-impact machines. Low impact means a lot less noise to deal with downstairs!
I ordered my treadmill online, and the company doesn’t offer installation. What do I do?
There is a company called Jez Enterprises that specializes in fitness equipment installations nationwide. I am not affiliated with them, but I have heard good feedback from folks who have used them. You can reach them directly at 800-874-1487.
Would ordering a lighter treadmill help with noise and vibration?
No, it does the opposite. Well-built treadmills have vibration-dampening and shock absorption built-in. Less expensive, scaled-down treadmills usually don’t have any of this. This makes them a lot louder on the floor beneath.