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Can You Have a Treadmill in an Upstairs Apartment?

A treadmill can be a wonderful addition to a home gym. But most treadmills aren’t exactly small and quiet machines. That’s why so many people wonder whether it’s possible for you to have a treadmill in an upstairs apartment.

Although you can have a treadmill in an upstairs apartment, keep in mind while you’re running on the treadmill it causes noise and vibration throughout the apartment that can be disturbing to others below you. But if you’re walking at a slower pace, and you have proper padding, you’ll almost certainly be ok. In addition, be respectful to your neighbors by not placing a treadmill, above the bedroom of the unit downstairs.

Before you make a final decision take a quick look at the lease you signed with the landlord/management to determine where they stand about apartment noise. Most apartments have rules in place about noise and curfew. Some require tenants to reduce noise to a minimum all the time; others require total silence when the night falls. If the lease is unclear, speak with your landlord or tenant association.

Noise Of A Treadmill Upstairs

How loud are treadmills?

Treadmill noise levels are anywhere from 40 to 70 decibels but the noise is loader in an upstairs apartment because the vibrations that are caused by a treadmill go throughout the building and into the columns in the floor, down the columns, and into the floors above and below, according to  Michael A. Newman of the engineering firm McNeil, Ramsay Inc.

Footfall Test

According to engineering professor Dan Dolan of Washington State University, You can use a footfall test to gauge how much your building amplifies vibrations.  

How To Use A footfall test?

This is where you stand on the tip of your toes then hit the floor using your heels while a partner listens for the noise in the adjacent rooms and downstairs. If the sound is unsettling their ear, it’s going to be even louder with a treadmill.

Can A Treadmill Fall Through The Floor?

Not, unless the floor is in bad condition, a treadmill shouldn’t fall through it. A properly structured floor should be able to handle up to 5,000 lbs. without the risk of damage. Even a 300lbs person running on the heaviest residential treadmill should feel safe.

The only situation where floors collapse is because of excess weight than it can handle. If you put too much exercise equipment upstairs without assessing the floor’s condition, you risk falling through the floor. Weak load bearings cannot handle too much weight.

Treadmill Alternative For Apartment

What can I use instead of a treadmill?

If the apartment management denies you permission to have a treadmill because it may cause disturbance to other tenants then these are the quieter options

  • Elliptical
  • Stationary Bike
  • Recumbent Exercise Bike
  • Air Walker
  • Rower
  • Versa Climber
  • Edge

Do You Have Enough Space

Flat apartments aren’t exactly spacious, but with the large variety of residential treadmills available, this size shouldn’t be an issue unless your living situation is not bigger than the size of a walk-in closet.

You can find small residential treadmill options for your apartment flat. Just measure the space available first, so you know what size of the machine will fit perfectly. Ensure the back of the treadmill is about 7 feet from the window, wall, or ledge.

Recommended Apartment Treadmills

Recommendation
Flat Portable TreadmillSunny Health & Fitness ASUNA Space Saving Treadmill
Dimensions (L x W x H) 59″ x 30.5″ x 40″
Folding Treadmill HORIZON 7.4 AT
Dimensions (L x W x H) 76″ x 37″ x 63″
Folded Dimensions (L x W x H) 42″ x 37″ x 71″

Treadmills are bulky machines. The heaviest treadmills weigh about 350lbs, though some like Peloton Tread weigh reach up to 450lbs. A structurally sound floor should handle this weight plus the impact of your running perfectly well.

But even if your floor can handle the weight of the machine, how do you plan to get the machine on the second floor? Moving the machine upstairs isn’t going to be easy. You may need to hire some muscles or ask friends, family for help.

Tips To Reduce Treadmill Noise In An Apartment

1. Use a treadmill noise reduction mat

Anti-vibration treadmill mats make for a good impact absorber, taking care of some of the noise from your exercising activity. Rubber mats are the best; get them in the correct size and thickness to handle your machine’s weight and size. The thicker the mat, the better.

2. Avoid rickety setups

So, in most cases, treadmills arrive as separate parts, and it is up to the owner to put them together. Take care to avoid loose fittings. No matter what brand it is, a treadmill with a rickety frame, loose bolts, nuts, and screws is going to be noisy.

Use the manufacturer’s directions to assemble the treadmill. Remember that every time you complete one step, there is a change in tension on the system. Consequently, it is wise to give those screws and bolts an extra turn.

3. Observe the maintenance schedule

The noise becomes too much when parts stretch and lubricants disappear. If you start hearing new noises, it is time to lubricate and adjust the system. Experts recommend lubricating the machine’s belt every 90 days or sooner, depending on the brand and how often you exercise.

4. Place the treadmill near a corner.

Placing the treadmill near a corner ensures great support underneath the treadmill. Consequently, the building won’t bounce too much when you start jogging.

On the other hand, placing a treadmill in the middle of the room results in a lot of noise and unnecessary vibrations. The reason being the center of the floor moves a lot than the edges.

5. Avoid uneven spots

If one section of the treadmill is in the air, you can expect squeaks as you begin to walk or jog on the treadmill. To avoid this extra vibration, make sure the treadmill sits on a level surface such that no part of the base is in the air. If you notice a part is left hanging without touching the floor, try moving the machine until you locate a flat spot for it.

6. Consider walking instead of running

Sure, many treadmills permit a full range of workouts, but if noise is a problem, you might fare well walking instead of running. Treadmills get noisier once you start jumping. The slower you walk, the quieter the machine, but it gets noisier as your feet hit the tread when you start jogging.

Running is not the only way to use a treadmill; many health benefits can come from a brisk walk on the machine, too.

6. Exercise when most neighbors are out

Off-hours, when most of your neighbors are out of their apartments, are the best time to run. You will have more freedom to take on a wide range of workouts.

Conclusion

In as much as it is totally acceptable to use a treadmill in an upstairs apartment, there are factors to keep in mind. Majorly, these deal with the noise and weight of the machine. If you can’t find ways to reduce the noise, your upstairs apartment is not ideal for the machine.

The same goes for weight: Can your floor handle it without too much squeaking or collapsing? Ultimately, the best treadmills for residential apartments have a quiet mortar and solid frame construction. Make the best decision!