Can I Put An Indoor Rowing Machine On Carpet? Potential Problems

The only spot in your house to put your indoor rowing machine has carpet on the floor. Can you safely put your rower on carpet or would you run into some problems? Let’s find out.

Carpet is not a good flooring to put an indoor rowing machine or any other cardio machine on. The carpet can wear out because of friction, it allows more dust and dirt to get into the machine which reduces lifespan while sweat can cause hygiene problems.

Find out what the best solutions are to negate these potential problems? Find out below as well as an in depth explanation of the problems that putting your rower on carpet can cause.

Pros And Cons Of Putting an Indoor Rowing Machine On Carpet

If the only place you can put your rower has carpet, you might be wondering if it’s the right decision to put it there. Putting an indoor rower on carpet has some pros and cons. Let’s go over why carpet is good and why it isn’t to put your rower on.


  • Provides good grip for the rower
  • Comfortable
  • Reduces noise


  • Rower can wear the carpet
  • Carpet releases dust
  • Sweat is hard to clean up

As you can see, there are a few pros and cons but in my opinion the cons are a much bigger problem than the pros are worth.

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Let’s go through the cons in a little more depth.

The first con is that the rubbing of the feet of the rower can cause abrasion damage to the carpet over time. It won’t happen super quickly but if you regularly use the rower, you’re going to see some damage after a year. Replacing the carpet is usually a pricey undertaking which could be easily prevented. Of course if your carpet is already due for replacement or you don’t care about what it looks like, this doesn’t matter.

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The next con is one that impacts the lifespan of your machine. Carpet releases fibers and dust. It also collects dust and dirt if you don’t clean it properly. With some agitation (which using a rower will do), that dust and dirt can get into the air and into the moving parts of your rower. Moving parts don’t like to have dust and dirt on them and will wear out faster if they do. At the very least you’ll have to increase the cleaning and lubricating frequency.

And finally we have a hygiene problem. Rowing makes you sweat (or at least it should if you’re pushing yourself hard enough). That sweat has to go somewhere. Most of it will end up in your workout clothes but if you get very sweaty, drops will fly anyways. That sweat is largely going to end up on/in your carpet. Carpet is pretty absorbent and will soak up that sweat no problem. That’s when the problems start though. Carpet is quite difficult to clean compared to other types of flooring.

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Sweat isn’t just water, there is a lot of other stuff in there. The water evaporates but the other things stay behind. They deteriorate the carpet, smell bad and can cause a whole host of hygiene problem. Maintaining your rower can be a pain but getting health problems from something you do to get healthier is even worse.

These things really aren’t worth the benefits of placing your rower on carpet in my opinion. If the only spot you can put a rower has carpet, there are a few things you can do.

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include the long beige carpet cleaning with a vacuum cleaner

How to put your indoor rower safely on carpet

There are a few things you can do to negate the cons of placing your rowing machine on carpet;

  • Remove the carpet
  • Put in gym flooring
  • Put an equipment mat under your rower

Removing the carpet isn’t always a good option but if you can, it’ll work fine. Underneath the carpet there’s probably a concrete floor which is easier to clean, doesn’t absorb sweat and doesn’t wear out. This is only really an option if it’s possible to remove the carpet without tearing it up though, assuming you want to have the option to put it back later on.

If you take out the carpet and want to turn that space into a home gym, why not take the next step and put in gym flooring in that whole room. It’ll cost a bit of money to start off with but if you want to add more equipment later on, it’s much easier.

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If you want to keep the carpet in place and don’t have plans for more gym equipment, an easier solution is to get an equipment mat and place the rower on top of this. A good equipment mat negates all the negatives of putting your rower on carpet. Just a simple layer of rubber/PVC/Vinyl and you’re good.

An equipment mat provides great grip so your rower doesn’t move around. The surface of an equipment mat is easy to clean, abrasion resistant, and don’t release any dust or dirt that can get into your rower.

There isn’t really any downside to getting an equipment mat. They do cost some money but compared to carpeting a room or buying a rower, it’s very little. Some don’t look too good but there are enough choices that you’ll be able to find something you like.

In general, rubber mats are a bit more expensive but look better and are better at noise damping. For negating the cons of putting your rower on carpet, a vinyl/PVC mat will be perfectly fine. Rubber equipment mats are the same material as high quality gym flooring so you’re basically getting a mini home gym floor.

Equipment mats last long, are easy to move with your equipment, are affordable and offer the solution to the problem of carpet wearing out and getting dirty while also protecting your rower. An equipment mat can also help a lot if your rower is moving around while using it.

Check out this high quality yet affordable mat from Supermats. It’s the right size for most of the popular indoor rowers. It does everything it has to do while not costing too much.

Favorite Cardio Machine Accessories

Check out these accessories that improve a home cardio workout:

  • Equipment mat: All cardio equipment should be put on an equipment mat. The Rubber-Cal mat (Amazon) is an affordable yet very high quality choice.
  • Tablet holder: Cardio can be boring. With this tablet holder (Amazon) you can follow along with on-demand workouts or just watch a movie on any cardio machine.
  • Heart rate monitor: Monitoring your heart rate is very important while doing cardio. The Polar H10 (Amazon) connects to almost anything you can imagine and is very accurate.

To find which cardio machines I recommend for home gyms, click here.


Hey, I'm Matt. Welcome to I've been going to the gym for about 15 years and am now looking to build my own. In the process I've learned many things I'd like to share with you.

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