Want to get a treadmill at home but aren’t sure what the best places to put one are? Here’s what you want to know.
The best places for a treadmill are an unused room or a bedroom. An attic or quiet hallway is also quite good while garages or basements can be used under certain circumstances. Avoid putting a treadmill in a spot where it’s blocking a walkway, accessible by children or can be exposed to water.
Below you can find out what the best places for a treadmill are and how to choose one. You can also find some of the places you should avoid and why.
What’s The Best Spot To Put a Treadmill?
The best place in your house to put a treadmill is in an empty room (maybe with other gym equipment) in front of the window or a TV. However, since that is not really an option for many people, putting a treadmill in the guest bedroom, your bedroom, attic or quiet hallway is also a decent option.
Garages and basements are OK as long as you keep the treadmill and area around it pretty clean and extreme humidity and/or cold aren’t an issue where you live.
How To Decide Where To Put a Treadmill
Maybe the spots listed above aren’t available to you. Everyone has a different house and different amounts of things in that house. So read the list below so you can find the best location that’s available to you.
1. Enough Space
The first requirement for a treadmill location is to have enough space. How much space that is depends on the specific treadmill since they all have different sizes. However, you always want to have about 2-3 inches of free space on both sides and in the front as well as at least a foot of free space in the rear.
Read more about how much space you really need for a treadmill in this article.
It’s not only about the space to place and use the treadmill, you’ll also want a little bit of airflow as well as headroom. You might be able to fit your treadmill in the walk-in closet but you’re going to run out of air pretty quickly.
If you have a basement that’s reasonably comfortable to work out in, make sure the ceiling is tall enough since basement ceilings are often pretty low.
Haven’t bought a treadmill yet? Click here to find a complete guide on how to select the right treadmill for you.
2. Low Traffic
Treadmills are bulky and even if you get a model that folds up, they still take up a good bit of space. If it’s in the way of a place people regularly have to go, it’s going to be irritating.
Treadmills are also pretty ugly. You don’t want to be looking at them from the sofa or dining room table. Sometimes a spot that ticks all the boxes still leaves your treadmill ‘exposed’. In that case, read this post about hiding your treadmill.
A corner or spot where people aren’t walking past several times a day is the best. An unused room is of course optimal since it’s possible to add some other gym equipment and create a cool home gym.
Many domestic treadmills have a foldable deck. This means they take up a lot less space when not in use. This could allow you to put the treadmill in a spot where you can workout during quite times and fold it up so it’s not in the way for busier times.
Also think about how you can get your treadmill in a certain spot by the way.
Treadmills are full of electronics which don’t like water very much. Anywhere where there is a risk of water getting on the treadmill is not really a good place to put it. Of course no-one considers putting a treadmill in the bathroom (right?) but think about next to a faucet where you fill buckets or next to a big plant that you water every day.
Suggested: Can treadmills get wet?
By the way, a bit of sweat or little spill from a water bottle isn’t going to destroy your treadmill. But a liter or two in the wrong spot definitely might.
Also places where the humidity gets very high should be avoided. Some garages get quite damp at certain times of year for example.
Read more about taking care of a treadmill’s electronics in this post.
4. Clean and safe
Treadmills are expensive, or at least most of the good ones are. It’s not a good idea to put it somewhere where it can get dirty or damaged easily.
Clean of course depends on yourself and how clean you keep a certain room but still, some places in the house will always be a bit dirtier than others. Dust and dirt gets into the moving parts clogging up everything which leads to more wear and tear on the rollers, belt and more stress on the motor. All of which means you have to do more maintenance more often.
As an aside, this is why it’s always a good idea to put a treadmill on a mat, especially in dusty places and on carpet. Treadmill mats are easier to keep clean and the little ledge prevents a lot of dust from getting onto it in the first place. Also, if you have certain types of flooring, a mat can prevent the treadmill from damaging it. Mat’s don’t cost that much either so they’re well worth the extra money.
Also think about the risk of things falling on or banging into the treadmill. Storage shelfs with heavy items on them can be risky for example. Especially take care of the console of the treadmill. If the console is physically broken, it’s often game over or very expensive to repair.
5. Level Surface
It’s a simple thing but a flat floor is really necessary to put a treadmill. There are usually adjustable feet under a treadmill which can compensate for some of the differences but if there are inches difference, that’s getting tough. Especially if the treadmill would be at an angle from side to side.
If one side of a treadmill is higher than the other, walking on it will push the belt to one side which puts extra stress on all the moving parts on that side leading to faster wear and tear. You really want to prevent that.
Front to back angle isn’t the biggest deal if you put the front of the machine on the higher side. This emulates a little bit of incline which is not a terrible thing since most treadmills are built to do that anyways.
Suggested article: 10 Cheap Treadmills With Power Incline.
6. Solid Floor
Also make sure the floor you put the treadmill on is solid. That’s for two reasons;
- Treadmills are heavy so while most floors won’t have any issue holding one, if you combine it with a high bodyweight, it might get a bit iffy for a wooden floor above a garage for example.
- Walking and especially running on a treadmill has an impact. This impact shakes the floor which creates noise and vibrations in the rest of the structure which could bother other people. The stronger the floor the less of a problem this is. And good treadmill mats do reduce noise to some degree.
This is generally only something to think about upstairs though. And for any floor that’s load compliant, it really shouldn’t be an issue. However, if you’re still unsure, read this article that goes in depth on what is and isn’t possible.
And if noise is a serious issue in your house or building, take a look at these quiet alternatives to treadmills.
This last point isn’t really a requirement but a bit of a view is nice. That doesn’t have to be a grand ocean or mountain view but a bit of a view to the outside is nice. It helps distract from the exercise you’re doing which is usually pretty boring on a treadmill. Often this isn’t really a possibility taking all the rest of the wishlist into account but it’s nice to have if you’ve got the option.
If an outside view isn’t an option, consider putting the treadmill where you can see the TV or mount a TV in front of the treadmill. In that case, you want a bit of space in front of the treadmill since it’s not very comfortable watching something if the screen is 2 inches in front of your nose.
What Are The Worst Spots To Put a Treadmill?
In general, avoid putting your treadmill in places like the living room, common areas, busy hallways and especially outside. I feel like I don’t have to mention the kitchen, toilet or bathroom but if you were considering those, just stop.
In the living room it’s pretty much always in the way and just looks ugly. You probably also don’t want to be working out and sweating in the living room every day. Hallways and common areas are usually busy which means it’s in the way and can get damaged easily.
Any (uncovered) outdoor area is a bad idea since plastics don’t like UV rays, electronics don’t like rain and criminals like it when you make it easy for them.
In certain situations keeping a treadmill outside can make sense though:
- Temperate-hot climate
- Under a roof
You’ll have to be very sure sun, rain and the wrong people can’t get near it though.
1. Any Place It Can Easily Get Wet Or Damaged
If it’s possible that something falls on or gets banged against the treadmill, it will happen at some point. If it’s at all possible to prevent this by putting it in a safer place, that’s better. Of course it’s not always possible to avoid all dangers and you’ll have to use your judgement here.
If you put your treadmill in front of a window that can open, don’t push it all the way up against the window. Windows can be left open and a rainstorm can blow quite a bit of water inside under the right circumstances… Ask me how I know…
2. In a Busy Spot
The biggest problem with putting a treadmill in most places is that it’s just in the way of daily life. It will block a walkway, cabinet, wardrobe, etc.
This is not only irritating for the people it’s blocking the way for, it can also be dangerous for the person working out on it. Someone bumping up against the treadmill can cause you to lose your balance and fall. People touching the moving belt of a treadmill by accident can also cause them to fall or get hurt.
Also, a treadmill can actually be quite dangerous for young children and pets when it’s moving. Stepping or jumping on a moving treadmill can have hilarious but dangerous effects. So making sure that children or pets can’t reach it is pretty important.
3. Under a Low Ceiling
Thought you found a spot in the basement? Double check the ceiling height and how much you actually need. Treadmills usually have a deck height of 6”-9” and you push off the deck while running which means your head is a bit higher. When using the incline setting, you’ll be even further from the floor and closer to the ceiling.
Having to be careful not to bang your head against the ceiling while using your treadmill is very far from comfortable and it means you won’t have a good workout.
Also read: How much ceiling height do you need for a treadmill?
4. Where You Won’t Use It
Some places in the house are just not good for working out. Maybe it’s always too hot/cold, noisy or otherwise uncomfortable in a certain area. If a spot feels uncomfortable to you, it’s less likely you’ll want to work out there. And since you just spent a good chunk of money on a treadmill, that’s would be a big waste of money.
What If There Is No Good Spot To Put a Treadmill?
You’ve run through all the options and come to the conclusion that your house just doesn’t have a good spot to put a treadmill. What can you do?
Either you’ll have to compromise somewhere or look at alternatives for a treadmill that are smaller. Treadmills are great but there are quite a few other machines that help you get into shape. Take a look at elliptical trainers (usually not much smaller), rowing machines (long but narrow and can fold against the wall), or exercise bikes (smallest cardio machine).
An exercise bike is often a good alternative if there’s not enough space for a treadmill. Exercise bikes, especially spin bikes, are quite compact and are very easy to move around. Sure, cycling is very different than walking but both are effective as cardio exercise and can be done at low or high intensity.