Can a Treadmill Be Used in an Apartment – 4 Things to Consider

The global pandemic has made exercising at home has definitely come into vogue.

Needless to say that means there has been a spike in sales of home exercise equipment like stationary cycles, ellipticals, and treadmills. 

Many of us however, live in apartment complexes where it might be a little tricky to know if a treadmill will be ok to use. 

This article will explore (and answer) this question, and also dive into some of the more specific questions that we apartment dwellers may have on this subject, so let's get going!

Can a Treadmill be used in an Apartment?

The short answer is yes, most of the time it is possible to have a treadmill in your apartment, but definitely check with your landlord or lease contract before making such a big investment. 

However, the answer is not always so cut and dry, as there are a multitude of other things to consider like space, vibration, quiet hours, possible damages, and the list goes on.

So we are going to dive into these other variables.

We cover 4 more specific questions to explore as a means to answer whether having a treadmill or any exercise equipment in your apartment is a possible option.

  1. Can Treadmills be Used in Apartments?
  2. Do Treadmills Work in Upstairs Apartments?
  3. How Do I Reduce the Noise of My Treadmill? 
  4. Could a Treadmill Cause Damage?

Can Treadmills be Used in Apartments?

We did give you the short answer on this earlier, but it's often not that simple so now we are going to get into some complexities that come along with this seemingly easy question.

Here are some more general things to consider.

1

Does The Lease Allow It

Once again, it's pretty easy to figure this one out if you take a look at your lease agreement.

However, it could be vague or unclear because it's such a niche topic.

If this is the case, then just contact your landlord/leasing office to make sure, if you know anything about these people, then you know that they will definitely have an answer. 

I called around to the 12 apartment complexes in my area and found that only 1 had something specific in the lease agreement about treadmills. 

So as you can see it is not as clear cut as we would have hoped. 

2

Space

There are a ton of treadmill options out on the market today, some are large and heavy, while others are small and light.

Considering this, then space probably won’t shouldn’t be an issue. 

That being said, it also depends on your floor plan and how many things you keep in your apartment.

Be sure to have a plan and measure your space before you invest in a treadmill or other workout equipment.

Here are the treadmills we recommend that are perfect for smaller spaces including a condo or apartment

3

Electrical Limitation

Generally, most residential style treadmills can be used with a standard 120V grounded outlet.

I would specifically recommend getting a surge protector to help prevent possible damage to the machine and you might also consider just unplugging the machine between uses to be safe.

Some of the bulky commercial styles will require larger capacity outlets and electrical work.

But you probably won't be looking here anyway, as these bigger treadmills are kind of overkilled for a home or apartment.

4

What Will My Neighbors Think? 

This may be the most important aspect to consider, as a treadmill can often make a lot of noise and vibrations.

I am sure your neighbors may be just like you, they probably want a pretty quiet living environment.

Being courteous and respectful to others is an important thing to consider.

Some treadmill models are quieter than others, so do a little research to find the right one for your situation. 

This can often be a bigger issue if you do not live on the ground floor, so let's dive deeper into having a treadmill upstairs. 

A Good Tip is to be proactive and tell your downstairs neighbor that you have a treadmill and share what time of the day that you plan on using it.

At the least they will think you are being considerate and it may not lead to acrimony. 


Be sharing that you have one, you can work together on a schedule that works for both of you. 

Do Treadmills Work in Upstairs Apartments?

Once again, the short answer is yes most treadmills can theoretically work in most upstairs apartments, but it's more of a matter of how it will affect your neighbors (particularly beneath you). 

Most of the time what's beneath you will be either another residential apartment or a commercial space.

One additional tip is the weight of your treadmill, this can be a big issue moving it upstairs and the constant weight on the floor can be concerning if the apartment complex was built in the 50s or 60s. 

Can You Put a Treadmill on the Second Floor or Upstairs?

Yes, research shows that the average weight of a well-equipped quality treadmill is between 250-350 pounds. Even with the average weight of a person, it is safe to put a treadmill on the second floor of an apartment.  

Can You Put A Treadmill On A Balcony?

Yes, most balconies are load-rated for 50-100 lbs per square foot and are typically 3' deep by 5-7' wide, making it safe for most treadmills and a person at a combined combined maximum weight of 750lbs or up to 2100 lbs.  

How Do I Reduce the Noise and Vibration of My Treadmill?

Generally speaking, the noise of the treadmill is going to be caused by either the motor and belt, or the vibrations caused by the treadmill when you are walking or running on it.

These can go through floors and walls of most apartment complexes. However, if you live on the ground floor then this will be less of a problem for you.

One of the easiest ways to fix this problem is to purchase a treadmill mat. Here are our favorite based on the type of floor you have in the apartment

These will not just absorb and reduce the sound and vibration, but it will also protect the floor from any scratches, scraps and cracks that can occur with the repeated pounding

Also try placing your treadmill away from any interior walls and as far away from quiet places as you can.

Seriously, remember to be mindful of your neighbors, and not just because it's the respectful thing to do, but because it is always annoying to deal with the kind of headache caused by upset neighbors. 

If you don’t want to go to any of that trouble, then you can always just use your treadmill when everyone around you is not home (work, errands, etc.).

If fewer people are around then you can make all the noise you want, but it's a bit riskier and might be inconvenient parts of the day for your workout.

Noise is just one aspect that you need to worry about when considering a treadmill for your apartment.

The final thing you should ask yourself is how to prevent any possible damage to your treadmill and your living space.

Could a Treadmill Cause Damage?

A treadmill will always have the potential to cause damage to your living space. Placing your treadmill correctly is also important for protecting your treadmill as well. 

Even the light treadmills are heavy, and running on them will place a high strain on the treadmill itself and the floor it is on top of. It seems pretty simple, but you can prolong the life of your equipment and floor by placing it in the right place.

We talked about placing your treadmill on a dedicated mat to protect your treadmill and floor earlier, this is a relatively cheap way to protect everything involved.

For best results, place the mat on top of a harder surface

Placing your treadmill on a carpet is also a possibility, but make sure it's not one that you care too much about.

Extended use of a treadmill on top of the carpet may cause some damage over the long haul, so it's best to opt for a cheap rug, or dedicated exercise mat. 

Before you buy a treadmill you should also know that  they will sometimes require lubrication and maintenance. This could be due to a problem with the engine or belt most of the time.

Some final principles to consider for your treadmill are to make sure it is on a level surface with a couple feet of space on all sides, get a dedicated treadmill mat if at all possible, and use a clean surface that could reduce any dust/fiber from being pulled under the belt or into the motor. 

Conclusion

Ultimately it may seem like a lot of variables to deal with, but planning everything out should probably only take you a couple hours. 

As long as you do your research and take the time to figure out everything we have talked about, then you should have plenty of success with using a treadmill in your apartment complex.