Having a treadmill at home is a great way to help you stick to your exercise goals. But, if you have beautiful wooden floors or an expensive carpet, you might find yourself wondering, “Should I put a mat under my treadmill?”
While it’s not essential to have one, there are several benefits to putting a mat under your treadmill. Not only will it benefit your treadmill but it can also protect your floors. After all, purchasing a treadmill mat costs a lot less than repairing a damaged floor!
In this article, we’ll cover the benefits of using a treadmill mat, when you do and don’t need a treadmill mat plus what to consider before buying one.
Will a treadmill damage my floor?
If you’ve ever moved your bed around your room on a carpeted floor, you’ve probably noticed the permanent dents in the carpet where the legs stood. If you have wooden floors, you’ve probably seen the scratches. You can expect something similar from a treadmill.
The average weight of a decent-sized home treadmill is about 270 pounds (122kg) without a user. It’s a heavy piece of equipment that can cause damage to certain types of flooring due to the weight being distributed through the feet, the motion of the belt and the vibrations.
Floors that can most likely get damaged include laminate, hardwood, and some types of carpet. Cement, some hard-wearing tiles, and industrial-grade carpeting will probably have less damage but there are other reasons why you should put a mat under your treadmill.
Should I put a mat under my treadmill?
Yes, putting a mat under your treadmill is recommended for several reasons. Apart from protecting your floor, a mat under your treadmill can reduce noise and vibrations. Plus it will provide a stable base and prevent your treadmill from moving around.
Although there are many mat options out there, we recommend a treadmill mat as it’s specifically designed for heavy equipment.
What is a treadmill mat?
Although it might be tempting to put any old mat under your treadmill, a treadmill mat is specifically designed to carry the load of a treadmill.
Treadmill mats are usually made from very durable material and can withstand the motion and weight of a treadmill. Most of them are water-resistant and easy to clean. Some have been designed to absorb noise and vibrations which makes them ideal if you live in a shared space or an apartment.
Talking about shared spaces, if you’re sharing electricity costs with others and want to get a treadmill, read How much electricity does a treadmill use to get an average monthly cost.
What does a treadmill mat do?
Here are a few key benefits to using a treadmill mat.
A treadmill mat protects your floors
A treadmill mat will help to protect your floors from the treadmill weight and the continuous impact of your feet pounding on the running area.
Hardwood floors, in particular, are easily scratched and damaged, and tiles can break. Also, a treadmill mat can protect your floor from spills or sweat which is useful if you have laminate flooring.
It protects your treadmill from vibrations
The force of running on a treadmill plus the motion of the belt causes vibrations. With time, this can eventually damage the motor and other treadmill components. A treadmill mat helps to absorb some of the force and protects your machine from wear and tear.
A treadmill mat prevents your treadmill from moving around
Treadmills can move around during use, especially on smooth surfaces. A treadmill mat has a non-slip surface which will help ensure that your treadmill stays in one spot during workouts.
Provides a stable base
A decent treadmill mat provides a stable base for your treadmill. This reduces the risk of wobbling or vibrating excessively during use. A stable base is not only safer but also helps your machine operate at peak performance.
Dampens noise and vibrations
Even with a brisk walk, a treadmill can be loud. Once you up the speed and start gunning it, the noise of your feet pounding away can be even louder. A treadmill mat can help absorb some of the sound and vibrations, especially if you have neighbors close by or live in an apartment.
Protects the treadmill from extra dust
Treadmills kick up a lot of dust and debris which can easily get sucked into the components and the motor. This can cause damage over time. A treadmill mat will help keep dust at bay and should reduce the amount of dust that accumulates in the motor and belt.
A treadmill mat makes it easier to clean
A treadmill mat can be vacuumed or wiped down with a damp cloth. This makes it easier to clean the flooring underneath the running area, especially if you have the best folding treadmill or a treadmill that can easily be moved.
What floors do I need a treadmill mat for?
A treadmill mat will be beneficial for most floors due to the reasons above. However, it’s highly recommended for the following types of flooring.
Hard floors such as hardwood floors, tiles or laminate can get damaged and easily scratched by the weight of the treadmill. Not only this, but the repeated impact of your feet hitting the surface can further add damage to the flooring.
A treadmill mat helps to absorb some of the shock and distributes the weight of the treadmill more easily.
Carpets - especially plush carpets
Carpet can be a good surface for a treadmill as it can absorb some of the shock, reduce noise and provide cushioning. However, we recommend using a treadmill mat on top of the carpet as it will reduce the dust and debris from the carpet plus it will provide stability. Also, sometimes, carpeting can prevent heat from dissipating which can also damage the treadmill.
Cement floors can be hard and unforgiving for both the runner and the treadmill. A treadmill mat will provide an extra layer of cushioning between the floor and the machine. This will not only reduce the impact of the hard floor on your workouts but will also protect your treadmill from wear and tear.
Depending on the tiles, a tiled surface can be a good one for a treadmill. However, some tiles might break easily, especially with the weight of the treadmill plus the force exerted onto the flooring during running or heavy workouts.
Also, some tiles are smooth and slippery, the treadmill could move around during use. A treadmill mat will protect the floor surfaces and will prevent the treadmill from sliding around.
In general, if your floors are prone to damage then investing in a treadmill mat is a must. It’s far more affordable to invest in a mat than fixing a damaged floor. It will also prolong the lifespan of your treadmill by reducing wear and tear, and keeping dust at bay.
When you don't need a treadmill mat
If you already have gym flooring like the garage in this photo, then there’s no need to get a treadmill mat.
Gym flooring is designed to be non-slip, shock-absorbing, and durable which is an ideal surface for a treadmill. It’s also easy to clean and is usually water resistant.
However, if your gym flooring is uneven or damaged, you might need an additional treadmill mat to provide a stable base or to protect your treadmill.
If you’re unsure whether a mat is necessary, we recommend consulting the manufacturer’s recommendations.
What mat is best for under the treadmill?
Although there are quite a few treadmill mats out there, generally, they fit into two categories: interlocking or single-piece mats
Interlocking mats: These mats are a bit like puzzle pieces that can be connected together to create a larger mat. Interlocking mats are always useful because you can add extra pieces if needed. They are usually made from foam or rubber. The interlocking also prevents the ends from curling up or the mat from shifting around.
Single-piece mats: These mats are single, solid pieces of material that are designed to fit underneath the treadmill. Some mats are single pieces for each treadmill foot and others look a bit like a yoga mat that you can spread out underneath the whole treadmill. Single-piece mats are useful if you have a smaller space or only have a treadmill that needs to go on a mat.
How to choose a treadmill mat
Here are a few factors to consider when choosing a treadmill mat.
Location: Where will you be putting your treadmill? If your treadmill is in a garage on a cement floor, you might want to consider a slightly thicker mat and possibly one that’s water-resistant. If you have a small space, you might only need a single-piece mat.
Size: A good treadmill mat will be about 4 – 8 mm thick. There should be at minimum 1cm away from the edge of the treadmill and have rounded corners. The size of your mat will depend on the size of your treadmill.
Thickness: The thicker the mat, the more it will absorb shock and reduce noise. However, if it’s too thick, it might not be that stable. Thinner mats might provide more stability but might not provide as much cushioning.
Material: Make sure that the material is of good quality and durable. Cheaper mats tend to roll at the edges, so look for one that has rounded corners and edges.
Non-slip design: A non-slip design will prevent the treadmill from moving around during use.
Water resistant: It’s best to choose a mat that is water resistant. If you happen to accidentally spill your water bottle or have a heavy workout, it’s easy to clean the mat afterwards.
Odour resistant: If you’re sensitive to odours, look for a treadmill mat that is resistant to odours.
Easy to clean: Ideally, you should choose a mat that’s easy to clean. This will help keep your treadmill dust-free and hygienic.
A treadmill mat is important if you want to protect your flooring and prolong the lifespan of your treadmill.
A dedicated treadmill mat is the best thing to put under your treadmill. It’s specifically designed to take the load of a treadmill and to protect your floors.
Yes, you can put a treadmill on a carpet if it’s not too plush. We recommend using a treadmill mat as this will not only protect your carpet but also prevent fibres and debris from getting into your treadmill.
No, it’s not essential that you have a treadmill mat on concrete. However, as concrete surfaces are very hard, a treadmill mat will help absorb some of the shock and will also reduce noise.
Yes, you can put a treadmill on a hardwood floor. However, as this type of flooring can get damaged and scratched quite easily, a treadmill mat is recommended.
Yes, you should put a mat under your treadmill on carpeted surfaces as this will protect the carpet and also reduce debris and dust damage to your treadmill.
While it is not always necessary, we suggest using a treadmill mat to protect your floor, absorb vibrations, and provide stability.
Yes, a treadmill mat will reduce the noise and vibrations from your treadmill. Some treadmill mats are specifically designed for noise reduction.
- Should I put a mat under my treadmill? Yes, it will help protect your floor and your treadmill
- A treadmill mat can also help absorb some of the vibrations and reduce noise
- Treadmill mats also prolong the lifespan of your treadmill by absorbing shock and keeping dust and debris at bay