With home fitness becoming widely popular, the addition of a treadmill is now mandatory in any home gym. This pounding, heavy fitness machine will require a protective treadmill mat for the integrity of your floors. Not only will mats for treadmills protect the subfloor, it will also protect the machine itself by reducing the amount of vibration that is produced. Generally made out of reclaimed or recycled rubber, treadmill mats are extremely durable and abrasion resistant making them the perfect safe guard against the vibrations of treadmills. There is a variety of different forms treadmill mats are available in that allows you to have options for choosing which flooring is best suited for the space available and for the type of treadmill you own.
1. Benefits of Treadmill Mats
Treadmill mats do have a few important functions! For one, they are primarily used for floor protection; however, they can also be used to reduce noise and to protect the fitness machine itself. Treadmills are generally large machines that can either be stationary or portable with wheels and they can be located in either home/residential or commercial gyms. Hard surfaces such as concrete or tile can be hard on a bouncing and moving piece of equipment so, it is important to put some sort of barrier, such as treadmills’ mats, to protect your equipment and floors and to reduce the amount of noise produced by the movement of the equipment.
1(a). Floor and Equipment Protection
One of the primary, and probably the most popular, reasons people choose to purchase a treadmill mat is to protect their flooring. Expensive flooring options such as hardwood may cost hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in reparations. Treadmills and other fitness machines emit vibrations that can, over time, slowly cause damage to the sub-flooring beneath. Mats for treadmills that are made of rubber absorbs the force of impact and evenly distributes the vibrations across the surface of the mat preventing the vibrations from concentrating on a single point. Tile, wood and laminate floors can be damaged or cracked with enough exposure to constant vibrations of fitness machines. Moving or shifting your treadmill can also create scrapes and abrasions on the surface of your floor or on the bottoms of your fitness machines. A mat for treadmill can also protect the machines themselves from damage. They provide a barrier between the fitness machine and the floor preventing harder floors such as concrete from scraping or denting the underside of your fitness machines by absorbing some of the rattling caused by used the machine.
1(b). Noise Reduction
Those living in an apartment, especially those on the second floor or above, can benefit from the noise reducing qualities of a mat for treadmill. Other older buildings can creak and groan just from the wind and adding a fitness machine can cause loud disturbances for neighbors. Most older buildings and apartment buildings have thin walls and floors offering little sound proofing qualities. Depending on the material of the flooring beneath your fitness machine should determine how thick of a treadmill mat you should be using. Areas with concrete flooring generally will not need a treadmill mat for sound proofing but rather for the safety of the machine. Carpeted and hardwood floors will more likely need some sort of padding between the machine and the floor to reduce the noise created when the machine is in use. Duplexes and other shared residences will benefit greatly with the addition of a mat; treadmill vibrations can create a constant annoying hum that can permeate through walls and disturb neighbors.
2. Types of Treadmill Mats
There are various types of treadmill mats available for you to choose which is best for your floors and treadmill. Depending on the size of your area, the type of treadmill machine you own and the material of the sub-flooring underneath should determine the thickness of the treadmill mat and what form best fits your situation. Generally, treadmills’ mats are available in four forms: pre-cut treadmill mats, interlocking tiles, custom cut rolls and heavy-duty mats. Each type of treadmill mat is designed for different installation methods, spaces and the amount of wear and tear it will receive. Outdoor and indoor flooring both are areas that can benefit from an adjustable mat; treadmill bottoms can be damaged both indoors and outdoors so, it is important to know which type of mat is best.
2(a). Treadmill Mats
Mats for treadmills are cut to specific lengths that are tailored to fit the space directly under treadmills. Mats like these are available in two standard sizes: 48 inches by 78 inches for your standard sized treadmill and 48 inches by 90 inches for more elaborate and larger fitness machines. You will also find that a mat for treadmill is 3/18-inch thick to cushion the bouncing and vibrating of a standard treadmill. It is easily installed with or without the use of adhesives. The mats themselves are hefty enough to stay in place and, along with the addition of a treadmill on top of it, it is highly unlikely to be moving around. However, if you would like a little extra assurance, you may use double-sided tape along the perimeter of the mat to help keep it in place. If for some reason your treadmill is not compatible with a traditional treadmill mat, there are tiles or custom cut mats for treadmills available that are also available in thicker mats so you will not have to worry about larger treadmills not fitting on (or being to heavy for) traditional mats for treadmills.
2(b). Interlocking Tiles
Interlocking tiles are ideal for space conscious areas and make for easy-to-customize mats for treadmills. The installation process of interlocking tiles is quick and easy; simply connect the tiles together like puzzle pieces. This simple installation process makes it easy to customize the size of your mat. To make a larger mat, simply add tiles to existing tiles and, to reduce the size, simply remove some tiles. The interlocking mechanism makes interlocking tiles a better long-term investment and it allows the mat to move with you which gives them longer life. The easy installation and removal of interlocking tiles make these mats easy to replace in case of any damage. This form of matting makes for a more mobile matting option allowing you to move these mats from one area to another.
2(c). Custom Cut Rolls
Custom cut treadmill mats are generally used for treadmills that are too large to fit on your traditional treadmill mat. Larger treadmills often mean a heavier load which is why custom cut rolls are available in different levels of thickness. Custom cut rolls are available in three different levels of thickness: 5mm, 1/4-inch and 3/8-inch. This allows you to choose which thickness is best suited for the weight of your treadmill. Custom cut rolls can be cut to a specific length up to 50 consecutive feet making them ideal for larger spaces and for areas designated specifically for fitness machines since they, too, require larger spaces. This form of treadmill mat is intended for a more permanent installation with the use of either double-sided tape or glue adhesives. They are not meant to be mobile or move with you and is generally used for a long-term installation.
2(d). Heavy-Duty Mats
Depending on the type of treadmill you have, you may want to consider purchasing a thicker, more heavy-duty treadmill mat. Heavy-duty mats are generally much thicker than other traditional mats and flooring options ranging from 1/2 an inch to 1-inch thick. A good rule of thumb to remember before purchasing your heavy-duty mat is: the thicker the mat, the more abuse, wear and tear it can handle. In addition, the thicker the mat, the more noise you will reduce. When it comes to protecting expensive floors and treadmill machines, it is important to know exactly how thick your treadmill mat should be to prevent such damage from occurring to either your floors or your treadmill.
A treadmill mat can be used for many purposes in your home gym; however, they are mainly used for floor and equipment protection and noise reducing qualities. Traditional mats for treadmills are available in two different sizes to fit the size of standard treadmills and various other forms of treadmills’ mats, including interlocking tiles, custom cut rolls and heavy-duty mats, are available for those who need larger or thicker matting. Depending on the location and purpose intended for your treadmill mat should determine which type of mat to choose.