By Simon Gould
Treadmills are great pieces of exercise equipment and if you own one then you can run at any time and any weather. Treadmills can cost quite a lot in the first place but the initial cost is not the only one. They can be quite noisy, especially if you are in an apartment or other rooms if someone needs some quiet. Maybe a family member is trying to watch TV.
The pounding sound can be annoying, but there are steps you can take to reduce the noise. Even in an apartment, there are things you can do to ensure the noise is reduced as much as it can. The location in your home can make a difference. There are mats and pads you can put under the treadmill. Even regular maintenance helps. I’ll go through everything you can do here.
Treadmill location in the home
The location is important when it comes to noise. If you have a garage then they can be the best place to put a treadmill. Garages are usually at the edges of the property and the sound doesn’t transmit from them very well. They are built for cars to be in first of all and they can be noisy so the sound is internalized. So it’s noisy inside the garage when you’re using the treadmill, but it usually can’t be heard elsewhere.
If you live in an apartment and the sound is bothering your neighbors then you might be able to have the treadmill in a room where the neighbor doesn’t often go to below them. Also, don’t have the treadmill close to walls, if possible, as the sound is often amplified and echoed from the wall. Just some thought about the location can make all the difference.
Get a treadmill mat and anti vibration pads
A treadmill mat can absorb some of the noise emanating from the treadmill. These can be bought quite cheaply and they also stop the treadmill moving when you run. Amazon do a selection of treadmill mats* and they are really worth investing in. They help protect your floor from any scratching and marks that may happen without a mat.
A treadmill on a wooden floor is likely to transmit more noise than on a carpet, here a mat is more important. Combine the quietness of a carpet and a mat by using both. This will reduce the noise to an absolute minimum and you’ve done the most you can to make this happen. A rug is an acceptable substitute if a wooden floor is all you have.
What you can have, in addition to the mat, are anti vibration pads. These come in packs of 4 and designed to go under each contact point of the treadmill. They reduce vibration and this is a significant reason for the noise. Especially in apartments where the floor below hears a pounding sound as you run. The pads have rubber on the bottom to stop any slipping and a foam top.
The good thing about these vibration pads are the price point, they’re cheap and really help. To see what they look like and the prices, here is a selection from Amazon*. It’s like they’re perfectly designed for treadmills. It’s another way of reducing the sound if it’s a problem for those around you. Like a mat, it’s further protection for your floor.
Maintain the treadmill regularly
Regular maintenance especially lubrication will help keep treadmill noise to a minimum. Keep those nut and bolts tightened on a regular basis. Not only will this reduce the sound but make the treadmill last longer. Lubrication of the treadmill is something you can do yourself and it does require special lubricant* and not household varieties.
Some maintenance can only be done by a professional, so paying someone to service the treadmill regularly is a good investment. You pay a lot for a treadmill so maintaining it is a good thing. Unfortunately the sound of someone pounding those miles will make some noise but running at sociable hours should make neighbors and family members more amenable to your exercise routines.
There’s no such thing as a quiet treadmill
If you’ve been to a gym or heard anyone exercising on a treadmill, you know they’re not quiet. If someone is running on a treadmill, it generates a lot of noise and there’s no getting away from that fact. You can walk on an incline to reduce the noise. This makes the workout harder and keeps the noise down. The sound of every foot step on a treadmill deck is loud.
I’ve seen reviews of quiet treadmills claiming a Sole treadmill is quiet. This is simply not true, I’ve seen videos of a Sole treadmill being used and they’re just as loud as all the others. It’s what you do on a treadmill that makes the noise. Walking is far quieter than running. The sound of the motor you can’t do anything about, unless it’s squeaking.
If you’re concerned about the noise of a treadmill and you haven’t bought one yet. You could always rent one and test it in your home for the decibel levels. Here is a page where I list 7 companies that offer treadmills for rent. Take care to look at any contract involved. Be sure to look at some youtube videos or visit a gym to sample the noise you hear.
If you’re in a house and not an apartment and it’s bothering a family member. The time you exercise on a treadmill can make it far more convenient. If someone works all day then use the treadmill in the evening. With a bit of negotiating everyone can be happy with their or your exercise routine. We all want to live in peace and quiet in our homes.
Just to say, I’ve never used or encountered a quiet treadmill. Even the advanced curved machines create a noise when they’re being used. I think that whoever you’re living near to. Diplomacy is your best bet in dealing with the noise. You may want to rent a treadmill to see what sort of noise you can expect. Otherwise the solutions above will really help.
Thinking of buying a treadmill? Here’s my favorite, I always recommend it when asked*