Many treadmill users wonder if a treadmill mat makes any difference. Only those who have experience using a mat can speak how much of a difference it can make. There are several benefits of using a treadmill mat on non-gym flooring.
In short, these mats virtually turn your normal flooring nearly into a rubber gym flooring. It protects your floor, reduces noise, prevents accumulation of dust, enables easy cleaning, and keeps your treadmill steady in one place.
Coming to the details of who should use it, why to use it, and when to use it, you will get to know every detail related to the treadmill mat here. Usually, it is made of PVC or rubber and is a piece of simple equipment that serves great benefits.
What Are the Benefits of Using a Treadmill Mat?
If you are anticipating any of the below benefits with your treadmill, then consider that you need a treadmill mat to address them.
- It protects your flooring and keeps it scratch-free
- Distributes the weight evenly and stabilizes the base
- Reduces noise by dampening the vibrations from a moving treadmill
- It helps in preventing the dust accumulation that can damage the moving parts of a treadmill
- It makes it easy to clean the area around the treadmill
- Supports treadmill to stay steadily in the same place without sliding
I will explain it more clearly below:
Treadmills have a continuous impact and create vibrations all the time they run. Above that, they are heavy even when not in use and when working with a user on them. Though most floorings are capable of bearing the weight of a treadmill, they might not be ready for the impact.
This can cause excessive wear of your flooring and weaken it if not cared for properly. Few solid floors, such as concrete, might be strong enough, but the rest of them, such as hardwood or tiles, are at risk. Treadmill mats help you prevent excessive abuse by distributing the weight evenly.
Also, the vibrations are absorbed effectively, and passing them to flooring is prevented, which further helps in keeping the flooring and walls from getting affected. Another issue is the standing weight for a long time causes indentation, especially on hardwood floors.
These rubber mats avoid such mishaps and keep your floor as good as it was before you put your treadmill there. Even the scuff marks are not formed as the rub happens on the mat and not directly on the floor.
The high-density rubber used in making treadmill mats is effective in absorbing the vibrations leading to diminished sounds. Their rhythmic impact travels through the floor, making it louder each time you step on the treadmill.
However, when you place a mat between the floor and the machine, it tends to absorb that impact and does not pass any vibrations to the floor. This leads to lesser sound and quieter working experience.
Few other sounds, such as the running of the motor and belt, cannot be controlled by the presence of a mat, but they are nothing more than just humming when the machine is well maintained. So, if you can deal with the sound caused when you work out and well maintain your treadmill, then you get a peaceful training time.
Vibrations are louder as they progress through floors and walls and have an impact even on your neighbors. A rubber mat greatly reduces the noises traveling through walls, especially in small spaces or on top floors where people around you can hear you working out.
While the sounds might limit your activity to louder hours, when you place the mat, you will be free to work out even at quieter hours such as nights, making it convenient. Though not completely, a mat does make a significant difference in controlling the sound.
Prevent dust buildup
Fine dust particles are light in weight and small in size, which is a perfect combination for getting attracted to an electrostatically charged area. The treadmill belt area is charged electrostatically due to its continuous running over the belt during a workout.
The lubricants, sweat, and oil present on the treadmill keep the dust particles attracted still on the surface even when the charge goes down, and eventually, they make their way onto the sensitive parts of the treadmill.
When accumulated to a significant quality, this dust puts excessive stress on the parts as they cannot move smoothly due to obstruction and leads to several issues. It causes overheating as the machine cannot pull through its parts as it was designed to and requires extra force to move.
The moving parts such as bearings, rollers, incline pivot parts, and the motor are all susceptible in this process that form the main parts of a treadmill. Your treadmill will function less smoothly and breaks down quicker than it should if this is the case.
Before that, you find that it vibrates a lot and makes a loud noise. So, you need to keep these tiny but dangerous dust particles out of the way to keep your treadmill safe. The mat is not in level with the ground and makes it harder for the dust on the ground level to get on it.
Dust is dust, and it does find a way to get over any surface despite various measures. However, a mat makes it easier to clean it from time to time and does not require special equipment such as a vacuum cleaner.
Simply wipe them out with a sponge and mild soap or a wet cloth. This can be done in a minute, but it makes a huge difference to your machine. You cannot have this facility with any outer flooring or a different material such as a carpet.
The dust and any spills or sweat are also eliminated well in this process due to the non-absorbent nature of the mat. This also protects your flooring from stains.
Few treadmills come with anti-slip grips, and few do not. Whichever the case, they still tend to move around a little due to the heavyweight of the machine and the impact it takes. By placing a mat, you can keep it still in one place.
It not only ensures the safety of the user but also prevents them from injuries resulting from the wrong judgment of the placement of the machine. Similarly, if you have an uneven base with few dents in your flooring, a mat can help even them out.
Types of Treadmill Mats
Treadmill mats come in various sizes, are made of different materials and thicknesses, and serve varying needs.
Usually, treadmill mats are made from rubber or PVC. Among them, rubber is expensive than PVC, but they last longer and offer better protection and extra noise dampening.
The thickness of a mat decides its shock absorption capacity. You can find these mats in thicknesses of ¼”, ½”, and ¾”, and as they increase in thickness, their noise absorption power increases.
Though most treadmill mats come in solid colors such as black, blue, and grey, you get to see black most of the time. Few rubber mats come with flecks of colors and look attractive.
These treadmill mats come in various sizes just like treadmills do, and the ultimate goal is to have all 4 feet of the treadmill on the mat with an extra 3” sticking out on all sides.
Few mats come with smooth surfaces, where few come with textured surfaces to choose from based on your requirement and preferences.
As each treadmill can differ in each of these dimensions, you get to find the treadmill mat suitable for your needs. However, vetting them is not as easy as said. Opting for ½” mats is always safe and suitable for most scenarios.
When you find the mat that fits your treadmill well and falls within your budget, then you can buy it and enjoy the benefits of a treadmill mat. You will see the difference and understand the advantage it provides.
Apart from the types of treadmill mats, you also need to know which kind of mat suits which surface to gain maximum benefit. You need to consider the smoothness and strength of the surface and other factors to select the right mat.
Add your priorities, such as noise reduction and so on, and finally, arrive at a conclusion that best serves you. Let us dive into the surface-related information below.
Can You Use a Treadmill Mat on Carpet?
A carpet and a treadmill mat serve different purposes, and unlike few users who consider them as same, they are completely different. Though carpets seem soft and effectively dampening the vibrations, they are not sturdy enough to bear the wear and tear.
Carpets are costlier than treadmill mats and are damaged easily from the dripping of lubrication and also tend to tear due to the rub created by treadmill moves. Also, the fibers and dust accumulated on a carpet reduce the treadmill life as they are attracted to the belt area due to electrostatic force.
This leads to higher maintenance requirements, without which your treadmill might not function effectively to its optimum level with dust in its moving parts. Treadmill mats are made of material that does not accommodate dust or fibers easily.
Even if it gets soiled due to various reasons, you can clean them easily, which is not possible with carpets. The oil and sweat make the carpet dirty, and the inability to clean it easily will make that area dirty.
When you are planning to put a treadmill mat on a carpet, you can opt for a not-so-thick mat as you already have little cushioning below. For instance, the IncStores 1/4″ rubber mat is a gym flooring mat but is suitable for placing under a treadmill above a carpet.
Its thickness of 1/4 inch, tough rubber material, and size of 4’ x 10’ are all apt for this purpose. It is easy to clean and is made in the USA.
Can You Use a Treadmill Mat on Concrete?
The bare concrete floor is strong enough to withstand the weight and does not get damaged easily. Even noise is not transferred so easily from this kind of floor, so it is also not much of a concern. However, they are smooth and can cause sliding of the machine.
Also, you cannot clean dust easily from a concrete floor. Based on these two requirements, you will need an anti-skid mat that can keep the treadmill from moving on a concrete floor, and it should also be easily cleanable.
Usually, concrete floors are found in garage areas that are filled with dust, as you might be using that space for some other projects that create small debris. So, having a mat is very important to keep all these particles getting into the sensitive parts of a treadmill causing quicker deterioration.
You can opt for a thin mat if you are only concerned about dust or sliding, but if you also need noise control, then you can go for a thicker mat.
Can You Use a Treadmill Mat on Hardwood Floor?
Hardwood floor dents easily due to the heavy weight and jerks caused by the moving treadmill on them. Also, they are scratched easily and are smooth enough to let the treadmill slide while working. So, it is ideal for placing a treadmill mat under the machine for several reasons.
However, you need to consider one important issue related to the mat material. When few rubbers are placed on a wooden floor, they react with the antioxidants present in them and cause discoloration.
Not all rubbers cause this effect, but it does make figuring out which ones are good practices. While this is not such a good way to test, you can safely opt for a PVC mat that gives you similar advantages you need along with keeping your floor safe.
Though they are a little less effective than rubber mats for noise dampening, they still do a good job.
The SuperMats Solid P.V.C. Mat comes with a size of 36” x 90”, 0.13” thickness, and weighs 23 lbs. It does not contain heavy metals or harmful chemicals that affect kids and pets.
Can You Use a Treadmill Mat on Tiles?
Tiles are slippery and not strong enough to bear constant impact. They also scratch easily and pass on the vibrations strongly. Though tiles are not ideal for placing a treadmill, if that is what your flooring is made of, you can compensate for it by using a thick rubber mat.
The even weight distribution all over the base keeps your tiles safe from breaking. It also handles vibrations efficiently and reduces noise caused by them. The rubber mat does not let the treadmill slide while working as it keeps it steady in a place.
The above-mentioned IncStores also feature a thicker mat of ¾ inch thickness in Shock Mats. It comes in 2 pieces of 4’ squares that interlock to form a larger mat. The edges are beveled on 4 sides, and it offers premium performance.
You can control the sound undoubtedly as well as protect your floor. It also offers maximum shock absorption that diminishes the vibrations and provides you with a quieter environment to work in.
When Don’t You Need a Treadmill Mat?
It is always best to place your treadmill on a mat unless you placed it on a gym flooring or any other surface that behaves like a treadmill mat and provides similar advantages. If it is a rubber gym flooring, then it is much better off than any other flooring.
You will not need another layer of protection in these cases as the gym flooring is already furnished to accommodate such equipment. Especially the rubber gym flooring is the same as a rubber mat and acts perfectly in the place of a treadmill mat.