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How important are Treadmill Mats?

A question we are often asked is if we need to buy a mat to go with a treadmill, or if its just an expensive add on that is offered when you buy one. So to help you we are going to look at the importance of treadmill mats, and whether you need one or not.

A treadmill mat reduces noise and protects your floor. Photo Credit BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images
A treadmill mat reduces noise and protects your floor. Photo Credit BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images

First lets consider what issues are caused by using a treadmill:

Noise and vibration:

As your speed and fitness increases then you will find your treadmill makes more and more noise. It cannot be helped, the faster you run the harder and faster your feet hit the deck. All this extra impact causes vibrations and shock to build up in the machine, that without some kind of damper (like the shocks on your car) will need to be transferred from your body to the floor.

There basically three parts in this equation, the barrier between your feet and the treadmill, basically the soles of your trainers. Next up is the treadmill itself, higher end treadmills have more dampening built in, however to cut costs some can really skimp on this part. Finally there is the connection from the treadmill to the floor.

Stability

If the surface you are on is smooth its possible for treadmills to start ‘creeping’ across the floor. This can be prevented by putting a mat underneath that increases the friction, and prevents the feet of the treadmill bouncing up under high impact.

Damage

Whether you are locating a treadmill on carpet or a wooden floor its possible that the combined weight of the treadmill and runner can cause damage. The feet of the treadmills are generally not very big, and their weight can cause dents to appear in even quite solid floors. Again this can be prevented with a good quality treadmill mat.

If you have used a treadmill at a good quality gym you will see that most gym floors are covered with high density foam surface. This basically makes the entire floor one massive Treadmill Mat. This is perfect for gyms, and allows them to move equipment around to the right place. Also with dozens of people working out at a time it can become unbelievably noisy! So the mats really help in keeping the noise down, the treadmills stable and lowers the impact on the users.

So if you are worried about any of these effects, then we would recommend a treadmill mat, to help you here are three of our favorite options:

Top Three Treadmill Mats

Supermats Heavy Duty P.V.C. Mat for Treadmills

Supermats Heavy Duty P.V.C. Mat for Treadmills
The Supermats Treadmill mat is one of the top sellers. Made in the USA, it uses recyled materials so its not only good for your floor, but also the environement. Its size (2.5ft x 6ft) is big enough for most treadmills apart from the really big high end machines.

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Stamina Fold-to-Fit Folding Equipment Mat

Stamina Fold-to-Fit Folding Equipment Mat
The Stamina Fold-to-Fit Folding Equipment Mat is an incredibly versatile mat. While its not treadmill specific its perfect for the job. Designed as a multi purpose mat we would condsider using two of these, one for under the treadmill and the second as a general workout mat for stretching and warm ups.

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ProSource Puzzle Exercise Mat

Puzzle foam exercsie mat
Finally if you want a more versatile solution then the Puzzle Foam exercise mat is perfect. Each pack contains 24 square feet of matting, so a couple of packs is perfect for decking out a small workout area. This can provide a single floor for treadmills, weights and floor exercise work.

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