How Much Room Do You Need For A Treadmill?

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December 30, 2022
A woman using the whole size of her treadmill at home

When you’re planning a home gym, one of the most important questions you need to ask is ‘how much room do I need?’ All of the grand home gym plans in the world will grind to a halt if you don’t have enough space.

There’s no such thing as a ‘typical treadmill’, in the sense that rooms, treadmill users, and treadmill sizes are all different. 

In this article we’re going to answer the question ‘how much room do you need for a treadmill?‘ I’m also going to provide some additional insight into positioning a treadmill to ensure you can get the most from it.

Treadmill Dimensions

First of all you need to consider the size of the treadmill. This varies from model to model (obviously). As a general rule, they tend to be around 70 – 85 inches long (175 – 212.5 cm) by around 32 – 40 inches wide (80 – 100 cm).

You can also pick up compact treadmills that have an average size of around 55″ x 22. Typically speaking, you’d only buy one of these on a needs-must basis though. They’re unlikely to be your first choice.

It goes without saying, check the exact size of the treadmill before you buy it! 

Minimum space requirements

As a general rule in commercial gym design, you allow 6 square meters of floor space for a treadmill (3m length, 2m width). This is 9’10 x 6’7″, or 64.5 square feet. Bear in mind commercial rules won’t always apply in a home gym, but it’s a starting point for you to consider. Your home treadmill model is likely to be smaller than the type of treadmill a gym would buy.

This is ample space to accommodate any of the major treadmill brands with plenty of access all around it. There’s also an element of overkill here – you don’t need that much space. It’s a guideline to prevent the cramming of treadmills by commercial facilities. 

Folding Treadmill Space Requirements

Like all other treadmills, there’s no universal size for a folding treadmill. They vary enormously, so consider 70-85″ long by 30-40″ wide. 

The folding treadmills are only a benefit when it comes to storage. For the most part, they take up the same amount of room as a normal treadmill when in use. They’re pretty much the same size as a standard treadmill when you’re running. They just fold up to give you the space in the room back afterwards.

Space either side of the treadmill

This is where you can get tight. You need to allow for a little side to side movement, but nothing drastic. In my opinion as a gym owner, you can get away with around 6 inches either side. That’s enough to give wiggle room, but keeps space requirements tight.

It also allows for proper airflow around the treadmill motor to prevent overheating. 

Space needed behind the treadmills

This is where things become a little more complicated. You need room for access to the treadmill. You also need room to pull the treadmill back, so you can access the moving parts for servicing and repair. 

You’ll need a minimum of 5 feet of space behind the treadmill. This will allow people to walk behind the machine without risk of touching the machine. It’ll also make moving the treadmill possible, as and when you need to.

Minimum Ceiling Height For a Treadmill

Depending on the treadmill, the height of the deck will be between 6-8″ for a flat belt treadmill (when on the flat) and 12″ for a curved treadmill.

Then there’s the ‘bounce’ element of a runner – how high off the deck they come during running. It’s negligible for most runners, but allow 5 inches for that.

Then there’s the height – who is the tallest person that will be using the treadmill? Take the deck height, add their height and allow for the bounce. Generally speaking, a minimum ceiling height of 8ft will be suitable for almost all runners. 

Curved treadmill height requirement

You can get away with a lower ceiling height with a curved treadmill, because there’s no incline function on them. The deck is generally higher (around 12 inches high on most treadmills), but that’s as high as you’ll go.

Flat belt treadmill height requirement

A flat belt treadmill will usually stand 6-10″ off the floor. Flat belt treadmills are capable of inclining. At full height this will add 6 inches of height to most models. The 8 foot recommendation still stands. Taller people (over 6’6) need to factor in a higher ceiling. 

Positioning the treadmill

When you have checked that you have the room and the height required for a treadmill, the next decision to make is where to position the treadmill. There are a number of factors you’ll have to consider…

Close to plug socket

If you are using a treadmill that needs to be plugged in, you’ll have to position it close to a plug socket. You could use an extension cable, but that adds more hassle and there’s a potential trip hazard to bear in mind. 

Do you need Wifi? It’ll need to be close to a router…

If your treadmill console needs to connect to the internet, it’ll have to be in WiFi range. That may rule out some areas of your property, depending on size or even wall thickness.

Near a TV? That’ll decide orientation…

The majority of people would want some kind of distraction during a treadmill workout. If you want to watch something on the TV when you run, you’ll have to factor that in when you position your treadmill. It’ll have to point towards the TV (obviously), so you’ll need to make sure yours will fit in the space. 

Will a window view help make the workout more enjoyable?

If you’re running on a treadmill for a long period of time, you’re going to want more than a wall to stare at.  There are versions of treadmills with extensive console features, but if your personal treadmill doesn’t have internet connectivity you may want to think of other ways to stay entertained.

Music, wall-mounted TV’s and even projectors are great, but a simple solution is to position the treadmill near a window.

Bear in mind though, cardio equipment works up a sweat. If the window by your treadmill is sun-facing, you may live to regret it on a hot day! Just something to think about…

Do you want to be near an A/C unit?

If you’re hitting lots of treadmill workouts, the likelihood is you’re going to want to stay cool. Although some treadmill manufacturers put a user-friendly fan in the console, it’s never powerful enough. If you live in a hot place you’ll need to have your treadmill near an A/C unit. 

How far are you going to move it?

This one isn’t determined by space as such, more by size and weight. There are all kinds of treadmills on the market, and most of the popular models will come in sections for easier transportation. Despite the difference in treadmill sizes, they’re a heavy piece of equipment and not easy to move. 

Even a compact unit can weigh way over 200 lbs. The heavier treadmills can tip the scales at around 400 lbs. These larger treadmills aren’t fun to move if you later find out you haven’t got the floor space. 

Save yourself treadmill drama by measuring the room first!

The most important step to take in all of this is to measure your room before you make a treadmill buying decision. You might have a treadmill in mind, but discover it simply won’t be suitable for your room.

Once you know how much space you have, you can start searching the internet for treadmills. Look at the different treadmill lengths, how many inches wide they are and what the treadmill deck elevation is before you make your treadmill purchase. 

Check whether or not you have power in the room, and whether or not the room can connect to the internet (if you need it). 

Once you’ve satisfied yourself with everything, you’ll be able to find the perfect treadmill for you. Don’t buy a bigger machine than you can cope with hoping you’ll find the extra space. You won’t. Buy for the actual space you have.

Follow this advice and you’ll avoid most of the mistakes people make. You’ll be able to find a treadmill even when you have (slightly) restricted spaces. 

About Steve Hoyles