Treadmills keep us fit and healthy. But if you own a treadmill then you know that with its great benefits, come some cons. Yes, treadmills can be loud.
The truth is that it might bug you but can neighbors hear you when you run? Do your family members reach for headphones when you hop on the treadmill? We’re happy to tell you that it is definitely possible to make your treadmill quieter.
In this article, we’ll be helping you figure out what could be the cause of your treadmill noise and we’ll be taking a look at how to make your treadmill quieter.
Why are treadmills loud?
Do we really need to know why a treadmill makes so much noise? We just want to make it quieter.
It’s great to get straight to the point, but you have to understand why an object, appliance, or machine is making noise before you can get to the task of making it quieter.
There are few specific reasons why a treadmill makes noise. Below we’ll briefly discuss possible causes:
- The motor is clogged
Treadmills have a habit of attracting dust, hair and other unwanted dirt to the motor. When the motor is filled or clogged with dirt, your treadmill will make strange noises simply because the debris causes the motor to stop working as efficiently.
- Squeaking noises indicate various problems
Squeaking sounds indicate that potentially there could be 3 kinds of problems. The treadmill belt is loose, it needs lubrication, or the treadmill bearings are worn.
If your treadmill is making squeaking sounds, then the belt is one of the first things you should take a look at. Is the belt not the problem? Then you can check the treadmill bearings.
- The treadmill components have failed
Much like with anything mechanical, components do fail. It happens all the time and it can even happen in the most reliable mechanical devices. When your treadmill components have failed, your treadmill will be much noisier than it normally is.
How to make a treadmill quieter in your home or apartment
If you want to have a quiet workout in your apartment then here are a few things you could do to make your treadmill quieter.
- When it’s making a squeaking noise
Your goal is to soundproof your treadmill. Sometimes this can’t be done using antivibration mats or soundproofing materials. When something is wrong with your treadmill you have to make a bit more effort to sort out the issue.
As we discussed earlier, the cause of a treadmills squeaking could be that the belt needs lubrication, the treadmill bearings are worn, or the belt is loose. Here’s what you can do to make your treadmill quieter in each situation:
- Check the treadmill bearings
Treadmill bearings have a reputation for wearing out. If you use your treadmill often the bearings might be one of the first things to go on your treadmill. When this happens, you’ll have to take a look into replacing the bearings or upgrading them. This is also something to check if you have a quiet elliptical trainer.
What if you’re someone who’s incredibly active, loves to run every day on the treadmill and you don’t want the bearings to break anytime soon? Then it would be better for you to buy a new treadmill. Unfortunately, a treadmill that can handle excessive pressure will be more expensive.
- Tighten the belt
It’s common for a treadmill belt to expand and stretch over time. As a result, the belt may start to skip or hesitate.
Most treadmills include an Allen wrench for adjusting the belt. If your treadmill did not come with this tool, you can order one on Amazon or find a treadmill wrench in your local hardware store.
TreadLife Fitness sells a treadmill allen wrench on Amazon that comes with good recommendations. What if the issue continues even after you’ve made efforts to tighten the belt? That’s when it’ll be better to contact a technician.
- Lubricate the belt if needed
When last has your treadmill been lubricated? If it hasn’t been maintained for a long time, then you can be guaranteed that it needs to be lubricated.
Maintenance is really important for a treadmill because it helps it operate smoothly. You’ll want to focus specifically on the belt since that will be the cause of the squeaking sounds.
Not sure how to lubricate your treadmill? Not all treadmills require lubrication, so you need to take a look at the owner’s manual to see what specific requirements your treadmill has for maintenance. This is worth doing too if you have a quiet exercise bike.
If you see that your treadmill does need to be lubricated, you can follow the step-by-step guide in the following video to see how you can lubricate your treadmill.
Which is the best lubricant for a treadmill belt? This is a good question to ask because you want to use a high-quality lubricant that keeps your treadmill lubricated for a while so that you don’t have to repeat the process so often.
A lot of manufacturers will tell you that a silicone-based lubricant is the best one to use. Amazon offers a multi-purpose silicone treadmill lubricant for a cheap price.
- Clean out a clogged Motor
Like we discussed earlier, a clogged motor can cause your treadmill to make a lot of noise. The best way to handle the situation is to give the motor a good clean out.
You have to regularly maintain a treadmill because when they’re being used, they attract a lot of dust, hair, and lint because they generate static electricity. Make sure your quiet robot vacuum covers the area around your treadmill.
Once you've removed any obvious dirt and hair you could also give it a blast of air if you've got a quiet air compressor in your garage. That'll shift any dust in the motor.
But, before you go and check on your motor and make the decision to clean it out, consult the manufacturer's instructions. Doing so, will ensure that your treadmill motor gets a proper cleaning.
- Prevent component failure through maintenance
One of the best ways to prevent component failure is to perform regular maintenance on the treadmill. It will help to keep the components in good shape and continue working as they were designed to.
If your components have failed, you will have to look into replacing the treadmill or repairing those components if possible. Some of the components that tend to have issues are the bearings, belt, and pulley.
We spoke about this in the previous solution, but you should always check the manufacturer’s instructions to see how to maintain the treadmill. In some cases, the manufacturer’s instructions include how you can repair and clean each component of the treadmill.
- Use treadmill isolation pads or anti-vibration pads
Anti-vibration pads are another handy tool that assists us in reducing treadmill noise. An anti-vibration pad works similarly to a rubber mat. They absorb vibrations and prevent the treadmill from shaking and moving around.
They’re also not expensive so this is a huge bonus as well. You can place the vibration pads under the four corners or legs of the treadmill. You could even try some of these washing machine anti-vibration pads.
- Cover the walls and ceilings
We know that your landlord would most likely not allow you to mess with your walls or ceiling, but you can hang up sound absorption sheets. Honestly, it doesn’t look that great but for the sake of your neighbors not hearing your treadmill make a noise, you might find that it’s worth it. It's a lot easier than soundproofing your room.
If you decide that you really can’t live with how it looks you can add things like paintings, frames, and plants to your walls. Your treadmill sound will be primarily heard by the people living below you but soundproofing the walls might also help.
- Use door seals and draft guards
If you want to stop noise exiting your workout room then door seals and draft guards can help to soundproof the door. What’s the difference between the two? There isn’t really much of a difference between the two of them except that door seals are cheaper and easy to replace. They prevent noise from entering or exiting your apartment unit through your door.
A door seal is basically a gap sealer that you can easily place over the crack under your door like the Holikme door draft stopper.
A draft guard is what we could call a fancier version of a door seal. It’s got a snakelike shape and it’s filled with rice, batting, and beans. If you’re not familiar with what it is, Magzo has a quality draft guard on Amazon.
- Use a rubber mat
Treadmill vibrations are not the worst kind of noise you’ll hear a treadmill making but it can get pretty loud if it’s not controlled. Rubber mats absorb all or most of the vibration and make your treadmill quieter. The Amazon rubber mat for treadmills has a good reputation for being a shock absorber. An additional bonus is that the mat prevents dust and other dirt particles on the floor from getting into the components in the treadmill, so it will prevent situations like a clogged motor.
- Change the speed limit
Treadmills have an adjustable speed limit setting that allows you to choose how fast you run or walk. If you run or jog at high speeds, the treadmill will have to work harder and faster and as a result it will make a lot more noise than if you were simply walking.
Of course, we’re not saying that you shouldn’t use your treadmill to exercise the way you want to, but you can reduce the noise your treadmill makes dramatically by adjusting the speed limit.
- Place the treadmill on a flat surface
- Use soundproofing materials
Using soundproofing materials like foam panels rock wool insulation and soundproof drywall will ensure that nobody outside of the room your treadmill is in can hear the noise it makes. Materials like foam panels and rock wool insulation can be used on the outside of your walls and so it’s recommended for people who live in an apartment.
On the other hand, if you wanted to use something like soundproof drywall or floor underlayment, you’d have to work on the inside of your walls and floors. This is where it might not be such a simple solution for someone who resides in an apartment building.
But for those who have their own home, this could very well be the best solution for you. It does require a lot more effort than simply placing a mat in under your treadmill, but it prevents noise from leaving a room and can make the area in which your treadmill is located completely soundproof.
If you do want to do something simpler, then we would recommend using foam panels. Amazon offers a 52 pack of acoustic panels but you can get smaller packs if needed.
If you live in an apartment and your next door neighbors are complaining then there are ways you could soundproof a wall between apartments.
How to run quieter on a treadmill
- Either run barefoot or wear lighter shoes
Our shoes carry a lot more weight than we realize, and they can make a lot of noise, especially when we’re running or jogging vigorously. Another thing to think about is that the less weight or pressure we put on the treadmill the more likely the treadmill will stay in good condition. The Joomra Men’s lightweight athletic shoes are a good example of what we’re referring to. They’re lightweight without compromising on quality and the outer soles are made out of rubber so they will help absorb the shock and sound on impact.
- Buy a quiet treadmill
As a last resort, you could consider buying a quieter treadmill. Manufacturers are more aware of the need for treadmills to operate efficiently without a lot of noise, so newer treadmill models are designed to be.
What we like about the XTERRA Fitness TR150 Folding Treadmill is that it’s been designed with the needs of homeowners in mind. They’ve taken into consideration the need for you to be comfortable, how much noise the treadmill makes, and they’ve even considered the fact that you might not want to keep the treadmill in one place.
Of course, there are plenty treadmills for you to choose from. Check out our reviews of the quietest treadmills on the market.
In this article we took a look at how you can make your treadmill quieter. Take notice of some of the common causes of treadmill noise and do what you can to prevent it before you go out and spend money on anything else.
We’re sure that at least one of the solutions we’ve discussed today will work for you. Be sure to check the reviews for any soundproofing materials before you buy them. We’re confident that you will be able to make your treadmill quieter.