Can You Put an Elliptical on the Second Floor?

Ellipticals are a great option for those fitness enthusiasts who prefer to work out from the comfort of their own homes. If you are planning on getting one, but you live in an apartment or only have space on the second floor of your old house, it is quite normal for you to have second thoughts. Thoughts like, can you put an elliptical on upper floors?

You will be happy to know that you can easily put an elliptical on the second or upper floor in your house. Houses built to building codes are strong enough to take on sufficient weights, so don’t worry. Your floor won’t collapse while you are running on your Elliptical.  

However, if you live in an apartment or a shared house, there are concerns of sound and noise seeping through to the bottom floors. There is also a concern about space and stability. So, you should be careful about how you’re placing your elliptical so that it doesn’t cause any problems for you or others living in the building.

Is it Safe to Put an Elliptical on the 2nd Floor?

Yes, it is completely safe to put an elliptical on the second floor. Even if you have weak wooden floors that shake when you walk, there is little to no chance of your floor collapsing on you because you are using an elliptical.

You might be worried about the structural integrity of a house, but honestly speaking there is no reason not to put an elliptical or any other gym equipment for that matter, on the upper level. Most people will only complain about the noise that ellipticals make, but not the safety.

If your floor creaks every time you walk, or shakes in general with heavy movement, even then an elliptical won’t make much of a difference. All you have to do is know how to place it properly and use it in a certain way. Then the only other concern you should have is the noise.

Ellipticals are a great option for indoor workouts, as they are much quieter than other equipment and even much safer than things like dumbbells which can fall on the floor and damage it.

Some people even build an entire gym on the second floor, so an elliptical is nothing compared to that. So don’t be too scared if you are worried about the structural integrity and safety of the house, if the house follows the normal building code. Your floors can take a lot of weight.

You can always hire an engineer to help you out and reassure you. They will probably know better the internal structure of the house and whether there are floor joists or any other things to take into account. With their expert opinion, you can safely set up a position on your second floor where you can use your elliptical without any problems.

How Much Weight Can You Put on a Second Floor?

While the exact weight capacity of any floor would differ according to how it was built, most houses are built to take on a lot of weight. A typical house floor should be able to carry at least forty to fifty pounds per square foot. Depending on the size of your room, your floor should be able to support any gym equipment.

You can still do simple math to calculate the total weights your room can carry, if not the entire floor. A typical elliptical will weigh within the range of 150 to 250 lbs. And if you have floor space of about 10 feet in both breadth and width, it should be able to withstand up to 4000 lbs. of weight.

This is much higher than any gym equipment will weigh. You can check your Local Building Codes to know how much weight is allowed on the second or upper floor. You can estimate how much the rest of the items in your room weigh, and calculate for yourself if your room can take it. This is called a live load and can help reassure your worries.

Just think about it, how often do you hear “floor collapsed due to weight of gym equipment” in the news? Almost, never right? So, the chances of your floor collapsing due to the weight are very low.

If you are still unsure and think your house is very old and is weak and maybe even has wooden floors; you can consult a professional. Talk to someone like a structural engineer and they will be able to give you an idea of the weight capacity of your floor.

Tips on making a second floor gym

The main concern in putting an elliptical upstairs is the noise others might hear from the bottom floors. Exercising on the elliptical can shake the floor a little which might bother people downstairs. Here are a few tips:

Use a Rubber Mat

You should use a rubber mat or carpet beneath your elliptical. This has a lot of benefits. It provides stability for the machine and friction that reduces the chance of the elliptical slipping or skidding. If you have tiles or smooth surfaces, a mat is essential

It also protects the floor from any damage. Especially if you have wooden floors. The mat evenly distributes the weight, so the weight isn’t concentrated on a particular area and doesn’t dent the floor.

The weight distribution also makes it much safer to use and puts your mind at ease. If you are planning to use regular carpet, be sure that it will be heavily damaged. On the other hand, you do not have to worry about exercise mats. As such mats are cheap and an effective way to place your elliptical or other heavy cardio equipment. Also, these mats reduce the small shifting sounds your elliptical machine makes when going heavy exercise.

Place the Elliptical against a Load Bearing Wall

Even after all this reassurance, if you are still worried that your elliptical might damage the floor, the safest way is to place it against a load-bearing wall. As you may know even during earthquakes, certain places are less likely to collapse and load-bearing walls are one of these. If you ever feel a little floor bounce, always place the heavy elliptical machine against such wall.

Load-bearing walls are stronger and have internal reinforcement allowing them to take on more weight. So, try to place your elliptical against such a wall, so the weight is distributed properly and doesn’t fall in the middle of the floor.

Buy a Lighter/Collapsible Elliptical

If all else fails to put your mind at ease, you can opt for a lighter elliptical. There are many different kinds of ellipticals available on the market. So, try to get one that is lighter and takes up less space for your second floor.

You can also get a collapsible elliptical. Ellipticals can take up a lot of space due to the added extensions of the handlebar for instance. So, they are wide on the top as well. A lot of models will have collapsible extensions that you can store better on the second floor.

This also means the full weight of the elliptical is not always falling on the floor. You can collapse it and store it properly so that there is less pressure at all times on the floor.

Next time the question of can you put an elliptical on the second floor stops you from working out, throw your worries aside, and invest in getting an elliptical for your home. Whether you live on the second floor of an old house, or the eighteenth floor of a large apartment building, it is perfectly fine for you to work out from the comfort of your own home on an elliptical.

A home gym doesn’t always have to be on the basement floor. Just make sure you follow my tips and take the necessary measures to not disturb the other inhabitants in your building or home. You can also follow this guideline to place any heavy exercise equipment, such as a treadmill in your free space upstairs. Again, if you are even in doubt, please consult a structural engineer.

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