Elliptical trainers are a popular choice for fitness enthusiasts who enjoy the convenience of home workouts. However, if you’re contemplating an elliptical purchase and live in an apartment or a house where the only available space is on the second floor, you might be apprehensive. It’s a common concern: can an elliptical be safely installed on an upper floor?
The reassuring news is that, yes, you can confidently place an elliptical on the second or any upper floor of your home. Buildings constructed according to standard codes have the structural strength to support significant weight – your floor won’t give way while you’re immersed in your elliptical routine.
However, it’s worth noting that if you reside in an apartment or shared housing, noise and sound transmission to the lower floors can be a concern. Additionally, space constraints and equipment stability require consideration. Therefore, it’s important to be mindful of how and where you position your elliptical, ensuring it doesn’t pose any inconvenience to you or your neighbors.
Is it Safe to Put an Elliptical on the 2nd Floor?
Rest assured, it is entirely safe to install an elliptical trainer on the second floor. Even if your floors are older and tend to creak or shake with movement, there’s negligible risk of collapse due to elliptical use.
While it’s natural to worry about your home’s structural integrity, it’s important to note that standard construction practices are designed to support considerable weight. Therefore, placing an elliptical or any other gym equipment on an upper level should not compromise the safety of your home. The primary concern for most residents, especially in shared living spaces, is often noise rather than structural safety.
Even if your floor exhibits some movement or noise during heavy activity, a correctly installed and operated elliptical shouldn’t exacerbate the issue. The key lies in proper placement and mindful usage. Once these are addressed, your only remaining concern might be noise.
Elliptical trainers offer a quiet and safe option for indoor workouts, and they are less likely to cause damage compared to other equipment like dumbbells, which can fall and potentially harm the floor.
Remember, it’s not uncommon for individuals to set up an entire home gym on the second floor. Compared to that, an elliptical’s footprint is relatively modest. So, if your house has been built to standard building codes, your floors should be more than capable of supporting the weight.
If you’re still feeling uncertain, consider consulting with a structural engineer. They can provide a professional assessment of your home’s internal structure, including factors like floor joists. Their expert opinion can help you confidently establish a safe and convenient spot for your elliptical on the second floor.
What is the average weight capacity of a Second Floor?
While the precise weight capacity of a floor can vary based on its construction, most residential structures are built to support substantial weight. Typically, a standard house floor should be able to handle at least forty to fifty pounds per square foot. Given these metrics, your floor should be more than capable of supporting any gym equipment.
For peace of mind, you can perform a simple calculation to estimate the total weight your room can bear. A conventional elliptical generally weighs between 150 and 250 lbs. If your room measures 10 feet by 10 feet, it should theoretically sustain up to 4,000 lbs. of weight, which far exceeds the weight of any standard gym equipment.
Your local building codes will provide information on the maximum permitted weight for second or upper floors. By estimating the weight of the other items in your room, you can determine if your room can comfortably support your equipment. This concept, known as a ‘live load,’ can help alleviate any concerns.
Consider this: news stories about floors collapsing under the weight of gym equipment are virtually non-existent. So, the likelihood of your floor giving way due to such weight is extremely low.
However, if you’re still feeling unsure—particularly if your house is older, exhibits signs of weakness, or has wooden floors—a professional opinion could be valuable. Consult a structural engineer, who can provide expert insight into 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.