How to Make a Treadmill Quieter

We have all used a treadmill at one point or another in our life.  The most common place to find one is at a gym, but many people actually own one in their homes.  I have a gym pass, so I never had the need or want to purchase my own treadmill. 

If you are in a home or an apartment, then learning how to make a treadmill quieter may benefit your home or your angry neighbors.  The main problem with a treadmill is that it causes a lot of impact noise. 

The noise increases as the speed increases because it causes you to run even faster.

Add all the extra noises from the treadmill motor, the squeaking noises from the treadmill mat, and your impact noises from your feet constantly slamming on the treadmill, and you now have a recipe for disaster. 

Here are a few things you can do to actually reduce the amount of noise while you are on your treadmill.

Use a Treadmill Mat

What is the main source of noise besides the belt and motor on your treadmill?  It’s you!  When you are constantly stomping your feet on your treadmill, you are creating what is called impact noise. 

Impact noise is the noise that is generated from impact, such as your feet pounding on your treadmill.  The best way to reduce impact noise is to add some type of shock-absorbing material. 

These materials are usually dense, which is why they are good at absorbing these types of noise.

This treadmill mat from amazon has a high amount of ratings and works great for quieting your treadmill or a bike trainer. 

There are also other benefits to using a mat for your exercise equipment.  On top of dampening the impact noise, a mat will also help give your gym equipment a longer shelf life due to the shock absorption. 

Less shock on your machines will keep them from breaking down.

A mat will also help provide more stability for your treadmill by keeping it in place.  If your treadmill is currently installed on a wooden floor or tiles, then it has a higher chance of sliding or moving around while in use. 

The use of a treadmill mat will eliminate any type of moving altogether, which will keep you safe from an accident. 

A treadmill mat can also save you several hundred of dollars because it will keep your treadmill from ruining your floor.

Lubricate Your Treadmill Belt

Lubricating your treadmills belt should be regular maintenance on your part. 

Why do you need to lubricate the belt anyways?  Having a properly lubricated treadmill belt will help increase the longevity of your treadmill.  Have you ever heard a squeaky treadmill? 

Or is your treadmill squeaky right now?  This means that your treadmill needs to be lubricated. 

Some treadmills even have a message that will be displayed saying that it needs to be lubricated.

In order to properly lubricate your treadmill you will need to loosen the belt.  Loosening your treadmill’s belt will vary based on what type of treadmill you have, although they all should be pretty similar. 

Be sure to use a proper treadmill lubricant and not something like WD-40.

Using the wrong type of lubricant can cause damage or even break your treadmill.  A treadmill is a pretty expensive investment to just throw away because you decided to be lazy and use the wrong lubrication.

Here’s an excellent video tutorial I found that teaches you to step by step how to properly lubricate your treadmill belt.


User Proper Running Shoes on Your Treadmill

Just like you should be using a proper treadmill mat, you should also wear proper running shoes. 

There are three types of feet.  Flat feet, arched feet, and normal feet.  A good way to see what type of foot you have is to go outside barefoot. 

Turn on your yard’s hose and get your feet wet.  Walk around on the concrete and take a look at the footprints that are left behind.

These running shoes from Asics are perfect for treadmill use.  They are specifically designed with the runner in mind. 

There are two main things you need to look out for when looking for a good running shoe.  You first need to make sure that the shoe will fit your type of foot. 

The second trait that you need to look out for when purchasing a running shoe is to make sure that it has some sort of shock-absorbing material. 

This specific shoe has a rear gel foot cushion to maximize shock absorption while jogging.  Shock absorption will help both excess noises as well as keep your joints safe while you are using your treadmill.

The tread on these shoes is optimized for both uphill and downhill traction on all types of terrains.  It also has an incredible amount of positive reviews from many users on amazon, which means these shoes are the perfect runner’s shoes.

  • Normal Feet – Most people have normal feet.  What exactly is normal feet?  Normal feet have a slight arch in the middle.  That’s basically it.
  • Flat Feet – People that have flat feet lack an arch.  This means that their entire foot covers the ground when they are standing.
  • Arched Feet – A person with high arched feet needs extra attention when it comes to running shoes.  Having high arched feet means that you will be more prone to rolling your feet while running.  Choosing a high shock absorbing shoe is a must if you have high arched feet.

Check for a Noisy Bearing or Worn out Roller

If you have been properly lubricating your treadmill, but you are still hearing different types of squeaky noises, grinding, or rattling, then it may be time to take a look at the bearings and roller. 

The bearings are attached to your treadmills rollers and may require a little bit of disassembly to get to. 

Broken or worn-out bearings may cause squeaking noises and also affect the way your treadmill operates.

While looking at the bearings of your treadmill, it would also be wise to take a look at the rollers since you will have them exposed as well. 

Worn-out rollers can cause grinding noises that are very audible when the treadmill is in motion.  A badly damaged roller or bearings can also cause your treadmill to run poorly or stop operating altogether.

I found this very helpful video on how to change out worn-out bearings in a treadmill.

Try to Run Quietly on Your Treadmill

We’ve come to the conclusion that the main source of noise from a treadmill is impact noise.  Another thing you can do is try to run quietly on your treadmill. 

I don’t mean tip-toeing or skipping, but what I mean is to run at a reasonable speed. 

The faster the setting on your treadmill, the faster and harder your feet will be pounding.  Try to avoid placing your treadmill on higher settings and keep it at a reasonable jog. 

Keeping your treadmill at a lower setting will help reduce the amount of impact noise you will be making as well as quiet the motor at the same time.

Another thing you can do is limit the distance that you bring your feet off the treadmill while running.  This may sound silly, but it can have a huge impact. 

This may take a little bit of practice and may even also improve your cardio since you will be making smaller movements as opposed to big drawn-out leaps.

Wearing proper running shoes will also help reduce the amount of noise made while running.

Walk at a Steep Incline Instead of Running

Are treadmills made to be run on, right?  Well, yes and no.  If you want to greatly reduce the amount of noise you make while using your treadmill, then walking is the way to do it. 

Most people think walking on a treadmill is pointless, but did you know if you set the incline to medium or high, it can be just as effective as jogging? 

Set your treadmill to a fast-paced walk and slowly adjust the incline to your preference. 

After a little while, you will soon start to notice that it isn’t as easy as it sounds. This is because when you add incline into the mix, it makes your body use more of your leg muscles than normal jogging. 

You will get a cardiovascular workout as well as a leg workout at the same time.  I personally prefer to walk on an incline on a treadmill rather than running. 

Running uses a lot more glucose in your body that can be better used for weight training which is one of my main hobbies.

The only downside to walking on an incline is that it doesn’t give you the same head rush as running does. 

This head rush called “runners high” is why most people enjoy jogging.  If this is you, then you can skip this step altogether.

Relocate Your Treadmill

This may seem like the obvious answer, and it really is.  Take a look at where your treadmill is currently located in your home. 

If it’s not located in your backyard or garage, then you are doing it wrong.  Having your treadmill in a room in your home can easily be fixed by moving it to an area that is away from your living quarters. 

So this solves one issue, right?  What if you live in an apartment or a condo?

It’s a little bit trickier if you live on an upper floor in an apartment or condo because the main complaint may be from your neighbors below you. 

If that’s the case, then moving your treadmill will not affect your neighbors below you because it is still upstairs.  In this case, your best bet is to try all the methods mentioned in this article for the best results.

The only way to really stop an angry neighbor is to sell your treadmill and get a gym pass. 

Almost all gyms today have many different types of cardio machines available for you to use.  If you search all the local gyms in your area, I’m pretty sure you will find one with a low monthly cost and startup fee.

Why Does My Treadmill Squeak?

There are a few reasons why your treadmill is squeaking.  The first thing you can check is the belt.  Is the belt tight or loose?  Be sure the belt is properly tightened for use. 

Another thing to do is lubricate your treadmill belt.  When was the last time you did proper maintenance?  A treadmill belt that needs lubrication will make quite a bit of noise depending on how long it’s been since the last lubrication.

Treadmill bearings are another thing that can cause squeaking.  If your treadmill bearings are shot, then it may be time to replace them or upgrade your treadmill. 

Bearings break or wear out from constant use or abuse from excessive impact from running.  A more expensive treadmill can usually take a tougher beating than a less expensive one, so keep that in mind when looking for a new treadmill.

Final Thoughts

Owning a home treadmill is no silent task.  Whenever you start up your treadmill, you better believe that your next-door neighbor or the neighbor below you knows exactly what time it is. 

Making sure your treadmill is in a good location is key before you start using it. 

Make sure to use some sort of treadmill mat or another exercise mat to help dampen impact noise. 

Always wear proper running shoes to further reduce shock and impact noises caused when you are using your treadmill.

Proper treadmill maintenance, like lubrication and monthly inspections of parts, is also another good practice in keeping your treadmill as quiet as possible. 

Instead of always running on your treadmill, you can try a steep incline at a fast walking pace since this will also give you a great workout while greatly reducing the amount of treadmill noise.