Do I Need an Equipment Mat for my Workout Machine?

What is an Equipment Mat?

An equipment mat is a piece of material that is either one piece or can be constructed of interlocking sections.  These mats can be composed of recycled rubber, which is the most common material, virgin rubber, PVC rubber, or other composites.  With the recycled rubber mats you have to pay attention to if you have a sensitivity to smells.  Recycled rubber mats can have a strong rubber smell if in an area that has low ceilings or poor ventilation.  Most manufacturers recommend that you can clean the mats with Murphy’s Oil Soap or Pine Solto help the odor dissipate.  Fitness Equipment Mats have various uses depending on the piece of fitness equipment that the mat is being used with.

Do I Need an Equipment Mat for my Piece of Fitness Equipment?

I wish that there was an easy answer for this, but it really depends on the piece of equipment, how it is being used, and where it is being used.  For most fitness equipment such as bikes, ellipticals, steppers, and selectorized home gyms, an equipment mat is good for catching sweat, lubricants, and depending on the surface that the unit is on it can also protect from scratches and from denting the floor due to the weight of the equipment.  Steppers and upright bikes usually require a mat that is 4 feet long by 3 feet wide, such as the SuperMat 10GS.  Recumbent Bikes and most standard size ellipticals or light duty treadmills can use a 6.5 feet long by 3 feet wide mat such as the SuperMat 11GS Mat.  If the treadmill or elliptical cross-trainer is on the longer side SuperMat does make the 12GS  mat that is 7.5 feet long and 3 feet wide for these longer units.  One item that always needs an equipment mat, no matter what surface it is on, is a fitness treadmill. 

Reasons for using an Equipment Mat with a Fitness Treadmill

  • Helps insulate against static electricity
  • Helps to keep carpet fibers from getting pulled into the motor compartment (If the treadmill is placed on carpeting)
  • Helps to absorb some of the background noise from the machine
  • Catches residue from the breakdown of shoes that are used while on the machine and the breakdown of the walking belt itself.  This residue can create a dark ring around the fitness treadmill that can stain carpet or tile.
  • Helps catch sweat.
  • In the case of tile, linoleum, and wood the equipment mat helps keep the machine from vibrating around and scratching the floor.  **** Special Note: on these flooring surfaces it is recommended using a high density mat like that from PaviGym or Humane Flooring that will help lessen the chance of a heavier treadmill sinking into the floor and creating a dent.

In closing, an equipment mat is always needed for a treadmill, but for most other equipment it depends on the type of flooring the unit is on.  The other option would be to cover the entire floor with a rolled rubber that is glued down such as the Centaur Floors RuberFlex or cover the entire floor with interlocking tiles such as the SuperMats SL-M Superlock Interlocking Flooring System.

For more information on fitness treadmills and static shocks, click here.

The Staff at

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