Can You Put Home Gym Equipment Upstairs?

Written by — Tonya

When it comes to home gym equipment, can you put it upstairs? The answer is typically yes, but there are a few things you need to consider.

The first thing to consider is the structural integrity of your second floor and the weight capacity of your exercise equipment. If your second floor is sturdy, setting up your home gym equipment shouldn’t be an issue.

In this post, we’ll go over some of the factors you need to consider when setting up your home gym equipment on the second floor.

Is it safe to put gym equipment upstairs?

As I’ve already mentioned, it is generally safe to put gym equipment upstairs. But before you set up a 300lbs gym in your upstairs apartment, there are some things you need to consider.

Let’s dig deeper.

The structural integrity of the floor

The floor’s structural integrity is one of the top considerations when it comes to keeping gym equipment upstairs.

Modern homes in the US have a floor capacity of about 30 to 40 lbs per square foot, depending on whether it is a bedroom or a second-floor bedroom.

Thus, if your room is 50 square feet, the floor can support about 2000 lbs.

Building contractors are legally required to follow a preset standard for building homes.

Hence, your room can safely hold the weight of most home gym setups.

How much weight capacity of exercise equipment can you put on the second floor?

The second-floor capacity in most modern homes is about 40 lbs for each square foot.

So for a standard American room of 132 square feet, the maximum weight limit is up to 5,280 lbs.

Exercise machines for home gyms, including cardio equipment, elliptical machines, and other light-duty equipment, fall within the weight mentioned earlier.

Will It damage my floor?

Exercise equipment usually does not have a uniform load limit, meaning they spread out the weight evenly and are unlikely to damage your floors.

However, if you’re planning on using free weights, it’s important to note that dropping them can increase the chances of damaging your floor.

If you’re unsure whether your floor can handle the weight of your equipment, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and use mats or other forms of protection.

Taking these precautions can help ensure that your floors stay in good condition for years.

How to set up your gym?

Here are a few things you should consider when setting up your home gym:

Prepare the floor:

 Remove tiles as it adds extra weight and can easily crack under the equipment. Pull out padding and other furnishings as well, including carpets.

Consider screwing down a 3/4″ plywood, as it can help spread out the weight limit.

By installing these floor materials, you can also reduce the amount of weight that punctures your floorboards due to dropped weight.

Placement of equipment:

Placing heavier equipment against the wall keeps the weight distributed. Also, look where the floor joists run or a load-bearing wall, as they can hold a heavier load more effortlessly.

Weight distribution:

Distributing the total weight evenly over the entire floor is also a great tip for setting up your own home gym. Refrain from piling all the equipment in the same corner, or place all the weight plates in the same place every time.

Also, heavy-duty components such as power racks and weight benches should not be at the center of the room as it is usually the weakest area.

What equipment should I Include?

Listed below are the essentials you’ll need to set up your second-floor home gym:

Rubber flooring

Rubber flooring is necessary for a second-floor gym as it protects your floor and reduces noise levels.

At least 8mm rubber mats are optimal in terms of thickness and performance.

If the flooring is properly installed, the rubber mats over the plywood will absorb a lot of shocks, and the weights will be less likely to damage your floor.

Silencer pads

Silencer pads are a must-have for a second-floor gym or upstairs room. These can reduce noise significantly, especially while deadlifting or dropping weights.

Power rack

A power rack is another requirement for an upstairs gym setup. At the entry-level, power racks have a footprint of about 4’x4′ with a total weight limit of not more than 300 lbs.

You could look at similar weights if you plan to put a bench and free weights or a squat rack upstairs. Just remember to spread out all that weight over the entire room.

Portable squat stands are an excellent option if you don’t have an average-sized bedroom. They are considerably lighter than power racks and have a smaller footprint.

Barbells

If deadlifting and powerlifting are something you can’t do without, barbells will be necessary for a home gym.

Weight plates

Depending on your deadlifting and required weight, you also need weight plates to complete your upper-floor gym.

Adjustable dumbbells

Adjustable dumbbells are the best option for a home gym, as you can customize them according to your fitness goals.

Treadmill

Cardio machines are a fantastic addition to a second-floor home gym, and treadmills are easily the best choice.

Lifting weights upstairs

If you live upstairs and you still want to lift weights, there are some considerations you need to keep in mind:

  • Adding a deadlift platform can be a big help with spreading the live load and also reduce the damage on the floors.
  • Dropping weights on the floor too often can cause damage and cause a lot of distress to your neighbor downstairs, so try to avoid it.
  • Get a couple of crash pads that are fantastic at absorbing impact.
  • Safety bars are also a great option if you use a weight rack.

How to prevent noise when exercising?

Noise is another big issue when it comes to exercising in a gym upstairs or on the second floor.

Below are some practical tips for exercising upstairs without giving your neighbors or your flatmates a fright.

  • Consider getting bumper plates, as they are quieter than free weights that are metal. Bumper plates are pricier but can help with weight lifting and are not as noisy.
  • Working out on just your feet without shoes can also reduce the squeaky noise.
  • To prevent noise while racking weights, do it slowly.

Final thoughts

Installing a home gym upstairs is safe since modern homes have a higher load capacity per square foot than older homes.

However, the first and second floors will not hold as much weight as an outdoor space, such as a garage gym.

It would help if you also watched out for dropping weights and correct equipment placement, as it can wear out the floor eventually.

Tip: If your room weighs less than the exercise equipment, it might be a good idea to put them in a spare room.

FAQs

Is it OK to install a treadmill in a home gym on the second floor?

Yes, having a treadmill on the second-floor home gym is OK.

Cardio equipment, including a treadmill, does not weigh substantially, making them safe for use anywhere.

However, the motion of the treadmill, along with your body weight, can cause a shaking motion that will damage the floor and the joints.

In this regard, a curve deck-style treadmill is a great alternative.

What is the typical live load of a residential floor in the US?

The live load of residential floors in the US is 300 lbs per square foot for bedrooms and 300 to 400 lbs for first and second floors.

Can I put an exercise bike upstairs?

Yes, you can put an exercise bike upstairs without any issues.

Most cardio equipment, including indoor bikes and ellipticals, do not come with excessive weight making them safe for a second-floor home gym.

In addition, exercise bikes also do not make a lot of noise, so they are ideal for an upstairs home gym.

Is it possible to add a home gym when renting on the second floor?

It usually depends on the building laws set by your landlord.

However, in most cases, cardio equipment and other lightweight exercise machines are safe for use while renting.

It is important to talk to your landlord before you invest in an expensive gym set up for an apartment.

Is it safe to have a bench press upstairs?

You can bench press upstairs, provided you do not use a ton of weight.

In this case, rubber flooring or any other type of mat that can reduce the noise and impact will be necessary.
If you have additional equipment, remember to spread the weight uniformly across the room.

Reinforcing the floor for a home gym on the second floor will also allow you to add more weight to the bench press without worrying the flooring will collapse.

How can I get a heavy treadmill upstairs?

If the treadmill is still in the box, take one end of the box and get another person to hold the other end.

It should be relatively easy to take it upstairs, and you can assemble it at the intended spot.

However, if the treadmill is not in the box, you must lock the belt first. Get the help of at least one person and hold the treadmill at opposite ends.

Tilt the treadmill slightly and lift it off the floor as you carry it to the spot where you want it.

Can a floor collapse because of too much weight?

Yes, a floor can collapse under too much weight.

Modern homes are built to conform to the structural design criteria. So they can easily support 400 lbs of weight per square foot.

However, putting a 3000lbs machine in a 50-square foot bedroom can collapse the floor.

Repeated motion of the machine at the home gym and the pounding along with your body weight can also substantially weaken the floor.

Construction materials and floors also weaken with age, so a considerable amount of weight can cause the floor to collapse.