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A home gym is every fitness lover’s dream, and it’s not that difficult to achieve either. A home gym is a great way to utilize unused space in your home, whether that be a garage or any other spare room but can you put a home gym on a second floor?
If the room you’re considering turning into your own personal fitness space is an upstairs room or second floor bedroom you need to determine if it is it a good idea to put your home gym equipment on the 2nd floor of your home
As long you as factor in the structural integrity of your spare room, then setting up a home gym on an upstairs floor is certainly achievable. Important considerations will be ascertaining the load capacity of the floor so you can determine what kind of exercise equipment will be most suitable for your space.
So, if you’re ready to take your fitness to new heights, here is how you can build your perfect home gym on the second floor.
Importance Of Floor Structure For Home Gym On Second Floor
A main concern is that of putting in a load of heavy equipment and being unsure as to whether the floor can sustain the weight. You’ll of course want to avoid any structural damage to your home, so you’ll need to establish the structural integrity and weight limits of your floor.
All floors are and should be equally structurally supportive in modern homes and buildings. In well-built homes, the second floor has a similar weight-bearing capacity as the ground floor.
Keep in mind that the structural integrity of any floor is determined by the strength of the floor joists and beams and the type of flooring used. If you have a solid floor system, you can safely go ahead with a second-floor gym. However, you should consider the weight of the equipment, the size of the room, and the relative location of the gym.
Many home gyms tend to accommodate kit such as a squat rack, small set of dumbbells and some cardio equipment such as an elliptical machine. However, whilst these heavy weights won’t be an issue for a ground floor gym, you’ll need to know how much weight your upper floor room can safely accommodate.
Assess The Support Of Your Second Floor
How can you determine whether your flooring system is supportive enough for a second-floor gym? You’ll have to inspect the joists and beams of your floor system.
Typically, in modern homes and new builds, floor joists and beams are horizontal load-bearing structural elements of a floor, usually made of steel or wood. The beams run parallel to the walls of a building, whilst the joists span the space between the beams, running perpendicular to the walls. The joists and beams support the weight of the floor, evenly distributing the load and transferring it to the load-bearing wall. However, it’s worth noting these structural elements can differ depending on the type of home.
You need to ensure that these structural elements are in good condition and have minimal spacing between them. If you’re unsure about the condition of your joists and beams or you have an older home, you should consult a structural engineer.
Weight Limit Of The Floor
You need to make sure that your floor’s weight limit capacity is compatible with the total weight of the gym equipment. The weight limit typically depends on the type of flooring material and the spacing of the joists and beams.
Regulations state that the flooring on the second floor of a residential property should support at least 30lbs of weight per square foot. Calculate the total weight capacity of your room and ensure you find out the weights of the equipment you plan on putting in your gym prior to setting up.
When you know what you kit you want in your gym, you’ll want to position it best whilst avoiding any concentrated load limit. If you have something such as a heavy treadmill the best position for this would be across multiple parallel floor joists which would provide the best support. Make sure you distribute the weight load across the room as equally as possible to limit any damage to the floor.
Consider The Location And Size
The size of the gym space and the location relative to first-floor rooms are important factors to consider.
In terms of size, you want to make sure the ceiling height is accommodating enough for all your equipment. This means, if you plan on incorporating something such as a power rack, you’ll need to check the height of the rack as well as your ceiling. If you have pull up bars on your power rack, you will need ample space above the rack so you can use them properly.
If your gym is above a living space, or another resident in an apartment block, you’ll probably want to install soundproofing materials. Laying rubber flooring or rubber tiles can help to limit any noise and shock. If the gym is above a bathroom or kitchen, the pipes, ducts, and electrical wiring running through the floors and walls may limit the layout of the equipment. This is because sometimes joists are cut away to make allowances for plumbing. You may also have to consider any moisture issues.
Equipment Selection For A Second-Floor Home Gym
Building a second-floor home gym requires some compromises in terms of equipment. The chosen equipment should help you get the most out of your workout space while fitting comfortably and safely on the second floor.
Here are five key factors to consider when purchasing equipment for your second-floor gym:
Do you focus more on cardio, weight training, or both? Depending on your preference, try to invest in equipment that aligns with your fitness goals without taking up too much space.
Size And Space Of The Gym
Measure the dimensions of your gym space and compare it to the size of the equipment you want. It can be helpful to sketch a layout and placement of the gym equipment beforehand. Also factor in things such as access to your gym. Equipment may comfortably fit in your space, but you need to be sure it can easily get up stairways and through doors with ease.
Weight Of The Equipment
Assess the structural support of your second-floor gym and factor in the weight of the equipment. Some equipment, such as treadmills and weight racks, may require additional support.
Noise Level Of The Equipment
Gyms can generate quite a bit of noise, especially for anyone on the lower floors. Hence, you’ll want to look for minimal-noise equipment or, more realistically, invest in soundproofing floors and potentially the walls.
Cost Of The Equipment
There are many options for your second-floor gym, from high-end equipment to more budget-friendly options. Try to strike a balance between what you can afford and what you need to achieve your fitness goals. Remember; you don’t need commercial-grade gym equipment for an effective workout at home.
Flooring And Soundproofing A Second-Floor Gym
Choosing the right flooring and soundproofing materials is crucial for setting up a safe and comfortable home gym on the second floor. If you happen to live in an apartment building with neighbors directly beneath you, then soundproofing of the floor space will be crucial.
When it comes to home gyms, your floor must be durable, slip-resistant, and easy to clean. Some popular options include:
- Rubber Flooring— provides excellent traction for your equipment and high-impact exercises. This is available in either rolls or pre-cut squares.
- Interlocking Foam Mats— provide a soft surface and are easy to remove for cleaning.
- Rubber horse stall mats — these are very hard wearing and cost effective. However, they do carry a rather strong smell.
Additionally, you need to consider the potential noise that can be made when working out Running on a treadmill or performing deadlifts can generate a significant amount of noise that may reverberate through the walls and floors.
Tips To Help Limit Noise In Your Home Gym
- Consider the location of the gym in relation to other rooms in your home. For example, if you set up your gym directly above a bedroom or living room, you will most likely need additional soundproofing materials.
- Consider the type of equipment you’re using. For example, treadmills and elliptical machines can be quite loud, so you will benefit from additional soundproofing measures.
- Install acoustic panels for soundproofing mats in the walls and floors of your gym to absorb excess noise.
- Use soundproofing underlay on your floors to help reduce the amount of noise that travels through the floor.
If you only want to use your home gym for floor-based workouts such as yoga or other low impact exercises, it’s likely that you won’t need to take any sound proofing measures at all.
Ventilation And Temperature Control For A Second-Floor Gym
Gyms can generate a lot of heat and moisture so adequate ventilation to minimize any potential issues with moisture or odors will be important.
The OSHA requirements for a commercial gym are temperature levels of 68 to 76 degrees Fahrenheit and humidity levels of 20 to 60 percent.
There are various ways you can regulate the temperature and humidity levels of your second-floor gym, such as:
- Installing a ceiling fan or an air conditioning unit
- Investing in a portable dehumidifier or air purifier
- Opening all windows in the gym, especially during and post training.
- Maintain your building’s HVAC system
Lighting Considerations For A Second-Floor Gym
There are several ways proper lighting can improve the overall comfort, functionality, and aesthetics of your second-floor gym.
For starters, the type of lighting in any space has been scientifically proven to produce different effects on the human mind and body. Secondly, good lighting can make a world of difference in how you see your body. With good lighting, you can get reliable progress photos which is great for motivation.
Choose a color on the blue light spectrum between 4000-6000 Kelvin. These lights are more mentally stimulating and motivating. For yoga, include a warm white color between 2800-3000 Kelvin. Moreover, the brightness shouldn’t be too blinding or underwhelming.
Ideally, your second-floor gym should have plenty of natural lighting, such as skylights or large windows. Natural lighting is great for regulating your circadian rhythm, as well as boosting your mood and energy levels. Moreover, natural lighting makes the room seem more open, airy, and comfortable and, of course, larger windows will allow for better ventilation.
Safety and Legal Considerations for a Second-Floor Gym
Your building and local region probably have some safety regulations and codes in place. If you want to put a home gym on the second floor, you need to adhere to these codes and regulations.
Here are some safety and legal considerations to address the question, can you put a home gym on second floor?
- Make sure you’re in compliance with all local building codes and zoning regulations.
- Ensure your home meets all the necessary fire and safety codes.
- Check the load-bearing capacity of your floor joists and beams.
- Prevent issues like moisture build-up and mould growth by ventilating your home gym properly.
If you’re unsure, you can always consult a local building inspector or structural engineer for a professional opinion.
Advantages And Disadvantages Of A Second-Floor Gym
Before you ask, “can you put a home gym on second floor,” you should first consider whether it’s even worth it.
Advantages Of A Second-Floor Home Gym Include The Following:
- Increased privacy, this is especially beneficial if you’re a little self-conscious when working out in front of others.
- After the initial investment of setting up your own gym, you’ll save on the monthly gym membership fees.
- Having your own home gym gives you much more flexibility with when you choose to workout.
- You’ll save time if you don’t have to commute to your local commercial gym
Disadvantages Of Home Gyms Include The Following:
- Structural and weight limit concerns
- Excessive noise
- Legal and safety considerations
- Some enjoy the social aspect of working out in a gym which you’ll have to forego when training at home.
Setting up a gym in a second-floor room can be a great way to give you more freedom with working out and will, in the long run, save you both time and money.
However, it requires careful planning and thorough consideration of all the factors mentioned above. This includes structural integrity and floor weight limits, location, space and size, noise levels and soundproofing, lighting and ventilation, accessibility, and legal and safety concerns.
By taking the time to plan and consider all these factors, you can be well on the way to creating your very own personal fitness space.