You would be surprised how often we hear from people who tell us, “the only place I have in my home for a treadmill is the basement and it has a low ceiling. What is the best treadmill for my situation?” What we have found is that this can be a tough question to answer because each basement is different and deck heights on machines can be vastly different.
The areas you need to pay attention toward if this is your situation are:
1. What is the ceiling height in your basement?
2. What is the height of the tallest person using the treadmill?
3. Do you enjoy using the incline function of the treadmill?
4. What is the step-up height of the treadmill?
The reasons these questions need to be answered first is because the total height of the treadmill deck, the tallest person using it, and the incline that they like to use will give you the total height when in use and that must be under the ceiling height of your basement. For instance, if an NordicTrack incline trainer that has 40% incline interests you, it would make no sense to buy one because you likely will never be able to use the full features of the treadmill in your home.
A good example would be if you were interested in a Sole F80 that has roughly an eight inch step-up (the last time I measured one), and a person who is 6 foot tall. This person doesn’t like to use incline so that is not an issue but when you add the 8” of the step-up to the 6’ of the person using it, and you need a few extra inches clearance, so our recommendation would be to have a ceiling height no lower than 6’11” to have the proper clearance for safe use.
Some features make it virtually impossible to use a treadmill in a cramped basement. For instance, having a decline feature causes the factory to make the deck raised in order for it to decline when in use so some treadmills that feature decline have deck heights around 12 inches. When every inch counts, that can make it difficult for someone who is even average height to use in basements that have a cramped ceiling height.
So, when purchasing a treadmill, make sure to get the measurements of the deck height and I personally would do this in writing from the factory, and not a 3rd party (even from The Treadmill Doctor), because when you have it delivered or get it home and it doesn’t fit, you will want to have everything in writing to either swap it out or return it.
If you can personally measure the treadmill, that would be perfect since you can measure both your basement ceiling height along with the height of the treadmill deck. Remember to include all factors of how you would use the machine and provide yourself a safety margin when you decide which is the right treadmill for you.