What an interesting question!
If it is one of the brand new models, of any make - it more than
likely has a sufficient base to meet your needs. If there is not one,
and this is an older type treadmill (with four super skinny legs), the
purpose of the mat is to absorb much of the noise and impact that is
generated when in use. It does serve a very good purpose, but is
definitely not needed if you can live without it.
The mats can be used with newer treadmills, and also :
- helps keep sweat and grime off of your carpet.
- absorbs the vibrations of heavy use.
- helps absorb some of the noise that is generated.
You could certainly use whatever you choose! Keep in mind that these
mats are specifically built to distribute the weight of the item,
dampen the shock and absorb some of the sound. Putting this equipment
on plywood may create alot of noise.
I recommend taking a look at these nifty sites:
How to buy a Treadmill
Some of the conditions where you would typically want a mat would be:
- if you have a brand new carpet
- you have hardwood floors (like me :-)
- you tried it without it, and it's just too loud
Since most mats are made of a stretchy plastic foam type material
(blown PVC), I would recommend just buying one if you end up needing
it. They cost less than $50 and would be little to invest in your new
Typical Treadmill Mats
To help find this answer I searched Google for:
how to buy a treadmill
mat for treadmill
I hope this helps in your quest, and thanks for the great question!