How To Design a Gym For Your Apartment Rental Property

Modern Apartment Rental Gym Design

Carter’s Home Gym of Woodbury New York provides Long Island Business Owners with Custom Gym Design and Equipment. Businesses they work with include, apartment complexes, hotels, senior centers, physical therapy facilities, and luxury home gyms.

If you are a rental property owner, your tenants may be looking for ways to stay healthy while living in their apartments. Many people want to have the convenience of working close to home so they can spend more time with friends and family instead of commuting to the gym. 

According to a 2009 article by the Wall Street Journal, “On average, luxury apartments of more than 1,000 square feet had more than two fitness centers compared with the national average of 0.6.” If you want to attract young professionals and their families, a gym is an excellent way to show that your apartment rental is well-equipped for living a healthy lifestyle.

Why It’s Important Nowadays For Rental Property Owner’s To Design A Gym surveyed 3,000 renters to get their opinion on the importance of having an in-building gym. They couldn’t have been more clear about what they wanted and why: convenience plus cost equates to the motivation to work out more consistently. 

Premium gym memberships can certainly run up a credit card fast. A single cycling class could be priced over $30. When you’re dealing with limited funds, as many people are today, these funds are getting allocated elsewhere. When considering the time saved on the commute to the gym, many renters are willing to pay higher rent in exchange for a nice, fully functional gym in their apartment building.

According to Medline.Gov, working out consistently is a great way to fight stress and live a happier life. Happier tenants ultimately stay longer, lowering your money loss on empty units. We will show you how to design a gym for your apartment rental property that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing.

What to Consider When Designing the Layout Of Your Rental Property Gym

Start with a Blueprint

Be sure to start with a blueprint. Many people think they need to hire a professional for this. You can do this yourself with a ruler, a piece of paper, and a pencil. Although this may change throughout building your gym, this will begin to give you a good idea of how your gym will look. It could also help you foresee potential issues.

Clutterless Space

Designing a less cluttered space creates a clear journey for future tenants. They will see it from the minute they step through the door.  A well-thought-out and organized space will help them feel more comfortable as they explore all that is offered by your apartment building. Having plenty of space between large pieces of equipment will allow for ample walking room. Also, one large space in the middle of your workout facility allows tenants to move freely from one side of the gym to the next.

Consider Zoning  

When planning your gym, you want to keep in mind the way people will be using the equipment. Zoning is a way to stay tidy and organized. It keeps people from moving gym equipment from one area to the next, while also giving people dedicated space for specific workouts. You might want to consider breaking your fitness center into the following areas:

  • Warm-up 
  • Cardio 
  • Resistance Training
  • Free Weights

Make it Truly Customized 

It’s easy to think of a custom apartment gym as one size fits all. However, designing and equipping a fitness space for your rental complex is not all-inclusive. A layout that you might have seen at your local gym may not necessarily be the best fit for your space. There are many factors at play.

The 3 Best Types of Lighting For Your Apartment Rental Gym Design

No one likes to work out in a dreary, low-light area. A well-lit gym is warm and inviting. Tenants want to easily see the progress they’ve made while being able to check on their form. 

However, you don’t want it too bright either. Your gym should be bright enough for people to work out at night – while maintaining comfortable brightness during the day. 

Good stable lighting helps set the proper ambiance for your gym and should imitate daylight. Gym lighting systems are designed with simplicity in mind so that they are easy enough for anyone – including staff members to operate.

Finding the perfect lighting for a gym can be tricky, but in most cases, LED lights will provide what you’re looking for. LED Lights do not contain Mercury and have been proven to have health benefits opposite of metal halide and high-pressure sodium (HPS) lights They also require less maintenance over time.

LED Lighting For An Apartment Rental Luxury Complex Design

Use one of or a combination of the 3 LED lighting types below to avoid Gym Dreariness:

  1. Downlights – LED Downlights should be a serious consideration. Especially if you are going for a modern look. Not only are downlights sleek in design, but they allow you to direct light to specific areas of your gym. This is especially important if you are implementing zoning. 
  2. LED Linear Lights – Luminaires with linear lighting are becoming increasingly popular because they can be mounted into almost any type of ceiling. You’ll find surface-mounted, suspended, or recessed fixtures for your rental property gym needs. They are also great if you want to illuminate larger spaces with a smaller budget.
  3. Spotlights – If you are looking for a combination of benefits explained in the above lighting types, spotlight LEDs might be your best option. They are cost-effective, allow you to emit light where you want, and last a very long time (up to 80,000 hours). They are considered a green lighting source and can save you money on your energy cost.

The main thing to remember when planning your rental property gym lighting is to design according to the available space. The lighting should fit aesthetically while being functional. Sometimes one more simple fixture in the corner can bring more life out of a room.

5 Must-Have Pieces Of Gym Equipment For Your Apartment Rental Property

Finding the right gym equipment for your rental property fitness center can feel daunting. It’s an important long-term investment. That’s why we’ve put together this list for all sorts of fitness enthusiasts who are looking at their options and trying to figure out what will work best based on price range or space limitations – no matter how small those things might seem individually

Also, keep in mind that if your gym has 10 or more users each day it is considered a commercial gym and will require commercial-grade equipment. 

Treadmills – Treadmills are a great way for your tenants to get their heart rate up and stay active. Treadmill running is easier on joints than asphalt, which makes it perfect for those who have joint problems or aches. They offer a great way for people to get that run-in when the weather is bad. Treadmills are a staple in the fitness industry. People will expect to see at least one in your Rental Property Fitness Facility.

Dumbell rack set up in an Apartment Community Gym

Dumbbell Rack – With so many benefits that dumbbells offer, you’ll want to include them in your rental property gym. The American Council on Exercise (ACE) says that dumbbells can improve muscle force and flexibility, while also promoting coordination. Dumbbells also provide stability in various muscle groups and joints throughout the body. Since so many exercises (At least 50) can be performed with dumbbells, your tenants will expect a dumbbell rack to be present in your facility.

Functional Trainer – A Functional Training System will allow your tenants to do single movements or isolation exercises on one piece of equipment. It’s great for isolateral (single limb) exercises, which work one side of your body at a time. Overall, a Functional Trainer will save you money and space by having several uses in one compact machine.

Elliptical Machine – We all know that a good workout can change your life for the better. And there’s not much more effective for that than an elliptical machine. This low-impact workout is a great way for your tenants to get into shape without having any negative effects on their lower body joints. But these machines do so much more than just save joints when used properly. They provide full-body workouts targeting muscle groups such as arms, chest, and back.

Kettlebell Rack – Kettlebells are another great piece of universal equipment that the residence of your property will expect to see. They cover a wide range of benefits, including cardio, muscle building, and fat loss. You can get a multi-level rack that holds 12-18 Kettlebells and it will take up very little space.

The Easiest Way To Ensure You’re Your Apartment Rental Property Gym Has Proper Ventilation 

Often overlooked, this is the most important detail for your rental property gym. You put so much into every other detail. Why not ensure the environment has optimal airflow? No one likes the smell of a musty and sweaty gym. The two important factors that you want to consider that will help keep the air quality healthy in your gym are air purification and the proper use of ceiling fans.

Air Purification – Breathing bacteria, allergens and mold can cause a lot of problems for the general health of your tenants. Having intense workouts causes heavy breathing. This amplifies how much they inhale. Purifying the air will ensure that they aren’t breathing too many toxins naturally caused by stuff around us.

Ceiling Fans – The need for a ceiling fan in your complex fitness center is necessary. Stagnant air can lead to overheated tenants and unpleasant odors. You should also consider industrial-grade models that will keep the air circulating on a wide scale. This will be especially important on warm days.

3 Reasons Ways To Soundproof Your Apartment Rental Property Gym

Isolating the sound in your rental property gym is an important factor. Especially if the dedicated area is close to the apartment dwellings of your tenants. Consider these using these 3 ways to isolate and keep gym sounds – in the gym:

  • Consider the Type of Equipment – Clanks from metal weights hitting the floor and each other can be loud. They make up most of the noise that comes from your rental gym. Consider using rubber dumbbells and kettlebells to combat some of this. 
  • Soundproof the Floor – When choosing flooring for your fitness facility, be sure to choose the high density, compression-molded rubber. It usually comes in rubber tiles you can piece together to cover the entire floor. 
  • Use Soundproof Panels – Adding soundproof acoustic panels to the walls and ceiling absorbs gym noise. If you want to go the extra mile, you can add sheetrock behind soundproof drywall. But if your budget is lower, consider using soft decorations on the walls like flags, curtains, and banners to deaden some of the noise.
Should You Disinfect, Sanitize, or Sterilize? – What Is The Difference & Which One Do Need For Your Apartment Rental Property 

With the current state of the world where it is, it is important to keep your Rental Property gym clean and free of germs and bacteria. The most important thing to do in your gym is clean it. But when does sterilization become more necessary than just using bleach every other day?  Do you need to sanitize every day? Below we’ve broken down the differences and the simplest ways to utilize them in your facility.


Disinfecting is the process of destroying surface pathogens. It’s a great way to keep your gym clean without risking the health of people in it.

Disinfecting Apartment Complex Gym Equipment

There are many ways to disinfect surfaces. One of the most common uses is a hot water and bleach solution. You will want to use 1 part Clorox® antibacterial liquid crystals to 4 parts water. 

You can also use sporicidal soaps and detergents such as sodium lauryl sulfate found at any pharmacy or grocery store.


Sanitizing removes dirt, dust, and germs from your surfaces. Sanitation agents come in the form of sprays, powders, and granules. Sanitation typically requires hand scrubbing using enzymatic detergents and water.

You’ll also want to have a sanitation station with a paper towel dispenser and a bottle of this sanitizing solution. This will allow your tenants to wipe down the equipment and benches when they are finished.


Sterilizing kills microbial forms of bacteria, fungi, and viruses that tend to lie on surfaces. Applying heat and high pressure is a typical way to sanitize and usually requires the help of a professional.

In general, disinfecting is the preferred daily method for most fitness equipment in your rental property gym. You should have a daily plan that includes washing hands, wearing personal protective gear (PPE), cleaning surfaces, leaving surfaces wet and rewashing hands.

Be sure to use an EPA Approved, intermediate-level disinfectant. 

The 4 Most Important Factors To Consider When Choosing Mirrors For Your Apartment Rental Property Gym

Mirrors for your rental facility gym are an important aspect. Your residence will want to see full-sized mirrors to complete the fitness experience. They add a lot of aesthetic appeal and can make your space look bigger and brighter.  Below we’ve covered 4 Factors to keep in mind when choosing mirrors for your facility.

  1. Acrylic or Glass- Glass mirrors are more reflective but tend to be less sturdy. For this reason, it is more common for glass mirrors to break. Acrylic mirrors don’t offer the same clarity as glass. They also tend to get fuzzy over time if you don’t clean them often.
  1. Size – When it comes to mirrors for your gym, size is an important factor. You’ll want to find one or two large pieces of glass to cover the wall as opposed to tiling pieces together. Tiled mirrors add a strange “carnival funhouse effect” and can be very distracting.
  1. Thicker is better –  As a general rule of thumb, the thicker the mirror plate is, the sturdier it will be. Typically anywhere from 3-5 millimeters is the average thickness for most gyms. With most opting for a more durable 5mm.  
  1. Shatterproof – Always look for mirrors with a safety coating on the back. This keeps the mirror from falling apart into a lot of pieces if broken. You will want this extra protection in case a dumbbell or kettlebell was to hit a mirror and break it. 
The 4 Easiest ways To Liven Up Your Rental Property Gym Walls with Artwork

Adding artwork to the walls will help to make them less drab and more enjoyable for tenants. When people are working out, they don’t want to be surrounded by boring white walls. Artwork will add a lot of value for renters that are thinking about living in your building. It shows that you put time and care into the design of your gym space. Below we go over 4 ways to liven up your apartment gym with artwork.

Murals – Murals are a great way to liven up your gym space. They cover a large area and can be cost-effective depending on the route you go. You can get a wallpaper mural with just about any design you can imagine. This is the most inexpensive option. On the other hand, you could have a professional artist come out and design you something one of a kind branded for your property. The choice is yours. Either way, murals are a great option, especially if you have a large wall that needs to be livened.

Luxury Complex Fitness Center Mural

Framed Prints – Framed Gym Prints are a great option for smaller walls. They are inexpensive, yet can be taken in any direction you’d like. If you wanted to go the extra mile, you could hire a graphic designer to whip up something specific to your brand.

Canvas art – Canvas art is a great option for any property gym. It gives you a modern 3-dimensional look that many gyms are going for these days. Canvas comes in many different sizes. You can go for a subjective style or choose noticeable scenes. As with Murals and Framed Prints, you can hire an artist to paint something specific.

Wayfinding & Info Signs – Signage is a good way to add value to your gym. There are many things you can do with signs. Using inspiring quotes is a great option. You can also use them to list rules such as “Please Return Dumbbells To Rack” or “Be A Strong Neighbor and Set Weights Down Lightly”.

What You Need to Know About Adding Furniture To Your Apartment Rental Gym

Furniture is often overlooked when it comes to designing a rental gym. Outside of the equipment benches, your tenants might want a place to sit between sets or just to take a break. If you have the space, furniture is a great way to show that you value your tenant’s comfort.

Not only are couches and chairs functional, but they can also do a great job to add more depth to your apartment fitness space. You can tuck a small chair in the corner without taking up too much space. Be sure to match the aesthetic of your walls, artwork, etc. 

By using customized fitness center furniture you can reinforce your property brand. It’s a powerful way to impress future renters. You can even use interchangeable designs that allow you to swap out your logo for any message you want to promote. Such as “Get Free Rent – Ask Us How”.

The 3 Most Important Questions To Answer About Power Requirements For Your Apartment Rental Gym

Treadmills & ellipticals will require an ample amount of power to operate properly. You will want to keep this in mind when designing your rental property gym. In this section, we will go over ways you can ensure your gym equipment runs as efficiently as possible.

  1. What Are the Electrical Requirements? The preferred method for supplying power to your equipment is a properly grounded and dedicated 20 amp, 120-volt circuit. You can use a non-dedicated circuit but that will increase the chance of overloading the breaker.
  1. What is a Dedicated Circuit?

A dedicated circuit has its own breaker in the electrical box and is commonly used for most appliances. Dedicated circuits supply large appliances with all the power they need without overloading the system. Most treadmill and elliptical manufactures will recommend connecting them to dedicated circuits.

  1. What are the Power Sources To Avoid?

You will want to avoid GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters) as well as Surge Suppressors. GFCI’s are prone to easily being tripped by treadmills and other pieces of equipment that require more power. Surge Suppressors can potentially damage components by impeding the initial rush of current required to charge capacitors. 

It is also important to avoid using extension cords. They can cause voltage drops. This doesn’t allow a treadmill to receive enough power to function properly and can even damage components.

All in All, be sure to hire a professional electrician when planning the power supply for your apartment gym. Also, you will want to follow all recommended guidelines from your equipment manufacturers.

Why you Should Consider Where Your Apartment Rental Gym is Located When Deciding The Hours
What hours will your Apartment Building Gym Be Open?

Depending on where your gym space is located, you may want to allow it to stay open 24 hours. People generally have various schedules and like the freedom of being able to workout out whenever they want. 

If you don’t plan to keep the gym open for 24 hours, you want to consider the peak times of most gyms when planning the open hours. People tend to work out most before work 8-10 AM and after work 4-7 pm. Therefore, 8 am to 8 pm is pretty standard for apartment rental gyms.

You should take into account the location of the fitness gym and how well you’ve isolated the sound. You will also want to look up the noise ordinances in your county to ensure your gym is not breaking any city sound laws. 

Everything You Need to Know About Floors For Your Apartment Rental Property Gym

One of the first things to consider when planning the gym for your tenants should be the flooring. Many Property owners get a room full of equipment and then say “oh yeah, I probably need a floor”. Below we’ve outlined the most important factors to keep in mind when designing your apartment rental gym flooring.

Why Is Flooring Important 

Firstly, depending on where your gym is located, sound isolation may be the biggest factor to keep in mind. You will want to dampen the noise as much as possible from weights hitting the floor. 

Flooring is also important because it has to support constant exercising and heavy machines. Having sufficient grip is another important factor. As you do not want to have machines or weights sliding around. Your gym floor will also need to handle:

  • Sweat
  • Spills
  • Bacteria
  • Temperature changes

When considering the above factors, be sure to think about the type of material you are going to use for your gym floor.

The 3 Types Of Flooring Materials To Choose From

  1. Rubber Rolls –  Rubber Rolls are pretty standard for most fitness centers and gyms. They are known for being seamless and when installed correctly, it’s nearly impossible to tell where they connect. Prices for rubber rolls are, on average, about $5 per square foot. The most popular thickness is 3/8th of an inch.

What’s great about rubber rolls is that you don’t need a professional installer to have them put in. Plan to have some strong friends, however, because they do get pretty heavy. Rubber rolls are also extremely durable, easy to clean, and anti-microbial.

Rubber Tiles Are:

  • Affordable
  • Durable
  • Easy To Install
  1. Rubber Tiles – Rubber Tiles are popular in the fitness industry because they are affordable, durable, and easy to install. It is typically a DIY Project that comes in pieces. Just snap the rubber pieces together like a giant jigsaw puzzle.

There are many factors when determining the cost of rubber tiles. However, the average is about $2.50 per square foot. 3/8th’s of an inch should suffice for thickness in most cases. If you want to ensure that you have ample padding you could go with ½ inch in thickness.

Similar to rubber rolls, tiles are durable and easy to clean. They can be tedious to install so in most cases, will be more suitable for smaller spaces.

  1. Rubber Floor Mats – Floor Mats are a great option if you want to cover small spaces like under specific pieces of equipment. They can be very cost-effective in that regard because you can buy them by the mat. On average, they come in ¼ inch thickness but can be found in a ¾ shock-absorbing mat as well.

The biggest factor when deciding on the type of flooring for your gym should be the amount of space you have. For smaller spaces with just a couple of pieces of heavy equipment, you might find a few rubber floor mats that will suffice. However, for a medium to large-sized space, rolls or tiles might be more suitable.  

3  Amenities You can Add To Your Apartment Rental Property Gym That Will Skyrocket The Value To Tenants

Ensuring that your tenants have all of the amenities they need when trying to stay healthy could help with your tenant retention rate. Showing that your facility is willing to go the extra mile also looks great for future tenants touring the property. Below we’ll cover 3 great amenities and why you should consider adding them to your rental property gym.

Sauna – Saunas are an excellent addition to any apartment gym. They are a symbol of health, relaxation, and luxury. Sauna’s offer an array of health benefits such as lowering blood pressure. Recent studies show that soothing heat can also relieve stress. If you want a complex full of happy, stress-free tenants, adding a sauna is an excellent option.

Pool – When people are deciding on an apartment community to live in, they will typically consider everything. Whether or not your complex has a pool can be a determining factor. Even if tenants don’t swim every day, having access to a pool is a real plus. Especially during the summer months. Many properties do not have an on-site pool which means renters will have to travel when they want a swim. 

Lockers –  Lockers are often an overlooked amenity. Many property owners think you need to have an actual shower room to set up lockers. You can set up 1 or 2 rows of small lockers and it will take up very little space on a wall. Tenants will enjoy having a place to store belongings such as keys, cell phones, and water bottles. 

Adding fitness amenities to your rental gym is a great way to add more value to your property. In the long and short term. If you have the budget and the space you should seriously consider them.

3 Of The Most Important Questions To Ask When Setting Up the Entertainment Station For Your Apartment Rental Property Gym 

Music can give your fitness center life. It will give your tenants the motivation to work out as well as make it a happier and more fun place to be. Setting up televisions is a great way for working tenants to stay caught up on current events while they stay fit.

Below we will cover the 3 most asked questions on how to set up the entertainment station for your fitness center.

Do I Need Commercial Speakers and Where Should I Set Them Up? 

Modern Speakers For a Apartment Tenant Gym

This is somewhat of an open-ended question and will often depend on the size of the space you have. Many smaller-sized gyms can get along fine with a simple home speaker system. However, when using a home speaker system, you will want to keep in mind that the more speakers you have, the more amplifiers will be required. Amplifiers put out high current signals and often require thicker speaker wires. Thicker speaker wires can run the budget up pretty quickly so if you end up having more than just a few speakers, you may want to look towards a commercial system.  

Crutchfield Commercial Speakers uses a 70 – Volt System with one amplifier. This will allow you to run up to 6 speakers with thinner speaker wires and no-load impedance issues.

You should set up your speakers at least 8 feet apart from each other. If they are too close together, it can create a muddy sound. Also, remember that walls reflect sound. So speakers should be at least 2 feet from the wall. Especially if they are in the corner. 

How Should I Set-Up The Televisions?

Televisions offer a great avenue to display your brand and other promotions. You will want to have your TV(s) in a place where it will get viewed the most. If your set-up allows, having your televisions mounted up and facing the treadmill section will be a good option. People enjoy being entertained while getting in cardio.

What Do I Play On the Television and Stereo?

Choosing what to play on your TV and stereo decision can be tough. You will want to make sure you aren’t breaking any licensing laws, but at the same time want to play something your tenants will enjoy.

For television, Atmosphere is a great choice. Most people wear headphones while they work out. Atmosphere allows you to display license-free programming that does not need any audio. Shows on Atmosphere are made for fitness facilities.  Powered by an Apple TV, just plug and play and you are set up quickly.

If you decide to play music over your gym sound system, you will want to use a service that is legally ok to play commercially. This does not include streaming services like Spotify in which is restricted for commercial use. Gymradio uses hand-picked, license-free music that will motivate your tenants to work out. You can also use Gymradio to promote your brand with well blended Audio Promotions.

Final Thoughts To Consider When Designing Your Apartment Rental Gym

The number one reason people want to live in rental properties is for the convenience of not having to commute long distances. Renters are now looking for apartment complexes with gyms. Gyms have been proven to be a great way to attract tenants and increase your property value.

With so many options available today, it’s easy enough to find an apartment that has all the amenities you need without breaking the bank. If you own or manage rental properties, consider investing in building out space for a gym. It will pay off through increased tenant satisfaction and higher rent rates!

Contact Carters Home Gym(Business2Business) about our design services. We help make sure your Apartment Rental Gym meets all of the standards tenants are looking for.

Carters Home Gym

240 Lincoln Place

United States

Contact us to assess your home gym equipment needs today!