There is an abundant amount of information available primarily online regarding dance floors and dance floor systems. Some of that information is misleading, untrue and downright dangerous. This is a cautionary tale of what not to do and what to avoid even though it may seem to be a money saving idea. You can’t afford to do the project over because you took advice from someone who is clueless. It is our goal to save your time, money and grief. Who is giving you advice and what are they selling? There are companies, and some of them are big, offering dance flooring that have no idea what you need or even what they are selling. They sell floors, some importing from China with very iffy and sometimes dangerous ingredients.
First question you need answered: who is giving you information and are they dance floor experts? You want to talk to them, not some minimum wage salesperson who doesn’t know the difference from a barre and a bar.
Experience and expertise counts. Ask for customer references. Do they support and replace if there is a manufacturer’s defect? Do they have different flooring options? There is no such thing as one floor fits all, so if they do not have options keep moving.
Do they provide a written quote and handle the specs for materials needed? Do they offer installation, financing and maintenance products to keep your floor clean and non-slip.
Do you have the opportunity to test the floor? Do they offer samples? Once you are comfortable talking to people who have the experience, know-how and history you are in pretty safe territory. If possible talk to more than one supplier. You could save money or come up with a better solution for your needs.
What you need to know before making a big mistake…
Some dance school owner came across a product that looked a lot like a marley floor. It is called shower pan liner. You can buy it online or at Home Depot. It is not flooring and contains ingredients that cause cancer. The manufacturer of this product was horrified when informed of the unintended use as a dance floor. All it took was a little research to determine the risk involved. Do your own research and check well-meaning advice before spending your money.
Another company offers an underlayment of puzzle piece soft foam over which a real rollout floor is installed. Cheap but not good for dancing, especially for tap because the sound will be muffled. You will sink into the foam which wrinkles the top floor and makes it difficult on which to balance. Plus, the foam does not provide “spring” or proper shock absorption and you feel like you are dancing in mud.
You can save money building your own subfloor, but first, know the difference between raised and sprung subfloors. Rolling a dance floor over concrete means you are dancing on concrete, a prescription for fatigue and injury. There are flooring options that have built-in foam backing that will work.
Stagestep provides free of charge instruction for building a proper floating subfloor.
Information that will protect you from making an expensive mistake. You dance floor is a major investment. The proper flooring system will provide a safe environment for you, your teachers, your students and your children. It will provide a reliable environment that will support performance and demonstrate that you have made a responsible choice. Just do your homework.
Stagestep is the oldest American dance floor company. It imported the original Marley floor from England almost fifty years ago. The company introduced the first multi-purpose dance floor, foam backed dance floor, SlipNoMor and ReUseIt. It was the first company to introduce foam cubes to create floating subfloors for dance. Stagestep provides Maintenance and Installation booklets you can download free of charge from the website www.stagestep.com