Just as different people prefer different brands of shoes, there is no exact style of floor to suit everyone’s needs. As such you should take the time to test the various floors you are interested in, as you will be dancing on your choice for a long time. Putting a vinyl surface floor directly on top of concrete does almost nothing in protecting dancers from stress injuries. An appropriate dance sub floor (sprung or floating floor) should also be installed to provide a healthy dance environment.
Dance sub floors are also referred to as sprung floors, as they provide the resilience, or give, dancers need. Dance sub floors are also sometimes referred to as floating floors as most of them are not attached directly to the concrete or hard wood foundation floor.
If building your own sprung floor (dance sub floor or floating floor); always build a four foot by eight foot section for your dancer to try 1st before constructing the entire studio and finding out after the fact that it is too hard or too soft.
• DANCE FLOOR INSTALLATION:
If your vinyl surface floor has been stored in cold conditions or is shipped during winter months, store it at room temperature (72°) for twenty-four hours prior to unrolling it. When installing or laying your floor, sweep and vacuum your existing floor before putting down the vinyl surface floor (often referred to as a marley floor) so that debris is not trapped beneath your floor. Remember the smallest particles of sand can cause lumps underneath your floor.
You have three choices of installation for most dance surface floors. They are:
Touring fashion: Surface tape (either vinyl floor tape or gaffer’s tape) is used to tape the panels of vinyl together. The panel seams are typically left an 1/16 of an inch apart. Most people can install a floor by touring fashion on their own. (Tape has to be replaced every 3 to 6 months)
Semi-permanent: Double stick tape is used to secure the panels of surface vinyl, with the panel seams being put together as tight as possible. This is a harder installation than touring fashion, but can be accomplished by most adept “handy-men”.
Permanent: The vinyl surface floors are glued down and the seams are hot welded by a professional floor installer, who is practiced at the art of heat welding.
When cutting your vinyl floor use the EFS Seam Cutter or a carpet knife with a new blade, and use a straight edge when making the cut. Remember to measure twice to avoid mistakes.
When surface taping a vinyl floor down, it is always a good idea to leave a 1/16 of an inch (the width of the edge of a US quarter) between the panels of floor.
• DANCE FLOOR MAINTENANCE & CLEANING:
When cleaning your floor, do not use cleaners with ammonia or abrasives in them, as they can permanently damage your vinyl dance floor. Daily sweep (with a soft broom) or damp mop of your floor along with cleansing your floor twice a week with a good neutral floor cleaner will keep the surface dancing consistently.
If you teach tap, clean your floor after your largest tap classes to keep aluminum oxide (black goo) from building up on your floors.
Heavy furniture can leave a permanent depression to your vinyl surface floor if left in one place for a long period of time. Furniture with small casters (especially metal casters) should not be placed on your vinyl surface floor. Furniture (especially chairs) should not have sharp edges on the feet, as they will cut your vinyl surface floor.
Your vinyl surface floor is more susceptible to visual scuffing due to the nature of movements involved with dance. Some of these scuffs will clean up and some will not. Over a period of a few months your floor will develop a patina from the visual and percussive scuffs that will not affect the danceability of your floor, provided the manufacturer’s cleaning schedule is followed.