How to Install Home Dance Studio Flooring: DIY-Friendly Tips
| Fact Checked By: Ashley De Zeeuw
Published: February 22, 2021 | Updated: March 22, 2021
If you want to get in more practice dancing, then a home dance studio is the perfect solution. But how do you get started? With the flooring, of course! This guide will show you how to install dance flooring in a few simple steps, whether you have a Marley roll or dance tiles.
So put on your dancing shoes, and let’s begin! You’ll be enjoying your home dance floor in no-time.
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Dance Subfloor Preparation
A successful installation begins with the subfloor – a.k.a. the existing floor underneath what you’re installing.
First, you will want to clean your main subfloor so that it is free of all dust, dirt, and debris. Make sure there are no structural issues like cracks or dips that will telegraph through the dance flooring and eventually cause damage.
There are also some specific considerations to keep in mind depending on the type of subfloor you have.
- Tile subfloor prep: If you have thick grout lines, they may need to be leveled out so that it doesn’t telegraph. You can also put a layer of plywood over the tile.
- Concrete subfloor prep: If you’re starting with a concrete floor, you may have moisture issues, so we recommend using a moisture or vapor barrier. This will allow you to install dance flooring over concrete.
- Carpet subfloor prep: You can install dance flooring over carpet, as long as you place a sheet of plywood on top of the carpet before installation. This will create the necessary amount of stability and ensure the floor is level.
To be safe, dance flooring requires a stable, solid subfloor with minimal give underneath. That means you need to ensure you have a suitable floor.
What is a Sprung Floor?
Sprung floors absorb shock, which is important for the safety of dance flooring. A sprung floor has a softer feel than a traditional floor, so it’s good for your joints if you’re performing a lot of high-impact dancing. You need it to prevent injury over time. A sprung floor is essential for vinyl dance rolls, but not necessarily for dance tiles.
In the past, you had to build a sprung floor with literal springs and a lattice of boards underneath your dance floor. It was a complicated process, and while it added more bounce and give to the floor, it wasn’t perfect. The bounce was uneven because there were hard spots where the boards intersected.
But that’s no longer an issue! These days, you can purchase dance subfloor tiles made of foam that create an even bounce, and they’re way easier to install than a sprung floor system with springs.
You can even customize the firmness of the sprung floor depending on your style of dance – choose firm subfloor tiles for ballet and pointe and slightly softer subflooring for contemporary or jazz.
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How to Install a Dance Subfloor
Installing your dance subfloor is very easy. All you have to do is interlock the foam tiles together to form a rectangle space where your dance flooring will go.
Please note: Dance subfloor tiles are primarily used with vinyl dance rolls, and aren’t necessary for dance tiles.
How to Install Marley Dance Flooring Rolls
Now that you know how to set up a sprung dance floor, it’s time for the star of the show! Vinyl dance rolls are the most popular dance rolls, so we’ll start with instructions for Marley floor installation.
If you’re more of a fan of dance floor tiles, don’t worry. Those instructions are next!
When installing rolled vinyl dance flooring, it is recommended that you use some kind of adhesive to prevent the rolls from moving around or sliding apart between adjacent rolls.
If you’re installing at home, you might not want to have the flooring forever, so you need a temporary solution. That’s why you’ll first learn how to lay Marley dance floor rolls with double-sided tape. It provides a durable hold without being impossible to remove.
- Unroll the flooring and let it rest for 1-2 days to allow it to relax until it lays flat. Install the shiny side down, matte side up. The performance surface (top) is textured slightly, called calendaring which looks like tiny goosebumps.
- Use a straight edge and a utility knife to make any necessary cuts to the rolls. Be sure to leave a 1/4″ gap around the rolls to account for expansion and contraction from temperature changes.
- Apply double-sided carpet tape to the underside of each roll around the perimeters, and firmly press the edges to the floor, ensuring there are no ripples.
- If you’re installing over foam subfloor tiles and you have excess around the edges, tape this perimeter down to your main floor using Mat Tape, creating a ramp or tapered installation. If you’re installing over foam tiles and there isn’t extra around the edges, tape down the perimeter of the roll directly to the subfloor tiles using Mat Tape.
- On top of the flooring, use mat tape to join the seams of multiple rolls together.
Note: Over time, you may need to replace the tape as it gets worn down or torn from footwork. You should refresh the top tape every few months. The double-sided tape underneath can last for a couple of years.
If you’re 100% certain that you want Marley rolls as your forever dance flooring, or if you’re installing them in a performance space or a commercial studio, you should glue them down. However, not all rolls are recommended for glue-down installation, so you should always check first before gluing down a roll.
You also need a specific subfloor for successful glue-down installation. You can use glue with wood subfloors, but we don’t recommend gluing rolls to the foam tiles as those are meant to be a modular installation underneath.
If you plan to use a foam tile subfloor, then use tape, or just perimeter glue if it’s absolutely necessary.
Now, without further ado, here’s how to glue down Marley rolls!
- Spread out the rolls and allow them to relax for 1-2 days until they lay completely flat. Make sure the shiny side faces down, with the matte side up. The top is textured to provide a better grip while dancing.
- Cut the rolls to fit using a utility knife and a straight edge, ensuring a 1/4″ gap to account for expansion and contraction.
- Roll up the flooring at one end of the room. Spread a light layer of adhesive in 10’ increments maximum, or shorter depending on your comfort level. Gradually unroll the flooring into the adhesive, and don’t just toss it over the glue, because that can create air bubbles.
- Continue this step for every 10’ of the roll until you’re finished.
- Use a 100-pound roller on the floor to guarantee good adherence to the subfloor and to push out any air bubbles. Walking on the flooring in small choppy steps may also work if you can’t find a roller.
How to Install Dance Flooring Tiles
Dance floor tiles are even easier to install than rolls. The edges interlock with a snap, kind of like giant puzzle pieces. You can do it on your own in a day. Plus, you can easily pull them up and transport them if you need to.
Sounds pretty nice, right? Let’s get started.
- Start at the top left corner of the dance area. Place the first tile with the peg edges facing towards the top and left. Make sure the loops face the bottom and right.
- Insert the pegs of the second tile into the loops of the first. Step on the edge of the tiles gently to snap them together.
- Repeat this step until you finish one full side of your dance floor.
- Begin a second row, interlocking the top of your second-row tile with the bottom of your first-row tile.
- Follow the same process to fill in all of your rows of tiles to create your full dance floor size.
- Once the tiles are in place, add any finishing edge pieces if you purchased them. These will either have loop or peg edges. Start with the peg edges, and lay them out to be sure you have enough before clicking them into place.
- As you did with the peg edges, count out all of the loop edges to make sure you have enough. Once you are ready you can click the loop edges into place to complete your floor.
Pro Tip: If you’re installing wall-to-wall dance tiles, you’ll need to cut them to fit when you come up to a wall. Just measure and mark the tile, and cut it to fit using a tile cutter or a power saw with a fine-toothed blade. Be sure you leave a 3/4” gap between the tiles and the wall for expansion and contraction.
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Dance Flooring Installation FAQs
Can you put a dance flooring over carpet?
Yes, you can install dance flooring over carpet, as long as you take the proper steps to make sure it’s safe and secure. Some dance tiles can be assembled directly over low pile carpet, but Marley rolls need something more stable.
You can use plywood boards to create a stable subfloor. While the carpet can provide some shock absorption, you need to include a harder, stabilizing layer under the flooring to make sure it’s sprung. High-density foam or hard plastic tiles can provide a good solution in this case.
Can you put a dance flooring over concrete?
You can install dance flooring over concrete as long as you place a cushioned subfloor underneath it first. This will provide the right amount of firmness and spring so you don’t injure yourself while dancing. Foam dance subfloor tiles are the best option for this.
Can you stretch Marley flooring?
You should never attempt to stretch Marley roll dance flooring. It is designed to be used as-is and does not require stretching.
How do you cut dance flooring tiles?
When you come up to a wall or object and you need to cut a dance tile to fit, start by measuring the area. Mark on the top of the tile where you need to cut, and then trim it using a tile cutter or a power saw with a fine-toothed blade. Then snap into place!
How do you get Marley to lay flat?
Marley rolls may ripple/wave if you store them on their sides instead of standing them straight up, or if you install them immediately after removing them from a cold storage area. To get Marley to lay flat, always allow it to rest for 1-2 days before installation.
If ripples remain, you can try to remedy this by gently warming up the ripple/wave with a hairdryer to make it pliable, and then place something flat and heavy over the warped area. You can also roll it up again in the opposite direction, and let it rest that way overnight. You should never try to stretch the dance roll because this will permanently damage the flooring.
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Once you know how to install dance flooring, whether you choose Marley rolls or dance tiles, you’re ready to create your home dance studio. Ready to get started?