Ballroom Dance Flooring Buying Guide
Find the perfect floor for your studio with our ballroom dance flooring buyer’s guide. For studios, schools, companies and more - a floor for everyone from beginner to professional.
Okay, so you’re preparing for your big break on Dancing With the Stars and that means you need a safe, resilient ballroom floor that can hold up to hours of fox trots, cha chas and more.
Not to worry; we’ve got you covered.
Ballroom flooring is kinda tricky. With ballet, jazz and contemporary, you’re using soft shoes and dancing lighter on your feet in general. Ballroom dance can require some seriously intense heels and plenty of digs and slides into the floor.
That brings us to the question - hard surface flooring or marley? I know, I know - lots of dancers, teachers and choreographers will tell you marley flooring isn’t even an option for ballroom dance. There is a common misconception that ballroom dancing will automatically ruin your marley floors.
I’m gonna be straight with you: Ballroom shoes are absolutely going to be harder on marley than on traditional wood. Marley is a softer vinyl material and it will never be as durable as wood.
However, many people don’t know that there are several marley rolls that are manufacturer-approved for ballroom, tap, flamenco and even things like Irish step. You 100% can do ballroom on marley floors, just not all marley floors. They are not all created equal.
That being said, you really can choose. If you have a space that is set up exclusively for ballroom dancing, I would recommend going with a hard surface floor. Just be cautious and test out the floor first to make sure it’s not too slippery.
On the other hand, if you have a shared space, there are plenty of marley dance flooring rolls that are versatile, designed to hold up to all styles of dance. It really just depends what you need for your space.
Hard Surface Ballroom Dance Flooring
For the serious ballroom dancers who will be spending hours per day dancing in heels, a hard surface is going to be your best bet.
Many studios just use a traditional plywood with a sprung subfloor (more on those later).
However, there are also plenty of hard surface flooring options specifically designed for ballroom dance.
Let’s take a look.
Modular Grid-Loc Tiles
Tough, durable and easy on the eyes, our Modular Grid-Loc Tiles were built to hold up to the demands of strenuous, hard shoe dancing.
These ultra-durable 12”x12” tiles are American-made and boast an impressive 12-year warranty.
Even better, they come in natural wood and stone looks!
Modular Grid-Loc tiles are super versatile. You can easily control the size of your space and use them for a large ballroom studio or a small basement practice space.
They’re ridiculously easy for any flooring novice to install with a simple, straightforward snap-together system. And the best part? You can easily pack them up if you’re moving to a new location, which means you won’t have to spend extra money on a new floor if you decide to relocate.
Modular Grid-Loc Tiles Installation Options:
Our Dance Tiles are a little bit of a step up from the Modular Grid-Loc Tiles. They have a little more of a realistic wood and stone look, and they have the benefit of being 100% waterproof.
These babies are tough, durable and they look sharp. They are American-made and come with a nice 3-year warranty.
Like our Modular Grid-Loc Tiles, you can use these Dance Tiles in any space, from a large studio to a home family room that doubles as your practice space. They’re also great for yoga, pilates, social dance, aerobics and more.
Dance Tiles Installation Options:
Dance Tiles - Deluxe
What makes these babies deluxe? It’s true, they are quite a big price jump from our original Dance Tiles. Although they’re designed for the same space and styles, they come with a whole lotta upgrades!
Our Dance Tiles - Deluxe tiles come with real wood inserts and a gorgeous high-gloss finish that protects them from scuffs and scratches, even with the toughest shoes and movements.
Dance Tiles - Deluxe Installation Options:
Marley Ballroom Floors
Okay, first, let’s talk about the term "marley." Marley is one of those items like chapstick - everyone calls all lip balms chapstick, but Chapstick is actually a brand name. Marley, too, is a brand name that got so popular, it became a generic term regardless of brand.
True marley is no longer available anywhere, but the rolled vinyl we all know as marley is more readily available than ever! In fact, we have 4 different marley options to suit your specific needs.
Now, let’s talk about choosing the appropriate marley for your ballroom dance space.
The main things you’re looking at are durability and floor speed. Is this marley durable enough to hold up to rough heels? And does it have enough slide to get out of your way for turns and fast footwork?
The extra grip marley provides is great for safety and control. However, too much grip is not appropriate for ballroom dancing and could be more dangerous than a hard-surfaced floor.
So to recap, we’re looking for lots of slide and durability. Ready, go!
Our Arabesque rolls are the best vinyl marley flooring option for ballroom dance.
This floor ain’t messin’ around. Arabesque marley rolls are heavy duty, tough and durable enough to hold up to the most intense dance company rehearsals.
These are the opposite of the Dance Floor rolls - they are thick, heavy and best for semi-permanent installations. This is not the floor you want to take on the road.
Also, this is a fast floor
. Fast, durable and versatile. It is the ballroom dancer’s dream marley.
Arabesque Installation Options:
The Adagio roll is the most popular and versatile dance flooring option. In fact, if you have marley installed right now, I’d be willing to bet it’s the Adagio floor.
If you need a dance flooring option that you can use for ballroom, ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary and more, the Adagio is where it’s at. Adagio dance flooring rolls are medium-fast, offering just enough slip resistance to keep you safe without getting in the way.
Adagio Installation Options:
Just like our Adagio floor, but a little lighter, a little more portable. The key word here is “tour.”
These rolls are great for touring companies.
The thin, lightweight Adagio Tour rolls are still plenty durable to stand up to hours of ballet class.
They’re simple, easier to move and even better for tap than the original Adagio rolls. If you have a shared space, they might be perfect for you.
Adagio Tour Installation Options:
Performance Floor Dance Flooring Rolls
Do you plan on doing recitals and performances in your studio as well as classes? Then you might prefer the Performance Floor marley.
The Performance Floor isn’t ideal for tours - it’s more of a permanent deal because you want to keep it looking beautiful and performance-ready.
These rolls are tough and gorgeous, making them perfect for all types of dance, both in class and performances. But it is worth noting, they have more grip than I would typically suggest for ballroom. They are a medium-slow flooring.
Performance Floor Installation Options:
All you really need for your subfloor is a clean, flat, level surface.
That being said, we very strongly encourage you to think about a sprung floor subfloor or home dance subfloor. I know, I know, it’s an extra expense, but it is so worth it.
Whether you’re a studio, school or professional company, the last thing you want is injured dancers. And the best way to prevent injuries is to start with a dance subfloor.
The subfloor absorbs and distributes the dancer’s weight, which allows dancers to continue to jump, leap and roll with a lower risk of injury.
Ballroom Flooring Durability / Longevity
Our hard surface dance flooring options are ultra-tough and resilient. These are not floors you need to replace often. In fact, many of them have pretty impressive warranties ranging up to 15 years!
Additionally, all of our marley rolls are specifically designed to hold up to years and years of dancing of all levels. In total disclosure, they will not hold up to ballroom dancing as long as a hard surface. However, most of them boast a pretty sweet 5-year warranty.
Ballroom Flooring Installation
Each dance flooring roll is a little different in the way it's installed. You also have to take into account whether you are doing a permanent, semi-permanent or temporary installation.
Traditionally, you can easily install marley dance rolls yourself by laying rolls flat and using vinyl tape over the seams. Of course, we always recommend checking the product specifications before installation.
Hard Surface Dance Flooring Installation
Our dance tiles offer a super easy DIY installation. Lock, click and dance!
Ballroom Flooring Maintenance
No matter how many signs you put up that read “No shoes in the dance studio,” you know people are gonna walk in with their shoes and track in outside dirt and grime all over your beautiful floor. I know, it is so frustrating!
The best way to combat how difficult it is to keep the outside dirt away is to choose a dance floor that is easy to take care of. You’re going to have to end up cleaning it regularly, so you don’t want a floor that requires a big song and dance (pun intended).
The good news is all of our ballroom flooring options are super easy to clean and maintain. They just require sweeping/vacuuming and a damp mop with a mild cleaning solution.
If you end up with scratches in the marley that really bug you, you can give it a more careful scrub. But generally speaking, it’s really just as easy as taking care of any home floor. Just make sure to clean up spills right away and you’ll be good to go!