Tap Dance Flooring Buying Guide
Find the perfect floor for your studio with our tap dance flooring buyer’s guide. For studios, schools, companies and more - a floor for everyone from beginner to professional.
Tap dance is the only dance style that relies on aural senses as much as visual. You want your tap dancing to look pretty, but it’s really all about the sounds. That’s why choosing the correct floor is such a high priority.
When you’re buying tap dance flooring, you want to look for a faster floor with just enough grip to keep you safe on your slides and turns. You also want to look for a floor designed with tap resonance in mind.
Your choices really boil down to natural wood or “marley” flooring. All marley really means is a slip-control rolled vinyl dance flooring. More on that soon.
The thing is that wood will often produce the best sounds, but it can also be super slippery. Typically, a marley vinyl roll designed for tap dancing will give you the best combination of sound and safety. But don’t worry, you’ve got choices.
Marley Floors for Tap Dancing
So I’m sure I probably confused you with the whole marley thing. Virtually every dancer in the world knows you dance on marley floors. Plain and simple.
Except, well, not.
You know how people talk about wanting to get in the jacuzzi when they really mean they just
want to get in a hot tub? Jacuzzi is a brand that just happens to be so popular, people use it as the generic term, too. Same with marley.
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 5 different tap-friendly marley options to suit your specific needs.
Now, tap dancing on marley is a whole other ball game compared to ballet and jazz. In soft-shoed styles, all you have to worry about is grip, slide and speed. Which, really, is plenty.
But with tap, you have to ensure you are getting the best quality sounds and that your floor can
hold up to the hard stomps and jumps that come with tap. There’s just a lot more to think about.
Many people assume you can’t tap on marley, but that’s not true. In fact, marley is often the best choice for tap dancing. It’s just that not all marley floors are designed for tap, so you need to make sure you choose appropriately.
Our Adagio rolls are the top tap dance flooring on the market. They are designed to give you the best sounds, while still providing that sought-after combination of grip and slide. Tap shoes can be slippery, but this floor will give you a little extra stability without muffling your sounds.
The Adagio roll is the most popular and versatile dance flooring option. It is perfectly suited to every style, making it ideal for a shared studio space. In fact, if you have marley installed right now, I’d be willing to bet it’s the Adagio floor.
If you need a multi-use dance flooring option that you can use for tap, contemporary, ballet, jazz 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 holding you back from slides and turns.
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 class and rehearsal. They’re simple, easier to move and even better for tap sounds than the original Adagio rolls. If you have a shared space, they might be perfect for you.
However, if you’re planning on doing a permanent installation in a contemporary-only studio, I’d recommend taking the step up to the regular Adagio rolls.
Adagio Tour Installation Options:
This floor means business. Arabesque marley rolls are heavy duty, strong and durable enough to hold up to the most intense dance company rehearsals.
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. Your turns and slides will feel fast and easy without the floor feeling slippery.
Arabesque rolls are great for professional tap companies and studios. However, this bad boy is so versatile enough for ballet, jazz and even things like Irish step and flamenco.
Arabesque 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.
Although these rolls are designed for ballet, jazz and contemporary, they are durable enough to hold up to your taps and they’re not so thick that they’ll muffle your sounds.
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. They have a lot of grip to them, making them a medium-slow flooring option.
Performance Floor Installation Options:
Rosco refers to this floor as their “Battleship Linoleum.” This bad boy is the toughest of the tough, built to stand up to the harsh beating of hard-soled shoes.
Now, let me tell you, this floor means business. It’s not a floor you take on the road and it’s not a floor you put in a shared space with ballet dancers. It is specifically designed for tap and hard-soled styles, but you can use it for jazz and contemporary as well in a shared space.
Although this floor is robust and sturdy, it is a surprisingly fast floor, making it perfect for nailing all your turns.
Roscoleum Installation Options:
Tap Dance Tiles
Intimidated by a big ol’ marley roll? Or maybe you’re looking for something a little more versatile that can double as home flooring?
If so, our tap dance tiles are your best bet. Most of our tap dance tiles are hard surfaces with realistic wood looks. They’re great for sound quality and they look sharp.
Want to bring the dance studio home with you? Me too. I remember wishing I could just move into my dance studio so I could practice anytime I wanted.
The Studio Tiles are a thin vinyl marley that lays directly on the floor. This means you need a perfectly flat subfloor. Additionally because there is no sprung subfloor or anything between your dance tile and regular ceramic tile, you don’t want to do a lot of jumping on them.
Studio Tile Installation Options:
Modular Grid-Loc Tiles
If you’re looking for a dance flooring that is versatile enough to double as a home flooring, the Modular Grid-Loc Tiles are the way to go.
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!
When I think of the perfect setup for our Modular Grid-Loc Tiles, I imagine a basement or den area that you want to use as a family space, but also for tap dance practice.
The Modular Grid-Loc Tiles will give great sound, but they can be a little slippery so use caution.
Modular Grid-Loc Tiles Installation Options:
Indoor & outdoor
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 easy on the eyes. They are American-made and come with a nice 3-year warranty.
Like our Modular Grid-Loc Tiles, the ideal space for our Dance Tiles is a basement or den area that you want to use as a family space, but also for tap dance practice. They’re also great for commercial spaces for yoga, pilates, social dance, aerobics and more.
Like the Modular Grid-Loc Tiles, they produce great sound, but can be slippery.
Dance Tiles Installation Options:
Indoor & outdoor
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 also 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.
The high-gloss finish protects them from digs and scuffs, but it can make them extra slippery.
Dance Tiles - Deluxe Installation Options:
Indoor & outdoor
Plankflex Dance Tiles
Our Plankflex Dance Tiles are similar to our original Dance Tiles. The main difference is Plank Flex Dance Tiles come in...you guessed it, planks! The wood-look planks look more similar to a traditional wood floor.
These planks come with an amazing 15-year warranty so you know they are going to last you for the long haul.
Plank Flex Installation Options:
Portable Tap Dance Floor Kits
These kits are the ultra-portable, easy and affordable dance flooring option. Now, these are not meant to cover a large space. They are small, compact, portable and designed to give you a practice space, not a studio.
Portable Dance Floor Kits
A packaged deal! These babies come with the tiles and edging for an entire finished look.
Maybe you want to practice your tap dance at home? Or, maybe you teach a small class in a community space and you just need a temporary floor you can easily put down and take apart? If that sounds like you, I’d recommend checking out the portable tap Dance Floor Kits. They come in multiple sizes to fit your needs and space.
Dance Floor Kits are designed for tap so, while they are still more slippery than marley, they are a little less dangerous than other wood floors.
Dance Floor Kit Installation Options:
Portable 3’x3’ Practice Dance Floor
This is another whole package kind of deal. The Practice Dance Floor kit comes with one 3’x3’ dance tile and the edging pieces including for a nice, finished look. They even come with a sweet 12-year warranty.
Okay, so this is the studio dancer’s practice floor. This is the thing teenage me always dreamed of as I actively sought after any open non-carpeted space to practice my pirouettes.
What makes this practice floor a little extra special is that it has a perfect, smooth, non-glossy texture that makes it perfect for tap practice, but equally perfect for barre, center and technique work at home.
Additionally, it was designed for dancers with extra resiliency similar to what you would get on a sprung floor. This means you can also practice your jumps without worrying about the extra stress on your joints that typical home flooring can cause.
3’x3’ Practice Dance 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.
Tap Dance Flooring Durability / Longevity
All of our marley rolls are specifically designed to hold up to years and years of dancing of all levels. In fact, most of them boast at least a 5-year warranty. These rolls are in it for the long haul.
Our dance tiles also come with some pretty sweet warranties, some being up to 15-year warranties. These babies are designed to be resistant to scuffs and scratches, making them look great for years to come.
Tap Dance Flooring Installation
Each dance flooring roll is a little different and this also depends on 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.
Dance Tile Installation
Our dance tiles offer a super easy DIY installation. Lock, click and dance!
Tap Dance Flooring Maintenance
No matter how many signs you put up that say “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 tap dance 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 your 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!