A Buying Guide to Dance Flooring
A dance studio is essential to a dancer. To hone their craft, practice, and perform, you need the right environment. Dance floors offer unique benefits to dancers to increase performance, minimise the risk of injury, and look the part. Different dance styles have specific requirements. Where fitness flooring is ideal for athletes to train, dancers have unique needs. Keep reading this ultimate buying guide to dance flooring to help you make the best decision for your studio and users.
In this guide:
- The Difference Between Point Elastic and Area Elastic
- Must-Have Qualities for Dance Flooring
- Types of Dance Flooring Materials
- 4 Dance Flooring Options for Different Dance Styles
- How to Choose the Right Dance Flooring
The Difference Between Point Elastic and Area Elastic
Before you decide on your dance studio flooring, it’s a good idea to understand the foundation of different flooring systems. When it comes to sprung flooring, you will come across two systems: point elastic and area elastic. Here is a breakdown of the two flooring systems.
Point elastic floors absorb shock at the point of impact. So, as the dancer hits the floor, that is where the shock is absorbed. The degree of deflection is produced by using cushioned vinyl at the point of contact.
Area elastic floors deflect impact over a wider surface area. So, they provide a high level of shock absorption and comfort. Area elastic flooring is becoming increasingly popular. They have a ton of applications and are a great sports flooring option.
Must-Have Qualities for Dance Flooring
Dancers have specific requirements. The first step in choosing dance flooring is to decide whether you want a dance-specific flooring or something more versatile. For example, if you only do ballet, you may choose something slightly different to a facility that teaches a range of dance styles and types. It’s normal for dance studios to teach a range of styles, and, therefore, they tend to go for dance flooring that can support these needs. Although your requirements may change, here are five must-have qualities when it comes to dance studio flooring.
Your flooring should minimise the risk of slips and falls but without hindering movement. A dancer should be able to move and flow naturally without falling over. This means that flooring should be slip-resistant with traction, but not so much that movement is rigid. Dance flooring possesses unique requirements that make it just right for dancers.
Sprung - Point or Area Elastic
Many people think that dancers and athletes have the exact same requirements, but this isn’t necessarily true. While there is some crossover, dancers need a combination of energy return and shock absorption. Athletes and sports players tend to need a higher energy return and ball bounce to play sports than dancers.
This is where a sprung flooring comes in. A sprung floor absorbs shock, yet it has a slightly bouncy feel. Sprung flooring is one of the main requirements in a professional dance studio as it supports and cushions dancers when they leap and land. While not all dance styles require a sprung flooring, it’s something worth considering for comfort, performance, health, and safety. It is down to personal preference and dance style whether you choose a Point Elastic or Area Elastic sprung system.
Durability is vital for dance flooring. You want to invest in flooring that will last and handle whatever you throw at it. When deciding on your dance flooring, think about the type of dance styles and dance shoes you will be using. For example, for percussive dance like tap, a sprung flooring with a vinyl layer over the top is a better choice and can withstand the movement.
Professional dance flooring gives dancers a better level of comfort and performance while reducing the risk of slips and falls. By choosing a high-quality dance flooring system, you’re making a long-term investment and providing access to dancers and the community. You don’t want to have to replace flooring quickly if it’s not built for purpose.
Portability vs Permanent
Another feature to consider is whether your dance flooring is portable or permanent. If you’re switching between venues and facilities, you can buy great portable dance flooring that supports the dancer’s body and performance. The other option is to install a permanent flooring system. This is suitable for a dance studio, both professional and at home. You will need to decide early on whether you want to install permanent or portable flooring. This will help to narrow down your options and match your dance styles to your flooring system.
Look and Finish
Although it doesn’t affect dancing performance, injuries, or shock absorption, the look and finish of flooring is important to the overall feel of a facility. One of the reasons dance studios use wood flooring is that it looks fantastic and creates a high-end facility. If you’re looking for a classic finish for that dance studio feel, wood flooring is hugely popular.
Types of Dance Flooring Materials
There are hundreds of different dance styles, so it’s difficult to list every suitable flooring for each style. When it comes to professional dance flooring, you have two main materials: wood and vinyl. You can then find different thicknesses, qualities, and finishes that use wood and vinyl as the main base.
If you’re thinking about installing laminate, be careful. Laminate flooring is not the same as hardwood as it’s a combination of vinyl and wood with a factory finish. The problem with laminate is that it can be too slippery and can be easily scratched. Because it’s not a real hardwood finish, you can’t sand the top layer down to remove and repair any marks.
You will find wood flooring in almost every dance studio. It’s a classic look that can do wonders for your clientele. Wood flooring tends to be more expensive. Dance styles like ballet and Latin, and ballroom are usually performed on wood flooring. Avoid tap-dancing on wood flooring as it can damage the floor pretty quickly. It’s essential that you use a laquear over wood flooring to protect it from scuffs and marks. The last thing you want is to ruin a costly flooring installation.
Another great option for dance flooring is vinyl. Vinyl is a super resilient material and excellent for protecting the surface from shoe taps while giving users a decent amount of grip. Vinyl flooring tends to have a little more give as well, so it’s ideal for hip hop and more contemporary dance styles. Some vinyl floors come with a cushioned back, offering added protection from injuries for dancers.
4 Dance Flooring Options for Different Dance Styles
The first step in choosing your dance flooring is deciding how you plan on using the space. Think about your dance studio and the type of styles that users will perform. Here are four dance flooring options for different dance styles to narrow down your choice.
1. Sprung Sports Vinyl
Sprung Sports Vinyl is available in a range of thicknesses, including 5mm, 6mm, 8mm, and 10mm. The flooring uses a point elastic sprung floor system, making it ideal for dance, fitness, and multi-purpose sports. The three-layer construction of closed-cell foam backing, glass fibre reinforcement, and PUR surface creates a firm yet optimal surface for dance with plenty of slip resistance and excellent durability.
Available in five colour finishes like oak effect and duck egg green, vinyl flooring is suitable for both professional and leisure users. This vinyl flooring comes in rolls and is for permanent installation.
2. Boen Arenaflex
Within the BOEN Arenaflex range, you have a few different options to choose from. If you’re looking for a multi-purpose sports floor for a multi-functional space incorporating dance, BOEN Arenaflex Flexbat Stadium is a great choice. It’s an area-elastic sport system with a unique construction. BOEN Arenaflex boards are installed on top of BOEN Flexbat Battens, incorporating rubber pads. This gives you the shock absorption you need.
If you are dealing with an uneven floor and the building height matters, you have a few different options:
These flooring systems are designed for uneven subfloors for venues with different building heights. The area-elastic flooring system features a hardwood layer and is compatible with underfloor heating systems and insulation.
3. Boen Actiflex
If you’re looking for flexibility and comfort, the BOEN Actiflex system is an area elastic sports floor. It features high deformation for increased flexibility and comfort with a resilient foam for optimum energy. This flooring is ideal for dance studios and gyms. It features an easy 5G Click locking technology for quick installation. If you’re short on time and need to install flooring in a venue, this is perfect. BOEN Actiflex is portable, so you can pack it up when you’re finished and move with it.
4. Boen Boflex
The BOEN Boflex range is the ultimate sports flooring for shock absorption and high-level performance. The flooring features a unique construction of shock-absorbing material and can withstand almost unlimited loads. This makes it suitable for multi-purpose venues and large arenas. The Boflex range works with underfloor heating and allows for both hardwood and elastic surfaces. Within the range, you have a few different options, including:
How to Choose the Right Dance Flooring
Different dance styles have different requirements. The right floor can support a dancer, increase comfort, and boost performance. As many studios practice a range of dance styles, it’s common to install multi-purpose flooring to cater to different types. If you do specialize in one particular area, specific flooring can bring out the best in a dancer. For example, a ballerina could benefit from a modern sprung flooring system.
By looking at the different types of dance flooring you have available, you can align your needs to your flooring. Although safety and comfort are a priority for dance, fitness, and movement, it’s also important to consider how your flooring will look. In a dance studio, the look and feel of the flooring can enhance the interior. From area elastic systems to sprung and vinyl flooring, you can find something suitable for various disciplines that’s both versatile and durable.