General Dance Discussion > creating a personal practice dance floor

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by quixotedlm, Jun 19, 2006.

  1. quixotedlm

    quixotedlm New Member

    I want to practise body isolations and spins in the comfort/privacy of my apartment. Unfortunately, I live in an apartment which is fully carpeted. There is a tiny strip of floor in the kitchen that's not carpeted, but is quite unsuable for my purposes.

    Are there off-the-shelf things I can buy to create a tiny dance-floor like area that can be put over the carpeting? My apartment itself is large and has two bedrooms, so I can easily find a place to put it. Any ideas?
  2. DWise1

    DWise1 Well-Known Member

    Pergo. Or whatever laminate wood flooring is popular there. Some new studios have even installed it as their dance floor.

    Over a hard surface, like concrete, you'd need to lay down a vapor barrier and then some foam padding on top of that to cushion your feet. Otherwise, it would be like dancing on concrete -- the previous owners of my condo installed pergo on the ground floor living room, just pergo on top of the vapor barrier on top of concrete.

    The pergo comes in sections about 8 to 12 inches wide which interlock with each other. If you lay that on top of carpetting, the joints may tend to buckle and separate when you put your weight on them. Mind you, I haven't tried this, but you may need some kind of backing to lay the pergo onto, such as plywood. I would assume that 1/2-inch thick would be more enough to give you a solid backing, and maybe even 3/8-inch (would be lighter and easier to handle when you put it away). The thickness of the carpetting may also be a factor. You should ask for suggestions.

    You should also think of how big you want to make it, giving yourself some extra leeway.

    BTW, my introduction to pergo was when my Lindy instructor moved into an apartment with an attached single-car garage, so he used pergo to converted the garage into a studio. I think he said that padding and pergo cost him about $300 total, but keep in mind that that's about 4 to 8 times more area than you might be thinking of.
  3. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    There actuallly are things that you can buy. Small, easy to put together dance floors...but they are pretty pricey from what I remember last. Going to home depot and some other store and cobbling something together would work well, probably.
  4. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Hmm. Who was it that created a dance floor at home? Vince A? Yeah, but I think his was garage sized. :? tsb?

    I'll have to do a search and see if I can find the tips and pointers. There are definitely some here already. :?
  5. ssjss

    ssjss New Member

    How big of a floor and how handy are you. You can use pergo that was talked about before, but you'll need a sub-floor. You can acheive this by using a 3/4 inch sheet plywood or partical board. They come in different sizes up to 4 by 8 foot. There is also portable dance floors, but they tend to be really pricey. Hope this helps.
  6. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    What do you do if the floor's already carpeted? Take up the carpet and put down padding? :?
    1 person likes this.
  7. ssjss

    ssjss New Member

    Well there is no need. The carpet and padding under it should be plenty.
  8. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Hmm. That's a thought. My downstairs is hardwood, but I don't want to scuff. My garage full of random belongings. lol. And the rest of my house is, to a great extent, up for grabs, but carpeted, darnit.

    Sounds like it's time for field trip to Home Depot. :car: :cool:
  9. tsb

    tsb Well-Known Member

    (decloaking for the first time in 2.5 months) ZZZZZ.... <snort> huh?

    besides the dance studio in the house, for which i used bamboo (hard as oak but lighter in color and also cooler feeling in hot weather), one large piece floating on some foam padding, i also recently purchased the old portable dance floor from merv griffin's coconut club in beverly hills, 66 panels of SICO set screw dance floor, so now the whole back patio is extended dance floor for parties.

    if you go with portable dance flooring, something like master dance floor is constructed to give more of a floating feeling while most other portable dance floors (including SICO) rest flat on whatever it's on. IIRC the original poster has carpet, so something as simple as a single sheet of plywood, sanded down with an orbit sander and then coated with a urethane finish (preferably about 3 coats) will do the trick in terms of practicing spins and even some short chaine turns. while there are finishes specifically designed for floors, i used a satin urethane that feels more like wood after a few dances.

    (restoring cloak to return when wormhole reopens in 2-3 months)
  10. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Hey!!!!!!! tsb! Nice to see you. :D :D :D
  11. chachachacat

    chachachacat Well-Known Member

    R.I.P.? I hope you don't mean he's dead!!!!
  12. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    First some questions: how big and is this permanent?

    Laying the floor on 9mm x 25 sw battens will be better than a subfloor of ply or particle board to give the floor some springiness and this will feel better than laying it on carpet or foam. If you want a temporary floor and a small area a sheet of 25 or 19 mm ply, waxed or varnished might do and park it under the bed.
  13. alemana

    alemana New Member

  14. MacMoto

    MacMoto Active Member

    When I was in a rented apartment, I wasn't allowed to lift the carpet and couldn't fit laminate flooring (too expensive and too much work), so I bought a piece of vinyl floor covering and put it on top of the carpet and put some Pledge on it to make it faster. It wasn't an ideal solution but better than dancing on carpet. (It also kept the carpet clean, which kept the landlord happy ;))
  15. Heresy

    Heresy New Member

    A great deal will depend on what kind of carpet you have and what is under it.

    I think the easist for a semi-permanent installation on carpet would be to get full sheets of half inch MDF and screw it down to the floor through the carpet to make sure all the sheets are level and static. Then you lay down cheap laminant flooring down on top of that which you can buy for less than $1 per square foot.Look at discount flooring places like instead of Home depot or Lowes. If you don't want to permanently glue down the flooring then you can usually put a border around the floor that will keep it from shifting, but depending on the temperature flucuations, you may have trouble later down the road with the expanding and contracting of the floor (probably not though). If you have cement floors, then you can you can attach the MDF with cement screws and a hammer drill which is loud. If you can lift the carpet, cement anchors and bolts are much much easier to use.

    Oh, and if you do it right, you can easily diassemble this, and it won't leave any real marks on the carpet unless it is very thin and very light colored. Anyone who doesn't know what you did won't be able to see that there was a floor installed once you rake the carpet.
  16. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    Or you could just use explosive anchor bolts. ;)
  17. quixotedlm

    quixotedlm New Member

    I'm going to check out MDF boards. The chances are that the more DIY this project involves, the less I'll be inclined to do it. Still, I want to see where I can go with the whole idea...

    thanks all for your suggestions!
  18. Heresy

    Heresy New Member

    As someone who has done construction and all types of wordworking for years, MDF behaves so much better than plywood in most circumstances. It is also cheaper than the A-C plywood that you would probably need to buy to lay the flooring over. There is a possibility you might even be able to get away with quarter inch MDF if the floor is flat enough.

    Another possible solution would be to use a half or three-quarter inch MDF and then lay something like the woodgrain version of Harlequin Fiesta over it. I played with their floors at the last USITT conference a few months ago and have a free sample sitting here in front of me. It retails for $25/sq yard and it probably could only be used for ballroom because it doesn't have enough cushioning for aerial stuff. The benefit is that it is lighter than laminant flooring, is easier to install, and would probably work well on a portable floor.

    I have been messing with the same general idea for a dance floor in my head for awhile and have seen many of the systems on the market. Generally, if you have access to some simple tools and have $100-$200 on hand, you can make something similar to the name brand floors that cost 3 times that amount. One other idea might be to call around and see if a party supply company has any portable dance floors they are trying to get rid of. I know where I am located, there is a place selling 3' by 3' metal framed dance portable dance floor pieces for $25 each. They aren't the best, but are decent for the money, and the most damage they have are where a few loose wood pieces need to be glued down.
  19. Heresy

    Heresy New Member

    If you mean using a "22 Caliber Hammer Driven Powder Actuated Tool," then yes, those are quite fun to use. They are so much faster than drilling holes, and they generally stay in place. I don't think the neighbors would appreciate it, and then you start thinking of how to "improve" other tools. Last time I asked, my shop foreman just walked away when I asked him if we could manufacture a longer barrel for the framing nailer we sometimes use... ;)
  20. ssjss

    ssjss New Member

    I believe RamSet makes one, but I would shure like to see the faces of the down stairs neighbors.:D

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