General Dance Discussion > creating a personal practice dance floor

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

  1. DWise1

    DWise1 Well-Known Member

    I was trying to remember the name. Ramset. I inherited my father's, so I made sure to keep it locked up. Last I used it was a little over 30 years ago when I worked with him during high school and college. We always shot it through a steel disk, through the 2x4, and into the concrete. I don't know how safe it would be on a wooden floor, though. There was a freak accident with one that my father retold a few times. As a safety feature, a Ramset will not fire unless it's being pressed against something very solid (trust that like you would the safety on a loaded gun). In order to keep the form for a concrete wall from spreading when the concrete is poured in, spacers are used, some of which are basically plastic tubes, reset on both ends so that you then go through and hand-trowel cement to finish the wall off, but there are still insignificant voids within the wall itself. At this one job where they were putting in new partitions, the carpenter used his Ramset to shoot a nail through a stud into the concrete wall. It was positioned right over one of these voids (extremely low probability of that happening, BTW) and the nail shot through the void and killed an office worker on the other side.

    Rather , by "explosive bolts" I assumed Joe had meant bolts that literally explode in order to very rapidly open a hatch in an emergency. You saw Dave Bowman use them in "2001" when he had to get from the EVA pod into the airlock without his helmet (I saw it again in Germany, where the signs were subtitled in German except, I believe, for that one). The second Mercury capsule (Liberty 7?) sank when the hatch's explosive bolts accidentally blew, nearly drowning Gus Grissom in the process. And I believe that I read that the shuttles' main hatches are outfitted with explosive bolts.

    So the idea, I thought, was that by using explosive bolts to install your dance floor you can remove it very quickly. Though I'd be very nervous about doing certain dances on it, like Folklorico (a lot a heel stomping involved).

    BTW, what's MDF? Some new-fangled stuff? (remember, last I worked construction was 30 years ago)
  2. quixotedlm

    quixotedlm New Member

  3. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    It comes with a health warning as it containes formaldehyde and should only be worked if you are wearing a suitable face mask.
  4. ccc

    ccc Member

    I can't imagine using MDF as a flooring base. I would think it would crack easily, especially over an unsupported base such as a carpet. And I wouldn't let it get wet.
    MDO(medium density overlay) might be a better choice(they make highway signs out of it) but I'm not sure I could recommend that either. The problem with any of the sheet goods, including plywood, is they need to be fastened well to a supporting base or they will warp.
  5. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    No, they had the right idea of what I was thinking of "explosive anchor bolts" for. I usually think of Hilti, just because they have such a wide range of fasteners of that type.
  6. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    It really depends what kind of carpet you have, and how thick the pile is. If it's a commercial-type carpet, I don't see any problem putting down MDF over it, though of course MDO would be better. Or if it's berber-type carpet. But a thicker pile carpet will just have a little too much give for stability and yes it will warp or crack.
  7. DWise1

    DWise1 Well-Known Member

    I may be off about MDF because I don't know where its density lies within the spectrum and because I'm not intimately familiar with all these TLAs being thrown about. But particle-board subflooring is exactly what you want if there's a chance of it getting wet and you especially do not want to use plywood.

    Case in point: in our first house the toilet started leaking and the entire plywood subfloor rotted out. That is because the water travels between the layers and spreads throughout that sheet and on to the next.

    But particle board that's dense enough (he always bought the material, hence I never learned what the choices were) will not allow the water to travel. The water can't even soak in more than a small fraction of an inch (again, I'm sure that it can soak in farther with lower density particle board). This was determined empirically. My father took a sample pieces of a number of different types of subfloor material and immersed them completely in water and let them soak for several days. Then he cut each piece in half to examine their cross section for how far the water had soaked in. The plywood fared terribly, but the water had only soaked into the particle board by about 1/8 inch. So that particle board became his choice for bathroom subfloors.

    It just occurred to me that you might be talking about an entirely different type of material altogether, something akin to the material in ceiling tiles. We never used that stuff, though we did tear it out a few times. But I can't imagine how it could be used as a dancefloor subfloor.

    BTW, yesterday in CostCo I checked on the pricing for pergo. I didn't look to see how much area it covered, but the box of pergo went for about $28 and the "installation kit", mainly a roll of foam padding, went for another $28.
  8. Heresy

    Heresy New Member

    I agree that the carpet underlay is what would determine if MDF would be appropriate. We never used MDO in any of the construction I have done; so, I am not too familiar with it. The main benefit of using MDF over plywood is that it has a smooth surface and will not warp noticably (but will flex). Cracking would not be a problem unless it was on some very long shag carpeting. MDF can flex quite a bit before it fails horribly and as long as the force is directed downward onto the face of the material and not the sides. Off center lateral pressure can cause the MDF layers to come apart which then snowballs until the MDF fails. However, the likelyhood of any of this happening when it is being used as flooring is almost nil. The only likely problem would be with moisture if you put the flooring on bare cement, but in an indoor, climate controlled setting I don't see it happening noticably. If you have bare cement then it would just be easier to lay down a vapor barrier, some foam, then laminant flooring without worrying about any of the other stuff in this thread. :D

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