Ballroom Dance > Floating Floors: How important are they to you?

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by DanceMentor, Aug 1, 2006.

  1. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    Does it make a big difference to you whether or not a studio has a floating floor?

    For me, I dance on a floating floor 95% of the time, and when I dance on another floor for an hour or more, a definitely notice a difference. A new studio opened recently that did not have a floating floor, and one of the owners was telling me they had no plans to add a floating floor, yet they were wearing a knee brace as they told me this.
  2. carmello

    carmello New Member

    what exactly is a floating floor. Is it a floor that has air between it and the concrete or sub floor
  3. PasoDancer

    PasoDancer New Member

    Floating floor= GOOD. Craptacular, right on the concrete floor= BAAAAD.
  4. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member


    The term floating was preceeded by the term " Sprung ". still used in the u.k. Its all in the construction, generally layed on joists as opposed to direct contact with concrete. As most studios in the u.k. from the 20s. onwards were located many times above shops, they were ideal for laying "dance floors ". As time progressed and schools began more ground level operations , the new method appeared devised by carpenters ( joiners to you english readers ) And by the way, never coat a floor with that gunk called polyurethane-- wood needs to breathe and one hard coat of wax preserves same, also never " Mop " , a good buff is all it ever needs .Enough about floors already !!
  5. wooh

    wooh Well-Known Member

    Everybody I know that's gone to that studio has complained afterwards of their knees and backs hurting. Heck, I practice on my hardwoods at home (that are over a crawlspace) for more than 15-20 minutes and my feet are killing me. A floating floor can keep me going for hours!
  6. White Chacha

    White Chacha Active Member

    It's sooo much nicer to dance on a sprung wood floor. One studio owner told me he'd die dancing all day without it.

    Practice spaces where I am are opportunistic. We often use building lobbies, no wood. One building is constructed with it's floors suspended from the frame, rathern than of stacked concrete slabs like the others. Even it is decidedly more comfortable.

    Anything that gives a little in response to the footfall helps, it seems.
  7. cornutt

    cornutt Well-Known Member

    I think by "floating floor", DM meant a floor with some kind of underlayment. Our old studio had a floating floor, and our new location has an even better one. I can tell you that it makes a huge difference to me! Dancing on a hard floor is just exhausting; it eats every bit of energy you put into it. Once when I was in Houston, I spent three hours one night in a studio in the Richmond area doing lindy. The people were great, but the floor was laminate layed directly on concrete. Every muscle in my body was sore, including some muscles I didn't know I had. I almost didn't make it out of bed the next morning. :rolleyes:
  8. redhead

    redhead New Member

    you might as well ask "how important are your feet to you?"
  9. fluffy

    fluffy New Member

    or knees and ankles! You certainly notice the difference after a while.
  10. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    I notice the difference after 1 hour of heavy dancing.
    The quality of the floor is a huge part of choosing which studio I would prefer.
  11. tanya_the_dancer

    tanya_the_dancer Well-Known Member

    I am not sure what a floating floor is. Our studio has the portable floor as used for the competitions, and it is really comfortable. When I practice at home, I have a choice between laminate on concrete (finished basement) or hardwood (main floor) and I prefer main floor.
  12. redhead

    redhead New Member

    yeah. And probably back/spine too. But my feet give up first.
  13. cornutt

    cornutt Well-Known Member

    A floating floor will last a lot longer too. Around here (and I'm sure it's the same where DM is), if you lay a floor directly on concrete, you're just asking for moisture problems.
  14. contracheck

    contracheck New Member

    Not so soon, not so soon. Waht is the best wood for dance floor? Oak? Maple? Ash? Pine? Birch? Teak? Mahognay? etc. Are there any synthetic floor materis for dance floor?
  15. fluffy

    fluffy New Member

    Maple appears to be common. No idea whether that is a price issue though. I would have thought Pine too knotty and mahogany or teak too expensive.
  16. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    Ordinary institutional hallway tiles can be halfway decent as a dance surface if they are not coated with a gooey wax and whatever is underneath them has some give.

    Maple is probably the best choice though. It's hard, durable, and has a denser grain than oak, which means it stays smoother as it wears.
  17. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member


    Most of the older english studios and ballrooms were maple-- very expensive-- some are oak, both very durable , still around after 70 plus yrs-- so, maple if you are putting in your own and cost is not a problem , make sure it is laid in the correct alignment . And it was by the way, tongue and grooved .
  18. cornutt

    cornutt Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't use pine or birch; they are too soft and will accumulate little dents from heels. Plus, personally, I don't like the look of pine. Teak or mahagony might make a nice floor, but the expense... :shock: Never thought about ash. I have seen some pre-finished T&G ash flooring, and it looked pretty decent. And it's pretty hard; after all, they do make baseball bats out of it. The only thing about ash is that it might be too brittle to make a floating floor with; I'd be afraid that the boards would crack over time.

    In our new house, we're going to have a dance floor made from compressed cork tiles. Haven't had a chance to dance on it yet (it's still covered with paper to keep the tradespeople from messing it up), but it seems like it will make a good floor.
  19. wyllo

    wyllo New Member

    We danced on a cork floor a couple of weeks ago and it was wonderfully soft (and it wasn't padded or a sprung/floating floor). It seemed pretty durable too, which I found kind of surprising.
  20. DennisBeach

    DennisBeach New Member

    Anytime we dance on tile or wood directly on top of concrete, we notice it. We dance a lot at an old ballroom with a nice wood floor, it is not a floating floor, but it is not on concrete and that also is much easier on the feet and legs. We dance at two studios with floating floors and that definitely is easier on the body, than wood or tile directly on concrete.

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