– When researching dance floors, always ask for samples
– Where possible, ask for an on-site demonstration so you can try it before you buy
– Ask to see case studies from other customers
– Always ask – “Can this floor be used for tap long-term?”
How to Choose the Right Dance Floor For Tap
By Hannah Tuohy
Global Flooring Manager, Le Mark Floors
Last updated: 25th February 2021
Finding the right dance floor is just as crucial as finding a well-fitting tap shoe. If it’s not fit for purpose, it won’t withstand the relentless impacts of metal taps. Similarly, if it’s too firm, it could be uncomfortable to perform on. We’ll guide you through the options available and suggest what to look out for.
– When researching dance floors, always ask for samples
What is a tap dance floor?
Tap dance floors are either made from wood or specialist vinyl (also known as Marley floor). They’re super-durable and provide the perfect resonance for tap shoes. Traditionally, tap dance floors were made from hardwoods like maple, ash, and oak. However, specialist vinyl floors have become equally popular in recent years, thanks to their affordability and ease of installation.
Best floors for tap dance
Quality hardwood or specialist vinyl are the key ingredients to making an amazing dance floor for tap. We’ll talk you through the main features of each below.
Hardwood makes an excellent tap dance floor
Hardwood dance floors are highly durable, beautiful to look at and produce a deep and clear sound when tapped. They have evolved over the years and now commonly include an shock-absorbing base. Known as a sprung floor, it cushions impacts to relieve pressure on joints and makes performing more comfortable. Furthermore, this added shock absorption has the potential to offer long-term benefits for dancers.
Most recently, sprung floor manufacturers began to utilise specially designed foam to give a floor its ‘spring’. This simple design made them easy to produce and can now be bought as ready-made tongue & groove boards. Still offering up to 61% shock absorption, foam-sprung dance floors are often more affordable than traditional wood-sprung floors. Moreover, dance floors like Le Mark’s Meadow™ are easy to self-install, potentially saving thousands on installation costs.
Vinyl offers great performance at a lower cost
Specialist vinyl dance floors, like our Nocturne™, offer long-term durability and great sound. But, they’re a fraction of the cost of a fully-fitted wood dance floor. As a result, vinyl dance floors have become very popular over recent years, especially for tap dance.
Specialist vinyl dance floors aren’t to be confused with domestic vinyl floors. You can expect years of use from a durable vinyl dance floor. Our Nocturne, for example, is still being used in professional studios ten years after installation.
Commonly supplied on-the-roll, vinyl floors are super-easy to install and trim to size. Furthermore, vinyl dance floors can be laid directly over an existing & suitable hard surface. This versatility makes them ideal for shared studio spaces as it helps to protect existing floors from tap shoe damage.
- Low cost
- Excellent sound
- Easy to install
- Protects existing floors from tap shoe damage
- Suggestion: Nocturne™ Vinyl Dance Floor
Is wood better than vinyl?
The shock-absorbency and sound you get from a wooden sprung floor is undeniably appealing. You also get a stunning real-wood finish (although most studios cover their wood floor with a vinyl top to help protect it).
If you’re a regular performer or busy studio, a sprung dance floor with a vinyl top is considered the ultimate floor for tap dance. But, like thousands of other studios around the world, a strong and durable vinyl dance floor is all they need – and they love it.
Best value floors
Tap dancing floors need to be both resilient and resonant. You get both of these qualities from hardwood and vinyl, but vinyl offers it all at a much lower price. However, with vinyl, you don’t get the same impact absorption as a sprung floor – that’s the key difference between the two.
Nocturne™ Vinyl Dance Floor
from £24.51 per m²
Meadow™, Foam-Sprung Wood Dance Floor
from £88.00 per m²
+ Nocturne™ Vinyl top (optional): from £24.51 per m²
Woodland™, Foam-Sprung Wood Dance Floor
From £140.22 per m² (Fully installed at any UK mainland address)
+ Nocturne™ Vinyl top (optional): from £34 per m² (Fully installed at any UK mainland address)
Prices correct 11/07/22 and exclude VAT. All floors require a smooth, hard and flat subfloor. If your floor requires levelling, screeding or other preparation work, additional cost may apply.
We hope this has helped you to find the perfect floor for tap dance. All references in this piece relate to Le Mark’s dance floor range, but there are many others out there too. It is well worth doing your research and talking to others in your profession. Ultimately, if you’re not sure, please talk to us – we’ll help you any way we can. We have sample packs available for all our floors, on-site support teams and fully-fitted demo studios where you can come and try the floors yourself.
- When it comes to investing in a new dance floor, you can never ask too many questions.
- Both vinyl and hardwood are excellent floors for tap dance
- Vinyl dance floors (also known as Marley floors) are the most affordable
- Vinyl can be laid directly over a suitable existing floor and used to protect surfaces that are already in use.
- Sprung floors offer excellent shock absorption and can potentially provide long term benefits. They also include a 25-year guarantee when professionally installed.
- Both vinyl and some wood floors can be self-installed, potentially saving thousands on installation costs.
- Talk to us; we’re here to help!
*Full details available on request
**All floors require a smooth, hard and flat subfloor. If your sub-floor requires levelling, screeding or other preparation work, additional cost may apply.
All references and comparisons in this article relate to Le Mark’s dance floor range only. Other floors may be available. The prices stated are intended as an example only and exclude VAT. Included installation applies to a single UK mainland address. Full detail on Le Mark’s 25-year guarantee is available on request.