Wood vs Vinyl – What’s make the best dance floor?
By Hannah Tuohy
Global Flooring Manager, Le Mark Floors
Last updated: 15th March 2021
There are two main types of dance floor; vinyl floors (also known as Marley floor) and wooden sprung floors. Vinyl is a flexible floor covering that’s laid over a suitable subfloor. It’s durable, slip-resistant and provides a confident grip for dancers over a large area.
A sprung floor is a floor that absorbs shocks; it has a firm but slightly bouncy feel. The most advanced sprung floors have a dual-stage system, allowing them to dampen impacts from both adults and juniors. As a result, they’re very popular in professional dance as they help to cushion leaps and jumps.
Both wood sprung floors and vinyl floors are great dance surfaces that can be used independently. However, it’s a combination of the two that’s considered the best floor for dance.
We’ve listed some for the key benefits of each below:
Vinyl Dance Floors
Vinyl dance floors offer a safe, comfortable and slip-resistant performance space for all types of dance. They’re affordable, easy to install and can quickly transform a standard room into a professional dance space. Furthermore, foam-sprung vinyl floors offer added shock-absorption, making them a cost-effective alternative to a traditional wood sprung floor.
Vinyl dance floors start at just £10.19 per m², which, compared to a sprung floor starting price of around £90 per m², is much more affordable. Vinyl floors can be economically self-installed and can transform almost any space into a professional dance studio. Despite the low cost, vinyl floors like our Nocturne™ Dance Floor are highly durable and can withstand many years of regular use. In fact, many of our customers are still using their original vinyl dance floor more than 10 years after installation.
Vinyl dance floors provide a slip-resistant surface that’s safe and comfortable to perform on. Whether you’re performing ballet, tap, Irish street, modern, or any other dance style, a vinyl floor can give a dancer the confident grip they need.
Furthermore, whereas most dance floors are smooth, floors like our Sonata™ Ballet and Sonata™ Foam have an added texture that’s ideal for Ballet. This subtle embossing gives ballerinas the faultless control they require, especially en pointe.
Install permanently or roll out when needed
Most vinyl dance floors can be rolled out on-demand (loose laid) or fully installed for permanent use. This versatility makes them ideal for busy studios as well as temporary venues and shared spaces.
A durable floor, like Nocturne™, is ideal for permanent installations. It’s tough, long-lasting and suitable for a variety of dance styles. In contrast, a more flexible and portable floor like Harmony™ is perfect for shared studio spaces. Harmony lays flat from the roll and be rolled up and stored when not in use. However, it is worth noting that larger rolls can be heavy, so care must be taken when moving and storing.
NEW: Foam-sprung vinyl offers shock absorption
Commonly used for Ballet, foam-sprung vinyl floors offer added shock-absorption. They’re often an affordable alternative to a fully-fitted wood sprung floor and can make dancing a lot more comfortable. Furthermore, floors like Sonata Foam are easy to install, amazing to perform on and can be laid directly onto most existing hard surfaces, even concrete.
Wooden Sprung Floors
Many dance professionals favour the feel of a wooden sprung dance floor. Ideally topped with an appropriate vinyl covering, they’re highly durable, versatile and bring a premium feel to a dance studio. Although they’re often the most expensive floor type, a wood sprung dance floor has invaluable benefits.
Up to 61% Shock absorption
Impact forces are massively reduced thanks to an impressive 61% shock absorption from our Meadow™ sprung dance floor, and 59% from Woodland™. As a result, this cushioning makes high-energy performances a lot more comfortable. Furthermore, the added shock-absorption could potentially offer long-term benefits for both adult and junior performers.
Long-term performance and a 25-year guarantee
Our Woodland™ and Meadow™ Sprung Dance Floors come with a 25-year guarantee when professionally installed by Le Mark. This gives added reassurance that Le Mark floors are designed to last and come guaranteed in respect of faulty materials and workmanship. Full information is available on request.
Our Meadow™ and Woodland™ dance floors are topped with responsibly sourced, FSC certified hardwood. Some of the finishes include Beech, Ash, Canadian Maple, and the highly popular Oak. Moreover, as the top surface is made from real wood, it can be professionally sanded and re-varnished, should you wish to revive your floor in the years to come. Furthermore, our sprung dance floors are also available in a standard plywood finish, ready to be topped with a vinyl floor covering.
Written as “Dance Floor” or “Dancefloor”?
Before we go, we’ll go over a quick bit of dance floor trivia:
Q: Is dance floor written as one or two words?
A: Dance floor is typically written as two words. Though you may also find it written with a hyphen in some cases. It’s uncommon to see it written as one word.
Both vinyl and wood sprung floors can dramatically improve performance spaces. However, it’s the combination of the two that offers the most advantages.
On their own, vinyl dance floors are low cost, quick to install and slip-resistant. In contrast, wooden sprung floors can cost more, but offer impressive levels of shock absorption and potential long-term benefits for dancers.
A wooden sprung floor with a vinyl on top is considered the best for dance. Of course, for many, it comes down to affordability. As a result, a foam-sprung vinyl floor could be worth considering.
- Vinyl dance floors are low cost, quick to install and offer confident grip for dancers.
- Both sprung floors and vinyl dance floors are brilliant performance surfaces
- Wooden sprung floors have outstanding shock absorbance with potential long-term benefits for performers
- The combination of a sprung floor with vinyl top is considered best
- Foam-sprung vinyl can be a cost-effective alternative to a traditional sprung floor
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.