Do’s & Don’ts for home studio flooring
“The heart and soul of a dance studio is the ﬂoor”
With dance studios forced to conduct classes online, we have had a flurry of enquiries for the supply of safe and affordable home studios.
Most of the lessons we have learned installing professional studios still apply and for all the same reasons. Concrete floors and other solid surfaces are the mortal enemies of the dancer and dance teacher. They have no resilience or shock absorption; they are an invitation to ankle, knee, and hip injury and can permanently damage growing bodies. Correct shock absorption reduces fatigue and significantly reduces the potential for shin splints and other common injuries. It reduces the strain that comes with turning and pivoting movements and with the correct top layer increases foot stability and reduces rolling. STM Studio Supplies has been developing, testing, and gathering feedback from all sources to be able to present the most cost effective sprung flooring in Australia.
Wherever possible, ensure the traction or slip coefficient of the top surface is correct. If you are buying an offcut or short length of dance floor vinyl you first need to assess what type of floor you will be laying it onto.
If you have a strip timber floor on joists you are in luck. Like old church halls, these have a natural resilience and the vinyl can go straight down, held in place with some Ruglock or double sided tape using our ovenbake technique to protect the polish of the timber.
If the room has a carpet on a timber subfloor you may also be in luck and Ruglock and vinyl might be enough.
BE WARNED: If you have deep pile carpet it will be too soft, and the inappropriate point deflection could result to damage to ankles and knees. This floor would not comply with EN14904 and should been used as an interim solution only.
The alternative is the STM Comfort Floor . Here a layer of 10mm foam sheet is lightly glued onto a builder’s plastic membrane that covers the whole area. Then lay either 2 x 4.75mm or equivalent sheets of plywood cross hatched, glued and stapled or a single layer of 9.5mm Weathertex.
The 2 layers of ply will definitely need sanding to avoid staple heads piercing your vinyl and it is a softer floor than Weathertex and has the advantage of wanting to stay put because of its weight. It has the potentially fewer joins and fixings on the surface than the ply, also lends itself to a Juju coating. The degree of firmness of the underlay foam is critical, and in our experience, that sold at Bunnings and Clarke Rubber are not appropriate. We are happy to quote on supply on this and all other ingredients required to make a safe dance floor.
If you are laying onto concrete or tiles, a proper sprung floor is the only option. We have a range of options including STM Sprung Floor, STM Modular Floor System (out of stock until mid April) and Show Works Sprung floor, all of these are potentially DIY.
Convert your Garage! This is a good sized space, if the garden tools and assembled clutter will allow.
At STM we have also developed a system which will allow you to continue to park your car, preferably when there are no dancers present
The STM Sprung Floor can also accommodate compression limiters should you decide to convert your garage to a studio and still need to park your car!
STM also has a range of wall and portable barres and mirrors to complete the dance environment
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Disclaimer gives this advice freely but cannot take responsibility for any injuries resultant from use unsupervised by professional instructors etc