Over the years we have fulfilled many requests for roll-out dance vinyls and dance floors. Whilst receiving enquiries I have noticed the words ‘Marley’ and ‘Tarkett’ being used as a generic term for dance floor vinyl. If you are a dancer I am sure you will have heard these terms once or twice in your time. This article will give you insight into how these terms became generic; the evolution of dance floors and dance floor vinyl also some recommendations and tips on not only choosing what’s right for you but maintaining it!
Table of Contents:
- Marley Floors
- Tarkett Floors
- Choosing the right Dance Floor Vinyl
- What do I put my Dance Floor Vinyl on?
- Ways to Install your Dance Vinyl
- Cleaning and Maintenance
- What not to do when Storing or Installing your Dance Floor Vinyl / Marley Floor
Marley Flooring was founded in 1948 in Kent, United Kingdom, and it offered a range of floor coverings. The Marley Company was the first to pioneer and manufacture a number of vinyl dance floor surfaces. One of the first developed was a thin reversible (black / grey) roll out dance floor – that ballet dancers liked the feel of and was portable enough for professional dancers to travel and take on tour with. This came almost 80 years after it was first invented by a chemist names Eugene Baumann.
The company stopped offering that range of floor in the late seventies, yet the term “Marley Floor” has stuck around, and it is now a general term in America that refers to any slip resistant, roll out vinyl performance surface for dance.
Tarkett Flooring is a much more generic phrase than Marley in Australia but also still holds its reputation across the globe. Tarket started off as a small and humble flooring company founded in 1902 Minnesota, US. In response to timber shortages around the 1940’s similar to what we are facing now in 2022.
Since The Tarkett Group have gathered momentum and become fully international and devoted across all aspects of flooring amongst this they have released their dancefloor vinyl famously known for its touring capabilities.
Choosing The Right Dance Floor Vinyl
Vinyl flooring was appreciated for its resistance to moisture, stains and impact as well its durability over time. These technical qualities made it a highly popular and practical flooring in hospitals, schools, offices and performance spaces.
You may have heard of fast and slow vinyl – this refers to the amount of friction your floor has (smooth finish, textured or embossed finish, etc.)
STM have developed a reference guide to help you make the right decision when buying dance floor vinyl. Yes, vinyl is suitable for tap and other percussive styles! Consider that percussive styles are hard on the floor, that combined with the potential for loose tap screws means you need to ensure it’s suitable.
What do I put my dance floor vinyl on?
The right sub-floor is vital in ensuring the safety of you and your dancers. Sprung floors are made to absorb and return energy during dancing. Absorbing energy can decrease impact on a dancer’s body and energy return can help with dancers jumps. We will not sell you dance vinyl if you are laying it on concrete. Dancing or exercising on concrete floors can quickly cause injury and pain not just to your feet and knees but your entire body.
“A ‘good’ dance floor will have a shock absorption value of at least 53%. This means that the floor will absorb a minimum of 53% of the impact energy of a person landing on the floor, while the remaining 47% is absorbed by the person on landing. A concrete floor has a shock absorption value of 0%, leaving the full 100% shock of impact to jar the person landing.” – Ausdance
Modern sprung floors dampen bounce rather than create it so can also be called a semi-sprung floor. This is not to be confused with a spring floor which amplify bounce for uses like gymnastics and cheerleading.
How can you install your Marley Floor / Dance Vinyl?
1. Top taped
When top taping vinyl floors we generally like to use Nitto Sealing Tape or Thor (leaves no residue). To make the process easier we use the Gaffgun with our GGm8 Universal Adapter. Top taping is ideal when used in short term touring capacity, or for an Eisteddfod. Top tape is a consumable item. That means that it should be replaced whenever it starts to look and feel a bit tatty.
Under-taping has been made possible by 3″ Double Sided tapes and is a semi-permanent. We recommend you use out STM Red Double-Sided tape because of its thickness and high tolerance to heat – important when installing in the hotter states of Australia. We also supply Nitto Double Sided tape depending on your preference.
We have also come up with a solution to under-tape your vinyl using single sided tapes.
3. Welding – semi or permanent
Welding your vinyl will provide you with a seamless finish. To make the vinyl semi-permanent we weld the flooring after using the under tape method. This is a vinyl floor you can relocate down the track if required.
4. Glueing – Permanent
Only suitable / necessary for certain vinyl. Some vinyls we supply are homogenous which means they MUST be installed with adhesive and hot seam welding. This is a permanent option and cannot be relocated. However, it does create an excellent finish.
5. STM’s Dance Floor Hire Vinyl Solution
Here at STM Studio Supplies we offer multiple services to cater for your dance floor vinyl needs. If you have an event coming up and need a Marley floor to hire we have you covered! The hire vinyl is our favourite Everydance in black. It’s hardwearing, tap friendly, and easy to lay.
Cleaning and Maintenance
STM Studio Supplies recommend you be meticulous with your cleaning regime to ensure the longevity of your dance vinyl. The time you invest into good cleaning practises will help extend the life and performance of your dance vinyl.
Over the years we have created some fictional characters to become the STM Dream Clean Team.
Sadie Suds Dance Vinyl Cleaner
- Vinyl Dance Floor Cleaner Treatment
- pH neutral, gentle and free-rinsing
- Will not leave behind a greasy, sticky or slippery residue
- Offers a fresh clean citrus fragrance
- Non-hazardous, biodegradable formula
- Can Fix Slippery Floors
- Buy Sadie Suds now!
- SUPER Sadie is also available – Disinfects & Cleans!
Dirty Di Heavy Duty Dance Floor Cleaner
- Heavy Duty Vinyl Dance Floor Cleaner Treatment for when your dance floor vinyl is REALLY dirty
- Alkaline, heavy duty floor cleaner, always follow up with a neutralizing rinse
- Non residual, non perfumed
- No wax
- Ideal for spot cleaning
- Care should be taken when using this product please ensure you are following instructions
- Buy Dirty Di Now!
Rozzie Dance Floor Grip Treatment
We recommend the use of Rozzie when you have a slippery floor. Rozzie is a wash on solution that ensures non slip safety on all floor surfaces. Suitable for wood, tile, vinyl, linoleum and most importantly, dance floor vinyls. The abrasive nature of both the rosin and the way in which it is applied will mark and damage dance floor vinyl and build up over time.
- Non Slip Dance Floor Treatment with a fresh clean citrus fragrance
- Rozzie is the perfect substitute for traditional rosin that will not leave behind a greasy, sticky or slippery residue
- Rozzie is a non-hazardous, biodegradable liquid that won’t damage any surface and can be diluted to suit your dance styles and floor preferences
- Rozzie can be used as required, depending how slippery your floor has become
- Rozzie can also be mixed in a spray bottle to spritz away problem areas and for spot coverage
- Ready to turn your slip to grip? Buy Now!
Scuff & Sole Marks on your dance floor vinyl
Scuff and sole marks from shoes are the main cleaning difficulties in dance studios. These are the rubber or synthetic elements that come off the shoe and become implanted in your floor. The degree of friction and heat involved in the transfer means that these marks are difficult to remove. The sooner you get to the marks the easier and more likely you will be able to get them up. Over time, the marks will transmute into the flooring, eventually creating a bond that combines with the floor.
At the end of the day, remember that your dance floor is a WORKING FLOOR. It will not stay pristine overtime, but rather will hold and carry the memories of learning by dancers.
What not to do when Storing or Installing your Dance Floor Vinyl / Tarkett Floor
- Storing your Roll/s without a Core
- Store your Roll/s on their sides without support
- Store / install your Flooring in an area very temperature effected
- Install your Dance Vinyl immediately
- Use the wrong Tapes / Adhesives
Examples on how to and how to not store your vinyl:
Storing vinyl like this will cause the vinyl to create wave like ripples and can be difficult to flatten out. We recommend to roll it out flat in a warm environment let gravity to its thing. Additionally you can use a hair dryer or heat gun to warm up bad areas and weigh it down using whatever is available.
Our event & large performance solution to storing vinyl -The STM Vinyl Storage Trolley
Temperature fluctuations will affect your dance floor vinyl
Major fluctuations in vinyl temperature is not desirable. Even when unattended dance floor vinyls should not be allowed to vary much past temperatures between 18ºC – 30ºC, (65ºF-85ºF), particularly when closed up during summer breaks studios. Australia for example, can exceed 50ºC or (120ºF), that’s not good for most things! Ideally air flow and temperature controls are maintained on a timer even when the room is not in use.
Consider that vinyl also doesn’t like a wide temperature change in a short period of time. Let’s take for example, Penrith NSW. Overnight, it can drop to lows of 1ºC, then the heaters go up to a cosy 26ºC! The vinyl has not been given enough time to acclimatise to the ambient temperature. You will see evidence of this in bubbling, bowing or shrinking of the vinyl.
Sunlight / UV Rays can affect your dance floor vinyl surface
Direct sunshine onto your dance floor can also affect your vinyl surface with a result similar to throwing a brick into a swimming pool, a mess of wave like ripples. It can equally cause your vinyl to appear to “shrink”. A great solution for this are solar backed theatre curtains. Theatre curtains not only keep the sun off your vinyl but have great acoustic properties.
STM Studio Supplies are constantly seeking for the best quality products to ensure we are supplying you products which not just keep your investment safe but you & your dancers.
Our available Dance Floor Vinyl Products
Rozzie – Dance Floor Grip Treatment$60.00 – $242.00
Dirty Di – Floor Cleaner$22.00 – $66.00
Sadie Suds – Floor Cleaner & Disinfectant$16.50 – $55.00
Super Sadie – Floor Cleaner Disinfectant$18.00 – $70.00
STM Vinyl Storage Trolley$3,399.00
Tarkett DanceFloor Vinyl – Black$2,100.00
EveryDance STM’s Favorite Dance Floor Vinyl$2,760.00