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The Best Dance Studio Flooring Options for Every Style

No matter how many years you’ve danced and how much you think you know about your floor, the first time you have to purchase dance flooring is always a little daunting. Finding the right dance studio flooring is a crucial step to ensure your dancers succeed. But how do you do that?

Don’t worry, it’s pretty simple and easy to find exactly what you need. And we’re making it even easier with this guide!

Keep reading to learn about what to look for in dance studio flooring, the pros and cons, and how to choose the right flooring for your dance style.

What To Look for in Dance Studio Flooring

With so many dance flooring options to choose from, it’s important to figure out what to look for.



Safety

This is always the number one priority.

The truth is, any physical activity comes with its risks. Your floor – along with adequate warm-ups, stretching, and rest – is your best defense against injured dancers. Let’s take a look at how you can start with a safe floor that’s easy on your joints and slip-resistant enough for safe turns, leaps, and more.


Dance Subfloors

All you need for your subfloor is a clean, flat, level surface.

That being said, we very strongly encourage you to think about a sprung floor subfloor or home dance subfloor.

Whether you’re a studio, school, or professional company, the last thing you want is injured dancers. And the best way to prevent injuries is to start with a dance subfloor. The subfloor absorbs and distributes the dancer’s weight, which allows dancers to continue to jump, leap and roll with a lower risk of injury.

Dance Subfloors


Slip-Resistant Surface

There’s a reason no one dances on ceramic tile. Aside from being cold and hard, tile is super slippery, and slippery + dancing = a recipe for disaster.

While some styles are safe on just about any surface, things like ballet, and specifically pointe, really require a floor with some slip resistance.

While all Marley-style dance floors offer some slip resistance, each one is designed to be safe for different types of dance. You want to make sure the floor you’re looking at is safe for all styles you’ll be doing in that space.


Dance Style

No two styles of dance are the same, so it makes sense that different flooring options work with certain styles of dance. If you’re a tap dancer, you’re going to want something different from a ballerina.

Keep your specific needs in mind as you consider acoustic quality, durability, and the “fastness” of the floor.

Pros and Cons of Dance Studio Flooring

Rosco Adagio Rolls - Custom Cut

Dance flooring is one of the key components of your studio, and it provides a lot of benefits to dancers. But studio flooring isn’t the only dance flooring option. To determine if this is the right pick for you, check out these pros and cons.


Benefits of Studio Flooring:

  • Versatility: There are dance studio flooring options for every style, from ballet to tap, and everything in between. Many options are also suitable for multiple styles. Who doesn’t love multitasking?
  • Durability: A floor in a dance studio is going to see a lot of traffic over the years. These floors are built to handle that.
  • Low-maintenance: After a long day of training, the last thing you want to think about is cleaning and taking care of your floor. Luckily for you, these floors practically take care of themselves.


Drawbacks of Studio Flooring:

  • Not portable: Dance studio flooring is permanent by design. If you need a dance floor that you can take with you on tours, you need something more temporary.

Studio Flooring by Dance Style

Different floors are best for different styles. If you run a strict ballet studio with no other styles, then it’s pretty easy. Almost all dance flooring rolls are designed to work for ballet.

However, if you teach multiple styles and want to use your room for more than one type of class, it’s important to go with a floor that will work for each style.


ProStep Dance Floor - Custom Cut

Ballet and Pointe

For ballet and pointe, it’s very important to go with a slip-controlled surface. Vinyl “Marley” rolls are the standard for ballet floors.

You have lots of options for your ballet Marley flooring. You can choose based on how permanent you want the installation to be and how much traffic you anticipate.

Additionally, if you plan to do other styles on the floor, make sure your floor is appropriate for those, as well.

Our Top Recommendations for Ballet Studio Flooring

VersaStep Dance Rolls - Custom Cut

Tap

Although many people think you can only tap dance on wood floors, you’d be surprised how many studios opt for a Marley vinyl roll instead.

Tap is kind of tricky. You need a floor you can slide on. And you need to be able to hear the taps. However, you also don’t want it to be too slippery because your taps are already plenty slippery on their own.

It’s a balancing act between safety, sound, and finding just the right amount of slip resistance. Tap-friendly Marley is the most versatile and offers all of those things!

Plus, if you choose a tap-friendly Marley roll, you can also do ballet, jazz, and more in the same space.

Our Top Recommendations for Tap Dance Studio Flooring

Rosco Dance Floor Rolls – Custom Cut

Modern / Contemporary

Contemporary dancers can dance on just about any dance surface, in any outfit, with any footwear. The main concern is making sure you don’t have an overly slip-controlled surface. Because these dancers usually dance barefoot, too much slip resistance will lead to them tearing up their feet.

If you choose a Marley vinyl roll for contemporary style, make sure it’s a light slip-control floor that is versatile for many kinds of dance.

Our Top Recommendations for Contemporary Dance Studio Flooring

VersaStep Dance Rolls - Custom Cut

Jazz

Jazz dance is also pretty low maintenance. You can dance on wood or Marley.

A Marley vinyl roll, jazz shoes, or even socks give you the perfect slip control without getting in the way of other styles. You won’t have trouble nailing that triple pirouette on this flooring either.

Our Top Recommendations for jazz Dance Studio Flooring

Types of Dance Flooring for Studios

Hardwood Dance Flooring

Hardwood Dance Flooring

For really professional dance studio flooring, hardwood flooring is the way to go. It’s not only beautiful to look at but also high performance and suitable for any dance style.

With hardwood, you have to ensure the subfloor is sprung to protect dancers from injury. Once that’s taken care of, you can enjoy how durable and beautiful it is. Out of all the flooring options, hardwood dance studio flooring is built to last the longest.

Plus, nothing compares to the safety and underfoot feeling of a real hardwood dance floor. It can work in other places beyond just studios. Choose it for competition dance spaces, dance halls, wedding venues, and event spaces.

Hardwood Flooring Installation Options:

  • Permanent

Rosco Adagio Rolls - Custom Cut

Marley Dance Flooring Rolls

Truth be told, what we think of as Marley flooring these days isn’t really Marley. That was a brand name that became so popular it’s now synonymous with vinyl roll flooring. So when we people talk about Marley flooring, they mean any rolled vinyl dance flooring.

There are lots of different Marley-esque dance flooring rolls for you to choose from. Most of them do similar things, but some are designed for different styles and uses.

Let’s take a look!
Rosco Adagio Rolls - Custom Cut

Adagio Dance Flooring Rolls

The Adagio roll is the most popular name on the market and versatile dance flooring option. If you need a dance flooring option that you can use for ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary, and more, Adagio by Rosco is where it’s at.

This medium-fast floor offers just enough slip-resistance to keep you safe during ballet without tearing up your feet during contemporary. They’re also specifically designed not to absorb sound. That means they won’t muffle your time steps and wings during tap class.

Adagio Installation Options:

  • Permanent
  • Semi-permanent
  • Temporary

Rosco Dance Floor Rolls - Full Roll

Rosco Dance Floor Rolls

Dance Floor Rolls are the go-to Marley option for ballet and contemporary. They offer a medium-fast speed and the perfect amount of slide and grip to keep you in shoes and out.

Dance Floor rolls are the best if you do any tours or travel. These Marley rolls are super light and easy to install and reinstall over and over again.

Our Dance Floor by Rosco is best for traditional styles, such as ballet, jazz, contemporary, and hip hop.

Dance Floor Installation Options:

  • Semi-permanent
  • Temporary

VersaStep Dance Rolls - Custom Cut

VersaStep Dance Rolls

VersaStep Dance Rolls are suitable for all popular styles of dance. This roll-out flooring is the same as the Adagio roll, but it comes at a lower cost to help your studio keep on budget.

Our Versastep rolls are very popular and can be used even with hard shoes, for tap, and all styles of ballet. The controlled slip surface allows for the perfect surface that is durable and long-lasting. VersaStep is truly versatile, an all-purpose dance flooring Marley roll.

Performance Floor Installation Options:

  • Permanent
  • Semi-permanent
  • Temporary

Studio Floor Dance Flooring Rolls

The Studio Floor is for the space you know you can keep protected from through traffic, street shoes, and hard-soled dance styles.

This Marley roll looks great on stage or in a ballet/pointe studio. It has a good amount of grip, offering medium speed.

Our Studio Floor is designed for next-level professional performances, with an ultra-matte black vinyl surface that absorbs light. This makes it perfect for theaters and other performance spaces. It’s a bit more expensive, but it’s worth it when you’re putting on a show.

Studio Floor Installation Options:

  • Permanent
  • Semi-permanent

Wood-Look Dance Flooring Rolls

If you don’t have the desire or budget for real hardwood flooring, then wood-look floor rolls are the next best thing!

You can easily choose a traditional vinyl dance flooring roll with a wood look. We offer wood-look dance flooring with a rubber base layer, which provides even more impact absorption than standard vinyl rolls.

Impact Rolls - Wood Series

Impact Rolls

Our Impact Rolls are the most beautiful, convincing, and durable wood-look dance flooring rolls on the market. The Impact Rolls are thick and durable enough to hold up to everything from dance, to gym flooring and more.

Because they are thicker, we don’t recommend them for tap – they won’t produce the best sounds. These rolls are best for ballet, jazz, and contemporary.

Impact Roll Installation Options

  • Permanent
  • Semi-permanent

Eco-Wood Dance Mats

Eco-Wood Dance Mats

This dance roll is foam-backed to minimize leg stress and injuries. The resilient vinyl top layer provides wonderful ‘slip’ for a variety of dance styles. You can use all shoe styles, hard or soft, and the beautiful wood-look top will still look great.

This dance flooring roll is a budget-friendly alternative to hardwood flooring. Plus, our Eco-Wood mats come in smaller size options, making them perfect for smaller studio spaces operating on a budget, or even at home studios.

Eco-Wood Dance Mats Installation Options

  • Permanent
  • Semi-permanent
  • Temporary

How to Install Dance Studio Flooring

The steps to install dance flooring depend on the type of flooring you choose. Dance flooring rolls are very DIY-friendly compared to hardwood dance floors, but those hardwood floors will last longer.

No matter what you choose, we’ve got step-by-step instructions to install your floor, so you can start dancing sooner.



How To Lay Out Marley Dance Floors

Follow these steps for a permanent installation in your studio.

  1. Spread out the rolls and allow them to relax for 1-2 days until they lay completely flat. Make sure the shiny side faces down, with the matte side up. The top is textured to provide a better grip while dancing.
  2. Cut the rolls to fit using a utility knife and a straight edge, ensuring a 1/4″ gap to account for expansion and contraction.
  3. Roll up the flooring at one end of the room. Spread a light layer of adhesive in 10’ increments maximum, or shorter depending on your comfort level. Gradually unroll the flooring into the adhesive, and don’t just toss it over the glue, because that can create air bubbles.
  4. Continue this step for every 10’ of the roll until you’re finished.
  5. Use a 100-pound roller on the floor to ensure good adherence to the subfloor and to push out any air bubbles. Walking on the flooring in small choppy steps may also work if you don’t have a roller.


How to Install Hardwood Dance Flooring

Note: These steps work with our hardwood dance planks, but may not be compatible with other hardwood dance flooring. That’s because our hardwood flooring is specifically designed to be DIY-friendly.

Below are the basic steps, but you should refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for the full details.

  1. Start with a subfloor that is level, clean, and dry. Install a vapor barrier if the area is at or below ground level.
  2. The manufacturer will often recommend a supportive underlayment. Roll out a sports foam support layer perpendicular to the planned direction of the planks, and tape the rolls together.
  3. Lay the initial planks face-down on the foam, parallel to the length of the room. Hammer the included clips into the holes on the bottoms of the planks. These clips will connect to adjacent planks along the length of each plank.
  4. Use adhesive in the joints to connect the tongue and groove head joints of each plank. Stagger the plank head joints in a random pattern, leaving at least 18” between each joint on 6’ planks, and 30” of space on 12’ length planks.
  5. As you install, use spacers around the edges of the room to ensure the proper amount of space for expansion. For every 10’ of width, add 1/4” to the expansion gap on both sides.
  6. The very last row of planks should be glued to the adjacent row along the length. No other rows should be glued together along the length.
  7. Finally, remove the spacers around the edges of the floor and install the trim and transition strips.

How to Clean Dance Studio Flooring

The good news is all of our dance flooring options are super easy to clean and maintain. Still, the best way to take care of a dance floor is to clean it regularly.

Simply sweep/vacuum up any dust or dirt a few times a week and deep clean with a damp mop and mild cleaning solution whenever necessary.

Generally speaking, it’s really just as easy as taking care of any home floor. Just make sure to clean up spills right away and you’ll be good to go!

Conclusion

At this point, you’re a pro at dance studio flooring, and you know everything you need to set up a perfect floor for your studio’s dancers. Ready to get started? Order free samples of our dance flooring rolls today!