It’s real easy to destroy a dance floor during installation, transportation or storage. The good news is that it is just as easy not to destroy it. Here are some do’s and don’ts for handling your floor.
Rolled floors stored for any amount of time over a couple of days should be stored vertically (on end), not lying flat on the floor, to prevent gravity from stretching and distorting the floor. Floors should always be rolled up around a core at least four inches in diameter to prevent roll set (wavy floor syndrome).
Before installation, floor should be rolled out and allowed to lie flat. Never install a floor that is not lying flat before taping. Allow 24 hours (if you can) for the floor to acclimate to room temperature. Floors expand in heat and contract in cooler temperatures. That means floors can 'grow' and bubble up in the summer and seams can open in the winter unless they are installed at the average working temperature for the room. If it is a permanent glue down installation, follow the instructions on the label.
Wood is likewise prone to expansion and contraction with the changes in seasons, making it just as important to install after acclimating the wood to room temperature.
Every roll out floor can crack if folded over from the sides. Never flip or move a floor by twisting or pulling it. Use the core to roll the floor up during installation, transportation or storage.
The sun, represented by UV radiation, is an enemy of your floor. It will cause the plasticizer that makes your floor flexible to leach and evaporate. Your floor loses volume (shrinks) and becomes stiff, prone to cracking. Direct sunlight ages the floor. Fortunately windows block UV radiation, but if you take your floor outside be careful—they have not invented a sunblock for floors.
More floors get damaged and have to be replaced during transportation than from the wear and tear of studio use. Protect your floors in transit. Use bubble wrap or a touring floor bag. The bags offer an easy way to handle a heavy and awkward floor roll.
There comes a time when the floor seems to have reached the end of the line. Stains, scuffs and surface scratches have conspired to make it look worn out. It may either be too slippery or too sticky even after cleaning. It may be time to replace or it may be time to refinish. We have a new finish system that can re-colorize and revitalize your floor, virtually giving it a facelift and adding years to its life. So before investing in a new floor check out the viability of refinishing. However, if your floor is more than 12 years old it may not be worth the investment to re-finish.
New dance floors and subfloor systems have evolved over time and before you jump in you should check out what vendors are offering. Get samples and written price quotes. The important thing to remember is you need to match your needs to the product’s benefits. Consider installation costs into your budget and the life expectancy and guarantees offered.
It is a big investment, but remember you will be spending a lot more over the life of the floor on maintenance, so keep an eye out for labor and material cost savings on keeping your floor safe, healthy to work on and beneficial to the ways you move.