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Dance floor questions

J Pearce

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We recently bought a job lot of used black vinyl dancefloor from a local venue's closing auction for not very much dosh at all.

Its pretty dead, but we don't care too much for its springiness, we're just after a black floor for the stage.

I've had it down for a while now, initially with gaffer, which worked well but scuffs and gets tatty very quickly. I relaid it with NEC floor tape underneath to stop lateral movement and some very heavy duty gaffer on top, which holds it very still and firm but its still scuffing quite quickly.


Would I be better with wide PVC tape? Is there some magical tape I am not aware of?


The edges of the floor have a tendency to curl up exacerbating the tape scuffing, is there any way to stop this?


Cleaning - as yet it hasn't had more than a mop, but soon it will be wanting a decent clean. What do you recommend? I have buffing machines available with a selection of graded pads. We're looking for a low gloss finish.

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Couple of things you may want to consider.

- Cut about 1/2" to 1" off the edges that get taped. The tape stops that area from stretching as much as the rest of the floor, cutting it will help laying flat.

- Leaving it rolled out for a while and really turn up the heating will also help it settle.

- If you are not moving it regularly, see if you can get the rolls 'welded' together. Have a look for an industrial flooring company near you and see if they can help. I did that for a dance company's rehearsal studios after getting bored with retaping very month or so. It worked well but started to fall apart after about a year.

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Ugh. Stop using gaffa tape and floor tape nOw if you want it to last at all. 50mm Black PVC is what you want and it should blend better than gaffa as well.


The trick to not having the edges curl up is a: laying it out flat, heating on and let it rest before taping and b; make sure there's no tension in the tape or the floor when you tape it down. Also make sure you don't butt the rolls up completely: leave 3-5mm room under the tape lines. I'd be careful about getting any old flooring co to weld it if you go that route; they generally don't do a very good job. In the end, we had Harlequin suggest a contractor to do it and they did it well, if not cheaply!


Cleaning wise: if there are spot marks then clean them as the website recommends, but for day to day, wet mop with warm water and then a broom wrapped in a warm, wet towel is the way. If the floor is in a bad state, the Harlequin stripper liquid and then reglaze is the best. I'd avoid a floor buffer as if you overdo it, there's no going back.

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In addition to Bryson's tips:


When you come to actually tape the floor, tape one end (and you can use gaffa for this) then get a couple of people at the other end. Have someone(s) use a wide clean broom to push the floor from the taped end to the loose end while the people at the end pull then tape that end down.

Then tape the long edges (two people one on the 50mm PVC and one with a small broom work well) - put the tape down accurately so that there is no bubbling.


Best tape we've found is Advance AT7 - good balance of sticky with a matt finish and on a roll that just fits nicely on broom handles and AA Maglites. Le Marks own brand is also good but the roll is a more unwieldy size.


Remember to sweep the floor underneath and pull up any residue.


If the rolls are going down for a while or really need to be smooth, tape one piece down then lay the next section on top of the tape (but still with that 3-5mm gap) and tape again over both pieces of dance floor.


Buy tubes to roll the dance floor onto (less than £6 from Harlequin) and take the time to roll properly EVERY TIME! The brooms you use for the dance floor should only be used for the dance floor if possible (particularly the tape broom if you have broom)


Don't let anyone use rosin, coke, talc or any other sticky/slidy agent without your express permission. This gets particularly tricky if you have several dance types using the floor (breaking and ballet are a challenging combination)


Don't let anyone use glitter.


Watch out for anyone bringing new white trainers on the floor - these leave white scuff marks for fine. As well as Harlequins floor cleaners, we've also found a citrus cleaner that works well (Amber-Solv I think - not near to be able to comfirm that).



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