How to construct a sprung dance floor

Written by benna crawford
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How to construct a sprung dance floor
Dancing feet (ellobo1/iStock/Getty Images)

A “sprang” floor can save a dancer’s knees and ankle joints from excessive wear and tear and provide a bit of lift for jumps. The "give" in this type of floor, because it is layered over a cushioned base, can add years to a dancer's career and prevent injuries. A good lumber yard will help you to calculate the amount of wood you'll need to make a sprang floor in your space.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Tape measure
  • Carpenter's level
  • Self-levelling cement
  • Tar paper
  • Neoprene sheets or EVA foam sheets
  • Scissors
  • Half-inch plywood sheets
  • Birch plywood or hardwood flooring
  • Liquid Nails or construction adhesive
  • Short wood screws
  • Electric drill
  • Screwdriver
  • Low-gloss polyurethane floor finish

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Measure the room or space to determine how much of each material you'll need to make the floor.

  2. 2

    Level the base or subfloor. Use a carpenter’s level to check and, if the subfloor needs evening out, use self-levelling cement according to the manufacturer’s instructions to create a level surface for your sprang floor.

  3. 3

    Install a moisture barrier, like tar paper, over the concrete subfloor to prevent dampness from warping your wood flooring from beneath.

  4. 4

    Place a layer of neoprene squares or EVA foam over the moisture barrier. This layer of stretchy material should be about 12 to 18 mm (1/2 to 3/4) of an inch thick. The neoprene or foam can be cut from sheets into identical blocks or squares and laid out with spaces between the padding. The cut pieces do not need to be touching. They are there to provide “give” to the two top layers of flooring.

  5. 5

    Place one layer of inexpensive 12 mm (1/2 inch) plywood sheets over the foam cushioning. Set the length of the sheets in the same direction, long side against long side.

  6. 6

    Select a hardwood like maple or oak flooring for its beauty and durability. Or use flawless sheets of birch plywood for an attractive dance floor at a much lower cost. Lay this final level crosswise (perpendicular) to the plywood sheets so that no “seams” match up from one layer to the next. Positioning the wood this way adds strength and stability to the floor.

  7. 7

    If you use birch sheets for the floor, attach them to the lower level of plywood sheets with Liquid Nails or another construction adhesive and short, recessed wood screws. Install, or have professionals install, maple or oak hardwood flooring directly on the resilient plywood base you have created.

  8. 8

    When choosing a polyurethane finish for your dance floor, remember that the safest dance floors provide traction that is neither too slippery nor too “sticky.” Dancers should be able to turn with ease but not risk a fall on wood that is too slick or highly-polished.

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