Home | Floors| Dance Floor Vinyl Installation Guide V2

DANCE FLOOR VINYL

INSTALLATION &

STORAGE GUIDE

STM Studio Supplies by Professionals for Professionals

Unit 1, 329 High Street Chatswood NSW 2067 T: 02 9417 3000 F: 02 9417 3111 E: sales@stmstudiosupplies.com

Please take the time to inspect your new vinyl thoroughly for manufacturing defects or damage that might occur during transport and delivery. Once it has been cut and laid there is no turning back or recourse for compensation. Photograph and document if you find any damage or defects and contact STM Studio Supplies immediately. Dance floors are designed for installation in enclosed areas only. Unheated porches, verandahs, patios, or similar locations are not recommended for permanent dance floor installation. We are happy to answer any specific questions about installation cleaning, maintenance and any other dance floor related matter pick up the phone, or email us if you prefer.

Installation Methods: Temporary/Touring, Semi Permanent and Permanent. You need to decide which method suits your circumstances and discuss this with us prior to purchase.

Temporary/Touring/Loose Lay:  This method is recommended when you know the vinyl is going to be moved frequently, after each class or on tour. It is a good idea to lay a temporary floor if you are starting a new school to see if your location is suitable. Essentially it involves top taping with a cloth or plastic tape.

Semi Permanent:  Recommended in rented premises or multi-purpose halls. This method allows the floor to be removed and moved to another premises at a later date. Semi Permanent laying consists of fixing the vinyl with double-sided tape under the seams, and overtaping the perimeter.

Permanent: The floor is glued and welded; it has unobtrusive joins and is waterproof. This job needs to be undertaken by a professional installer. This installation method is not appropriate for all dance floor vinyl as some of the styles are too thin to withstand the hot welding process but can be cold seam chemically welded.

STORAGE & TRANSPORT

  • Dance floor vinyls are supplied on rolls and need to be stored and transported correctly if you want to extend their lifespan and maintain their integrity.

  • Dance floor vinyls are supplied on rolls and need to be stored and transported correctly if you want to extend their lifespan and maintain their integrity.

  • Always use safe manual handling methods when moving, rolling and unrolling the rolls, please refer to your state WorkCover regulations for details

  • Always roll onto cardboard or PVC tubes of around 100mm (4”) to maintain the integrity of the vinyl and limit the amount of creases, dents, or flattening.

  • Please ensure that the ends are square and that the roll is of uniform tension, no twisting or warping or elephant feet ends.

  • Retain and use the plastic feet they are often delivered with and reinforce these, or make your own from plywood or equivalent.

  • Do not place objects on the rolls during transport or storage.

  • Temperature ranges during storage should fall between 10C and 25C with humidity of 40-75%

  • The vinyl should be clean, dry and free off debris prior to rolling, please request our cleaning information

STM Studio Supplies can manufacture storage racks to order, please contact the office for a quote.

1. PREPARATION

  1. Inspect your subfloor and ensure that it is smooth and level. Any nail heads or other protrusions that might damage the vinyl should be addressed prior to laying out the vinyl.

  2. Ensure that the subfloor is clean and dry.

  3. Completely unroll the vinyl and let it rest for at least 24 hours prior to cutting and laying to ensure that the roll memory and any creases or lumps are eliminated. This of course is dependent upon the temperature and humidity conditions. Extremes of temperature will cause the vinyl to shrink or expand unevenly.

  4. Once the vinyl has settled at room temperature you can begin measuring, cutting and laying.

2. CUTTING

  • You will probably need to cut your vinyl to suit your space, so the first step is to measure and plan the space.

  • Very few studios are exactly square so be prepared, once cut there is no going back!

  • It might help to draw a template to ensure that you are able to cover the area and place the pieces efficiently.

  • Never run the vinyl in opposing directions, it is preferable to plan ahead and join the shorter lengths

  • You will sometimes note factory defects, usually near the end of rolls. Unfortunately they are a by product of the manufacturing process and if you need to use the full length of the roll you will have to live with these creases should they occur.

  • Do not cut until the roll is fully unrolled to increase your opportunity to avoid defects. Whilst they are glaringly obvious on a new floor, they quickly disappear as the floor develops its normal patina of scuffs and scratches and certainly are not a danger to the dancer. There are many images online that show this clearly, try the following links for examples;

1. Using a pencil and ruler draw a straight line to mark where you need to cut

2. Using a sharp blade, carefully score the vinyl

3. Then make a deeper cut and break the vinyl along the score line

4. Complete the cut using a hook blade

5. Separate the cut sections by hand and proceed with installation

6. Place the runs of vinyl where they will eventually lay and leave to settle for at least 24 hours

7. When cutting vinyl in against a wall, heat the edge of the vinyl with a heat gun or hair dryer. This will soften it and make the cutting easier

3. INSTALLATION

TEMPORARY/TOURING/LOOSE LAY

METHOD RECOMMENDED: Overtaping

TAPE RECOMMENDED SEAMS: Thor Black Tape

or Harlequin Dance Floor Tape, available in Black, Grey, Clear

or Rosco Dance Floor Tape, available in Black, Grey, Clear

Perimeter 2” Gaffer – optional – to prevent the vinyl walking across the floor

Stage Edge: White Gaffer – optional, as a landing strip

This method is recommended when you know the vinyl is going to be lifted in the foreseeable future, such after each class or on tour. If you are starting a new school it is a good idea to lay a temporary floor until you decide if your location is suitable. With this method you will be laying the lengths of vinyl in their approximate positions, resting them, then taping the seams. You can also tape the perimeter using gaffer tape. You might consider laying a landing strip of white gaffer to clearly mark the precipice if laying onto a stage.

NOTE: Pull the tape carefully on application, as it will stretch if too much force is applied. Pull 1m off the roll; let it contract for a second then apply it to the seam. Be sure to leave your hand or foot on the area you've just applied when you're pulling the next section off the roll so you aren't stretching out or pulling off the section you've just applied.

For ease of description, please transpose the terms ”upstage” for back of studio, “ downstage” for front of studio and also decide which orientation the vinyl will be laid, A horizontal – side to side or B vertical – front to back, see diagram below.

1. Lay the lengths stage left for A, or upstage for B, on top of each other, in the orientation that they will be laid, this is for ease of handling and provides a clear space in which to work.

2. Move the top length stage right for A or upstage for B, lining the leading edge up carefully as this first row has to be perfectly square. Leave a 5-10mm gap from walls.

3. Move the rest of the lengths into their approximate position, this step might not be necessary if you have already cut and rested the vinyl in situ.

4. Set the first run of vinyl and ensure that it is square, flat, and straight. Place the following run, leaving a 1.5mm (1/16”) gap to allow for expansion and contraction. This is roughly the thickness of a 10-cent coin, tape in order as indicated below.

5. Apply the tape taking particular care not to over stretch. Run over the new seam with a vinyl roller or a broom covered in a towel.

6. Repeat until all runs have been taped.

7. To help locate the floor and stop it from “walking”, tape around the perimeter using gaffer tape.

8. If laying onto a stage you might consider laying a landing strip of white gaffer.

We vigorously roll all the taped area with a vinyl roller to ensure complete contact. If you do not have one available a good hard rub with a rolled up cloth or a broom wrapped in a towel will suffice.

Some small ripples and bubbles might remain but will settle over time.

SEMI - PERMANENT INSTALLATION

METHOD RECOMMENDED Undertaping on seams, overtaping perimeter

TAPE RECOMMENDED 3” (or 2 runs of 2”) STM Double sided tape on seams

                                          2” Matt Gaffer tape around perimeter

With regular use, this method needs to be redone at least every one to two years. It is important not to leave this job too long after cutting and laying. Some vinyls, particularly the thinner styles, tend to curl up along the join line. This creates a trip hazard and if left too long can be difficult to repair. This installation method is appropriate for all proprietary vinyl dance floors but does not work as well where commercial grade vinyl is used. These are generally not designed to lay flat as easily as dance floors and for the most are too slippery for dance. The other down side is that the tapes can be quite aggressive and when you attempt to raise your vinyl, the joined edges can be damaged and might need to be cut off when the floor is relaid. This is particularly the case with acoustic backed vinyl such as Tarkett Dansflor.

 

Alternatively, follow the same procedures but use a cloth or gaffer tape straddling the joins non adhesive side down. Should this need to be relocated simply cut through the join leaving the tape on and repeat the exercise this time with a double sided tape.

IMPORTANT

• At each stage of installation check for any small lumps that may appear in your floor and remove the offending particle before proceeding.

• This is definitely a two person exercise with the second person “brooming” out ripples and bulges as they appear into the tape line and assisting in setting the gap by tensioning the vinyl as required. Most importantly they can help prevent the rolled back vinyl falling into the adhesive tape line before you are ready.

• Take particular care not to over stretch the tape. Make sure to leave the plastic covering on the top of the tape until the entire run is fixed to the floor. It is good practice to wipe each section of the tape free of any small bits of dust or grit that will affect the adhesion of your tape.

For ease of description, please transpose the terms ”upstage” for back of studio, “ downstage” for front of studio and also decide which orientation the vinyl will be laid, A horizontal – side to side or B vertical – front to back, see diagram below.

Begin taping as for Temporary Lay from step 1 – 4

Ensure the vinyl is set 5-10mm from any wall

If using 3” Clear Double Sided Tape, you will be using 1 run of tape per seam, through the midline of the join.

1. Using a black marker pen or a thick pencil, mark a strong line of approx. 1.5mm wide in the gap between the 2 runs of vinyl. This will give you a guideline and diminish the colour contrast between the vinyl and the subfloor.

2. Vinyl: Fold back lengthways rows1 and 2 and sweep clean the exposed floor and the back of the vinyl.

3. Tape: Working in I metre sections, remove the plastic covering from the bottom of the tape.

4. Tape: Apply the first run of 3” clear double sided tape to the floor, centering it on your previously marked line.

5. Tape: Press the tape down with a roller or cloth.

6. Vinyl: Carefully return the 1st run of vinyl onto the tape and smooth flat.

7. Tape: Without disturbing the alignment of the vinyl, carefully remove the plastic covering on the top of the tape in sections then press the vinyl onto the tape.

8. Complete the entire length of the run in this fashion, and then introduce the second piece of vinyl, leaving a 1.5mm (1/16”) gap to allow for expansion and contraction. This is roughly the thickness of a 10-cent coin.

9. Vigorously roll all the taped area with a vinyl roller to ensure complete contact. If you do not have one available a good hard rub with a rolled up cloth will suffice.

10. To help locate the floor and stop it from “walking”, tape around the perimeter using gaffer tape. You might prefer to undertape the perimeter edge using 2” double sided tape. The advantage of this is that you can leave the vinyl oversize and cut in the short ends to the wall knowing that the vinyl is unlikely to move during the process. Remember to maintain 5-10mm clear of the walls.

11. You might consider laying a landing strip of white gaffer downstage on the leading edge if laying onto a stage.

12. Vigorously roll all the taped area with a vinyl roller to ensure complete contact. If you do not have one available a good hard rub with a rolled up cloth or a broom wrapped in a towel will suffice.

13. Some small ripples and bubbles might remain but will settle over time.

If using 2” Clear Double Sided Tape

You will be using 2 runs of tape per seam, one each side of the join.

  1. Using a black marker pen or a thick pencil, mark a strong line in the gap between the 2 runs of vinyl. This will give you a guideline and lessen the colour contrast between the vinyl and the subfloor.

  2. Vinyl: Fold back lengthways rows1 and 2 and sweep clean the exposed floor and the back of the vinyl.

  3. Tape: Working in I metre sections, remove the plastic covering from the bottom of the tape

  4. Tape: Apply the first run of 2” clear double-sided tape to the floor on one side of your previously marked line. Then repeat for the other side of the line.

  5. Vinyl: Reposition the first run of vinyl over the tape, smoothing flat.

  6. Tape: Working in I metre sections, remove the plastic covering on the top of the tape then press the vinyl onto the tape. Complete the entire length of the run in the below fashion.




     

  7. Now introduce the second piece of vinyl, leaving a 1.5mm (1/16”) gap to allow for expansion and contraction. This is roughly the thickness of a 10-cent coin This is best as a two-person exercise with the second person “brooming” out ripples and bulges as they appear and assisting in setting the gap as the plastic covering is removed by tensioning the vinyl as required.

  8. Repeat for each run of vinyl.

  9. To help locate the floor and stop it from “walking”, tape around the perimeter using gaffer tape. You might prefer to undertake the perimeter edge using 2” double-sided tape. The advantage of this is that you can leave the vinyl oversize and cut in the short ends to the wall knowing that the vinyl is unlikely to move during the process. Remember to maintain 5-10mm clear of the walls.

  10. Vigorously roll all the taped area with a vinyl triple roller to ensure complete contact. If you do not have one available a good hard rub with a rolled-up cloth will suffice.

On some vinyl, you can use this same method and have a welded join so the floor becomes one single piece without gaps that can accumulate dirt over time. This is best done by a professional vinyl layer who has the right equipment to do the job and will involve a wider gap.

 

PERMANENT INSTALLATION

This floor is glued and welded. It is by nature a professional installers job, although you may choose to prepare the subfloor yourself. This installation method is not appropriate for all dance floor vinyl as some of the styles, such as Rosco Dance Floor and Harlequin Reversible are too thin to withstand the hot welding process but can be cold seam chemically welded

Significant to this procedure is that the subfloor is vinyl glue compatible. Plywood, and even more so chip or particleboards can be excessively porous and absorptive. This will badly affect the glues used for adhering vinyl. This situation is avoided by laying a Masonite subfloor that is glued with construction adhesive and nailed to your sprung dance floor. This is then sanded and feathered to create an appropriate substratum for latex glue application.

Some plywood floors can be corrected by priming the subfloor with an appropriate primer but for this and other reasons, the use of “particle board”, “flakeboard”, or “chipboard” underlayment for use with resilient flooring and vinyl adhesion is not recommended. Products presently available of this class vary widely in quality and performance with resilient flooring. Certain “particle boards” are suitable for use as underlayment, but the particleboard supplier should provide a guarantee to this effect. Typically it is also desirable also that room temperature is at about 20°C at the time of installation and for a period of 24 hours before and after. This may involve the use of air conditioners or heaters.

 

All floors and dance floor vinyl will take on a patina with age and use. A good regime of cleaning and care will maintain the life span of your floor, but do be aware that the pristine, just laid look will not last!

Please refer to our care and cleaning guide for more detail. You can find this here.

These instructions are compiled from the knowledge of experienced crew working with dance companies, theatre companies and professional studios both nationally and internationally. As our business has developed as a response to need, we rely on feedback to streamline our processes and improve our products. If you feel that we have missed a step or have any helpful tips, please don’t hesitate to pass on your suggestions.

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