Whether you are interested in a portable or a permanent dance floor, one of the first things you have to decide is what type of floor is best for you. Marley dance floors and sprung dance floors are two of the most popular flooring options for professional and residential studios alike. But what makes each of these dance floors unique, and which one is best for you? Keep reading to learn everything you need to know.
What Is a Marley Dance Floor?
Marley flooring was once exclusive to the Marley Company, but today, the term refers to any vinyl flooring that comes in a roll, no matter who manufactured it. The thin yet durable material is very versatile and provides users with a non-slip surface to practice their favorite moves on. There’s a common myth that Marley flooring is always black, but it actually comes in a variety of colors, including white, gray, and black. No matter what color you choose, Marley flooring instantly gives any studio a professional feel, even if your dance floor is just a small 3′ x 3′ swatch.
Advantages of Marley Dance Floors
If you’ve ever stepped foot in a dance studio, you’ve likely danced on Marley flooring. If this style is so popular, there must be something to it, right? Let’s look at some of the key advantages of Marley flooring that have been integral in helping the style gain traction worldwide:
Compared to every other type of dance floor, a Marley dance floor for home is one of the most affordable options. It usually costs somewhere between $5 and $10 per square foot, making it a relatively budget-friendly option.
One of the biggest allures of Marley flooring is its slip-resistant finish. Minor injuries such as ankle sprains can come as a result of losing traction, slipping, and falling down, but Marley flooring reduces the chance of this happening. It provides users with adequate traction, but not so much as to slow them down. The non-slip finish of Marley flooring also makes it suitable for all types of footwear, whether you’re practicing ballet, tap dancing, or even barefoot. All of this adds to the versatility, functionality, and safety of Marley dance floors.
Marley flooring is super easy to install, temporarily and permanently. You don’t need any special tools or glues, and it only takes a few seconds. To install Marley flooring, simply unroll it and smooth it out to create a flat surface, then tape the edges down. You can easily cut it to fit your space, but make sure you keep the roll it came on so you can roll it back up later if you need to.
Disadvantages of Marley Dance Floors
Marley dance floors are slip-resistant and very durable, but they don’t make an ideal dancing surface by themselves. Since Marley flooring is just a couple of millimeters thick, it’s not great at absorbing shock. That’s why it’s recommended to have some kind of subflooring underneath the layer of Marley.
What Is a Sprung Dance Floor?
Sprung dance floors are any floors with some kind of shock-absorbing system built-in. They are ideal for physically intense activities such as dancing and various indoor sports. Modern sprung floors are typically made from some sort of wood, with thick, high-density foam blocks attached to the bottom to provide the floor a slight give and bounce. This bounce not only absorbs the shock from impacts but also returns the majority of expended energy back to the user.
Advantages of Sprung Dance Floors
There are three main advantages worth highlighting when it comes to sprung dance floors for home and studio use.
Most popular dance styles, including tap, hip hop, and jazz, have high-intensity moves that can take a big toll on your joints over time. This toll can be seen in acute cases when you are noticeably sorer after practicing your dance moves at home versus in the studio. And in the long run, practicing on a floor that is not sprung can lead to injury and joint issues. Since sprung floors are designed to absorb shock, they go a long way toward preventing injuries and extending your dancing career. They lighten the overall load on your body and decrease fatigue.
Since sprung floors have a little bounce and give to them, they are much more comfortable to dance on than regular flooring. It is similar to the difference between playing basketball on your driveway and playing on a regulation court. The court is going to be a little softer, more supportive, and overall, more comfortable. However, a sprung dance floor adds even more resilience and shock absorption, so your body is well-protected from landing impact
Sprung dance floors are carefully designed and built to last for decades, whether as permanent installations or portable dance floors. And unlike portable Marley dance floors, you don’t have to ever worry about a sprung floor ripping.
Disadvantages of Sprung Dance Floors
The only disadvantage of sprung dance floors is the price tag attached to them. Portable sprung dance floors typically start around $400 and can go up to over $2,000, while permanent sprung flooring costs several thousand dollars to install. But even though sprung dance floors are more expensive, most people agree that the added comfort and safety make them worth it.
As you can tell, both Marley and sprung floors have their distinct advantages, but they’re even better together. That’s why many dance studios with Marley flooring actually have a sturdy sprung floor underneath. Whether you’re investing in a professional dance studio or looking for a portable dance floor to take with you on the go, this sprung floor and Marley topper combination is the best flooring configuration for most dance styles. No matter what kind of sprung dance floor you’re looking for, you can find it at O’Mara Sprung Floors. Check out our portable dance floor store today to see all of our dance floors and reach out to our team if you have any questions or need some professional advice.