Person tap dancing on a small wooden platform outdoors.

Sprung Flooring Blog

< Back to Blog
Black vinyl dance floor in a ballet studio with mirrors and barres.

Marley Dance Floor vs. Sprung Dance Floor: What You Need to Know

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. 

Easy Installation 

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. 

Injury Prevention

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. 

Added Comfort 

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.  

Better Together 

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Woman joyfully dancing indoors on sprung dance flooring.


Hear it From Our Clients

I LOVE my O'Mara Maple portable practice panel. It sounds absolutely fantastic and my joints/feet never hurt after using it (like they do when I take class at the studio)! It is a superb dance floor!!

Sharon G.

Texas, USA

We are loving the floor and received rave reviews during our first season!

Kevin P.

California, USA

Thanks so much for your excellent customer service, everything went like clockwork! The delivery, packaging, and timing were exceptional! The quality and precision of your products is outstanding, not to mention the fact you include all of the tools needed to install the floor. As a contractor it was difficult to believe that we did not have to make a single cut, everything was numbered and the diagram was spot on, thanks again.

Forrester G.


From the moment the floor arrived your meticulous attention to detail was evident. The way it came crated blew me away. Nothing was left to chance, everything was secured and protected. It said a lot without saying a word. Rita called me earlier today after completing her first class..... "The floor made all the difference in the world" was her quote.

Roger & Rita O.


I would highly recommend the O’Mara Sprung floor system to anyone. The floor is studio quality, easy to maintain, and beautiful to look at, even after hours of tap dancing.

Cindy V.

California, USA

We are happy with the floor. The shipping was secure and done well. So everything is good. The floor is expensive but you can tell it is higher quality. I am actually using the floor in a 4 by 8 pattern right now since the 8 by 8 was slightly big for my space right now but at least I can expand it when ready. So I love the fact that you can change the size of the floor. Keep up the good work!!

Rick S.


It is perfect for tap dancing. It is well made and high quality. I have practiced or taken lessons in four different studios and until I practiced on this floor I could never really hear the steps clearly and how I was doing them. The sound and clarity of the floor is wonderful for tap dance. You can really “hear” if you are doing the steps right or not.

Christine K.

Florida, USA

I’ve been meaning to email and thank you for all of your assistance and support with setting up our floor. We are very happy with it and the dancers like it as well.

Alexandra O.

Michigan, USA