Dance floors are a special part of many facilities. Wedding season has officially begun and glowing couples all over the country are looking forward to dancing their special night away. Dance studios may be seeing an influx of students enrolling as the school year comes to an end.
Caring for dance floors can be a tricky business. Whether your facility is home to a permanent dance floor or a portable one, keeping it in excellent shape can be time consuming and demanding. Regardless of how often your floor is used, it’s imperative to give it special attention to maintain its longevity.
Dance floor best practices vary based on the floor’s material and finish. While wood was considered the best choice for all dancing in years past, other options have become available and require a different kind of maintenance. No matter what kind of dance floor you have, several basic best practices are shared between all finishes.
General Dance Floor Best Practices
As a general rule, dancers should only wear dance shoes or go barefoot on dance floors in studios. In facilities hosting events, this is likely impossible to enforce and means that general maintenance is necessary after each use.
Experts agree that all dance floors should be swept daily. Use a clean broom to remove any dust or debris carried in by dancers on their shoes. Be sure your broom is not oil-treated or made from any rough material, such as straw, that could scratch the surface. Designate a broom that is used only for your dance floor and not on any other surfaces. This will also ensure that you will not scratch your dance floor with any debris collected from other areas of your facility.
Dry-mopping after each daily use is also a good practice to prolong the life of your floor. Use a clean, white pad like Worldwide Janitor’s White (103) Light Duty Pad to gently mop up any remaining dust the broom may have missed. This will also help you get into any hard-to-reach corners. Wash your white pads regularly without soap or fabric softener. If washed with detergent or softener, the pads can transfer any lingering chemicals to your dance floor and create an inconsistent surface.
Regardless of your floor type, never use cleaners that contain ammonia, acetone, alcohol, or other agents that can cause the material to dry out or strip it of its finish.
Wet-Mopping Your Dance Floor
Floors should not be wet-mopped daily. Frequent mopping will damage the finish and can potentially ruin its flexibility. In heavily-used dance studios, floors should be mopped once every 2 or 3 days. Be sure to mop evenly across the entire floor so as not to create any inconsistencies in the finish. This can lead to the floor being too slippery in some areas or not slick enough in others.
When the time comes to give the floor that good mopping, use a mixture of lukewarm water and pH neutral floor cleaner, such as our Chameleon Floor Prep/Neutralizer. If a floor is portable and used temporarily and then stored – such as in facilities hosting wedding receptions or dance contests – it should be mopped with this solution after every use.
Once you have mopped the entire floor evenly, go back over the surface with a clean, water-only mop to ensure no residue is left behind. If you store your portable dance floor, be sure to let the floor dry completely before rolling it up.
Caring for a PVC (Poly-Vinyl Chloride), or “Marley,” Floor
“Marley” floors have become an industry standard for portable dance floors and in many dance studios, as they require a bit less upkeep. While it may seem as though “marley” floors should have easy cleaning rituals, they require their own special care.
Unlike wood floors, most “marley” floors have their own slip-resistant finishes and should never be treated with any kind of wax or sealers.
If your “marley” floor is portable and is often stored, it’s important to find a strong cover. Never store the floor lying down, but instead, stand it upright. Don’t allow any of the “marley” material to touch the ground during storage. In addition, be sure that the floor has been allowed to reach room temperature before rolling up to ensure that it does not contract or expand too drastically inside the cover.
Caring for an All-Wood Dance Floor
Wood dance floors are prevalent in many dance studios and banquet facilities. These delicate finishes need extra special care to prolong their lifespans.
When caring for your wood dance floor, mop with a mild detergent. Once the floor has dried, treat it with a light dusting of dance floor wax, such as Glide Rite Dance Floor Wax. Use a soft-bristled push broom to evenly spread the wax across the floor and remove any excess.
Whether your dance floor serves as the heart of your business in your dance studio or it’s a special amenity you offer to your guests, keeping it clean and well-maintained is a must. With proper upkeep, it will keep dancers safe and grooving into the night.