There are four kinds of tape that are used to seam and secure dance floors; gaffers or cloth, vinyl, double-faced cloth and everything else (duct, all purpose, electrical, etc.).

What is Gaffers Tape?

Gaffers tape is traditionally 2” wide and is a heavy duty cloth tape first used by lighting technicians in the theater.  That is the primary reason it was used to tape down dance floors on stage.  That was the tape on site.  Its’ advantages are it is long lasting and has a strong adhesion to the floor.  Its’ disadvantages are it leaves more adhesive residue when replaced and is thicker and more abrasive because of its’ cloth makeup.  Some tape of this type comes with a vinyl finish mitigating the rough surface and providing a more water resistant product.

What is Vinyl Dance Floor Tape?

Vinyl dance floor tape came on the scene in the 1980’s as an alternative to cloth.  Vinyl tape has a smooth surface, a lower adhesive residue when changed, is more water resistant and costs less.   It also comes in clear to blend with any floor color.  It does have to be changed approximately every 4-6 month.  All tape gets chewed up by taps so if you are using top tape be prepared to change it up to three times a year.

What is Double-Faced Tape?

Double faced tape is used under the dance floor to join the flooring to the subfloor for a more extended time of installation.  2” double faced tape and top tape is the traditional installation method for up to three years, after which the dance floor needs to be reset with new tape.  All tape has a shelf life.  It will dry out and disengage with time.  Recently Stagestep introduced a 4” double faced installation tape that lasts up to five years and does not require top tape, eliminating the tiresome chore of replacing top tape every few months

What About Other Tapes?

All other tapes present too many obstacles to be a reliable alternative.  Duct tape is overkill but costs less than gaffers tape.  Way too much adhesive residue and a rough surface makes it a poor choice.  Electrical tape and its’ like are too easily stretched out of shape, get gooey when warm and have very little strength to resist percussive dance.

Find a reliable tape for your needs and change the (top) tape often.  Stagestep offers a complete line of cloth, vinyl and double-faced tape online at with free shipping in the contiguous USA.