Why You Need A Subfloor For Your Dance Studio

A dance floor system is essential to all dance studios. It provides a safe environment for teachers and students, and it enhances performance. If you’re considering new dance floors or need to renovate your dance studio, you can’t overlook the importance of a floating wood subfloor, along with an appropriate dance floor surface.

What Is A Floating Wood Subfloor?

When a dancer jumps, three times the force of their body weight is returned to them upon landing. Dancers need a floating wood subfloor that dissipates the energy and safely returns a portion through a safe resilience return (sprung).

Sprung Or Floating Wood Subfloors For A Dance Studio

Sprung floors are critical for dance because the force of the impact needs to go somewhere else other than back into the dancer’s body.

Most sprung subfloors have shock-absorbent foam built-in. There are two types of sprung flooring that are paired with Marley flooring:

Basketweave floating subfloors are permanent installs that are labor-intensive. Off-setting wood strips create a basked weave with a plywood decking with Marley on top. Floating wood subfloors involve a cross-cell foam block, cube, or configured foam form under a wood surface to separate the wood from the concrete.

Advantages of the floating Wood Subfloor:

  • Easy installation and in many cases transportability
  • Injury prevention by absorbing shock and returning safe resilient energy
  • Wood surface provides lateral foot support for balance
  • Provides sound amplification for tap and percussive dance

What Happens If You Don’t Have A Subfloor?

You don’t want to open a dance studio without a floating wood subfloor. You can build your own or get a prefabricated subfloor. Floating subfloors are excellent for protecting joints, keeping the dancers healthy, and are absolutely necessary. Putting Marley down over concrete does nothing to eliminate impact shock to the body. Getting hurt because you do not have a floating subfloor is much more likely to happen, so plan ahead.


Do Not Cut Corners

Marley flooring is just a surface that reduces the chance of slipping and adds more control, but it’s not everything. You need a floating subfloor in your dance studio for injury prevention and overall safety. You cannot afford to cut corners or do without. One other option to a floating subfloor is a Marley floor that has a dual-density foam backing built-in. It is designed to be installed directly over concrete because it absorbs both energy and sound. However, it is not recommended for tap dancing. It is called Dancestep Plus™ and is available for homes or studio use from Stagestep.

Stagestep has flooring solutions for every budget that is easy to install and highly effective. Whether you are looking for a permanent subfloor or need something semi-permanent, we have a wide selection. Fill out the contact form to learn more about our dance flooring options.


  • Read instructions before building or assembling
  • If need be, hire a professional to install if you are not comfortable doing the job yourself
  • Make sure the concrete slab is sealed against moisture and level


  • Use foam or rubber tiles under Marley
  • Install Marley directly on concrete or a hardwood or plywood base that has been installed directly over concrete
  • Use foam substitutes like water noodles or Styrofoam

Looking For High-Quality Subflooring?

Marley flooring is just a surface that reduces the chance of slipping and adds more control, but it’s not everything. You need subflooring in your dance studio for injury prevention and overall safety. Dancing on subflooring increases shock absorption and protects the dancers’ bodies from trauma. While this can get expensive, the investment is worth it.

Visit the Stagestep website to learn more about our Floating Wood Subfloor Systems, request samples, and receive a no-obligation quote.

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