What is the Best Floor for Tap Dancing?

12th November 2020

Investing in the right flooring for your style of dance is important, particularly for the more unique demands of percussive dance styles such as tap. Whichever material you choose for your tap flooring, there are some key features to consider so that you, or your dancers can give their best performance. Whether you’re looking for tap dance studio floors, or want to know the best portable tap dance floor for home, our blog will help you to make the right choice.

Tap Dancing – What Floor to Choose?

Percussive dance styles such as tap, Irish dancing and Flamenco have unique requirements of their dancers and require specialist flooring to enhance dancers’ performance and prevent injuries. 

Tap dance flooring in particular has been developed to accommodate the need for crisper sounds and more resilient surfaces. Many dance floors can be prone to scuffing and can be too slippery to accommodate the sharp movements and twists of tap dancing.

So, what is the best floor for tap dancing? The main requirements of an ideal tap dance flooring are:

  • A hard wearing surface
  • Shock absorbing abilities
  • Creating a clear sound upon impact.

Providing your tap dancers with the right floor can not only improve their performance, but also prevent  common dance injuries. Tap dance injuries are commonly the result of repetitive strain, slips and falls, and micro-damage to joints in the legs and feet. Over time, micro injuries to muscles and joints caused by quick movements and jumps, can develop into more serious problems for your dancers. The right tap dance floor will provide your dancers with a foundation that is solid to deliver that classic sharp, hollow sound, while also offering more support for joints.

The Best Types of Flooring For Tap Dancing

Dance flooring comes in many different styles, materials, colours, sizes and finishes. There truly is dance flooring for every occasion, whether you work in the events industry or education sector.  So, what is the best floor for tap dancing? There are two main types of tap dancing flooring, vinyl and hardwood.

Can you Tap Dance on Vinyl Flooring?

Can you tap dance on vinyl flooring? Absolutely! However, you need to ensure that you choose the right type of vinyl flooring for your specific needs as certain types of vinyl flooring are not suitable for tap dancing. Vinyl dance flooring can be split into two main types, soft vinyl and dense vinyl, each with different properties that need to be considered when deciding the best floor for tap dancing.

Soft Vinyl

Soft vinyl flooring is not suitable to be used as a tap dance floor. Soft vinyl floors are a pliable and lightweight option, and typically cheaper than dense vinyl floors. As a result, they are too weak to withstand the percussive movements of tap dancing, making them an unsuitable flooring choice.

However, they do make a great dance flooring for ballet or jazz, so keep that in mind if you’re looking for flooring for different genres.

Dense Vinyl

Dense vinyl, however, is a great option for your tap dance floor. Offering a durable surface that provides a clean, crisp sound, dense vinyl is a popular choice for tap dance studio floors and other percussive genres. Dense vinyl is typically more expensive, but due to the demands of tap dancing, it is still a worthwhile investment.

Some vinyl flooring can be too slippery for tap dancers, so be sure to check the grip on your flooring before laying. Additionally, whether you’re looking for the best portable tap dance floor, or you want tap dance studio floors, avoid vinyl floors that have a cushioned backing as these can produce more muffled sounds.

Want to learn more about the different types of vinyl flooring for your tap dance floor, along with other materials for other genres of dance? Take a look at our dance floor buyer’s guide.

Can you Tap Dance on Hardwood Floors?

Can you tap dance on hardwood floors? Yes you can! If you’re looking for the best floor for tap dancing, hardwood flooring is a second popular choice. Maple or oak offer some of the most durable tap dance floor options. These floors typically require less maintenance against the demands of percussive dance and often don’t require any treatment to prevent water damage or warping.

If you do decide to invest in a hardwood tap dance floor, ensure that your chosen flooring is sprung to give a more hollow sound and to prevent your dancers from suffering injuries. Hardwood flooring can be expensive to install, if you are after a more affordable option, consider a composite hardwood floor. A composite tap dance floor is made of a thin layer of hardwood attached to a plywood base. This flooring option has a shorter lifespan than traditional hardwood, but they are less impacted by changes in humidity.

Choose the Perfect Tap Dance Floor with Harlequin Floors

Tap dance flooring is an important investment in your dancer’s performance and healthcwhich is why understanding the best floor for tap dancing is so crucial. Ensuring that your flooring is able to provide the required support, grip and sound that tap dancers require, can allow your dancers to deliver beautiful results. 

Harlequin Floors offer an excellent range of vinyl tap dance flooring perfectly suited for tap dancing and other percussive dance styles. Discover our range of tap dance flooring including our popular Cascade, StandFast and Fiesta flooring that will give your dancers the confidence to reach their full potential. Whether you’re looking for the best portable tap dance floor for home or want to find tap dance studio floors, we can help. Get in touch with us today and a member of our team will be more than happy to help with any questions.