Home Dance Studios and Gyms: What You Need to Know
January 16, 2018
Everyone needs a space where they can enjoy some much-needed "me-time". Some people set aside a room for crafts, others gravitate toward their kitchen, and still others nestle themselves into that overstuffed easy chair that has finally reached maximum comfort levels after years of being worked in. But what about those who need to get their blood pumping to relax? Or the people who are passionate about dancing, weight lifting, or yoga? These people need space to MOVE, and the most convenient place to do this year-round is at home, right? Working out at home saves you time, money, and obliterates any excuses you may come up with to skip a session. Perfect! So, naturally, the best thing you can do for yourself in this situation is to turn your garage, spare room, or basement into your very own workout studio.
The problem is that so many people don't do their research before taking this step. Gyms and dance studios are created to provide a specialized product: a workout that is safe and as comfortable as possible. They don't just slap down some laminate floorboards and call it a day! Even if you see pretty wooden or laminate floors at your favorite workout spot, we want to assure you that there is more there than what meets the eye. There are many factors taken into consideration; ones that are absolutely necessary to prevent long-term damage to your joints.
You see, most floors are laid down over a concrete or wood foundation. Imagine pounding your poor legs into a pice of either material all day. Ouch! Both provide little to no give give to cushion your joints. It would be like driving a car without shock absorption. Talk about a jarring ride.
Before you say anything, yes, wearing cushioned tennis shoes can help with this problem, but many forms of exercise don't allow for that protection. Most dancers have to wear shoes with as little support as possible for flexibility in the feet. Some even have to dance in shoes with wood, fiberglass, or metal in the base! Meanwhile, martial artists, yogis, gymnists and and people who train barefoot forego all support from shoes. They can experience shin splints, joint pain, and a lack of balance without the proper floor.
So, now that you know the danger, what can you do about it? Well, for starters, you can pay the extra money to have a cushioned dance floor, also known as a sprung floor, installed. This is a permanent option for those of you who plan on dedicating a room to dance or work out in and don't mind the room really looking like a studio. You have two professional-level choices here: installing your floor on top of a cushioned subfloor, OR a floating subfloor.
The first involves rolling out a bottom layer made of rubber, then snapping together firm plastic tiles on top of that, and finishing things off with a roll of what is known as Marley dance flooring. Option 1 provides you with the most cushion under your floor and is the easiest to install. The down side is that it is not always the most aesthetically pleasing, as this option simply lays on top of your concrete floor and doesn't extend all the way over to the walls of your room.
Option 2 is a great way to get a beautiful, pro-level looking studio that will last long term. Installing a floating floor requires making a grid of wooden boards that suspend the actual floor above the subfloor. The top of the floor is covered in that same beautiful Marley flooring, which comes in plenty of colors to choose from. The process is pretty simple once that grid is put down!
Now, there are alternatives for those of you who don't have the space to install an entire dance studio in your house. For instance, there are temporary/portable rolls of Marley flooring available. They are just as affective as their permanent counterparts. In fact, touring groups often use these for their routines and shows. The problem here is that they tend to be large and cumbersome. Rolling these out is not a one-man job, and they can take up a lot of space.
If a giant roll of dancing floor is not something you want to have to deal with moving around in your home, consider dance floor tiles. You know when you go to a party or wedding and they have those fancy little dance floors in the room? Yeah, those are what we're talking about. These tiles are great because they're easy to set up, are lightweight, portable, and sturdy. On the downside, they are a bit pricey and are a pain to install if you're trying to cover a big space. They are also not as versatile as the Marley floor, being a less attractive choice for people working in bare feet, but they certainly get the job done for shoe-clad dancers.
Feeling the itch to get up and move around yet? Why not make a move today and give us a call? We can help you make the perfect choice for your home!