Apr 15, 2011

DIY Dancefloor Instructions

Today's post comes after checking into the cost of a dancefloor for my venue.  Unfortunately my venue is carpeted and I need to put something down for my guests to dance on.  I was expecting a cost of maybe $150 to rent one, but I was quite surprised to find out that the cost is closer to $600+.  Yikes!

Being as crafty as I am, I considered how I would do it myself and devised a fantastic plan.  There are several ways you can customize your floor to exactly what you're looking for.  I'm going to give two options.

Option 1.  Permanent Floor.
This option is great if you are having a party in your backyard or someplace where there is no need to transport your large floor. (unless of course you have the means to transport a fully assembled floor)
How-to:
1. figure out how many guests are coming to your venue.  The standard calculation is 3sq. feet / guest.  If I'm having 130 guests, I can say that that will equal 390sq. feet.  Not everyone dances.  You can expect 50 -70% out on the dance floor at peak times.  So this calculation could be a little high.
2. Get some plywood.  I looked online and a standard size was 4'x8' in plywood.  For ease of setup I calculated what I would need for a dancefloor size w/o or with minimal cuts.  I came up with 16'x20' which equals 320sq. feet.  That should be good for  my guest count, assuming the 50-70% of people dancing. and it requires no cuts!
3. Lay out your dance floor as shown in fig. A.
4. You will need supports for your floor.  This is so you have something to screw the boards into and so your boards don't wobble or warp under the weight of people dancing.  See fig. B.  I did 4' intervals of supports.  I have no idea what size boards you will want for supports.  In my diagram I've given exact measurements, however you probably can't find boards in exactly this sizing.  You'll probably have to cut or piece things together.
5. After you put down your supports in the pattern you need, nail or screw them together.
6. Lay your boards over the top of the support frame and screw them down.  Do not nail these down.  They will lift as people get their groove on if you do!
7. Coverage options.
- You can purchase peel and stick laminate tiles to cover the top of your board.  Depending on what style you like the tile costs will vary.
- You can fill in your screw holes in the boards and any gaps you may see with a nail filler.  Sand down your boards after to a smooth finish and clean off the top of any dust.  Paint with whatever designs you want.  Get creative!  Seal with a couple of coats of polyurethane and let dry before using.  You should have a finish that lasts at least a couple of parties.  Add trim or edging if desired.


Option 2.  Non-Permanent floor (transport-friendly)

This option is great if you are having a party where you need to bring your floor on-location to set it up or if you don't have the means to travel with a permanent floor.

How-to:
1. figure out how many guests are coming to your venue.  The standard calculation is 3sq. feet / guest.  If I'm having 130 guests, I can say that that will equal 390sq. feet.  Not everyone dances.  You can expect 50 -70% out on the dance floor at peak times.  So this calculation could be a little high.
2. Get some tongue and groove plywood.  I looked online and a standard size was 4'x8' in plywood. (they also make it in other sizes like 2x2 etc. if 4'x8' is still too big to travel with)  For ease of setup I calculated what I would need for a dancefloor size w/o or with minimal cuts.  I came up with 16'x20' which equals 320sq. feet.  That should be good for  my guest count, assuming the 50-70% of people dancing. and it requires no cuts!
3. Lay out your dance floor as shown in fig. A.  Hammer with a rubber mallet and block of wood(wood is buffer).

4. Trim off any tongue and groove that is hanging off the outside edge.
5. Flip your floor over to the backside and mark the top and bottom (right and left if you need to as well!) of each piece (so you know what direction to set them up in again when you put it together).
6. Flip your floor over to the frontside.  Sand the top and clean if desired.  Paint the top in whatever design you want.  Polyurethane the top with a couple of coats.  (WARNING: make sure your boards are tightly held together before you start.  If paint and polyurethane seep in the cracks they will be hard to separate and your design will be 'off' when you put it back together)
7. Let dry and pull your boards apart.  You will still need a truck bed or vehicle that can store the load of carrying that many boards to your location.
Figure 1

Figure 2
8. Assemble your boards at the location by following the backside marks you made earlier and hammering the boards together with a rubber mallet and wood block.  Add trim or edging  to the sides if desired.

1 comments:

Alexis Ardoin said...

what thickness plywood is needed?

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