|Our Dance Floor
Note: Our floor was constructed in 1993.
|This article was written by Bill Posladek, our current club president, for the August, 1996, newsletter “FootNotes”. Thanks, Bill, for a WONDERFUL article! AND last, but certainly not least, thanks to all those volunteers for our terrific dance floor!!
Also, a big thanks to Mike Strong ( http://www.kcdance.com )for finding and formatting this article for our site.
|It’s truly one of a kind
Our Dance Floor
|In the spring of 1993, with a club membership about one fourth its present size, the planning, organizing and fund raising was taking place for a clubhouse. Initial estimates for a wood dance floor, somewhat similar to ours, were about $20-25,000. Our initial budget for the entire clubhouse was only a fraction of that amount. Therefore, construction began with a painted concrete floor in mind, with a possible upgrade to vinyl if we struck gold.The floods occurring that summer caused problems. On the day we arrived to start work, we found 18″ of water in the present clubhouse. To achieve a dry floor and avoid musty odors, several things were done:
1. A new sump pump was installed along with a redundant pump. Then a battery powered pump and a new floor drain were installed.
2. Outside landscaping was improved and down spouts repaired.
3. A special waterproofing was applied to the walls (white portland cement and epoxy were mixed). Two to three coats were applied plus three coats of paint.
4. At least 40 tubes of caulking were used around the perimeter and supporting posts.
5. Six mil construction polyethylene was sealed to the floor to prevent upward moisture migration.
6. To control summer humidity and prevent mold, etc., two air conditioners were installed instead of one; and three dehumidifiers were used.
First Hope for a Wood Floor: During construction we continued a search for a possible wood floor. We located slightly damaged new hardwood. (there had been a lumber yard fire). Before we got to the material, this flooring was lost in the July floods. We were then back to square one.
Present floor: With a lot of “beg, borrow and steal” and many, many volunteers from both our membership and some outsiders, the floor materialized. A hard surface is a killer on feet, ankles, knees, hips and legs.
To achieve the softness in our floor the following was done: The floor rests on about 1400 special vibration pads (cork sandwiched between two rubber pads). These were used to give some 4-way movement and create a “floating” floor. On top of these pads on 16″ centers, one by fours were used to give flex in an east-west direction. The one by fours were covered by one-half inch moisture resistant plywood to give flex in a north-south direction. A high static blower was installed to pressurize under the floor for moisture control. Hence, the characteristics of our dance floor.
New number 2 oak flooring was purchased to achieve an “autumn in Vermont” look. Since we couldn’t ask everyone to buy dance shoes, any other choice would have shown shoe marks. The floor was secured by using air guns and thousands of special long staples. Machine sanding three times, followed by hand sanding (on hands and knees) prepared the floor for its final treatment. To provide a maintenance free floor and avoid surface coatings that would result in slick and dull spots from wear, Watco Danish finishing oil was hand rubbed into the floor as a final treatment. This is the same process used in the manufacture of fine furniture. The oil is absorbed into the wood and after a thirty day curing period, becomes part of the wood itself.
It’s great when something turns out so good! The floor has had three full years (NOW OVER 6 yrs.) of hard use and it was designed to get better the more it is used. We use no wax, no oil, or any other product on the floor. The only maintenance the floor requires is dry mopping the dust.
To all of you who put in many hours working on our floor- thank you. You should feel proud of your achievement.