The Best Type of Floor for Tap Dancing

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If you are starting a tap class, the type of floor you will be dancing on is as important as your tap shoes. The best floor for tap dancing is one that is both resilient and resonant. A resilient floor is capable of withstanding shock without being damaged. A resonant floor produces strong and deep sound tones. The resilience and resonance of a floor are determined by what the floor is made of and what lies underneath the floor's surface.

Hardwood Makes a Great Tap Dance Floor

The best tap dance floor is made of hardwood, such as maple or oak. Hardwood floors are less likely to be damaged than floors made of soft wood such as pine. Maple is a perfect tap dance floor choice because it is not likely to splinter and doesn’t need a sealer to protect it from water damage and warping.

It is very important to determine the type of floor that lies underneath the surface you will be tapping on. If the sounds you hear from your taps are not resonant and the pitch doesn’t vary between the heels and the toes, the floor underneath is most likely concrete. A concrete subfloor is hard on your body and could result in injury to your knees, back, or legs.

The best and safest floor for tap dancing is a hardwood surface with air underneath. known as a spring floor. A spring floor is created by a series of floor beams spaced apart by spring coils. A spring floor vibrates and produces more resonant sounds.

Vinyl Makes a Good Surface, Too

Wood flooring often produces the best sounds for tap dancing, but it can also be rather slippery. If you want the best combination of sound and safety, consider using marley vinyl. Not all vinyl flooring gives you the best sound for tap, so look for vinyl that provides the stability and strength to handle the stomping without muffling the sound.

Make a Tap Dance Floor at Home

If you plan to practice tap dancing at home, you will need to find a proper floor. A simple instant tap floor is a 4-x-8 sheet of plywood, which you can buy at a hardware or lumber store. Try to find a sheet that is about a half-inch thick. Glue foam interlocking mats to the underside of the plywood. The foam prevents the plywood from sliding and provides some give, which is important for tap dancers' feet and knees.

You can tap dance on the plywood or finish it by topping with laminate flooring or vinyl.

An alternative to plywood is a tap mat. A tap mat is a portable oak floor that is attached to​ some canvas. Tap mats can be rolled up and easily stored when not in use. You can order tap mats from various companies. Tap dance floor kits are also available in packs of nine one-foot-square tiles. These interlocking tiles can be taken apart easily and stacked for storage or moved.


Fletcher, Beverly. Tapworks: A Tap Dictionary and Reference Manual. Princeton Book Company, 2002.