DIY Weddings

Can I make my own dance floor? Do this sound as crazy as I think it does?

Thinking about taking a trip to Home Depot buying some laminate black and white floor pieces and some sheets of plywood and making my own dance floor….
How crazy does this sound? lol Have I lost it or do you all think this could work?

Re: Can I make my own dance floor? Do this sound as crazy as I think it does?

  • The ply is sold in 10x4 foot rectangles, so one isn't going to be a dance floor, unless you have very small people. You'd have to fasten 2 4x10 sections of ply together somehow, to keep them from separating when people danced on them. So now you're looking at some type of flat hinged fastener, or framework. Or layering thin ply underneath, in staggered pattern and wood gluing it all, in which case you have an rigid 8x20 dance floor. That's an awkward size. Or if the ply is cut, 8x whatever. 

    Not impossible. 

    The biggest issue I see is transportation and set up. 

    The only way I'd DIY this is if I had access to the venue for set up well in advance. Like at least a day before. If this is for a backyard wedding at someone's house, hell yes, I think it could be done. (I don't fear DIY. I DIY many ridiculous things I shouldn't try, that are either fabuloso, or what are known in our house as glorious disasters. This could go either way.)

    The laminate flooring is the easy part, if you buy the peel off backing squares. You could have that puppy gleaming and floored in less than an hour. I think Wanda's thinking of solid sheet laminates, which can be a giant pain in the ass. 

    I think it could be done, planned well and carefully, for under a hundred. 
    Knottie1427558956southernbelle0915
  • wandajune6wandajune6 Chicago-ish member
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    I wasn't thinking about the squares but was thinking of the kinds that sort of snap into place. I think @ohannabelle's right- you can definitely do it if you can account for transportation and setup.

    If you do it, we would need pictures and a tutorial!
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  • There's a pretty good tutorial here http://www.yourhomebasedmom.com/how-to-build-a-dance-floor/
    where they use plywood and paint and it turns out looking pretty good. Good luck!
  • kkcc2015 posted the DIY blog I was going to link.

    Where are you going to want to put it?

    If this is going to go on grass or some other uneven surface you'll also need to come up with a way to level the ground beforehand.
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  • Have you thought about legal liability?  If the floor fails, or if someone trips and falls on it, you woulde be legally liable.  I wouldn't risk it.
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  • @CMgragain you've brought up a very good point that I hadn't thought of before.

    Do you think that the wedding insurance you purchase covers that though?


  • mikenbergermikenberger In a f'n cornfield member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer
    So, what are you going to do with it when you're done?

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    MesmrEwe
  • @mikenberger
    I'll either sell it or cut it down and put it in our backyard and use it for a nice little gathering area.
    ohannabelle
  • ohannabelleohannabelle member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer First Anniversary
    edited February 2015
    kkcc2015 posted the DIY blog I was going to link.

    Where are you going to want to put it?

    If this is going to go on grass or some other uneven surface you'll also need to come up with a way to level the ground beforehand.
    I think, if there's enough concern about level (no level surface available) that I'd probably run and fasten a couple of 2 dollar shims under the low side, or fasten an additional piece of lumber as needed, rather than re-landscaping.

    I'd go with the building technique used here:


  • fwtx5815fwtx5815 cowboys nation member
    500 Love Its 100 Comments First Anniversary First Answer
    edited February 2015
    CMGragain said:

    Have you thought about legal liability?  If the floor fails, or if someone trips and falls on it, you woulde be legally liable.  I wouldn't risk it.


    I think this is seriously overthinking. What if someone trips on the sidewalk on their way in? What if someone falls off a folding chair? What if someone chokes on a Jordan almond?

    Either the venue or the homeowner has insurance, in the unlikely 1 in a bajillion event that someone falls. 
    In the more or less 50 years I've been going to weddings, I have seen exactly one fall. That was a ten year old climbing a brick wall. Bandaids were issued, no lawsuits ensued. 
    What CMG brought up is the first thing that popped into my head when I read the title of the post.

    The owner of the venue may have insurance, but if the person renting it adds a feature (like a poorly constructed dance floor), then the renter could possibly be held liable for injuries resulting from its use. It would likely depend on the language of the venue contract, but this is absolutely something the OP should consider. I wouldn't recommend renting a trampoline for the same reason.

    This isn't quite the same thing as a folding chair, manufactured on a big scale by a large company and then rented from a from another large company.... It's one person trying to build something that a lot of people will be moving around on, possibly after having consumed several alcoholic beverages. I do think there is some duty to take guests' safety into consideration. If not for OP's best (legal/financial) interest, then at least for her guests' well-being.

    Edited to fix boxes

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  • Ohmygod, not a floor! People fall on floors! This must be stopped, for the well being of guests!

    Common sense, please. It's a flat floor of plywood covered with flooring. 
    We're not talking about a suspended balcony, or even more absurdly, a trampoline. (Though I have built a suspended floor in a tree, more commonly referred to as a tree house. It was perfectly safe for fifteen years, until the actual tree was destroyed in an ice storm.) 

    Have you ever actually seen a floor being constructed? One that meets safe housing codes, and can pass city building inspections? 

    When I tore out my kitchen floor and replaced the subfloor, it's basically using the same technique as shown in my link. People walk on it every day, and have for 12 years. Barring termites or water damage, people will be walking on it twenty years from now. That's what floors are made of. A layer or two of ply covered with flooring, resting on the ground. (Or in a home, constructed across supporting 2x4s.)
    Which is about 100000000 times more stable and safer than sitting in a chair.
    Nobody yet has collapsed through the ply and fallen into the basement. Because that just doesn't happen. That's not how plywood works. Unless you use some crazy ass sixteenth of an inch craft grade ply, and stick it together with hot glue, or something equally stoopid.

    There's really no great mystery to constructing a stable section of flooring. It's flat. It's on the ground. You walk on it. If a "big company" had constructed it, they'd have used the exact same materials and techniques. It's a construction technique that could be mastered and executed by a twelve year old. We're not talking about replacing ceiling joists and stabilizing beams here. 

    I mean, I love this place, but there's a real tendency here to worst case things to the point of ridiculous. 
    Honestly, has anybody ever heard of someone suing their host because they fell on a dance floor at a wedding?
    Nope. Thought not.


    jlowery28
  • fwtx5815fwtx5815 cowboys nation member
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    I mean seriously. I may have glanced over it, but I didn't see anyone telling OP to run in the other direction and absolutely never consider doing this EVER. Suggesting that she think through the possible negative consequences before taking on such a project is not nearly as absurd as you're making it sound, Annabelle.

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  • There are realistic consequences, and then there are truly far fetched ones.  
    Realistic: this may be difficult to move. The venue (if indoors and rented) may not allow heavy objects on their floors. Materials may cost more than expected.

    Unrealistic: somebody will fall on a floor and be injured and sue you! Nope, don't think that's a realistic concern.  If that's actually the first thing you think of, I do honestly find it that ridiculous. Not realistic. 
    Drunk people might dance and fall down anywhere, at any time. 

    (It isn't just you. Lots of people do this worst case scenario thing, where the sky falls and there's blue all over the effing place and then someone sues you. I've heard it suggested about many unlikely things. If you bake your own cookies. If you send someone photographs. If you have an open bar. I had a neighbor that wouldn't let any other neighborhood kids play on her swing set with her kids. Because somebody might sue her. I find it a bizarre way of thinking.)
    Knottie1427558956
  • fwtx5815fwtx5815 cowboys nation member
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    I didn't write my previous posts because I think there's a really good chance that the OP would do a shitty job, end up with an uneven dance floor, and have a guest fall and break a hip.

    I posted it because CMG's post was dismissed, and I thought that was ridiculous. It IS something to think about.

    People come on here a lot and say that they're planning to do their own catering. Everyone always responds with, are you sure? Wouldn't you rather enjoy your wedding? Isn't that gonna be hard to transport all that stuff? And last but not least: do you have the knowledge and capabilities to keep the food at the proper temps so that nobody gets sick?

    I never have gotten food poisoning (ever), but it's something I would ALWAYS bring up to a bride contemplating DIY catering to consider before taking on that task. I'm 100% sure my educational background and having a family full of business owners colors my perspective on this type of stuff re: liability. But whether you know anyone that sued a couple over their dance floor is irrelevant, because it's still something she should think through, like I said, at the very least for her friends' safety.

    That in addition to the cost, transportation, and the 'what the f do I do with this thing now?' aspect should be driving this decision. It's all relevant.

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  • I think both you ladies bring up good points.  I really like the idea of making my own dance floor as I could use it in our yard after(which was my thought process all along) I was thinking of using two large pieces of plywood so that the breakdown is extremely easy.  Both my FI & I have a pretty good background in construction and I feel fairly confident that this could be done and customized to our liking. But liability is a good point and if I do choose to pursue this avenue I will definitely look into whether or not my insurance will cover it.  
  • I considered renting a dance floor and they really weren't that expensive. To rent. Just a thought! In case you price out the components and they end up being more than a couple hundred for the size you're hoping for. 
  • Dreamergirl8812Dreamergirl8812 your closet member
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    There are realistic consequences, and then there are truly far fetched ones.  

    Realistic: this may be difficult to move. The venue (if indoors and rented) may not allow heavy objects on their floors. Materials may cost more than expected.

    Unrealistic: somebody will fall on a floor and be injured and sue you! Nope, don't think that's a realistic concern.  If that's actually the first thing you think of, I do honestly find it that ridiculous. Not realistic. 
    Drunk people might dance and fall down anywhere, at any time. 

    (It isn't just you. Lots of people do this worst case scenario thing, where the sky falls and there's blue all over the effing place and then someone sues you. I've heard it suggested about many unlikely things. If you bake your own cookies. If you send someone photographs. If you have an open bar. I had a neighbor that wouldn't let any other neighborhood kids play on her swing set with her kids. Because somebody might sue her. I find it a bizarre way of thinking.)
    Seriously? You think the likelihood of someone suing you because the sky is not blue is the same as someone breaking an ankle on a homemade dance floor? Especially if it is not covered by insurance.

    People are worried about getting sued because people sue other people every day. This isn't made up shit.



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  • Seriously? Is that what you read? 
    No. I do not think someone is going to sue me because the sky isn't blue. That's not what was said. (It's a Chicken Little analogy. The sky is falling? A cautionary story about over worrying? It means I'm not worried about it.)

    So yes, I think it's really paranoid. I'm aware that people bring lawsuits. I don't worry every single situation down to a potential lawsuit, because then I'd never leave the house or invite a guest over. You can be sued for farting at work, if someone chooses. Yes, it has actually happened. One Safeway employee sued another for farting. I am not going to give up eating beans because this happened.

    There are stairs going to my house. Should I tear them down because a stoned person could trip on them? Nope. I keep them reasonably clean and repaired and don't leave broken glass or ice slicks or hazardous waste or nitroglycerine on the stairs, I pay my insurance, and that's exercising reasonable caution.

    Yes, be insured. Yes, be safe. (Build something sturdy and level with a surface designed to walk on. It isn't rocket science. If you aren't capable, don't.) 

    But don't be paranoid. Or do, if it makes you feel safer. Personal choice. 

  • My BIL built the dance floors for both of his dsughter's weddings. I think the key is having access to the venue the day before to set it up. After the weddings, the floors became deer stands.
  • lovesclimbinglovesclimbing Alaska member
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    My BIL built the dance floors for both of his dsughter's weddings. I think the key is having access to the venue the day before to set it up. After the weddings, the floors became deer stands.

    I just have to say this is awesome!

    momofbride530
  • My BIL built the dance floors for both of his dsughter's weddings. I think the key is having access to the venue the day before to set it up. After the weddings, the floors became deer stands.

    I just have to say this is awesome!
    And nobody died dancing, or broke their hip!
    The deer may yet file lawsuits. It could happen. 
    Knottie1427558956
  • If you are renting a venue and planned to put this on an existing indoor floor you should check with the venue first to see if they would allow you to put something like this on top of their floor. They may not allow it because of the risk of it scratching their floor. If it's going on to plain cement or asphalt not an issue, but I would put something around the edges to help reduce the trip factor. If you are putting this on grass, check with the property owner to make sure ok because depending on when you put it down & how fast you get it up & the weather, the grass underneath it will be killed. When my husband and I wanted to remove some grass from an area we covered it up for two days and with the lack of sun and air the grass underneathe it died, which made for easy removal of the grass. What you want to do is a cute idea, but logistcally I think it may be a headache. If you do do this and then take the flooring home & put it outside, make sure you put it on a frame because plywood that can be in contact with the ground (like just putting it on grass) will hold in the moisture (unless you get some designed for outdoors) and will probably only last you one year or less depending on where you live.

  • CMGragain  and @dallasbetch have valid points regarding liability. Folks, if a venue's dance floor gave way and people fell and seriously hurt themselves, you don't think the venue would be at risk for being sued? Creating your own dance floor, if it is faulty in any way, is creating an attractive nuisance from a torts standpoint. If OP is experienced at building projects of this nature, that's one thing. But honestly I think combined with all of the logistical difficulties in building and transporting a dance floor this idea may not work well. 
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  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
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    CMGragain  and @dallasbetch have valid points regarding liability. Folks, if a venue's dance floor gave way and people fell and seriously hurt themselves, you don't think the venue would be at risk for being sued? Creating your own dance floor, if it is faulty in any way, is creating an attractive nuisance from a torts standpoint. If OP is experienced at building projects of this nature, that's one thing. But honestly I think combined with all of the logistical difficulties in building and transporting a dance floor this idea may not work well. 

    I agree with this.  Not sure why a heads up about possible liability if someone trips and falls was pounced on.  People have sued over less.

  • This is a lot more involved than you think it is.  you have to find a way to connect together the boards such that they still remain flat.  Moving/transport gets incredibly heavy and tiring rather quickly.  A friend runs powerlifting meets and the platforms are similar, the first four were no big deal, after that the novelty wore off for moving the sheets of plywood, then taking them apart and moving them afterwards when you're already exhausted adds a whole extra element. 

    Then comes the what do you plan to do with the plywood/flooring after the wedding. 

    Really, just hire a company to come in with a dance floor exactly how you want it.  You will spend less and won't have to lift a finger!

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