Background: My son is a budding Gregory Hines or Savion Glover and we want to foster his artistic pursuits. And why not? It's musical, artistic, great exercise, and awesome! However, we also wanted to have nice, scratch free wood floors in our home.
Solution: How about making a small space which he could dance on at home?
1) Needs to be small and able to be stashed under a bed or against a wall when not in use
2) Needs to protect the floor
3) Needs to sound good
4) Needs to be a "sprung" floor meaning that it has a little bit of give to provide bounce, reduce fatigue, and reduce injury (No one likes to dance on a concrete hard floor).
Step 1: Step 1: Gather Materials
Liquid Nails Indoor/Outdoor adhesive - 3 bottles - I started with 2 and ran out with only 3 courses of boards left. Argh! It was around $2.50 a bottle
Laminate Flooring Planks - I got this at a ReUse store for $8. There were enough boards to cover 4x4 but I had to do a bit of mixing and matching to get enough boards that would cover my 4x4 area.
Total Price: $46.48
Step 2: A Word About the Laminate Boards I Chose
I don't know anything about laminate. I don't know what brand or type of laminate this is. I chose this dark brown laminate because it was the most solid, best looking laminate available at the reuse store. Here's what I can tell you about these boards:
- The boards come in two "flavors" which I call "Under" Boards and "Over" Boards. The under boards have an undercut which fits snugly with the over boards.
- The boards long sides all have under cuts on one side and over cuts on the others which snap snugly together.
- Both flavors of boards come in a variety of sizes and when matching them together I did my best to avoid having any seams that lined up. Sort of like when you were a kid and building lego walls. Always overlap seams to maintain integrity.
- The boards seem to be made of MDF with a thickish layer of laminate glued to the top
- When cutting these boards use a saw blade with a LOT of teeth per inch. This avoids chipping of the laminate.
Step 3: Step 2: Attach the Padding
The OSB board that I had had a rough side and a smooth side. I wanted to save the smooth side for the laminate. So, using plenty of liquid nails and a caulk gun I glued the padding to the 4x4 OSB. The "puzzle piece" sides left holes along each side. I could have filled them in with the edging, but then I would have had to cut the foam off because it would overlap the board. I felt that it was best to leave it as is but in the future I may change my mind. After the pads were glued down I walked all over it for a few minutes to ensure it was down well. Then I flipped the board over and left it over night
Step 4: Step 3: Match 'em Up
Because the boards came in many different lengths, I wanted to make sure that 1) I had enough boards, and 2) they would cover my 4x4 area well. So I matched them up, over board to under board, and laid them out on the OSB.
Not bad looking huh?
Step 5: Step 4: Glue 'em Down
After matching up the boards, now it's time to glue em down. I neglected to take a picture of the gluing process but essentially I did this:
1) The board I found at the ReUse store had one 3' board that had been cut with a nice straight edge and was about 2" across. I liked the clean edge so I decided that this would be a good anchor board for my edge. I needed to cut another 12" board to match it using my jig saw.
I found that cutting this laminate was done best with a saw blade that had as many teeth as possible (mine was 20 teeth/inch). This worked great, until my blade dulled, then broke. After that I used one with 12 teeth/inch and it chipped the laminate a bit but not terribly.
2) Next glue the boards to one side of your OSB and clamp. I wish I had a couple more spring clamps, but this seemed to work well. I left these a few hours and they were set enough to move onto the next step
3) snap in and glue down two boards at a time (a course). I used plenty of glue and made sure each board was snug against the boards they were snapped.
- notice that I aligned each course of boards with one side and all of them, except one, overlapped. These will need to be trimmed in the next step.
4) Because I used the anchor board at the far edge, my courses ended with about 1/2" of OSB sticking out. In the end I knew I'd have to cut off the undercut of the laminate, but I also needed to cut off the 1/2" of OSB. This was less of a problem than I thought it would be.
Step 6: Step 5: Weight and Wait
After gluing all of the boards down, it was time to let them cure. I placed the other 4x4 piece of OSB on, smooth side down. Then a couple of heavy boxes full of Christmas decorations (including a 10' fake Christmas tree) went on top. I let this dry completely for 24 hours.
Step 7: Step 6: Trim 'em Up
Initially I had tried to use a circular saw to cut the excess boards and the 1/2 inch of extra OSB off. This really didn't work. The circular saw blade chipped the laminate something fierce. After a couple of tries I finally decided to use my jig saw and it worked like a charm.
Step 8: Step 7: Tap Away
After all is said and done, it's time to test it out.
Initially I dusted the boards well and set them out for some tapping. It sounded great! I've uploaded a video of my son tapping and the sound is really wonderful. Very percussive and resonate. We also tried it on the hard floor and there was just enough give. Look out world, here comes another tapper!
Thanks for checking out my Instructable. I plan on entering it into the Trash to Treasure and Make Noise Contests. Please vote for me!
Long live Tap!!
Step 9: Bonus: Exercise Mat
As a bonus, my son pointed out that you can easily flip this board over (only on the