How to fix slippery floor (not shoes)?

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by Yanou, Mar 22, 2009.

  1. Yanou

    Yanou Member

    Hi, everyone. I have a flooring question. I have 2 smallish rooms in my house where I can practice. One room has engineered wood and the other has laminate. Both rooms are equally very slippery, so I tried using water and putting ShuGrip (grey, synthetic thing you put on soles) to my shoes. The effect of water didn't last and ShuGrip's hold was too strong.

    Now I'm thinking... maybe I can do something to the floor not to the shoes. Is there a way to make the floor less slippery? Can I apply something to the floor?

    Any suggestions would be appreciated. BTW, I do latin only.

    I did read the castor oil thread, but it's more related to a competition floor, so I started this thread. (I ordered anti-slip powder as well as anti-slip patches danceshopper. I'm still trying.)
  2. JodiD

    JodiD Member

    The problem is the finish on the laninate. Try stripping the floor to get off any or all the wax. Whatever you do don't use caster oil. Although it will seem tacky at the beginning, the floor will then become slippery once again. The powders will do the same.

    Once you stip the floor you may want to apply a new finish like a clear polyurithane. This will tighten up the foor and will last for years. Never use endust or any other silicone or wax, it's deadly.

    Try ammonia and water to strip Or Murphey's hardwood floor cleaner. As a last resort. sand with a very fine grit like 200 grit, and then apply the poly finish.

    Other than that, ditch the dancing shoes and get them resoled with noelite at the shoe repair shop. Then use you good shoes for coms.
  3. old dog

    old dog Member

    Sorry to hear of your floor problems, Yanou. A smooth-finish laminate flooring usually makes a very good dancing surface. Your first objective should be to expose the original factory finish and to be sure it is free (and remains free) of all contaminates.

    I'd be very wary of doing anything drastic to the surface of either the laminate or engineered wood. It is lot easier and less expensive to replace shoes than it is a whole floor. The factory finish on the surface of pre-finished wood and laminate floors is generally integral to the structure and longevity of the entire floor. Trying to replace or seriously modify the "wear surface" would certainly void any warranty and would probably hasten the demise of the entire flooring system.

    Now, there may have been some kind of cleaning material or other 'finish' applied to these floors by a previous owner or occupant. That could easily account for the slipperiness you now experience. A good cleaning (or several) with a weak detergent and a minimum of plain water might remove it, or try what JodiD has suggested. Be sure to use as little water as possible (several damp moppings as opposed to flooding the surface). Water is a big threat to the life of laminates and other wood products.

    We installed a high-quality laminate floor in our lower-level great room for practice and entertaining other dancers. We usually clean it with only a clean dry push mop. A vacuum cleaner will pick up major loose soil. A slightly damp mop is the harshest cleaning we have ever applied to the floor.

    Good luck.
  4. Yanou

    Yanou Member

    JodiD and old dog, thanks for the replies!

    Changing the floor surface seems to be a daunting task. I don't think I have skills and courage to do it. Sounds like tinkering with shoes is easier and less expensive..

    Thanks again for the info, though.
  5. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    Laminate is really the problem. Perhaps a wash with a solution of sugar water.
  6. DL

    DL Well-Known Member

    Is that merely counterintuitive (to me anyway) floor care advice, or did I miss a joke?

    (I'm wondering about insects, bacteria, sticky spots, etc.)
  7. old dog

    old dog Member

    Larinda -- surely you jest!? A sugar solution solution? I've never heard of sugar being used as a cleaning solution. I would think any residue left behind would tend to make the surface too sticky/tacky -- attracting soil, possibly attracting insects, promoting growth of mold and bacteria, and transferring to shoes.

    When our children were young, they were active in bicycle BMX racing. During our cold midwest winters, races were often held indoors on smooth concrete surfaces. How to keep the bikes upright in sharp turns at high speeds? Spray the surface with several coats of sugar water! (Coke or Pepsi works well with a single coat.)

    Also curious about why you think "laminate" is a problem. IMHO, a modern high-quality laminate, properly installed over a good pad can make a very good alternative to solid wood flooring.
  8. QPO

    QPO New Member

    Had not given it much consideration about the laminate floor, we have slate in our home and it is uneven and very difficult to practice on, currently we have vynl outside on concrete. It is not slippery but better than nothing.
  9. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    Laminate/Pergo/Engineered Wood/ is slippery. OP asked how to slow the floor down, not how to clean it. Lots of times people have used a sugar solution or soda to add just a tiny bit of tackiness to a floor to slow it down. As old dog agreed with the bikes, sugar water gives an amount of grip.
  10. Yanou

    Yanou Member

    Thanks, everyone. I was going to try sugar solution or soda since it's kinda easy to do. Then I found "Slip No Mor 2000C", available from stagestep.com. It looks like liquid resin, and the price and the work involved seem OK. So, I will order it and let you guys know how it goes.
  11. wooh

    wooh Well-Known Member

    Be careful and do a test spot first. Don't want to go to the opposite problem.
  12. tbrennen

    tbrennen Member

    I've been fighting this for years when getting a floor ready for a competition. I hope someday to find a simple finish that goes down on the floor like Mop'n'Glo but has the right amount of grap/slipperiness.

    One suggestion for the Slip No Mor is to dilute it A LOT before using it and see if you can tailor the slipperiness to your preference. I would very much like to hear your results!
  13. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    Depending on the finish of your floor, one option might be a light sanding to just roughen it up just a little bit.
  14. Al Gisnered

    Al Gisnered Member

    Probably a rotary buffing with 0 or 00 (not 000) steel wool would be better.
  15. chica latina

    chica latina New Member

    Yanou, let us know the result... good luck!
  16. DennisBeach

    DennisBeach New Member

    Thoroughly brushing you soles, should help a little. Our shoes are always a little sticky after I brush them and make the surface rough. I put in a laminate floor for a practice room and it is a little bit on the sticky side, so it appears something was put on your floors, that made them slippery.

    I would suggest taking a piece of the laminate to Loew's or Home Depot, to see if they have any easy solution.
  17. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    What kind of surface are the floors laid over? Concrete sub flooring almost always produces a slightly faster result, because there will be less give and absorbtion of your weight and foot into the wood.
  18. Yanou

    Yanou Member

    Joe and Al Gisnered:
    Thanks. But my house is relatively new and so is the floor. So, I really don't want to scratch the floow. Nonetheless, I bought steelwool and used it on some leftovers when the floor was done. It didn't look like it had much effects.

    DennisBeach

    I brushed my shoes a lot but it didn't work too much. Also, I visited local Home Depot and Lowes but couldn't find anyone who could give me good tips.

    Larinda

    Yes, it's concrete sub floor.

    About Anti-Slip Powder

    I bought it and used it on my shoes. It worked and the effect lasted much longer than water. Then, I tried to sprinkle the powder on the floor and accidentally poured half the bottle on the floor. Now the floor is very very slow but not to the point where I cannot dance. That was a week ago, and the floor is still very sticky. I prefer this to the previous state, which was almost like icelink.

    About Slip No Mor 2000C
    I received this a few days ago but haven't used it because the floor is still very slow due to Anti-slip powder. I will report back when I use this liquid form of rosin.
  19. QPO

    QPO New Member

    Well I hope they use some of that o our comp floor next week, that floor is always very slippery and I would hate to be a Latin dancer.
  20. Yanou

    Yanou Member

    Just a quick update on this.

    The accidentally and generously applied Anti-slip powder is still working well and the floor has the right amount of traction now. It looks like it may hold up another couple of weeks.:)

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