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The Right Stage Flooring Material: Where to Use Maple, Pine, or Masonite

theater stage flooring types

Lights, camera, action! When everyone has rehearsed and is ready for the big performance, is your auditorium stage floor ready, too?

Stage floors at schools across the country often take a beating with the rolling weight of risers, installation of set pieces, and placement of concert band chairs. When the time comes for a stage floor replacement, it’s important to know your options.

Common Stage Flooring Materials

It’s not uncommon for theater stage floors to be constructed using different types of wood. While using multiple materials may seem odd, this approach allows for a stage floor system that is easier to maintain over time, more cost effective, and beneficial for theater stage props.

stage graphic for theater flooring types

Pine Flooring for Theater Stage Floors

Soft woods such as pine or fir are often used behind-the-curtain where stage sets are attached to the flooring. Soft woods generally don’t splinter and can be easily patched up after sets are removed.

pine flooring for theater stages

The flooring behind the curtain is also typically painted black in a matte finish so it doesn’t cause a reflection, and they can hide imperfections from previous performances.

Tempered Hardboard for Stage Floors

Facility owners can also choose hardboard as an alternative to pine or fir for behind-the-curtain stage floors. This engineered hardboard is composed of pressed-molded wood fibers and is sometimes referred to by the brand name, Masonite.

Like pine or fir, tempered hardboard does not splinter when sets are screwed into the surface, and it gets painted black. The 4′ x 8′ sheets are easy and affordable to replace if a piece of the stage flooring does get damaged.

tempered hardboard for theater stage flooring

Hardboard for behind-the-curtain stage flooring is typically ¼ inch thick, generally installed onto a layer of 15/32” thick sheathing so it matches the apron flooring. Tempered hardboard has limited structural and load bearing characteristics so it is used exclusively as a surfacing material.

Even though tempered hardboard is relatively inexpensive, there are five different ANSI grades. What you’ll find at big box home improvement stores is usually the lowest grade. Higher quality hardboard may need to be special ordered.

Hardwood Maple for Stage Floors

The most popular place to use hardwood maple is for the apron or the front of the stage. Utilizing maple floors before the curtain allows for an aesthetically-pleasing finish. This is the area many members of the audience will be able to see. Having attractive flooring at the stage apron is also better for special presentations.

However, sometimes schools and facilities that intend to use their stage for a multi-functional space, such as an area for after school activities or gym class, and choose to install maple over the entire surface.

hardwood maple theater stage flooring

In multi-purpose spaces such as these, a selection from Action Floor Systems® provides beneficial performance attributes as well as a warm aesthetic appeal.

A lot of dancing and movement takes place near the front of the stage. An Action Floor Systems performance stage flooring system provides shock absorption to help protect the joints of performers. Uniformity, area deflection, and vertical deflection are performance attributes to consider when choosing a surface where dance and other physical activities take place on stage.

Quality Materials and Service You Can Count On

Action Floors strives to assist schools and architects find flooring solutions that work best for a space and its performance requirements. Whether your facility needs a new or replacement stage floor system or is considering improvements to a gymnasium, weight room, or locker rooms, we offer many hardwood and synthetic sports flooring options that can be customized for your application.

Contact us today or give us a call at 800-746-3512 to connect with Action Floors and get your questions answered. You can also read more about our unique installation at the Cincinnati Music Hall or how we helped problem solve at a school in California.

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