Creating a Temporary Stage Floor

The challenge for many churches is creating a scenic design without ruining the existing prefinished hard wood or carpeted stage floors.
Planning a project such as a concert or a special event but your existing floor limits what you can do?  A project that requires painting the floor artistically and for it to hold up to abuse from scenery wagons, heavy equipment or used as attachment points for scenic elements. The challenge for many churches is creating a scenic design without ruining the existing pre finished hard wood or carpeted stage floors. Options can be stressful to consider but there are some simple solutions toward solving this challenge by creating a temporary floor.
For a floor that does not require much durability, canvass or vinyl could be an option. Light weight and portable it can be rolled out and held in place by gaff tape.  Some benefits such as, protecting the exiting floor , being able to create a paint design off location, easy to remove, takes up last space to store and less expensive, is a real plus The draw back is, it can winkle, tear or stretch easily.
Another option to consider is to lay down sheets of 4’ x 8’ x ¾” hardwood plywood onto the existing floor. Hardwood faced plywood such as oak, maple, birch and blond wood is a good choice toward a painting surface.  Grades of plywood such as CDX are difficult to paint out the blemishes because of its softer face. It also has a high moisture content resulting in warp age when not attached to a framing.  A good rule of thumb is to start out with a layer of plastic on the floor to protect the existing surface from any paint seeping down the edges of the plywood.  Use gaff or carpet tape, applying half on the underneath side of the sheet in such a way that the next sheet will form a bond with the same tape. Advantages are; quick to install and remove, manageable, durable.  Disadvantages are; existing floor has to be very level with no unevenness and plywood would need to be hand selected to ensure no warp age.
For a floor that is conducive to many different types of uses or productions, I recommend constructing 4’ squares from  ¾” hardwood plywood attached to a joist frame made from 2” x 4”s.  Attaching the plywood to a frame keeps the plywood from curling up and allows attaching each square to each other with a screw positioned at a 45 degree angle close to the edge.  Benefits are; durable, stackable, scenery can be attached and cables could be put underneath the flooring.  A disadvantage is a sizable height difference (4.25”) from existing floor. Keep in mind if you decide to create a underneath path for cables, most codes requires fire protection.
I’m sure there are many other ideas that comes with either positive or negative experiences. Would love to hear about your ideas and experiences,creating a temporary floor.

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