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I recently got several large panels of salvaged gym floor with the intent to use them as a snap-together dance floor, installed over carpet. The padding under the carpet is very minimal, so I don't expect to need a subfloor. The flooring is maple tongue-and-groove with 2x3 backing every foot & minimal to no warping. The floor will be approximately 18' by 22' and contain at least 10 seams which do not necessarily all align, as they would in commercial click-together temp floor products.

The problem I'm having is coming up with a connection system that is both secure and can be released without direct access to the underside of the full length of the seam. I'm hoping to do this for around $100 or less. I am open to any and all ideas and have access to a wide variety of tools. Dance floors are subjected to repeated force that tries to walk the panels apart, so I was thinking about a system that passively wants to slide together (some sort of miter cut system and gravity?), can be retightened relatively easily, or has an active hold (I was looking at embedded electromagnets but having trouble finding a system that would come in on budget). Toggle clamps or latches might work but would be hard to reach along the longer seams.

I really want to avoid fasteners through the top surface if at all possible. I can escalate there but if it's achieveable to do this without compromising the dance surface that would be preferable for a first pass at the problem.

Thanks for your help!

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    Can the entire floor be "clamped" together on the sides? Like two sides against walls, and the other two sides clamped so the panels have no where to move? – JPhi1618 Jun 3 at 21:05
  • Maybe. My concern there is then there would be nothing preventing the middle of the seams from popping up relative to each other, which is a tripping hazard. I also can't jam the whole thing up against any walls because of the trim situation in the room. – user102377 Jun 3 at 21:10
  • Like the comment.And same thing came up.May be a outside frame to hold them in place. – user101687 Jun 3 at 21:11
  • Tongue and groove implies a joining system already in place, at least along one direction, say, the x-axis. Would this mean you would require only a method to keep the y-axis from shifting? – fred_dot_u Jun 3 at 22:01
  • I wasn't sure if the tongue and groove would tolerate being taken apart and put back together repeatedly, or if the joint would be sufficiently strong since the backing wouldn't be continuous. The salvaging process didn't preserve the open edge everywhere but it would be possible to take material off to expose it along every x-axis. If that would be sufficient and would tolerate being repeatedly disassembled, then I think I might not even need a y-axis constraint system because it's designed so the seams won't align perpendicular to the tongue and groove. Do you think that would work? – user102377 Jun 3 at 22:20

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