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Small Stage Sleeper Floor System

This Guide Specification is designed to assist in the production of actual architectural specifications for small maple stage  flooring installations.

It is hoped that this guide will be of particular value to those who do not have a detailed knowledge of the construction of stage floors and that it will aid in maintaining high construction standards. The information contained herein is based on best industry practices however the Maple Flooring Manufacturers Association, Inc. (MFMA), its members and employees, do not warrant the information contained herein as proper under all conditions. The MFMA reserves the right to revise these guide specifications as necessary.

With questions concerning information contained in this guide, please EMAIL MFMA or call us at 888-480-9138. Always refer to MFMA’s current list of POSITION STATEMENTS when writing any specification.



  1. This document specifies a wood strip stage floor system consisting, in general, of maple flooring, wood subflooring, vapor retarder, sanding, sealers, finishes and wall base.
  2. The general contractor shall provide a concrete slab, troweled smooth and level to a tolerance of +/- 1/8" in a 10' radius, subject to the approval of the MFMA Mill Accredited Installation Company*.

    F-Numbers are not applicable for gymnasium slab applications. Labor and materials necessary to put the concrete slab in acceptable condition (high areas ground down and low areas filled with appropriate leveling compounds) shall be the responsibility of the general contractor. Installation shall not proceed until the concrete slab is in acceptable condition.
    1. The general contractor shall provide slab depressions as per manufacturer’s specifications.
    2. Concrete subfloors shall have an adequate moisture barrier beneath and at the perimeter of the slab. Subject to local conditions.
    3. Sand-Poly-Sand slab construction is not acceptable.
    4. Concrete shall be free of washed river gravel, pea gravel, flint or hardener additives.
  3.  The MFMA Mill Accredited Installation Company* shall provide all tools and services to install a complete wood floor system from the concrete’s surface vapor polyethylene retarder, when required, upward through the sanding and finishing, plus the installation of perimeter moldings.


  1. The wood flooring shall be MFMA-RL or MFMA-FJ maple.
  2. The flooring contractor shall be an MFMA Mill Accredited Installation Company* with MFMA Accredited Installer(s)* on site for the duration of the wood floor installation.


  1. Flooring shall be delivered to the premises and acclimated, if necessary.
  2. All pallets of flooring bundles should be opened and spread out to acclimate the flooring to environmental conditions in the building, when applicable.
  3. The floor system shall not be delivered or installed until all masonry, plastering/dry walling, tile and overhead mechanical trades are complete. All finish and/or wet trades, such as concrete, painting, etc. should be completed and dry prior to delivery to insure proper acclimation of the maple flooring. The building must be enclosed and weather tight.


  1. Permanent heat, light and ventilation shall be installed and operating before, during and after installation, controlling a temperature range of 55 to 75 degrees and a relative humidity range compatible with expected environmental conditions when the facility is occupied. (Maintaining a maximum 15 percent difference between high and low humidity levels). Expected minimum/maximum indoor relative humidity will depend upon building design, geographic location, HVAC systems and operating schedules. Consult your local MFMA Sport Floor contractor for specific information.


  1. The MFMA Mill Accredited Installation Company* shall warrant the floor installation, and shall furnish a flooring materials warranty from the flooring manufacturer.    
  2. Refer to individual flooring manufacturer's warranty for specific provisions and exclusions.


2.01    MATERIAL

  1. Vapor Retarder
    1. 6-mil polyethylene    
  2. Subfloor
    1. Sleepers shall be 2" x 3" x 4' nominal KD Hemlock, Spruce, Pine or Fir as supplied by flooring manufacturer.
      1. Optional (Add or Delete) Cushioned Sleepers shall be 2" x 3" x 4' nominal KD Hemlock, Spruce, Pine or Fir with pads as supplied by flooring manufacturer. 
  3. Maple Flooring Manufacturers Association (MFMA) Wood Flooring
    1. Flooring shall be MFMA-RL Northern Hard Maple or MFMA-FJ Northern Hard Maple; 25/32" thick x 3-1/4", 2-1/2", 2-1/4" or 1-1/2" wide; First, Second and Better, Third and Better, Third or Utility Grade: T & G and EM; grade marked and stamped as produced by an MFMA member manufacturer. 
  4. Fasteners
    1. Flooring fasteners shall be barbed cleats or coated staples, unless otherwise specified by MFMA flooring manufacturer. 
  5. Finishing Materials
    1. Finish materials shall be selected from the most recent listing of MFMA tested and certified products approved by MFMA flooring manufacturer and shall be applied according to finish manufacturer’s instructions.
  6. Perimeter
    1. Wall base shall be 4" x 3" x 4' heavy duty molded, vented, rubber or vinyl cove base with pre molded outside corners as supplied by flooring manufacturer.


3.01    INSPECTION        

  1. Inspect concrete slab for proper tolerance and dryness, and report any discrepancies in writing to the general contractor for correction.  
  2. The concrete slab shall be cleaned of all debris by general contractor so the accredited installation company will have adequate access to work surface.


  1. Cover entire concrete slab with surface vapor retarder, lapping joints a minimum of 6" or as specified by the vapor retarder manufacturer.
  2. Install cushioned sleepers end to end at right angles to the direction of the finished flooring with end joints staggered a minimum of 24". The sleepers shall be spaced 9" O.C. When Third and Better or Third Grade flooring is specified, sleepers should be spaced 8" O.C. If required by the flooring system manufacturer, install solid blocking under bleachers in the stacked position and where portable backstops or other areas subjected to high loads as shown on architectural drawings. If required by the flooring system manufacturer, install recommended blocking below bleachers in the extended position. Maintain a 2" expansion void at the walls and at all vertical obstructions.
  3. Install maple flooring by nailing or stapling approximately 12" O.C. or as specified by the MFMA maple flooring manufacturer. If the stage floor is elevated, the maple flooring shall be installed perpendicular to the floor joists.
    1. Space joints between flooring strips to allow for intermediate expansion in accordance with local humidity conditions.
    2. Provide 2" expansion voids at the perimeter and at all vertical obstructions.


  1. Sanding
    1. Machine sand with coarse, medium and fine paper to a smooth, even and uniform surface.
    2. Remove sanding dust from entire surface by tack or vacuum.
  2. Finishing
    1. Inspect entire area of floor to ensure that surface is acceptable for finishing, completely free from sanding dust. 
    2. Apply seal and finish per finish manufacturer's instructions. 

3.04    WALL BASE INSTALLATION           

  1. Install vented cove base by anchoring to walls with base cement, screws or anchors. 
  2. Miter inside corners, and use pre molded outside corners.


  1. Upon completion of floor installation, the owners, attendants or individuals in charge are responsible for the upkeep of the building and are to see that the care and maintenance instructions of the MFMA and the flooring manufacturer are followed.            

Notes: (*) Effective March 20, 2012                         

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