Polestars Guide to Buying and Fitting Poles at HomePosted by Holly Anderson on November 20 2013.
Polestars Guide to Buying and Fitting Poles – Why get a pole at home?
It’s well known that pole dancing is an excellent way to keep fit as it works out all of your core muscles. It is also a lot more fun than going for a jog or trying to battle through another celebrity workout DVD!
Even though many gyms offer pole dancing as exercise classes and there are many companies that operate pole lessons all over the country, we understand that you can only gain the fitness benefits and improve by practising regularly. Normally classes are expensive and we think the only way to have enough practice time is to work out at home. This is why we have put together this guide on buying and fitting poles in your own home! We even have Vertical Dance Workout DVD available from our shop so you can teach yourself this sexy and fun way to exercise!
Polestars Guide to Buying and Fitting Poles – Choosing a Pole
Your first choice is between a pole with a large heavy base (podium pole) or a pole that fits between floor and ceiling (floor to ceiling poles).
For most home poles a floor to ceiling pole is going to be the best solution. Although podium poles are simple enough to use, they lack the stability that a floor to ceiling pole can deliver. The benefit of podium poles is they can be set up anywhere and do not rely on a ceiling that is strong enough to fix to.
You can purchase a good portable podium pole from X-Pole or some heavier models from Palladium or Alistage. These podium poles often include some kind of weighting system to act as ballast to help with stability, however this means that they are often incredibly heavy and possibly very bulky and so storage and portability become an issue. Podium poles come into their own where the room you wish to use them in has a high or a weak ceiling, or when you wish to use the pole in lots of different places – often if you are going to be performing a lot.
Floor to Ceiling Poles brace themselves between floor and ceiling and are held there by pressure. For this to work you need a sturdy floor and ceiling, most average floors and ceilings are perfectly acceptable, but do have a think about where you can put it before you buy yours! There are also a number of different poles available, so a little bit of research before you buy one will go a long way.
There are a number of factors to take into account when choosing your pole:-
Polestars Guide to Buying and Fitting Poles – Ceiling Fitting
Some poles have a fitting that will stay permanently in your ceiling and makes it very secure, however you do have to drill at least one small hole in the ceiling and have a fitting that stays attached to your ceiling permanently (this may draw unwanted questions!). There are also poles that do not need a permanent ceiling fitting, they may lack stability.
Polestars Guide to Buying and Fitting Poles – Portability
Many poles can be collapsed down into multiple parts and can be carried in a bag whilst others come in one length and are harder to transport and pack away for storage, you may end up with a full length pole in the corner of the room.
Polestars Guide to Buying and Fitting Poles – Adjustability
The single length pole needs to be cut to fit your room, this means they are simple to put up but they can only be moved to another location with a very similar floor to ceiling height – often the maximum variation is about 15 cms. Those poles that come apart can often have replacement parts that mean when moving house, for example, you can take the pole with you and order a separate pole peice to fit your new floor to ceiling height.
In both cases, before you buy a pole you should decide where you are going to put the pole, take a careful measurement and then check the floor and ceiling.
Polestars Guide to Buying and Fitting Poles – Width of Pole
Most poles are 50mm wide, however some companies offer a thin 38mm or a 45mm pole, these dimensions refer to the diameter, and smaller diameter can allow a stronger grip which can make it easier to do tricks, however be aware that if you get used to a smaller pole, you will find it harder when you use a new pole!
Polestars Guide to Buying and Fitting Poles – Measuring for your pole
All poles need a floor to ceiling measurement to be taken. When you take the measurement do it exactly, and measure at the point where you will locate your pole. Many ceilings and floors are uneven and a measurement in one part of a room may not be correct for another part of the room.
Locating the Pole
You really want a minimum of 1 metre clearance in all directions and ideally 1.5 metres. For most average sized rooms this means that pole is going to be in the centre of the room. Once you have found the ideal location you should check the floor and ceiling.
You have to have a pretty bad floor for it to be unsuitable. However you should check that the floor is solid and does not bend or flex at the point you want to locate the pole. A concrete floor will be fine as long as it is flat. Most floor boards are strong enough as long as they are securely attached. All the poles will grip on to most types of floor covering, but we would not recommend fitting them onto ceramic floor – there is a danger that your pole will mark floor boards or a laminate floor.
This is where it may get a little bit technical. There are four common types of ceiling: joisted, concrete, exposed beams and false. Whichever type of pole you use, you must understand where the strong fixing points are. Even if you use a removable pole with a wide top, you still need to put it up in the correct place on your ceiling.
Polestars Guide to Fitting the Pole:
Concrete is difficult to drill in to (you will want a powerful ssd drill), a good drill bit and some patience, but is very solid once you have it fixed and should never need maintaining.
As long as your beams are wooden then you can screw straight into them very easily and it will give you a secure and long lasting fixing. Metal beams will need to be drilled through and a nut and bolt used to attach the top fixing.
This is the most common type of ceiling and basically there are wooden beams (called studs) which run from wall to wall. A light-weight board made of plaster is nailed/screwed onto the beams and this is then painted. Plasterboard is very weak, you must locate the pole underneath one of the wooden studs that are behind the plasterboard.
The trick here is finding the studs. The best solution is to buy a stud locator from a DIY store. Most big stores will sell them (if you type ‘stud locator’ into Google you will find plenty). You run the stud locator over the ceiling and it beeps when it finds a stud. In most ceilings this is pretty easy and you will find them about every 40 / 50 cm in most ceilings. The studs should be running in one direction across your ceiling. Once you think you have found a beam it is worth drilling a tiny pilot hole to check that there really is a beam there. You will feel the drill bite into some harder wood when you get through the plasterboard if there is a beam there.
It may be necessairy to create a wooden plate, 16 mm Ply should be strong enough to span two studs and further spread the load, we often use this method, it can be decorated up and made into a feature of the room.
You find this in a lot of modern buildings or conversions. In this type of ceiling there is a gap between the ceiling that you can see in the room and the real ceiling.
The false ceiling may have tiles of some sort (often polystyrene) or they may use plasterboard. In general false ceilings are a bit problematic and we would not generally recommend fixing on them. However it can be done. If you have a tiled ceiling with a space behind it, then you need to fix into the real ceiling and remove a tile where you want to put the pole up. If there is a very large distance between the false and real ceiling then you may have difficulty getting the pole up and down.
If the ceiling is plasterboard then it depends on how securely the false ceiling is fixed. If your false ceiling is strong and supported by wooden studs then you can treat it as a joisted ceiling. However if it is strong and supported by metal fixings you need another solution. We recommend fitting a large wooden plate to the ceiling with hollow wall screws. The plate should stretch across more than one metal fitting point in the ceiling. The pole can then be fixed to the centre of the board.
Polestars Guide to Buying and Fitting Poles – Setting Up the Pole
Once you have found the stud / joist, all poles will come with their own instructions about setting up the pole, the most important thing is to get your pole properly vertical and make sure all the fixings and fittings are secure and the pole is checked before you use it.
Polestars Guide to Buying and Fitting Poles – Wear and Tear
Other than wear and tear to the pole, the areas that you need to be concerned about are the floor and ceiling.
It is quite possible that any type of pole will cause some marks to be left on your floor if it is up often and tightened hard. Some manufacturers provide their poles with thick neoprene rubber pads which are very effective, but even then there may still be some marking. Poles should not cause serious damage but do be prepared for some marks to be left.
If you are fitting up against plasterboard then prolonged pressure can leave some marks or even wear away the plasterboard slowly. If you find that your fitting is sinking slowly into your ceiling or is becoming loose then you should have a good look at what is happening.
We have developed a system of wooden plates that we use as our poles get so much sustained and regular use. You need to find two studs, make a wooden plate large enough to be attached to both studs and then attach the pole fitting to the wooden plate.
Remember, if you ever need further assistance on buying or fitting poles please feel free to call the office on 020 7274 4865 where a member of staff will be happy to help you!