Basketball Court Flooring

Basketball Court Flooring

Basketball Court Flooring

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Most professional basketball teams play on a maple hardwood court floor. 2103, DIY/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved

The flooring in a basketball court is very important because even small differences in yield, feel, and flatness can completely change the way the game is played. Materials used should be hard, and solid, so that the ball can bounce consistently against them. They should also be durable so that the surface can weather the constant impacts it will have to take. There are only a few options with characteristics suitable for these rigorous demands.

Indoor Basketball Court Flooring

Maple: Basketball was invented when James Naismith was tasked by the YMCA to come up with an active indoor sport that would wear children out during the long New England winters. That very first game was played in a gymnasium on a maple floor, which must have been some kind of inspiration because even with all of our fancy modern manufacturing techniques that’s still the indoor court choice for professional sports teams.

This material is particularly well suited to basketball because it has a very tight knit structure. That helps to prevent small particles of debris from embedding in its surface, causing minor imperfections which can grow larger over time. In addition, maple is resistant to splintering, and has enough yield to properly keep a ball bouncing without dampening its speed.

Hardwood: While maple is the ideal indoor basketball court flooring, and is the standard for professional play, many home and local gymnasiums use a variety of other, less expensive hardwoods for this purpose. While that can save a considerable amount of money, it’s important to choose a material that has the proper strength to hold up against the abuse a basketball court will receive, or that cost benefit may be offset by repair and replacement bills.

The Janka Scale of wood flooring hardness depicts the relative durability and strength of different species with a higher score indicating greater strength.

White Oak: 1250

Hardwood Finish: A basketball court needs to be as flat and even as possible, so after the planks are installed they get sanded down to remove minor imperfections. Next at least two coats of polyurethane are applied in order to protect the wood further, and give it a glossy appearance. At this point the lines and markers that are needed for the sport get painted onto the floor. Finally, two more coats of polyurethane are applied to laminate the images into the ground as one solid piece.

Basketball Court Flooring

Between each coat of polyurethane the chemical needs to be allowed to fully dry, and the whole floor needs to be cleaned of any dirt, debris, or grime.

Plastic Court Flooring: Some manufacturers are now starting to develop synthetic plastic materials that have the solid strength necessary for a basketball court, combined with a yielding give that makes them safer against accidental falls, and even better for ball bounce. These are generally comprised of polypropylene, which is molded into squares that click together making for easy DIY installation.

Green Basketball Courts: Ecologically friendly basketball court flooring can be manufactured using recycled wood resources. Rubber trees are harvested for their sap which is only produced for about 25 years, after which the functional life of the plant is over. By reclaiming these resources for basketball courts, floor producers can help cut down on waste that would otherwise have to be razed and eliminated.

Most wooden basketball court flooring can be recycled and reclaimed for other projects when the gymnasium is no longer in use.

Outdoor Court Flooring

Maple and other good hardwood court flooring options are generally not suitable for exterior locations, and the process of waterproofing them removes many of their beneficial characteristics. For this reason outdoor basketball flooring is often comprised of concrete. or asphalt, since it is inexpensive, readily available, and easy to maintain in any weather conditions. In many cases a basket can be installed directly into existing cement surfaces, as long as they are reasonably flat.

Basketball Court Subfloors


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