Long gone are the days when indoor basketball courts were made of hardwood, and outdoor courts were usually a cement slab. Today, there are several options, including rubber, or synthetic, basketball court flooring.
Rubber flooring has many advantages. It is more cost-effective, and for schools and organizations that host other sports or events along with basketball, rubber flooring is versatile and durable. Rubber basketball court flooring will last for many decades with proper maintenance. Unlike their hardwood counterpart, a rubber floor is easy to clean and it is much less costly to repair.
Another advantage of installing a rubber court is the shock-absorbancy that traditional floorings lack. This results in fewer injuries to players, and that reduces liability as well. A rubber floor can withstand heavy traffic and high impacts, and it is slip-resistant. Hardwood floors can be slippery, especially after being buffed. A rubber floor eliminates this hazard.
Before choosing rubber basketball court flooring, learn about all the different options available so that you can get the exact flooring that will meet your needs and your budget.
Before reviewing the different types of flooring, you’ll want to access your needs. Some basic things to consider include:
- Will the basketball court be located inside or out? Will it be exposed to changing weather conditions or indoor temperatures?
- How much use will it get and will be it subjected to heavy traffic on a regular basis or only during basketball season?
- Does your school or organization (or insurer) require any specific requirements?
- Do you know the exact size flooring that you’ll need for the coverage you want to achieve?
- Do your requirements fall within your budget?
- Can you provide the required maintenance and will it fall within your budget? Do you have the proper personnel to perform maintenance? Are spills and stains easy to clean? Are there any special cleaning solutions or equipment needed?
- Will the floor you select last for the duration that you require?
- Is the flooring available in the colors, shape, and size that you need? Do the colors and styles work for your placement? If the floor is for a school, are your school colors and mascot available? Can it be polished to a high shine?
- When covering an entire large area, how will the sound absorption be? Will it buffer the sound to adjoining rooms?
- How long does the warranty last, and what does it cover? Are there installation guarantees? Will the installer return and fix any installation problems free of charge?
- Will your insurance cover synthetic floors in the same manner it provides coverage for wood or tile floors? Are there any specials riders needed? Will your premium increase?
- How long will it take to install the floor? Who is responsible to move out any furniture and equipment?
Once you’ve reviewed all of your needs and availability, it’s time to decide what type of rubber basketball court flooring you want. There are three types to choose from—mat, rolls, and tile.
Mat flooring is versatile in that it comes in many sizes. They can be placed on any hard surface and come in many sizes to a small, personal yoga mat to interlocking mats that cover a large area, such as a gym floor. Thickness can range from 1/2 inch to 2 inches, depending on what the mat will be used for. For durability, a thicker mat is best, and for basketball use, the large, interlocking mats in 2-inch thickness can withstand high impacts and heavy traffic.
Roll flooring is better for covering large areas with fewer seams. It comes in large sheets, and an entire room can be covered with one or two rolls.
They are extremely heavy, making installation more difficult and it can be more costly, but a roll floor is durable and can withstand heavy traffic and high impacts.
Because it can be installed seamlessly or with only one seam, it’s best for basketball or any sport use. It allows for easy transition to other sports or functions. It is the most popular flooring for large sports facilities and event centers. They are perfect for indoor use, although because of their weight, they aren’t ideal for outdoor use if they need to be moved during winter or rainy seasons.
Tiles are a popular option because if one tile is damaged, it can easily be replaced. Tiles are available in a variety of sizes and thicknesses and are the best option for indoor and outdoor use. They are available in a variety of colors and textures. Flat, smooth surfaces aren’t recommended for pool areas or any area that is subjective to wetness because they can be slippery and hazardous. For outdoor use, it’s best to add some texture if the floor is to remain outside for extended periods or permanently.
Many companies offer synthetic flooring that looks so much like wood that many won’t notice the difference. They have the same high-gloss shine that you see with hardwood, yet they are more economical and easier to maintain.
Of course, before buying any rubber basketball court flooring, be sure to check product reviews and check with others who have it installed. Your salesperson should be happy to refer you to other schools and organizations that have installed their flooring so that you can perhaps make a personal visit to see for yourself how these floors perform and get answers to any questions you might have. You can get first-hand opinions about cleaning and maintenance, durability, and recommendations for thickness and professional installation. The heavier the traffic and the more impact, the thicker the rubber flooring you will need. The thicker the floor, the safer it is and the more noise-buffering it will be as well.
With so many products and companies to choose from, it helps to speak with as many users of rubber basketball court flooring as possible. Also, speak with players to see how they compare it to hardwood and other surfaces. The more informed you are, the more likely you are to get the floor that’s perfect for your needs.