Hard maple makes up most NBA hardwood courts and many sports floors at the college level. It’s a high-performing flooring solution with precise installation and maintenance needs. With that in mind, the offseason is the perfect time to revitalize your hardwood floor and learn everything you need to know about proper sports floor maintenance.
Why Using Hardwood Is The Best Choice
Before we dig into more detailed information regarding basketball courts, we should first highlight why hardwood flooring is the best option for your sports facility. Here are the five essential hardwood floor performance characteristics:
- Shock Absorption — This is one of the most significant factors for overall hardwood performance. The basketball court should offer just the right amount of shock absorption and do it consistently.
- Friction — Surface friction affects how players perform and how safe they’ll be running up and down the court. This is important in all sports, but particularly in an explosive one such as basketball.
- Ball Bounce — If the ball bounce percentages are off, players can’t perform at their highest level. For basketball, ball bounce should always be at least 93 percent.
- Vertical Deflection — Vertical deflection helps increase player stability. This is imperative in a fast-paced sport like basketball. Like ball bounce, it should be at a specific percentage, as both too little and too much deflection negatively affects performance.
- Area Deflection — Lastly, the basketball court should also contain the deflected area under the player’s impact and equally disperse the resulting energy throughout the floor.
Installing A New Basketball Floor Vs. Renovating The Current One
The offseason is the right moment to choose whether you want to install a completely new basketball floor or just polish and breathe new life in your existing court.
On the other hand, if you’re installing a new floor, you need to consider many different factors. These include the subfloor, key performance features, and, of course, the price of the hardwood floor.
If you’re applying a new finish, make sure to give it enough time to dry to prevent any player injuries or hardwood damage. You can choose between oil-based and water-based finishes. The former takes up to 72 hours to dry and 30 days to fully cure. The latter type will dry in just a few hours.
Essential Basketball Flooring Maintenance Tips
Maintaining your basketball flooring makes a massive impact on its longevity and performance. In return, this can save you a significant amount of money in the long run. In light of that, here are the best basketball flooring maintenance tips:
- Dry Mop Daily — Dry mopping your basketball court is an essential maintenance practice you should employ at least once a day or twice if you have a high-traffic basketball court.
- Don’t Overuse Cleaning Products — The hardwood finish maintains a delicate chemical balance that can easily be disturbed by harsh cleaning products. Minimize the use of cleaning products. Additionally, consider using a neutral cleaner without changing up the cleaning products too often.
- Monitor Court Conditions Regularly — Prevention is the best treatment. Monitoring changing conditions in your basketball venue is the most effective way of minimizing any potentially significant damage. Pay attention to any signs and act without delay if you notice any damage.
Basketball Court Maintenance Errors To Avoid
As much as correct maintenance can extend the longevity of your floor, improper maintenance can considerably shorten the lifespan of your basketball court. Given this, some of the most harmful maintenance practices you should avoid at all costs:
- Cleaning with Water — Cleaning with water can quickly cause damage to even the toughest basketball hardwood court. Not only will it wipe out the finish and ruin the visual appearance, but it can also lead to the boards splintering.
- Failing to Monitor Indoor Humidity — The official MFMA recommendations state that indoor humidity should always be between 35 and 50 percent. In line with that, the temperature should also be between 55 and 75 degrees. Anything outside these numbers will negatively impact the basketball court.
- Dirty Entrances — The court entrances should always be spotless. Unclean basketball shoes, dirt, and debris can quickly damage your pricey basketball hardwood floor.
What Can You Do If Your Basketball Court Floor Floods?
Water is a hardwood floor’s worst enemy. If your court gets flooded, most likely, it will be impossible to salvage. That said, remember that the longer the floor stays underwater, the more likely it will start cupping or buckling. So the best thing to do is remove the base around the floor and try to get rid of as much water as possible.
Remove the water asap and wait for the floor to adjust back to its normal level. Don’t cut out any parts or otherwise remove any hardwood boards. If the basketball court is too moist, use high-powered fans and a dehumidifier to expedite the drying process.