How To Choose Timber Sports Flooring

basketball flooring

A good timber sports floor will last 30 years or more. The only maintenance needed is mopping to clean it and buffing to remove shoe marks. After 10 or so years, the lacquer may wear off in high-traffic places, but this is easy to replace.

These characteristics make timbers sports flooring a great choice for school sports halls, gymnasiums and sports centres. We have installed dozens of timber floors for sports and all of them look as good as the day they were installed.

Here’s how to choose timber sports flooring for your project:

Wood type

Timber sports floors can be made from hardwood or engineered wood.

  • Hardwood timber sports flooring – these natural floors are proven to last for generations and look fantastic. This is the material of choice for pro basketball courts in the National Basketball Association (NBA)
  • Engineered wood sports flooring – cheaper than hardwood but can be just as durable. The top layer is solid wood with an engineered sublayer. Available in a wide range of finishes including oak, maple and walnut

Engineered flooring has replaced hardwood sports flooring in popularity over the last decade because it gives up little in performance for a cheaper price. Few people are able to tell the difference between them either.


You can change the character of a timber sports floor with stagger patterns. The standard pattern is a simple wood strip or brick bond (straight lines). More intricate patterns include herringbone, double herringbone and chevron.

There is no functional difference between patterns, but some schools and fitness institutions prefer a simple or intricate look. The only consideration is price, with intricate patterns being more expensive to buy and install.


Engineered timber flooring is prone to wear over time more so than hardwood timber flooring. This is due to it being a layered, engineered product. Hardwood flooring is made from solid pieces of wood with no layers.

The lifespan for a hardwood sports floor is in excess of 30 years and the lifespan for an engineered floor is around 20 years. These are minimum estimates. The truth is that both types of floor could last much longer than this.

Proper maintenance is the key to extending the life of your timber floor. Be sure to clean it regularly with the right products and keep it dry.

If you have any questions or would like to talk about your project, give us a call on (0)1706 260 220 and our sports surfaces specialists will help.