For schools, we normally recommend a polyurethane or vinyl floor because these floors are cost-effective and low maintenance.
The two most important considerations with sports flooring for schools are safety and functionality. The floor has to be non-slip and forgiving, while also providing a sound surface for a wide range of different sports.
Vinyl floors and polyurethane floors both meet these criteria. They are safe, good to play on and forgiving underfoot. They can also be used for assemblies, exams, exhibitions and other school events like parents’ evenings.
Polyurethane (PU) is suitable for mixed sports including basketball, netball, indoor hockey and 5-a-side. The surface has excellent ball bounce and is forgiving underfoot, helping reduce the risk of injury and provide a comfortable playing surface. Most schools choose PU for their sports hall because it’s a multi-sports surface.
Vinyl performs very similarly to polyurethane and somewhat confusingly it can also have a clear polyurethane top layer. The vinyl we provide is pre-laminated. It’s ideal for sports halls and it can have all points and mixed elastic characteristics. The choice between polyurethane and vinyl normally comes down to cost at the time.
Another option for a sports hall is hardwood timber flooring. This is normally made from Maple. It is much more expensive than polyurethane and vinyl, but it has a classical look that may be worth the extra depending on what you want to achieve. We’re an official UK partner of Robbins Sports Surfaces, who supply the NBA.
Hard surfaces and especially timber should be combined with interlocking rubber floor tiles in areas where functional fitness and weight training will be performed. Floor tiles can be placed strategically in a sports hall to provide greater protection to students. Since they are flat, they can be stacked and stored easily too.
When choosing the right sports flooring for a school, it’s important to consider the requirements for each sport that will be played. You should also consider the cost of the surface and how long it will last. Sports hall floors should last well over a decade, and some surfaces are easier to repair than others.