Sports Hall Flooring – Polyurethane or Timber?

Sports Hall Flooring - Polyurethane or Timber

A sports hall surface should last for 30 years or more with very little maintenance. The key to achieving this long lifespan is picking a surface that matches the intended use, and timber and polyurethane are both great options for a multi-use surface.

Which is best is largely a matter of taste, although with polyurethane being the more modern material, it is available in a wider range of densities (elasticities) to suit different sports. In general, you can’t go wrong with either surface.

Timber sports hall flooring


  • Classic look
  • Exceptional lifespan
  • Many court players prefer timber (e.g. basketball)


  • The luxury choice – more expensive than polyurethane.

It is not uncommon to see timber floors in sports halls that are over 50 years old. This is a testament to the longevity of timber.

Timber also offers a classic look that never gets old. When you think of a sports hall, you probably picture a timber floor that squeaks when you run with trainers on. This is the kind of sports floor that you probably grew up with at school.

The downside to timber flooring is it is hard and unforgiving. It’s also a fast surface, making indoor hockey and football a faster game.

Engineered timber is an exceptional material for sports halls or you can go for hardwood. Just make sure the timber is sustainable and eco-friendly.

Polyurethane sports hall flooring


  • Cheaper than timber
  • Long lifespan
  • Caters for a wider range of sports (multiuse)


  • Some people prefer timber.

Advances in material science mean you can now get polyurethane flooring that lasts just as long, and if not longer, than timber flooring.

The seamless look of a polyurethane floor has its own qualities. It can also be laid in different densities, allowing different areas of the sports hall to offer different levels of elasticity.

Polyurethane flooring offers the best slip resistance, grip, elasticity and durability of any flooring for sports halls. It outperforms timber so long as the right surface is chosen. It can also be resurfaced at a lower cost than timber.