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Leisure Floors


What is a Safe Floor for a Sports Hall or Leisure Centre

Floors need to be constructed and maintained to serve a specific purpose.

Floors of sports halls have different requirements to floors of a meeting room or workshop. Multi purpose rooms may need to compromise in the nature of a floor.

Sports Hall Floors

For most playing fields, the following conditions are most suitable (though different games may have different requirements):

  1. Traction       Players should be confident that they have a firm grip on the floor when turning and stopping.
  2. Non Slip        Too much non slip will cause players to pull up too fast, and too little will cause them to slip and perhaps fall. Either can result in injuries.
  3. Resilience     This is important to reduce injury during active sports. Research has shown that heavily elasticated shoes doesn't reduce the need for resilience.
  4. Good Ball Bounce        Balls must bounce properly in terms of both height and direction.
  5. Non Glare        Reflective surfaces should be minimised, particularly under lights.
  6. Low Maintenance       Some finishes (eg. sealants, waxes etc) require much more routine maintenance than others.
  7. Aesthetics       Playing surfaces being large unbroken areas will greatly influence the aesthetic character of a facility.

Floor Types

Floors may be comprised of an undersurface with a different treatment on top, or simply a single surface. Floors may be laid on battens set on stumps (giving better resilience), or laid on a slab surface such as concrete or asphalt. Under floors may be sprung or semi sprung to improve resilience.

Common types of floor finishes include:


1. Concrete

A concrete slab is perhaps the cheapest surface. It is appropriate for some activities, but has little resilience and can be bad for the legs, and may lead to increased injuries.

2. Composition Flooring

Wood and leather pieces set in cement and sand to resemble parquet flooring, known in England and USA as "Granwood". Commonly 9 mm thick. Suits multi purpose activities rather than just sport. Needs an annual application of sealant and adjustment to cracks around floor plates, etc. Otherwise maintenance is minimum.

3. Wood strip

This may be floor boards on battens supported on stumps, or laid over the top of a concrete slab.

4.  PVC carpet

Typically a 2mm PVC carpet laid over a chipboard base, which were in turn laid on timber battens.

5. Other surfaces may include cork, rubber etc.

Wet Area Floors

These include swimming pool surrounds, change/shower rooms, spas, saunas etc.

Characteristics of importance include:

  • Non slip surface
  • Waterproof
  • Non glare
  • Hygienic
  • Easy to maintain
  • Aesthetically suitable
  • Acoustically suitable.

Materials used include: timber, concrete (often with a non slip surfacing treatment, such as "pebble mixes"), ceramic tiles, rubberised tiles (usually with plenty of drainage holes in the tiles), and pavers.





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[01/07/2022 20:50:58]

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