Tennis Court Construction Basics
The time and effort expunged in the planning and construction stages of a tennis court will determine the play-ability and longevity of the court in the following 20-30 years. A clear section of land for a tennis court needs to measure at minimum 60’ wide by 120’ long. An outdoor court should always have a 1% slope to allow for proper drainage. Tennis Courts, as well as most other sports courts, should be oriented North to South to enable play while the sun is rising in the morning and falling in the afternoon. Base preparation and construction will determine if your court lasts 10 years or 40 years. We recommend using only Virgin Asphalt (thickness of asphalt and sub-base varies by location) or Post Tension Concrete for your substrate. Fencing, Windscreen, Lighting, Net Posts and Nets are all custom options in which your personal taste and budget are the only restrictions.
Factors to Consider
Condition of land
The selection of a location where a tennis court is to be built has a large factor in the prep and base cost of tennis court construction. The flatter the piece of land the less expensive the pre-construction earth work becomes. Areas with hills can require large amounts of earth movement and even retaining walls at times.
To keep water away from your court surface we always consider how water flows over, under and around your court. Dependent on location we may install drains in addition to the normal 1% slope of the tennis court surface.
Local climates can prove to be a hindrance on the court construction process. All acrylic surfaces are very temperature and weather sensitive. If it is too cold (below 50* F) or too hot the acrylic surface will not dry properly. Rain or overcast conditions also can be cumbersome as they prohibit the proper drying of the surface materials.
Building, Electrical and general construction permits, costs and their requirements vary by location. Please consult with Ace Surfaces for more information on your specific location.
Concrete Vs Asphalt
One of the most common questions asked in court construction is whether to choose a concrete or and asphalt base for a tennis court. Asphalt, in some locations may be the least expensive option for a court base, however if improperly built will not last as long as a concrete surface. Post Tension concrete, while more expensive, is typically going to outlast an asphalt surface. Concrete Surfaces will be slightly more rough on the body as they are less forgiving/harder than an asphalt surface. Concrete Surfaces will have a slightly higher initial cost for surfacing due to a 2 component primer that is required for proper acrylic adhesion.
Standard Acrylic Surface vs Premium Acrylic Surface
The industry standard surfaces come with a 1 year warranty and 3-5 year life expectancy. Your new substrate has a 1 year warranty and 20-30 year life expectancy. A premium surface selection, such as Laykold Masters, typically has a slightly higher cost but includes a 5 year warranty and 8-12 year life expectancy. Using a premium surface means less down time, more vibrant/longer lasting colors and less cost down the road.
Cushion vs Hard Court
There are 2 types of cushion surfaces in the tennis court world. A liquid cushion surface (industry standard) is usually applied with squeegees and around 2mm thick. The shock absorption can be anywhere from 2%-5% and will slowly degrade with age. The premium option would be a mat based cushion system. The Laykold Masters mat systems are available in 5mm and 8mm thickness and have 16%-23% shock absorption and will retain their resiliency for 30+ years.
Types of Tennis Courts
Acrylic Hard Courts
The norm in the tennis world – 4-5 layers of textured, colored acrylic paint applied to a concrete or asphalt surface.
Outdoor tennis courts are outside and can be hard courts, cushion courts, clay courts, turf courts or grass courts.
Although originally known as Lawn Tennis, grass courts at one time were one of the main types of tennis court surfacing. With upkeep costs generally higher than most other courts it isn’t surprising that grass courts aren’t very popular in the US.
Acrylic Cushion Courts
Ranging from 2mm to 8mm thick a cushion court supplies extra shock absorption to the body resulting in better joint health and longer play.
Clay courts are generally made of crushed shale, stone, or bricks. There are two different types of clay courts, red clay or green clay. Clay courts require daily maintenance, but provide the benefit of “slide” to the players.
Any clay, turf , acrylic hard or acrylic cushion court surface which is applied under covers or rooftops is classified as an indoor tennis court.
A synthetic grass surface which is selected when a player wants similar play to grass courts but with much lower maintenance costs compared to grass courts.
How We Build the Best Tennis Court for You
Ace Surfaces has many varieties of tennis court surfaces to offer a client. Whether you need an indoor tennis court, an outdoor tennis court or a cushioned tennis court we have the right court for you. We are confident we have the solution for your next tennis court construction or resurfacing needs. Ace Surfaces has partnered with Advanced Polymer Technology and Laykold creating Laykold Masters tennis court surfacing. Laykold Masters provides indoor and outdoor tennis court surfacing materials that provide durability, resistance to weather and resistance of fading to ultra violet rays. These court surfaces can be applied to asphalt, concrete, existing tennis courts or even overlaid an existing base. Whether it is a hard court or cushion court systems,5mm or 8mm, Laykold Masters provides a 5 year warranty that surpasses any in the industry.