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PVC Sports Flooring VS Wood Flooring


What is the difference between PVC sports flooring and wood flooring? Which one is better? 

The answer can depend on a number of factors, including installation costs, routine and periodic maintenance requirements, expected life span, and the cost of refurbishment or replacement. 

Installation Costs

Wood floors have a bit of a higher installation cost than PVC sports surfaces, but the mere image of gleaming hardwood courts can factor significantly into most any facility operator’s purchasing decision. 


A floor’s specified purpose— or in some cases, purposes— will dictate its maintenance needs. On a wood floor, you have to mindful of wearing the right athletic shoes on to prevent scuff marks. On a PVC sports floor, you can have 300-pound guys in loafers playing volleyball.

No one can deny the versatility of PVC sports flooring. But its ability to accommodate a variety of activities, athletic and non-athletic, comes with a price. You do not have to baby PVC sports floors as much as wood, but it is still a floor. Some facility operators might believe their PVC sports floors are maintenance-free.

Life Expectancy

The longevity of prefinished, engineered wood floors, rivals traditional hardwood surfaces. It is the same type of product that you see more now in residential applications. The residential floors’ finishes are purported to be low-maintenance and long-lasting.

PVC sports surfaces can last anywhere from 10 to 30 years. Facility operators should get 10 to 15 years of service from their urethane floors. Rubber floors typically come with a 10-year wear warranty, but it is not unheard of for a rubber surface to also outlast its warranty. PVC sheet sports floors have a life expectancy of 25 to 30 years, if properly maintained.


Roughly once every 7-10 years, a maple sports floor will need to be sanded. This involves stripping the floor down to bare wood, and adding new game lines and logos before seal and finish.

Polyurethane spray coatings can extend the life of urethane floors by five to 10 years, but so can a little common sense. In multicourt facilities, we recommend rotating open courts to reduce the amount of wear to the key areas of a basketball court. People usually go into a field house and shoot at the first basket they come to. Invariably, though, high-use areas of a urethane surface such as the keys will eventually show wear, often much sooner than other areas. 

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