Building a better basketball court with bamboo

Bamboo flooring on basketball courts offer upgrades in flexibility, durability and even visual beauty over traditional maple and beech wood.

The basketball court is one of the most sacred playing surfaces in all of sports. The way the ball ricochets off the floor, the cushioning it provides athletes as they sprint up and down the court, and the bounce and give of the facade as players launch jump shots and vie for rebounds all have a meaningful role in the outcome of the game.

Because of those factors, finding the right material with which to construct or redo a basketball floor is essential to creating the sacrosanct sporting environment the game requires. From the classic parquet floors of The Boston Garden, which saw 16 different championship teams trod on its surface, to the standard maple and beech hardwood floors of courts across the country, arena owners and managers have always sought the perfect material to absorb the pounding imposed upon them during games and practices.

An alternative to maple, beech and synthetics
In the past several years, a different type of sports flooring has emerged to challenge the standard use of maple and synthetic materials in basketball courts. Bamboo flooring and bamboo plywood, known as Plyboo, is gaining greater awareness throughout the country for its utility in heavy-use public areas such as basketball courts and other sports venues.

Offering the kind of durability and elasticity that are crucial to both playing quality and maintenance, bamboo hardwood floors and Plyboo are increasingly being used in gyms large and small all over North America.

Sustainability is key to popularity
Not only does bamboo re-create or improve upon the standard feel and texture of a basketball court, it accomplishes that task in a way that is much more environmentally friendly than traditional materials. That is especially important for large sports venues and schools with basketball courts, since those are the types of buildings that have been at the forefront of the green revolution in America.

PlybooSport, made by Smith & Fong, is a type of bamboo sports flooring that offers benefits beyond its strength advantage over maple and beech. Especially when paired with bamboo underlying systems, PlybooSport can be a major step toward a facility earning Leadership in Energy Efficiency and Design (LEED) accreditation, a common barometer of eco-friendly design.

Bamboo's environmental advantages over wood are a major reason for the material's LEED-friendliness. Bamboo is rapidly renewable and requires far fewer artificial tools and techniques to promote growth and ease extraction than the ones used in hardwood forestry.

With all of its practical and environmental benefits, it's no wonder sports and fitness facilities in the U.S., Canada and Mexico are increasingly turning to bamboo.

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