What goes underneath?

Richard Aylen, Our Technical Manager explains why a good quality floor is paramount in a squash court.

There’s no question – the floor in a squash court has to be top notch. In fast paced games like squash and racquetball, the floor should give the player freedom of movement, optimal ball bounce and protection against injuries. A solid beech floor has proved itself to be the best option in preference to all the other types of floor that might be used for squash.

The case for a solid beech squash court floor in preference to laminated wood floors was made decades ago, offering the best surface for players at all levels.  By far the majority of new squash court floors being fitted in the UK are made from solid press dried beech. The UK’s specialist squash court contractors will predominantly recommend 22mm thick solid Beech SylvaSquash from Junckers to their clients as the “go-to” floor.

Unlike and engineered floor, a solid hardwood squash floor from Junckers has no layers of low grade materials that can delaminate, and at 22mm thick it is extremely durable.  Junckers unique press drying process makes the wood very strong and results in a floor that is inherently stable throughout the natural cycle of humidity changes during the year.

A squash court floor must have a high level of ”grip”. Junckers Beech SylvaSquash floorboards are unsealed and have a slightly roughened surface, which provides the right level of friction whether the surface is wet or dry, and so keeps risk of injury to an absolute minimum.

While the surface of the floor is important, what is also vital to a squash floor is what goes underneath. The undercarriage system has a direct bearing on the performance of the floor. All Junckers’ sports flooring systems have unique area elastic properties to ensure optimal shock absorption in accordance with the European EN 14904 standard. This means Junckers’ floors are proven as suitable for squash at the highest level.

A floor that complies with EN 14904 cat A3 or A4, as well as the technical requirements of England Squash and the World Squash Federation, will have defined limits for shock absorption and surface deflection. The standards relate both to safety and technical properties including friction, rolling load, vertical deformation, shock absorption and ball bounce.

In addition to the European standard, Junckers has added two further internal tests to demonstrate the strength and longevity of their floors. A fatigue test where the floor is exposed to a series of controlled, dynamic point impacts of 300kg no less than 100,000 times, which simulates the equivalent of 25 years of normal use; and a point load test.

Not only is a squash floor from Junckers one of the safest and best performing floors on the market, they can be sanded between eight and ten times during their lives. In terms of life cycle cost and investment value this makes them unbeatable. A typical laminated squash court floor can normally be sanded only twice.

Installing a Junckers squash floor gives clients the benefit of full technical backup throughout the life of the floor as well as the option of a maintenance and aftercare scheme through one of Junckers’ Approved Contractors.

Junckers SylvaSquash Beech flooring at University of Birmingham installed by Courtcare. Photo: Hufton+Crow