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

Courtcraft installs professional sports flooring system in new sports hall at University of Hull

Our Approved Contractor Courtcraft has installed a gigantic sports floor at University of Hull’s new sports facility, one of the largest in the country. Working in collaboration with Henry Boot Construction, Courtcraft supplied and installed 2600m2 of our SylvaSport Premium sports flooring system.

The multi-purpose hall has been fitted with an A4 rated, sprung solid timber floor, in accordance with the specification recommendations issued by Sport England and the ESFA, the Government’s Education & Skills Funding Agency. The solid wood floor boards were laid onto our New Era cradle and batten system, with double battening installed underneath the area where retractable seating was to be positioned in order to spread the loading weight. Courtcraft’s partners MJ Courtmarkers line-marked the floor for badminton, basketball, netball and volleyball use, sealed with a topcoat of Junckers HP Sport lacquer.

With the correct care and maintenance, this floor will last for a lifetime. Our floors are known for their exceptional longevity – they can be sanded and re-finished eight to ten times without losing their looks or performance. With 12-year intervals between sandings, a typical lifespan of 60 years will comfortably be exceeded. Compared with a typical 15-year life of a synthetic or “engineered” floor, there really is no comparison in terms of life cycle cost – the numbers speak for themselves.

Courtcraft will be back at University of Hull working with Henry Boot Construction in the summer to refurbish and existing maple hardwood sports floor as well as a multi-purpose studio floor. The job will involve replacing damaged boards, sanding both floors back to a smooth, open grain and sealing the floors with Junckers PreLak followed by Junckers HP Sport lacquer.

All images courtesy of Courtcraft

A note about the environment:

A hardwood floor is one of the most environmentally friendly sports floor finishes you could hope to find. All Junckers’ timber is from properly managed forests with FSC and PEFC chain of custody certification. Timber is harvested from old, established forest areas, which are constantly replanted. Junckers floors are BREEAM A+ rated in the BRE Green Guide and have EMAS 111 and ISO 14001 Environmental Management Certification. In addition, they have low (E1) formaldehyde emissions under EN 14342. Junckers timber floors are carbon neutral and at the end of their lives they are very easy to recycle, in contrast to materials made from fossil fuels.

University of Hull – Junckers SylvaSport Premium sports flooring fitted over New Era battens by Courtcraft
University of Hull – Junckers SylvaSport Premium sports flooring fitted over New Era battens by Courtcraft
University of Hull – Junckers SylvaSport Premium sports flooring fitted over New Era battens by Courtcraft
University of Hull – Junckers SylvaSport Premium sports flooring fitted over New Era battens by Courtcraft
University of Hull – Junckers SylvaSport Premium sports flooring fitted over New Era battens by Courtcraft
University of Hull – Junckers SylvaSport Premium sports flooring fitted over New Era battens by Courtcraft
University of Hull – Junckers SylvaSport Premium sports flooring fitted over New Era battens by Courtcraft
University of Hull – Junckers SylvaSport Premium sports flooring fitted over New Era battens by Courtcraft

Professional Sports Flooring System For World Class Sports Centre

Oriam is Scotland’s new state of the art Sports Performance Centre, designed to provide Scotland’s top sportsmen and women the state of the art facilities for training and development. The impressive centre includes an outdoor synthetic pitch, five outdoor football and two rugby pitches, a full size indoor 3G pitch, a fitness suite, a cafe, world class facilities for sports science and medicine plus a twelve court sports hall, with our Premium Sports Flooring System.

Junckers Professional Sports Flooring at Oriam Photo: Broaddaylight

Over 1750m2 our professional sports flooring was specified by architects Reaich & Hall. The building, which features a striking roof the shape of a long-range free kick by Brazilian footballer Roberto Carlos, is located within the campus of Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh.

The new state of the art building provides Scotland’s top athletes with world-class facilities for training and competing and offers extensive access to the local community. The 32x45m main sports hall features Junckers’ SylvaSport Premium fitted over UnoBat 45 undercarriage system, providing a high performing, high quality and safe flooring surface suitable for a multitude of different sports. All Junckers’ sports floors are area elastic and conform to the European standard EN 14904.  The flooring contractor was Courtcraft.


Junckers Launches Vinyl Sports Floor Systems

We are happy to announce we are launching a new range of vinyl sports floor systems to sit alongside our flagship collection of solid hardwood floors.

In the UK, Junckers has become a by-word for high quality sports and activity floor systems, and for providing the technical and customer support needed to make every new Junckers floor one that the installer and client will be proud of. As part of our continuous work to develop new products and constantly improve the ability to offer customers a broader choice of floor systems, we have developed a range of vinyl sports and activity floors, based upon the established success of our undercarriage systems.

We have has made the decision to launch a product range which has traditionally been a competitor for its long-established solid hardwood sports floor range after discovering that the range and types of undercarriage being offered appear so limited, even from the larger players in the market. With an established high-performance product, which fulfils all criteria, we are able to offer clients and developers something that is a step up from sub-flooring systems currently on the market.

For many clients, solid hardwood can be the best option – because of its unbeatable life cycle costs, which is always a high priority for sports halls, better environmental credentials, durability, repairability and versatility, retractable seating etc. But some customers prefer vinyl floors, perhaps based upon their past experience, and because they are used to it they feel more comfortable sticking with it. From autumn 2017, we are offering our customers a choice with the launch of our new vinyl sports floor systems.

The EFA (Education Funding Agency) who is responsible for setting the design standards for all school construction in England and Wales, has moved away from accepting “Point Elastic” vinyl floor systems so “stuck to screed” vinyl floors are becoming less favourable and are not really the best surface to play sport or dance on. This means that there is a stronger focus upon Area and Combined elastic floors, which usually require a “sprung” undercarriage, needing a little more expertise to design, manufacture and install. This is not always an area where existing vinyl floor system suppliers excel, but design and manufacture of sports undercarriages has been in our DNA for decades. Being able to combine some of the best undercarriage systems currently available with a vinyl finish means we are able to offer a product which is far superior to vinyl glued to screed.

One of our main strengths is the variety of undercarriage systems we offer. Not only do these give different “sprung” performance characteristics with some suited to basketball, others for dance etc., thanks to experience and technical expertise we are also able to take care of the less glamorous aspects of the installation, such as dealing with uneven sub floors or those where there may be drying out problems. Junckers’ floors are all tested and certified to EN 14904, category A3, A4 or C3. In addition, our own in-house testing and development centre assess the wider aspects of the floor’s performance such as point load bearing ability and lifespan issues such as fatigue testing.

Our new vinyl floor systems are aimed at the education sector, sports halls, leisure centres and dance and fitness centres. When it comes to installation, vinyl floor customers have the same assurances that they currently have with Junckers solid hardwood floors because there is a network of fully trained Junckers Approved Installers on hand to make sure that the floor will be fitted properly.

For more information on our new Vinyl Sports Floor Systems, please contact sales@junckers.co.uk or telephone +44 (0)1376 534 700

Junckers Vinyl Sports Floor System 1 mid
Junckers New Vinyl Sports Floor Systems

Junckers Vinyl Sports Floor System 2
Junckers New Vinyl Sports Floor Systems

Junckers Vinyl Sports Floor System 3
Junckers New Vinyl Sports Floor Systems


Multi-use Hall for MyPlace

Have a look at this amazing building! MyPlace Aston in Birmingham is part of a national scheme to create youth centres for teenagers in deprived areas. Designed by Associated Architects for Birmingham Youth Services, the £5M project received funding from the Government’s £240M MyPlace programme.

The facilities include a multi-use sports hall were our SylvaSport floor has been fitted over New Era levelling system to providing a complete solution to all their sports flooring needs and conforms to all required standards. The amazing exterior of the building uses semi-transparent coloured polycarbonate cladding, which allows the sports hall to be naturally lit during the day while in the evening, LED lighting becomes a wonderful feature.

99999x490.fit The Lighthouse Young Peoples Centre, Newtown, Birmingham, EnglandPhotography: Craig Holmes

This week…

…we’re at FSB in Cologne, Germany showing our premium Sports Flooring Systems, including our new J-Lock System. We’re also unveiling a brand new look for our sports solutions – focusing on how we’ve simplified specifiers’ choices by making sure our sports flooring systems combine player safety with outstanding ball response, cost-effectiveness and ease of installation. Come and see us in Hall 11.2 Stand no. SO10 TO11 from today until Friday 25 October 2013.

FSB is the international trade fair for Amenity Areas, Sports and Pool Facilities.

If you’re not in that part of the world and would like more information, email junckers@junckers.dk

Junckers at FSB, Germany 3 low res

Junckers at FSB, Germany 1 low res Junckers at FSB, Germany 2 low res