Installation Instructions
Courtesy of Littlewolf Industries

Layout: (if you have a small or custom sized court, or have never assembled court tiles before, take a look at this page first.)

The first step to a gymnasium installation is to determine the proper layout.  This is determined by measuring the dimensions of the area to be covered.  Create a drawing showing length and width as well as any irregular areas to be covered.

Each tile is 12” x 12”. You need a color layout showing which tiles go where, what colors and how many.  By multiplying the length and width of each colored area, you can determine the number of tiles needed for each color.  The standard basketball key for high school and NCAA is 19 feet in length by 12 feet in width.  The length includes the four feet of space from the front of the backboard to the baseline.

* For specific sports layouts, please refer to the governing sports organization for sizing and measurements.

*** For custom sizes or large layouts, read the note below:

Sport/Expansion Tiles
Special Considerations for Outside Installations


Since all plastic tiles are subject to expansion and contraction in extreme heat conditions, we have designed a tile that can absorb most of the expansion that occurs from exposure to the sun's rays up to a tile temperature of about 145° F. (The temperature of concrete at ground level may be much hotter than the air temperature at the five to six foot level.)

When the temperature of the tile exceeds 145° F it will need to expand beyond it's normal spatial dimensions. Always leave several unobstructed inches around the perimenter of your installation to allow for that expansion.

Caution: When the planned installation exceeds approximaately 500 tiles, the weight that the expanding tiles must push to achieve a uniform expansion may cause the tiles to ripple and wave in the heat of the day, even at relatively low daytime temperatures, and then contract again as the temperature cools.

Therefore, for larger installations we recommend the following installation procedure...
    
    • Tiles should first be pegged in 2 corners at one end of the installation and then, when in the expanded mode, in the hottest part of the day, stretched and pegged at 8 foot intervals along the length and at 3 foot intervals across the width as shown in illustration #1.

    • For best results, using a sharp cutter, snip off the male connector on the adjacent tile that would otherwise insert in the female loop that you have utilized to peg the tile firmly to the ground.

    Since this procedure is conducted in the expanded mode, the tiles will not expand any further and the pegs will prevent contraction in cooler conditions.

Portable Courts:

    For a portable court, the following procedure has been found to be appropriate: Caution: Use this method ONLY if you intend to move your court.

   
    Preassemble the court in sections of 4 by 8 or 6 x 12 tiles, or whatever size is most convenient to your circumstances.

    Turn the tile sections upside down and locate the sides of the sections that will be joined to the rest of the court. Using a side-cutter or nipper, carefully cut off the "locks" located opposite the "male" peg all along the sides that join to another (female loops) section. See Illustrations #2a and 2b in sidebar.


    You will be able to lift the sections off each other easily for disassembly, but they should hold together well for lateral play. Assembly of the portable court on a flat surface is essential for this method to be workable.
Illustration #1.
outdoor basketball court installation
Example of pegging an 18' x 32' court. Pegs are every 8' along length and every 3' along width.

Illustrations #2a and 2b.
Lock on bottom of outdoor basketball court tile module
The "locks" are the devices that secure one tile to another and provide you with the "snapping" sound when properly fitted into place. The "locks" are part of the "male" connector peg.
Lock on bottom of outdoor basketball court tile module
Here you can see the Green locks overlapping the Gray tile within the "female" loops. These are the structures you must carefully clip or cut off to create sections that can be easily disassembled for portable courts.

 If the tiles are taken apart frequently or in cool weather, you will need to remove these "locks" or they will break off anyway and you will have loose tiles where you didn't want them.

Equipment: (Ideal conditions)

• 7’ folding step ladder
• chalk line
• rigid putty knife
• 4’ level
• duct tape
• plumb bob
• 25’ tape measure
• razor knife 
• 100’ tape measure
• construction crayon
• framing square
• table saw or circular saw
• power jigsaw

Site Conditions:

Be sure to find out if any other contract work will be completed after the installation of the tile.  If any other contractor needs to perform work on or above your floor after your installation, cover the tiles with a construction cover (plastic sheeting or some other protective cover).  Make sure you coordinate access of the building with the building owner.

Generally, the tile and underlayment will be delivered to the job site on pallets.  The easiest way to move the tile and underlayment is with a forklift of a pallet jack.  In these cases, you will need doors large enough to accommodate the equipment.  If a forklift or pallet jack is not available, a dolley can be used to move the tiles and underlayment.

Underlayment

A 3 millimeter rubber underlayment is recommended for inside gymnasiums and multipurpose areas which provides additional shock absorption as well as noise reduction.

Start the first row of underlayment by rolling it out the length of the gymnasium.  Leave 1 inch between the wall and the end of the roll.  For gym floors which are longer than the roll of rubber, overlap the second roll by several inches and use a razor knife to cut through both layers creating a tight seam.  This seam must be taped with duct tape.

The next row is lined up beside the first and unrolled.  Do not overlap the sides of the rolls.  The seams should be taped with duct tape.  Repeat this process throughout the entire gymnasium.

Tile Installation

The installation of basketball court begins with finding the center of the basketball rims.  The court installation is made between the two rims, not the squareness of the room or area.

Using a string and a plumb bob, drop a line from the front, dead center, of the basketball rims.  Mark the floor under both rims.  Snap a chalk line between the marks.

Using the plumb bob, make a mark on the floor from the front of both backboards, behind the rims.  This mark will determine the location of the basketball keys.

Installation will be easier if you preassemble the tiles into in 3 x 4 sheets.  Start the installation in the lane placing the 4 tile male side on the chalk line, using the appropriate color chosen for the lanes.  Lay the male locks of the second sheet of flooring on top of the female loops of the first sheet laid down.  Carefully step on the tiles, locking them into place.  Continue in this manner until the tiles for the lane have been placed on the chalk line.  Go no further than one sheet of tile from the chalk line.

Change to the color of tile chosen for the playing surface.  Run this tile to the free throw chalk mark on the sub-floor at the opposite end.  Switch back to the lane color and run more tiles.  Some times the color change for the free throw lanes will not line up with your 15’ chalk marks on the sub floor.  In a case like this, make your color change the same distance from the 15’ mark on the sub-floor.  You can correct the actual distance when painting to make it regulation

Start the next row of tiles in the same manner as the first.  Do not try to build out to the edge of the court, as it is easy to get mis-aligned at this stage.  Be careful to make sure the first row of tiles has not shifted from the chalk line.

Pay close attention to your drawing to determine the point at which you will switch to the out-of-bounds color for the facility.

You are Halfway complete. Take a break.

The second half of the gym will be laid down in a different manner from the first half.  You will be installing the width of the floor instead of the length of the floor.

Begin by laying out 5 sheets of flooring, this time toward the sideline, not down the center (remember to use the proper color chosen for the lanes, and floor color when necessary).  You will work this five sheet width down the entire length of the floor.  Attach these to the half of the floor already installed.  Lay down five more sheets and attach them as well.

After you secure the first couple of rows of five tiles, there is a trick which can be used.  Since lifting the floor after five sheets are down to tuck the loops under is very time consuming, we suggest you leave the loops on top of the half of the floor already installed.  However, make sure your tiles line up even though they are not attached at the seam.

After 10 to 15 feet of the floor is down with the loops laying on the top, attach this to the rest of the floor.  This is accomplished by lifting the floor already installed and allowing the female loops to fall beneath the male pegs.  Then walk the line snapping them together.

After the first row of five sheets is installed halfway down the court you can start another person on the next row of five.  Continue this method until you come to the point where the color is changed for the sideline/out-of-bounds area.  Simply switch colors and continue until you reach the walls.

The field is now complete.  The only tiles not installed are the cuts along the walls or around any fixed objects in the facility.  The final step of the gymnasium installation process is to trim the edges.  This step can be time consuming if you do not have the right tools and equipment for the job.  Those tools are:

• band saw or table saw
• extension cords
• razor knives
• tape measure

When trimming the tiles keep in mind you have to allow for expansion and contraction of the floor.  Sports/Expansion tile will expand and contract with temperature changes.  There is a formula to calculate expansion and contraction, but generally leave a ½” gap around the entire floor in an inside location, 3" to 4" for an outside location.  Any time you trim a tile, the piece trimmed off may fit (snap on) the opposite side which can result in material savings.

END OF INSTALLATION

Congratulations! Send me a picture and I'll put it on the web.    Susan


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