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Modular Tile Courts Take Backyard Sports to a New Level

Modular Tile Courts Take Backyard Sports to a New Level

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Modular tile courts have revolutionized the way we play sports at home. It used to be that you played basketball on your driveway, with its irregular shapes, irritating holes, and other obstacles. Your only chance at playing tennis was going against the garage, with the frustrating knowledge that you could never be better than a wall. And backyard volleyball rarely offered the smooth surface that would prevent turned ankles or bruised knees.

But of late, there has been an explosion of new technology that can transform a backyard into an accessible, affordable, flexible play area for you and your family. This article will examine what modular tile courts are, how they work, what they cost, and how to find professional installers. You’ll discover just how easy it is to turn your home into a sports palace for the whole neighborhood!


Modular tile courts are the latest in home-based outdoor activity centers. While they are also used in gyms and playgrounds across the country, for the purpose of this article we’ll stick to home-based units. Basically, they are a smooth series of interlocking tile parts that can create a variety of sports surfaces- good for basketball, tennis, volleyball, etc. The beauty of them is that several different sports can be played on the same surface. And while you might instinctively think that tile sounds painful, its qualities hlp to create a surface that is even better for you than nature.


Whether you want to transform your backyard or driveway into a new sports surface, tile courts can work with what you have. If you are going over rough dirt, it will be smoothed over then topped with a layer of concrete. If you are already on a hard surface, obviously, that step is unnecessary. Over that will be placed the high-impact polypropelyne surface. Sounds like an uncomfortable vision of the future, but it is miles ahead of the chopped-up tires you ran on in high school gym class. This is designed to absorb impact, saving your joints from the punishing hits of running and jumping on a hard surface. It also provides a static, slip-free surface which is as ideal for dribbling a basketball or serving a tennis ball as it is for redistributing the blow on your body.


The most common use for modular tile courts are basketball and tennis. The wonderful thing about these surfaces is that you can easily play both- just pull out the net when you are ready to play tennis, and transform from Lamar Odom to Bjorn Borg. It is ideal for other net sports as well, such as volleyball or badminton. Floor hockey is also a possibility. The only drawback is that while the net, once retracted, won’t interfere with hoops, the baskets might hang over your tennis court, depending on configuration. And don’t worry about size: tile courts can be configured to fit your yard and your needs.


Here is the big question. These aren’t cheap. Even without accessories, such as lights, ball-stoppers, rebound nets, and before you buy the hoops, nets and equipment, modular tile courts can cost anywhere between 10 and 20,000 dollars. Not only are you paying for the tile, but also (potentially) for the poured concrete and the landscaping of your yard. Balanced against this is the improvement of your home’s resale value, gym memberships, the physical benefits of being able to work out without leaving your property, and the psychic bonus of having a safe, fun environment for you, your family and your friends.


As this is a booming industry, there are many smaller companies springing up to serve local markets. But there are some long-time industry leaders. SportCourt, based out of Utah and with offices throughout the Midwest, sells directly to the buyer or uses local contractors. They are one of the earliest developers of the technology. FlexCourt is headquartered in Illinois and uses a series of local dealers to help you with the installation. Their courts have been praised by University of Illinois head basketball coach as being “just like a real court”.

Whatever company you choose, modular tile courts are a wonderful way to give your family a healthy, fun environment, improve the value of your house, and make your home the hotspot for sports and conversation. This developing technology is at the forefront of home athletics, and is something to consider next time you are waiting for an open court or trying to dribble over stones and oil marks.

--Mitch Logan

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