What Type of Floor is Best for Roller Skating?

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When I was recently thinking about opening a roller skating rink, I starting researching what the best type of floor is for roller skating rinks.

So what type of floor is best for roller skating? The best type of flooring for roller skating is maple hardwood. Maple wood floors have much more grip, are smoother, and are more durable. They also hold up better in humidity and are very easy to maintain, possibly lasting up to 50 years.

If you’re looking to build your own roller skating rink, the floor is going to be one of the most important aspects. Here are all the different flooring options available.

Types of Roller Skating Flooring

Hardwood Maple Flooring

Our recommended hardwood maple floors are a little more expensive than other options, but they provide the best experience. Wood floors are also a little softer so it doesn’t hurt as much when you fall down. Additionally, you can get more traction on wood floors and they are much smoother than other flooring options.

Some avid roller skaters have also said the wood floors are more “give” so it’s easier on their ankles, knees and back.

It’s also very easy to clean wood flooring with a walk-behind floor scrubber. Just be sure to use a floor cleaner that will not damage the polyurethane coating.

Concrete Flooring

Concrete flooring is the cheapest roller skating floor to install. It’s also one of the easiest to install. You do have to makes sure that the concrete is poured evenly all the way around with no more than 1/4″ variance.

Concrete floors are a lot more slippery than wood flooring. Concrete floors are more appealing to roller skaters who like to do spins and power skating.

There are various options for cleaning concrete roller skating floors but it’s recommend to try each option on a small area first to see what works best. Some cleaning options include: grease, oil, wax, sealer, curing compounds, varnish or paint.

SkateCourt/Versacourt Flooring

The general consensus on SkateCourt or Versacourt flooring is that they do not work well for roller skating rinks. Many people say that it’s hard to get any speed on SkateCourt, they’re noisy and bumpy, the grip is unpredictable, and your skin burns and rips if you fall.

We would definitely NOT recommend using SkateCourt flooring. You’re better off going with maple wood as our first choice or concrete as our second choice.

If you’re interested in starting a roller hockey or roller derby rink, SkateCourt/Versacourt might be a good option.

Avid roller skaters have different opinions on which roller skating floors are better. Some like to have a slick floor like concrete which is easier to do power or spins. Others like wood floors that provide more grip and a softer landing in case of a wipe-out.

Roller Skating Rink Floor Coatings

One of the most popular floor coatings for roller skating rinks is called “Roll-On”. It’s made by a company in Texas. They have various products for cleaning, sealing, and coating your roller rink floor.

Roll-On works great for both hardwood and concrete floors. It has been noticed that it takes a little break in period for the floors to be a little less “sticky” for roller hockey but once it’s broke in, the floors are great. Also note that Roll-On needs to be applied about once per year.

Roll-On gives your roller skating rink a beautiful high gloss. It’s also a long lasting skate floor coating that gives your skaters the smooth roll and grip they need to skate and perform safely in your facility.

You could also use an epoxy or urethane coating no concrete rinks that acts as a penetrating, high strength coating that is resistant to abrasion from heavy traffic and rubber burns. You can get them in clear or pigmented colors too. Pigmented colors are great if you want lines or other interesting design elements incorporated into your roller rink.

You can use urethane, polyurethane, acrylic, and other floor coatings for roller skating rink floors. There are different coating materials for concrete particle board, asphalt, and wooden skating floors. Brands include Dura Seal, NovaPlay, Rink Cote, Roll-On, Tite Coat, TITE-Tanium, and Valspar. 

Roller Skating Wood Floor Installation

A typical roller skating wood floor installation will take approximately 10 days to complete, assuming you’re replacing the existing floor. Here is a the typical process:

  1. Remove existing skating floor.
  2. Lay plastic sheeting and foam cushioning.
  3. Install sub-flooring.
  4. Cover sub-floor with roofing felt.
  5. Install new maple hardwood skating rink.
  6. Sand floor three times (course, medium, and fine).
  7. Clean and remove all sanding dust.
  8. Apply two coats of floor sealing.
  9. Apply two coats of floor finish.
  10. Your skating new wood skating rink floor is complete!

Roller skating rink owners can count on refinishing their skating rink floors at least one time per year as long as they follow good daily maintenance program. Nylon, plastic, and metal wheels can cause scuff marks and scratches on the roller skating rink floor finish. Ongoing skating activities can shorten the life of the finish. Additionally, skating accidents have the potential to cause damage to the maple flooring itself.

However, keep in mind that a well-maintained concrete floor is always better than an unmaintained wood floor. If you’re not prepared to properly maintain your wood floor skating rink, a concrete floor is a better option for you.

How Many Square Feet Do You Need for a Roller Skating Rink?

Roller skating rinks are normally between 14,000 and 21,000 square feet.

The average skating rink is approximately 75 feet by 150 feet. When purchasing a building, the skating rink will take up around 60% of the space.

A roller derby rink is around just over 8000 square feet or 108 feet by 75 feet.

The size of your roller skating rink should depend on the size of your community and what attractions you also offer.

Be sure to know your skating rink square footage so that you can budget for the cost of flooring, no matter which type of flooring you choose.

How Much Does a Roller Skating Rink Floor Cost?

Wood roller skating rink floors cost anywhere from $5 to $10 per square foot. Therefore, at an average of 17,500 square feet, the entire rink could cost $87,500 to $175,000.

Some ideas for saving some money is to see if a you can find a place that had an old basketball court in it. If one is being ripped out, you might be able to reuse the wood. Do your research, you might just be able to find the wood you need without going broke.

Concrete roller skating rink floors can cost $2 to $5 per square foot. That means, the total cost to pour concrete is between $35,000 and $87,500. While concrete is a lot cheaper, you’ll have to weigh the difference in experience compared to wood floors.

Versacourt on Amazon costs $349.99 for 108 square feet. Therefore, the total cost for an average size roller skating rink would be around $56,711. Considering the cost and the general dislike of the product for roller skating, this would not be a very good investment.

Related Questions

When did roller skating start? Roller skating was first invented in 1935 and became popular in the 1960s and 70s when polyurethan wheels were invented.

How much does a roller skating rink cost? If you find an existing roller skating rink to buy, you’ll likely have the cost of the existing building plus $30,000 in startup costs.

How much does it cost to rent a skating rink? Most rinks charge $200-300 per hour with additional fees for every hour exceeded, food and drinks, alcohol, etc.

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