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Can Pickleball Be Played on Concrete?

White line on concrete court.

Even though this sport has become popular worldwide, a lot of its aspects still remain unclear. For example, it’s not exactly clear if there are specific surfaces to play the game or not. However, to answer the question you came here to ask, yes, pickleball can be played on concrete.

Concrete offers a firm base and this makes it one of the best options to build a pickleball court surface, however, it should only be used with a tip coat of acrylic or polyurethane because plane concrete isn’t safe, it can break or have negative impacts on a player’s body. People who are new to this game, find it challenging to choose the right flooring for a court as there are many confusing options to choose from. With that in mind, we’ll take a look at the reasons why concrete is great for building a pickleball court and also see if there are any disadvantages to doing so.

Reasons to play pickleball on concrete

Close-up shot of blue concrete court.

Before building a court, there are a few factors to consider, including:

  • Whether it’s an indoor or outdoor court
  • If the court’s meant to be used by professionals or if it’s used for recreational purposes
  • If kids will be playing too on the court
  • How often the court will be used

Other options you can choose from when designing and constructing your pickleball court include clay, grass, asphalt, polyurethane sports surface with or without cushion, etc. Of all these, concrete is the most preferred by most people and that’s because it offers a firm base and the ball bounces easily. A well-constructed concrete surface is usually much steadier for playing the pickleball game.

However, as mentioned before, it shouldn’t be raw concrete because it easily cracks and can be too hard on the players’ bodies.  For it to work properly for the game, the concrete will require a topcoat of softer padding which is made from acrylic or polyurethane. Again, when choosing the best floor surface for your pickleball game, you need to consider whether it will be for an outdoor or indoor game.

We will distinguish the two below:

Indoor pickleball court surfaces

Young man and woman playing pickleball on indoor court.

Indoor pickleball court surfaces mostly use polyurethane surfaces. Polyurethane surfaces have a sturdy rubber mat built over a flat or concrete surface. This is intended to reduce stress on the players ‘ankles, knees, and the entire body by creating a cushion.

This refers to indoor court surfaces that are built by licensed contractors. However, it’s important to consider the fact that some people may choose to build on their own court using DIYS, and if that’s you, remember to follow the rules and regulations of building a pickleball court. A pro-cushioned surface is one of the most preferred options and there are many reasons why.

For starters, it is very comfortable for players, so even if they fall, they won’t get hurt. Secondly, it gives a consistent bounce and is a durable surface. You should note that when we talk of a pro-cushion surface we’re referring to an acrylic coating that’s placed on concrete and includes flexible acrylic blinders for extra cushioning.

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Overall, a pro-cushion surface is great because it’s smooth and consistent, offers good traction and grip, it’s long-lasting and durable, and it’s suitable for professionals and beginners alike.

Outdoor pickleball court surfaces

Group of senior men playing pickleball in outdoor court.

When designing a backyard pickleball court for home use, most people choose to use grass, asphalt, or concrete. However, grass isn’t the best option and asphalt is usually a last resort. All these surfaces are great for most weather conditions.

Now, when choosing the best surface for your pickleball court, it all depends on whether the court is for your own home use, or if it’s for a recreation center, a club, or a school.  If you’re creating a court for your house, then it shouldn’t require much equipment since it’s for a friendly game, but for the other two, you want something that’s going to look more professional and stand up to professional games.

Why is raw concrete not a good flooring option for pickleball games?

Tennis ball on tennis court.

When raw concrete is used to design a pickleball game court, it easily cracks and it can be very hard on players’ bodies, including feet, knees, and other parts. Players may also have to deal with some strains on the legs, lower legs, and back. But players who run across and jump on a cushioned surface such as the one found on tennis flooring, in gyms, etc. do not have to deal with the same strain.

So, it’s important for a contractor to lay acrylic or polyurethane over the concrete surface for better comfort. Raw concrete is also not ideal for the ball because it may cause the ball to bounce wildly, as well as tear or wear out faster than expected. Most pickleball balls are designed to last long, but if the surface is not ideal for them, they will tear and wear out.

That’s why choosing the right flooring for your pickleball court is essential. Having a raw concrete floor for a pickleball court is simply not recommended as it does more damage than good. Overall, concrete flooring without any protective layer of acrylic or polyurethane coating is not ideal for pickleball courts.

For best results, go for something that is risk-free and material that won’t cause any sort of discomfort.

The process of laying concrete in pickleball courts

Senior men playing pickleball in court.

The process of laying down concrete is a challenging job whether you do it with or without a top layer. It must be done the right way or else it will become unstable and spall over time. When slabs are not well built and lined perfectly water vapors make their way into the spaces and cause fracturing.

All this is because concrete is a moisture-absorbing material by nature, hence pieces may break away and cause injuries to players. Individuals who do not know the nature of concrete may think that covering the slab with a topcoat is the right way to go and shouldn’t pose any danger to players when playing the game. However, this is completely incorrect.

For these reasons, preparing a concrete floor properly is very important. Furthermore, improper placement of concrete in a pickleball court should not be done as it is dangerous whether covered or not. It should always be placed correctly and by a professional whenever possible.

The process of covering concrete in pickleball courts

Pickleballs on court, close-up shot.

As mentioned above, when a pickleball surface is layered with concrete, the concrete should have a top layer of acrylic or polyurethane so players can be safe and comfortable as well. Without the top layer, places may have to deal with injuries. These materials are great for shock absorption but when the covering gets wet, they don’t have the best traction and grip, and players may slip too.

Applying an anti-slip resistance sealant will help give players great traction even when it’s raining. Remember, having the ball bounce once on each side of the court is one of the important rules of playing pickleball. Therefore, it’s very important to have a steady surface in the courts.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best surface for indoor pickleball?

The most preferred surface for indoor playing is made from concrete or asphalt. However, a basketball surface or other wood or faux wood gym floor can also work.

Can you play pickleball on the carpet?

Yes, carpet is one of the floors used when playing pickleball. Others include gym floors, concrete, asphalt, tennis courts, etc. So, you have a variety to choose from.

All you need to do is choose one that’s best for your specific needs.

What kind of surface does the pickleball court use?

It uses a variety, including concrete, asphalt, etc. The surfaces are great as some have a smooth and rounded texture. Note, that there are a lot of choices here so choose carefully.

What are indoor pickleball courts made of?

Pro-cushioned surfaces are one of the best for indoor use. These are designed to be safe and enjoyable for everyone. This is what makes them awesome.