The Importance of Proper Sub-Base Preparation for Tennis Courts: Ensuring Stability and Drainage

Written by Bill Narozanick / Published in Blog, News

Outdoor tennis court facility in the evening
Tennis is one of the most popular sports in the world. It offers intense yet friendly competition and can be played by people of all ages. For athletic directors, tennis courts are a great investment because they provide an engaging sports surface that doesn’t take up much space in your facility. Whether you work for a school or a park, installing a tennis court needs to be done properly. Let American Athletic Track and Turf help you find out which tennis court materials you need.

What Is a Sub-Base?

Tennis courts require reliable materials and construction to last. Proper construction requires several layers, including the foundation, which is also called the sub-base. Like any playing surface, a sturdy and dependable foundation is key to helping it last and preventing potential injuries to athletes. The purpose of the sub-base is to help distribute the weight and pressure of the surface as evenly as possible. It also helps offer drainage and frost protection in cooler climates. A sub-base is usually created by spreading aggregates in thin layers, which are then compacted using heavy equipment. The result is a dense layer of aggregate that is interlocked for stability and strength.

What Are Common Sub-Base Tennis Court Materials?

For your sub-base to hold up to everyday use, you’ll want to make sure you’re choosing the right materials. A combination of gravel, crushed stone, and compacted aggregate is often used with quarry stone, sand, and sometimes other materials. The goal is to create layers that are tightly compacted, ensuring structural integrity. The resulting aggregate needs to meet specific gradation requirements, which helps athletic directors trust in its long-lasting strength.

Important Considerations

Aside from using the proper materials and meeting gradation requirements, preparing for your tennis court installation requires special considerations for proper completion. Tennis court construction begins with a consultation to help understand what you want from the project. Another important aspect regarding the sub-base is drainage. Because inclement weather affects outdoor tennis courts, proper drainage needs to be installed. This is particularly important in areas that experience high volumes of rain or cold temperatures that bring about ice and snow in the winter. Proper drainage helps keep the playing surface usable for longer periods and avoids damage and injury. Other aspects to consider with tennis court construction include:
  • Tennis court surfacing materials
  • Lighting needs
  • Landscaping
  • Slip-sheet overlays
  • Fencing and other facility enhancements
As time goes by, repairs and maintenance may be needed, so you should keep an eye out for cracking, slick surfaces, bubbles, and other issues that may arise. Using proper tennis court repair materials can mean the difference between your court getting new life or needing to be replaced sooner than it should.

Why Choose American Athletic?

Creating a firm and formidable foundation requires the right tennis court materials. A dependable sub-base is key to a successful project. At American Athletic Track and Turf, our knowledgeable, award-winning, and experienced staff has over 25 years of experience. We provide tennis courts, running tracks, artificial turf fields, and more to those in Eastern Pennsylvania, Southern Massachusetts, Delaware, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, and the Orlando, Florida, area. Our SmartBuy program allows you to skip the traditional bidding process and its complicated, time-consuming steps. This saves time and money while providing more control over your final product. We also work with FieldTurf, A Tarkett Sports Company, one of the leaders in artificial turf installation. Contact us today if you have any questions or are ready to get started on your project.
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