basketball court paint and stain

Making Bold, Branded Statements with Basketball Court Paint and Stain Patterns

The days of Plain Jane basketball courts are long gone.  You’re not stuck with just alternating maple grades and black block lettering for your basketball court floor.  Today’s sport facility managers have so much more at their disposal to make a bold and branded statement with their gym.  Here’s what you need to know about how basketball court paint and stain patterns can give your gym a look that rival facilities will envy. 

Gym Floor Paint and Stain Patterns: Where Installation and Art Meet

Not long ago, gym floor contractors were known solely for their expertise in how to install a high-quality gym floor.  Today, things have changed.  Now, art and creativity have entered the picture.  While NBA floors tend to be more understated, NCAA basketball courts have become bolder and more artistic.  High schools and private sports facilities are catching on to the trend and making their own unique statements with their gym floors. 


What type of designs can be made on the gym floor? Not only do sports facility owners have the option of using eye-catching paints for their logos, but they can also choose from different stain grades and patterns to make their facility stand out. The choice is yours. 

It all begins with maple. 

The type of wood used in a sports floor is very different from wood used in a private residence or commercial office space.  While you can have maple wood installed in your kitchen or dining room floor, maple is primarily used in wood basketball court floors. Why? Because maple is not only a durable wood, but it also gives way to foot traffic so that balls bounce. Athletes can jump and turn without injuring themselves. Maple wood is also ideal to work with when it comes to installing, sanding, refinishing, staining, and painting.

Wood sports floors can have three different grades of maple installed. These grades do not indicate quality. What we mean is, a maple that is third grade isn’t worse than a first grade maple plank. The difference between the grades is looks. First grade maple offers a uniform look with minimal knots and swirls. Second grade has some of these differences in the wood’s appearance. And third grade maple offers the most contrast. 

Purchasing a Hardwood Athletic Floor – Maple Grade | Horner Flooring

Image courtesy of Horner Flooring 

Choosing a grade of maple will come down to cost and also the look you want to achieve for your facility. First grade maple will cost more than third grade because it’s tougher to find uniform planks. It’s also more labor intensive to sift through maple wood and find all of the planks that make the first grade cut. You can create beautiful patterns in the wood floor by having different maple grades installed in alternating patterns, like herringbone.  Dance studios may prefer a parquet look to their floor. 

Basketball Court Logo Paint

High schools and universities typically want their school’s logo painted on the gym floor. Private gyms often opt for the corporate logo. Game lines are also painted onto the wood in whichever color the facility owner chooses. Once logos and paint are applied, finishing coats are the next step in the process. This usually includes two or three coats of a urethane seal. 

Depending on the foot traffic, you may need to have the logos and game lines repainted when the floor requires routine sanding and refinishing. If your wood gym floor is due for sanding and refinishing, you can take this as an opportunity to update the look and color scheme of your gym.  Which brings us to our next point — staining designs, patterns, and swirls. 

Using Basketball Court Stains and Finishes for Bold Patterns

The aesthetics of wood basketball courts and gym floors have greatly evolved. You could even say they’ve improved over the years. You aren’t limited to one, uniform stain color for your floor — unless that’s what you want. Instead, you can opt to have different stain colors applied throughout the floor, creating patterns on either side of the game point lines. Different stain colors can be applied to the floor to create pictures and logos if you’d prefer to not use paint for these graphics and desire a more subtle look. 

When can you apply different stains to create a new pattern or logo?

If you’re having a brand new gym floor installed, painted logos and stain patterns can be applied during the installation process. For existing floors, an ideal time would be when the wood is due for routine sanding and refinishing. This process typically needs to take place at least once per year. Gyms that see heavy foot traffic may need to be sanded and recoated twice or more per year. This depends on the unique needs of your facility. 

Refinishing involves sanding all of the old finish and the game lines off the floor. The process gets down to the bare wood. Any damaged maple planks or subfloors can be replaced or repaired. A gym floor contractor will then refinish the wood with a sanding machine. The sanding process requires at least three cuts across the wood with coarse, medium, and fine sandpaper. Then, the floor is cleaned. Any and all sanding dust and grit is removed before stain and paint is applied.  The final step involves at least two coats of sealant to finish off the job and protect the new designs and wood beneath. 

Basketball Court Paint and Stain: A Takeaway Message

Whether your sports floor wood is left bare, painted, or stained with unique patterns, it’ll need a final finishing coat applied before it can be used. High-gloss polyurethane, either water or oil-based, is applied for the final touch. This ensures the floor has the right amount of grip and that users will have traction when they use the floor, preventing falls and injuries.

If you’re interested in having new stain patterns or paint applied to your sports floor, give us a call today at (973) 801-7219 or fill out our online form. We’re the leading gym floor installers in the Tri-State New Jersey area. We’ll be happy to assist you with choosing a bold, stunning pattern for your wood basketball court floor.