Help! My Basketball Court is Slippery. How do I Fix it?

Hardwood gym floors are specially designed to offer the right amount of surface friction.  They should always provide enough traction to keep the players safe when moving on the court — without limiting their movement and slowing them down.  But the hardwood gym floor needs to be cleaned and maintained daily.  A slippery floor can create an unstable playing surface and lead to serious player injuries.  If you want to learn how to fix your slippery basketball court, continue reading this page to discover our expert tips.

What Causes Slippery Floors?

To create an effective gym floor cleaning and maintenance regime and prevent your hardwood floor from being slippery, you should first understand what causes this issue.  The three most common causes of slippery basketball court floors are:

  • Wetness and moisture — Gym floor wet spots can cause slips and injuries.  Make sure to wipe off any spills before letting players on the court.  As your athletes train and play, they will perspire when running up and down the court.  To protect your gym floor from player sweat, regularly use dry towels to wipe the floor completely dry.
  • Dirt and debris — Dust buildup is the second most common cause of slippery floors. Grit, sand, and dirt can get trapped between the boards or in the coatings of cleaning products, creating a slippery surface.
  • Adjacent areas — Your court could also be slippery because of adjacent areas surrounding the court.  Dirty exit areas and paths to the locker could be the reason why your basketball court is slippery.

Best Tips on How to Fix a Slippery Basketball Court

If you operate a sports facility or a school gym, it’s your responsibility to ensure maximum safety and the best performance of your hardwood gym floor.  When you know what’s causing a slippery basketball court, you’ll be able to fix it.  Here are our top expert tips on how to fix a slippery basketball court.

Dry Mop

Diligent sports facility operators understand the importance of regularly dust mopping the gym floor.  However, there are a couple of things to keep in mind if you want to make the most out of your gym floor cleaning practices.  You should always make sure to dust mop before wet mopping.  This way, you’ll avoid trapping dust and dirt between the coatings when you mop your basketball court.

Traditional dust mops are great for cleaning dirt and debris from your basketball court.  They’ve been used to clean gym floors for decades. 

We advise you to use a microfiber mop since it can pick up even more dirt and get rid of even the tiniest dust particles.  Plus, microfiber mops’ added benefit is that you can use them for wet mopping (with water) if you want to make the floor extra clean.

Use Floor Covers

Using gym floor covers for your hardwood floor is a simple but very effective method for minimizing scruffs and scratches.  Gym floor covers are very beneficial for multi-purpose facilities that endure heavy foot traffic.  Floor covers can reduce wear and tear and the slipperiness of your hardwood gym floor.

Mandate Proper Gym Footwear

Wearing proper gym footwear is important for several reasons.  It protects athletes from slipping and falling.  And it also makes maintaining gym floors a lot easier.  Mandating proper footwear ensures your athletes get good traction on the floor without damaging the hardwood’s top layer. 

Sneakers with rubber soles, such as basketball and handball sneakers, work best in an indoor gym environment.

Avoid Mixing Cleaners

Mixing several floor cleaners can change your floor’s surface’s chemical balance and lead to an even slicker floor.  It’s always best to use one recommended product than to mix multiple cleaning products when cleaning your basketball court. 

If you’re having trouble removing the slippery residue from the top layer of your hardwood floor, commit to one powerful floor cleaner for the long run.  This is much more effective than switching cleaning solutions between cleaning sessions.

Don’t Overuse Automatic Scrubbers.

Auto-scrubbing your gym floor is an efficient cleaning method.  It can quickly remove stubborn stains and make your floor shine like brand new.  But you need to be very careful when using an auto scrubber. 

Improperly handling an automatic floor scrubber can cause your hardwood floor more harm than good.  You should always be sure to follow the exact manufacturer recommendations.  Your cleaning solution, scrubber, and floor pad should also be compatible with the type of floor you have. 

Sand and Refinish Your Floor to Restore Traction

In some cases, all of the practices mentioned above won’t have much effect, simply because your hardwood floor has experienced too much wear and tear.  In this case, the best solution would be to sand and refinish your gym floor. 

Sanding and refinishing is a regular maintenance practice which you should employ every three to ten years.  Higher-use, multi-purpose gyms will need sanding and refinishing more often. 

Contact Your Local Expert

If you’ve tried these tips, but your floor is still slippery, contact a qualified flooring company.  They will determine if your floor has any underlying issues causing a slippery basketball court and recommend the best way to fix it. 

Maintaining a top-quality hardwood basketball court involves many upkeep practices daily, monthly, and yearly.  If you need any assistance in maintaining your gym floor, reach out to us today!  We’ll be happy to help. Call (973) 801-7219 or simply fill out our online form, and we’ll get back to you right away.