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What makes game court tiles different? [3 things to LOOK OUT for]

At Practice Sports (and Play, Inc.), we have installed sports equipment and game courts nationwide for over 15 years.

We know what quality equipment looks & feels like, having installed for numerous manufacturers, many jobs being replacements of failed equipment.

One product we have sold for multiple companies is Court Tiles.

After experiencing firsthand the average, bad & ugly in the portable court world, we ultimately selected SnapSports to exclusively represent their portable game courts.

The reasons were obvious to us, but we realize to the untrained eye, all tiles look about the same. So we wanted to share a few tips with consumers to give insight into what really matters when comparison shopping for sports tile surfaces.


We currently install game courts for SnapSports in the midwest throughout Nebraska, and other select states around the country. Our game courts work for basketball, futsal, indoor soccer, inline hockey, volleyball, badminton, handball, pickleball, tennis, and many other activities.

Contact Us for a quote on your court project anytime.

The Best Court for Family Fun!

The 3 MOST IMPORTANT Features To Review When Shopping For Game Courts

1) Tile Thickness

A variety of court tiles exist in the marketplace today. Anywhere from 1/4″ thick up to 7/8″ thick.

The most popular tile from SnapSports is called BounceBack, measuring 3/4″ thick. But the ultimate heavy-weight is the Indoor Maple Series Bounceback at 7/8″ – the thickest most rugged tile in the industry.

Why is a thicker tile better?

Quite simply, it plays softer. The thicker the tile, the taller the pedestals – creating better flex and a softer feel under your feet. Specifically, because your feet are further from the hard sub-floor.

Understructure performs as a high impact shock absorber that reduces fatigue and injury to athletes. Each square foot weighs in at over one pound, stands ¾” tall and contains nearly 1200 shock absorbing support towers.

SnapSports Bounceback – bottom 2 at 3/4″ & 7/8″ – the thickest in the industry.
SnapSports Bounceback – bottom 2 at 3/4″ & 7/8″ – the thickest in the industry.

2) Interlocking Mechanism for Game Courts

SnapSports tiles use a Square Lock technology, superior to U-lock and others on the market. This creates a bit more tolerance / gap between the tiles, allowing for better flex under impact, resulting in a less rigid overall floor. It’s also a more durable interlock resulting in far fewer breaks over the years.

U-Shaped Lock
U-Shaped Lock

The Square Locking ‘ShockLock’ system lets individual modules slide, but keeps the entire sport surface fully interlocked. This built-in “give” eases player’s joints impact and creates a safer athletic surface.

Engineered to handle heavy loads, the 16 patented PowerLocks per module become part of the Superstructure when engaged. Multi-patented Step-N-Snap design makes for no tools, no glues, and no toxic fumes.

But don’t believe us. Take it from a satisfied and highly experienced court user:

“We just finished our first major event with our new SnapSports 50-50 Volleyball surfacing, and I wanted to let you know how happy we are with the product.

We operate some of the largest volleyball events in the world, and our largest event has 180 courts!

We could not be happier with the SnapSports 50-50 Shocktower tile. We found the installation was faster & easier due to the superior design of your locking mechanism. In fact, we did not have a single lock break, and that is unheard of with the other tiles. The integrated Shocktower eliminated the need for cushion underlayment so this also made the installation faster, and provided perfect cushion for the athletes.

Last, we could not believe how fast we were able to tear down at the end of the event. In the past, we’d be lucky to have the trucks loaded by midnight. With SnapSports we were done and having dinner by 8 pm. What a tile!”

Randy Dagostino
Randy Dagostino

Randy Dagostino

– Big South / Tampa Volleyball Events


3) Pre-Installed Impact Absorption

Built-in impact absorbing rubber Shocktowers are a true revolution in the portable court industry. These are individual rubber cylinders, inserted on the back of each tile. They act as a cushion, creating some flex / bounce-back in the tile when impacted.

What’s the alternative for a sub-base shock absorber?

The only other option court manufacturers can offer is a rubber sub-base / underlayment throughout the entire floor. This increases the installation timeframe, and consequently labor costs.

The pricing for shock-towers compared to rubber underlayment is roughly the same per square foot, which makes it a net increase when using underlayment compared to shock towers.

Rolled Rubber creates an extra installation step.
Rubber underlay is NOT porous so can only be used indoors.
ShockTowers can be used Indoors or Outdoors. Indoor Tower (left) Outdoor Tower allowing drainage (right)

And the best part is, Shocktowers are pre-installed at the factory, expediting the overall installation process for the consumer or installer.

It’s important to note that rubber underlayment is also an effective shock absorbing solution, and may be preferred to shock towers in certain applications.

When is rubber underlayment for game courts the better choice?

In large cavernous facilities, where sound echo is an issue, rubber underlayment can help dampen noise bounce. It’s important to use a “soft tread” rubber, designed for underlayment. It’s also important to use a 2 mm rubber for basketball (to minimize softness and maintain natural ball bounce), and 3 mm for high impact sports such as volleyball.

Bonus Reason #4. Warranty.

At 16 years, SnapSports’ warranty outlasts the competition. From our experience, companies who are confident in their products offer longer warranties. This speaks to the quality component of SnapSports tiles, and proves they are willing to back-up their claims of being the highest quality athletic court tile in the business.

It’s important to realize the reasons a quote for a portable court might be much lower or higher. There is often, but not always, a legitimate reason for it. The most likely reason for a higher quote is simply that a company uses more overall materials, or higher quality materials, to make a product. This stands true in the case of SnapSports tiles, as outlined in #1 above. To achieve a thicker tile, more raw materials are used.

SnapSports’ surfacing has been independently tested by USSL, the official testing facility for the famous DIN standard; the most stringent standard for sports flooring systems. SnapSports’ top ASTM rating for sport performance and safe play by an approved independent laboratory. 23 patents, and dozens more pending, make for the top performance and highest player safety in the industry.

These are the main reasons we consider SnapSports to be the best overall value in the portable game courts business. It’s by far the highest quality, while also being a good value. Perfect for those looking for the top grade tile, with unmatchable features.

Thanks for reading our modular court review.

Contact Us anytime to request a bid for your game courts in Nebraska (Omaha, Lincoln etc.) and other select states. We’d be happy to give you our best price, and are confident you will be satisfied with our work.

Chad, Cory, Tony & Jake
Practice Sports / Play, Inc. Team

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  1. Curt Tetreault
    Curt Tetreault
    September 21, 2023 at 12:18 pm

    Can the rubber underlay matt be used over a tightly packed aggregate base for a tennis tile court? Thanks, Curt

    • tony
      September 21, 2023 at 12:33 pm

      Hey Curt, thanks for reaching out.

      Our recommendation would be a concrete base as opposed to an aggregate base for tennis tile court.

      Hope that helps.

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