Believe it or not, in the almost 40 years I have been playing squash, I cannot ever remember playing on a brand new squash floor. And, this maybe even harder to believe (or not!), I have almost zero knowledge of construction and have absolutely no idea how a squash court floor is put together. I actually couldn’t make a square building from a bunch of Lego pieces without it falling over. If you thought that having new floors on our courts wouldn’t make that much of a difference, you thought wrong.
|The concrete slab floor|
Step one was to remove the old flooring. There is an amazing amount of wood on one court and the company we hired to do it is in the business of recycling so rather than simply ripping out the boards without caring, they made sure to preserve the wood the best they could and removed the boards literally one at a time. It took them some time to reach the concrete slab and the amount of wood they removed looked like it was half the Amazon Rainforest.
|Laying the planks|
Anderson Courts were hired to install the new floor. Their first day on the job was spent unloading the truck. The court area looked like a wood factory as they hauled in the other half of the Amazon Rainforest and the guys were exhausted. The painstaking task of the installation started the next day. Once they the measured the concrete slab with lasers to make sure they would be laying the floor absolutely flat, planks of wood were then laid length-wise down the courts, each plank with blocks of rubber attached underneath for cushioning.
For the squash courts, on top of these planks were then laid another row of planks, but this time cross-wise. The handball / racquetball courts, however, were laid panels of ply-wood instead. The reason is that handball / racquetball courts are supposed to be a little harder than squash court floors. I do not know why, maybe it needs to be firmer for a greater bounce?
|Dave nailing in each individual floorboard|
Then the meticulous work of laying down the pine wood flooring pieces that we actually end up playing on. Hundreds and hundreds of them per court. Each one individually laid and nailed in, many needed to be cut to size. This part took the 2 Anderson Courts workers (Dave and Jordan) a full week to do all 6 courts, and these guys busted their humps from early morning to late afternoons – including the weekend.
|Jordan on the sanding machine|
But their jobs still were not complete. Each court was then sanded, and of course the red lines were painted on. Not forgetting they also re-installed the tins on the squash courts (the doubles tin is brand new!) and replaced the strips of wood that we have outside the court next to the back glass, I was rather amazed at how much work went into the process.
|Painting the lines|
The new floors are surprisingly rough. The old ones were as smooth as glass (not slippery) but 25 years – give or take – of playing and sanding and screening had taken its toll. It was time to upgrade. And the difference is stunning. Not only are they significantly brighter, but softer as well. We have the latest and greatest floors available, and you’ll be able to test them out in very soon!
The hope is that everything will be ready to go the day after Labor Day. It will be well worth the wait.
|The finished product!|