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Synthetic Ice Underlay – Is it Necessary?

Posted by KwikRink
types of synthetic ice underlays

Is an underlay for my new synthetic ice rink necessary? Well, this depends on a lot of variables. It is very important that the synthetic ice panels be laid on top of a hard and flat surface. In this article, we will dive into three categories that all sub-floors fall into when it comes to the necessity of having a synthetic ice underlay; no underlay, simple underlay, and advanced underlay.

No Synthetic Ice Underlay

When no underlay is needed for a synthetic ice rink, it tends to be in an inside space with a very flat and hard sub-floor. We also see this outside on sport courts that were done correctly by the contractor. These are any floors with no flaws.

  • Indoor rooms/basements
  • Sport courts
  • Tennis courts
  • Leveled decks

Simple Synthetic Ice Underlay

A “simple underlay” is needed when the sub-floor has some flaws, but is mostly hard and flat. Undulation in the sub-floor is the biggest reason for a simple underlay – most of these surfaces are still hard (concrete,asphalt, wood, etc.). This can require something as simple as using 3/4″ OSB tongue and groove plywood. The plywood is very flat, and will provide extra forgiveness in a flawed sub-floor. Rubber matting can also be used as an underlay for your synthetic ice panels in these type of scenarios.

    • driveways
    • parking lots
    • streets
    • on pavers

Advanced Synthetic Ice Underlay

An advanced synthetic ice underlay is necessary when hardness of the sub-floor is not up to par and/or the sub-floor is very un-level. These tend to be a little more work, as these have the worst sub-floors to place synthetic ice panels on. The best ways to remedy this is to pour a concrete slab (like a sport court) or build a raised wooden deck. The deck platform does not have to be very high off of the ground, but does need to be made level.

  • grassy areas
  • some parking lots
  • turf
  • carpet

Synthetic ice rinks are possible anywhere with the right sub-floor. It is important to assess to which degree a synthetic ice underlay is necessary for optimal performance of the skating surface. Often times, no underlay is needed at all. Don’t fall for these added costs from other suppliers…We will help you determine the best underlay treatment for your synthetic ice rink!