Hardwood Flooring vs. Multi-Purpose Flooring

  • Sample Hardwood Court
    Hardwood Court
Hardwood vs. Multi-Purpose

When building a new facility, or adding changes to a current one, it is important to know what activities will take place there. Depending on the sport or activity, a hardwood or multi-purpose flooring may better suit specific needs. Typically, Hardwood flooring is used for sports, and not recreational activities. A multi-purpose court has the ability to host sports events, then be turned into a place to participate in recreational activities. Deciding on what court to install could come down to the following differences between the two.

Hardwood Surfacing:

Hardwood courts primarily focus on hosting indoor sports, such as basketball and volleyball. In many High Schools and Colleges, the gymnasium is the focus point of the facility. Where the campus gathers to cheer on their team and athletes compete. For this reason many facilities go with a hardwood flooring in there gym. Although it tends to be more expensive, to many the traditional look of a hardwood floor is what they want in their gymnasium. This prestigious look also comes with weekly, monthly and annual maintenance in the form of resurfacing/waxing. On top of the maintenance aspect, it is important to avoid scratching the hardwood. This can be done by the moving of bleachers, shoes/cleats and a number of other causes. It is critical to realize the maintenance and precaution needed when installing a hardwood floor. Hardwood Surfacing can be good investment when it is properly taken care of.

Multi-Purpose Surfacing:

Multi-Purpose Surfacing is also known as synthetic flooring. This flooring requires a sub-layer of rubber flooring, coated with a thin layer of urethane. This method gives the floor a resistant bounce, also a more comfortable surface to walk and play on. The great part about this type of flooring is that it can be used for multiple activities, hence the name “multi-purpose”. Churches around the United States have been using this flooring in there facilities. It gives a great place to play sports and it can easily be transformed into a place for recreational activities or gatherings. Pods can be set up for Sunday School in the morning, then taken down and rearranged for fellowship gatherings in the evening. Unlike Hardwood, this flooring is resistant to a variety of shoes, cleats, bleachers and tables/chairs. Synthetic¬†Flooring requires cleaning when dirt/dust is present, but annual resurfacing/waxing is not. This makes the overall lifetime cost significantly less then that of Hardwoods.


After comparing the differences between the two, it is clear that multi-purpose flooring comes with more advantages. Hardwood is a traditional flooring that has, and will be around for a while. It’s classic look is what draws the attention of many, but its installation is simply not practical. As technology advances, different floors will be created. The ability to host multiple activities (organized or recreational) presents large advantages. Unfortunately, because hardwood is prone to scratching many activities cannot take place on it. Multi-purpose is what many organizations are installing because of its minimal maintenance, durability and life-time cost. It is safe to say that multi-purpose flooring is the better choice for any facilities floor.