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What makes sports flooring different?

Sports Floor Finishing
An NBA court wouldn't be the same without painted-on graphics.
An NBA court wouldn't be the same without painted-on graphics.
Chris Graythen/­Getty Images

­The finishing of a sports floor is a little different than your average home hardwood, as well. Once a sports floor is sanded smooth, it gets two coats of polyurethane sealant. Glossy urethane is preferred on most courts to give it a nice shiny appearance. Once these two coats are down and cured, the game lines and graphics are painted on. The game lines are the markers for the basketball court -- out-of-bounds lines, half-court lines, three-point lines and the key.

The graphics are whatever the owner of the court wants. If it's a school, it will likely be the logo for the university or high school. If it's a private gym like the YMCA, it will be the corporate logo. After the logos and games lines are on, it's time for the finishing coats. This means two to three more coats of urethane. By the end of the process, the game lines and graphics are buried under the top coat and are essentially part of the floor.

Just like with your home hardwood, a sports floor needs to be sanded with a sanding screen between each coat of sealant and finishing urethane. A sanding screen doesn't take off as much urethane as regular sandpaper -- it's more like a fine buff. After the floor is sanded with the screen it needs to be completely cleaned of dust and debris before the next coat of urethane is applied.