Asphalt, as most people know, is stone and petroleum mixed product that once it cures gets almost as hard as concrete. Asphalt is the most common material used in the construction of roads and parking lots. Asphalt makes a wonderful playing surface for tennis courts because it can be finished very smooth and can be installed almost anywhere. Asphalt also coats very well allowing the customer options as to the speed of the surface, the possibility of rubberizing the surface and the ability to coat with a wide assortment of colors. Asphalt also requires little to no daily maintenance and with proper care can last 20 years or more.
Asphalt Court – General Specifications
As far as surface colors the standard colors are: light green, dark green,
blue, red and tan but other “special order” colors can be made.
Asphalt Tennis Court Construction Specifications
These specifications should be considered GENERAL in nature and serve as an topic overview.
1. Base Preparation:
The land that the tennis courts are to be built on should be bored to a level of at least 4′. The boring is to examine the sub-base material to make sure that there are no organic materials such as; roots, tree stumps, peat, muck, etc. under the court area. The area also should be checked for water intrusion either from underground springs or an elevated water table. All care should be taken to insure that a consistent and stable sub-base exists prior to the construction of the tennis courts.
Base Grading Specifications:
A. Sub-base should be graded with a pitch of 1″ drop for every 10′ of run. The pitch should fall across the courts (side to side) if at all possible.
B. The orientation of the tennis courts should be 10-15 degrees West of true North. This helps to keep the sun from becoming a burden to the players as they are playing.
C. The sub-base should have a compaction of at least 97%. However, most important is that the sub-base have a consistent compaction over the entire area that the tennis courts are to be located.
D. All vegetation should be removed and the ground sterilized to prevent growth. Preferably the area should be stripped of all surface and sub-surface vegetation prior to the beginning of construction.
E. The area to be graded should have a buffer area of at least 5′ around the perimeter. Ex. If the court area is to be 120′ x 108′ the area to be graded should be 130′ x 118′.
F. The lowest elevation of the tennis court surface should have a minimum height clearance from the surrounding landscaped area of 6″.
G. If possible, no trees should exist within 10′ of the court area. If trees are to be planted they should be maintained so that root encroachment and debris are kept to a minimum.
2. Base Stone Preparation:
The base stone acts as a stabilizing agent for the tennis courts. Typically, base stone is comprised of large stone sizes up to 1.5″ and down. The base stone should have a minimum thickness of 5″ (typically in warm weather climates) and a maximum thickness of 8″ (extreme cold weather climates or very wet areas).. The base stones function is to keep the court from moving or sinking over its normal life. Because of this, the stone should be compactible in nature and stable in its ability to lock up within itself. There are many different materials that can be used for base stone. Geotextile fabric should be used in areas where sub-base compaction is regarded as difficult or potentially inconsistent.
A. The base stone should be consistent in depth throughout the court area.
B. The surface of the stone should be level within 1/4″ with use of a 10′ straight edge.
C. The base stone should be rolled and compacted after installation.
The asphalt material is the finished product. Because of this, the asphalt needs to be placed with the utmost care and professionalism. The asphalt base provides a firm and smooth playing surface for tennis players. It is very important that this material be placed at a very consistent depth in its installation and that the material does not cool down prior to its placement.
A. The surface of the asphalt material should be level within 1/16″ with use of a 10′ straight edge.
B. The asphalt material should be layed in 12′ wide strips. Typically you would want the asphalt seems to run in the same direction as the pitch. The asphalt may be placed in one or two lifts. At least 1.25″ of asphalt is used (primarily in very warm and stable climates) with a maximum of 3.5″ for cold weather climates. If two applications of asphalt are to be applied, the first layer should be watered, to help locate and repair any standing water that may exist prior to the second layer installation.
C. Upon installation of the asphalt the asphalt should be rolled with a minimum 8 ton roller and no roller ridges should be seen upon completion.
As there are many types of nets, net posts, and anchor pipes we will not get into the specifications of these products. You might ask your local contractor for recommendations or see our online store!