The Difference between Macadam and Polymeric Rubber

When it comes to sports courts, two of the most common surfaces are macadam and polymeric rubber. These specifications may appear quite similar to look at, but they both have unique characteristics that make them different.

Depending on the sports you want to play and the skill level, one of these surfaces may suit your facility better. Below are some of the key features of each specification and the differences between.

What is Macadam Sport Surfacing?

Macadam Sport Surfacing is a popular type of surfacing used by schools, sports clubs, playgrounds and domestic homes due to its wide range of applications. Ranging from pathways to driveways, the surfacing can be used in different situations. However, it’s usually most popular to create outdoor sport areas. See more about tarmacadam surfacing here if you are interested in this product.

Macadam Sports Pitch Surfacing Costs

Macadam is a material made up of stone mixed with tar. The process usually needs a stone sub-base to be poured on top of the desired surface. Once the stone sub-base has been poured and spread evenly, then the macadam mixture can be poured on top of it. Once set, it’ll need 3 weeks for the oils to vaporise. After that, colours and designs can start being applied.

Advantages of Tarmac Flooring

  • Cost effective – Macadam is quite cheap and hardly requires any more money to be spent on it.
  • Requires low maintenance – Means you can spend less time worrying about maintaining the surface and more time enjoying it.
  • Porous – Water that falls onto the tarmac will start to be drained, avoiding any chance of flooding.
  • Fully customisable – When creating the surface, you can choose the colour, designs and lining you wish to have.
  • Good ball bounce – Games like football, basketball and netball will be a lot better due to the floor adding a bit more bounce to the ball.
  • Slip resistance – A coating of paint can be applied to the surfacing which increases the slip resistance, making it great for children.

Disadvantages of Macadam

  • Time-consuming – It can take up to 3 weeks for the surface to be ready for customisation so it’s usually good to book in advance.
  • Additions can cost more – When adding things like slip-resistant paint, designs and colours, it can cost you more money and set you back financially.

What is Polymeric Rubber Flooring?

Polymeric Rubber is basically granules of rubber held together by polyurethane (a binding agent) and sprayed with a high-traction, coloured top-coat. It’s most commonly used for surfacing athletic running tracks but is also popular for tennis, netball and basketball courts and multi-use games areas.

Polymeric Sports Court Installation Costs

When the polymeric rubber is placed on the surface, it is then sprayed with a high-traction top-coat which is the actual playing surface. If lines are wanted as well, they can be sprayed on top of this layer. A shockpad can also be installed underneath the polymeric rubber layer for shock absorption, to avoid any injuries if someone falls over. Learn more about polymeric surfacing here if you’re interested in this particular specification.

Advantages of EPDM Rubber Surfaces

  • Range of colours – Can be customised to match your preferences and needs.
  • Best for professional athletics and a higher standard of play – Due to the surface being a lot more tailored for athletics, it makes the best surface for it.
  • Porous – Again, this surface can drain water that starts to form on the EPDM.
  • Shockpad – Incredibly useful to install as it reduces the risk of injury when someone falls over on the surface.

Disadvantages of Polymeric Surfacing

  • Needs to be laid on a tarmac surface – This can eliminate many plans you may have to install one of these or it can cost a lot more.
  • Can be expensive – With all the additional add-ons, the surfacing can become a lot more expensive compared to other alternatives.

Find Out More

If you have any queries or ideas that you would like a professional’s view on, then contact us today! Our team will respond as quickly as possible and will give you 100% satisfaction with no problems or fuss throughout the process.

We can help you with any part of the design and installation and will give you high quality and high efficiency throughout the whole thing. We aim to make sure that you are completely satisfied with the product and will do everything we can to get that result.


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