Tennis Court Construction

Tennis courts are divided into 2 categories:  hard courts or soft courts.

Hard Courts

There are two basic construction methods for hard courts.


This type of construction may offer an initial saving of approximately 20% but will incur future maintenance costs.

  • Structural cracks begin to occur typically within the first 5 years
  • Cracks grow in length and width
  • Cracks require yearly filling
  • Susceptible to settling, heaving and root damage
  • Generally requires an overlay or total replacement at 10 to 15 years.

Post-Tensioned Concrete

This is today’s primary method of hard court construction that has proven itself over the last 30 years.

  • Only permanent solution to cracking courts.
  • Any cracks cannot open up over 1/8” eliminating liability or ball-bounce problems
  • Increased resistance to settling or heaving
  • High level of planarity
  • Life expectancy of 50 years or more

Soft courts

Soft courts are typically fast-dry clay, synthetic, or natural grass.


These are constructed of specifically graded crushed green granite to provide a uniform and free draining surface.  This type of court provides a surface and allows the player’s foot to slide and is kind to their joints.

The clay must be kept moist.   This is done by two watering options:

Surface watering:

  • Sprinklers mounted on fence
  • Courts must be closed during and after watering
  • Not used in arid regions of country

Sub-surface irrigation

  • Utilize a reservoir underneath courts
  • Provide a consistent moisture level
  • No down time for watering


Natural grass courts are infrequently built these days due to extensive care and maintenance.  There are synthetic, sand-fill turf built to play much like a grass court but with much less maintenance and more durability.