Sports Surfaces and Equipment: sports equipment, indoor surfaces, outdoor surfaces, ancillary and maintenance services.  
Grimshaw Group are members of SAPCA

Tennis Courts - Surfaces


This semi-loose grit surface is rated by many players as the very best to play on. With the slight “give” in the surface, it is said that it is like having a well-prepared grass court available for play throughout the year. With a method of construction pioneered by Grimshaw Sports over 50 years ago, 60% of the grit dressing is bonded to the porous surface to provide grip underfoot. The remainder is left loose to provide a slight degree of “slip” before the shoe grips the bonded grit. An excellent surface for private tennis courts with benefit that it can be “adjusted” to suit your style of play as the proportion of loose grit changes the speed of the play, height of bounce and degree of slip.


This is another surface pioneered by Grimshaw Sports when the company constructed the first of many artificial hockey pitches in the UK. It is a naturally occurring blend of fine stone and clay found only in the Forest of Dean - Gloucestershire, from where it has been exported for sports projects around the world including the Middle East and Japan.

When laid in a particular way this red coloured material binds together but remains porous with play characteristics very similar to traditional shale courts. There are Redgra courts build by Grimshaw Sports for school and community use, that have been played on, with hockey in the winter and tennis/athletics in the summer, for over 25 years requiring no more than routine maintenance.

Porous Macadam.

This is now almost the standard UK tennis surface. Grimshaw Sports have installed a large number of these courts over the years in private gardens, schools and universities, tennis clubs, public parks and armed forces establishments. Subject to site access, these surfaces are laid using the company’s latest laser guided paver for superb accuracy.

This hot laid, rapid draining and durable surface, provides probably the most robust, low maintenance, court available, It combines excellent underfoot traction with consistent speed and bounce.

We offer variations on this surface that will allow use with skateboards, bicycles, roller blades, and basketball for families with young, or not so young, children, as well as tennis. Working with a renowned surfacing research organisation, Grimshaw Sports have also developed a unique variation on this surface for traction in netball applications.

Coloured Porous Macadam.

With all df the characteristics of standard porous macadam, these courts are sprayed with two coats of an acrylic resin specifically developed for sports applications. The resin contains a fine sand filler, which provides texture and underfoot grip in damp conditions. Increasing the proportion of sand increases the degree traction for games such as netball and basketball.

Traditionally courts are coloured red and/or green, or two tone green, but those who want something a little more “exciting” Grimshaw Sports can offer almost any colour a client wishes, including vibrant blues and yellows.

Standard porous macadam courts can usually be coloured retrospectively up to 8 years old subject condition, and preparation. Whilst colour coating is a “cosmetic” finish applied to a porous macadam surface, there is evidence suggesting that it extends the life of the surface by slowing down the oxidisation of the bitumen binder in the macadam.

Artificial Grass & Carpet.

The standard porous macadam courts are the “foundation” on which both artificial grass and carpet surfaces are laid.

Artificial grass courts are carpets manufactured to resemble a good quality natural turf. They usually comprise of polypropylene or polyethylene fibres shaped similar to blades of grass, tufted into a heavy-duty backing sheet. The backing sheet is perforated with small holes that allow rain-water to disperse to the rapid draining porous surface beneath.

Carpets with a short pile length, or “blades” of grass, are usually selected for tennis court use. The carpets widths are bonded together on site by skilled carpet fitters are then filled with carefully selected grades of silica sand. The sand beds down with the action of weather and initial play to a few millimetres below the tips of the fibres, to provide a surface with consistent speed, and predictable uniform bounce.

In most cases, the playing lines are produced by inlaying “grass”, with white tufted fibres matching the same characteristics. Sometimes however for reasons of economy or multi-games use, the playing lines are spray applied to the surface.

Whilst artificial grass courts eliminate the need for mowing a grass court they do need dragging over occasionally to redistribute the sand in-fill that may have been disturbed during more vigorous games of tennis. As with any court they should be kept clean.

Carpet Courts are constructed in the same way as artificial grass courts and have very similar play characteristics. The main difference is that no pretence is made to make the carpet look like grass.

With carpet courts the carpet is formed from a totally random weave of fine synthetic fibres, heat bonded together on the underside so that the need for backing sheet is eliminated. Without a backing sheet these courts offer much faster surface drainage. The random weave of fibre also “locks” and retains the sand in-fill in place and hence reduces the maintenance requirements.

Whilst usually green or two-tone green, carpet courts are available in a wide range and/or combination of colours including red, blue and yellow.

Natural Grass.

Many people would claim of course that tennis is supposed to be played on natural grass. The best grass courts are grown from selected grass seed and ideally they should not be played on for two full growing seasons. Alternatively for those who do not wish to wait that long courts can be more quickly established using cultivated turf. In both cases, the success and quality of the ultimate sward will depend on the base preparation. It is at this point that Grimshaw Sports expertise in building porous drainage layers is combined with the company’s decades of experience in natural grass from constructing croquet lawns, bowling greens and the hallowed racing turf of Cheltenham Racecourse, the home of National Hunt racing.

Indoor Surlaces.

With the exception of “Redgra” and Natural Grass, all of the above surfaces can be laid as indoor surfaces either in purpose built buildings, and air halls, or even barn conversions. There is also a range of surfaces developed specifically for indoor tennis. These usually rely on having a very accurately laid sub-floor on which to install the playing surface. Grimshaw Sports has the in-house expertise of Grimshaw Construction to call upon for the base works.

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