A game of basketball requires very little equipment; a ball, a hoop and a flat surface to play on. But that flat surface can have a big impact on the game. Surfaces must provide good traction for players, good bounce for the ball and be durable. Depending on the environment, the best floor for basketball is either hardwood, concrete, asphalt or sport tiles.
The best floor surface for indoor basketball is hardwood. Natural wood floors have been the floor of choice for decades and are standard in all professional and college basketball games. The most common wood type for indoor hardwood floors is maple, although some courts use a hybrid maple-oak. Maple is best because it offers the flexibility and durability that is valued by players for performance and safety. Because maple is a more resilient wood, it offers a more forgiving surface for players when they fall or hit the floor.
Concrete is an excellent floor surface for outdoor basketball. It is also convenient, requiring only basic equipment and manpower to pour and set. Concrete is affordable and can be smoothed out to provide a very consistent surface for basketball. Concrete is very durable, capable of withstanding extremely hot and cold weather so long as it has been installed correctly with a vapor barrier and sealant. You can also paint concrete using acrylic re-surfacing paint; adding free throw lines, a key and three-point lines.
Asphalt courts are an alternative to concrete when considering outdoor courts. Asphalt requires a professional installation. Asphalt is not as smooth as concrete, but you do have more options for surface types. Asphalt comes in different rock blends that offer the basketball more surface choices, from rougher to smoother. Like concrete, the best asphalt court will have a weather sealant that both protects the asphalt and provides a paint-ready surface for basketball lines.
A modern alternative to any floor surface is a tile floor. Sport tiles interlock or are suspended together to form a large court for basketball and other sports. Sport tiles are excellent solutions for flat areas that aren't in good condition for basketball. Sport tiles are weather-proof and are not permanent, so you can remove them in the off-season. You can install sport tiles indoors or outdoors. Finally, sport tiles are a more resilient material, like maple hardwood floors. They offering injury prevention in a softer floor, without compromising playability.