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Tennis Court Design: Considerations when designing your court

Posted on: September 20th, 2014

Whether you are tipped to be the next Andy Murray or you have never picked up a racquet before, the accessibility of tennis as an all-round sport has made it extremely popular all over the world today. It’s adaptability means this sport can be played in many different locations, with various surface materials and court sizes on offer to suit individual requirements and specifications.

Types of surface

Tennis court surface design has developed significantly since its creation in the 19th century, progressing from grassy lawns and fields to state-of-the-art modern court surfaces, all of which are ideal for high performance and coaching and are now in use worldwide. These materials include:

  • painted porous macadam (tarmac)
  • artificial grass carpets
  • artificial clay
  • non-porous acrylic

Tennis court design details, such as choice of surface and size, can be adjusted to accommodate venue specifications and players’ preferences. All surfaces can be designed to suit varying levels of ability and budgets, and must meet Lawn Tennis Association requirements. It is very important to note that there are certain guidelines you must follow if you are looking to organise competitive matches on courts.


The typical exterior dimensions of a regulation tennis court are 60’ x 120’ which are the measurements of the fence line. When determining how much space is needed for your tennis court, you must consider the required setbacks which tells you how close to a property line you are allowed to build a structure. Contact the planning department at your local council to find out what the setbacks and requirements are. Professional services such as Charles Lawrence will provide maps for planning permission to ensure the project follows all the correct regulations and goes completely to plan. For more information on exact dimensions of tennis courts, you can follow guidelines provided on the Lawn Tennis Association website.


The majority of tennis court designs include perimeter fencing to retain balls during play and to provide security for the court and equipment when unattended. This surround fencing design predominantly consists of intermediate metal line posts supporting chain-link mesh, which can be changed for practical, aesthetic or cost purposes. Other popular fence styles include timber structures with chain-link mesh and masonry walls. Further to this, fence structures may include other court features such as retaining walls, hit-up walls and light towers.


Utilising state-of-the-art floodlighting will significantly increase the amount of playing time you will get on tennis courts throughout the year, particularly late into the evening or during the shorter days in winter.

For high performance, it is strongly recommended that you opt for floodlighting which has been designed and customised to meet specific requirements of the sport. Here at Charles Lawrence, whether you are having a new court installed or refurbishing your existing facilities, we produce detailed plans and Isolux Maps which will provide details of the illumination levels your tennis court will receive.

Length of time

The construction of tennis courts can vary significantly according to the following factors:

  • type of surface
  • time of year
  • ease of access
  • ground and weather conditions

Porous macadam (tarmac) is the most popular surface for court installations throughout the UK. They can be finished with either an acrylic or polyurethane paint applied by airless sprayer, both containing slip reducing agents for optimum grip and ball bounce. The paint coating is usually applied between 3-4 weeks after the tarmac has been laid and depending upon the weather. They should be left for a further 3-4 days to cure and harden before play can commence.

Coating the tennis court surface not only enhances the appearance of the court, it also helps to prolong the life of the surface by preventing harmful rays from penetrating the ground.


The cost of each project can vary in price depending on access, size, type of surface and specifications. Here at Charles Lawrence, we offer free advice and consultation tailored to your requirements so you can contribute to its final design and remain fully informed with ideas and costs.

As one of the UK’s leading surface design specialists, we are committed to providing premier quality surfaces for highly competitive prices to fit with your individual preferences and budget. From court maintenance and renovation to re-surfacing, our court design service is second to none, covering MUGA design, netball court design and tennis courts. Simply give us a call or contact us online today for further information about any of the services we provide – we are always happy to help with any enquiry.



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