There are a few components you’ll be considering during the planning and installation of any residential or commercial basketball court, and the backboard for any hoops being used is one of them. Backboards are typically made of glass, but it’s not as simple as tossing any slab of glass up there and painting it — you need to be using the right type of glass, and likely the optimal format here is known as tempered glass.
What is tempered glass, why is it superior to other glass types for this and similar needs, and what else do you need to be considering here for any basketball court that’s being installed? Here’s a rundown.
What is Tempered Glass?
For those who haven’t heard of it or are unfamiliar with it, tempered glass refers to a type of glass that has been treated with thermal or chemical processes in order to make it stronger than other types of glass. In fact, it’s up to five times stronger than regular or annealed glass, making it a great option for uses where there is a heightened risk of impact or breaking.
It’s also heat resistant and will not shatter into sharp shards like other types of glass, making it safer overall. This is why tempered glass is often used in applications such as windows, doors, and in this case, basketball backboards.
Tempered Glass Vs Acrylic
In some cases, buyers of a new basketball court might try to skimp on backboard costs by going with acrylic backboards, which are clear plastic products that resemble glass, but are not the same thing. However, these acrylic backboards have several issues:
- Durability: Acrylic is not as durable as tempered glass and will likely not hold up as well over time, meaning it may need to be replaced more often.
- Shock Absorption: Acrylic does not absorb shocks as well as tempered glass, which could lead to injuries in the event of a fall or impact.
- Aesthetics: Acrylic backboards can look cheap and are not as attractive as tempered glass backboards.
- Discoloration: In addition, both the sun’s rays and other elements can cause acrylic backboards to discolor over time, which is not the case with tempered glass backboards.
Vibration is an important theme with regard to basketball hoops and backboards, as it can affect the accuracy of shots. While tempered glass does vibrate to some extent, it does so much less than acrylic backboards and even other forms of glass, leading to more accurate shots.
First of all, tempered glass is far less likely to shatter upon impact than other forms of glass due to the tempering process. It’s stronger than these other formats, and it takes significantly more force to break it.
Even in the extremely rare situations where a tempered glass backboard does break or shatter, however, it will not produce the hazardous shards that can cause injury. This is because tempered glass features a unique coating that holds glass together if it happens to break.
Finally, you can’t do better than tempered glass when it comes to aesthetics. It’s sleek, modern, and attractive, making it the perfect choice for any basketball court.
When choosing a backboard for your basketball court, be sure to consider tempered glass as your best option. It’s stronger, safer, and more attractive than other types of glass, making it the ideal choice for any installation.