Have you ever skated across square tiles? Whether they are ceramic, which are common in a lot of older rink’s restrooms, or those plastic snap-together tiles used in rink flooring, the experience is the same. You can feel the seams, or grout, when you’re on a pair of quad skates. It sounds like “ker-thunk, ker-thunk, ker-thunk” and the vibrations can feel off-putting. That’s because the front axles, and then the back axles, hit the seams at the same time.
The tiles weren’t laid for roller skaters. They were laid in a standard pattern used by interior designers and tile setters. Skaters need to be skating over diamonds, not squares. It makes the experience much smoother. The wheels will hit a seam or grout at different times. The “ker-thunk” feeling and sound will be gone.
In most architectural applications of flooring using square tile, the placement is parallel to the wall. But in skating, it’s imperative that you tell the tile setter to rotate those tiles 45 degrees. The same goes if you buy a used Ice Court, or design a full-color surface when buying directly from Versa Court.
Try it for yourself. The next time you’re in a rink that has plastic tiles, or a restroom with ceramic tile, briefly skate diagonally across those tiles and experience the difference. I was surprised at just how much better it felt under a pair of roller skates.