BURLEON, S.D. — Mark Smith has been making outdoor sports court tiles since the 1980s.
Smith said he was surprised to find that he has to be so much more careful when it comes to choosing the best tiles for his outdoor court.
“It’s a lot easier to make a tile that you’re sure will look good outdoors, rather than making tiles that are going to look great indoors,” Smith said.
Smith made a number of tile choices for his indoor court in the 1990s, including the first indoor court floor that he used for baseball and softball.
But after spending about 10 years making outdoor court tiles, Smith realized that the quality of the tiles he used would vary.
In recent years, Smith said, he’s been trying to get more creative with his tiles and find better tile materials to use in his outdoor courts.
One of the new materials that he’s finding is clay tile, which has become a popular choice for outdoor court floor tiles.
Some indoor court tile manufacturers are now using clay tiles in order to make court tiles that look better outdoors.
That means Smith is more likely to see the best outdoor court tile, Smith added.
The quality of clay tile is also becoming more affordable.
A few years ago, Smith had to pay $1,500 for a 1-foot by 3-foot clay tile to get a 1,200-square-foot court that looked like this: The court looked nice, but it didn’t fit in the house, Smith explained.
It took him about a year to find a clay tile that fit the bill, but the tiles were still very expensive.
Then, in late 2011, Smith purchased a large number of tiles from an online company called Baxandall.
They are made from a mix of limestone and sandstone, which are less expensive to produce, Smith estimated.
Once Smith gets his clay tiles, he can then mix them with a variety of other materials, such as polyurethane and vinyl.
Baxandalls clay tiles are also available online, but they aren’t as durable, Smith noted.
With a lot of the clay tiles now being made from clay, Smith has to think about making a better court floor in the future.
He said he would love to use a different material for his courts.
“I think the best court floors are made of clay,” Smith told Bloomberg Businessweek.
For Smith, the most important thing is the design of the court, and that’s what he’s trying to do.
There’s still a lot to learn about making clay tiles for indoor courts, but Smith said that he believes his new clay tiles will be the best he’s ever made.
Follow @paulkirkpatrick on Twitter.