Do you love ice skating but don't live near a rink?
Or maybe the weather is too hot or cold to enjoy a traditional ice skating session.
The ideal place to ice skate would be right in the comfort of your own home but how can you make that happen?
Have no fear, because with a little bit of work you can convert your garage (or any space) into a home synthetic ice skating rink!
Most skaters do not need a lot of space to train and advance their overall skills.
In this article, we will provide you with all the information you need to make this happen.
When most people think of ice skating, they picture a large rink with smooth, cold ice.
However, you can actually skate on many different types of surfaces.
Synthetic ice is made from special polymer material that is designed to replicate the feeling of real ice skating.
This material is often used in training facilities for figure skaters and hockey players because it provides a realistic skating experience.
The great thing about synthetic ice is that it can be used in any climate and doesn't require refrigeration like traditional ice rinks.
This means you can enjoy skating year-round in the comfort of your own home!
Plus setting up a home ice rink is much less expensive than building an outdoor rink.
Start with a Clean Slate
Well, it's finally time to get the garage cleaned out!
Something I think we all tend not to get too excited about.
First, you will need to motivate yourself to clean out the garage.
This may seem like a daunting task, but it's important to remember the result will be well worth it!
Plus, once you get started, it's not really as bad as it seems.
Set aside a day or two where you can focus on cleaning out the garage without any outside distractions.
Maybe utilize the time while you're working with a pair of headphones listening to some tunes or listening to an audible eBook that you've been putting off.
Next, you will need to gather some supplies.
A few trash bags, some old blankets or towels, and some cleaning supplies should do the trick.
Now it's time to start cleaning!
Begin by removing and emptying out all of the clutter from the garage.
This includes old toys, sports equipment, tools, and anything else that you no longer need or use.
You will need to clear out any shelving, bins, or other storage that is taking up space in your garage.
This means getting rid of anything that you no longer need or use and have been hoarding.
If you haven't used something in over a year, chances are you don't need it.
So get rid of it and organize what's left!
Once the garage is completely cleared out, you can start sweeping and cleaning the floor.
Once you've gotten rid of all the unnecessary stuff, it's time to start organizing.
You may want to consider investing in some plastic storage containers and bins so that you can keep the area organized.
This means putting things away and labeling them so you'll know where everything is when you need it which is the ultimate goal!
You can also invest in some garage shelving to help utilize higher wall areas and spaces for storage.
The most important part of having a clean garage is to make sure it stays that way.
This means taking the time to sweep and mop on a regular basis.
You should also make sure to put away things after using them so they don't become cluttered again.
Measure your space
Once you have a cleared area, you can start measuring for your rink.
When measuring, be sure to allow space for your gear and a bench to put on your skates.
You will also want to leave some extra space around the perimeter of your rink so that skaters can move freely without fear of falling into anything.
Measurements are everything when it comes to installing a home synthetic ice rink.
You need to make sure that the space you are using is the correct size, or else you may find yourself with a rink that's too big or small.
It's important to know the purpose of your rink, who it's for and it's intended use.
That will help you determine the size of your rink to fit the space you have to work with.
Measure the length and width of the area where you plan to install your rink.
This is best done with a tape measure, but if you don't have one handy, you can always use a ruler or yardstick.
To determine the total Area of space simply multiply Length X Width which will determine your total square footage.
- A typical empty 1-car garage measures 12ft wide by 22 feet deep = 264 square feet.
- A typical empty 2-car garage measures 20ft wide by 20 to 22 feet deep = 400-440 square feet.
Your total square footage equals the total area of floor space that you have available.
You would then need to subtract the square footage of the floor space that has been dedicated for storage to get a better dea of the overall available floor space.
Obviously ovehead bins or storage above 7-feet would not impact or impede on your floor space.
Ordering Your Rink Package.
When you're looking to buy a synthetic ice rink package, there are a few things you need to consider.
The first is the size of your garage, both the width and length as previously mentioned.
If the space you have available is somewhat limited, say under 150 square feet, you may want to consider using lightweight portable tiles instead of heavier, thicker panels though both would work.
Our PolyGlide Ice portable synthetic ice tiles do provide more of a cost savings as they can be boxed-shipped as opposed to freight shipped.
Our larger, thicker Pro-Glide panels are more rigid, require less seams to assemble and can be utilized for both indoor and outdoor use.
We put together a few common rink packages that are ideal for any garage or home ice rink:
PORTABLE STARTER KITS (1/4"X 24" X 48" TILES):
DEDICATED PRO-GLIDE "CUBE" (1/2" X 46" X 46" PANELS)
DEDICATED PRO-GLIDE "FULL" PANELS (1/2" X 46" X 92" PANELS)
Think about how often you plan on using the rink throughout the year and whether or not a portable option works better for you.
If you only plan on using it occasionally, then a package with fewer accessories may be the best option.
But if you plan on using it frequently, then you may want to consider a package that includes all the bells and whistles.
Also keep in mind, you can always order more in the future!
Now that you have a better idea of what's available regarding the different rink packages it's time to figure out what works best for YOU!
We offer plenty of options, so take your time and as they say, "Measure twice and cut once!"
If you're not quite sure and could use a little help, feel free to reach out to us anytime and we'll help walk you through it.
Installing synthetic ice tiles or panels are relatively an easy task.
Think of it as a flooring lego system that's easy to install and fun to use once you're done!
Take your measuring tape and mark with masking or painters tape where the center width or your rink will be.
To determine the center mark simply dived the width measurement of your rink by two (2).
Then do the same thing for the length to create a center-ice mark for your rink layout.
Then you will be able to determine if you center line should line up with the center of your panel OR the side seam of the panel.
You can lay it out both ways to see what works best for your overall rink layout.
Prep Work and Assembly
Make sure once again before installing your rink that the subsurface has been swept and/or vacumed thoroughly clean.
Be sure to thoroughly inspect the sub-floor for flatness as fixtures such as area drains sometimes has deflection and pitch in the concrete surface to allow for drainage.
If this is the case, you can prep the floor first with an OSB plywood underlayment to insure flatness for the sub-surface prior in installing your new rink.
It's important to note that your synthetic ice surface must be able to expand and contract and must not be mechanically fasted in any way to the sub-floor.
Synthetic ice flooring is very similar to laminate flooring with regards to the necessary prep work required to insure a proper installation.
Once you receive your new panels lay them flat on the floor to let them acclimate to the temperature in the room prior to assembly.
To begin assembly of your new home ice rink panels simply align two panels side-by-side along the dovetail connections and strike firmly with a heavy rubber mallet along the entire seam.
Continue along each seam until all the dovetail panel connections are locked in place and ready for skating!
Once your synthetic ice panels have been installed you can consider adding some fun accessories to spice-up your new rink!
For hockey players, keeping the puck on the surface is always a challenge if you have not installed some type of perimeter dasher system.
There are a few different types of dasher systems available on the market, so be sure to do your research and choose the one that best suits your needs.
For simple puck containment, a 4'X4" pressure-treated railroad around the perimeter will do the job and give your rink rustic look.
Another puck containment option is "The BounceBar" by PolyGlide Ice which offers a rebounding curb feature to help train AND keep your puck on the surface.
Once you have chosen a system, follow the instructions carefully to ensure proper installation.
Keep Your Parking Spot!
PolyGlide Ice, solid core synthetic ice panels are durable and built to last for many years.
There's no need to lose your garage parking space to accommodate your new rink project.
Simply cover your ice with a tarp or rink blankets to prevent oil or grease from dripping on the surface.
The weight of the car has no impact on the panel performance or guarantee throughout the lifetime of the panel.
This is what makes the average garage space the number one most popular location for many of our home ice rink customers!
Hit the Ice!
Now that your rink is built, it’s time to start skating!
Once your new surface has been installed you are ready for your first skate!
You will need a few strides to get used to the “feel” of your new rink.
Synthetic ice requires slightly more effort than natural ice but you'll soon see that you'll be able to make all the same maneuvers on your new rink!
Be sure to invite all of your friends and family over for a skate party!
With your new home ice rink, you can skate anytime you want, day or night!
Just be sure to keep your rink well-maintained so that it can be enjoyed for years to come.
Synthetic ice rinks do require regular maintenance depending on the amount of use and dirt that accumulates on the surface.
Keeping your rink free of dirt, dust and debris by using a cover is a great way to limit the amount of extra clean-up for outdoor rink.
Be sure to broom or vacuum your surface regularly to reduce the amount of shavings while skating (note: shavings are recyclable)
One good tip for hockey players is to use white tape on your stick blades to limit the amount of scuffing on your rink surface.
Now that you have all the information you need it's time to start considering your home garage rink project!
You'd be suprised on how quickly you can convert any space into your own home ice rink.
With a little bit of effort, you can enjoy lacing-up anytime throughout the year with unlimited ice time whenever YOU want it!.
Be sure to check our our full line of rink packages to learn more about our products and how we can help you create your own home ice rink!
We have created a FAQ page along with videos to help you learn a little more about this versatile new product that is changing the way people utilizing their own persomal ice time.
So have some fun and start creating and we'll have you ice skating in no time!