Slick Tiles Vs. Synthetic Ice: Which is Better?

Slick Tiles Vs. Synthetic Ice: Which is Better?

Although slick tiles have become a pretty hot topic lately, there is a little bit of confusion about what exactly they are, and how they work. Sniper’s Edge Hockey created the slick tile by adding a bit of slickness to the standard dryland hockey flooring that many players are familiar with. Because of the slick property of the tiles hockey players can practice on the flooring with regulation pucks and sticks and be able to experience the ice-like slickness of a real ice rink. When we compare dryland slick flooring with synthetic ice, the answer depends on the needs of the person asking the question. Which type of flooring is better? Keep reading and you can be the judge.

What Exactly Are Slick Tiles?

As we mentioned above, “slick tiles” are the Sniper’s Edge Hockey version of dryland hockey flooring. What makes these tiles stand above other tiles is that they are built to last longer, and they are built to provide a surface that is close to traditional ice as possible. Dryland hockey flooring can vary in quality depending on the manufacturer, and what kind of use they will have. Some dryland flooring is manufactured only for playing Dek hockey with a ball and sneakers. Since the flooring is only to be used for hockey balls, there is no need for it to be slick.

Slick tile flooring, on the other hand, is created to be more versatile than standard dryland flooring. You can practice with pucks and sticks on the platform and have an experience that is comparable to the slickness of real ice.

Although the tiles are indeed slick and give the player an ice-like experience, they are not build to withstand ice skating. The largest difference between slick dryland tiles and synthetic ice is that you can not ice skate on slick dryland flooring tiles. You can rollerblade, and play in sneakers or even barefoot…but you can not use ice skates on them.

Synthetic Ice

Synthetic ice panels were designed with the ice skater in mind. Back in the early 1960s, a group of people developed the first synthetic ice platform. Back in those days, the plastic that was available to work with was not nearly advanced as it is today. 

For the first instances of artificial ice, the flooring had to be constantly treated with a gliding agent so that there would be adequate lubrication for the ice skates to glide across the flooring without stopping and skidding.

This gliding agent was formulated using a silicon material that caused buildup to form on the surface of the flooring that had to be scraped up in order to prevent injuries or other problems.

Since those days, synthetic ice has come a long way and can now almost mimic real ice. Not quite though. However, when ice skaters skate on high-quality synthetic ice panels, they can skate just as well as they can on real ice. There is a slight drag and a little bit of resistance, but not enough to be a real problem. People that install synthetic ice flooring in their homes end up benefiting from it because the added bit of resistance to the skating experience builds muscle and stamina for the players as they continue to practice.


At the end of the day, the best type of flooring will depend on what the person is looking for in terms of use. If you prefer ice skating, then it is definitely better to install some synthetic ice panels. If you are more into dryland hockey with inline skates, then dryland slick tiles are the best choice. Either way, make sure that you get only the highest quality flooring that is available on the market. Otherwise, both types will be wrong.

***Sniper’s Edge Hockey loves Canada! We proudly ship all of our products to Canada and offer the same return policies as we do for everybody else. We realize the exchange rates for the Canadian dollar are not the best right now, so we’re trying to help by giving you free shipping and no customs/duty.***

Recommended Articles