Almost everyone who has a finished basement also has a dart board. But there are usually huge differences in how that dart board is installed, hung and presented.
With a little for thought, during your basement finishing design stage, you can be prepared to have the worlds best dart board setup, instead of just a circle on the wall.
- The standard dart board height is: 5 feet 8 inches (172.72 cm) from the floor—eye-level for a 6-foot person
- The standard dart lane length is: generally 7 feet 91⁄4 inches (236.86 cm)
- If you are looking for the proper rules for playing and scoring darts, Wikipedia has a very good write up.
Dart boards are one of my favorite finished basement ideas. Here are 7 basement design factors to consider in if you're going to put in a dartboard.
Dart board Location
Physically speaking, dart boards don't take up very much space at all. I think that's one reason so many people have one. When playing darts however, you do want a clear lane in which to throw. Otherwise it will be one trip to the emergency room after another. The dart lane should be away from doors and probably hugging a wall on one side. If someone has to walk through the lane, to get to the couch for example, then that may not be a good location for the dart board.
Lighting for a dart board
Adding a dedicated light to shine on the dart board and dart scoreboard is a great added touch which doesn't take a lot of extra time or money if you can do it before the drywall phase. I put in a standard ceiling can light with a deflector add-on which points the light specifically towards the board. I gave this light it's own switch with a dimmer.
Dart board score boards
Darts are the most fun when you actually keep score. I've used all kinds of systems. Paper and pen, chaulk-board, white board, etc. Those are all decent and if you plan to use one of those system just think about where the scoring will take place.
Two years ago though I discovered the Kokoi darts scoreboard. This thing is great! There's no writing, it's easy to see who's winning and looks really cool!
Framing for a dart board
While you're framing the basement you should add some extra support boards to make it easier to install the dartboard once the drywall is in place. You can also add this later, but if you know when the dart board is going it's much easier to prep before hand.
It helps to have already purchase the dart board you plan to use so that you can see exactly where the support brackets are in relation to the board. As a general rule you want the bullseye to be eye level of a six foot person and the support brackets will be about 6 inches above the bullseye. So nail in a few extra bracing two by fours about 6 foot 2 inches off the ground. I put two across just to give myself some room.
The drink rail
I don’t know about you, but when I play darts there is one other thing that I like to do at the same time. Drink! Sodas, milk, water… beer, whatever. To that end, I highly recommend a drink rail. You can make this fairly easily with some standard dimensional lumber and some trim. I made mine wide enough to hold a big beer stein which means it can also hold some small snack bowls. People will tend to stand near their drink, so make sure the throw line is a bit off of the drink rail to give yourself some room.
The dart board backboard
If you're like me then occasionally one of those sure fire bulls eye throws ends up being a hole in your brand new drywall. Plan on having a backstop behind your dartboard. This could be cork, soft wood planks, or covered cardboard. You want something that the dart will stick into but won't show a hole when you pull it out. I used a large piece of heavy cardboard that I covered in dark grey felt. I then framed that with some trim, looks awesome!
You want to plan on have a fairly big section of the backstop. I think a 6- 8 inches of clearance all around is a good rule of thumb. You can make your own or buy one online. This picture shows the Viper dartboard backboard, which you can buy on Amazon.
The darts throw line
This is the line where you're supposed to stand for standard darts. You'll want to have some way to denote this line. If you're putting in carpet you may want something on the wall. If you're going to stain your floors or put down tile, you might consider putting in a special design at that location so looks seem-less.
Of course you can also just buy a dartboard screw a couple holes in the wall and go from there, but what' the fun in that?
Do you have an awesome dart board layout? Send me a picture or mention it in the comments below I'd love to here about it.