While bouldering is a fun and exciting sport, not everyone is lucky enough to live near a suitable bouldering site. Unless you’re okay with spending time, money, and energy driving to the nearest mountain range, you should consider building a bouldering wall at home.
It might sound intimidating, but you would be surprised how easy it is to build a bouldering wall inside your home. All you need is a suitable location, a good wall setup, the right grips, and a rig, and you’re all set!
Let’s find out how much it will cost to build an indoor bouldering wall and what you need to get started.
How Much Will It Cost to Build an Indoor Bouldering Wall?
The total cost will depend on two things. First, how high you want to build your bouldering wall. Second, how complex you would want the course to be.
These two factors will determine how much materials you will need.
When it comes to the materials, the cost will depend on general market prices.
This will change depending on where you will purchase both the raw materials such as wood and screws and equipment such as grips and the rig.
While you can get an indoor bouldering wall built by professionals, this article will focus on building a DIY wall.
This way, you won’t need to worry about the cost of labor. However, choosing the DIY route means that you should have basic carpentry skills and tools on hand.
In general, you can expect to spend:
In addition to the cost of building a wall, you will need to factor in climbing holds. You can expect to spend between $100-400 on good climbing holds to set all of the routes you might want.
What You Will Need
Before you purchase the raw materials, you need to create the design for your bouldering wall.
One of the best tools is a free Google 3D design program called Sketchup. This program is easy to use and you can create a mockup of your wall according to the dimensions you need.
You can decide between a free-standing or secure wall. Free-standing walls are a great option if you don’t want a permanent installation, but you will need to create additional support pillars.
For purposes of this article, the price of raw materials will be based on prices at Lowe’s.
A 4-ft x 8-ft plywood sheet will be priced at $30 while 2x4 studs will cost $8 each.
Go for a sheet of plywood that is at least ¾” thick, as thinner sheets will not be safe to use.
A basic bouldering wall should be around 8 feet x 8 feet so that climbing will be both fun and challenging, but if you have the space, you can opt for a minimum of 10 feet x 10 feet.
The cost for wood:
- 2 sheets of 4-ft x 8-ft of plywood = $60
- 4 pieces 2x4 studs = $32
Take note that this cost is for a vertical wall. If you plan to create a bouldering wall with an overhang, you will need to use 2x8 studs, which cost around $10 per piece.
For hardware, you will need wood screws, joints, t-nuts, and bolts.
A pack of wood screws costs around $12, while joints cost around $1 apiece.
Typically, you will need around three packs of wood screws to secure your bouldering wall. If you are creating a free-standing wall, you will need to use plates to increase the safety and stability of the joints.
T-nuts and bolts will determine where you will place the grips.
Depending on the size of your wall and the pattern you want to place, you will need at least 200 pieces of T-nuts.
For a basic 8-ft x 8-ft wall, around 250 pieces of T-nuts will suffice.
The cost for hardware:
- 3 packs of wood screws = $36
- 4 joints = $4
- 200 pcs of T-nuts = $200
There is a wide variety of grip shapes and sizes! You can buy them from Amazon or a local hardware store that sells bouldering equipment.
While most grips are sized for adults, you will need to purchase special grips for children. Grips cost between $1 to $2 per piece.
For an 8-ft x 8-ft indoor bouldering wall, you will need around 30 to 40 pieces. Again, this will depend on the configuration of your wall.
The cost for grips:
- 40 pieces of climbing grips = $80
While most indoor bouldering walls are not high enough to require a safety harness, you may want to install one if you have children who want to try climbing.
You can purchase a safety harness on Amazon. Adult harnesses cost around $20 to $40, while child-sized harnesses go for around $45.
You will also need to install a bolt hanger above your wall for your harness. A bolt hanger costs around $5 per piece.
The final piece of your bouldering wall set up is your fall zone. Even if you’re climbing indoors, there is nothing pleasant about falling straight down on a wood or concrete floor!
You can purchase a set of interlocking rubber floor mats to help cushion falls and prevent injuries.
A six-pack of rubber mats that cover 20 square feet will cost around $40.
While you can save some money by using an old mattress, rubber or foam mats offer better protection and traction.
DIY vs. Pre-Fabricated Bouldering Walls
When you add up all the costs for a DIY wall, you’ll spend around $500 at least to build a safe and enjoyable bouldering wall.
Any additional cost will depend on your preferences and skill level.
If you want to skip all the stress of making your own bouldering wall from scratch, you can order a pre-fabricated wall from a reputable climbing company.
A basic 4-ft x 4-ft prefabricated wall will cost around $300.
While it is certainly more convenient to order a pre-fabricated wall, you won’t be able to choose the configuration of the grips.
All in all, you can create an indoor bouldering wall for as little as $500! Of course, this means that you would have to build the whole setup yourself and must have the required tools on hand.
Bouldering is a fun sport that can be enjoyed by everyone, regardless of age and fitness level. Even a basic climbing wall can offer countless hours of enjoyment.
Down the line, you can always opt to change up the configuration of your bouldering wall if you want to increase the challenge of climbing.