Home Ten Pin Bowling Alley

Building a home ten pin bowling alley is a great way to bring the fun and excitement of this popular game to where you live. The question a lot of people ask is, how much space is needed to install a 10 pin bowling alley in a house?

How Long is a Bowling Lane?

A traditional 10 pin bowling lane is 88’ 6”. This includes the lane, the pinsetter, the approach, and the lane behind the pinsetter to allow for maintenance access. In most cases you will want to add an area for seating at the end of the lane as well.

As for width, the standard is 11’6” for a pair of lanes.

If that’s more space than you have, you can still have your home ten pin bowling alley. Brunswick’s Epicenter can be installed in as little as 56’3”, saving you more than 30 feet. This is not arcade bowling, Epicenter is real ten pin bowling that uses reduced lane lengths and stringpin pinsetters to save space.

If space is a concern, Epicenter may be the solutions for you. You might also consider Brunswick’s DuckPin Social, a different kind of 10 pin bowling that also takes up less room than traditional lanes.

Whether you want full lane lengths or something a little smaller, Striker Bowling can help you find the right solution and walk you through the critical planning phase of your project.

Book a free consultation and let’s discuss your project or return to the Ultimate Guide to Creating a Home Bowling Alley.

Duckpin social

Home DuckPin Bowling Alley

A great alternative to a full-size 10 pin bowling alley in your home is a home duckpin alley. Duckpin is a popular take on 10 pin bowling that uses smaller pins and a smaller-sized ball with no finger holes – but this is no gimmicky, arcade bowling. It’s popular in parts of Canada and the Northeastern US.

Duckpin lanes will take up much less space in your home than traditional 10 pin lanes and are much more economical to install.

Brunswick’s DuckPin Social is one of our most popular choices for in-home bowling alleys.DuckPin Social’s lanes can be installed in as little as 31’ compared to the standard 88’ for a traditional 10 pin bowling lane. A pair of Duckpin Social lanes can be installed in just 400 square feet of space.


You can choose from any of Brunswick’s synthetic lane options, including rich wood finishes from the Colorfull™ line, to differentiate and liven up your space. Or apply a custom graphic to the lane surface to create a one-of-a-kind look with our Ultimate lanes.

StringPin Pinsetter

Brunswick’s StringPin pinsetter easy to operate and requires much less maintenance than a traditional freefall pinsetter.

Masking Unit

DuckPin Social’s trendy mesh masking unit provides a unique, modern feel, but you can also customize your masking unit.


DuckPin Social comes with Brunswick’s Sync scoring system, the industry’s leading scoring and management system with mobile integration and touchscreen

Whether you’re thinking of installing a home duckpin bowling alley or just weighing your options, contact Striker Bowling and we’ll make sure you’re asking all the right questions and getting the answers you need.

Book a Free Consultation or return the Ultimate Guide to Creating a Home Bowling Alley.

How Much Does it Cost to Build a Bowling Lane in Your Home?

There are a number of factors you need to consider to get an accurate price on installing a bowling lane in your house. This is why initial planning is so critical, but we’re going to give you an idea of the cost and some of the elements you need to consider.

A typical cost to install a pair of lanes in your home is around $160,000. That would include your lanes, pinsetters, ball return system, scoring & operating system, design consultation, installation, and training.

There are a lot of factors that could influence that cost, including shipping distance, site challenges and logistics, and your choices for finishes, furniture, and upgrades.

During the planning process, we’ll work with you to choose things like:

  • The type and size of lane
  • Lane surface material and colour
  • Scoring and monitors
  • Type of pinsetter and ball return
  • Furniture
  • Lane accessories like lighting and bumpers
  • Pins and balls
  • Shoes

Once you decide on all of that, it becomes much easier to provide you with a more precise price to build a bowling lane in your home.

The number of lanes is also going to play a significant role in your final cost. If you decide on four lanes instead of two, your costs won’t double because a lot of the cost is in setup and logistics, but that also means you won’t cut your costs in half if you choose to install only one lane.

You may save roughly 17-18% by installing only one bowling lane in your house instead of two; while doubling the number of lanes you install may only increase your price by about 70%, all things being equal. Again, these are just estimates and depend a lot on your choices and location.

At Striker Bowling, we’ve been involved in over 400 projects across Canada, large and small. Our residential bowling planning process had been developed from this experience and we’ll equip you to make the best decision based on your goals and budget.

Return to The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Home Bowling Alley.

Different Options for In-Home Bowling Lanes

There are a ton of different options for in-home bowling lanes. If you’ve decided to bring the fun and excitement of bowling into the comfort of your home, it’s now time to consider those options and make your plan.

Each of these options will have an impact on the cost of building your in-home bowling lanes, so it’s important to consider your budget when making choices and work with a professional who can help you find the right options.

The options for in-home bowling lanes range from the type of bowing lane (5 pin, 10 pin, or duckpin), the lane length (standard or short) and type, the kind of furniture you want, how will you care for the lanes, and more. Let’s look at some of these in-home bowling lane options in a bit more detail.

Length of Bowling Lane

A standard bowling lane requires a minimum of 87 feet to install. You might not want to take up that kind of real estate in your home. Solutions like Brunswick’s DuckPin Social lanes are only 31 feet in length and a set can be installed in only 400 square feet. We can help you consider the pros and cons of different length options.

The Type of Bowling Lane

Do you want 5 pin, 10 pin, or duckpin lanes? This simply refers to the number of pins used, but impacts the type of lanes and availability of options. Five pin was the dominant game in parts of Canada for much of the late 20th century, but is largely being eclipsed by ten pin and has always been the primary game in the US.

Do you want subway returns where the balls come back under the lane, or do you want surface returns? The height of the bowling foundation is lessened so surface returns are a good option is there are ceiling constraints to consider.

Most of the dominant manufacturers specialize in 10 pin, providing consumers with many more options from lane materials, to scoring, to pinsetters.

With Brunswick synthetic lanes you can choose a variety of finishes and distinctive colours. You can even choose lanes with designs that change and glow when you expose them to black light.

Scoring and Monitors

Brunswick Sync is the industry-leading scoring system and allows you to really elevate your bowling experience with custom games like Angry Birds bowling, and integrate your smartphone with the scoring. There are number different service options with Sync. Sync Kiosk Scoring is the best option for residential homes as it has a simplified design and easy-to-use intuitive interface.

Pinsetter Type

The pinsetter is the machine at the end of your in-home bowling alley that picks up and resets the pins when you knock them over. You have a couple of options when choosing a pinsetter.

A traditional pinsetter like the Brunswick GSX is what’s called a free fall pinsetter. Meaning the pins fall and are swept into the pinsetter to be cycled through and reset. A String pinsetter, by contrast, has strings attached to each pin that are used to lift and reset the pins.

String pinsetters are more economical, require less maintenance and are easier to operate. We strongly recommend string pinsetters for any in-house bowling lane installation.


What kind of environment do you want to create for your in-home bowling alley? With Brunswick’s Center Stage furniture, you can do everything from standard tables and chairs to high-end couches and wired coffee tables. Center Stage furniture is commercial grade so it will stand the test of time. You can also get custom furniture made for your space if that’s your preference. Choose the atmosphere you want to create and then choose the furniture that helps bring it to life.

Lane Accessories

There are a number of accessories to consider. The main ones being a ball return system, bumper rails if you have younger kids and want to help them keep balls out of the gutter, and lighting.

Bowling Pins

You can go with classic white pins or spice things up with different colours. You can even customize your pins with a logo or graphic image.

Bowling Balls

Your bowling ball choices are limitless. Balls of different colours, balls that flash, balls that look like billiard balls. You can also create your own custom bowling balls for an added expense.

Care of Your Lanes

Bowling lanes need to be cleaned and conditioned to remain in good shape. You can buy equipment and supplies to do this manually or you can purchase a lane machine to do it for you.

Whatever options you’re considering for your home bowling alley, we can walk you through it and equip you to make the right decision.

Top Tips for Transitioning Your Lanes to Summer

As the winter league season comes to an end it is important to keep in mind that maintaining pattern consistency is critical to ensuring your league bowlers return. It is also the time for city and provincial tournaments to begin. Ensuring your lane machine is clean and functioning properly is critical to creating a good experience for your customers. Here are a few things to think about.

The first step is to be sure that the lane is properly cleaned. Inconsistent cleaning can adversely affect your scores and cause you to lose league bowlers.

Check cleaner sprayer nozzles. Dirty or clogged nozzles can cause irregular lane coverage. Also, check the filters inside cleaner spray heads as well as the filter before the cleaner pump. Check your squeegee blades and make sure they can last the season. If they can’t, replace them. Replacing these blades is not difficult and will be well worth the effort. And make sure the squeegee, old or new, is properly adjusted. If your lanes aren’t completely dry prior to conditioning, your pattern will be compromised. Ensure the cleaner you are using is appropriate for the type of lanes you have and the stubbornness of the dirt and oil you need to remove. Invincible is by far our number one selling cleaner and is an excellent choice to remove many conditioners that are on the market.  For tougher jobs, Brunswick Judge® will easily remove oils that are designed to separate and therefore are usually more difficult to remove. Be sure to experiment to determine the best mixing ratio for your needs and use that mix consistently.

(More on the Brunswick’s 3Cs – cleaners, cloths, and conditioners)

Don’t make the mistake of changing patterns too often. Unnecessary pattern changes can just confuse your bowlers and make good scores too difficult to achieve. The best time to experiment with new patterns, new conditioners or even to do some maintenance such as changing the buffer brush is during the off-season. Dirt, dust, temperature, and sitting time are all things that can cause inconsistent patterns. So be mindful of these variables as well. However, if you need to make changes during the season, ask a professional to help you and keep your bowlers advised as to what you are doing and why. Your Striker Bowling team can offer you important tips and is just a phone call away.

Keep gutters, lanes, approaches, and capping free of dirt and dust. Dirt and dust are the number one contributor to wear and tear and can significantly reduce the life expectancy of your lanes and increase pattern break down.

Inspect your lanes! If you have synthetic lanes, make sure all the lane plugs are installed. Replace any broken screws. Repair any cracking or gouges in your lane using Inject-a-patch or approved lane epoxy. Make sure your panel seams are sealed too. Any of these issues, if not fixed properly, can cause significant lane surface damage. If you have wood lanes, repair any ball burns or exposed wood using urethane or water-based lane finish. Dips, raises and tilts on your lane surface can cause pattern changes and issues. Consult your CTF representative for the sanctioned numbers before making adjustments.

All major work should wait until the summer unless absolutely necessary. The same goes for replacing your lane machine. Your customers are your top priority and following these tips will help you keep them happier and eager for the next league season to arrive.

Adapted from Brunswick Bowling Center Newsletter, April 2015