Does it really help with stick handling or is it hard to put skating and then the handling on this together?
It helped immensely with my stick handling! I didn't use a regular hockey puck on it though, I used a green biscuit and a stickhandling ball, since they seemed to move around easier and more closely simulate when a puck is doing on ice.
My only problem with it was the size, i had a 30"x60" sheet, which just wasn't big enough for me, and is why I went for the tiles. It's also good for shooting pucks off as well, and helped me with my slap/snap/wrist shots.
I used silicone lube. Just made my board today. It's the equivalent to the intermediate shooting pad out there, spent about $13 for the pad and a bottle of silicone spray. I've tried out hockey shooting pads out there, and I believe the homemade version simulates ice much better.