There are many options when it comes to Playground Surfaces. The surface you choose can affect accessibility, maintenance and safety. Some surfaces have a low initial cost but require more upkeep, while others are more expensive but don’t need as much maintenance over time. Some surfaces are more accessible than others, and it’s important to plan your playground surfacing accordingly.
One of the most common playground surface materials is loose-fill surfacing, such as sand, wood chips or rubber mulch. These loose materials offer good shock absorption and can help keep the area dry. However, they can also become displaced during frequent use, especially in high-use areas like beneath swings or at the base of slides. This can lead to unsafe or inaccessible surfaces and increase maintenance costs. A solution for this is to install wear mats, which are available in a variety of sizes and can reduce the amount of loose-fill that is kicked away.
Exploring the Pros and Cons of Natural Grass Play Areas
Another option is unitary surfaces, such as poured or synthetic turf. These are popular because they are slip resistant and provide easy ADA access for wheelchairs. They also have a lower initial cost than loose-fill surfacing and don’t need to be raked as frequently.
Another option is a rubber surface, such as poured or textured EPDM. This is an excellent choice because it’s non-toxic, has excellent shock absorption and can be bonded to a sub-base for stability. These are often installed with a rubber tile system, such as Secure Lock interlocking tiles, which helps to reduce lateral shift of the material.