What is the Best Playground Surfacing?
Choosing a compliant playground surfacing under and around playground equipment is one of the most important factors in reducing the likelihood of life-threatening head injuries. Statistics indicate that nearly 70 percent of all playground injuries are related to falls to the surface. That is why one of the most vital steps in creating a safer play area for children is the selection of the right surfacing option for your playground project needs. Depending on the form and function of your play area, there are a number of choices you can make in regard to your playground surfacing. During the planning process, consider the following to help determine the best commercial playground surfacing for your project:
Who uses my playground?
If you want an inclusive playground area, a unitary rubber playground surface allows children with mobility conditions and caregivers with different ability levels to gain access to your playground. Loose-fill surfacing, while economic, can make movement a challenge for some.
What are the pieces of playground equipment I have?
Consider where the point of impact is with different pieces of playground equipment. These are the areas that will need extra support or a surfacing material that offers a higher impact attenuation rating.
How much use will my playground get?
High traffic play areas require a more durable surfacing option such as EPDM to ensure safety standards are consistently maintained over time. If you have younger children visiting your playground, you need to ensure your outdoor playground surfacing meets the safety guidelines and standards for that age group.
What is my budget?
Consider not just the upfront price of the surfacing material, but also the cost of site preparation, installation and ongoing maintenance costs.
What is my maintenance plan?
Does your facility have an onsite maintenance crew to upkeep your play area? Loose-fill surfacing options offer an inexpensive upfront cost option but they will disintegrate over the lifetime of the playground and will need to be “topped off” every few years. Unitary surface options are more expensive but they offer longer warranties and require little to no maintenance after installation.
SAFETY SURFACING 101: A SIDE x SIDE COMPARISON
What Are My Surfacing Options?
You have several options when it comes to surfacing your outdoor recreational space:
This “green” surfacing option is made from clean, recycled rubber tires and is available in variety of colors. The durable, nonporous material will not decompose, blow away or be subject to fungal issues. All of which saves both money and maintenance requirements over time. In addition, this shredded rubber alternative offers the best impact absorbing properties of all the loose-fill surfaces.
Designed to bring a more natural look to your play environment this popular surfacing option is safe, clean and durable. It offers excellent drainage, impact attenuation and ADA accessibility while requiring little to no maintenance after installation.
Engineered Wood Fiber
Also known as Kiddie Cushion, it provides a natural-looking surfacing solution that is both ADA compliant and economical. By far the most widely used surfacing material, it accounts for almost 75% of all surfacing installations. This popularity stems from its high shock attenuation properties and the low initial cost requirements.
Playground surface tiles provide a single smooth surface once installed and can be used indoors and outdoors. Our Rubber Tiles come in a variety of colors, are low maintenance and easy to repair. Perfect for high traffic areas this surfacing option is extremely durable and offers excellent accessibility for mobility devices.
Specifically designed for aquatic environments both of these materials offer an excellent solution for areas requiring quality aquatic safety surfacing.
EPDM Pour in Place
This is one of the most durable and accessible surfacing solutions available. EPDM can be poured to a variety of thickness levels to meet varying impact attenuation requirements. With a wide variety of color options available it’s graphic design capabilities are easily customized to fit any playground theme.
How Can I Choose the Right Surfacing?
We understand there are many options when it comes to safety surfacing and deciding on the best surfacing solution for your project can be difficult. Our friendly team of Adventure Play Experts are happy to offer their expert advice and suggestions to find the surfacing solution that is right for you. We also carry a complete line of surfacing accessories including compatible drainage systems, geotextile fabric, wear mats, containment curbing, and accessible ramps. No matter the budget or application, Adventure Playground Systems offers a comprehensive selection of compliant surfacing that will make your playground safe and enjoyable for all.
Download Our IPEMA Safety Surfacing Guide
Contact Adventure Playground Systems Today
Adventure Playground Systems has been a leading manufacturer in the commercial playground industry for more than 20 years. Serving Texas and beyond — our commercial-grade safety surfacing products are known for their quality, durability, and innovation. We offer a wide range of surfacing designs— including custom solutions — so we’re sure to have the perfect solution for your playground, park, school or recreation space.
If you’re ready to start planning your next surfacing project, contact Adventure Playground Systems by calling us at 1.888.935.2112 or filling out our online contact form. Our friendly team of Adventure Play Experts is happy to offer their expert advice and suggestions to find the surfacing solution that is right for you. We can guide you through the purchase every step of the way, so you get the recreation destination you’ve always dreamed of.