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Outdoor Playground Flooring Options

After you’ve selected the slides, swings, and other playground equipment necessary to create the play experience you desire, you’ll need to choose a surface material to go underneath it all. Depending on the area’s climate, your budget, the playground equipment you’ve chosen, and how often the area will be maintained, several types of surface materials can be safe for your playground. We offer a variety of options for playground safety surfacing.

1. Playground Wood Chips

One of the most common types of surfacing materials people purchase is playground wood chips. Wood mulch is found on playgrounds across the country, and it’s one of the most popular playground mulch options because of its low initial cost. Wood chips give enough added cushioning to prevent injuries if a child falls while playing or slips when climbing. The impact rating depends on how thick the wood chips are, but 8 inches of wood chips are usually sufficient to cushion an 8-foot fall. Wood chips do require maintenance, though: This cheap playground flooring option must be raked regularly to level out thin spots. Adding a layer of wood chips when needed will help you to ensure that the mulch provides enough cushioning to meet fall surfacing guidelines.

2. Artificial Grass

Artificial grass has many benefits for playground safety. Covering the ground with playground turf keeps the area perfectly even and is nearly maintenance-free. Artificial grass is a level and soft playground material that doesn’t have to be raked or topped off. It’s the best playground surface for safety if your play area will host young children: Babies won’t have loose materials to shove into their mouths, and playground turf is soft enough to crawl on and flat to help new walkers stay balanced.

3. Playground Rubber Mulch

On a playground, rubber surfaces are a popular safety option. Rubber mulch surfacing can protect children from injuries resulting from falls from playground climbers and other equipment. This type of playground safety padding is one of the more popular playground surface options. It’s a recyclable rubber playground surface that’s an affordable and effective choice for many types of play areas. The number one safety benefit of playground rubber mulch is its shock-absorbing ability: When a child falls off the top of a slide, the rubber cushioning helps prevent injuries, making it an effective choice for kids’ playground flooring. But if you’re considering rubber mulch, it’s worthwhile to also consider pour-in-place rubber playground surfacing.

4. Kids’ Outdoor Rubber Safety Mats

Even if you’ve decided to use mulch as your primary safety surface, you may want to consider adding rubber safety mats. In playground areas at the end of a slide or under a swing, playground mulch can be easily pushed out of place, which is why these are good places to put outdoor rubber mats. Laying rubber playground mats under the swings as outdoor playground flooring will cut down on maintenance and keep children safer. You can also buy and install outdoor playground mats at the bottom of the slide, under a spinner, or surrounding merry-go-rounds and teeter-totters.

5. Playground Safety Mat Tiles

You can cover your entire play area with rubber safety tiles, which come in a variety of thicknesses to cushion falls from different heights. The tiles are simple to install and can be locked together with adhesive, producing a smooth, solid surface that can’t be pushed out of place like mulch can. In many cases, these can be a more economical choice than poured-in-place surfacing.

6. Poured Playground Flooring

We also offer poured-in-place rubber surfacing, the ultimate choice when you want a durable, safe, and nearly maintenance-free playground surface. A seamless pour-in-place playground surface can last for years and put an end to the need for replacing mulch. It’s also available in a variety of colors, so you can install a neutral tone to match the natural environment or put in a surface that proudly displays your school colors or your favorite color scheme. This type of playground rubber flooring is one of the best surfaces for accessibility and is relatively easy to clean, which makes it quite popular.

How Much Does Playground Rubber Flooring Cost?

Playground surface costs vary greatly depending on the type. For instance, playground surface materials such as rubber mats might cost $60 to $80, while a 40-pound bag of rubber mulch costs less than $10. This material will need to be replaced more often than poured-in-place surfacing, so that should be taken into consideration when you are shopping for playground flooring.

Playground surfaces’ prices will also depend on the size of the space you need to cover. How many mats will you need, or how large of an area do you need to cover with mulch and how deep do you need it to be? (Need help doing the math? Give us a call and we’ll help you get an accurate playground rubber surfacing price estimate.)

What Is the Best Playground Flooring for You?

You have plenty of school playground flooring options to choose from, and deciding which one is right for you can depend on a variety of factors. Luckily, we are here to help. At AAA State of Play, we’re experts in playground safety, and we can walk you through the options for playground surfaces to help you make the right choice for your needs. We can also help you figure out how much playground surface material you’ll need to help prevent injuries, and installation service is available as well whether you are choosing to use a loose fill material, mats, tiles, or a pour-in-place playground surface. Contact us today to get a free quote or ask any questions you might have: We’d be happy to help you find the right material for your needs.

Find more about the author: Kim Hart

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