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What can I use for a playground border?

Playground borders are key for maintaining loose fill safety surfacing like wood and rubber mulch. You will typically find playground borders in two varieties: plastic timbers and rubber timbers. They are available in several different heights to perfectly suit any play area. Keep reading to learn more about the types of playground borders and their purpose.

Plastic Border Timbers

The ParKurb plastic timbers come in black and feature a wood grain finish. These are available in 8-inch and 12-inch heights and are made from high-quality, commercial-grade plastic. This popular border option offers a clean, precise edge around the play area. Not only does it keep the loose surfacing in, but it also keeps unwanted items out. For example, it would be difficult to ride a bike into the play area with borders and it creates a barrier to keep out toys and other hazardous materials.

Recycled Rubber Timbers

There are a couple of brands of rubber curbs available and you will find them in a variety lengths, heights and colors. They are made with recycled rubber and use a polyurethane binder to make them strong, durable and long-lasting, while also allowing them to bend into curves to follow specific landscapes. 


Playground borders can exclude children with special needs. To comply with ADA guidelines and make the playground inclusive for all children, ramps will need to be added. Ramps make the play area accessible by mobility devices like wheelchairs by creating an inclined entry and exit point at the border.

Why Do You Need Playground Borders?

Borders add both an aesthetic and practical improvement to the playground. Their four major purposes are:

  1. Dividing play areas by age
  2. Reducing loss of product
  3. Keeping walkways clear and safe
  4. Minimizing maintenance and cleanup

Do I always have to use a border?

No, not necessarily. There are several safety surfaces that are solid and need no border. For example, Poured-in-Place is shredded rubber that is mixed with a binding agent. It is then spread over the surface and cured, resulting in a solid, one-piece surface. Another example is Artificial Turf. Turf is installed in large rolls that are bonded together, creating one unified surface. Rubber tiles will also need no borders for similar reasons. Borders are primarily for loose-fill surfacing but can be used in a variety of ways. 

Plastic and rubber timbers are easy to install and include the appropriate spikes. They can be used for playgrounds, as well as various landscaping purposes. Shop our selection of borders on AAA State of Play and talk to a sales representative to get a quote.

What Considerations Should I Keep in Mind When Choosing a Playground Border Material, Color, and Shape?

When choosing a playground border, prioritize safety by selecting durable and non-toxic materials without sharp edges. Weather-resistant materials like plastic and rubber require minimal maintenance and offer UV stability to prevent fading, making them practical options. Aesthetically, materials and colors should complement the playground's theme; black playground borders are a foolproof choice that matches anything, but hues like brown or green might look better in a nature-themed playground. Also, consider environmental impact by selecting eco-friendly options and balancing initial costs with long-term maintenance.

Can You Use Wood Landscape Timbers as a Playground Border?

Wood landscape timbers can be used to make a budget-friendly playground border, but they’re more susceptible to deterioration over time. They may also splinter, creating sharp edges that can be dangerous.

How Do You Build a Playground Border, Step by Step?

Plastic and rubber timbers are easy to install and include the appropriate spikes. Just follow these steps:

  1. Collect all necessary materials and tools, including a hammer or mallet and a rake.
  2. Prepare the area by clearing out any debris, rocks, or vegetation to make sure that it’s level and firm.
  3. Mark where your borders will go using string lines or spray paint.
  4. Assemble your playground border pieces and place them, then secure them with metal spikes.
  5. Spread playground mulch inside of the bordered area using a rake.

If you’re ready to improve your play area with playground borders, shop our selection today and talk to a sales representative to get a free quote.

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