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Safety First! Choosing the Right Safety Surface for Your Playground

By Whirl Construction (530 words)
Posted in Commercial Playgrounds on July 11, 2014

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Safety First!When it comes to building playgrounds for children, safety and fun need to go hand-in-hand. There are many different types of play structures that offer exercise and entertainment, but you also need to consider the kind of foundation you are building these structures on. Choosing the right safety surface for your children’s playground is easy when it comes to these top 5 popular options:

Bonded Rubber

Bonded rubber surfaces offer aesthetic appeal, environmental rejuvenation, and safety. Made from the recycled rubber of old tires, the porous surface lets rainwater travel through and out of it, reducing puddles and slick surfaces. Bonded rubber looks like natural wood while offering a soft cushion to protect children from high falls. The thickness of the bonded rubber surfaces can vary to meet the different height requirements of your play structures.

Poured-In-Place Rubber

Different from bonded rubber but still providing a soft, protective cushion, poured rubber comes in an array of colors to brighten your playground and give it an artistic flair. The same recycled rubber used in the bonded option is set first and then covered with the colorful, poured rubber. Poured rubber is still porous, allowing water to drain through easily, but it is easier to install and less expensive than many other rubber options.

Rubber Tiles

Also made from recycled materials, rubber tiles offer the colorful, aesthetic value of poured rubber at the same cost as bonded rubber. And just like poured and bonded rubber playground surfaces, the tiles provide children with the proper cushion for shock absorption and safe play. Rubber tiles are especially ideal for indoor playgrounds, and they can come in a unique interlocking pattern that allows you to design your playground surface any way you want.

Synthetic Turf

Synthetic turf is made to look like a natural grass lawn without the allergens that go along with it. Rainwater drains through it quickly, reducing slick surfaces that can cause children to slip and fall, and it remains cool during the hot summer months. As a more expensive option, it requires a certified crew to install, but once it is implemented into your playground maintenance is minimal and inexpensive.

Wood Fiber

These tiny wood chips provide a truly natural look. Although it is much less expensive than its rubber counterparts, it requires more maintenance. The wood fiber needs to be maintained at a proper depth in order to provide children with a soft surface on which to jump, stumble, and fall. This means it will need to be raked and replaced on a regular basis, and unlike a rubber surface, it will not drain water easily. Precautions will need to be taken after rain and winter storms.

These different surfaces come in an array of colors and prices, giving you plenty of options when it comes to designing your playground. Safety should be considered first, and each of these surfaces meet the ASTM requirements for safety and accessibility.  If you have any questions regarding a specific safety surface or wish to inquire about prices and installation, please contact us via phone or through our website at

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International Playground Contractors Association New Jersey Recreation and Park Association Certified Playground Safety Inspectors Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute