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Tips for Choosing the Right Playground Surface Material

By Whirl Construction (455 words)
Posted in Commercial Playgrounds on July 20, 2017

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Picking out playground equipment for your backyard play area or even a public park is a fun task. But once you’ve settled on the equipment you need, then come all the secondary decisions, like access paths, curbing, fencing, and playground surface material.

Today, we take a look at some tips for choosing the best underfoot playground surface options.

Know your budget

Whether you’re a private enterprise or a local government, everyone has a budget that they would like to stick to for their playground. We understand that you’ll likely want to put most of the funds into building the structures, but don’t forget about a good safety surface below. There are low budget options, such as wood chips, to consider, through to more premium products, such as poured in place rubber surfacing.

Consider the upkeep

Some playground surface materials will need more upkeep than others. For instance, wood chips will need refilling every year or two, and may actually freeze in the winter, which can be dangerous. With loose materials underfoot, they may need to be cleaned or changed more often so that no sharp objects can remain hidden in the material.

Think about the age of the children using the playground

Some materials are naturally safer and more bouncy than others. A very soft rubber playground surface might be a good choice for very small children, as it is very cushioning. Big kids are a little bit tougher so the surface doesn’t have to be quite so cushioning underneath. If your playground contains different zones for different age groups, then you might like to think about doing two different types of surfacing, or you can simply choose the type of surface that’s best for smaller children.

Do you want a natural look?

Some playground surfaces look more natural than others, and one in particular is designed to look exactly like the ground: synthetic turf. Synthetic turf is generally very soft and looks just like grass – giving your playground a more natural look. You may need to be careful with synthetic turf, as it may require cleaning more often than other playground surface material. It is always possible to go with a green colored rubber playground surface to blend in with the surrounds.

At Whirl Construction, we’ve mastered the art of playground design and installation in the New Jersey and Tri State areas, including the material underneath your playground. We are experts in building playgrounds and can help advise what we believe would best suit your playground area and budget. Contact us if you are in the process of, or thinking about building a new playground or park area.

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