Playground Surfaces are meant to be fun. But they can become dangerous quickly when kids aren’t properly protected. That’s why it’s important to choose a safe, durable surface for your playground equipment.
The best playground surfaces are made to last, preventing minor injuries from becoming serious injuries. To do so, they need to be resistant to wear and tear and able to absorb the shock of even high falls. The most common playground surfacing types are poured in place rubber, synthetic turf, and rubber tiles.
Inclusive Playground Surfaces: Ensuring Accessibility for All
Poured-in-place rubber (PIP) is a seamless, cushioned material made of two layers. The top layer, known as the “wear layer” is composed of EPDM or TPV granules. The bottom layer, called the “cushion layer”, is comprised of crumb rubber from recycled rubber tires. This material is durable, easy to clean, and ADA-compliant. However, this is also one of the most expensive options.
Synthetic turf is an incredibly durable, low-cost material that meets ADA standards for wheelchair accessibility. It’s quick to drain and has a natural, classic look that fits well into nature-themed playgrounds. Its biggest drawback is that it requires more frequent maintenance compared to other surfaces. It must be raked and topped off regularly to ensure that it stays within safety standards.
Another ADA-compliant option is recycled bonded rubber. This is a durable, eco-friendly material made from 100% recycled shredded rubber. It’s affordable, easy to maintain and comes in a variety of colors.