Playground Planning Guide: Step 7 - Choose Your Surfacing
2023-12-16 10:30:00
Selecting the right surfacing is crucial to ensuring the safety of your playground and preventing injuries from falls. Consider the following options and their characteristics:

Playground Planning Guide

1. Pea Gravel or Sand:

Pros: Cost-effective, natural appearance, good drainage.

Cons: May require periodic replenishment, not suitable for all playground equipment, potential for displacement.
 

2. Engineered Wood Fibre:

Pros: Excellent impact absorption, natural appearance, ADA-compliant options available.

Cons: Requires occasional top-ups, may compact over time, careful installation required.
 

3. Pour-in-Place Rubber:

Pros: Seamless surface, customizable designs and colors, excellent impact attenuation, low maintenance.

Cons: Higher initial cost, professional installation required.
 

4. Rubber Tiles:

Pros: Durable, easy to install, low maintenance, excellent impact attenuation, customizable designs.

Cons: Initial cost may be higher than some options.
 

5. Synthetic Turf:

Pros: Soft surface, natural appearance, low maintenance, durable.

Cons: Higher initial cost, may heat up in direct sunlight, requires occasional cleaning.
 

Considerations:

Safety Standards: Ensure that the chosen surfacing material meets or exceeds safety standards and guidelines for impact attenuation, especially for fall heights associated with your playground equipment.

Accessibility: Consider surfacing options that are ADA-compliant to ensure accessibility for children with disabilities.

Climate Considerations: Factor in local weather conditions when choosing surfacing. Some materials may require more maintenance in certain climates.

Budget Constraints: Evaluate the initial and long-term costs of each surfacing option and choose one that aligns with your budget constraints.

Installation Requirements: Consider the installation process and whether it aligns with your project timeline and resources. Some surfacing materials may require professional installation.
 

By carefully evaluating the pros and cons of each surfacing option and considering factors such as safety, accessibility, and budget, you can choose a resilient surface that enhances the safety and enjoyment of your playground.