What Is The Best Playground Surface Material?

What is the best playground surface material

Playgrounds are supposed to be where fun happens, but a day of fun can go horribly wrong when play areas are unsafe. One of the leading causes of injuries in playgrounds is incorrect surfacing which can cause minor and serious injuries.

Flash back to the 1970s and playgrounds were mostly surfaced with asphalt. Would you want your children playing on a climbing frame on a surface designed for roads? It wasn’t until accidents happened that things began to change. The solution was wood chip, or bark chip, to provide a softer cushioned surface.

Today, wood chip is still used, but there are superior modern surfaces available. Here are the best playground surface materials:

EPDM rubber

EPDM rubber surfacing, also known as wet pour, is available in a range of colours. It’s made from recycled rubber granules which are bonded (melted) together to form a solid floor. The final surface is bouncy with lots of cushioning.

EUROFLEX modular tiles

EUROFLEX modular tiles are made from EPDM rubber. This is a modular playground surfacing solution. The tiles are up to 30mm thick and can be installed over any flat surface although concrete is the most common.


SPORTEC UNI Versa is made from EPDM rubber. This differs from other brands of wet pour because it has a finer texture. It’s an extremely high-quality product available in any colour, so you can have stripes and markings built in.

Wood chip

Wood chip or wood pellets are the cheapest playground surface material. The chippings are made using hardwood which lasts longer than softwood. They have good shock absorbency and are proven safe for play areas of all types.

Leisure grass

Leisure grass, or artificial grass, can be used in playgrounds alongside a high-performance shock-absorbing underlay. Artificial grass can be used around climbing frames and stretch to play areas that allow ball games like football.

What’s the best playground surface for you?

Wet pour EPDM rubber systems are a good choice as are tile systems. SPORTEC UNI Versa is arguably the highest-quality option available today.

The best surface for your playground depends on what equipment it has. Slides, swings, activity towers, carousels, spring rockers, sandpits and climbing frames may call for different surfaces to make your playground as safe as possible.

We welcome the opportunity to offer advice for your playground surface. Give us a call on (0)1706 260 220 and our sports surfaces specialists will help.