Outdoor play area flooring can be incredibly squishy and soft, as hard as concrete, or somewhere in the middle. The most important thing is for the surface to provide a safe and stable environment for children to play in.
Here’s a list of the top 5 safest play area surfaces:
- Rubber mulch
- Rubber tiles
- Artificial grass
- Wood chippings
Here’s everything you need to know about these surfaces:
Rubber mulch is an environmentally-friendly play surface made from part-recycled EPDM rubber. It can be used as a loose-fill surface but is better when it’s combined with a resin to stick it all together. This is known as wet pour.
Rubber tiles are a good option for smaller playgrounds. They are made from EPDM rubber and need to be installed on a flat subfloor (concrete, asphalt, etc.). They are normally 30mm thick, but you can get tiles up to 80mm thick.
Artificial grass for play areas has a very short pile. It’s less forgiving than a rubber surface but it is significantly safer than asphalt. This material is durable. It can be combined with a rubber underlay to improve impact protection.
Sand is cheap, easy to install and incredibly safe. The sand depth should be at least 450mm for safety. It should be suitable for sitting and building on. You should use play sand which is a very fine sand that’s screened and washed.
Wood chippings are the cheapest option for playgrounds. They offer excellent impact protection and last several years. The only complaint about wood chippings is discomfort in bare feet. Otherwise, this is a safe play area flooring.
How to choose the right play area flooring
Playgrounds in urban projects will be best-served by wood chip or rubber mulch. These surfaces are extremely durable and safe. If you want to provide a more interesting surface, sand is always a big hit with kids in summer.
Tiles are a great choice for smaller play areas. In terms of products, EUROFLEX modular tiles are excellent as is SPORTEC UNI Versa which is made from EPDM rubber pellets. Artificial grass is a good choice outdoors, in parks and as a single surface solution.
We welcome the opportunity to offer advice for your outdoor play area flooring. Give us a call on (0)1706 260 220 and our sports surfaces specialists will help.