Playground Surfaces

A variety of playground surfaces are available

  • Wet Pour Rubber
  • Artificial Grass
  • Rubber Play Tiles
  • Rubber Lock Tiles
  • Rubber Mulch /Crumb
  • Sand
  • Natural Turf
  • Bark

Legal Requirements

There is no legal requirement to have a specialist surface in a playground , however it is seen as good practice. Safety surfaces won’t prevent all injuries but can help to lessen damage caused by the impact of landing. They can reduce the severity of head injuries. Broken arm and legs can and do still occur , particularly if  the child lands awkwardly with limb twisted or hits play equipment while falling. Safety surfaces help lessen the risk involved in play but cannot prevent all injuries.

Parent’s are unlikely to accept concrete or tarmac flooring around playground equipment , in-particular  in schools and day nurseries. They have become accustomed to seeing synthetic surface in particular for Day Nurseries with the growth of wet pour rubber and the use of fake grass for more high use area’s.

Pro’s and Con’s Play Surfaces

Wet Pour Rubbergreen wet pour rubber with chess graphic

  • Pro’s-provides an impact absorption surface
  • Pro’s- longer lasting than bark, sand ,loose laid products
  • Pro’s-provides a colourful surface which can incorporate games and sports
  • Con’s- initial outlay is more than loose lay product
  • Con’s-requires expert installation

Artificial Grass

green fake grass with wooden tree trunk for climbing

  • Pro’s- can provide impact absorption with foam underlay
  • Pro’s-hard wearing surface which can be diy installed
  • Pro’s-natural looking soft surface blends with natural surroundings
  • Pro’s-coloured grasses available for interest and graphics
  • Con’s- not a natural surface
  • Cons-requires miantenance -brushing , cleaning

Natural Turfnatural grass with plastic play equipment caterpillar table

  • Pro’s – can be a reasonable priced surface
  • Pro’s-provides a natural play surface for bug finding etc
  • Cons-doesn’t stand up to much wear becoming muddy in the winter and baked hard in the summer
  • Cons- doesn’t provide an impact absorption

Sand Sand underneath timber square climbing frame with metal slide

  • Pro’s-can be easily laid
  • Pro’s-provides an impact absorbing surface
  • Pro’s-provides a substrate for digging and playing
  • Cons- is attractive to vermin and pets as a toileting area
  • Cons-moves and is dispersed by weather and feet which can significantly reduce impact absorption
  • Cons-can hide hidden dangers such as glass,needles and cans

Rubber Mulch/Crumb

  • Pro’s-can be easily laid
  • Pro’s-provides an impact absorbing surface
  • Pro’s-provides a substrate for digging and playing
  • Cons- is attractive to vermin and pets as a toileting area
  • Cons-moves and is dispersed by weather and feet which can significantly reduce impact absorption
  • Cons-can hide hidden dangers such as glass,needles and cans

Rubber Playtilesblack play tiles underneath set of swings

  • Pro’s -provides impact absorption flooring
  • Pro’s-can be self installed
  • Pro’s-Can easily replace damaged or vandalised individual tiles
  • Con’s-Tiles inherently shrink , move  and curl leaving gaps trip hazards