Playgrounds are an essential part of childhood and offer an opportunity to create lasting memories. Unfortunately, those memories can also include traumatic injuries from falls that may result in broken bones or head trauma. Many playground accidents are preventable by using a proper surface material that is soft and cushioning. While different materials have their own benefits, rubber is a popular choice for safety and is available in a variety of thicknesses designed to meet specific fall height requirements.
Rubber play surface rubber surfacing is typically made of two layers and requires a base layer (typically asphalt, crushed stone or concrete) and a wear layer consisting of EPDM or Thermal Plasc Vulcanized granules. The granules are pigmented in a range of colors and the system can be installed to be as thick as required by various fall height standards.
Play Safe, Play Smart: The Art of Playground Surfacing in Essex
The benefit of poured in place rubber is that it is a seamless surface and is more durable than loose-fill alternatives like wood chips, engineered wood fiber (EWF), or playground sand. These loose materials are prone to shifting which can cause hazards, especially in high-traffic areas such as under swings or slides. Additionally, they require frequent inspection and raking which can be difficult to maintain properly for safety and ADA compliance.
Another benefit of a poured in place rubber surface is that it can be easily resurfaced. This allows for easy installation of new safety tiles without having to disturb the existing surface. There are also a variety of color options, making it easy to coordinate with other playground equipment and provide a bright new look.