Traditionally, tarmac and asphalt were the most widely used materials for playground flooring. This is mainly due to them being strong, inexpensive, and relatively safe in wet conditions. However, these do wear over time, especially in extreme climates, and neither are the softest surface for children to fall on to.
These days there are a variety of playground flooring materials available, each with their own benefits and drawbacks. Once you have chosen the flooring most suitable for you, you can use a local directory to find a relevant and experienced contractor to complete the job.
1. Interlocking Rubber Tiles
Interlocking Rubber Tiles have become popular as a playground choice as it is durable, strong, and non-slip. They allow water through which means they can be used shortly after rainfall has passed. These are a greener, more environmentally friendly option as they are often made from recycled rubber. Rubber tiles are also fairly low maintenance, easy to clean and can be polished with water-soluble wax which prevents damage and loss of color. Safety is a big factor when selecting flooring for playgrounds, and rubber tiles are ideal as they are non-slip.
2. Artificial Grass
Artificial grass brings an element of color to any drab, grey playground. It’s much softer than hard alternatives such as concrete but does require more maintenance. There are also benefits to using artificial grass over natural grass as it doesn’t need to be mowed, weeded or watered, and lasts for many years.
3. Wet Pour Surfacing
Wet pour surfacing provides another environmentally friendly option, as it is made up of recycled rubber which is bonded together to create a safe playground surface. It’s a good weather resistant option as it does not crack in harsh weather conditions and is not slippery when wet. Wet pour surfaces can be used in conjunction with thermoplastic markings, making them ideal for games and especially sports as they are also impact absorbent.
4. Real Grass
Real grass offers many benefits but is higher maintenance than other options available. The visual appearance of grass is uplifting and can provide a classier, more authentic feel for schools trying to achieve that. Real grass is environmentally friendly as it absorbs carbon dioxide and releases oxygen which will help to reduce global warming. Grass will also provide microorganisms to live and is in general a cooler surface than artificial options – ideal for warmer, sunny climates.
Real grass needs to be cut on a regular basis, and may need also weeding and watering, making it more costly over time than some alternatives.
5. Wood Chips & Mulch
One of the more expensive options, wood chips and mulch offer an attractive solution for any playground floor, especially as they are available in multiple colors. However, they can lose their color and texture over time and are not as durable as some of the other flooring options.