Playground Rubber Safety Surfacing it’s important to budget for safety surfacing. In general, experts suggest allowing between $8-$12 per square foot for this material. This is an amount of money that can save kids serious injuries should they fall from high equipment. In fact, it is estimated that the most common playground injuries result from falls, and not impact trauma.
There are five different options for safety surfacing, each with their own unique advantages and benefits. These include bonded rubber, poured-in-place rubber, engineered wood fiber, synthetic turf, and rubber tiles. Each of these playground surfaces offers a number of design features and color options. Some of these features include ADA accessibility, custom coloring, and easy maintenance.
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Poured-in-place (PIP) rubber is a popular choice that is often used in public parks around the country. It is a two-layer system that includes an impact-cushioning base layer of recycled tire buffings, and a top finish layer that is made from standard EPDM granules or upgraded to Thermoplastic Vulcanizates (TPV). This is one of the most expensive safety surfacing options, but it is highly durable and requires little maintenance.
Loose-fill surfacing has a more natural appearance, but it can be difficult to keep clean. It can also become muddy or develop mold after being exposed to water and sun. Some loose-fill options require raking and periodic topping off to meet safety standards.
Solid surfacing, on the other hand, has a consistent depth and is much easier to maintain. It can be shaped into unique designs for more visual appeal and offers a variety of colors, including some that can match your park’s mascot or other design elements.