When planning a play area, much of your focus may be on the playground equipment itself. That’s completely understandable. After all, that’s the part that kids likely will remember the most. That said, what goes under the playground may be just as important as the equipment itself. From the preferred commercial playground equipment specialists of San Diego and the West Coast, here’s a quick guide on what to know when it comes to playground surfacing.
Every aspect of playground equipment is designed, manufactured, and installed with safety in mind. Keeping kids safe is a top priority. This is among the many reasons why playground surfacing is important. When a kid goes down the slide and lands at the bottom, playground surfacing is there for them. When a kid takes a tumble while playing, playground surfacing is there for them. Playground surfacing is crucial for absorbing impact and preventing injuries. It also can make your playground have an inviting and clean look that kids would love to play on.
All play areas are unique, so the right surfacing for one playground may be different for another. Budget, installation, maintenance, longevity, aesthetics, and accessibility are a few major factors that may impact which option is right for you. Below are popular playground surfacing options Zoom Recreation offers.
Wood mulch is a common playground surfacing option that is budget-friendly. It has a nice natural look that can fit into almost any type of playground. However, this surfacing type will require maintenance as the mulch will compact over time as kids run on top of it. This can cause the ground to be lower than intended, making the playground equipment not as safe by being not level with the ground as intended. Thankfully, upkeep is rather simple as it usually only requires topping off the low areas. All in all, there’s a reason wood mulch is a popular choice.
Pour-in-place rubber surfacing, otherwise known as PIP surfacing, is a wonderful all-around option. This choice offers great shock absorption and ADA accessibility so all can enjoy the play area. PIP surfacing is low-maintenance, offering premium durability for high-traffic playgrounds. It is a highly customizable surfacing option that comes in many colors and have designs added too. Also, it doesn’t retain much heat, so it’s the preferred choice for year-round play areas.
Can you think of anything better than a perfectly green and kempt grassy area? We can: a perfectly green and kempt grassy area that requires minimal maintenance. Artificial turf gives you a look and feel that’s close to what natural grass offers, but without the time-consuming maintenance that comes along with natural green space.
Artificial turf is a great-looking option, especially for a playground that may have a nature theme. With impact layers for safety, this is a practical choice. It should be noted that artificial turf retains heat very well, so it may or may not be suitable for certain play areas, including San Diego, depending on the surrounding area and the commercial playground equipment you have.
Sand and playgrounds go together like hotdogs and the Fourth of July. This is a classic surfacing option, but it is not recommended for play areas in need of ADA accessibility. That said, it does offer great impact absorption to keep the kids safe. Sand as playground surfacing from Zoom Recreation comes in two different options: Wash Plaster Sand and -30 Play Sand.
Wash Plaster Sand
This is a fine particle sand that works well for sandboxes that may be found in neighborhoods, private schools, or other low-traffic play areas.
–30 Play Sand
This is an option that is not as fine and is used generally in public playgrounds for that reason. The -30 Play Sand option is great for school or park playgrounds.
The Zoom Recreation team is here to answer any questions and lend a hand with your upcoming play area project, including playground surfacing. We apply our years of experience in the industry to recommend the top commercial playground equipment on the market, helping San Diego and West Coast communities plan their play areas from concept to installation. Zoom Recreation follows all safety regulations, including CPSC and ASTM standards, and we exclusively use IPEMA-certified playground equipment.
If you have any questions about planning your playground and its surfacing, we are ready to take your call and talk through your needs. Give us a call at 866-234-3392 or get in touch with us by filling out our contact form.