Playground flooring is designed for children to play on. With various benefits and a variety of types, it’s important to know which flooring is best for the play area. This guide will provide you with a comprehensive overview of commercial playground flooring, the benefits, types, and installation process.

Benefits of playground flooring

playground soft rubber floor size

Commercial playgrounds are in constant use by all ages of the general population, often all year round. The flooring provides a safe, durable surface that can withstand the weight of children and equipment. The tiles provide safety by absorbing impacts and also preventing slipping on wet surfaces.

Commercial playgrounds are in constant use by all ages of the general population, often all year round. The flooring provides a safe, durable surface that can withstand the weight of children and equipment. The tiles provide safety by absorbing impacts and also preventing slipping on wet surfaces.

Playground flooring consists of a variety of tile patterns and colors to fulfill the needs of playgrounds everywhere. The design of the flooring takes into consideration the usage of the playground and its visitors, making it versatile.

The choice of each specific pattern and color will depend on the child’s age. Children with mobility limitations often prefer white or bright colors to contrast their ability to see and walk in a safe environment.

Things to consider when choosing playground flooring

Selecting the right flooring for a playground can be tricky. There are so many options to choose from that it can be hard to make a decision.

I would recommend talking with the company or professional who will install the flooring to get a better idea of what is best for your needs.

Below are some factors that you should consider when searching for the perfect type of flooring for your child’s play area:

Safety Standards

Safety is number one when it comes to selecting playground flooring. You want something that will hold up against the elements while keeping children safe from any potential hazards such as falling from tall playground equipment. Here are some types of playground flooring surfaces that are appropriate for children:

1. Gravel is very cheap but still provides the safety factor. It absorbs moisture and can help prevent slipping. You can also use it as a therapeutic tool.

2. Sand brings the most value out of your dollar, but when used correctly it does very well at keeping kids safe from falls due to changes in temperature and hazards such as rocks and broken glass.

3. Rubber tile matting can be a good alternative for facilities that need an anti-fatigue matting solution but don’t have the budget for a major investment.

It is one of the lowest-priced options on the market but still allows for an extremely safe surface for kids to play on with its shock absorbent playground flooring. Rubber matting can reduce the impact of falls if your child were to trip or fall while playing in your playground. 

It will also reduce noise so that conversations between adults and children are not interrupted. You can install rubber matting yourself, although it is not recommended for those who don’t have in-depth knowledge of how to properly install this type of flooring.

4. Wood chips are a traditional option that offers a variety of play areas due to the variation and style available. From multi-level play structures to simple wooden slatted lots, wood can give your children fun and exciting options for their recreational area.

Please carefully consider the safety factor when choosing playground flooring to ensure that your children are safe when playing on your playground. Most playground flooring surface products have a fall height rating, meaning you can use it underneath tall playground equipment in cases of fall. 

Economic Benefit

When searching out flooring options, you shouldn’t just think about the short-term benefits of the flooring options above, but also focus on their long-term economic benefit as well. Here are some factors to consider when thinking about the long-term economic benefit of the right flooring for your commercial playgrounds.

  • How will it stand up against harsh weather including rain and snow?
  • Can it handle heavy loads without causing any damage to the flooring?
  • Is it going to be able to stand up over the long term, or will you eventually need to install a new one?

When considering economic benefits, always make sure that you are getting the best value for your dollar.

Customization

When choosing a flooring solution for your playground, you should always look at customization options. This can include the ability to paint the surface to your specific taste or allow it to fit in with the theme of your playground. Choosing a custom option will make your play area stand out from the rest and will also give children more stimulation and excitement for their area.

Cost

Cost is always an important factor when considering any purchase for your business or personal needs. The price that you will pay for your playground flooring will depend on the following:

  • How much do you want to invest in its installation?
  • What level of quality do you want for your flooring?
  • Are there any custom options that you would like incorporated into the floor?

Remember that cost should always be considered when selecting a flooring option for your playground.

As a business owner, it is important that you balance the needs of your customers with their budget. You will also need to consider the level of quality that you offer your customers so that you do not appear cheap in their eyes.

Durability

Durability is another important factor when it comes to selecting a flooring solution for your play area. Durable flooring options include rubber matting and wood chips due to their ability to withstand harsh weather conditions, heavy loads, and rough play.

In addition, rubber matting provides a safer surface as it is anti-fatigue, while wood provides a great way to make your children happy by giving them endless options for their play area.

Type of playground flooring cushioning options

Playground flooring surfaces are available in different levels of cushioning for shock absorption. The most popular are the following: 

Recycled Rubber Mulch

Rubber mulch is another popular choice for playgrounds, particularly those in nature-based spaces or off-leash areas. 

Rubber mulch is made from recycled rubber tires and it’s often installed on the ground using a rubber rollerskate wheel. This provides a great outdoor play attraction with a natural look and feel, making it very tactile.

Artificial Grass Turf

A playground with artificial turf provides a long-lasting surface that will not wear out in the sun. The artificial grass is made of a type of plastic called polyethylene. Polyethylene is found in things like bottles and plastic bags. It is often referred to as the best playground flooring due to its durability and lifespan. 

Artificial turf is most frequently used as the surface of a sports field or playground. Artificial turf playgrounds are installed with crumb rubber infill which makes it softer and safer for kids to play on.

Engineered Wood Fiber

Engineered wood fiber is an extremely popular product and is often installed in parks and playgrounds around the country. 

It’s a great surface for children to play on because it’s available in different levels of cushioning. It has a realistic look and texture which helps it to blend into the playground rather than stand out like a typical blacktop surface.

Types of commercial playground flooring options

Playground flooring is available in different types:

  1. Sanded rubber mulch is a playground surface that many schools prefer to other surfaces because of its slip-resistant and softening effects. Rubber mulch provides a playground with excellent shock absorbency, which makes it an excellent solar alternative to rubber mats, which are more expensive, more difficult to install, and can rip easily if not properly maintained.
  2. Multi-layer rubber mulch is a playground surface that consists of rubber layers laminated on top of one another. This is a popular playground surface material because of its cost-effectiveness compared to other choices. Rubber mulch provides an excellent way to maintain a soft surface for children over time.
  3. Engineered wood fiber is a playground surface that consists of a plywood base covered in layers of recycled rubber. This is a popular choice for schools, playgrounds, and sports facilities because it is durable and cost-effective. It offers great shock absorbency and can be periodically refurbished to improve its performance over time.
  4. Rubber-wood composite is a composite material that consists of recycled wood fibers laminated with recycled rubber and wood particles. It is a cost-effective choice for playground surfaces because it is durable and recyclable.
  5. Rubber-polyurethane composite is a playground surface that consists of recycled rubber bonded to recycled wood fibers mixed with polyurethane foam. This surface material comes in rolls and tiles, making it easy to install on top of existing playground surfaces. These rubber playground tiles or rolls can be used as an overlay on soft play structures or as a surfacing material.

6. Rubber mulch can be used outdoors as well, not just indoors. It can be used on surfaces such as sand, pavers, cobblestone, brick, and more.

Playground flooring installation process

The different types of playground flooring are installed using the following process: 

Preparation

During the preparation phase, it’s important to ensure that the surface is flat and that there are no cracks or holes in the area. If you’re installing a wood fiber or rubber mulch playground, it’s also necessary to remove any natural debris (branches and weeds).

Proper Installation

The installation phase involves installing the wood fiber, mulch, or turf. The diameter of the rollerskate wheel used for installation should be at least 3″ smaller than the playing area. This is because a small gap between the surface you’re installing and the frame will allow for ventilation, which prevents mold development. 

In many cases, it’s also necessary to provide a base layer of sand on either side of the surface to ensure that it’s level and secure.

When installing colored mulch, it’s important to make sure that the mulch is closely packed. This is because the color pigment is organic and can come loose if the mulch isn’t tightly packed. It’s also recommended that you seal the surface of colored mulch to prevent it from fading in sunlight.

Maintenance

After installation, playground flooring needs to be maintained. It’s recommended that you avoid using a pressure washer to clean synthetic turf, mulch, or wood fiber. This is because it has the potential to reduce the lifespan of the surface. 

In many cases, a simple hose and broom will be enough to clean the surface. However, if you do need to use a pressure washer, set it up at least 3 feet away from the surface and utilize only cold water.

It’s also very important that you avoid standing on synthetic turf when installing it on the ground. This is because it has the potential to puncture the surface and reduce the lifespan of the playground flooring.

It’s also important to avoid walking on wet mulch when installing or cleaning it. This can lead to a variety of problems including loose soil, reduced grip and increased slippage. If it’s necessary for people to walk on wet mulch, it’s recommended that you install an 80/20 mesh netting over the surface.

Playground flooring trends

The playground flooring trends right now are a combination of wood and rubber. The reason this design trend has caught on is that it provides for the smoothest surface possible for children to be able to crawl or walk on without having to worry about punctures and peeling. 

These modern playground flooring designs also provide the perfect surface for indoor use as well. Some popular playground flooring ideas include:

  • a wooden deck with a rubberized coating
  • a molded cushion mat
  • plastic sheeting over gravel and sand
  • planked wood sprinkled with rubber pellets

How to create a safe play area for kids?

Here are some steps to make sure that your children have the safest play area possible:

  1. Make sure to keep the floor clean so that there are no potential hazards or hazards such as broken glass or sharp objects.
  2. Ensure that all surfaces are completely dry and smooth before play begins.
  3. Check regularly for any potential hazards or foreign objects that would make the area unsafe for play.
  4. If you are installing wood as your playground flooring option, make sure to install it properly so that it stands up in the long run and doesn’t cause any damage to your play area.
  5. If your playground is located outdoors, make sure to consider making it weatherproof in order to withstand heavy rains and snowstorms without causing damage to the structure or floors.

Final thoughts

Through reading this guide, you now understand the basics of playground flooring needs, types, and trends. It was definitely not short or simple. 

However, with the knowledge you have gained from this short guide, you now understand the basics of playground flooring needs, types, and options that can meet all your needs as a business owner.

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