Playground surfacing can help protect kids while they are having fun. It can also help your playground become more accessible and inclusive to people with various mobility needs. Determining the type of playground surface that will work best for your community is an important step to consider. No matter which type of playground surfacing you choose, one of your main goals should be helping to protect kids from harm should they fall while playing.
Types of Playground Surfacing
Miracle® Recreation offers two distinct types of playground surfacing to choose from — unitary and loose-fill surfacing. Each surfacing type comes with several benefits and is suitable for many communities.
Unitary surfacing is more of a uniform or singular playground flooring. It creates a fixed playground surface, meaning the parts remain in the same position. Unitary surfacing comes in two types:
- Poured-in-place: The material — typically composed of rubber, polymer or recycled tires — is poured into place at your playground. This results in a single, solid surface with no seams.
- Rubber tiles: These are solid pieces made from rubber that fit together to create a solid surface.
Unitary surfaces come with numerous advantages:
- It can accommodate kids or guardians with wheelchairs or other mobility aids.
- It is usable for numerous playground types, including in various weather conditions.
- It can cover all the surface area of your playground.
- It has multiple color or style options to help you create designs or designated areas.
Loose-fill surfacing is made of small pieces instead of coming as one solid piece of ground. Some common materials for loose-fill surfacing are engineered wood fiber, rubber nuggets and rubber mulch. Since loose-fill is small pieces of a material, it has more movement than a unitary surface. Loose-fill is currently one of the most common surfacing options for playgrounds.
Benefits of loose-fill playground surfacing include:
- It is a cost-effective solution.
- It can provide more efficient drainage.
- It can help protect kids if they fall.
- It is easy to install.
Engineered wood fiber is specifically designed for playgrounds, unlike regular mulch, which does not meet ADA or other safety rules.
What to Consider When Choosing a Playground Surface
Choosing a playground surface is an essential consideration when designing and implementing a new area for kids. There are several factors to keep in mind as you prepare to make a decision, including:
- Cost: Surface types vary in price, making it important to find one that offers the features you need within your specified budget.
- Accessibility: You should ensure your playground surfacing adheres to the regulations applicable to your area. Inclusive playgrounds can go beyond that.
- Appearance: How your playground looks can play a vital role in how the public and kids perceive it. If you are trying to go for a specific theme, one surfacing type might work better than others.
Talk to a Miracle Recreation Representative Today
Choose the playground surfacing option that works best for your community and, more importantly, the kids. At Miracle, we work hard to bring excitement and thrill to parks with our decades of experience designing and building materials for playground equipment. Please contact a Miracle Recreation representative today to learn more or get a quote.