Playground Safety Surfaces
Almost as important as the playground itself is the playground surfacing that is installed under your playground equipment to keep the children safe who play on your playground. Choosing your playground safety surfacing can be a very important decision as it can impact the atmosphere of your recreational area. Safety surfaces, texture, color, and design are all important things to consider. We carry many kinds of playground safety surfacing: Engineered Wood Fiber (EWF), Rubber Mulch, Bonded Rubber, Synthetic/Artificial Turf and EPDM Pour in Place rubber playground surfacing.
Here at Recreation Today we take these decisions very seriously and have chosen to work with some of the best manufacturers and products in the playground safety surfacing market. Call us for assistance with any of your playground safety surfacing needs in Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Montana and Wyoming
Please keep these key factors in mind when you choose your surfacing material, as you will need to weigh all of them before you make your choice: impact attenuation, accessibility for those with impaired mobility, possibility of heat injuries, life cycle maintenance costs and aesthetics.
Engineered Wood Fiber Playground Safety Surfacing
There are several benefits to the Engineered Wood Fiber (EWF), which is essentially super clean wood mulch that meets exact resiliency specifications. The installation depth is dependent on the impact rating of the structure it is installed beneath.
Two of the best features of Engineered Wood Fiber are that it is the least expensive option and it is all natural. Thirdly, it is the most effective at keeping the ground cool under hot sunny conditions in comparison to the other approved safety surfaces, such as bonded rubber, pour in place rubber or synthetic turf products.
Engineered Wood Fiber is a loose product that is biodegradable, so it will naturally thin and require regular supplementation or replacement. In addition to increased life-cycle costs, it does not provide ideal accessibility to those in wheelchairs or those with compromised mobility.
Typically, Engineered Wood Fiber should be supplemented annually to make up for loss due to traffic and deterioration. Call us and we can calculate how much Engineered Wood Fiber you will need to bring your playground back into compliance.
Rubber Mulch Safety Surface
Loose Rubber Mulch has improved impact attenuation over sand, gravel and the Engineered Wood Fiber. The Rubber Mulch that we carry is made from 100% recycled tires and comes in many color choices and has been certified non-toxic by the EPA and is recommended by the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) as one of the preferred safety surfaces for playgrounds.
Because it is not biodegradable, there is less life cycle maintenance costs than the Engineered Wood Fiber. However, because it is loose, you will lose some with time and so it will require some supplementation, depending on your use traffic and other situational conditions. One way to help keep it in place, is to install it with rubber curbing, also made of 100% recycled tire rubber, which is flexible and offers a soft edge for less playground injuries. Another advantage to the rubber mulch, is that it is water permeable like the wood fiber.
Rubber mulch is not accessible for those who are in wheelchairs or have mobility impairments.
Bonded Rubber Safety Surface
Bonded Rubber is one of our most attractive options. It has the look of bark mulch which makes it look very natural, however it is a solid surface so that it doesn't blow or walk away. It is particularly attractive with the sister product of rubber curbing.
One huge advantage the bonded rubber has over the loose rubber mulch, is that small children can't put it in their mouths. Additionally, because of its monolithic nature, bonded rubber remains at the depth it was installed at in the impact zones without regular maintenance. Under ideal conditions, bonded rubber should last 10-15 years with minimal maintenance.
Synthetic turf is one of the most economical and attractive options. It offers good accessibility for those in wheelchairs and those with impaired mobility. It looks very much like natural turf, it lasts 10-15 years and has a low life cycle maintenance cost.
Keep in mind that artificial and synthetic turf comes in many colors, lengths and thicknesses, you can create a variety of designs that are both colorful and textural.
EPDM Pour in Place Rubber Safety Surface
If you are looking for a bright colorful artistic option, EPDM is the choice to make. There are unlimited design possibilities with EPDM. Not only is it available in many colors, it is also possible to make 3d designs with EPDM. It offers exceptional impact attenuation, it requires little maintenance, and while there is a significant up front cost, the cost is arguably equal to that of Engineered Wood Fiber if you factor in the life cycle maintenance costs.
Of the safety surfaces, EPDM is the most accessible for those in wheelchairs and those with mobility impairment. It has the highest impact attenuation rating. EPDM requires little maintenance, but it is important to check for cracks regularly. Call us for assistance with any of these playground safety surfacing options in Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Montana and Wyoming.