Best Material for Playground Surfaces

An image showing 2 children playing on a playset in park.

The surface you decide to use for your playground may be the most important design decision of all. Sure, you want to pick out great playground equipment, and you want to design the space in a way that allows children to play freely, but everything starts with the surface. Get this choice right and you’ll set yourself up for a beautiful finished product when the playground is ready to open. Here’s your guide to the best material for playground surfaces.

Different Surfaces For Different Needs

Best Material for Playground Surfaces

Unfortunately, we aren’t going to be able to tell you that one specific playground surface material is better than all the rest. If that were the case, everyone would use the same option, and there would be no need for this article! In reality, there are several viable options. The right choice for your playground will depend on the setting, budget, equipment, and more.

Let’s walk through some of the most popular options on the market so you can make an educated choice that is right for your needs.

Playground Sand

Starting simple, one of the best materials for a playground surface is simply to cover the existing ground with sand. This is a choice that is made predominantly for budgetary reasons. This is perhaps the most affordable option you will find, so it is something to consider if you are on an extremely tight budget.

However, there are a few drawbacks to using sand. For one thing, it is not a good choice from an accessibility perspective for children with disabilities. Also, a significant depth of sand will be needed to offer fall protection, and adverse weather can create nasty conditions on the playground. All in all, this is a material that should only be considered when a limited budget demands it.

Artificial Turf

Moving on, we find that artificial turf is one of the more desirable playground surfaces, with many benefits to mention. For starters, it does well in terms of accessibility, as wheelchairs should be able to handle it with ease. Also, there is very little maintenance required, and it maintains its condition even on a rainy day. You are certainly going to need to spend more money on artificial turf than you would with something like playground sand, but the step up in quality will be significant.

Solid Rubber

These days, a solid rubber surface can be considered the top of the best material when it comes to playground surfaces. What is so great about installing a solid rubber surface underneath your playground? A few important highlights include:

  • Excellent safety benefits for children, with fall protection and slip resistance
  • ADA access
  • Available in many colors, which can add to the visual appeal of the playground
  • Very little maintenance required

The only drawback to mention for a solid rubber play surface is the cost. This is a relatively expensive way to go, so you will need to have room in your budget to make it happen. If it is affordable for your project, however, you can look forward to excellent performance for years to come.

Ready To Build Your Playground?

Best Material for Playground Surfaces

Once you have selected the surface material for your new playground, it will be time to start ordering equipment. For that, American Swing would be proud to supply you with the high-quality gear you need to create a memorable play area. From swings to slides and everything in between, we offer it all at affordable prices. Plus, we include a 1-Year Warranty, so you know you’re getting durable equipment you can rely on.

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