School playgrounds used to nearly always be made from concrete or asphalt. These solid surfaces are durable and cheap, but they are also dangerous and prone to environmental damage. This has led to most schools replacing hard surfaces with soft surfaces, like wood chip around climbing frames and rubber around swings.
An increased focus on safety in school playgrounds has led to the development of a comprehensive range of surfaces. Some of these are designed for climbing frames up to a critical fall height of 3.0m, while others are designed for soft play areas. In this article, we will run through the options available to you:
Rubber tiles are an excellent choice for school playgrounds. We recommend EUROFLEX modular tiles, which are available in thicknesses up to 30mm. These tiles are perfect for any level surface and can be installed over concrete.
EPDM rubber crumb
EPDM rubber crumb, or wet pour, is installed as a wet substance that cures solid. It’s made from recycled rubber granules which are bonded (melted) together to form a solid floor. We recommend this surface for covering large areas.
MUGA stands for Multi Use Games Area. This flooring is designed for multi-use zones. It’s ideal for school playgrounds because it’s soft, flexible and squishy. It’s available in a variety of colours and offers similar performance to wet pour.
Alternative playground surfaces
If rubber is out of the question, here are some alternatives:
Playground mulch, also known as playground bark or playground pellets, is a cheaper solution for school playgrounds. It needs to be around 1 foot deep, and it isn’t suitable for infants due to the pellets being a choking hazard.
Children love playing with sand, but it is messy and isn’t pleasant when wet. It’s important to choose playground sand which is non-toxic and made to BS EN 1177. It’s best for warmer climates which limits its use in the UK.
Artificial grass is a good choice for school playgrounds because it’s relatively inexpensive and lasts a very long time. However, it needs to be paired with a shock absorbing underlay for it to be safe to use in playgrounds.
Get expert advice for school playground flooring
When creating a stimulating environment for children to play in, it’s important to consider safety first and incorporate different materials in different areas. Call us on +44 (0)1706 260 220 for a chat about your project today.