In terms of safety, accessibility, and maintenance selecting the play area surfacing is the most important decision made during the playground planning process.
Safety — Three quarters of all playground injuries are from falls to the surface.
Access — Without an accessible surface, even the best play equipment is not usable by children with disabilities.
Maintenance — The vast majority of maintenance time and expense will be on the surfacing, not the equipment.
|SURFACING||$/Sq. Ft.||Fall Height||Accessible||Maintenance|
|WOOD FIBER||$1 - $2||Up to 12’||Yes||Replenish every 2 - 3 years|
|SHREDDED TIRES||$5 - $6||Up to 12’||Yes||Data not available|
|DURABLE CARPETS||$8 - $12||Up to 10’||Yes||Little routine maintenance|
|RUBBER||$8 - $12||Up to 10’||Yes||Infrequent, but expensive|
|WOOD CHIPS*||<$0.50||Up to 11’||No||Yearly replenishment|
|SAND*||<$0.50||Up to 9’||No||Frequent raking; cats are a problem|
* While often considered for playgrounds, wood chips and sand should not be considered as a surfacing option because they do not meet the code for ADA accessibility.
Zeager is the original American manufacturer of engineered wood fiber surfacing, providing dependable surfacing products for playgrounds and trails in a variety of climates.
Zeager’s wood fiber is produced from a combination of maple, beech, ash, cherry, bass, white oak, red oak, poplar, and aspen birch. Unlike wood chips, the pieces are cut so they interlock, forming an accessible surface.
For maintenance information on wood fiber systems, click here.
SurfacePlay® brings a concept that has been used in Britain for 20 years to the US market. Durable carpets are safe, accessible, easy to install, vandal resistant, and most important of all colorful and fun!
Designed for long-term use, Durable Carpets resemble wall-to-wall carpets, but are specifically designed for high-traffic areas, and offer maximum impact absorption. They are great for extreme weather conditions because they have high water permeability.
Surface America® presents the industry leading PlayBound™ line of surfacing systems for playgrounds. Surface America offers poured-in-place, tile, and synthetic turf with a resilient shock pad. Each system is available in a number of thicknesses and a variety of colors, enabling them to meet the required shock absorption and aesthetics of any playground design. Because the rubber and urethane components are mixed and applied on site, school colors, logos, games and/or geometric shapes permanently incorporated into the surface are practical options.
Surface America’s PlayBound™ Tile features a unique dual-density construction. They have a virtually flat bottom design and solid sides, which allows maximum adhesive contact between the tile bottom and base as well as between adjacent tiles.