Comparing Playground Surfacing

How to select Playground Surfacing

Over seventy percent of all accidents on playgrounds are from children falling. Hard surfaces such as concrete, blacktop, packed earth or grass are not acceptable under play equipment. A fall onto one of these hard surfaces could be life threatening. There are plenty of playground surfacing options to choose from and to ensure you choose the playground surface that meets your site’s safety needs we've included some basic information below.

Contact DWA Recreation for assistance in determining the best GTImpax surfacing solution for your playground environment in Ohio and Kentucky.  GTImpax playground surfacing meets all ADA, ASTM and CPSC guidelines for shock absorption and accessibility.

Loose-fill playground surfacing - Crooked Creek Park Playground 23363937790 O 548 1513019186

Loose-fill playground surfacing

EWF (Engineered Wood Fiber) and Shredded Rubber

Loose-fill materials like engineered wood fiber (wood chips) are cost-effective, traditional playground surfacing favorites because of their excellent shock-absorbing properties when installed and maintained at appropriate depths.

Shredded Rubber is another great loose fill product, although costs a little more than Wood Fiber and is usually a little more challenging to maintain.  However, most shredded rubber comes from used tires and is a great choice if you want to use recycled products in your playground environment.

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Unitary playground surfacing - Hugh Macrae 15 4788 1475591928 213348D00Bf2D6Ddda2B8085Bda33Df6 549 1513019195

Unitary playground surfacing

PIP (Poured in Place Rubber)

Unitary playground surfaces are smooth, seamless, uniform surfaces like rubber tiles, Pour-In-Place surfacing, and Bonded Rubber.

These rubber surfacing types are typically more expensive than loose fill materials, and products like the poured in place rubber and bonded rubber can only be installed by factory installers.  However, the maintenance on these products is considerably less than loose fill materials.  Unlike Loose Fill Surfacing, Unitary surfaces stay in place and don't get kicked out at the bottom of slide exits or under swings.  A well-maintained unitary playground surface like Poured In Place rubber is also very easy to roll or walk over, making it a great solution for accessible playgrounds.

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Rubber Tiles - Rubber Tiles 1624 1466028555 B98888B6D26C24C8A45Fc49Ca093C3A3 550 1513019199

Rubber Tiles

Our Interlocking GTImpax Rubber Tile is a great in-between product, as the cost is between the poured in place rubber and loose fill products.  Another advantage of rubber playground tile is if one gets damaged or vandalized, then only a single tile needs replaced, which can be performed by your own maintenance staff.

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In summary, there are many factors to consider when choosing your playground surfacing such as: budget, ability to maintain proper depths, site accessibility and surfacing borders.  Our sales associates are also available to visit your playground to help determine what works best for you.