Castle playground with pour in place safety surfacingIf you’re building a commercial playground, what goes under your playground equipment can be just as important as the equipment itself.

We’re talking about impact attenuating safety surfacing.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that 500,000 injuries occur on playgrounds each year, and a number of them are caused by falls. Proper safety surfacing reduces the risk of serious head injury and is required under all playground equipment.

But that’s not all. Surfacing is also important for ensuring inclusivity. The right playground surface can make your commercial playground ADA-compliant, but designing an inclusive playground means going a step above and creating a surface that can be easily navigated by children of all capabilities.

When choosing playground material, you’ll need to consider your budget, the size of your playground, the type of play equipment in your space and how your play area will be used. If you are unsure, the play professionals at Little Tikes Commercial are happy to assist you!

Unitary Surfacing

Unitary surfacing is a more fixed form of ground covering, such as rubber tiles or poured-in-place surfacing. This option is often considered beneficial because it accommodates children and guardians in wheelchairs as well as those who are fully abled to get around easily. It also does not move around like loose fill.

Pour in Place surfacing at New Orleans playgroundNo Fault® Pour in Place surfacing is one option when it comes to unitary surfacing. No Fault® Pour in Place is made from rubber granules derived from EPDM/TPV and is covered by a layer of material made from polymer and recycled tires. Since it is poured in place at your playground, there are no seams or gaps. In addition, No Fault® Pour in Place offers several benefits:

  • It is designed to offer fall height protection for children.
  • It is flexible and can be used to create different designs and patterns, so your playground surface design can be used to designate different types of play areas.
  • It is backed by warranty.
  • It offers a seamless surface to reduce the risk of trip-and-fall and slip-and-fall injuries.
  • It is ADA-approved.
  • It can be used for indoor and outdoor playgrounds.
  • It is installed by professionals for a safe finish.

Another option when it comes to unitary surfacing is Interlocking Kid Tiles® surfacing. These interlocking tiles come in thicknesses of 3.5” for added safety and two-foot-square surfaces so you can easily cover your entire playground. This surfacing can offer protection for fall heights of up to 6 feet.

Interlocking Kid Tile playground surfacingThe Interlocking Kid Tiles® surfacing offers several benefits:

  • There are no special tools needed for installation and alignment of the tiles is made easy with self-aligning tabs.
  • Its design reduces the risk of shifting, curling, and gaps in the tiles.
  • It offers fall height protection up to 6 feet.
  • It offers the ability to fully cover your playground area.
  • It is available in multiple colors that you can mix and match, allowing you to create a unified surface or a pattern or design with the tiles.

Loose Fill Playground Surfacing

Loose fill surfacing is made up of small components, such as mulch or wood chips. This surface moves around and is not solid like unitary surfacing options. Loose fill is the traditional and budget-friendly option and can be a strong choice for non-traditional playground equipment where unitary surfacing does not offer the best protection.

As long as you are willing to commit to the maintenance to keep loose fill at the proper depth, this can be a strong option for commercial playgrounds.

LandSoft loose fill playground surfacingIf you’re considering loose fill, Landsoft™ Rubber Nuggets surfacing is one of the best options. These non-toxic nuggets are delivered in large quantities and come in a variety of colors that can be combined for a unique look or used as one color.

Landsoft™ Rubber Nuggets surfacing offers several benefits:

  • It is cost-effective and economical compared to some other surfacing options.
  • It non-toxic and is not treated like lumber or wood chips.
  • It is rubber, so it is more resistant to moisture and the weather than wood, allowing the surfacing to last longer.
  • It is soft and provides a comfortable place for children to play.
  • It can easily accommodate irregularly-shaped playgrounds and large surface areas.

If you’d like to discuss your surfacing options to incorporate with your new playground design or you’re ready to start creating a safer place for children to play on your current commercial playground, find a Little Tikes Commercial rep near you. We can help you with playground design and help you choose the right surfacing options for your playground and your community.

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