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Playground safety surfacing cost comparison!

by Nathan Zachary
playground safety surfacing

Children can grow, exercise, practice social skills, and learn from one another in a wonderful environment at the playground. There are additional emotional advantages in addition to the cognitive ones. Physical activity combined with unstructured play can lower stress levels and assist kids in coping with their emotions. To a child’s development, each of these wonderful things is of utmost importance.

It is crucial that playgrounds are safe because they are such a vital setting for kids’ growth. There is always a danger that an accident could happen, even if the structures have rails or handholds for protection. To protect the kids in these situations, it is crucial that the playground’s owners or designers choose the appropriate surfacing.

There are multiple options for surfaces in the modern world. The traditional pebbled gravel is an option, as is something a little more modern like rubber flooring that has been laid in place. Choosing which surface to use can be difficult due to the abundance of alternatives. You will learn about the many surface kinds in this post along with their advantages, potential downsides, and Playground safety surfacing cost comparison pricing.

Engineered Wood Fiber (EWF)

Wood fiber is a wonderful organic material for environmentally friendly playgrounds. It is made by covering the surface of the playground with a thick coating of wood fiber chips. However, because of the loose nature of the surface, it needs a lot of maintenance. Children frequently scrape the wood fibers off of these types of surfaces, or in high traffic areas, they run naturally and move the fibers around. Install these at the minimal depth required to maintain playground safety while accounting for the change in surface.

The critical fall heights assigned to each playground’s particular region must be adhered to. This indicates that in order to prevent significant injury, the surface must be at a reasonable depth if a structure is a given height. These loose surfaces must be regularly examined and raked in accordance with compliance requirements for critical fall height (CFH) in order to ensure playground safety.

On average, only around $1.50 to $3.00 per square foot is spent on supplies. Installation and site preparation do not fall under this, nevertheless. They do require the most maintenance, despite the fact that these surfaces can initially be more affordable. In addition to needing to be raked to meet safety requirements, these surfaces must be inspected every two weeks to make sure there are no foreign objects present. As time goes on, you might need to add more content to make sure you have adequate depth to meet safety standards.

Synthetic Grass

           A fantastic alternative to loose materials for child protection is synthetic grass, but it is slightly more expensive. Another excellent replacement for other materials, like rubber or wood, is synthetic grass. The playground has a pleasant, natural atmosphere thanks to the grass, which also frequently keeps the ground cool. Although the material itself is available with or without infill, experienced installers will need infill to help maintain the material’s structural integrity. The price of the synthetic grass can vary depending on the manufacturer, but it typically costs between $15 and $23 per square foot to use this technique.

Although the initial cost is far higher, the ongoing upkeep is not nearly as time-consuming as with any available loose surface. Still required, but less frequently, is moderate testing. These surfaces typically deteriorate over time, and when they do, they need to be resurfaced.

Playground Safety Surfacing Made of Bonded Rubber and Poured in Place

Rubber that is poured in place can be more affordable than rubber that is bonded. With 100% premium recycled shredded rubber, we provide a choice of color options for our DuraTurf bonded rubber. Without the upkeep of loose mulch, we are able to create the appearance of shredded natural fiber mulch. The price of bonded rubber surfacing per square foot can range from $10 to $15.

Poured in Place surfaces can meet your needs regardless of whether you choose solid hues or a variety of colors, despite being more expensive. The playground safety surfacing Pour in Place design is adaptable, so you may incorporate whatever design you wish onto the surface, including the mascot for your school or church. There’s a reason why these surfaces are the priciest on the list.

They have the highest elasticity and are by far the most resilient of all the other surfaces we have mentioned so far. These surfaces’ flexibility and durability make them ideal for both indoor and outdoor settings. Furthermore, this surface is fantastic in all weather. Children playing in the rain are highly safe on rubber non-stick surfaces since they are particularly non-stick. It is also among the list’s safest surfaces because of its great flexibility. The least amount of upkeep is also necessary for this surface. While a drop test is required three years after installation, many manufacturers will pay for the examination. It is by far the most expensive; costing between $16 and $25 per square foot, but it also needs the least maintenance and will last for a very long time.


In the end, everything depends on you, including your willingness to make sacrifices and your financial capacity. Due to their inexpensive entry prices, loose fillings are fantastic solutions for low-funded schools, but they do require the most upkeep and work. Due to its natural appearance and low surface temperature, synthetic grass is a lovely, affordable, and valuable substitute to other unbroken playguard solutions. It may require some upkeep, but it is sturdy and secure. The least amount of upkeep is necessary for rubber tiles and surfaces made of rubber poured in place. The needs of every playground and budget vary, so perhaps this will assist you in choosing or installing a new surface to keep the kids safe and your playgrounds looking wonderful!

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