Children’s playground surfacing can be divided into two groups – artificial surfaces and surfaces of loose fill natural materials. Both options, when properly constructed, are capable of providing sufficient shock absorption in accordance with safety standards EN1176 and EN1177. By evaluating the specific location, budget and style of the project, Fixman specialists can advise their clients on the most suitable type of surface and help with its cost calculations and provide advice on design and construction.
Synthetic surfaces (Rubber tiles, wetpour (EPDM or TPV), artificial turf, rubber mulch) –
- Why to choose – more hygienic, wide range of colors and designs, easier and cheaper care, keeps the environment cleaner and tidier.
- Where to use – city squares and downtown parks, courtyards of residential complexes, educational institutions, sports grounds.
Natural bulk materials (sand, wood chips, gravel) –
- Why to choose – Cheaper to install, with better shock absorbing properties, provides an environment and atmosphere close to nature
- What to consider – requires more time and resources for maintenance, is weary, is not hygienic and has limited design possibilities;
- Where to use – forest parks, bathing areas and nature trails, limited budget projects,
Essential requirements of safety standards to be taken into account when installing surface for children’s playgrounds –
- Each play element has a maximum fall height, which is usually specified by the manufacturer in the technical data. The surface must provide fall absorption corresponding to the maximum fall height.
- Different thicknesses are available for artificial surfacing and the thicker the material, the greater the shock absorption it provides (see illustrative tables).
- For sand and wood chips, the minimum layer thickness is 30 cm, but in cases where the maximum fall height of the equipment is more than 2 meters, the layer must be at least 40 cm.
- The lawn can be used as a cover for equipment with fall absorption up to 1 m, but even then it must be ensured that the lawn is green and fertile, as excavated black earth with some grass stalks will not be considered suitable for equipment of this height.
- Wooden deck, pavement and other solid materials in playgrounds may be used as cover if the equipment has no forced movement and the height of fall is less than 60 cm. We recommend that you be careful when choosing solid materials in playgrounds and carefully consider the reasons and benefits for such a solution, as specialized surfacing will always provide a lower risk of injury.