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The Playground Professionals
new wooden playset with safety surface and border installed

Safety Surfacing

While it is not required for home use, one of the most important things you can do to reduce the likelihood of injuries on play equipment is to install safety surfacing.

What is Safety Surfacing?

Safety Surfacing is a shock-absorbing material installed under your playset, providing some cushion in case of a fall.

Safety Surfacing For Residential Use

You may think of rubber tiles or the poured rubber surfaces that you see at your local playground. Some may consider covering an area with artificial turf. These are very common in a commercial setting (public park/school playground) but not as common at home, simply because of the cost. More popular options for the backyard are Engineered Wood Fiber Playground Mulch and Rubber Playground Mulch

In addition to safety, surfacing options can make it easier to maintain your grass/yard and protect your playset from damage caused by a mower, weed whacker, etc.

Common Residential Safety Surface Options

Engineered Wood Fiber Playground Mulch

Do not confuse Engineered Wood Fiber (EWF) Playground Mulch with landscaping mulch. They are NOT the same! EWF is IPEMA certified and meets ASTM guidelines. It is designed to ensure a safe environment for children. It is all-natural, does not include any chemicals or dyes, and it is screened for harmful materials.

Rubber Nugget Playground Mulch

Rubber Playground Mulch is the most resilient and longest-lasting, loose-fill safety surface you can find. Our rubber mulch is IPEMA certified and meets ASTM guidelines. This rubber has been in the process of being perfected over the past 20 years in order to ensure a clean and safe play surface. Made in the USA from 100% recycled rubber.

Shop Safety Surfacing

Yes, it does! Besides the Unpainted and Painted Black, we offer Forest Green, Terra Cotta Red, Cocoa Brown, and Royal Blue.

Not typically. Rubber mulch chips are too heavy to be significantly affected by normal winds and rain. Using a border, like rubber curbs will help to contain the mulch in the designated area.

The chips are no less durable than the Black Rubber Mulch. A non-toxic, highly durable paint is used for the rubber. The end result is that the Colored Rubber Mulch should not fade any faster than that of good quality house paint, and may very well last much longer. The color is warranted for 12 years.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the U.S. Testing Company, and the State of Illinois, among numerous state and federal agencies, independent laboratories and licensed testing companies have conducted various tests designed to measure the shock-absorption of various surface materials as they relate to falling objects. Tire rubber chips have been shown to consistently absorb more shock impact than any other standard surface material.

The area should be prepared ahead of time by removing rocks, stumps and any other debris. Then calculate the area that you want to surround the playset (commonly referred to the “use” or “fall zone”). We also recommend the use of Geotextile Fabric beneath the Wood or Rubber Mulch to help prevent weed growth in the mulched area. Most of our customers choose Rubber Borders to enclose the entire area which will help to contain the surfacing materials, wood or rubber.

No. In addition to promoting almost instantaneous drainage, our rubber mulch retains small amounts of moisture, which is just enough to prevent the accumulation of dust and slipperiness.

No. Our 1/2 inch chips are smaller than most others. The smaller the chips, the less likely they are to contain embedded steel wire. To ensure that all wire is removed, our chips pass through 4 unique, state of the art magnets during the manufacturing process. This extra attention literally ensures no steel content. In fact, our mulch is guaranteed to be 99.9% steel-free.

No. Our rubber chips are made from 100% tire rubber. All tires are made of vulcanized rubber. the vulcanizing process makes the rubber literally indestructible.