What is the Best Ground Cover for a Playground?

Whatever surfacing your playground needs, PlaySmart has the best ground cover solution for you. Our expert installers have over 20 years of installation experience. Therefore, we can help guide you and assist you on your journey to the perfect playground flooring solution!

The Best Surface for Children’s Play Areas

In school playgrounds or public children’s outdoor play areas, safety is the core concern for your ground cover options. Falls are common on any playground as kids run around, climb, and have fun. Therefore, keeping them protected and reducing risks of injury is vital for any children’s play area

Playground installation companies survey the ground quality and critical fall heights to inform the selection of appropriate safety flooring. Different qualities and types of ground cover may require adjustedments and groundwork to meet sufficient playground safety standards.

We recommend a combination of our SmartPlay system of playground rubber grass mat surface options for the best safety. Especially for ground cover underneath play equipment with a critical fall height above 2m or with poor ground conditions. EcoSmart heavy, durable grass mats provide critical fall height protection of up to 2.25m. However, in areas with poor ground conditions, we recommend SmartPlay shock pad underlay installation. This is because it can provide an extra layer of protection to ensure a safe space to play for all!

Rubber grass mats installed underneath a play tower
Durability in Heavy footfall

In areas such as pathways or public parks, play surfacing should offer long-term returns on investments by retaining the quality of surfaces seen on installation with little maintenance requirements. JungleMulch Rubber mulch maintenance is very low compared to loose fill surfaces often used to save money on installation, which requires regular maintenance and replenishment not suitable for heavy footfall areas.

The durability of JungleMulch means that we have seen a lot of popularity in uses on pathways, embankments, and erosion control areas. The unique organic colouring process of the recycled rubber playground surface shred means that your play area or pathway remains consistently vibrant over time, and also reduces the risks of harmful colourants leaching into the ecosystem over time.

Before and After of a playground using brick red Rubber Mulch. Uneven ground and debris have been removed and a new layer of flat mulch has been placed

Do you require general safety precautions while still wanting a vibrant or create playground design? We recommend wet pour rubber surfacing like RubbaSmart for the best ground cover option for this purpose. Additionally, with unbeaten UV, ozone, and weathering resistance without toxic residue, larger playground projects can benefit from our child-safe guarantees.

Meeting Accessibility Requirements

Public spaces should be fully wheelchair and buggy accessible so everyone can enjoy the outdoors equally. Providing smooth, flat, slip-resistant surfaces across our product lines, PlaySmart is the go-to for your accessible spaces that will last and remain safe and stable over time. Additionally, our professional installation creates fewer risks of cracking or sinking than other options due to our high-quality aggregates and installation.

For some accessibility requirements, additions can be made to your playground design to cater to full inclusivity. For the visually impaired, we install bright colours or raised, textured bumps along paths. Additionally, for those with reduced mobility, ramped edges provide access to raised areas of your play surfacing.

Flooding risks

In low-lying areas or sites expecting heavy rainfall, typical play surfacing may not provide sufficient drainage for your playground. Porous design is important to reduce puddling and subsidence of your outdoor flooring.

Water permeability is one of the reasons many of our clients value our services. Therefore we provide a range of drainage options, including:

  • The grids structure of our rubber grass mats
  • The internal microstructure of Corkeen and JungleMulch
  • Our Sustainable Urban Drainage System (SUDS) compliant SmartPave,

Sustainable Flooring

Many existing and new build play areas are looking for ideas and innovative designs to help their local area go green! We use shredded recycled tyres in our Jungle Mulch mulch and rubber chippings for play areas, but our major Sustainable Flooring Option is Corkeen. You can find out more about this amazing, eco-friendly play surface option in PlaySmart’s Guide to Corkeen Play Surfacing.

Incorporating Nature

In playground design, the presence of nature in the outside world should be included in many different ways. PlaySmart’s products put an emphasis on working with nature and not restricting the growth of grass or damaging surrounding plant life.

Rubber grass mats as part of our SmartPlay system allow grass to grow naturally through its grid holes. Therefore, your playground doesn’t lose its natural look. To emphasise this natural look even further, hybrid grass in the UK is a very popular playground surface option. Natural grass is free to grow alongside artificial grass fibres for the year-round full green appearance of a grass lawn.

Around vegetation and trees, rubber mulch is a great option. This is because the rubber play bark alternative allows water through to provide groundwater for roots. All while protecting surface root growth from wear and tear from heavy playground footfall.

Red Jungle Mulch rubber mulch flooring installed around tree trunks next to a pathway
Discover the Best Ground Cover for Your Playground with PlaySmart’s Experts

Do you think that our play surface options may address problems you find on your site? Then don’t hesitate to request a call back or quote with our handy contact form.

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