The Ultimate Guide for Playground Flooring Safety

The Ultimate Guide for Playground Flooring Safety

In this guide, I am going to explain how you can make the playground flooring safe and keep the

playtime fun for the kids. Moreover, I will share some surface safety tips and other safety ratings

in this article to keep the floor safe for the coming years.

 

Summer is coming and birds are chirping, the weather is getting hot. The kids across the country

are thinking that it is the right time to go and play outside. It is the time of year when every

family thinks of going out to play and to end their winter hermit. Moreover, it is the best time to

think of making your playground in the house or to make some important upgrades.

 

Making a playground safe for kids is not a very daunting task. There are lots of option but two

things are important: the first one is the fun and the second one is the safety of your kids. The

first step is to have a fall height safety rated and durable flooring. The second thing is well-

maintained equipment and you are good to go. Before going any further, let’s take a look at safety. It is better to call a certified outdoor flooring expert like Decking Board. They have the

experience of installing outdoor flooring and can help you with that.

Inappropriate Surfaces

Before doing anything with playground flooring, you need to keep in mind that the flooring must

be shock absorbent. It also means that you should not make floors with dirt, gravel, concrete, and

asphalt. Think of natural grass as it is soft and a good place for jumping and landing. It does not

mean to grow grass; it means to install a specially designed flooring surface. Most people will

recommend youroutdoor rubber which is a great choice.

Fall height Ratings

When it comes to outdoor flooring, the important thing to keep in mind is fall height. If the

playground flooring fall height rating is 5. It means the kid can fall from 5 without any serious

injury. The materials like concrete do not have the shock absorbency. Moreover, a person will

not want his child to fall on concrete. Specially designed playground flooring will keep your kids

safe from a certain height.

 

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The first thing is to determine the fall height and shock absorbency ratings. If the fall height

rating is higher, then you can use higher equipment for the playground. When it comes to the

children, the first concern is their safety. So, you have to make sure that the flooring meets the

safety standards. Because every flooring has its safety criteria and standards.

 

How You Can Test the Fall Height?

 

Well, you can measure it by the shock absorbency ratings of the flooring. All of the

manufacturers first test the flooring by using a dummy by falling it from different heights. These

tests help them determine the height that falls safe for the child without any serious injury. These

ratings then help the flooring contractor to install the right flooring according to the playground

equipment heights to create a safe environment.

 

Most of the manufacturers test their tiles by falling a ball in the center. But this test was not

effective in testing the quality of the product. Now they drop a ball at the edge of the tile to test

  1. Because the edge of the tile is the weakest point. Another reason was the inner part shows a

higher rating because it is the strongest part. But when they drop it on the edge, the results are

quite different. It is recommended to perform six of these tests to determine the lowest fall height

rating.

 

Recommendations for Fall Height

While buying flooring for the playground, a product doesn’t have to have a low fall height rating.

Those low ratings do not mean the product is bad. The important thing is to see that the product

is fall height certified or not. If the flooring is for a commercial playground, then 6’ fall height

rating is the standard. But if you are installing it in your backyard then you can use tiles with

lower ratings like 2’ or 3’.

Most of the playgrounds now have very high equipment and it is difficult to find products

with such high ratings. Tiles with higher ratings are costlier because you need an extra layer

of foam which is a challenge for the product.

 

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Mulch for Playground

 

One of the easiest ways is the mulch for the playground. However, it requires a lot of

maintenance than flooring. The reason is that it can be displaced by plat and in rain. You need to

maintain it to keep the flooring safe for kids. Rubber mulch has some benefits such it does not

attract, bugs, moisture or pull cats from the neighborhood.

Ratings

Depending on the thickness, the fall height ratings are different from tiles. I am going to share

the standard ratings as it can vary from product to product.

2’’- Only Landscaping

3’’- Fall height rating of 6’. recommended for residential playground

6’’ – 17’ fall height, work best for commercial playground

Playground Turf

I know I did not recommend grass for the playground but I am talking about artificial grass to

meet the safety guidelines. In the case of artificial grass, it is easy to manipulate the thickness to

meet the safety requirements. The feel and look of this grass are just the same as the original. A

normal person cannot tell whether it is original or artificial.

Fall Heights of Turf

Depending on the underlayment and thickness of the fall height, safety ratings can vary. You can

measure the thickness by adding the thickness of the lawn pad. We will only share the standard

ratings as it can vary with the product. So, check the specs of the product before making any

decision.

2.1- 3.1’’ —- 5’ fall height rating, best for a residential playground

3.3 – 4.3’’ —-7’ rating which is great for a commercial playground.

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