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Choosing from Kaplan's Playground Surfacing Options

Playground Surfacing Option

Did you know that 70% of playground-related injuries result from falls to the underlying surface, not the equipment itself? Playground surfacing is often an afterthought when it comes to safety, but it's one of the most important factors in reducing serious head injuries and increasing overall playground safety. This is why it's important you select a surface that provides the upmost safety for the children in your care.

All of Kaplan's surfacing options have been tested to meet ASTM International standards for ADA accessibility and impact attenuation. To help you choose the best surfacing option(s) for your playground, we've provided a brief overview of the pros and cons of each option:

Synthetic Turf

  • Offers the natural look of grass
  • Drains rainfall quickly from play area
  • Low maintenance
  • Excellent warranty
  • Made from antimicrobial materials
  • Meets ASTM F1292, meets the requirements of ADA accessibility, and is IPEMA (International Play Equipment Manufacturers Association) certified
  • Various weights available
  • Available for a range of fall heights (up to 12')
playground-surfacing-synthetic-turf

Rubber Tile

  • Requires more of an initial investment, but is very low maintenance
  • Can be installed in a variety of patterns and custom color combinations with custom edging
  • Meets ASTM F1292 and meets the requirements of ADA accessibility
  • Interlocking system secures tiles in place and prevents vandalism
  • Hollow core impact pedestal for superior safety performance
  • High density wear layer
  • Concrete base required
  • 6-year warranty includes materials, workmanship, and safety compliance
playground-surfacing-rubber-tile

Bonded Rubber Mulch

  • Eco-Friendly – Made of 100% recycled tire buffings
  • Low-cost unitary surfacing option
  • Single density layer
  • Low maintenance
  • Meets ASTM F1292 and meets the requirements of ADA accessibility
  • 3 colors available
  • Can also be used for walking trails and tree wells
playground-surfacing-bonded-rubber-mulch

Poured Rubber

  • Made of recycled materials
  • Multiple color choices
  • Custom shapes and designs available (can add your logo into the playground)
  • Graphics may help enhance ground level play
  • In-lay design
  • Easily installed over grass, concrete, or asphalt
  • Low maintenance and slip resistant
  • Meets ASTM F1292 and meets the requirements of ADA accessibility
  • Two layer unitary surfaces
playground-surfacing-poured-rubber

Wood Carpet

  • Engineered wood fiber is always a safe bet in playground surfacing options
  • Exceeds safety specifications as outlined by U.S. CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) for shock-absorbing qualities
  • Meets ASTM F1292, meets the requirements of ADA accessibility, and is IPEMA (International Play Equipment Manufacturers Association) certified
  • Low-cost surfacing option
  • Easy installation
  • Maintenance required on all loose fill surfaces
  • Kick out mats recommended
playground-surfacing-wood-carpet

Rubber Mulch

  • Easy installation
  • 100% recycled and 99.9% steel-free
  • Meets ASTM F1292, meets the requirements of ADA accessibility, and is IPEMA (International Play Equipment Manufacturers Association) certified
  • A 6" depth accommodates fall heights up to 12'
  • Will not decompose or absorb water like wood mulch
  • Maintenance required on all loose fill surfaces
  • Kick out mats recommended
  • Non-toxic
  • Color will not stain
playground-surfacing-rubber-mulch

When considering playground surfacing options, also consider the location of any wheelchair accessible ramps and the type(s) of playground borders your space will need. Contact our playground experts if you have questions or would like additional information about Kaplan’s playground equipment and surfacing options.

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