Two Types of Playground Surfacing Materials

Unitary and loose-fill materials are the two basic types of materials that are acceptable for playground surfacing. Playground padding must have efficient shock absorption capabilities to ensure the safety of children in case of a tumble. The properties of both unitary and loose-fill playground rubber material allow them to be two versatile playground surfacing options that will not be damaged by harsh environmental factors. In addition, it is important to consider the height of the playground equipment to ensure that the thickness of the playground fall zone material is sufficient to prevent life threatening injuries. Both unitary and loose-fill playground surface material options will offer excellent shock absorption properties depending on the setting and height of the playground equipment.

Unitary Materials

Interlocking rubber play mats are unitary playground surfacing options that are the best surfacing option to put under a playground due to their superior grippy surface, customizable sizing, shock absorption capabilities, and environmental resistance properties. Interlocking mats form a unitary surfacing material that is easier to maintain as you do not need to constantly check the depth of the material for sufficient shock absorption and playground safety padding. Because loose fill playground surfacing materials do not use a binder and are not secured in place, the depth of the material is susceptible to change while in use which, in turn, affects its shock absorption properties. Eco-Safety_3_Top_Bottom_Large (1)

Loose-Fill Materials

On the other hand, loose-fill materials are not sold specifically for playground surfacing; therefore, it is hard to determine the shock absorption qualities of the material. For each playground fall zone material, critical height is an important factor to consider for constructing a playground surface that offers sufficient cushioning. A fall zone refers to the area around the playground equipment where a child in expected to land or exit from a piece of equipment. Because different playground equipment are different heights, the playground fall zone material must be thick enough to provide safe cushioning for a specific critical height according to the equipment type. It is easier to maintain this with unitary crumb rubber surfacing tiles.Black rubber granules background

Playground surfacing materials should have a high degree of shock absorption to ensure safe surfaces for children to play on without worry of a potential life-threatening injury. Unitary and loose-fill materials can offer excellent playground safety padding in indoor and outdoor play areas thanks to recycled rubber’s resistance against damaging environmental factors, such as UV rays, ozone, oxygen, and moisture. Unitary interlocking rubber play mats are the best playground surfacing option available due to their customizable sizing and superior shock absorption properties compared to loose-fill materials. With either surfacing option, it is important to consider the height of the playground equipment to ensure the correct thickness of the playground surface material options to prevent dangerous injuries.

Click here to check out our article on why rubber playground surfacing tiles are the superior choice for playground safety!

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