Artificial Turf for Playgrounds
A playground is so much more than just a place for children to burn off energy. Playgrounds are meant to be safe places where children can grow physically and socially, test their limits, and let their legs and imaginations run wild.
Whether you’re designing a new playground or upgrading an old one, choosing the best ground cover for a playground is equally as important as deciding what above ground equipment you’ll use. Even the best designed, most expensive, and safest playground equipment won’t serve children well if the ground surface doesn’t let them enjoy comfortable tumbles and inevitable falls.
You might be building a backyard oasis for your kids, or maybe you’re involved in a project to build a community playground. Maybe you’re responsible for school playgrounds or municipal parks. Whatever your role in developing a children’s play area, you need to choose ground cover that’s safe, low maintenance, attractive, and the best for your bottom line.
Here are the pros and cons of four of the most popular surfacing options for playgrounds:
Pea gravel is the most inexpensive playground ground cover option, but that’s where the advantages stop. Pea gravel is the least attractive option and it doesn’t exactly provide a safe and soft landing surface for children. Pea gravel also poses a choking hazard for younger kids, can easily hide hazardous objects like broken glass, and is not ADA compliant.
Wood Chips and Mulch
Wood chips and mulch are appealing to those who care about aesthetics, but there are a few downfalls to consider. Wood chips and mulch are one of the more expensive options because they thin out, lose their color and texture over time, and require regular refreshing. They also can be prone to mold and make a good habitat for insects, which is less than ideal for a children’s play area.
Natural grass is the highest maintenance option for playground ground cover as it gets worn down easily and requires a lot of work to keep in tiptop shape. Playgrounds with natural grass underfoot often have paths and depressions worn into the grass from heavy foot traffic, which eventually becomes a bare pathway. These depressions are difficult to fill unless the playground can be closed until the new seed takes root. Natural grass for playgrounds also requires a dangerous cocktail of pesticides and fertilizers that can be incredibly harmful to children.
Artificial turf is the safest, lowest maintenance, most attractive, and surprisingly the most affordable option for playgrounds in the long run. Artificial grass can withstand heavy foot traffic, eliminates the need for dangerous lawn care chemicals, and provides a smooth and level playing surface forever and always. Most importantly, artificial grass makes playgrounds safer. It’s shock absorbing properties create a very soft landing zone with proven fall safety capabilities while fibers containing antimicrobial agents fend off bacteria and viruses to give kids a safer play experience.
Artificial grass is becoming the go to foundation far superior to any other ground cover for playgrounds because it’s cost effective, low maintenance, and safer for children to play on.
Artificial turf is what the safest and strongest playgrounds are built on!
Whether in a backyard, park, childcare facility, or school, the options are virtually endless when using artificial grass for playgrounds! At Turfix, we love a good challenge and the opportunity to collaborate with clients on creative level. We are equipped to design state of the art spaces and places and playgrounds of any size and any color with safety as our top priority. Contact Turfix today and let’s start a conversation!