You want your playground to be a safe place, where the children (and adults) can get the most out of the space, so it’s important to consider their needs when you are deciding on new flooring. Popular outdoor flooring materials include tarmac, woodchips, rubber and grass, all of which have different advantages to them. Your choice may be determined by your needs, budget and capacity for maintenance but there’s sure to be something to suit you.
Tarmac is a classic in playground flooring and it’s no wonder why, when it’s hardwearing, long lasting and requires very little maintenance. It is also a very cost-effective way to change the appearance of your school so you’ll be able to achieve a lot with this one change. Tarmac can easily be brightened up with thermoplastic markings, such as our Roadway playground marking and its signs and junctions! If you like to take your lessons outside, we have an amazing range of engaging educational playground markings that would support your teaching.
Woodchips can be used in playgrounds as they are easy to maintain as well as shock absorbing for any falls. They are also bio-degradable, which means they won’t have a negative environmental impact, but they will need to be replaced every two or three years. Woodchips can also hide sharp objects, be swallowed by young children and get into people’s eyes so consider the age(s) of the playground’s users, as you won’t want them to be picked up and eaten!
If you have a climbing frame or similar equipment, shredded rubber is a useful material as it will offer an element of safety by absorbing shock. You will need to make sure that you are monitoring the temperature though, as it can get very hot and is not always accessible for those in wheelchairs, so it may not be the best material to use for all your flooring needs.
Grass is commonly used in schools and fields and is great for sports such as running, rounders and other athletics. It’s also good to have a grassy area to encourage different wildlife and support habitats, but it’s important to remember that it can be high maintenance. The grass will need to be cut regularly and also repaired – especially if there are lots of football studs going into it! So if you don’t have the time or resources for that, you may wish to look into an alternative. You can still include some nature in your playground with a wildlife area or fun activities like our Nature Trail playground marking.
For those that like the look of grass but not the upkeep, artificial grass is a great option. It is cost effective and doesn’t need maintenance so you’ll be able to have it in your required space and enjoy it as it is. The artificial grass will also offer some shock absorption that may come in handy for sports. Don’t forget to consider adding some sports playground markings to save on setup time.
Whichever one you choose will depend upon your needs but it’s important to remember that you can ‘jazz up’ most outdoor playground flooring with our playground markings or by using a combination of different materials for different areas. For more information, get in touch with our friendly team today!