Have you ever wondered what type of playground material is best for your backyard?
Have you been to public playgrounds and tried to figure out what they use to protect kids from bad falls?
Do you know what to put under playset options you may be considering for your home?
While it’s true you can leave your yard as-is and just place your playset on top of the lawn, this may not be the best option for you depending on your situation. For example, if your playset would make it very difficult to mow or weed-whack your backyard, it may be better to put down some type of covering first. And of course, anything you put over your grass will eventually kill the grass completely, so this is something to keep in mind too.
Before you ever pick out your playset, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the types of ground cover available to you depending on your needs. Check out the list below to learn more about the options you need to consider when choosing your backyard playground setup.
Artificial turf is usually the same type you might find on lawns without playgrounds, too. It’s a synthetic type of grass that looks great year-round and can provide some cushion to kids who take a tumble on it, too.
Rubber flooring is a type of playground rubber that is available in large tiles that can be interlocked together to hold them in place. These tiles are usually very heavy and should be unable to be moved when children run over them or play on them, even over a long period of time.
One of the oldest and most popular forms of playground cover, pea gravel is a great solution for anyone on a budget or looking for a more authentic old-fashioned playground experience. It looks great in just about any backyard play area and is sure to become a long-lasting part of your yard, too.
Choose playground sand when you want to cover your play area on a tighter budget. This is a nice, soft way to give your kids a place to play outside without having to worry about it costing too much. It’s a classic favorite that your kids are sure to love playing in, too!
Rubber mulch is similar to the rubber flooring listed above, but instead of being available in several large tile pieces, it’s a smaller and more lightweight type of covering. It’s very soft and easy to spread, and it’s sure to keep your kids safe no matter how much of a tumble they might take from the playset.
Many public playgrounds, especially those from a few decades ago, feature engineered wood chips as their playground cover. Wood chips can offer some cushion for your kids when they play outside and are generally an affordable alternative to many of the other more expensive options out there.
If you want to use rubber but also want to do your part to help cut back on the damage rubber does to the environment, recycled rubber tires may be right for you. This type of playground cover is available in many different forms, but usually comes in large sheets.
Did you pick the playground material that’s right for you? There are a lot of options to choose from, so don’t worry if you need to take your time and think it over. It may take some consideration to choose the right one, but once you have it in mind, you’ll be well on your way to creating an incredible backyard experience your kids will never forget!
But with all this talk about the products that are best for covering the ground under your playset, you may be wondering which one is the worst. There is one material you should never use when you’re trying to figure out what to put under your playset: asphalt. Asphalt is very dangerous for children to fall onto, especially from the height of a playset. And if one of your kids trips and falls, he or she is sure to have a skinned knee if that happens on asphalt. Concrete is no different, so be sure you stay away from concrete as well as asphalt for your backyard playground cover.
Other than these, however, the remaining options are all equally good choices. You’ll want to make your pick depending on the specific needs of your kids as well as the type of backyard you have to work with. And of course, if you live in an HOA community, you’ll want to double check with the HOA guidelines to determine what’s allowed in your neighborhood and what might not be.
Once you have your ground cover figured out, you’ll be ready to pick a great playset for your kids to enjoy for years to come!