Playground Flooring construction and design is extremely important when undertaking this type of installation. There are many different aspects to constructing a playground floor such as; what type of material, and is there adequate access facilities.
In America playground surfaces should be firm enough to meet the requirements of the ADA (American's with Disabilities Act) this means it must allow easy mobility for children in wheelchairs. Playground surfaces should be soft enough to cushion falls, and this means choosing the right material.
There are several types of material used in the construction of playground surfaces and some of these will include:
Sand & gravel etc
Engineered wood fibre
Poured Foam & foam tiles
Rubber mulch usually consists of pieces of rubber from tires that have been ground up after having their steel bands removed. Rubber mulch provides several advantages over plant based mulches. One advantage is its elasticity which gives it a springy quality when used in a sufficiently thick layer, this makes it ideal for playground surfaces.
Wood chips are made from woody biomass. The logs are peeled and the bark chips and the wood chips processed by different processes.
Artificial grass or turf is a man made surface manufactured from synthetics and made to look like natural grass, and is most often used in arenas for sports. The main reason is maintenance. Artificial grass is extremely hard wearing and requires no irrigation.
Engineered wood fibre is the most cost effective material for the construction of a playground surface. The wood is shredded into specific sizes and then put through sieves. The finished product is then tested for any toxicity which it may contain.
Engineered wood fibre offers a complete playground surface system which uses a geotextile fabric between the wood fibre and the ground which improves drainage, and surfaces can be played on even after a heavy downpour of rain.
When constructing a playground surface careful consideration should be given to access and particular wheelchairs.