Safety surfacing is the term used to describe a range of materials that are laid on the ground to provide impact absorbency in the event of a fall. Primarily designed to prevent head injuries, safety surfacing is a requirement when the user is 600mm or more above the ground. Where fixed equipment is in place, it is important to only use a certified surface to ensure that adequate fall protection is provided to reduce the risk of injury.
Safety surfacing can also be used in open areas where there is no fixed equipment, to provide a safer and more pleasant play environment rather than having hard surfaces such as tarmac or concrete. The following gives an overview of the different types of surfacing that is available.
Please note that some types of rubber surfacing that contain recycled material such as black wetpour and Jungle Mulch can release what is known as ‘carbon black dye’. This can transfer from onto users hands and clothing and is difficult to remove. We would advise all customers to take this into consideration before choosing a preferred surfacing type.
Grass Matting is a popular and cost-effective surfacing where the existing area is already natural grass. The honeycomb structure mats are laid directly onto the grass, which then grows through the mats and can be cut as normal. Grass mats allow the area to retain its natural appearance whilst providing impact absorbency and preventing soil erosion. Using grass matting can often allow more of the available project budget to be spent equipment.
Artificial grass has become a very popular surface within schools and is becoming more widely used within local authority play areas also. We offer a high-quality grass carpet that has a range of pile colours and textures, which help it to look very natural. This can be installed with our without a shock pad depending on the use. It can be used in open free play areas and under and around equipment.
Jungle Mulch is a relatively new type of surface that has the appearance of natural bark but is actually made from coloured rubber shred that is bound and held in place with a polyurethane binder so it doesn’t move around or displace. Jungle Mulch is a very durable surface that is free draining and sympathetic to sites that wish to create a natural appearance.
Wetpour rubber has become commonplace in schools and parks across the country over the last 10 years as it has replaced pre-formed rubber tiles as the most popular surfacing solution. Available in a wide range of standard colours, wetpour offers a continuous, high quality, even play surface that can be laid with different design and shapes to create themes and added play value. Wetpour is made from a fine rubber crumb that is mixed with a polyurethane binder on-site and laid in various thicknesses depending on any relevant fall heights.