Questions to determine whether to choose unitary or loose fill surfacing

Surfacing is the finishing touch for many recreation environments. One of the most important aspects of providing a safe play environment is the installation of high-quality playground surfacing with proper impact attenuation properties. When installed correctly, safety surfacing can greatly reduce serious injuries that may occur if children fall from the play structure. If a playground is in your future, choosing the right surfacing can maximize your budget, reduce maintenance, provide longevity, and even add play value. Understanding maintenance is one of the most important factors, besides safety, in ensuring a long-lasting environment.

While engineered wood fiber (EWF) may offer the lowest initial cost, the lifetime cost is higher than other low maintenance options due to the ongoing raking and topping off to an EWF surface compliant and fall attenuating. Poured rubber will cost much more, but its accessibility and low maintenance helps offset the initial investment.


More yes answers would indicate that a unitary, poured surface might be a better fit over the life of the surface.

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