Safety Surfaces Chart

What safety surfacing is right for you?

Atlantic Coast Playgrounds has put together this handy reference for you to explore various options.

Read about the various Safety Surfaces

 

Material Type

 

Characteristics

 

Advantages

 

Disadvantages

 

Maintenance

Engineered Wood FiberAtlantic Coast Playgrounds | Wood Fiber Safety Surfaces
Engineered wood fiber is processed new or virgin wood. Contains no twigs, bark or leaves. Required depth: 12 inches Not advised to install over asphalt or concrete; causing varied impact attenuation and drainage issues.
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Cost-effective, per cycle
  • Durable
  • Easy to obtain
  • Retards insect infestation and fungal growth
  • No bark and leaves
  • Stays in place better than smaller loose fill material
  • Decomposes and compacts over time
  • Needs additional EWF approx. 24 months
  • Conceals animal excrement or other dangerous items
  • Microbial growth when wet
  • Difficult to keep in the play area
  • Consistent maintenance costs
  • Requires: regular inspection, periodic raking , removal of foreign matter
  • Replacement of surface material every 3 years


 

Material Type

 

Characteristics

 

Advantages

 

Disadvantages

 

Maintenance

Poured-in-PlaceAtlantic Coast Playgrounds | Poured In Place Surfacing
Poured-in-place is a two layered system, one layer of clean recycled rubber, and one of compromised virgin EPDM rubber to provide a cuchioned feel.
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Unitary surface
  • Easy to clean
  • Consistant impact-absorbing qualities
  • Lower long-term maintenance costs
  • Decomposes slowly
  • Initially expensive
  • Requires professional installation
  • Can be vandalized
  • Wide variation of quality
  • Can harden over time
  • Must be swept regularly to maintain its shock absorbtion
  • Over time, the edges turn up, creating a trip hazzard
  • Upper layer can freeze and separate
  • Regular inspection for damage & debris
  • Maintenance involves sweeping or vacuuming
  • Easy to repair
  • Does not need replacement unless it has lost its impact- absorbing ability


 

Material Type

 

Characteristics

 

Advantages

 

Disadvantages

 

Maintenance

SandAtlantic Coast Playgrounds | Wood Fiber Safety Surfaces
A natural, clean and non-packing material. Size, texture and composition of particles vary. Some sand types may not be appropriate for playground use due to their tendency to compact (pack down).
Minimum depth: 12″ installation over asphalt or concrete can cause poor impact results. Sub-surface preparation is essential.
  • Low to medium cost
  • Easy to obtain
  • Easy to install
  • Non-flammable
  • Does not support microbial growth
  • Stays in place better than smaller loose fill material
  • Not ADA compliant
  • Difficult access for wheelchairs or other aids
  • Can be swallowed or get into user’s eyes, hair, clothes and shoes
  • Can hide insects, animal excrement and dangerous objects
  • Can be thrown, scattered or tracked onto other surfaces
  • Subject to loss due to high winds
  • Can have higher ongoing maintenance costs
  • Periodic raking, leveling and sifting
  • Requires periodic topping off annually


 

Material Type

 

Characteristics

 

Advantages

 

Disadvantages

 

Maintenance

Pea GravelAtlantic Coast Playgrounds | Wood Fiber Safety Surfaces
Pea gravel consists of small, clean and rounded rocks.
Should be installed at minimum depth of 12 inches (30 cm). Installation over asphalt or concrete can cause poor impact results. Sub-surface preparation is essential.
  • Low cost
  • Easy to obtain
  • Easy to install
  • Less attractive than sand to animals
  • Non-flammable
  • Does not support microbial growth
  • Not ADA compliant
  • Difficult access for wheelchairs or other mobility aids
  • Can be swallowed or get into user’s ears, nose and shoes
  • Potential fromation of “hard pan” under surface
  • Can be thrown, scattered or tracked onto other surfaces
  • May contribute to slip-fall injuries when scattered on hard surfaces
  • Higher transport costs
  • Higher ongoing maintenance costs
  • Periodic raking, leveling, sifting and break-up of “hard pan” under surface
  • Requires “topping-off” annually
  • Routine clean-up of adjacent lawns and walkways


 

Material Type

 

Characteristics

 

Advantages

 

Disadvantages

 

Maintenance

Rubber TilesAtlantic Coast Playgrounds | Rubber Tiles Safety Surfaces
Tile utilizes adhesive to firmly lock each tile into place. We also offer an Interlocking Tile, which utilizes a patent pending, locking edge to reduce lateral shift, corner lift, and strain on tiles. Brightly colored EPDM topped tiles are also available, which offer a broader range of colors and increased durability.
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Indoor/outdoor
  • Interlocking tiles help insure installation accuracy and security
  • Easy to repair – only damaged tiles need be replaced
  • Durable
  • Low-cost maintenance
  • Water-resistant
  • Expensive
  • Tiles can shrink and peel
  • Can be slippery, when wet
  • Detergent may discolor the surface
  • Removal of foreign matter
  • Periodic addition and replacement of surface material in required – every 3-5 years/li>


 

Material Type

 

Characteristics

 

Advantages

 

Disadvantages

 

Maintenance

Rubber MulchAtlantic Coast Playgrounds | Rubber Mulch Safety Surfaces
Rubber mulch is made of shredded tires.
Suppliers should confirm that the rubber does not contain steel belts, lead, other toxins or allergens, such as latex. Should be installed at minimum depth of 12 inches (30 cm). Installation over asphalt or concrete can cause poor impact results.
  • Durable
  • Easy to install
  • Non-abrasive
  • Does not support microbial growth
  • Less attrative than sand to animals
  • Can be ignited
  • Difficult access for wheelchairs or other mobility aids
  • Wide variation of quality – may contain wire or metal; may also contain lead and other toxins
  • May be thrown or scattered
  • May hide foreign matter
  • Can be lodged in ears and nose
  • Dust particles may enter and remain in lungs
  • Consistent maintenance costs
  • Requires: regular inspection, periodic raking , removal of foreign matter
  • Replacement of surface material every 3 years


 

Material Type

 

Characteristics

 

Advantages

 

Disadvantages

 

Maintenance

Artificial TurfAtlantic Coast Playgrounds | Artificial Turf Safety Surfaces
Artificial turf is a surface of synthetic fibers made to look like natural grass. It is most often used in arenas for sports or playgrounds that were originally or are normally played on grass.
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Cost-effective, per cycle
  • Durable
  • Easy to obtain
  • Retards insect infestation and fungal growth
  • No bark and leaves
  • Stays in place better than smaller loose fill material
  • Decomposes and compacts over time
  • Needs additional EWF approx. 24 months
  • Conceals animal excrement or other dangerous items
  • Microbial growth when wet
  • Difficult to keep in the play area
  • Consistent maintenance costs
  • Requires: regular inspection, periodic raking, removal of foreign matter
  • Replacement of surface material every 3 years


View some of our safety surfaces