Playground Tiles Buying Guide
Building a safe and quality playground area is a challenge. You need the right equipment, flooring, and environment for safe play. Naturally, children jump, fall, and run when playing. Ultimately, the most important thing when creating a playground is safety. Safety starts with choosing the proper foundation and flooring.
In this buying guide for playground flooring:
- What are Playground Tiles?
- 5 Must-Have Qualities of Playground Tiles
- What are the Best Materials For Playground Tiles?
- 5 Top Playground Flooring Options
- How to Choose the Right Playground Flooring
What are Playground Tiles?
Playground tiles come in a range of colours and thicknesses. You can use playground tiles in various environments like leisure centres, gardens, outdoor gyms, public play areas, school playgrounds, and other sports facilities.
When it comes to play areas, safety is a priority. Because of this, there are a few things you need to consider when choosing and installing playground flooring. By reducing the risk of injury from slips and falls, you can create a more comfortable play area with piece of mind. Adding climbing and play equipment into the mix, there’s a chance of falling from a greater height. With any movement, fitness, and play, there is a higher risk of injury from slips and falls therefore a heavy duty material with a soft surface is required.
5 Must-Have Qualities of Playground Tiles
When researching playground tiles, there are a few essential qualities. With safety being so crucial in a playground environment, specific properties are non-negotiable. It’s vital that you look out for the following attributes when buying playground tiles.
1. Critical Fall Height Rating
A critical fall height is a height at which a critical injury can occur. The rating is based on the highest point in the play area. The reason for this rating is that every year children fall off playgrounds and injure themselves. The right flooring could prevent a majority of these incidents.
According to British Standards EN 1177, all play equipment over 0.6m requires a critical fall height certified flooring. So, if any of your play equipment is higher than 0.6m, you need specific flooring. The maximum fall height should not be larger than 3m. This is the height that a child could free fall.
You can start to narrow down your playground flooring choice based on use and the type of equipment. For example, a school playground with no equipment doesn’t need a critical fall height rating. While a public playground with climbing equipment over 0.6m needs to meet a certain specification.
2. Non-Slip and Traction
Playground flooring needs to have plenty of traction and non-slip properties. Parents and guardians don’t need to worry about slips after any rainy weather or spills. Anti-slip features create a safe foundation for play without restricting movement entirely. Children are still free to run and jump and have fun while minimising the risk of falls and injury.
3. Easy to Maintain and Clean
The best playground tiles are easy to maintain and clean. They should contain UV particles to withstand weather and high use without damage. High-quality tiles require minimal effort to maintain with an easy clean up to stay on top of the playground. Tiles should be durable and designed for high traffic areas and conditions.
4. Indoor Vs Outdoor Play
If you’re creating an outdoor play area, your tiles need to be weatherproof. Key qualities include proper drainage, and the tiles should handle various changes in temperature and weather. If you’re looking to develop an indoor play area like soft play, you can look for similar qualities but don’t need to have the same weatherproof protection.
5. Shock Absorption and Anti Fatigue
With a lot of running, jumping and moving, playground tiles should feature plenty of shock absorption. This means that more impact is absorbed by the flooring rather than your joints. Anti-fatigue properties allow for safe and comfortable play.
What are the Best Materials For Playground Tiles?
When it comes to playground tiles, you have a few different options to consider. If you’re looking to give your outdoor space a refresh upgrade. Various factors play a role in making your decision, like accessibility, price, safety, type of use, and environment. Two popular options for playground flooring materials are rubber and artificial grass.
Other popular options for playground flooring include wood chips, rubber chipping, and tarmac. Although wood chips can be a cost-effective playground flooring, they don’t tend to be the most durable and long-lasting option. They are also easily affected by weather conditions. You will find that tarmac is common throughout the UK in schools as it’s a hard surface that can withstand years of use. But this isn’t usually a good option for residential playgrounds. Rubber chipping is another option for play areas as an alternative to wood chips.
Top Playground Flooring Options
Children love to play and run in playgrounds. Playground flooring using concrete run a higher risk of injury, especially when falling off play equipment and other items. Here are six top playground tiles to consider when safety is the number one priority.
1. Outdoor Rubber Tiles
The Outdoor Rubber Tiles are specifically designed for the outdoors. The HD non-slip rubber tiles contain UV particles to withstand all weathers. For an outdoor playground, it’s essential that the flooring can tackle any weather. It should remain safe and non-slip after a windy or rainy day. The Outdoor Rubber Tiles range comes in three different colours and thicknesses. The tiles use dowels for a simple and straightforward interlocking installation.
2. Antishock Rubber Tiles
If you’re looking to create an indoor play area that’s multipurpose and suitable for fitness and play, the Sprung Antishock Gym Tiles come in both 40mm and 60mm thicknesses. These tiles are uber durable with excellent shock absorption and non-slip properties for all types of fitness and movement. This flooring would be best suited to a leisure centre or community area that needs to create a safe foundation for several activities, including children’s play, workout classes, free weights, and fitness.
- Leisure centres
- Community facilities
- Sports halls
3. 3x3 Modular Sports Flooring
If you’re looking to create an outdoor play area that drains water quickly and is suitable for a range of sports, the 3x3 Basketball Evolution Modular Sports Flooring is a great choice. It’s ideal for a range of ball and sports team as well as play. Each tile is a shock absorption system with plenty of cushioning for the user. It’s easy to assemble and creates a single safe web. The modular system is designed with small holes to prevent kids from getting rocks and fingers caught. It’s also a good choice if you have an uneven base as the flooring absorbs any unevenness and irregularities.
- School playground
- Sports facilities
- Ball games and athletics
4. Artificial Turf
Another option for play areas and gardens is Play Turf Artificial Grass. The short fibre grass imitates natural grass to create a soft outdoor play or garden area. If you’re looking to enhance your outdoor decor and create a multipurpose space, artificial turf looks great and softens the ground. It can help make soft and safe outdoor play areas, especially in the garden. You can lay down Play Turf over existing lawns, deckings, and patios.
- Residential play areas
How to Choose the Right Playground Flooring
The above playground flooring options offer several benefits. If you’re looking to create an area with climbing equipment for kids to play, then the Safety Playground Tiles are a great option. But if you’re looking for something that will create a multipurpose facility that can double up as a playground and sports area, the outdoor rubber tiles are ideal.
The main priority with playground flooring is safety. That’s why it’s so important to invest in flooring that is specifically designed with safety and movement in mind. Naturally, kids tend to fall over and jump as they play, and there is a risk of falling off a climbing frame. By creating a safe foundation, you can ensure kids have the best opportunity to play safely. Whether it’s in a school playground, garden play area, or park, flooring is a crucial decision.