Playground Floor Tile Thickness for Fall Safety

By Paige Cerulli Created: July, 2017 - Modified: March, 2021

When choosing the right flooring for your playground, you’ll need to consider many factors. An outdoor playground will require flooring that can withstand the environmental conditions it will face, including UV light, precipitation, and temperature fluctuations. You’ll also need to choose the product that allows for an easy installation and that’s well-suited for your application.

But even more importantly, your playground flooring needs to be an appropriate thickness for the playground and the equipment in use in the space. Because playground floor tile thickness often correlates to the flooring’s fall height rating, the flooring thickness really needs to be a top priority when you choose a flooring product.

Playground Safety Matting Thickness Options

At Greatmats, we’ve carefully curated a selection of flooring for playground use that includes thick outdoor play mats, thinner products for areas where reduced impact is expected, and everything in between. As you get started, these safety mats for playgrounds might be just right for your needs.

Blue Sky Outdoor Interlocking Tile 2.25 Inch

2.25 inch thick playground tilesThe Blue Sky Outdoor Interlocking Tile 2.25 Inch is a colorful rubber interlocking tile suitable for use with indoor and outdoor playgrounds. This tile offers a 4-foot ASTM fall height rating. Its high-traction surface helps to prevent slips and falls whether it’s wet or dry, and the tiles won’t mold or mildew. They’re suitable for indoor and outdoor use.
Blue Sky playground tiles are available in thicknesses from 2.25 to 3.75 inches.

Blue Sky Rubber Playground Tile 2.75 Inch

2.75 inch thick playground tilesOur Blue Sky Rubber Playground Tile 2.75 Inch offers a 6-foot ASTM fall height rating. This durable tile resists fading, mold, and mildew, and it’s also UV-resistant.

The interlocking system creates a full surface-to-surface lock for a secure fit. They do require a glue-down installation, but they’re outdoor rated in all climates for long-lasting use. These tiles are ADA compliant when installed with the available ADA ramps.

Bounce Back Playground Tile 1.75-2.5 Inch

2.5 inch thick playground tilesBounce Back Rubber playground mats are rubber tiles available in 1.75 to 2.5 inch thicknesses. The 2.5-inch-thick mat offers a 6-foot fall height rating, so it’s suitable for many playgrounds. These outdoor tiles are UV-resistant and feature a non-slip texture for enhanced safety. They’re made of recycled rubber and are a green flooring choice.

These tiles can be installed over a variety of subsurfaces, and they let rainwater flow through the tile surface to avoid pooling. When installed with the available ADA border ramp edging, they create ADA accessibility.

Sterling Playground Tiles

sterling playground tilesSterling Playground Tiles are commercial-quality durable outdoor rubber tiles. They’re available in an array of colors and thicknesses. These modular playground flooring tiles feature an interlocking design and can be installed over surfaces like concrete, asphalt, and aggregate material. Their interlocking channels create tight connections, and adhesive is required for the installation.

You’ll have your choice of the following Sterling Tile thicknesses and fall height ratings:
  • 2.25-inch tile for a 4-foot fall height
  • 3.25-inch tile for a 6-foot fall height
  • 4.25-inch tile for an 8-foot fall height
  • 5-inch tile for a 10-foot fall height

Interlocking Playground Tiles BB

Interlocking playground tilesThe Interlocking Playground Tiles BB are durable impact-absorbing tiles suitable for outdoor use. These interlocking playground tiles are made in the USA with recycled rubber content. They’re available in nine different colors and can be dry laid or glued down. The tiles let rainwater flow through their surfaces, helping to prevent standing water from pooling.

These rubber playground tiles are available in 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch thicknesses. The 2.5-inch tile has a 6-foot ASTM fall height rating, and the 3.5-inch tile has a 7- to 8-foot fall height rating.

Max Playground Rubber Tile 2.5 Inch

max playground tileThe Max Playground Rubber Tile 2.5 Inch is available in multiple thicknesses. This tile is designed for outdoor use and is backed by a 15-year warranty. Its UV fade resistance ensures an excellent performance, and the tile is designed to let water drain around and beneath it for safety.

The 2.5-inch-thick tile offers a 5-foot ASTM fall height rating when it’s fully adhered to a base.

Greatmats Playground Tile Interlock 2.75 Inch

Greatmats Playground TileThe Greatmats Playground Tile Interlock 2.75 Inch is made here in the USA with recycled rubber. Its interlocking tabs allow for an easy installation, and the tile is backed by a 10-year manufacturer warranty. This low-maintenance tile is a top choice for playground use.

This tile offers a 6-foot ASTM fall height rating.

Determining Appropriate Safety Matting for Playgrounds

If you’re unsure of the specific fall height protection that your playground will use, start by measuring the distance from the ground to the highest playground platform that children will stand on. This is your fall height. Fall heights are often measured in feet, so if your equipment stands 7.5 feet high, round up to 8 feet. If you anticipate adding higher equipment to the playground, you may want to use that equipment’s measurement to determine the desired fall height rating, so the flooring you install now will be suitable for any future modifications you make.

Once you understand your playground’s fall height rating needs, you can narrow down your flooring choices by only looking at products that offer an appropriate fall height rating.

For more on this topic please review our Residential Playground Surfaces product page.