Ask Matt AI

Rubber Playground Tiles - Precious Playmates Daycare Testimonial

By Paige Cerulli Created: June, 2024 - Modified: June, 2024

When Precious Playmates Daycare Ministry was awarded a post-pandemic grant by the State of Indiana to improve stability within the business, the childcare facility was able to update its outdated playground flooring. The facility has been in operation since 1995 and has been in its current location since 1997. “We are known for offering high-quality, Christian childcare services for families in the Martinsville community,” explains Bethany Asher, Director.

Asher, who has been in education since graduating with her Lutheran Elementary Education Degree in 2014, has taught in public and private schools. In 2020, she became the Director of Precious Playmates Daycare Ministry.

Choosing the Best Playground Flooring

the best playground flooring

With the grant money available to upgrade the playground, the facility faced the challenge of finding the right rubber playground flooring for the renovation. “With a large enough grant to facilitate big changes, we started researching the best playground cover for our facility and the ages we serve - and we landed on compressed rubber ground cover,” explains Asher. “Once we determined that was our greatest fit, we began researching the best prices and quality, and internet research led us to [Greatmats].”

In choosing playground flooring, it was important to find a product that worked with the facility’s existing building, that was low-maintenance, and that would be easy to repair if needed. “Ultimately, that led us to purchase tiles instead of doing a large poured compressed rubber product,” says Asher.

Installing Playground Flooring

installing rubber playground flooring

While the ministry tried to schedule professional installation, they were told at the time that all installation services were too backed up, and they couldn’t get an installer to even come look at the site. The installation was a large job. “We have two separate spaces, and one is rather large,” explains Asher. “We also had to make some major water displacement adjustments for our facility, and we were installing completely new playground equipment, so there was a lot happening.”

Fortunately, the ministry had dedicated help who successfully performed the installation. “We had an incredible team of about 10 gentlemen from the church who were able to dig out 20 tons of pea gravel (the previous playground safety cover), resurface the area, level and pitch the area to improve water flow (as the rubber tiles were being placed against the building), and lay the tile,” says Asher. “It was a learning curve, and the work isn’t perfect, but we have been very happy with the result.”

The entire playground makeover took about eight months from the removal of the old pea gravel until the ministry was able to open the new playground. “That includes winter months when work was not able to be done, the work needing to be completed for the water displacement, and the installation of new playground equipment and fencing,” Asher says.

How the Playground Flooring Performs

best playground flooring for kids

The playground tiles function as a playground safety cover for two playgrounds. One playground is for children ages 1 to 3, and the other is for children ages 3 to 12.

While the tiles create a soft and cushioned area that’s safe for kids, they offer many other benefits, too. “We love the safety of the playground and the versatility of the material,” notes Asher. “We are able to ride bikes and have rolling toys as well as play games with bouncing balls. We can use sidewalk chalk and bubbles, and the maintenance is very low.”

Asher notes that the fact that the playgrounds are usable just minutes after rainfall is a major benefit, too. “This has historically been a big problem for us with loose fill, so immediate play has been a game-changer for our facility!” she says.

Advice for Other Facilities Using the Playground Tiles

rubber playground flooring tiles

Other facilities considering using playground tiles can learn from Precious Playmates Daycare Ministry’s experience and successes. Asher explains that the ministry used the tiles as a fundraising opportunity, giving families the chance to sponsor a tile on the playground. “For a small fee, we spray paint their names on the tile and they are memorialized,” she says. “We are going on a year with the spray-painted names and there is no fading or damage thus far.”

Asher notes that while the ministry loves the tiles, there are a few quirks. She describes a slight black residue that comes up from the tiles. It doesn’t damage anything like tire mulch does, but it can leave residue on skin and can be seen on rubber shoe soles. “It easily cleans with a bath or baby wipe from the skin,” she explains. “Our families are simply told at enrollment that play shoes are best for our playgrounds, and that our dedication is to keeping children SAFE, not always CLEAN.”

She also notes that the tiles can get warm in the sun. “It has never heated to the point of burning skin, but it does get rather warm in places,” Asher says. “If you are installing this playground cover, be sure that you are able to offer some shade, or be prepared to adjust based on weather.”

Greatmats - For Your Playground Flooring Needs

From helping you find DIY-friendly tiles to exploring the best playground option to maximize safety, the Greatmats customer service team is here to help. Contact us today with any questions as you plan your own playground installation or upgrade.
Bethany Asher
Precious Playmates Daycare Ministry
Martinsville Indiana 46151