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How to Choose Playground Mats and Flooring
  1. Choose the required fall rating based on the height of the equipment.
  2. Measure the location to cover, taking note of zones for swings and slides.
  3. Select color options from the pigmented and EPDM possibilities.
  4. Determine the budget available for the project.
  5. Calculate the layout sizes needed for the project and the number of team members required to do the work.

Top 5 Playground Mats and Floors with ASTM-Rated Fall Protection
  1. Bounce Back Tiles range from 1.75 to 4 inches in thickness. They have falling protection ratings of 3 to 10 ft. They are highly durable and backed by a 10-year warranty.
  2. Sterling Playground Tiles vary from 2.25 to 5 inches thick. The 2.25-inch models are rated safely for a fall of 4 ft. For more cushioning, 5 in. is rated for a critical falling measurement of 10 feet. They carry a 10-year warranty.
  3. Blue Sky Interlocking Playground Tiles measure between 2.25 and 4.25 inches in thickness. With 3.25 inches, they have an 8-foot fall protection rating. They come with a 5-year limited warranty.
  4. Our 1-1/2-inch Indoor Playground Flooring Tiles have a 4-foot ASTM critical rating for fall protection. They are nice for inside use.
  5. Among our PVC offerings, both the Staylock Perforated Tiles and the Ergo Matta Perforated Tiles are 9/16 inches thick. Both have a 20-inch critical fall height rating for protection in the event of an accidental fall.

For those who want fall height ratings in the floor, we have numerous ideas for installs that will work either indoors or outdoors. They will yield the perfect mix of durability and safety for kids and adults. We have small pieces for use beneath a swing or at the ends of slides. Or if the goal is to cover a huge space, our interlocking tiles make the layout go fast.

Rubber Playground Mats

Playground flooring DIY tiles often feature a recycled rubber construction that works nicely in any climate or extreme temperature situation. They stand up to constant sun exposure.

With all of our playground materials, our designers have focused on creating safer places for youngsters. Customers can then focus on other aspects of the plan for the recreational equipment they’ll be installing.

The area might contain structures where children will be playing well above the ground. For swing sets, slides, and climbing toys, local and state regulations must be followed for safe fall ratings, which indicate the capability of the floor to reduce the severity of head injuries from a tumble.

Each product receives a fall rating. This is based on the thickness, construction quality, and density. Start by determining the required safety height. Eliminate those that don’t meet the minimum.

Outdoor Playground Flooring Tiles

For a high level of durability, slip-resistant rubber material will not freeze and crack in extreme winter temperatures because it does not absorb water.

Another advantage of playground rubber flooring is the large number of colors we offer. Don’t assume basic black is the only selection.

On occasion, our customers will mix and match these colored rubber tiles for unique playground designs.

Another option with interlocking edges is PVC plastic. These plastics work well indoors, but they are durable enough to be used in outdoor installations too, and they’re waterproof. PVC playground tiles are designed to flex and contour to the subsurface while providing excellent drainage. These are good for play areas without tall equipment and in spaces where you may want to cover grass or dirt.

With a raised base, air can flow between the ground and the underside of the plastic. This airflow removes moisture, reducing the chance of odor, mildew, and mold forming underneath.

Rubber playground flooring in a recreational area could consist of poured designs, loose fill, or interlocking tiles. We have chosen to offer solid playground rubber mats and tile designs because they are easier to install and repair versus poured surfaces, crumbs, or mulch.

If one becomes damaged or worn, just replace that single element rather than having to repair or replace an entire floor part or section.

They don't need the same level of ongoing maintenance that is associated with loose materials like sand, wood chips, or crumb rubber. They are easier to maintain and require less of an investment of time and money.

Hazardous items like broken glass cannot be concealed on playground tiles. These hazards are difficult to detect in loose-fill materials.

Playground mats are available in a variety of sizes. Most are square and interlock together to create a singular look.

A common individual piece size is 2x2 feet, which we've found to be the ideal size for easy installations. It can easily be installed and transported.

We advise using both the interlocking mechanism and adhesives to ensure a secure, long-lasting playground rubber mat installation.

We also recommend hiring a professional landscape contractor to ensure longevity. However, it can be installed by knowledgeable DIYers, saving on costs.

Some have tabs that will be glued together. Neither of these systems requires a full glue-down, saving time and labor, but adding adhesives works for additional security.

For small coverages, rubber mats for playgrounds often are rectangular and are usually designed to be used alone or bordered up against another piece to deliver a larger cover space.

Outside, we recommend starting with a flat subsurface. A compacted and leveled crushed stone base, concrete, or asphalt can yield successful results.

Layout over sand, dirt, or grass is possible, but we don’t recommend it for rubber playground pavers. Gradually, the soil underneath will begin to erode.

This causes the playground mats to become uneven. Some may sink, while others will not, leaving tripping hazards and low-lying areas. Water will pool here, which accelerates erosion, and the problem will worsen.

To avoid this situation, start with a subsurface of compacted gravel or concrete. Though this may generate more difficulty initially, it'll need less maintenance in the future.

Indoor Playground Flooring Materials

Indoor installations only require a level base. Lay playground mats directly on the subfloor. Plastics, foam, or rubber surfaces work here.

An individual foam piece that will interlock is a popular option for indoor playground flooring. It consists of closed-cell EVA foam, which helps keep moisture, mold, and bacteria from penetrating. This results in a healthier and safer play environment for youngsters.

It is among the softest options that we offer. It's a forgiving, comfortable surface that is designed to accommodate bare feet. It is perfect for play spaces inside. It’s reversible with a different color on each side to easily create fun patterns and customize the space.

Because they are modular, they're usable in multiple coverage areas. To expand later on, just add to the edges. Nearly all of our designs have ramped borders (sometimes sold separately) to yield a smooth, safe transition.

And because they are soft, they are more DIY-friendly than certain other types. This is particularly true when installing them over a hard, flat surface. They have ramp borders to reduce trip hazards. Don't install them on rough surfaces, which can damage them.

At 1x1 feet, PVC playground tiles are easy to maneuver. They include tab and loop connectors for quick installs. They don't require any adhesives.

For installing over irregular bases, such as sand, grass, or dirt, PVC represents the best selection. It results in a clean, finished, kid-friendly spot to run.

For a more natural appearance, consider artificial playground turf and grass rolls. They are ideal for spaces that will be used for running and jumping.

Artificial playground turf creates a lush look, and it is comfortable on bare feet. It requires nowhere near the maintenance that actual grass needs.

Please note that while faux turf looks great, most options do not protect against falls. If fall protection is needed, be sure to look for turf that has at least 1 inch of foam padding underneath and comes with an ASTM rating.

With Greatmats' huge selection of play park surface options, a nearly endless number of colored design possibilities are available, including standard black, eye-catching color, or anything in between. Many of our customers incorporate their brand, school, or sports team's colors for a unique appearance.

FAQ Playground Mat Q&A

What is the best material to put under a swing set?
Rubberized outdoor playground mats for under swings are designed to help prevent ground erosion. They protect locations with high traffic from wear and tear. They’re not used for cushioning. When placed under a set of swings, heavy material is required, just like those placed at the end of a slide. They require weight to stay in place.

What are the floors of playgrounds made of?
With a residential rubber playground surface product, kids will receive cushioned surfaces to guard against a tumble. They also provide a sure footing for young ones. These often use recycled tires. So they have environmental benefits too. PVC plastic and EVA foam generally offer the most affordable options. Artificial turf is another option.

What is the rubber stuff on playgrounds called?
Some people use a pile of rubbery crumbs as an option for park flooring material for kids. However, this doesn’t have the longevity of a tile format, as the crumbs could wash away in downpours, blow away in heavy winds, or be carried away by curious toddlers. A solid tiling design usually carries a warranty of at least 5 years. However, receiving 20 years of usable life outdoors is not uncommon.

What are the best cheap playground flooring options?
For indoors, Greatmats EVA foam tiles will be the cheapest option. A 1.5-inch thickness is recommended for the most protection.
For outdoors, Perforated PVC tiles are the most affordable. Just be aware that fall protection will be limited when compared to rubber playground products.