Playground Safety and Design/safest playground groundcover
There are many differing opinions and articles about playground recycled rubber tires for flooring.is it safe and how do you find a reputable source? is there a rating i need to look for. What about wood chips and artificial turf? i want a safe environment for my grandchildren. thank you for your time and expertise.
I have never been a real fan for loose rubber ground-cover. Basically it is ground-up old tires and I have always had a problem with disposing of what is considered toxic waste, on children's playgrounds. Artificial turf is great but for home use way to costly, the turf needs to be installed over a bed of shredded tires or similar base. Natural oak-chips are acceptable and affordable but have a lot of short falls. They do not drain well, get kicked around a lot, compact very quickly, eventually decompose and turn into dirt and need to be almost yearly added to. In my opinion, by far, the best choice for ground-cover for residential play areas is very small rocks called "P"gravel, it might go by another name in your area of the country. The wide spread use of gravel for ground-cover only went away when the ADA got involved because it is not wheelchair accessible, plus manufactures and installers could not make a lot of money from using it so they turned to promoting more profitable options. Gravel is very affordable, meets all safety standards, never needs replacement, is clean, drains well, dries fast, requires very little maintenance and even provides some play value for young ones. The only thing it requires is a good frame to contain it. Usually we would use 6x6 oak ties staked to the ground and filled with 5 to 6 inches of gravel. The frame should be 6 feet away from any structure, bottom of slide and twice that in front and behind swings. Good luck, Bob