The playground is a special place that encourages children to learn important developmental skills. Using different playground equipment challenges their imagination and physical skills, while also keeping them safe with playground surfacing to help cushion any falls.
One of the most important considerations of playground development is making sure the safety surfacing meets fall height requirements. Over time, heavily used areas can begin to show signs of wear and tear. So what is the best way to protect those highly trafficked areas? Many playgrounds will use wear mats or rubber “playground mats” as a way to maintain those areas and prevent them from having to be replaced year after year.
Types of Playground Mats
Most of the playground mats you find today will likely be made from a rubber material. Rubber playground mats help cushion landings and prevent injuries in play areas that use loose-fill safety surfacing. The rubber material of the playground mat has the same shock-absorbing properties as other playground surfacings to provide extra protection in areas that have more foot traffic, which could result in safety surfacing being displaced, minimizing safety.
Playground mats can come in varying sizes depending on the purpose. Some playgrounds install both swing mats and slide mats because the safety surfacing in these areas is known for being kicked out during play.
At Rubber Designs, we offer both swing mats and slide mats for extra coverage in areas that need it. Our slide mats measure in two different sizes: 2’ x 4’ x 1” = 33lbs and 2’ x 4’ x 2¼”= 65lbs. Our swing mats also measure in two different sizes: 2’ x 4’ x 1⅓” = 105lbs and 2’ x 4’ x 2” = 121lbs. These mats range in color from brown, green red, and black.
Best Places to Install Playground Mats
When thinking about where to put playground mats, consider installing them in areas that generate a lot of foot traffic. The best places to install playground mats are underneath the swing of a swing set and the foot of a slide. Some playgrounds may also use playground mats under larger pieces of playground equipment like playground spinners.
That said, swings and slides tend to be the most picked spots for rubber playground mats — especially on playgrounds that use loose-fill safety surfacing like engineered wood fiber or rubber mulch.
This type of loose-fill safety surfacing can get kicked or pushed away from frequented areas, which can eventually pose a hazard for children. By installing playground mats, you are helping to protect, ankles, leg joints, and the lower back areas for kids of all ages, while also maintaining the integrity of the playground surfacing.
How Playground Mats Help Safety Surfacing Last Longer
While loose-fill surfacing can be more cost-effective than other types of safety surfacing, it can also be harder to maintain. Loose-fill safety surfacing like wood or rubber mulch can shift around during playtime. This is why it is important to regularly maintain the loose-fill material by refilling it or adding in supplemental surfacing like playground mats.
Adding playground mats underneath heavily trafficked areas is also a great way to cut out additional maintenance time and rest assured that your safety surfacing isn’t wearing down too fast. Easy to install, playground mats can be placed on top of safety surfacing, burying the edges to prevent a tripping hazard.
How Much Do Playground Mats Cost?
Like any playground product, playground mats range in cost depending on size and type. If you would like to learn more about the cost of playground mats, start a quote with us today.
Where to Buy Playground Mats
Whether you’re starting a new playground project or you’re looking for a way to maintain the playground you have now, playground mats are always a great investment. You can often buy playground mats from companies that produce safety surfacing like Rubber Designs.
At Rubber Designs, we offer safety surfacing products such as rubber playground tiles, loose-fill rubber, bonded rubber, and more. We also offer playground mats for slides, swings, and spinners.
Our beveled playground mats are heavyweight which helps keep them in place. It also gives them the stability for aggressive and high trafficked play areas. The beveled edge prevents tripping and allows the mats to be buried either partially or completely without presenting a hazard. Please start a quote with us on playground mats today.