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Compare Playground Surfacing Options

At XGrass, we know that determining the best playground flooring for your project can be a very difficult task.  In this section, we use our experience in surfacing thousands of playgrounds to help you evaluate your options and consider the almost endless opportunities you have to Reinvent Your Playground.


Material Options

For today's commercial playgrounds, the most common surfacing materials are rubber, synthetic turf and engineered wood fiber or mulch.  To help in your selection process, we have evaluated the most common materials across seven critical elements.

Rubber Playground Surfacing Options


Rubber surfacing is a popular choice for many playground areas due to its excellent impact absorption qualities, low maintenance requirements, excellent durability and its resistance to microbial growth. Many rubber surfaces also contain large amount of recycled rubber tires so they can be environmentally friendly as well.

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XGrass Synthetic Grass Playground Turf

Synthetic Turf

Synthetic turf playground surfaces are one of the fastest growing surfacing options available. Some of this is due to a greater focus on accessibility and ADA compliance, but its growth also stems from the fact that some of the leading synthetic turf suppliers have focused on designing products and solutions specifically for the playground industry.

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Wood and Mulch Playground Surfacing


Wood based materials, like Engineered Wood Finer (EWF) and mulch, are the most commonly used playground surfacing materials because they are easily accessible, easy to install and have a much lower initial cost than other playground surfacing options. They also have an attractive natural appearance that is important to many park and facility owners looking for a surface that blends well with its surrounding environment.

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pea gravel playground surface

Pea Gravel

Pea gravel is a loose-filled playground surface made up of small, polished pebbles that are typically round and consistent in size. Due to its inability to comply with ADA standards, it is no longer an option for public and commercial playgrounds, but is still used by homeowners.

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playground sand


Sand is a loose-fill surfacing material that was a staple in the commercial playground industry for many years. Since the ADA issued their Standards for Accessible Design in 2010, however, sand is no longer allowed for use on commercial playgrounds, but is still used as an option for home playgrounds.

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Outdoor Playground Materials Comparison

Material Comparison

As a supplier, installer and designer of playgrounds, we are happy to share our perspective on the primary playground surfacing options for your review. Through our family of brands, we can assist you in selecting the ideal surface for your space, budget and other needs.

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Evaluation Criteria

Learn more about the details of the evaluation criteria.

Installation Cost
Lifetime Cost

See how XGrass is

Reinventing the Playground

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Space Inspiration

Think Beyond the Equipment Area

See how you can revitalize your entire playground to turn it into a showpiece for your school, daycare, park or whatever your space may be.

Playground Equipment Area

Equipment Area

Learn some of the key factors like safety, ongoing maintenance and cost that will help you in evaluating surfacing options for use under playground equipment.

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XGrass Open Play Areas

Open Play Areas

See how XGrass is helping playground designers think beyond the equipment area to integrate synthetic grass “open play” fields into today’s most innovative playgrounds.

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VersaCourt court tile


View examples of unimaginative blacktop and concrete courts being transformed into colorful and engaging multi-sport game courts using VersaCourt tile systems.

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Need Help Specifying The Best Surface For Your Playground?

Contact one of our playground surfacing specialists.
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