This week, we take a look at playground surfacing in New Zealand and give you an overview of surfacing costs to help you begin budgeting for your playground surfacing project.
So how much is your playground surface really going to cost?
Before we dive into the numbers, we need to highlight two assumptions that we’ve made in calculating the prices we’re going to share with you.
1. The first assumption is that you are looking at covering an area the size of the average school playground in New Zealand, which is around 250m2.
2. The second assumption we’ve made is that you will be hiring a professional company to install your surface. One that will handle all the required base preparation work for your surface.
So, with those assumptions in mind…
Woodchip is a very popular and common option for playground surfacing because of its affordability and natural look. Woodchip is laid to a depth of 300mm that after compaction gives a minimum 200mm recommended depth. If you’re looking for an affordable and environmentally friendly playground surface, woodchips are an excellent choice.
Cost: For the average 250m2 school playground – between $6000 – $16,000
Supply and installation. Covers a range of equipment heights.
Ongoing cost: Needs total replacement every 2-3 years because it rapidly degrades. Mixing old and new surfaces is not usually recommended. Over a 10-year period, a 250m2 woodchip play surface will cost you a further $22,000 to $52,000 dollars in upkeep and maintenance.
Interlocking PVC tiles are also common in a lot of playgrounds, creating a surface that is engineered by interlocking these tiles together over a cushioned shock pad for added safety.
Cost: For the average 250m2 school playground – between $26,000 – $75,000
This price indication assumes that some playgrounds won’t have high equipment and won’t need as much depth.
Artificial turf is a synthetic grass surface that has become quite popular because of its resemblance to real grass, only without the mess and dirt of the real thing. Artificial turf is usually installed over a layer of cushioned shock pad for added safety and can bring a great pop of green colour to your playground.
Cost: for the average 250m2 school playground – $65,000 and $110,000 dollars.
Wet Pour Rubber
Wet pour rubber is a seamless rubber surface made from rubber granules that are mixed with a bonding agent to create a unique safety play surface. Wet pour rubber surfacing is installed in two parts. First, a cushioned shock pad layer is laid out and set, for that added safety element, followed by a colourful top layer that is customizable to your design.
Cost: for the average 250m2 school playground – between $85,000 and $135,000 dollars
All the costs we’ve listed so far are initial costs only. With PVC tiles, synthetic turf, and wet pour rubber there are few ongoing costs, but with wood chip surface you can expect to pay for top-ups and replacements every 3 years.
Now, you might be asking yourself: why the wide range of prices for each surface type?
The answer is that these price ranges reflect the fact that there is a range of products out there, some that offer higher quality, longer durability, and better performance than other products. The higher the quality of the material used, the higher the price. Also, some playgrounds require more shock pad material than others, particularly if they have a lot of tall equipment where the falls are greater and require more cushioning.