Surfacing a playground can get expensive, especially when you need your surface to be long-lasting, perform well, be safe, and look good.
Luckily, there are a number of ways to make your playground surface more affordable, without having to compromise on safety and design.
1. Choosing a Cheaper Playground Surface Initially
The easiest way to reduce the cost of your play surfacing is to initially opt for cheaper surfacing. In New Zealand, woodchip surfacing is the least expensive option.
As we covered in our previous video “What’s the best surface for your playground?”, woodchip surfacing is a fraction of the cost of artificial turf or wet pour rubber. But it is also the most time-consuming to maintain, it can get messy, and you will have to constantly top it up to meet safety standards. In the long run, woodchip surfacing can end up costing just as much as artificial turf or wet pour rubber, with the annual top-ups and constant upkeep.
If you are looking for another way to keep costs down without having to deal with woodchips, there are a few ways you can incorporate wet-pour rubber to get all the benefits, without blowing your budget.
2. Combining Surfacing Materials: Wet Pour Rubber x A Lower-Cost Surface.
The easiest way to get that modern, seamless, playground look without going over budget is to combine the different surface types. You can combine a wet pour surface option with other lower-cost surfaces like artificial turf, and even woodchips. By using various surfacing materials, you can have more control over the cost of your surface, add textural elements to your play space, and have some freedom in the design of your space.
The combination of surfaces allows you to create safe, colourful, accessible play areas where it matters most, by using wet pour rubber on paths and in equipment fall zones. While other areas of your playground can be covered with more affordable options like bark and artificial turf.
3. Reduce The Height of Your Play Equipment
Another way you can make your playground surface more affordable is to reduce the height of the play equipment. While this might reduce an element of challenge and excitement in your playground, it can be an excellent option for junior spaces where the smaller users can have better access to play opportunities.
Reducing the height of your equipment reduces the amount of cushioning needed under your wet pour rubber surface. Which helps bringing the cost down.
For low-equipment playgrounds where the play equipment is under 1 metre, you can install MulchSet surfacing to further reduce the cost of your surface.
MulchSet’s top layer is naturally cushioned making it a great surfacing option to install under lower equipment. MulchSet can be installed without the need for a shock pad, which can bring down the cost considerably.