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Pros and Cons of Artificial Turf for Playgrounds

Pros and Cons of Artificial Turf for Playgrounds

Selecting the right surfacing material for the playgrounds is vital.

The surfacing should have high shock absorption quality adhering to the safety norms. It should be free of harsh chemicals to ensure a hazard-free environment for kids. 

Besides, the flooring material should be easy to install and robust enough to withstand heavy foot traffic over the years. 

If you’re considering artificial turf or artificial grass for playgrounds, it would be wise to understand its pros and cons. 

In this post, you will find all the information you need to have about artificial turf for playground surfacing. Delve into the insights shared here to make an informed decision when building a safe and secure play space accessible for all children. 

Let’s get started.

What is Artificial Turf?

Artificial turf is prepared from synthetic fibers that resemble natural grass. Henceforth, some manufacturers refer to it as artificial grass. The most used fiber materials for artificial turf are polyethylene or polypropylene. They contribute to its grass-like appearance and feel. But unlike its original counterpart, synthetic turf doesn’t need consistent maintenance. 

The multiple layers of synthetic fibers provide cushioning as children play on them. But, it is imperative to know whether the artificial turf can reduce the impact of critical falls. 

We have enlisted the key pros and cons of artificial turf. They will help you assess whether these flooring surfaces are best for playgrounds.

Pros 

  • The installation and maintenance cost of artificial turf surfacing is much lower when compared to natural grass. It doesn’t need mowing, watering, fertilizers, or pesticides for its upkeep.
  • The artificial turf has zero pollen count. This feature reduces the chances of kids catching hay fever and several allergies. Besides, insects usually steer clear of synthetic grass. 
  • As a child care center administrator or daycare director, you can customize the fibers used in synthetic turf. Right from its color, style, density, texture, to height, you can customize it as per your play area’s requirements.
  • In the case of physical damage, you won’t need to replace the entire turf. With the help of certified professionals, cut and replace the damaged area with new turf.
  • Children playing on artificial turf surfaces won’t encounter mud and grass stains. 

Cons

  • Artificial turf doesn’t meet the American Standard Testing Methods (ASTM) standards and fails to provide high shock absorption. They need additional padding and infill to achieve the required fall height safety. Thus, artificial turf is not an ideal option to build a safe and accessible play area.
  • The material has lower durability when compared to other surfacing materials available in the market. It cannot withstand significant wear and tear in playgrounds and may splinter. Furthermore, the surface is susceptible to warping in places of extreme temperature fluctuations. 
  • Dust, leaves, and sand particles accumulate a lot in the fibers. It becomes mandatory to clean the synthetic grass at regular intervals. Regular cleaning can help in maintaining proper hygiene and appearance. Otherwise, the surfacing can warp and lose its aesthetic appeal within a few years.
  • Water accumulation is a common complaint with artificial turf. It makes the surface more prone to cause tripping hazards. The surface material needs frequent rinsing to ensure proper water drainage. 
  • Though the artificial turf is Americans with Disabilities Act Standards or ADA compliant, the gap in the rolls of material restricts specially-abled children from using the mobility aids, such as wheelchairs and walkers, to move with ease.

Why Does Rubber Surfacing Win as a Playground Surfacing Option? 

Rubber surfacing solutions have emerged as the best option in the market for playgrounds. Most daycare directors and childcare center administrators prefer rubber surfacing over artificial turf due to their high safety rating. At Rubcorp, we offer top-class, quality rubber surfacing materials that meet the ADA safety standards.

Read on to understand the pros and cons of rubber surfacing for play areas.

Pros

  • The rubber surfaces comply with the ASTM guidelines for critical fall height. They provide high shock absorption and reduce the impact of critical falls and slips.
  • Unlike synthetic turf, rubber surfacing is springy, durable, and doesn’t splinter easily. This material can sustain high foot traffic without encountering significant wear and tear.
  • The rubber surfaces are ADA compliant. They meet all the necessary accessibility requirements and allow kids with special needs and disabilities to use their mobility aids safely.  
  • Rubcorp adheres to high-quality standards. They offer premium quality rubber materials prepared from Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer or EPDM rubber granules and Styrene-butadiene or SBR rubber. They can resist cracks in extreme weather conditions and are free from harsh chemicals. Kids can enjoy their playtime without worrying about allergies that cause skin irritation.
  • Rubcorp offers a variety of EPDM colors to complement play areas and make them pleasing for the kids.
  • Unlike artificial grass, rubber surfaces are water-resistant and easy to clean and maintain. They can last for over 15 years with little need for maintenance.

Cons

  • The upfront cost of rubber surfacing is higher than artificial turf. However, since the flooring is resistant to severe wear and tear, it will last for several years. It won’t need frequent maintenance like artificial turf. The quality of the rubber will pay for itself in the long term.
  • The installation process of rubber surfaces is tricky. Hence, it’s essential to take the help of local rubber surfacing experts like Rubcorp. Our team of experienced professionals can make the process much easier and quicker.

To Sum Up

Artificial turf and rubber surfacing both have their pros and cons. But when it comes to safety standards, rubber surfaces stand out as an ideal surfacing option for playgrounds compared to artificial turf. They are durable, anti-slip, and resilient to heavy foot traffic. With rubber surfacing solutions, you can create an enticing and safe play area for kids.

If you are ready to install premium-quality rubber in your play area, get in touch with Rubcorp’s team.

We are the leading rubber flooring solution providers in the US. Call us for complete guidance on the rubber playground surfacing and ensure a safe play environment for little ones.

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Creative Director, Rubcorp Distribution, LLC

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