A complete guide on how to install artificial grass on playgrounds. Hear the benefits of enhancing your play area with turf. Determine if this fits your specific needs and is ideal for your space. Discover the best approaches to installation and recommended materials for best results.
- Why People Install Artificial Grass on Playgrounds
- Best Artificial Grass Materials For Playgrounds
- Padding Systems
- Securing the Installation
- Is This Right For You?
Why People Install Artificial Grass on Playgrounds
Children love playing outside. Whether they're running, jumping, or sliding the excitement of a playground and feeling the fresh air as they exercise can't be beaten. Especially when play equipment is involved, falls are inevitable. Wouldn't you love having the peace of mind knowing your playground offers a soft plush surface? Below are just a few of the many reasons customers make the switch to artificial grass in their play areas:
Some playgrounds constructed of mulch, gravel, or sand tend to deteriorate over time. In areas like under the swings or at the landing of a slide, playtime can become dangerous because the material becomes displaced exposing the hard ground underneath.
Synthetic turf is the best playground surface for shock absorption. When installed with padding and infill, it meets ASTM standards that provide excellent protection from falls during playtime activities. Let's face it, kids also like to get dirty. Opting for artificial installation will remove dirt and soil from your kid's play areas. This will not only keep the area and your children clean but also eliminates the risk of children ingesting any potentially dangerous contaminants. Another great benefit to installing artificial turf on playgrounds is that by removing grass you'll eliminate any allergens from the surface.
The cost for an artificial turf surface will eventually outweigh the initial expense of installing it. The money you'll save in water and maintenance to a natural lawn will exceed the original cost of the surface — and then some.
Animal and Pest Removal
Installing artificial turf on your playground will remove all food sources for unwanted animals and pests, causing them to move on and search elsewhere. With the removal of soil and debris, the difference will be night and day.
Best Artificial Grass Materials For Playgrounds
Our playground turf is designed to be used in a variety of locations and environments. Our play surface can be installed over concrete, asphalt, or even rooftop applications. This versatility will save you time and money in the long run. But what materials are best for this type of project? Because we install only non-toxic lead-free turf, you can choose almost any artificial grass for your playground.
Less Dense Options: We typically recommend less dense grass in these areas to provide a cooler surface for your children to play on. On high-temperature days, artificial grass can become warm. The addition of a padding system underneath the installation allows for optimal cushioning even when the turf itself is less dense. You get the best of both worlds. Ensuring you choose artificial grass that remains cooler on warm days will keep your playground barefoot-friendly year-round.
Artificial Grass With Padding Built-In: For added convenience, there are also certain turf materials that have a 5mm padding system built into the design.
Drain Core: For commercial projects, we always recommend adding a layer of drain core underneath the padding to allow for proper drainage of the area. Although the padding systems offer some drainage, to maintain the integrity of the installation for years to come drain core is best. It provides pockets under the surface for air ventilation and proper water flow.
Antibacterial Sand Infill: This infill kills and prevents the growth of bacteria. Antibacterial sand has larger granules meaning they don't compact as much as regular silica sand allowing for more airflow underneath the surface. This infill is also beneficial because it doesn't take away the bounce and softness that customers are searching for.
The biggest difference between installing regular artificial grass and installing artificial grass on playgrounds is that we add a layer of padding underneath the surface for shock absorption, which is very important in areas with play equipment. A proper padding system is also helpful with water drainage. The padding system you choose will be installed directly on the base before laying out the turf. To learn more about preparing the base, reference our installation guide here. We offer a few different padding systems to ensure we create the perfect space for your needs:
5mm Pad: Great for adding additional caution and a soft feel to the artificial turf surface. Mostly installed in residential backyards. This is an affordable way to build a soft surface. Great for toddlers and teenagers.
Regular Pad: These are the most commonly used panels that provide superior drainage and impact absorption necessary for safe outdoor and indoor play areas. This pad is available in both 25mm and 50mm. The pad is made from 100% recycled materials, which help you obtain LEED® Credit for your projects.
Advanced Pad: This option involves interlocking pads. Advanced pads provide the best drainage, consistency, and performance. Ideal for commercial playgrounds. It is designed to exceed the highest requirements and is safe to install with playground equipment that has up to a 10 ft. fall height.
Securing the Installation
When installing artificial grass on playgrounds, the safest option is to opt for a nail-free installation. Typically we secure the turf by placing nails every 2 in. along the border and every 2 ft. throughout the surface. However, this can pose a safety risk in children-specific areas. We all know kids are curious and love to dig and if for any reason a nail comes loose you can see how that becomes dangerous. Nail-Free installation is required in our commercial projects but we also heavily recommend going this route in any area that playground turf is being installed, including backyards.
With freshly installed artificial grass on your playground, maintenance has never been simpler. Because you've removed the need to perform laboring yard work, there are only a few key cleaning and maintenance needs that will keep your playground or play area useful for years. For light cleaning, simply spray down the surface with a heavy flow of water. We also recommend using some type of sanitizer to remove any bacteria that may have developed. To keep fibers upright and plush, periodically brush the area. A leaf blower can remove any unwanted foliage. Re-distributing infill as needed will help maintain padding and shock absorption. For any excessive needs, we are here to help!
Is This Right For You?
Playgrounds aren't limited to homes or schools. Offices, restaurants, and rooftop common spaces are among our favorite projects. Whether you're looking to provide added protection in your commercial space or simply create a safe play area in your home, we're here to help. Get in touch with us today to discuss the project you have in mind!