Playground Flooring Installation Cost Guide
By Kayla Haas
Published: July 31, 2019 | Updated: February 22, 2021
The cost of playground flooring is probably the most important factor that goes into choosing which type of outdoor flooring you want to buy. If you’ve been stuck on deciding which playground flooring is worth the cost, check out our cost guide! Our current average for playground flooring installation costs is between $600-$2000.
Is playground flooring worth the investment? Well, it’s important to know there are different types of playground flooring, and some are less expensive than others. Also, playground flooring offers safety to the kiddos, and what’s more important than that?
If you’re considering playground flooring, you need to know the cost. That’s what this guide is for! Here, you’ll learn a bit more about the types of playground flooring available to you and also the cost of installation. It’ll put you right on track for making your own budget.
Let’s get started!
Playground Flooring Types
There are three main types of playground flooring: tile, turf and rubber mulch. We also offer playground mats, but I’ll talk more about them under the accessories section below.
All three of these options offer safety, but they are very different.
Playground tiles are the most popular safety surfacing we sell. These tiles come in many different colors and thicknesses.
Because playground tiles are porous, they allow water to easily penetrate through the floor, ensuring a dry playing surface even after a heavy rain.
Maintaining your playground tiles is also a breeze. All you need is a blower, garden hose or broom to bring them back to their original glory.
Pros of Playground Tiles
- Safety: Playground tiles provide a safe place for children to run, jump, and even fall while at play.
- Looks: No need for gallons of dirt or rocks, playground tiles are a great way to create an attractive play area.
- Comfort: How many times as a kid did you get a rock in your shoe? Rubber playground tiles keep kids comfortable.
Playground artificial grass often mimics real grasses that are found throughout the United States. Playground turf is super UV stable and also heat and frost resistant. It typically has a higher face weight and more durable fibers than other types of turf. Both of these factors make playground turf extremely durable for the playground.
Playground artificial grass is usually made from polyethylene or polypropylene. This fiber can hold a lot of wear and tear compared to other types of outdoor playground flooring.
Pros of Playground Turf
- Safety: With play padding underneath, your playground turf doubles as a safety zone for your kiddos.
- Eco-Friendly: Artificial grass is made of recycled materials and has a measurable, positive impact on the environment. It requires no watering.
- Maintenance Free: No watering and no mowing, what’s better than that?
- Looks Real: Playground turf also has the added benefit of looking like real grass.
Playground Rubber Mulch
Recycled rubber mulch is made from 100% recycled car tiles, keeping them out of landfills. Recycled rubber can also be found in rubber mats, tiles, and rolls, so it’s a common practice.
Rubber mulch is usually used as playground flooring to keep kids safe while at play. It’s attractive, comes in many colors, and won’t absorb water or blow away like wood chips. It’s also super easy to maintain. Just blow off leaves, or spray with a water hose to clean.
Pros of Rubber Mulch
- Safety: For kids on playgrounds, rubber playground mulch keeps them safe when they’re being daredevils. Never worry about hurt kiddos with rubber mulch spotting them.
- Looks: Rubber mulch comes in attractive colors that you can choose for your space.
- Long-Lasting: Since rubber mulch doesn’t break down, your playground area will look great all year around.
How Much Does Playground Flooring Cost?
Below I’ve listed what the product costs could be for 150 sq/ft of playground flooring. Keep in mind, these costs don’t include lawn preparation and accessories- that’ll come later.
One tricky category is rubber mulch, which is sold by the bag, or in bulk on half pallets or full pallets.
Playground Flooring Cost by Category
|Category||Average Cost by Sq/ft||Low||Average||High|
How Much Does it Cost to Install Playground Flooring?
There are quite a few factors that go into figuring out the cost of installation of playground flooring. For example, the existing landscape, additional materials and labor. Is this a DIY project? Who will you be hiring? Do you need to level the ground first?
These are important factors to consider when choosing your playground flooring.
I’ve estimated such costs below, but keep in mind that these costs can change depending on the DIY nature of your project. Later on I’ll talk about what those “extras” are and why you need them!
|Cost of 150 sq/ft of Playground Tiles||Low||Average||High|
|Cost of Material||$825||$1,085||$1,645|
|Cost of Installation (leveling soil + labor)||$195||$245||$360|
|Cost of 150 sq/ft of Playground Turf||Low||Average||High|
|Cost of Material||$345||$395||$465|
|Cost of Installation (labor)||$555||$675||$900|
|Cost of Extras: Infill, lawn pad, nails, etc. (estimate)||$560||$590||$840|
Rubber Mulch is calculated a bit differently when it comes to pricing. The cheapest option is ordering in bulk either a half pallet or a full pallet.
A half pallet will cover about a 3” depth for 150 sq/ft. A full pallet will over a 6” depth for 150 sq/ft.
You could also buy rubber mulch by the bag. Because this is a very DIY-friendly project, I’m leaving out the cost of labor, which is most likely not needed.
|Cost of 150 sq/ft of Rubber Mulch||Average||High|
|Cost of Material||$475||$650|
|Cost of Extras: (polyboard or weed fabric)||$135||$165|
What Affects Playground Flooring Cost?
Different types of playground flooring require different accessories and area prep. For example, playground tiles and artificial grass will require a level surface and weed fabric, while playground mulch needs a container to hold the depth.
Let’s take a look at some other factors that up the cost of playground flooring
Type of Flooring
- Most expensive by square foot
- Greatest fall height ratings
- Requires less “extras” in order to install
- Least expensive by square foot
- Fall height requires the additional purchase of turf padding
- Requires extras such as weed fabric, padding, and staples or nails
- Requires professional installation
- Relatively inexpensive
- Requires a border to contain rubber mulch
- Can be done DIY to save money
With all these options, it’s best to have the existing landscape prepped before installation. That means leveling the area, removing any large rocks or tree stumps that might be in the way, and using weed fabric to prevent unwanted friends from sprouting up.
For tiles and turf, you might need to have a bed of sand and gravel to create a solid area for your playground flooring.
Additional Playground Flooring Installation Costs
- Weed Fabric: You don’t want weeds and grass poking through your perfect playground flooring. You’ll need to lay this down first.
- Fill: If you’re using playground turf, you’ll need some sort of infil to keep your turf looking its best.
- Staples and Nails: Nails are used to hold the edges of the turf down, while staples are great for holding seams together. You’ll need both.
- Seam Tape and Adhesive: If you really don’t want staples, you can always use seam tape to stick turf together. Easy as pie.
- Lawn Pads: If you’re planning on using playground turf that fall height rated, you’ll need a lawn pad underneath for safety.
- Playground Mats: place these under swings or at the bottom of slides if you’re using turf.
Playground Flooring Cost FAQs
What is the best playground flooring?
If you want our recommendation, we really love playground tiles. They are durable, dense, and have several fall height ratings.
The answer to this really depends on what you need. At the end of the day, your budget will help determine which playground flooring is right for you.
What are playground floors made of?
Playground tiles and playground mulch are both made from recycled rubber, meaning these products have a positive impact on the environment! Artificial grass is made out of synthetic plastic fibers. These fibers can be recycled later on.
Is rubber mulch safe for playgrounds?
Yes, it’s very safe. Recycled rubber mulch is certified non-toxic. It’s also resistant to fire.
Because it’s rubber mulch and not wood, animals also find it unappealing and won’t use it as a litter box, or eat attempt to eat pieces.
How many inches of rubber mulch do I need for a playground?
For a 6’ fall height we recommend a 3-inch depth of playground mulch. For a 17’ fall height, 6 inches will do the trick.
How long will playground turf last?
Artificial grass will last approximately 20 years. How much traffic the area gets as well as the environment it’s in will affect this number.
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