Commercial Playground Surfacing Overview

Selecting a playground surface is an integral part of a commercial playground project. Impact attenuation is a big subject, and the guidelines can take time to understand. King Swings Commercial will do our best to make this process straightforward.

King Swings Commercial offers three different types of impact attenuation surfaces. We have three options: wood playground chips, rubber nugget mulch, and poured-in-place rubber surfacing.

Which is best for your project? Below is a quick guide through our options. Do you need a more thorough product sheet to hand out for a presentation? Check out the PDFs in our download center or under the mulch products themselves.

Wood Playground Chips

Wood playground chips are a budget-friendly option. Here is what you need to know:

  • Impact Attenuation – 9’’ of compressed wood chips will suffice for a 7’ fall height. To reach 9’’ of compressed wood chips, you will need to start with 12’’ of loose wood chips, which will compress over time.
  • Pricing – Wood chips are sold by the cubic yard.
  • Degradation – Wood chips will biodegrade over time and need to be replaced.
  • Installation – Wood chips will be installed on the same day as your playground installation unless prior arrangements have been made.

Rubber Recycle Rubber Nuggets

Rubber mulch is an excellent middle-of-the-road option. It is durable and won’t biodegrade. It can be kicked around by playing with children but offers excellent fall protection. Here is what you need to know.

  • Impact Attenuation– 6’’ of Rubber Recycle’s rubber mulch will suffice for a 10’ fall height.
  • Pricing – Rubber mulch is sold by the .5 ton.
  • Installation – Rubber mulch will be installed on the same day as your playground installation unless prior arrangements have been made.
  • Spread – Rubber mulch must be kept at an even spread around the playground to ensure proper fall protection. You will need to rake rubber mulch even from time to time to cover areas that have been kicked shallow.
  • Color Options – We offer red, blue, green, brown, patined black, and “speckled” black.

Poured Rubber Flooring

Poured rubber flooring is the gold standard for impact attenuation. Here is what you need to know about poured rubber flooring:

  • Impact Attenuation – 5’’ of poured-in-place rubber flooring will suffice for a fall height of 14’.
  • Pricing – The material’s cost fluctuates due to the industry’s nature. We do our best to keep up with it, but the industry is experiencing. fluctuations. This means we cannot give estimates with long terms for poured rubber flooring.
  • Colors – King Swings offers seven standard colors: green, light blue, dark blue, terra cotta, brown, yellow, and dark green.
  • Designs – Custom designs for the poured rubber are available. To discuss your design, contact our sales team.
  • Weather – Poured rubber needs to be installed in warmer weather. If the weather turns cold, it can delay installation.
  • Scheduling – Poured rubber flooring is installed on a separate day from your playground. The installation will be scheduled together as close as possible.
  • Crew – Currently, King Swings Commercial contracts Rubber Recycle to install poured-in-place rubber flooring.
  • Resealing – We recommend resealing your poured rubber floor every four years. This is a service we offer.

Now that we have covered the three main types of playground surfacing we offer, the big question facing you is, “Which one is right for my playground?”

This is a great question and one that should be a thorough discussion with your team. Below are some of the big questions you need to face.


This may be the biggest factor in your decision. Small facilities may want poured-in-place rubber flooring but cannot afford it. Knowing this, your playground project team should set re

This doesn’t mean your playground will not be safe. If your project can afford wood chips, you can still pass ASTM codes if you maintain the proper level.


Wheelchairs have a hard time maneuvering through loose material. If you plan on creating an accessible playground, poured-in-place rubber flooring is your best bet.

Environmentally Friendly

While all the products are organic or are made from recycled materials, not all have that perception in the community. If you are in an area that cares deeply about environmental issues, wood chips are a great option as an organic product.

If you go with rubber mulch or poured-in-place rubber flooring, you can counter perception by putting up signs highlighting the recycled nature of the product.


If you are concerned about loose material leaving the playground, poured-in-place rubber flooring is your best bet. Children will still kick out mulch, even with tall borders, during their play.

This is not a big deal for wood chips, as they will eventually biodegrade if you don’t pick them up. If a large amount of rubber mulch is kicked out, you must clean up the mess yourself.


Each type of playground surface does something a little different. Wood chips gives you that natural look, rubber mulch gives you a splash of color, and poured-in-place gives you that high-end, finished look.


Playground surfacing is an important part of your commercial playground. Planning out what type of playground surface is a critical conversation your team needs to have; it cannot be an afterthought.

If you have any questions regarding playground surfacing, check out King Swings Commercial’s youtube channel. Also, you can visit our Documentation Page for downloadable PDFs on playground surfacing. You can also contact us; we will do our best to answer your questions.

Blake Greenly

Blake Greenly has been a sales representative for King Swings Commercial since the launch of the new brand. He comes from a background of hard work and dedication that drives him to ensure his clients are satisfied through the whole process of buying a commercial playground.

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