Been Thinking About Ground Cover For Your Play Set?

Mar 02, 2020


Now that you’ve got your Backyard Adventures playset picked out and ready to be installed, let’s talk about ground cover.

For both safety and aesthetic reasons, many Backyard Adventures customers ask us about the various ground cover options available. Much like your custom-designed play set, the best option for your family depends on a number of factors, including the size of your backyard, your budget, and your personal preference.

The vast majority of Backyard Adventures playset owners choose to simply have their playsets installed on natural grass – especially at mature home sites where some degree of landscaping has already taken place.

Customers who are building new homes will often plan for their new play set and ground cover in conjunction with their initial landscaping plans.

Ground cover options, costs, and availability will vary from one Backyard Adventures dealership to another. Some dealers sell ground cover materials directly; others will partner with a local vendor on your behalf. If your dealer does not offer ground cover options, local hardware stores and online retailers offer some great options.

Aside from natural grass, the most common ground covers include:

  • Rubber playground mulch (often available in a variety of colors) – Rubber mulch has quickly become a popular option for playgrounds. This springy material provides a nice cushion if children fall. Rubber mulch is also low maintenance and acts as a weed barrier.
  • Wood mulch – Wood mulch is a beautiful option that compliments most backyard landscaping. Wood mulch will lose its color and texture over time requiring you to refresh it to stay looking their best. Make sure to look for all-natural wood chips that do not have additional chemicals and dyes
  • Rubber tiling – Rubber tiles are available in a variety of different colors and varying thickness. This popular playground surface is a great option giving you one of the safest options for ground cover. They are slip resistant and easy to maintain.
  • Sand – Sand is an inexpensive option for playground ground cover. Although this is a popular option, you will need to make sure to have several inches to provide protection from falls. Sand can shift over time so you will need to check the levels and refill when needed. Sand that is made specifically for playground use is softer than other sand.
  • Pea gravel – Pea gravel is another inexpensive option for ground cover. It is low maintenance which appeals to many homeowners. Pea gravel can limit weed growth but is not the softest to land on for playground falls. Pea gravel also has a tendency to get hot in the summer, and is therefore not something we recommend.
  • Synthetic turf – Synthetic turf is an extremely low maintenance option for your backyard ground cover. It drains well, never needs weeding, no watering is required, and has the look of natural grass with a soft cushion for falls.

Each option has its own benefits. You should consult with your local Backyard Adventures dealer to decide what ground cover option is the best for your family and your backyard.

Here are few helpful hints to keep in mind when considering your ground cover choices:

Most ground covers will require a perimeter border to prevent the material from spreading out beyond the area of your play set. Plus, lawn mowing is much easier with an even border!

If you’re in the process of building a home, your Backyard Adventures dealer will gladly work with your landscape designer to coordinate the timing and location of your playset installation. As a general rule, your play set should be installed prior to pouring ground cover, so the playset rests on solid ground.

Your Backyard Adventures dealer will help you establish a safe perimeter around your play set – usually extending 3 to 6 feet in all directions. Depth of ground cover will also vary by material.

Making the right ground cover choice for your family means starting with good information, so we encourage you to rely on your Backyard Adventures dealer for experience and expertise for your play area!

Ground Cover For Playsets



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