Anyone with experience of costings for safety surface in playground

(22 Posts)
LemonBreeland Wed 27-Apr-16 09:51:36

My school is currently looking at getting some rubber safety surface for part of our playground. Does anyone have any idea how much this stuff might cost per square metre?

We are fundraising, but I want an idea of how much we would need. Without having to get people out to give quotes yet.

TeenAndTween Wed 27-Apr-16 11:10:43

A ridiculous amount, and much more than you think.

7ish years ago our PTA bought some low level outdoor play equipment. 5 pieces for a play trail plus safety flooring cost £7k. Half the cost was for the flooring!

In your situation I would find a company or two online and ring up for a ballpark range. At least then you'll know if it is ~£10 /sqm or £100.

LemonBreeland Wed 27-Apr-16 11:25:00

Thanks teen. I know it will be huge, and we are looking at a massive 2 year project anyway. We may tarmac the area if it is cheaper, which will limit the paly equipment, but it is currently grass that the children are not allowed on when it is wet, and unfortunately it is wet a lot as this is the UK. It really limits the size of their playground.

TeenAndTween Wed 27-Apr-16 11:56:16

Our play trail has green 'fake grass' stuff under it. So it looks OK. We also have a largish area just fake grassed which is good for picnics in summer and play when the soggy field is out of bounds and is much more appealing than tarmac. (Not fancy schmancy fake grass that you have to double check to see if it is real, more like green matting I guess).

admission Wed 27-Apr-16 12:20:21

If you look at outdoor play equipment in many schools they have been plonked on grass and as a consequence are not able to be used for significant periods of the year. This to me is a waste of money and bad planning.
It is far better to cut back on the actual equipment that is bought but ensure that the equipment can be used 190 days of the year by having appropriate artificial surfaces. Another frequent issue is putting some artificial surface around the equipment but then not put an appropriate tarmacked path to the equipment from the playground.

LemonBreeland Wed 27-Apr-16 13:05:23

Thanks all. There is a lot to consider. We have 3 playgrounds in total, and I know this is going to run into 10's of thousands.

We are considering some other equipment to go on other grassy areas and maybe we need to rethink what is worth it if the grass is unusable when wet.

TeenAndTween Wed 27-Apr-16 13:22:59

I agree with admission , if you are looking at expensive fixed equipment then make sure it is usable all year round by having it on an all-weather surface with access to it.

We created our play trail in 2 goes. First 5 low-level pieces, and a few years later a 3 piece higher level extension. Higher level pieces (more or less anything where they are more than about 1 foot off the ground) need better (more expensive) flooring underneath.

I have recently been wondering whether a tree house would be a good extension to it though...

LemonBreeland Wed 27-Apr-16 14:05:37

Yes we definitely need to conisder long term use of the items. Some of the wooden trails are also slippy when wet, as our pupil council found on visiting other schools for ideas.

It seems to me that the flooring is the most important part, follwed by equipment.

BreconBeBuggered Wed 27-Apr-16 14:27:01

We have this type of stuff underneath some of our play equipment so that it can be used all year round grassmatsco.co.uk/ Don't know what supplier we used, but ours is pretty good.

BoGrainger Wed 27-Apr-16 18:36:24

Ours is some sort of soft tarmac. Looks like real tarmac but has some give in it. Again, not cheap. And you always underestimate the size of the area, it's bigger than it looks!

Stoneagemum Wed 27-Apr-16 18:51:09

It will depend on the fall height of the play equipment it is to go under, as different thicknesses of safety surfacing are required depending on that. Then you need to dig out the ground to the depth required for the base course + safety surface depth.

From memory the safety surfacing beneath equipment is in 2 layers, 1st 40mm deep, then second 20mm deep. If you just want it for a softer area with no equipment on you can just have the 20mm top layer. For either option you need a base layer of tarmac or concrete, it can't just be installed on dirt or hardcore.

Disclaimer, although the company I work for offers this product we don't do a lot of it so the above is a rough guide and not to be taken as gospel.

Hulababy Wed 27-Apr-16 18:55:45

We only have it in the areas where the play equipment is - so round the climbing frame, bars and train. The rest of the playground is tarmac though we have some of the "painted on" images and activities on there too - I know its now painted on but not sure how to describe it.

It would have been far too expensive to do the whole lot.

TeenAndTween Wed 27-Apr-16 19:54:20

So:
1) you need to know whether you are having high equipment as that needs a more expensive surface/depth
2) you need to know where you are having equipment as other areas don't 'need' the expensive safety surface
3) it needs to be accessible from tarmac so equipment is usable in wet seasons

LemonBreeland Wed 27-Apr-16 20:44:36

Thanks all. This has all been very helpful.

mrz Wed 27-Apr-16 20:49:55

You need to be aware that the safety surface isn't great when the weather is icy or very hot and sand can make it deteriorate quite rapidly.

TeenAndTween Wed 27-Apr-16 20:53:11

That's a good point mrz .
The safety surface in our local park is lethal when it's frosty.

TaIkinPeace Wed 27-Apr-16 22:10:13

These people are expensive
www.playdale.co.uk/playground/playground-extras/surfacing.html?___SID=U
but their stuff is good, as is the after sales service.

If the play area is accessible to the public outside school hours there are quite a few sources of grant funding worth checking out

Littlefish Wed 27-Apr-16 22:15:42

I agree with mrz - our safety surface is horribly slippery in icy weather. We have a sand tray on it which has caused problems because the stray sand fills the tiny dimples in the surface, and again, makes it slippy.

We have a different coloured 'road' across the middle of the playground, but the different surfaces have stopped bonding together. We've tried to have it mended, but it now needs ripping up as it can't be fixed.

Stealthtoast Wed 27-Apr-16 23:11:40

About £100 per square metre for supply and fit
Try calling DCM Premier Play who are reliable

LemonBreeland Thu 28-Apr-16 09:31:46

Thanks mrz another useful point to think about. I will have many questions for our local neighbourhood area manager when he comes to school, as well as for the head teacher.

Hunnybubblenic Thu 28-Apr-16 09:32:40

Hiya, I've heard great feedback with Billy Bounce Playground Surfaces www.billybounce.co.uk/ - they provided a free site visit after quoting over the phone and then saved around 30% by going direct to them as they specialise in only safety surfacing x

user1479453601 Fri 18-Nov-16 08:16:23

Before planning your fundraising program, you should talk with a company that offers surface installation, especially for playgrounds. The price of rubber surfacing for playground will depend on the size of your school playground and how you want it to be installed. I recommend that you search for different companies online in order to learn the best offers. This way, you can plan your fundraising program a lot smoother. Good luck with your plans!

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