Bark Chippings vs Other Playground Surfaces: Which Is Best for Your Needs?

Playground Surfaces

The most important thing when designing a playground or play area is safety, but you also want it to look good too. Play bark chippings are a great choice for your play areas but there are other playground surfaces too. There are regulations to keep in mind when designing a playground and the right floor covering is part of this. Here we’re exploring how bark chipping can be a great choice for your playground, but also looking at some alternatives available too.

What's the difference between play bark and normal bark?

If you decide bark is the right choice for your play area, then it’s important to opt for proper play bark. Play bark differs from regular bark as is treated to ensure it is safe and it is made fully suitable for play spaces. The particle size is larger than regular or mini bark chips and this ensures a safe surface for playtime.

Why choose bark chips for your playground surfaces?

Play bark is an eco-friendly and sustainable choice for your playground. It is weed-resistant, and an excellent moisture regulator. In summer, the bark will also protect the soil from drought and evaporation. In winter the bark will protect against frost due to its insulating effect. This makes it a great choice for play areas.

Alternative Surfaces to Consider

There are other materials which could be a choice for your play area, including:

  • Bonded rubber mulch: bonded rubber mulch is a highly durable choice for playgrounds, and it is easy to maintain. However, it can wear thin and can be an expensive choice. It is also often made from recycled tyres so there is some risk of chemicals and metals contaminating surrounding soils.
  • Artificial grass: artificial grass is becoming increasingly popular in private homes and public spaces, including play areas, and it can be an effective choice. However, it can be an expensive choice and it doesn’t provide a particularly soft surface for landings. Similarly, it is made from synthetic materials which can hold a lot of heat in the warmer months, which has the potential to be dangerous.
  • Tarmac: tarmac is commonly used to surface playground areas in schools and nurseries. It’s a cost-effective choice but it doesn’t look great and it doesn’t offer the softest of landings as children play either.

Bark Chips For Your Play Area

We recommend bark chips for a great-looking and safe play area. They provide a great surface for hours of play and are easily installed and put in place with the right mulch beneath. We have a range of different play bark options so you can find the perfect size and style for your playground.