All you should know about installation of artificial grass for playgrounds
Quality artificial grass playground projects have 4 key aspects in common:
- Provide safe environment
- Survive extensive wear and tear
- Minimize temperature of the surface
- Allow for cleaning and maintenance
The worst you can possibly have is an injury resulted from negligence on a job site. Hidden stone, unsecured nail or a lost knife razor can result in injury. Another flaw is incorrect choice of material. For example, soft artificial grass can be worn out quicker than expected. Artificial grass without cool technology may get hot and become useless under direct sunlight. And finally, not planning for maintenance may bring smell and mold to the system.
Therefore, a professional installer of artificial grass shall not:
- cut costs on materials and make sure that grass is secured and seams are minimal
- rush teams through the project to avoid exhaustion and mistakes
- leave the project unsupervised
- deviate from the quality checklists that ensures proper installation
- recommend a solution that is not a good fit
Playgrounds fall into two major categories:
- Artificial grass playgrounds on hard surface, such as concrete or asphalt.
- Artificial grass playgrounds on soil base.
Let’s take a closer look at the differences.
Artificial grass playgrounds above hard surface
If the area is covered with concrete or asphalt, the playground may require a drain core, a frame and a shock absorbent.
Drain core is a layer that goes right under the grass to allow water and air circulate underneath the turf.
- The system allows rainwater drainage through the grass area and directs it away.
- The system is designed to ensure enough “breathing room” and thus prevents any bacteria or mold growth.
- The system washes away any dirt from the play system.
- The system creates a durable and long lasting shock absorbent surface.
- The system is secured by staples attached to the frame.
- A grass resistant to pulling, reflects heat and survives traffic. Perfectly ideal for your play space!
- IPEMA certified padding system installed directly under the turf for additional shock absorbency. Meets fall height and ADA requirements-child safe.
- Water draining system installed to direct water away from the surface and to allow for proper ventilation.
- Anti-bacterial fill (Durafill) used in place of silica as it is more sanitary and its granules stay cooler under the sun.
- Polymeric materials used to create the frame of the installation.
Artificial grass playgrounds on soil base
This type of project is very common. We use road base to crate durable surface and add a layer of decomposed granite. Layer of DG secures stones, accelerates absorbance, and achieves better grading.
To avoid fixing artificial grass with nails, you can choose a frame system that is embedded into the base and fixed with the stakes around the perimeter.
- For the play space we highly recommend to select artificial grass that reflects heat, and strong enough to resist pulling.
- For padding you can choose The Ultimate Pad, which delivers additional shock absorbency. This is important when it comes to a playground installation. The Ultimate Pad increases the GMAC and Head Injury Criterion numbers. It provides superior drainage, both vertically and horizontally, up to 80 inches per hour!
- Anti-bacterial fill (Durafill) may be used in place of silica as it is more sanitary. Yet, our test has shown that green Durafill infill may be associated with higher temperature of the surface, compared to round silica sand.
- Polymeric materials used to create the frame of the installation, as well as decomposed granite and road base applied to the surface.
Other things to consider when installing artificial grass for playground.
Traffic activity varies with zoning and purpose.
A shorter and sturdier grass is better for walking areas, while longer and softer grass is more suitable for play areas.
Covering entire area with a single type of grass may lead to early wear and tear.
Using two different grasses will significantly extend project life and help guide children to the play zone.
Safety is key when it comes to artificial grass playground projects. Installers shall minimize use of razors, nails and other materials that may be dangerous if lost or unsecured. Make sure your installers have safety policy in place and follow the safety procedures.
We hope that this helps you recognize the difference in two major approaches to artificial grass installation for playgrounds.