When it comes to playground surfacing, there are several key factors to consider. Safety should always be considered first and foremost, especially since the No. 1 injury on playgrounds is head injury. The right surfacing can provide the necessary cushion for those falls that are certainly bound to happen. Engineered wood fiber is springy enough for falls, yet firm enough for wheelchairs, making it a safe and accessible choice, while also being low cost and low maintenance. Coupled with wear mats on those high traffic areas or areas where falls are prone, this will elevate the safety of your playground even more.
About Engineered Wood Fiber
Engineered Wood Fiber, also known as EWF, is a popular and cost-effective choice for playground surfacing. Spun from the inside, or the cleanest, part of the tree, it is ground to a fibrous consistency and sometimes processed to “knit” together in order to form the surface you see on the playground. It has high-impact absorbing qualities, is slip resistant, lasts for years, and wheelchairs and strollers can cross over it. Manufactured of size-controlled softwoods and/or hardwoods, EWF is randomly sized, approximately 10 times longer than wide with a maximum length of 2 inches, plus free of hazardous substances such as paint, chemicals or additives. Additionally, EWF provided and installed by Kraftsman meets all applicable ASTM standards including 1292 for safety and 1951 for wheelchair access.
Wear Mats for High Traffic Areas
Wear mats are a great option to enhance your playground safety features. Mats increase accessibility and offer lower maintenance. They are extremely beneficial in high traffic areas such as swings and slide exits preventing holes and displacement of engineered wood fiber. By placing wear mats over odd-shaped areas, it helps keep the surface level creating a safer and more accessible environment. In fact, ground-level components like activity panels that are designed for those with disabilities will stay accessible longer and require less maintenance. Wear mats, supplied by Kraftsman, pass ASTM 1292 test standard (performed by an independent lab) for impact attenuating surfaces for in and around playground equipment.
3 Tips for Using EWF and Wear Mats
- Use wear mats at slide exits and under swings to reduce displacement.
- Containment systems such as playground borders reduce the spreading of EWF to non-lay areas.
- Consider installing a drainage system to prevent freezing and puddling.
To learn more about engineered wood fiber, wear mats, or other playground surfacing options, call Kraftsman at 800-451-4869 or visit us at www.kraftsmanplay.com/contact-us.