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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Default If you have a playset, do you have surfacing material under it?

    The pea gravel thread made me wonder about this. We are planning on getting a playset and I can't decide what to do under it. Around here, people tend to just do grass.

  2. #2
    brittone2 is offline Blue Diamond level (20,000+ posts)
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    There are recommendations available depending on the height of your set, etc. Grass doesn't offer enough protection from a head injury, etc. in the event of a fall.

    At our last house we had pea gravel. We had a big fort that was 6 feet off the ground, which requires deeper surfacing. A lot of the neighborhood kids came over to play and I felt more comfortable having the appropriate surfacing in place for my own kids and the neighbor kids/friends. We just moved to a house that has a small playset with grass (no protective surface) but we will be adding some surfacing soon (mulch or gravel). The fort portion of the slide is only about 4 feet high and the set is much smaller so we'll need less material underneath this time.
    Mama to DS-2004
    DD-2006
    and a new addition-ds born march 2010

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Philly burbs
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    we just did grass. that's what we grew up with and just felt it was fine for us. plus we didn't have a choice given the elevation/drainage of our yard. we had to keep the existing terrain in tact.
    Mom to DD 7/06, DS1 8/08 & DS2 9/11!

  4. #4
    Kindra178 is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    Default

    We have mulch.

  5. #5
    brittone2 is offline Blue Diamond level (20,000+ posts)
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    If you are interested in the recommended surfacing depths/guidelines, if you google playground surfacing recommendations there is a cpsc pdf with info on how many inches are needed for different height forts/sets, and other guidelines.
    Mama to DS-2004
    DD-2006
    and a new addition-ds born march 2010

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Default

    I think so many people have just grass but that doesn't really offer any protection. We went with mulch and I found the surface depth guidelines somewhere online. My kids actually like to play in the mulch too with shovels, trucks, and rakes.
    Mom to Two Wild and Crazy Boys and One Sweet Baby Girl

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    318

    Default

    Thank you. We are a military family and have to worry about resale if we over-personalize our house/yard. We will be living here another 2 years and I want the kids to have a playset, but also for it to be safe. It may be cost prohibitive to do so and we'd have to find someone who wanted that in the yard. SO, we may just not do the playset for now. Blah, this lifestyle stinks sometimes.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Massachusetts.
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    Default

    To answer your original question, we have pine chips under ours. We had trees cut down the same year we installed the playset, so it was easy and "free" (since the trees had to be cut anyways).

    I'll throw this out there since this might be another alternative - while we've used our playset a LOT, I'd have to say if I compared the number hours played with versus the dollars spent our extra large sandbox was a better value. My husband built it himself. I can't remember the dimensions, possibly 10 x 12 feet. It cost a few hundred to build and fill versus $1500 for our playset.

    It might be easier to dismantle or convert sandbox into raised garden bed for the next homeowners?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Virginia.
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    8,217

    Default

    we just have grass
    Margaret and
    (DS 2/06) and (DD 3/08)

  10. #10
    liz is offline Diamond level (5000+ posts)
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    Feb 2008
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    We bought mulch that was recommended for playsets (some type of tree that won't give you splinters - sorry can't remember the name). We had our mulch delivered from a local place. It cost a few hundred dollars, but we factored this in when purchasing our playset (from Sam's Club). All in all, money well spent IMO.

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