Try before you buy at one of our showrooms! - View our Showsite Opening Hours

Best climbing frame safety surfacing options

Rainbow play provides the softest of landings with our safety surfacing.  We offer playground surfacing options to suit all budgets, gardens with options from low maintenance to highly durable commercial grade surfacing.

From the ‘its already there’ grass, through to wood chip, shredded rubber, bonded rubber, grass mats and even artificial grass you can be sure that whatever the choice, they will all have their strengths and weaknesses.

If covering the entire climbing frame play area with a safety surface you will need to note that the play system/climbing frame footprint plus an additional 2m safety area needs to be laid. The perimeter will also need to have a border or framework to ensure the surfacing is neatly kept within the safety zone.

Suggestions for the border might be, gravel board, half log rolls (found in garden centres), oak sleepers or even specially designed rubber kerbstones.

Surfacing Comparisons

  Surface Grass Surface Wood Chip Surface Grass Mats Surface Shredded Rubber Surface Wetpour Softbond
Easy Installation

Further Information



Lowest cost option for climbing frames in lawned Gardens

Least durable option as heavy traffic areas can end up as bear earth

Can be difficult and time consuming to mow and you need to strim around the play structure, which can cause damage if made from wood

It can sometimes be used in commercial playgrounds as a safety surface for fall heights up to 1.5m

Wood Chip/Bark

Reasonably cost effective and easy to install surfacing which retains a natural look

Can require more maintenance as raking will be required in high traffic areas due to the displacement of chips during play

Natural and bio-degradable but has a limited life span and will require topping up at regular intervals over the years

As a loose surface it may be attractive to wildlife which may leave small deposits

Requires some form of surround to retain the bark as it is a loose surface.

After time it can become dirty to play in when wet.


Grass Mats

Either laid over the entire play area or in high traffic areas such as the end of slides, under swings and frame access points

Mats are 1m x 1.5m in size and are made from black honey combed rubber

Can be easily laid

Grass grows through the mats and can mowed about the surface of the mat

Mowing and strimming will still remain a challenge and damage to wooden play structures can result if not done properly

Shredded Rubber

Good long term and cost effective surfacing investment

Durable and long lasting it does not break down like wood chip or play bark

Eco Friendly, made from recycled forklift truck tyres and manufactured to look like wood bark

It comes in a variety of colours

Requires some form of surround to retain the rubber as it is a loose surface

Remains clean


Wet Pour/Softbond

A permanent solution with minimal maintenance required

A combination of Shredded rubber and a binding agent, mixed and laid to the play area ensuring there is no displacement

Levels of safety are maintained all year round

Allows easy clearance of leaves and natural debris

More expensive than other solutions but the advantages an outweight the extra cost