1. Choose your equipment carefully.
Choose your equipment wisely. If the play area is for your own children, they quickly grow up!
Choose equipment that will last the test of time, don’t try and cut corners.
Make sure it has suitable ground anchors and that it can be safely installed without special equipment.
2. Which play area surface suits your needs best?
All of our bagged play area surfaces sold on the website meet the strict standards as defined in BSEN 1177 and BSEN 1176.
The main thing to consider when selecting which material to purchase will be aesthetics and budget.
If budget is one of your main constraints, play grade wood chips can be just as effective as the play area barks and don’t sacrifice on quality.
For more information, please refer to our Play Area Surface Comparison here
3. How much play area bark or woodchip do you need?
Measure your play area carefully and use our calculators.
RoSPA recommend filling a play area 300MM if it is for public use or 150MM for domestic use. You should also consider how tall your climbing equipment is. Laid to a depth of 200mm our play area surfaces are rated between 3.7 and 4.3 metres fall height. At 100mm depth our play surfaces are rated for a fall of up to 1.5 - 1.8 metres depending on the product.
When trying to work out how much you need, multiply the length times the width and again by the depth, for example:
If your play area is 10 metres wide, by 15 metres across and you wanted it 150 mm deep:
10 * 15 * 0.150 = 22.5 M3.
Always allow for slightly more than you calculate as barks and woodchips do settle somewhat over time. As a general rule, 10% or 20% would be recommended.
4. Preparing the ground
If your garden is not well draining it would be wise to consider putting some draining material down as a base layer (such as type1 or sharp sand). Whilst a thick layer of wood chips or bark chippings would help with the drainage, if there are underlying problems it will affect the products life span.
You may wish to consider digging down a few inches or perhaps putting some boarding around.
You may also wish to consider putting membrane down, but depending how deep you lay the material the wood or bark chippings will act as a natural mulch and prevent weed and grass growth.