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Garden play area surfacing


im looking for some advice. I currently have an area in my garden - 60sq metres, which houses a play area and trampoline. When installed I looked into rubber matting (like they have at parks) but it was obscenely expensive. I stumbed across rubber chippings which offer the relevant CFH protection for our climbing frame.

it was much cheaper and looked good so we were happy.. However, I messed up a bit with the installation and put down weed membrane on top of the soil base, then sand, then rubber - yes you guessed it, sand mixed with rubber, irreparable (I've tried lots of things) 

the other issue is that the kids love to collect the rubber and throw it all over the garden/being it in the house - it's not ideal.  The final issue is that when leave and twigs fall from the trees it's very difficult to clear up.

im thinking of getting some artificial grass but would want to lay it on top of the rubber so some protection was still offered but I appreciate this is a less than idea surface to lay the grass on and get a decent finish. I don't want expensive grass, it's purely a play area. Has anybody done anything similar or does anybody that works with artificial grass have any pointers to get me sorted? Thanks in advance.



  • BLTBLT Posts: 525

    What a dilemma, I did think you might have to rake up all the rubber chippings and put them thru a riddle so the sad falls thru, then bag the chippings up and put them to one side.. The sand once revealed might possibly be swept up??  Then start again..

    Astro turf is not cheap its a hard surface.. There are 4 layers under Astro turf.. If the kids land on his astro turf it is with a bump..  His trampoline is about 8 ft in diameter..  He has 5 thick foam mattresses positioned around the trampoline and they are stored in his garage when not in use..

    Habing the astro laid cost about £ quote was for £10k... It is a nedium sized garden..

    Last edited: 20 July 2016 21:57:04

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,027

    Artificial grass isn't like Astro turf - it's like grass, and is soft. Why not make a simple edge to the area (timber?) and add enough sand to make a reasonable 'cushion'. You can then lay the artificial grass on top. That's how it gets laid anyway - on a sand base - and pegged down. It's not particularly  cheap though.

    Most people use bark for play areas  image 

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Oh I know, it's an absolute nightmare! I tried raking back the rubber and using a big tub to 'rinse' the rubber with a hose/pressure washer but that was a fruitless task as I just ended up with soggy sandy mess! There's so much, it's a big area, so any kind of manual cleaning would take me until the kids have mortgages and play areas of their own!

     I did rake it all back and lay fresh membrane on top of the sand but it's just a mess now.. I was 'hoping' that I could put a sand base on top of the rubber (love sand me ??) and then lay the artificial grass on top of that but I just don't know how feasible that is or how the finish would look.. I've found some cheap stuff (it doesn't need to be the good stuff, it's just for kids running riot on) so I'm not overly concerned about the price of the grass at this point.. That comes in anywhere between 2-300 for a 60 sq/m area so I'm just awaiting samples for those! 

    when we moved in there was bark already down and everytime the kids went out they ended up covered in cat poo! So that had to go, we haven't had a single incident since having the rubber - it's like they can't stand to walk on it! 

    Thank you


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