It is important to ensure a high level of playground safety so that children are able to freely and actively move about without getting hurt. Below, we set out the rules as well as the advantages and disadvantages of the different types of safety surface.

Rules for safety surfaces at playgrounds

In Denmark, we comply with the European EN 1176 and 1177 safety standards, which set out requirements for safety surfaces at all public playgrounds. Please check which rules apply in your country.

According to EN 1177, the size of the safety surface depends on the fall height and function of the play equipment. Grass is approved as a safety surface for play equipment with a max. fall height of 1 metre. However, the disadvantage of grass is that it quickly wears out, and the ground then becomes compacted. Many of the classic pieces of play equipment such as swings and play systems are usually higher than 1 metre, and therefore either sand and gravel, grass mats or rubber are laid in most playgrounds.

Below, we set out the advantages and disadvantages of the different types of safety surface.

Sand and gravel

Playground sand and gravel are the traditional choice of safety surface in many countries, particularly in the Nordics where these materials are easy to get hold of and cheap. Sand is a natural product, but please note that the sand must be approved as a safety surface in playgrounds. The approval ensures that the sand is treated in such a way that it is non-packing and does not compact to form a hard surface. To comply with the playground sand depth requirements, maintenance and refilling will be necessary.

  • Easy to get hold of in many countries
  • Minimal maintenance
  • Available in several versions
  • A solution that lasts the playground’s entire lifespan

Grass and grass protection


Grass can be used as safety surface if the fall height from a play equipment is less than one metre. We have a large selection of playground equipment that is approved for standing on grass, and the playground can therefore easily be furnished with great play value if I want to keep your already existing green area.

When the grass acts as a safety surface, it must meet the safety standard EN 1177. This means, among other things, that it must not become too hard, which can happen with repeated use of the equipment. Therefore, it is important to ensure that the soil remains shock-absorbing enough, even after many years of use.

  • Natural appearance
  • No additional cost

Hybrid grass

Hybrid grass – or reinforced natural grass – is an ideal solution if you want to protect and preserve the grass so it is always green. Hybrid grass has a very natural appearance, as natural grass is mixed with artificial fibres. At the same time, it protects the root system, and ensures better growing conditions for the natural grass. Hybrid grass can also be used as soil protection on small slopes. Here, it helps to prevent cracking and slope sliding due to the effects of the weather and use.

It is important to note that hybrid grass is only used to reinforce and protect the grass. It is not shock-absorbing in any way, and can therefore only be used for play equipment designed for grass.

  • Hard-wearing
  • Natural appearance
  • Protects the grass

Artificial grass surfaces

Artificial turf

Artificial turf makes a good safety surface if you want a nice-looking grassy area all year round. Artificial turf comes in several varieties, so you can choose which product best matches your playground. Shock pads can be installed underneath the turf, which ensures that the surface is shock-absorbent and protects children if they are unlucky enough to fall. Artificial turf is very durable, but it may be a good idea to lay a rubber surface or a rubber tile in high-impact areas. For example, at the bottom of a slide, where the surface is particularly prone to wear.

  • Suitable for hilly terrain
  • Minimal maintenance
  • Available in several versions
  • A green appearance all year round

Sports turf

For sports and multi-courts, we recommend sports turf, which is replenished with sand and provides a good bounce effect for balls. The sports turf has been developed to give the athlete the best experience, regardless of the sport being played. The turf comes in several different types and colours. It is therefore possible to adapt the sports turf as needed and to draw lines and divisions on the pitch.

  • Minimal maintenance
  • Available in several versions
  • Perfect colours for the sports field
  • Suitable for all ball games

Rubber surfacing

Poured-in-place rubber surfacing

In recent years, poured-in-place rubber has become a very popular material for safety surfaces. The solution can be made in all sorts of colours and patterns, and often it is possible to create different terrain levels. The fully cast rubber is also often used on inclusive playgrounds, e.g. because the even surface makes the playground easily accessible for people with physical disabilities.

  • Minimal maintenance
  • Hard-wearing
  • Adds play value
  • Many creative and colourful solutions

Rubber tiles

Rubber tiles require very little maintenance as a safety surface, and last a very long time if installed correctly. Having a level surface ensures that the tiles do not shift with time or collect water. Rubber mats are available in several different sizes, thicknesses and colours – for example, the classic red rubber tiles or the more natural green rubber tiles. The rubber tiles are laid using a simple assembly system which ensures that the tiles stay connected.

  • Minimal maintenance
  • Available in different colours
  • Can be combined with tiling

Grass and rubber combinations

Grass grids

The grass grid is a safety surface that is combined with a grass lawn. The thick rubber grid ensures that the surface is soft and shock-attenuating, while the open structure provides space for grass to grow. Thus, the surface is partially camouflaged in green areas. With a sound substratum, you ensure that the grass grid remains stable and will not sink, even after many years of use.

  • A grass safety surface that is approved for high drop heights
  • Combines a natural grass surface with a safety surface
  • Easy maintenance by regular lawn mowing

Grass mats

Grass mats are a good choice if, for example, you have grassy areas where the ground becomes hard or is pushed away. The mats are particularly popular underneath springers. The grass mats are placed directly on the grass, where they are pegged. If they sink a little into the ground over time, you can pick them up and relocate them. Therefore, raise them as necessary so that they comply with the standard for safety surfaces.

  • Easy to install
  • Can be expanded as required
  • Approved for impact areas and low drop heights

We’ve made it easy

To make it easy for you, we have gathered all the information you need to choose the right play equipment for your new playground. Find yourselves below, and read about how we can help, which theme series we recommend and what you need to think about when establishing a new playground.

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