Mar. 17, 2023 Rubber Wear Mats: Why You Need Them for Your Wood Fiber Playground Surface

The playground provides a unique environment where children are encouraged to acquire important developmental skills. Playground surfacing works to help keep children safe while they exercise their imaginations and physical skills on a variety of playground equipment.

Ensuring that the safety surfacing on a playground meets fall height requirements is one of the most crucial factors to take into account when developing a playground. Often the surfacing in heavy traffic areas may start to develop wear and tear over time. What is the best strategy to safeguard those high traffic areas? To protect these heavily used spaces, wear mats or rubber "playground mats" are often used to maintain surfacing levels and reduce the need for raking, which lowers labor costs.

How Wear Mats Help Maintain Compliance Levels for Wood Fiber Surfaces

Although loose-fill surfacing, such as engineered wood fiber, can be more cost-effective than alternate options of safety surfacing, it is common for engineered wood fiber, rubber mulch, or other loose-fill safety surfacing to shift during play. Regular Wear Mat Playground Swing Puddle EWF Loose Fillmaintenance of these loose-fill surfacing types by refilling the surfacing or topping-off to the appropriate surface level is important. Surfacing accessories, like wear mats, help to keep loose-fill surfacing in place, which reduces maintenance costs over time. Adding playground mats in high traffic areas allows you to rest assured that your loose-fill surfacing isn’t wearing down too quickly. Our easy to install wear mats can be placed directly on top of loose-fill surfacing and burying the edges will help prevent tripping hazards. 

To ensure accessibility for individuals with disabilities, the Federal Accessibility Law known as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) mandates that all public playgrounds must have a level surface. FibarMat wear mats serve as a solution to this requirement by preventing the displacement of Fibar Engineered Wood Fiber in areas of heavy use. The use of wear mats reduces the need for frequent maintenance of the playground surface, resulting in a significant reduction in labor costs over time. By making a modest, one-time investment in wear mats, high use areas receive constant protection.

Wear Mat Sizing and Installation

Depending on the purpose, playground mats can come in different sizes for a variety of uses. Some playgrounds install both swing mats and slide mats because the safety surfacing in these areas is HD Square Wear Mats (1) resizedknown for being kicked or moved around during play. 

Our FibarMat wear mats are made of recycled rubber and the dimensions are 36" by 36" by 1.5" thick. Each FibarMat is one solid piece and weighs about 60 pounds - with no assembly required. Installation can be performed in three easy steps. The FibarMat wear mats come with a separate 3-year Warranty, and when installed with a Fibar System, they validate the application of all Fibar System Warranties. FibarMat wear mats should be installed under all swings, tire swings, slide exits, and all other wear areas, including sliding poles to ensure compliance with the Federal Accessibility Law. See our Wear Mat Sheet for information on installation and specifications.

Where to Install Playground Wear Mats

Consider the locations in your play space that generate the most foot traffic and install wear mats to prevent shifting of the loose-fill surfacing. 8ft Spinner  Tire swing Mat EWF Loose FillUnderneath each swing in a swing set and at the foot of slides are the optimal locations for installing playground wear mats. Playground mats are also useful under larger pieces of playground equipment, such as playground spinners and tire swings. Fibar offers an 8' Circular Mat that is created for this purpose.

Wear Mats prevent holes under swings, at slide exits and other high use areas-vital for ADA compliance. Unlike other wear mats, FibarMats have beveled edges for greater accessibility. And they pay for themselves by greatly reducing the need for raking in heavy use areas.

Wear Mats Puddle Under Swing EWF Loose FillLoose-fill safety surfacing can get kicked or shifted in high-traffic areas, which can eventually pose a hazard for children. By installing playground mats in frequented areas, you are helping to protect, ankles, leg joints, and the lower back areas for kids of all ages, while also maintaining the integrity of the loose-fill playground surfacing.

How Much Do Wear Mats Cost and Where to Buy Them

Like any playground accessory, wear mats range in cost depending on size and type. To learn more about the cost of playground mats, request a quote with us and we will be in contact with you as soon as possible. 

Playground mats are always a great investment for a new playground project or even to provide extra protection for your current playground. FibarMat wear mats can be  purchased  as an accessory to your purchase of loose-fill safety surfacing or can also be purchased from Fibar directly. Learn more about our playground mat offerings or request a quote from us today.

Written By: Haylee Wycoff

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