Playground Grass Synthetic Turf vs. Wood Chips

When it comes to playground surfacing, there’s only one solution that checks off all the boxes, and it’s not wood chips! Playground Grass synthetic turf outperforms other turf, wood chips/mulch, and rubber flooring in every way.  

Playground GrassRubber Tiles
ADA Compliant?YesNo
Prone to Fading?NoYes
Releases VOCs?NoYes
Needs Replenished?NoYes
Attracts Bugs?NoYes
Wood chips on playground

Wood chips just don’t cut it for playground surfacing.

Wood chips…

Collect in kids' shoes.
Wear away under swings.
Can be eaten/choked on.
Pose a tripping hazard.
Need to be replenished regularly.
May be sharp and cause splinters.
Are not inclusive and difficult for mobility devices.

Loose fill loses, synthetic turf wins.

The National Study of Playground Equipment and Surfacing conducted by The National Program for Playground Safety (published in March 2019) sheds light on issues with loose-fill surfacing:

Surfacing material must be adequately maintained and its performance periodically verified.

74% of loose-fill playground surfacing material had been displaced by the time of testing and 40% of loose-fill material surrounding each play structure had deteriorated.

Limitations on playground equipment height, with stricter standards for loose-fill surfaces (sand, pea gravel, crumb rubber, wood-based materials) above 9 feet.

Parents, teachers, and superintendents prefer Playground Grass synthetic turf over wood chips.

Mom and kids playing on Playground Grass synthetic turf by ForeverLawn

Here’s why…

No pokes, jabs, or splinters.
No mud, dirt, or residue left on clothing.
No small pieces to pick up and/or choke on.
Looks and feels like soft, lush natural grass.
Stimulates development and creativity.

"With mulch we had constant splinters, and with other surfaces, constant burns and scrapes. We just don’t have that anymore."

—Park District Superintendent

"Parents would never send their kids to school in their nice clothes or shoes, because the pea gravel, mulch, and mud would destroy them!"

—Daycare Director

"We’ve had kids fall off, land on the turf, and be great. The safety of our new turf has had the most prominent impact."

—Park District Superintendent

Playground Grass promotes accessibility, safety, and fun for all children.

Playground Grass synthetic turf and wood chips are both considered ADA compliant surfacing materials. However, wood chips are considerably more difficult to navigate with a wheelchair than Playground Grass synthetic turf. And having fun just shouldn’t be difficult!

15′ Critical Fall Height

Playground Grass synthetic turf meets the 15-foot critical fall height on ASTM 1292. 

Kids playing on Playground Grass synthetic turf by ForeverLawn at Yesler Park in Seattle
Children swinging and playing on Playground Grass synthetic turf at Carrollwood Community Park

8 x 8 Safety Surface Warranty

Unique to the industry, Playground Grass synthetic turf is guaranteed to meet ASTM 1292 standards for 8 years at 8 feet. This means that there’s no regular replenishing needed to keep the surface safe—unlike wood chips that must be maintained at a certain layer thickness to remain effective.

Schedule a no-cost Playground Grass consultation—and take your playground to the next level.

Interested in what Playground Grass synthetic turf can do for your playground? We’d love to help you find the right surfacing solution for your project. Contact us today to get more information, or to request a free consultation with the Playground Grass team.