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Design Best Practices for Poured-In-Place Safety Rubber

By August 16, 2022No Comments
Photo of playground with two slides, one red and one green, a ladybug rider, and a rainbow rubber surface

Poured-in-Place rubberized safety surfacing is installed as a two-layer system:

The bottom layer serves as the “impact layer,” and is comprised of black recycled rubber “buffing” installed at various thicknesses to accommodate the various fall heights of the playground. This is the soft layer that creates the impact attenuation quality of the system.

The top layer serves as the “wear layer,” and is comprised of colored virgin rubber granules installed at ~1/2” thick over the impact layer. This is the visible layer and where all the customization is possible.


Photo of InspiredPlay workers installing poured in place rubber; includes a text overal that says tip 1 understand all available features

TIP 1: Understand all of the available features.

When our clients select PIP for their safety surfacing system, they are offered a wide variety of color and design options to accommodate a wide variety of budgets:

  • 50% black recycled granules + 50% of our stock colors; provides the most budget-friendly option
  • Varying % of black granules + premium colors
  • 100% color mixes
  • Multi-color pads
  • Inlays
  • 3D Shapes
  • ….and more


Photo of InspiredPlay workers installing a rainbow rubber surface; includes a text overlay that says tip 2 consider the final design

Tip 2: Consider the final design.

To guide clients through the design process, we ask them to consider things like:

  • Shade – Will this surfacing system be adequately protected from UV rays?
  • Maintenance – Will they have a maintenance plan to ensure the longevity of this surfacing system?
  • Curbside Appeal – Will this surfacing system contribute to the visual aesthetic of the property?
  • Theme – Is there a desired theme for the playground, or does the property have a theme that the playground equipment might not have been able to include?


photo of InspiredPlay worker installing rainbow rubber surfacing; includes a text overlay that says tip 3 get creative!


One of the resources we provide them with is the SofTurf Colorizer PDF with color swatches of the available options.

Some of our clients are highly creative and VERY excited to design colors and shapes into their surfacing.

Others would prefer to leave it in the hands of our professionals😉


Either way – call us to discuss the options for your upcoming project.


P.S.  Poured-in-Place Rubber is not only for new playgrounds but can also be installed as a replacement for old, deteriorated systems. If you already have an old PIP pad that is suffering from aging, fading, or cracking, in most cases, we can give the same pad new life simply by adding a new ½” overlay on top of the existing system—there’s no need to replace it!