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What Is the Best Material to Put Under a Swing Set?

A swing set is a great way to keep kids active and encourage a love of play. Placing a softer surface under your fixture creates a safer environment for your kids as they enjoy the outdoors.

Our mission is to encourage active fun for you and your family, and we work diligently to provide the tools you need to have safe, memorable experiences. We can help you decide what to put under a swing set and what materials to consider based on your family’s needs.

4 of the Best Materials to Put Under a Swing Set

When you start researching which material to use, you need to consider a few different factors. Will the weather be dry or wet? What kind of swing set are you planning to install? These questions can point you in the right direction as you design your play space.

We recommend the following materials to use under a swing set:
  1. Engineered wood fiber (EWF): EWF, also known as wood mulch, comes from the inside of trees, so it’s a much lighter color compared to standard wood. When it’s compressed, EWF produces a product that is similar to mulch. It’s a very cost-effective option, and it’s pretty standard for many playset owners to use.
  2. Poured-in-place rubber: Poured-in-place rubber reduces bumps and bruises from trips and falls. This material is designed for shock absorption.
  3. Rubber tile: Similar to the poured-in-place version, rubber tile also absorbs shock. The tiles interlock with each other, offering a sturdy ground for any child.
  4. Rubber mulch: This mulch is considered one of the best materials to put under a swing set because of its nontoxic surface and long life span. Unlike traditional mulch, rubber mulch is resistant to moisture, making it ideal for outdoor playground spaces.


We strive to provide eco-friendly surfaces you can feel good about. That’s why all of our floorings are either natural or recycled.

Rubber mulch is often made from recycled tires and engineered wood fiber is a renewable resource.

Other Surface Materials, but Not as Common

  1. Pea gravel: Made of small rounded stones the size of a pea.
  2. Sand: Processed to be much finer and smaller particles than regular sand.


Pea gravel and sand are not as commonplace anymore on playgrounds. They are not compliant with the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) because they limit access to children with different abilities.

While less expensive, the cons of pea gravel are that it doesn’t soften the impact of a fall and can hurt more from the small stones that are displaced easily.

The cons of sand are that it attracts bugs and requires more maintenance.

Buy Safe, Reliable Swing Set Flooring

At Superior Play Systems, we work hard to be the most knowledgeable, honest leaders in the playground industry. Browse our extensive list of swing set ground surfaces to find the flooring that works for your space.

If you’re planning to buy a residential wooden playset, you have a lot of options to choose from.

Contact us today for answers to all your questions about swing set installations.
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