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Anyone installed in their backyard those foam surfaces we can find at playgrounds?

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[OP]
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Apr 21, 2004
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Anyone installed in their backyard those foam surfaces we can find at playgrounds?

The last side of our backyard has now been fenced in from what used to be the chicken wire fence as per the neighbor's request.

My wife and I would like to make use of what little area we call our backyard now that our little one can walk and was wondering what those foam surfaces we find at community playgrounds? It's just that it's probably safer to put that at least for the next few years instead of those interlocking stones/cement blocks.

Also, what kind of preparation is required if we'd like to get rid of the grass? I understand the grasses / weeds naturally prevent soil erosion and flooding but how much work does a small yard require just to make sure we are within Oakville or city by-laws and that flooding during heavy rain are prevented?

We are not to keen on artificial turf at it's more for decoration and doesn't serve much purposed and I heard it can quite costly.


Many thanks in advance.
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Apr 11, 2008
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alanbrenton wrote: The last side of our backyard has now been fenced in from what used to be the chicken wire fence as per the neighbor's request.

My wife and I would like to make use of what little area we call our backyard now that our little one can walk and was wondering what those foam surfaces we find at community playgrounds? It's just that it's probably safer to put that at least for the next few years instead of those interlocking stones/cement blocks.

Also, what kind of preparation is required if we'd like to get rid of the grass? I understand the grasses / weeds naturally prevent soil erosion and flooding but how much work does a small yard require just to make sure we are within Oakville or city by-laws and that flooding during heavy rain are prevented?

We are not to keen on artificial turf at it's more for decoration and doesn't serve much purposed and I heard it can quite costly.


Many thanks in advance.
Actually, I find grasses are great for kids. They just get right up after a fall.
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Dec 21, 2010
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There is also rubber mulch. I mean, it wreaks like tires, but when the kids fall on it, they bounce back ;)
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Jun 12, 2007
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Archanfel wrote: Actually, I find grasses are great for kids. They just get right up after a fall.
+1
Its probably expensive to cover over your entire back yard in rubber/pavement or artificial grass.

If don't want to look after your existing grass, you could probably hire a landscaping service to mow for a fraction of the cost
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Jul 4, 2004
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l69norm wrote: +1
Its probably expensive to cover over your entire back yard in rubber/pavement or artificial grass.

If don't want to look after your existing grass, you could probably hire a landscaping service to mow for a fraction of the cost
I have to agree with this. Based on the information I've seen, it's very expensive.

I do agree that it's a great surface but I think you'd need to have very deep pockets.
[OP]
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Apr 21, 2004
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Between artificial grass and that rubbery surface, anyone know which is more expensive and by how much more?

Our backyard is not that big anyway.
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Jan 17, 2002
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Doesn't that rubaroc type surface need a firm, uniform foundation??
My 14 month old is good on weedy grass at this point, he stopped just trying to dig and grab it instead of waking and jt's much softer than hardwood. Heard on the radio fake grass is against tdot bylaws.
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Jan 5, 2003
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The rubbery surfaces are to comply with safety standards around playgrounds where kids can fall/jump from the top of the playground structure 10 feet up, etc. The requirement is a soft surface (rubber, sand, wood chips, etc.) a certain distance around the playground. It's overkill for kids just running around the backyard, even if you bought a backyard type playground. Even with a concrete/asphalt/interlock backyard, you'll only get some scraped knees and elbows. Worst case scenario, even if they fall on their head and somehow didn't put out their hands to brace themselves, little kids are low to the ground and don't move that fast, so it's not the same as an adult hitting the ground with their head from over five feet high, or riding a bike or scooter.

If your backyard is truly small, just get those interlocking foam mats and plaster the backyard with them and rinse them off occasionally. Take them off for the winter and by next spring you won't be worrying about the kid falling in the backyard.

A parent of two talking from experience (which includes visits to emergency, but not from just running around and falling). Oh, and whenever a kid falls, completely ignore them. You'll be surprised how little they react/cry and will just get up themselves if they don't expect mom and dad to rush to them screaming "oh! my poor baby!".

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