Playground Mulch Calculator
Engineered wood fiber (EWF) is a type of mulch flooring found on the surface of playgrounds. Composed of natural wood, the wood fibers are designed to form a “knitted layer.” The “knitted layer” is soft enough to cushion falls that are in line with ASTM International safety requirements, but firm enough to also meet basic ADA requirements. Compared to other playground surfacing material, engineered wood fiber is one of the more affordable options. That said, knowing how much to buy is key. Find out how much engineered wood fiber you need using our playground mulch calculator below.
How Much Engineered Wood Fiber Should I Order?
According to our Playground Safety Guidelines, playgrounds should have at least 12 inches of surfacing material beneath equipment. Playground surfaces should be the correct depth to prevent serious injury to a child who falls on the playground.
Engineered wood fiber is usually sold by the cubic yard. For a new playground, professionals suggest that playground surfacing materials have a minimum depth of 9 to 12 inches. It’s important to note that wood chips tend to settle about 3 inches under normal wear and weather conditions.
Using a Playground Mulch Calculator
With a calculator, input width, length, and required depth to find the necessary cubic yard your playground will need. Multiply the dimensions of your playground in feet, then divide it by 27 (# of feet in a cubic yard).
For example, if you have a playground that is 20 feet wide and 20 feet long with a required depth of 12 inches (1 foot), the equation will be (20 x 20 x 1) / 27. In this particular case, you would want to buy 14.8 or 15 cubic yards.
For a personalized quote, reach out to us with your playground specifications.
Tips for Maintaining Mulch Flooring
Over time, wood fibers may become uneven or decompose causing a decrease in depth. In order to maintain proper safety standards, the playground surface should be regularly raked and measured for depth. If the depth becomes too low to meet the fall height standard, more material should be added. At Robertson, we offer an EWF Top Off program to ensure proper depth of your mulch flooring.
Installing a drainage system beneath engineered wood fiber is another great way to maintain the integrity of your playground surface. If installing a drainage system is not an option, place a layer of gravel separated by a layer of fabric as an alternative. Proper drainage helps prevent freezing or standing water.
Learn more about our other preventive maintenance programs.