SofTiles Playground Surfacing
If you’re looking for better solutions to playground surfacing and fall protection products, look no further than the industry’s leader in locking safety tiles – SofSURFACES. Our commercial division is here to help.
Softer, Safer, Spaces…at home, work or play. An intelligent choice around the play area – SofTILE® KrosLOCK® eliminates harmful buried debris, muddy conditions and most importantly, protects your children from cuts, scrapes and broken bones.
SofTILE® has been developed, engineered and thoroughly tested, to offer superior fall protection for any play environment, outdoors and indoors. Our patented KrosLOCK® edge is an exclusive SofTILE® design feature.
This major advantage gives our customers a unitary safety surface that installs simply, precisely, and securely with a minimum amount of labor and adhesive. This eliminates potential problems due to expansion and contraction of individual tiles.
Another unique feature is the precisely engineered stanchions, which raise the tile surface off the ground, providing excellent water drainage as well as preventing the upward migration of sub base aggregates into the tile.
In addition, stanchions allow for a lighter, more affordable tile that not only ensures, but increases the impact attenuation of the entire tile surface. SofTILE allows for all the benefits of a poured-in-place safety surface, with the ease of installation and maintenance of tiles. Creating playful playground safety surface patterns using multi-colored SofTILE is a “Sof-Walk” in the park.
Comparing other systems to SofTILE.
Loose Fill Systems
Compliance to ASTM F1292-04
When installed according to the manufacturers specification, a loose fill system should provide initial compliance to ATSM F1292-04, however non compliance issues can quickly present themselves in the absence of a regular maintenance program. ASTM F1292-04 field test results can be negatively affected by:
• material displacement —>
• Harboring of hard objects
• Compaction due to regular use
Presenting certification that a loose fill system complies with the ASTM F1292-04 standard is an assertion that the material has met the impact attenuating requirements under laboratory conditioning. Laboratory testing does not account for the issues outlined above.
Loose fill systems require regular maintenance to address:
• Material displacement
• Material compaction
• Harmful debris which can often become buried within the loose particles
• Top up requirements to replenish the loose fill
• Sanitary issues
A good maintenance routine typically involves, detailed inspections, removal of harmful and unsanitary debris, raking, leveling and replenishment.
Du-ra-ble – “able to exist for a long time without significant deterioration”
In the narrow sense of the word “durable”, many loose fill materials could be considered the most durable surfacing products since materials such as pea gravel would virtually never deteriorate. In our context however, deterioration would specifically refer to the surfaces ability to maintain impact attenuation. After all, the provision of impact attenuation is the primary function of a playground safety surface.
Taken in this context, loose fill materials could arguably be considered the least durable of the surfacing choices since its ability to resist deterioration of impact attenuation properties is wholly dependent on a comprehensive and costly maintenance regimen.
The initial purchase cost of a loose fill surface is typically lower than a unitary rubberized surface. In spite of this, loose fill material demands additional life cycle costs that can significantly impact the total cost of ownership.When considering a loose fill surface, the following additional requirements should be factored into the total cost of ownership:
• daily inspections
• raking and leveling
• debris removal
• unsanitary conditions
• limited use and risk of non-compliance under certain conditions
A four year time line projection factoring in 20 variables associated with various surfacing options, has shown SofTILE to be the most economical surfacing option.
Poured In Place (PIP)
Compliance to ASTM F1292-04
When installed according to the manufacturer’s specifications PIP can be expected to provide long term continual compliance to ASTM F1292-04, however the following considerations should be taken into account:
• PIP is now being installed by many inexperienced installers
• In the absence of field testing, the customer currently has no way of guaranteeing that the product has been consistently installed to the required thickness and formulation throughout the entire site
• Since the material is manufactured on site, process control can be very difficult
• Undulating surfaces can cause the rubber to be poured inconsistently
• Few if any PIP manufacturers are offering a full replacement warranty on surfacing that does not meet the ASTM F1292-04 standard when field tested after five years of use in any weather condition
• It is difficult to manufacture PIP with sufficient density to withstand the toughest areas of abrasion, resulting in more frequent repairs in high traffic areas
• Larger sites that cannot be poured in a single day will require a seam. This seam can be hard to conceal and maintain and will sometimes separate
• Repairs to pip can be costly, time consuming and very obvious when they are completed
Poured in place surfacing that is installed under ideal conditions, by a reputable company, utilizing proven formulas, and experienced crews, will provide sufficient durability to meet the requirements of a typical playground environment. The long term success of a PIP system however, is dependent upon all the above conditions being satisfied.
Consider the following:
• Since PIP is compressed manually on site, the product is difficult to manufacture with enough density to withstand the highest areas of traffic
• PIP is currently being installed by many inexperienced installers with high failure rates
• The quality of a PIP surface is largely dependent upon environmental (temperature, humidity, moisture) factors. For this reason the final quality of the surface can be as dependent on uncontrollable variables as it is on installation skill
• Installations carried out by numerous installers can produce inconsistency between installations
• Since PIP is manufactured on site, process control can be difficult
• Since PIP is installed in solid slab form, material costs increase significantly with higher fall height requirements
• PIP requires more raw material inputs in order to achieve the required durability. Much higher resin ratios are needed to compensate for the inability to achieve sufficient durability through mechanical compression
• PIP often requires the use of specialized out of town labor adding significant costs to the finished product. Smaller projects are particularly susceptible to higher costs
• Surface patterns associated with pip come at a high cost
The above factors are unavoidable costs associated with PIP surfacing, placing PIP in the highest cost category.
Alternate Molded Tile Products
Compliance to ASTM F1292-04
• No competing tile product offers a five year warranty for fall compliance when field tested to ASTM F1292-04
When looking at tile products the warranty should be clarified.
A concern traditionally associated with the maintenance of a tile system has been the inability to maintain a sufficient tile to tile bond. Heat related expansion and contraction is an inherent issue associated with all rubber products and most tile systems have failed to counter this issue through locking design technology. The lack of a sufficient locking system will result in tile separation and curling at the seams of the system brought about by continual cycles of heat related expansion and contraction.
• Tile separation creates maintenance concerns such as:
• Unsightly appearance
• Susceptibility to vandalism
• Tripping hazards
• Sanitary concerns due to collection of debris in the gaps
Tile options are as diverse as surfacing options in general and thus the durability of a tile product can vary greatly.
When looking at a tile product, verify the following:
• The density of the product meets or exceeds 60 pounds per cubic foot
• The entire tile is a single density product as opposed to a dual density product. This requirement ensures maximum durability
• The product is warranted against premature wear for a minimum of five years
• The warranty covers compliance to ASTM F1292-04 for a minimum of five years
• The warranty specifically protects against tile separation at the seams
Virtually all tile products require a solid sub-surface to be placed under the system. This is largely due to the fact that they lack a sufficient locking system or lack a locking system all together. The lack of a sufficient locking system will increase costs based on the following:
• Enhanced sub-surface requirements such as concrete or asphalt
• Increased adhesive requirements
• Additional labor costs
• Lack of a locking system will result in increased initial and lifecycle costs
When considering a tile product ensure that the price you receive is based on a turn key installation taking the above cost considerations into account.
Compliance to ASTM F1292-04
Softile is manufactured in a controlled environment. Factors such as material inputs, compression ratios, atmospheric conditions, heat, moisture, and thickness are tightly controlled through computerized monitoring.
SofTILE is ISO Compliant:
• SofTILE undergoes a rigid a secondary quality control process involving 10 different inspection categories
• SofTILE complies with an internal benchmark that demands a minimum performance level 20% better that the ASTM F1292-04 standard for impact attenuation
• SofTILE is warranted to comply with ASTM F1292-04 field testing in any weather condition for 5 years
• SofTILE’s unique hollow core pedestal design was engineered to enhance fall protection through mechanical recoil action
Strict process control and design ingenuity provide unparalleled assurance that SofTILE KrosLOCK will provide consistent and continual impact attenuation without structural maintenance.
• Maintenance is limited to the occasional sweeping or rinsing of the surface
• Visual inspection can be completed in seconds
• The SofTILE surface does not conceal dangerous or unsanitary materials
• The locking system creates a tile to tile connection that will not separate, ensuring a monolithic, vandal-resistant surface over the long term
• SofTILE is manufactured utilizing a patent three directional compression molding process for unsurpassed durability
• SofTILE is manufactured to a specification of over 60 lbs per cubic foot, the densest impact attenuating surface in its category
• The hollow core stanchion design was engineered to provide compatibility between increased density and superior fall protection properties. This concept that has traditionally been viewed as unachievable
• Precise process control and rigid secondary inspection ensure that each softile is identical in specification
A durometer instrument measures the hardness of an object. Measuring the durometer of our wear surface is one of the ways that we compare softiles durability against competing products.
Using a PTC type CF Durometer, the above illustration shows that Softile is 33% denser than standard pip and 150% denser than some competing tile products. Only by creating an extremely dense wear surface are we able to assure that SofTILE outlasts all competing products.
For specific questions related to this page, please contact:
Brad Borgman, CGBP*
Director, Sales and Business Dev.
Direct Line: 408-600-2183
*Certified Green Building Professional
Thank you for taking the time to visit Heavenly Greens and learn more about our commercial division services.
For more information please call 888-254-5503 or Request a Quote today!