Surely you’ve seen it dozens of times. Colourful rubber covering on a playground, maybe on a patio at a restaurant. We would like to introduce you to rubber granulate tiles – a fascinating and fast-developing product which at some point you will probably use!
Playground rubber tiles made of rubber granulate bonded with polyurethane have been in use for about 40 years. They were developed in Germany as industrial anti-slip and sound-absorbing flooring. As their exceptional durability was proved, rubber floor tiles have found numerous applications that are still growing and surely surprise us in the future!
Nowadays, they are widely used in horse stalls and stables because the mats protect horses’ joints and insulate from cold. Thanks to their fall protection qualities, rubber floor tiles are used as playground surfaces and sports fields. Rubber granulate tiles proved to be a perfect balcony and terrace flooring, too. They also found their use in gyms, market stalls and exhibitions, as well as footpaths and parking spaces. Rubber floor tiles are equally popular in public sector – in hotels, around swimming pools, in beer gardens and restaurants. Outdoor rubber tiles are particularly animal-friendly so recently they have become common in dog gyms and animal runs.
Depending on the material used and application, the tiles can be divided into 3 categories:
- safety tiles for playgrounds, sport and leisure areas,
- terrace and balcony tiles,
- stable mats.
Because each category has to meet different demands, they should be made of different rubber types and proportions.
Rubber tiles have various formats, from square to rectangular. A standard format is 500 x 500 mm. They can be from 18 to 100 mm thickness. Most popular exterior terrace tile is 30 mm-thick, while on sports fields like football or basketball courts it is a 40 mm-tile. How thick a playground tile should be depends on the height of the equipment and individual tile specifications (critical fall height in accordance with European playground security standards EN 1177, EN 1176). For balconies, gyms and mobile exhibition flooring lighter tiles up to 18 mm can be used.
Experts on playground security agree that the safest tile connection is the interlocking zip because the joint is the strongest and form-fit. It reacts to weather changes and frost better than other joints, due to its large surface of contact. Second best-holding connection is the one with a tongue and groove. Another and a definitely cheaper option are FS tiles without any profiling on the sides, which need gluing and the application of plastic connectors.
Both terrace tiles and playground surfacing is usually available in many vivid colours. Best colour performance over many years is guaranteed for tiles made of EPDM rubber granulate.