Is concrete or wet pour rubber best for your playground?

When you’re planning a playground, one of the biggest decisions you’ll face is choosing the right surface. Concrete and wet-pour rubber are two types of surfacing used in most playgrounds.

Both surfacing types have strengths and different uses, but which is right for you? Let’s help you navigate this choice.

Concrete Surfacing

You might consider concrete because it’s been a staple in play spaces for ages. It can be used on basketball courts and mainly pathways. Here’s what you can expect:

  • Durability and Longevity: It stands the test of time; it might crack, but maintenance is not too costly.
  • Low Maintenance: Once laid, you can mostly forget about it. Washing it from time to time can help you keep its original colour.
  • Cost-Effective: You might find it’s lighter on your wallet over the years. However, it’s essential to be aware of price changes globally. You can currently expect to pay $150-300 per m2.
  • Design Freedom: You can paint, texture, and make it uniquely yours. It adds play value and different types of play for playground users.

The Limitations of Concrete

While concrete is fantastic for pathways and specific areas, it might not be the best for every corner of your playground. Its hard nature can be tough on kids, especially if they fall. Another limitation of concrete is the noise. In closed spaces, the noise will travel and reverberate, not absorbing the noise.

And when wet, it can be a slip hazard. If you’re leaning towards concrete pathways, ensure a safety border for added protection.

Wet Pour Rubber Surfacing

 If you’re looking for something modern, wet pour rubber might be your answer. Here’s why:

  • Safety First: It’s designed to cushion those inevitable falls. It comes with two layers of protection. An underlayer called shock pad, where recycled rubber is installed, and on top, you can have vibrant colours in your space. In sensory areas, wet pour rubber is great for noise absorption, improving the quality of the space.
  • Design Flexibility: You can play with colours and patterns to match your vision. You can add games with rubber surfacing and animal shapes or tell a story to engage its users with other playground features.
  • Resistant: It’s built to withstand the elements and last long. TPV rubber is of high quality and lasts more than ten years. At the end of its use, it can be recycled into new playground surfaces.
  • Cost: For pour and play you can expect different prices depending on the complexity of the work. What we mean by that is how many colours will be mixed, the complexity of patterns and if shockpad is required for fall protection.  Taking that all into account, you can expect prices from $250 to $500 per m2, all dependant on the complexity of your space.

Its versatility means you can maximize your play area without compromising on safety.


Dissavantages of Wet Pour Rubber

While it’s a fantastic option, you should know it comes with a higher upfront cost. And if you don’t opt for TPV, the vibrant colours might fade over time.

But with TPV, you can ensure your playground remains colourful for years with its UV protection and high-quality manufacturing.

Wet pour rubber provides safety all around.

Which One's for You?

Choosing the best surface for your playground combines practicality and vision. They can both be used in the same space and have different applications.

Concrete, with its durability and design versatility, has been a trusted choice for many, especially in urban spaces and pathways.

Wet-pour rubber safety features, design flexibility, and environmental friendliness make it a favourite.

Whether it’s the classic appeal of concrete or the innovative charm of wet-pour rubber, your choice should prioritize the safety and joy of every child.

Read our portfolio below if you want to get ideas for your next surfacing project. Or if you are ready to take the next step, call us on 0800 000 334 or book a site visit.

Locally Built vs. Imported Playground Equipment

When it comes to setting up a playground, the equipment you choose plays a very important role. The differences of selecting between locally built and imported playground equipment can be complicated, but understanding these differences is crucial.

After all, the right equipment can transform an ordinary playground into a magical space for children.

Locally Built Playground Equipment

When we mention locally built equipment, it refers to companies that use raw materials and expertise found in the same area. These pieces of equipment often incorporate local materials, showcasing unique design aesthetics that resonate with the community’s heritage and values.


  • Lead time: Locally built playground equipment offers a distinct advantage: quicker delivery. Projects stay on track without international shipping or customs delays, ensuring timely setups and easier adjustments.
  • Cultural Resonance: Local companies can craft equipment that connects with the community and better tell a story. These pieces will add value to your space and ensure that your playground is engaging and fosters learning.
  • Customization: Local companies offer the flexibility to tweak designs, ensuring they align perfectly with community needs. You can always improve your equipment design as time goes by without losing its meaning.
  • Costs: Local playground companies can offer better pricing than overseas companies as they rely on local raw materials, and there is no need for long-distance shipping. Also they can create unique equipment that fits your budget.
  • Maintenance: With local expertise around the corner, repairs and maintenance become a breeze.
Creo warehouse builds custom and bespoke playground equipment.

Imported Playground Equipment

Imported playground equipment brings global designs to your doorstep. These pieces, usually sourced from Europe, introduce unique aesthetics influenced by international trends.


  • A World of Design: Imported playground equipment offers a range of styles and designs sourced from global trends.
    This ensures that every playground can have a distinct and refreshing look, setting it apart from the usual and offering children a unique play experience.
  • Economies of Scale: By leveraging mass production, manufacturers can produce high-quality playground equipment at reduced costs.
    This efficiency in production means communities can access premium designs without stretching their budgets, ensuring value for money. However, their costs are still quite high due to shipping costs.

Check our range of playground equipment.


  • Environmental Concerns: Transporting playground equipment from overseas means longer lead times, which can have a higher carbon footprint.
    This extended transportation process and potential differences in manufacturing standards can raise environmental sustainability questions.
  • Cultural Fit: While imported equipment can be visually appealing, it might not always align with local cultural values or aesthetics.
    There’s a risk that specific designs may not resonate or feel familiar to local children, impacting their engagement.
  • Maintenance: When equipment is sourced from overseas, there can be challenges in maintenance.
    Finding specific replacement parts or experts familiar with the design can be more difficult, potentially leading to more extended downtimes or higher repair costs.

Weighing the Options: Local vs. Imported

The equipment should foster a sense of belonging and community engagement, whether local or imported. Make sure it is inclusive and has maximum play value.


It’s essential to weigh the environmental footprints of both options. While local equipment might reduce carbon footprint, imported equipment can do more damage with international shipping.

Economic Considerations

While initial costs are a factor, consider the long-term community benefits, from job creation with local equipment to supporting local growth.

Safety and Compliance

Overseas-sourced equipment may not fit NZ standards, making compliance harder and more expensive. Local companies start with that in mind.

Making an Informed Decision

Choosing between locally built and imported playground equipment is more than a design decision. It’s about aligning with community values, considering environmental implications, and ensuring it fits into your budget.

Both options have benefits, but the key is evaluating their long-term impact on the community.

Read our portfolio below to get ideas for your next surfacing project. Or, if you are ready to take the next step, call us on 0800 000 334 or book a site visit.