What to Put Under a Trampoline: 5 Base Ideas
Looking for what to put under trampoline in your backyard?. Perfect, then you’ve come to the right place. Trampolines are great for both adults and children.
If you have just purchased a trampoline or are about to get one, it’s important you take into consideration your backyard and the landscape options you have when choosing a place for your trampoline.
There are safety precautions to take so as to avoid injuries like trees and other objects that might interfere with using the trampoline.
You also need to consider what to put under your trampoline and there are a lot of ideas like a rubber mat, sand, mulch, and many more. But you need to know which one will be best for you.
Here I will cover each option, its advantages, cons, and cost to install it.
Best Things to Put under a Trampoline
Here are awesome things that you can put under your trampoline to make it safer in case of accidental fall.
1). Trampoline Net
Since you are looking for things you can put under your trampoline because of safety reasons, the first and foremost thing you should address is to stop people from falling.
As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure. The safest thing you can do is to have a trampoline net around it. Some models come with the net already.
This will prevent the person from falling out of the trampoline and it’s the safest safety measure to take.
Great ways to stop a swing set from swaying
2) Rubber Mulch
Rubber mulch is a great playground material that you can have under your trampoline.
This material takes time to deteriorate, making it last a long time. Rubber mulch is also bouncier and softer.
If by some unforeseen reason you land on the ground. You want to land on a soft and not on a hard surface. A trampoline can be much like landing on the ground if you jump too deep.
Sometimes too if the weight on a trampoline is too much, with a high jump, the trampoline can sink all the way to the ground.
That is why rubber mulch for playground surfaces is a good recommendation. In such a case, you will land on the mulch, not the ground.
Using rubber mulch, you won’t have to worry about what is growing underneath your trampoline because when the mulch is placed under the mulch, it will prevent weeds from growing under it.
To apply the rubber mulch, you have to start by digging a circle, or whatever shape your trampoline is, where the trampoline will be installed.
The allocated area you dug should be at least 3 inches deep before you apply the mulch. The only downside of rubber mulch is that is quite expensive.
If you have a 14-foot circle trampoline, you need around 156 square feet of mulch or 43 cubic feet. About 43 cubic feet of rubber mulch will cost you around $350.
If further ensure the safety of small children, you can extend the circle of rubber mulch outside the trampoline. This will give additional protection as they are soft enough, prevent grass from growing, and prevent unexpected accidents.
3). Play Sand
Play sand is softer on the skin when one falls. It is a lot more like the rubber mulch. It’s better than falling on the hard fall without any cushioning.
Per bag sand will cost $5 and it will be capable of covering 1/2 cubic feet area. So, you will need approximately 80 bags of sand. That means it will cost around $400.
Play sand is also safe for kids to fall on. However, here are some things to keep in mind.
While sand is another playground surface option, it may become a problem if you have outdoor cats. They can turn the sand into a bathroom. You know how cats like hiding their poop. Sand can also attract insects that can get into your house easily.
Furthermore, sand is the messiest option in this list and can be difficult to enclose. It gets into unwanted places, sticks to clothes when wet.
Even with it been difficult to enclose, you can still use rubber playground borders to hold it in order. Otherwise, you will turn your yard into a mini beach.
Now, you will find sand that is specifically designed for playgrounds that much softer and absorbs shock more. This requires you to have a denser layer of sand of at least 9 inches.
4). Wood Chips
Wood chips are a cheap alternative to rubber mulch as wood chips are widely available so their overall cost is very low.
There are different types of wood chips and the most expensive ones cost around $150 or more.
Though wood chips are less expensive, they are not as softer as the rubber mulch or play sand. They are not also bouncier and you can get a little bit hurt after landing. But they are a little easier to apply under the trampoline.
5). Use a Grass Mat/Artificial Grass
Artificial grass is one of the best playground fall surfaces. Not only is visually appealing but also, it’s one of the safest options. Everyone loves the look of artificial grass. Plus, there is almost zero maintenance with them.
Grass mats contain soft cushioning. As a result, when you fall on it, you don’t get hurt as much. Though rubber mulch is still softer than mulch.
Grass mats are expensive but are worth the investment. For every 15 square feet, it will cost around $40. So, the estimated to cost close to $400 or more.
How to Prepare the Ground for Trampoline
This may be easy or it may take a little work. How much work you have to do will depend on how your yard looks at the moment and whether your trampoline is in-ground (learn about in-ground trampolines safety vs above ground) or above ground. To learn how to prepare your yard for an above-ground trampoline, just continue to read our article.
Steps to Prepare Your Yard
There are a few important steps you need to take in order for your new trampoline to fit right and be safe to use. Here are those steps you need to do to achieve that goal.
#1. Measure your yard — this is important because the trampoline needs to fit inside of your yard’s boundary and have at least 3 to 4 feet to spare all the way around the trampoline. This extra distance is for safety reasons and to make sure your kids can have lots of fun.
Related: Read our Merax 14 FT Trampoline review
#2. Do some yard work – this is the next important step that needs to be done before your new trampoline arrives or is set up. You will need to cut the grass, remove any trees or bushes that will be in the way of the trampoline’s final location. Plus, you will need to remove those trees and bushes to ensure that 3 to 4 feet of safe space is free from them
#3. Check the level – it is not safe to place your trampoline at an angle. This does not add to the fun, it just increases the risks of injury and other dangers. Check your yard to make sure it is level. If not, you may have to do some work and either add material to level the area or take some away. Keeping the ground level adds to the lifespan of the trampoline and keeps it from damage as well.
#4. Cut your grass – you really do not want long grass to continue to grow and reach the trampoline mat. Cut the grass, especially in the spot where the trampoline will sit. This will protect your trampoline and help it last longer. You should be able to cut underneath the trampoline once it is set up. It just might take a little more effort to do so. To improve trampoline safety, you can cut the grass long.
#5. Add a drain – when it rains it will pour and when the water has no place to go, you will be undermining the stability of the trampoline and raise the risk factor when the device is used. Add at least one drain so that the rainwater can move along and be directed to a safer area. You can always remove the grass and add drain rock if you want a low-maintenance trampoline area.
Can You Setup a Trampoline on Grass?
If you have natural grass in your backyard and do not want to invest in any of the above ideas, you can place your trampoline on it. Level natural grass is soft and sturdy.
However, the downside of placing your trampoline on your backyard grass is that the grass will die. Also, the formation of mud gets the frame dirty, and the possibility of legs sinking into the dirt.
If the soil becomes soften by the trampoline, it can cause the trampoline to sink therefore becoming lopsided. This can pose a bigger danger.
Why does grass die under a trampoline?
There are a couple of things responsible for dying grass under a trampoline that you may want to be aware of. These include:
- The number one reason why grass dies under a trampoline is because of lack of sunlight. Grass and plants need sunlight to grow. Without this, they will die. You will bear with me that underneath the trampoline, there is not enough sunlight.
- Another reason is the lack of water. Most grasses under trampolines don’t get enough water and they eventually die.
- There is also a lot of heat underneath. During summer, the jumping mat resisted more heat down to the ground as well as the steel frame passes excessive heat. As a consequence, the grasses die.
If you are wondering what will happen if the grass dies, then are some problems that you may face with dying grass under your trampoline.
The biggest problem will be the legs of the trampoline will shrink which will make the trampoline lopsided and can cause accidents.
The other problem will be the trampoline frame will get dirtier very often due to the lack of grasses.
But with these tips, you can have the grass still growing.
first and foremost, you need to give the grass proper maintenance, especially during the summers. Water the grass to keep them alive.
You can also cover the trampoline legs with any thick cloth to absorb some heat and prevent the soil from getting drier.
If your trampoline is small enough to be moved around, you always move it every few days to let the grass get enough sunlight and water it to grow. By changing the trampoline position from time to time will keep the grass alive.
Can a Trampoline be Placed on Concrete?
If you are wondering if you can place a trampoline on concrete, the answer is, unfortunately, no – unless the concrete pad is built for your specific trampoline.
If you want to devote the time, money, and energy to installing a concrete base in the shape of your trampoline to set it on without building it wider than the actual trampoline then you will find this to be a very sturdy and level option.
What to Put under Trampoline on Concrete
If your backyard is all concrete but you still want to place a trampoline on it for the kids, then you should build the perimeter around the trampoline and install padded rubber mulch and extend the mulch around the trampoline to pad the concrete to prevent injury in case a person falls off the edges or through the springs.
Concrete is a hard surface to fall on. A person falling on a concrete floor from a trampoline jump can be very dangerous.
Even if the trampoline has a net around it, there is still a possibility of a fall, and the concrete floor is a dangerous surface.
Besides it been a dangerous surface to fall, it can also put stress on the frame of the trampoline from the impact over time. This can wear of the frame and cause it to break.
You can place gym interlocking tiles or use the rubber mat on the concrete floor.
These materials will require additional costs. However, it is for your kids’ safety and the longevity of the trampoline.
Can You Put a Trampoline on Pea Gravel?
Don’t have enough budget for artificial grass? then pea gravel is a good option for you. It’s one of the most affordable options that won’t break your bank account.
It is one of the best materials for playground surfaces. You will find it in a lot of parking areas and playgrounds. The natural look of this material makes it blend well in the playground. Plus, pea gravel also inhibits the growing weeds.
Pea gravel is somewhat rough and can cause abrasion in the case of a child falling or jumping. For toddlers who don’t really know what they are eating can put pea gravel in their mouth and it might cause them to choke.
Another issue worth raising is that pea gravel can hide hazards such as broken glass, so be sure not to take any glassware to the area.
This is because of their coloration and size, they are able to hide these objects effectively. So always do regular inspections for these safety concerns.
However, while this may be of concern to you for toddlers, this won’t be the same if you have bigger children.
But the good thing about pea gravel is that it’s inexpensive and relatively attractive, it’s also easy to maintain. That’s why they are common in parks and playgrounds.
It is recommended that you have a protective netting or cage around your trampoline when placing it over gravel because the gravel will cause injuries if anyone falls into it
Final Thoughts on What to Put Under a Trampoline
A trampoline is a nice piece of play equipment that can keep children playing and jumping every day. Even adults can exercise on a trampoline provided it is strong enough to contain them.
Rubber mulch and grass mats are the best options on this list if you have the money to invest in them. Grass mats are the most appealing of them all.
But for easy and cheap installation options, then the sandbags and wood chips are suggested.
This helped me and my family out! Thank you!!!