featured aquatic environments flooring

Safety Flooring for Aquatic Environments: An Essential Guide

Amusement parks with water-play features often see injuries due to riding operator error, defective rides, mechanical issues, and falls. However, one of the most catastrophic injuries that occur in such aquatic environments is due to tripping hazards and unsafe surfaces. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission confirms that each year, thousands of kids and adults suffer from fall injuries on pool decks, spray zones, splash pads, rain decks, or recreation parks, resulting in emergency room visits.

The operators of such recreational spaces have always struggled with an ideal surfacing owing to their playful and interactive nature. The combination of bare feet and the absence of safety surfacing can leave the users with bruises, broken bones, burned feet, and head injuries. The liability of such injuries often lies the theme park owner, the staff and the ride operator, the equipment manufacturer, and the contractors and subcontractors working on a property.

To solve these issues and make their amusement destination safe and enjoyable, pool and splash pad owners have been applying playground safety surfaces like poured-in-place rubber surfacing. Here’s why!

Rubber Surfaces Meet the NSF /ANSI 50 Requirements

Rubber surfacing is an ideal surface for aquatic environments as they meet the NSF/ANSI 50 requirements.

The NSI or the National Sanitation Foundation is a third-party certification group that works with various stakeholders to offer safety-based risk management solutions.

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is a private non-profit organization that administers the US voluntary performance standards for products and systems related to recreational water facilities.

In 2019, the NSI/ANSI introduced a standard for the surfacing requirements in an aquatic environment. It required surfaces to meet six performance and safety-based requirements.

1. Slip Resistance

All surfaces of pool decks and splash pads should be slip-resistant and offer enough traction underfoot without being abrasive. The surface is independently tested using the British pendulum method that simulates real-world conditions.

Rubber has a high coefficient of friction; hence, it is known to have anti-skid properties even in wet conditions. The flooring is non-slip and prevents falls and serious injuries. Moreover, rubber surfacing is comfortable and non-abrasive underfoot, thereby preventing scratches or bruises when people walk barefoot.

2. Impact Absorption

An ideal water park or splash pad surface should be able to absorb the impact of a fall. The surface should achieve a Head Injury Criterion (HIC) of less than 1000  with a minimum fall height of 0.20 meters. It’s critical to keep HIC below 1000 (the ideal value is 750) as the probability of serious injuries increases with the increase in the value.

When a person slips or falls, the impact force causes serious injuries. Surfacing materials like rubber have high impact-absorbing potential. EPDM rubber molecules can reduce the amplitude of incoming shock waves, thereby preventing injury to the joints or tissues. These surfaces are specially designed to cushion a falling person, making them ideal for areas frequented by seniors and children.

3. Chemical Resistance 

The surfacing material used should resist the aggressive and corrosive action of chlorine, algaecides, salts, and other disinfectants used in pools and splash pads.

EPDM rubber is a tough surfacing material that resists most of the harsh chemicals used to arrest the growth of pathogens and maintain the pH of the water. Moreover, EPDM floors are quoted with a special coating that can boost their chemical resistance.

4. UV Light Resistance

The standards require surfaces to be highly resistant to UV radiation without degrading the material or causing discoloration.

River Rock Resurfacing’s rubber surfacing comes with a resin (a polymer) that’s made up of long chains of repeating molecules. This lends the surface its tensile strength, flexibility, and resistance to ultraviolet exposure. Though the UV exposure can cause these resins to amber temporarily, it will not have any negative impact on color, resilience, or adhesion.

5. Ease of Cleaning

According to the standards, an ideal surface should respond well to cleaning and sanitization measures. Further, it should be inhospitable to pathogens.

Rubber surfaces resist the growth of pathogens. The specially designed resins used as binders further make it impossible for bacteria, viruses, or mold to grow or proliferate. This makes poured-in-place rubber surfacing safe and hygienic.

6. Impermeability 

Lastly, the surface should be impermeable to water, sunscreen, and other substances.

Rubber surfaces are impermeable and can stand up to moisture. The surface is sealed to minimize its absorption of water and stains. This protects the subfloor from moisture damage and the excess water can be easily wiped off.

Rubber Surfaces Are Easy to Install

Rubber safety surfacing comprises high-grade ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) rubber granules mixed with a strong urethane binder. The mixture can be applied to cracked, worn, or heaved surfaces made of concrete, asphalt, flagstone, and others to achieve a seamless look.

The installation takes 1-2 days depending on the condition of the subfloor. This means you get a seamless carpet-like surface in less than 48 hours.

Rubber Surfaces Are Super-Customizable 

EPDM granules are available in a wide variety of colors. Further, the surface can be customized as per your needs and brand theme. You can either go for a single color or choose the speckled look to complement the overall look of the recreational space.



The River Rock Resurfacing team can tailor the surface according to your requirements. Get in touch with us for details!

Summing Up

Water parks and splash pads are the best spots to visit in summers as they are full of fun rides and water-play features. But besides ensuring a fun and adventurous environment for all, splash pads, pools, and water parks should be safe for use.

Safety is a prime consideration in surface designing for aquatic environments. That’s where rubber surfacing comes into the picture. Wet-pour rubber surfaces are durable and slip-resistant, making them a safe surface for aquatic environments.

If you are considering a resurfacing project for your pool deck, splash pad, or water park, talk to our team. We are eagerly waiting for your call or email!

Playground Surface

The Only Advice You’ll Need When Installing a Safe Playground Surface

The Consumer Product Safety Commission shares that each year more than 200 thousand kids land up in the emergency room due to injuries in public playgrounds. Nearly 80% of these injuries are due to falls and 10% of the cases are treated from traumatic brain injuries.

This data is enough to lay emphasis on the need for safety surfacing in playgrounds. If you are planning a playground resurfacing, it’s wise to consider the points shared in this post. This will help you build a playground that’s safe and enjoyable for the little ones.

1. Begin with a Levelled Surface 

A leveled playground works great for any surface you choose as it helps in getting rid of the obstacles and depressions in the ground that may cause tripping hazards. The smooth surface also acts as a great base for surfaces like wet-pour rubber to settle in and achieve the depth required for maximum safety.

This is a good time to think about getting rid of the large rocks, tree stumps, or troughs on the surface. Also, if you think drainage will be an issue, work on it now. For instance, you can provide for drainage by having a 3 inch base of pea gravel or rock.

2. Filter Out the Inappropriate Surfacing Options

First things first, be clear about what you do not want for your playground flooring.

An ideal playground flooring should be durable with high traction and shock-absorbing potential. The surface should be firm but soft and springy underfoot to make it comfortable and safe for the little ones to move around without the fear of injuries. Also, it should be stain-resistant and impermeable to moisture damage.

All this means grass, concrete, asphalt, pea gravel, sand, and engineered wood chips are out. These surfacing materials may seem like a great playground surfacing option, they lead to unnecessary hazards as they are non-impact absorbing surfaces. Further, materials like sand and wood chips soon disburse across the ground or begin to decompose, heavily compromising the integrity and safety of the surface.

Instead, think of a versatile flooring option like poured-in-place rubber surfacing that will not just withstand heavy foot traffic and intensive activities but is also springy enough to absorb fall impact and prevent injuries.
Surfacing Options
Also, EPDM rubber surfacing is available in a variety of colors and can be customized as per your needs to build an attractive ADA-accessible playground surface.

3. Consider the Impact Attenuation of the Playground Surfaces 

Playground surfaces should be built in a way that protects the little users from an impact that results in an injury.

Impact attenuation is the measure of the shock-absorbing potential of a playground surface. Testing a play area for impact attenuation is important for reducing the risk of serious head injuries.

The test simulates the impact of a kid’s head on the surface. During the test, a ball form, representing a child’s head, is dropped from varying heights onto the surface. The results determine the critical fall height which is the vertical distance between the playground surface and the highest designated play area or the highest point a child can safely stand on.

Simply put, the critical fall height is the highest point from which a serious injury will not occur. So, if your playground surface’s fall height is 4 feet, it means that a kid can fall from this height without any life-threatening injury.

Choose a surface that offers maximum impact attenuation. For instance, a poured-in-place rubber surface is made up of two layers that use a binder (aliphatic or aromatic) and are troweled on the spot.

  • The base layer comprising tire buffings for maximum impact attenuation
  • The top layer that’s typically made of EPDM rubber

River Rock Resurfacing is dedicated to preventing fall injuries in children. We comply with the standard specification for impact attenuation detailed in ASTM F1292.

4. Maintain the Playground

Regardless of the type of flooring material used, it’s important to invest in the regular upkeep of the space. Kids love running and jumping around. That’s what playgrounds are made for. However, if these high-traffic spaces aren’t maintained properly the surface may develop tripping hazards or offer inadequate fall protection.

For instance, in the case of rubber surfacing, the installer should routinely check if the EPDM granules are dislodging in the high-traffic areas. If that’s the case, they will use a rebinder to rebind the surface before it becomes unsafe for use. Only an expert rubber surfacing installer will proactively conduct such inspections and take the necessary precautions.

Wrapping Up

Many serious fall injuries can be prevented on playgrounds by just installing an appropriate surface. Today, most playgrounds prefer poured-in-place rubber surfacing because it’s tough, lasts for several years, and can absorb the impact of a fall. This makes this surface a safe choice for playgrounds, playpens, daycare centers, school play areas, or any space that’s frequented by children.

If you are planning to undertake a playground resurfacing project, contact River Rock Resurfacing. With more than 5000 completed projects, we have been bringing smiles to our client’s faces for more than three decades. Call us now to share your requirement!


10 Residential Applications of Poured-In-Place Rubber Surfacing

Gone are the days when rubber surfacing was considered to be ideal only for commercial applications like shop floors, weight rooms, cafeterias, and industrial kitchens. Owing to its versatility, durability, and ease of installation, rubber safety surfacing like poured-in-place or wet-pour rubber is increasingly finding residential applications.

In this post, we have highlighted residential applications of poured-in-place rubber surfacing.

Why Rubber Is Being Used in Residential Spaces?

One of the biggest reasons for the growing popularity of rubber surfacing in homes is the amazing variety of colors and patterns it offers. Modern rubber surfacing makes an appealing designer’s choice. You can choose a single color or opt for a freckled look to add interest and depth to a room.

Moreover, rubber floors are extremely durable and need little upkeep. They can stand up to routine wear and tear due to high-intensity activities. The flooring offers a firm cushion-like surface underfoot, making it comfortable for people to move around or stand for long hours with minimal foot fatigue or leg pain. It also absorbs the impact of a fall or a slip, thereby reducing the risk of serious injuries.

What’s more? Because rubber surfaces absorb sound, they are increasingly preferred in apartment complexes, townhouses, and apartments. The sound-absorbing or acoustic properties of rubber arrest airborne (people talking, TV, and music) and footfall impact sound (like plumbing noise).

Finally, rubber is inhospitable to disease-causing microorganisms like bacteria, viruses, and fungi. So, even in wet environments, rubber flooring will stand up to mold or mildew that may otherwise flourish under a carpet or wooden surfaces.

All these benefits of rubber surfacing make it an ideal flooring material for residential properties.

Now, let’s see which rooms will benefit the most from rubber surfacing.

1. Living Room

The living room is a space to socialize with other family members and guests. Hence, most of us spend a lot of time here. It goes without saying that this room deserves a surface that’s not just strikingly attractive but also comfortable underfoot.

Poured-in-place rubber surfacing is ideal for this room as it feels like a firm cushion underfoot, making it comfortable and safe for people of all ages and capabilities. For instance, it’s a great surface if you have senior family members or kids who are prone to falling or tripping.

Also, as mentioned earlier, modern rubber surfacing is available in a wide variety of patterns that can be applied to elevate the look of this space.

2. Bedroom

A bedroom’s a place where you unwind. You begin and end your day here. Hence, this space needs to carry that warm, comfortable, quiet, and friendly vibe.

Rubber floors offer a soft surface underfoot that doesn’t get too cold in wintery conditions (unlike ceramic). Moreover, rubber’s acoustic properties help in keeping low the unwanted sounds like footsteps of people entering or passing by.

3. Kitchen

Those who cook a meal or bake know how much time one needs to spend standing in the kitchen. Standing for long periods on hard surfaces like ceramic or wood can cause foot fatigue and low back pain. At such times, you need a springy surface beneath your foot for adequate support and comfort.

Rubber surfaces act as a cushion underfoot and adjust to the contours of your feet. This hugely reduces the risk of injuries or strain to muscles.

Besides, kitchens are not just cooking spaces anymore. The modern kitchen is the social hub of a household. So, you would surely want to install a flooring like rubber in this area that’s not just attractive and comfortable but also easy to clean.

4. Kids’ Room or Nursery

The kids’ room is a great candidate for rubber surfacing. Firstly, rubber has a high coefficient of friction.  Hence, it offers high traction and anti-skid even under wet conditions.

Secondly, the springy surface is known to absorb the impact of falls, thereby protecting your little adventurers from serious head injuries. No wonder, rubber surfaces are the flooring of choice in playgrounds, daycares, and sports facilities.

The noise-canceling surface is also ideal for a nursery where you need a quiet and calming environment for the little one to sleep.

5. Mudroom

The mudroom serves as a midway point between the outside world and the tidy home interiors. In most households, this area is chaotic as it could be used as a laundry corner, a catch-all destination, storage area, entryway, or all of these. Also, this space sees a lot of people and pets all the time. No wonder, the mudroom is almost always full of dirt and dust (that’s why the name!).

This area demands a surface that’s easy to clean and durable (resistant to routine scuffs and scratches). Rubber surfacing is all this and more. It can stand up to the heavy foot (and paw!) traffic. Moreover, to clean rubber surfaces, all you need is a mild cleaning solution and a mop.

6. Bathrooms

Rubber surfaces shrug off moisture. Further, they are anti-skid even in moist conditions and provide a hostile environment for pathogens, making it a hygienic flooring choice in bathrooms. For added traction, River Rock Resurfacing also offers a slip-resistant surface texture. Get in touch with our team to know your bathroom surfacing options.

7. Pool Deck

If you are one of those lucky Americans who own a swimming pool or a paddle pool, we recommend resurfacing the deck with poured-in-place rubber surfacing. Here are the three top reasons for installing rubber surfaces around the pool.

Rubber surfaces are anti-skid even in wet conditions. So, you’ll not have to bother about kids, seniors, or pets slipping or hurting themselves.

The flooring wards off moisture. Since it’s a seamless surface, it doesn’t allow moisture to pass through to the subfloor. Moisture penetrating through a surface can damage the subfloor and the pool foundation. Plus, moisture attracts bigger problems like mold or mildew.

Rubber surfaces look strikingly attractive and can elevate the aesthetics of the pool area.

8. Home Gym

If you have a home gym or are considering building one, it’s wise to install a shock-absorbing surface like rubber. Rubber surfaces are known to return the energy expended during high-intensity workouts, thus improving the effectiveness of your exercise sessions.

Further, since it absorbs shocks, it protects you from common workout injuries. The surface also withstands the impact of heavyweights being dropped around. This is why most public gyms install safety rubber surfacing.

9. Garage

Your garage could use heavy-duty and durable flooring like rubber surfacing. In most American households, garages double up as a workshop, a home gym, or even a leisure room. In such a case, you need a durable floor like rubber surfacing that’ll not just stand up to heavy equipment, vehicles, and chemicals but also be comfortable underfoot. Hence, a rubber surface is an ideal flooring option for garages.

10. Basement

Basements tend to be cool and damp. However, when refurbished this space can add another living space to your home. Because of its versatility and durability, rubber surfacing is ideal for basements, regardless of what you want to use this space for.

Summing Up

Rubber surfacing is gaining popularity as a suitable flooring option for residential areas. The surface is durable, easy to clean and maintain, and has a unique aesthetic appeal. No wonder, an increasing number of Americans are installing rubber surfacing in most parts of their homes.

If you are planning to undertake a rubber surfacing project get in touch with River Rock Resurfacing. Our team of professionals will understand your needs, study the site conditions, and offer the most suitable surfacing options for your home.

Call us on + (1) 303 424 7905 or drop in a line at info@riverrockresurfacing.com.


Driveway Repair

Our River Rock Driveways meant to impress and are extremely durable.  In most cases our driveway repair techniques are less expensive than your standard replacement.  It is the perfect way to impress the neighbors with quality and beauty that will stand the test of time.
This is the PERFECT choice for many neighborhoods such as Castle Pines as they have a requirement that all driveways must be decorative.  Our products are easy to clean, non-slip, anti-microbial, and either pourras or non-pourras depending on the application. We guarantee all of our work!