Playgrounds are a necessity for any city park, school, or daycare, and every playground needs a safe surfacing material.
Throughout the years, a variety of different materials have been used, but sand has maintained its place as one of the most popular.
In addition to being soft and shock-absorbent, sand also creates further opportunities for children to create and play with one another and is extremely affordable and cost-effective.
In order to get the most value for what you spend, you need to have the ability to accurately determine how much sand you’ll need to purchase in order to adequately fill the playground area. Luckily, there are several online tools, like our playground sand calculator, that have been specifically designed to eliminate the guesswork. A sand calculator is simple to use and ensures that you don’t waste any time or resources when executing a project.
To get started, take a look at why you should be using a sand calculator, how it works and our other suggestions for purchasing the correct volume of playground sand.
Why Do I Need a Sand Calculator?
When purchasing sand for a children’s playground, your goal is to end up with the perfect amount of material to fill your designated coverage area(s). The only way to do this is by taking the time to properly calculate your needs with an online tool like our sand calculator.
By trying to simply guess how much you’ll require for your project, you could end up with serious problems. Here are some of the common issues associated with buying too much or too little sand:
- Repeat Trips/Deliveries – If you make the mistake of underestimating your sand needs, you’ll end up running out of material before you’re finished filling in your playground area. Depending on how short you are, you’ll either need to make another trip to your supplier or have another order bulk delivered. Either way, you’ll end up wasting time and delay your project completion. You’ll also end up spending more than you originally budgeted – especially in cases where you have to pay for an additional truck delivery.
- Safety Compliance Issues – Unless you take the time to do the math in advance, you could make the mistake of violating safety regulations surrounding required sand depths. It’s of the utmost importance that you meet these requirements and have enough sand on hand to comply.
- Excess Materials – The last thing you want is an excess volume of unused sand on hand after finishing your project. Storing a large surplus can be a pain, and even if you’re able to sell the material to someone else, you probably won’t be able to get the same amount that you paid for it.
How Does a Sand Calculator Work?
Using our sand calculator is very simple, but you’ll need a few pieces of information first: the length, width and depth of your coverage area. The length and width of the playground is self-explanatory, but you’ll need to do a little extra work to determine the proper depth.
Most municipal codes will specify specific depth regulations based upon the height of the surrounding playground equipment. These are the depths at which the sand will be sufficient to protect children in the event of a fall. It’s generally accepted that 9″ of sand is required for equipment 4′ in height.
If, for example, we have a 70’x30′ playground area with equipment 8′ in height, we will need 18″ of sand. When you enter these numbers into the sand calculator, you will see that 116.67 cubic yards or 157.5 cubic tons of sand are required.
What Else Should I Know About Purchasing Sand?
Our sand calculation tool is excellent for helping you figure out exactly how much material is required to initially cover a play area. It’s important to keep in mind, though, that you may need extra sand on hand to fill in gaps and low spots as a result of:
- Settling – You should be aware that loose-fill materials like sand tend to settle and compress by as much as 25% over time. Having additional sand available will make it easy for you to maintain the appropriate depths throughout the playground at all times.
- Foot Traffic – With kids running and playing in the sand, it’s not uncommon for the material to be kicked from one area to another or out of the play area altogether. These spots will need to be filled in.
- Erosion – Heavy rains and other natural factors can wash sand away. It will need to be promptly replaced.
We’re here to answer any questions you have about selecting the right type of sand for your playground and to assist you in determining exactly how much you should purchase. Our sand is available at wholesale prices and can be picked up in NJ or bulk delivered to locations throughout parts of NJ, NY, NYC and PA.