Playground Wood Chips

Playground Wood Chips; $40/cubic yard


The play area surface or material you choose for your play area will affect the safety, accessibility, and maintenance of the surface material.   Playground wood chips commonly known as an engineered wood chips or wood fiber is one of the most popular playground surfacing options.


Listed are several things to consider when you are thinking of purchasing engineered wood chips for your backyard playground or the public playground;


Regular wood chips, landscape bark or mulch products are great for the application they are produced for, but they aren’t the best choice for your playground.

Regular wood chips run a greater risk of splinters or slivers.

Many times wood chips are made from wood that is being recycled, so the wood chips may be treated with chemicals. They also are more prone to mold. Regular wood chips aren’t standardized or held to any specific specifications, so it is harder to be sure exactly what you are getting. The biggest difference, however, has to do with the amount of fall protection or cushioning engineered wood chips provide. Regular wood chips or mulch don’t provide enough cushioning to be considered a safe playground surface.

Landscape mulches look great as a ground cover in the landscape but they can be dusty and dirty when played in.


Playground wood chips, also known as engineered wood fiber, are designed specifically for playgrounds. Engineered wood chips have several advantages over regular wood chips or mulch. Playground chips are made from untreated wood, so they are completely free of hazardous chemicals. They are also made to certain size specifications. The chips are usually smaller than two inches, and they don’t contain any twigs or leaves and very little bark.

The material doesn’t decompose as fast as mulch, but it does become compacted. This is partly due to the design of the material. It is designed to knit together to provide cushioning, much better than regular wood chips, mulch, sand or pea gravel.

The other advantage wood chips have over sand or pea gravel; they are not as tempting for animals to use as a litter box.  The way the wood chips knit together discourages this.

Playground wood chips are considered an attenuated surface; as long as the depth requirements are met, they provide a safer cushioning in the event a child falls. You will need the playground chips to be a minimum of nine inches thick for fall attenuation.  However, the recommended depth, especially in public playgrounds with tall structures, to break falls from up to 12 feet high is to install the initial playground chips to a depth of 12 inches after compaction (allow for 30%).  You may need to add a new layer about once a year to ensure that you maintain the depth.

 A good depth of woodchip guideline to follow; one inch of wood chip surfacing material for one foot of height a child could fall from.

Another advantage is that it doesn’t attract insects. Insects are attracted to some wood products, but playground chips tend to be too small for them to be interested in. The Spruce and Douglas fir trees also produce natural chemical defense compounds--the industry term is extractives that are in the woodchips deterring insects as well as giving off a fresh cut wood smell.

Engineered wood chips are also wheelchair accessible helping to meet ADA guidelines, especially in public play areas.


The safety of the children playing on your playground depends on the surface you choose to use and the maintenance of that surfacing material. 

Proper playground wood chips applied at the recommended depth can lessen the impact and chance of injury in the event of a fall. 

While an engineered wood chip product is designed to help prevent splinters or slivers, the chance of splinters or slivers is still possible due to the product being produced from wood.  

In time, depending on the amount of use a play area gets, the surface will need to be replenished with new material.

It is your responsibility as the homeowner or public playground maintenance manager to make sure the playground is properly maintained, free of debris and other toys, the proper depth is maintained with use and time and, as required, rake, mechanically till the top portion of the surface and/or add fresh surfacing material if the surfacing material becomes hard and/or has deteriorated from use.


Check out our other products for all your Bark & Wood Chip needs.

Garden & Flower Bed Compost

Utah Yard Bark is the clear choice when it comes to playground bark. Our bark is 100% natural bark ensuring a debris free playground for your family and community. Read more...

Shredded Landscaping Bark

Our shredded Bark is a byproduct of the processing of trees into lumber. Our bark is double ground and aged to produce a fine fibrous texture providing the optimal ground cover for planted areas. Read more...

Economy Ground Cover/Compost

Looking for a affordable and simple ground cover for your property or to do some major weed control? Utah Yard Bark has you covered with our available economy ground cover and compost. Read more...

About Us

Utah Yard Bark natural Utah Wood Products was established in 2000 to fill the need for bulk deliveries to residential, business & commercial sites of all natural engineered wood chips for use in play areas. Read more...

Based out of Provo Utah

Phone: (801) 810-5185

Our Services

Utah Yard Bark offers a wide variety of landscaping bark products that will fit all your landscaping needs.

Playground Wood Chips.

Shredded Landscaping Bark.

Garden and Flower Bed Compost. 

Economy Ground Cover/Compost.

Please include the product interested in as well as how many cubic yards needed.