Finding the right spot in your backyard to place your new trampoline is a real problem. You need to consider the aesthetics, the landscape, and also what goes under the trampoline. Yes, you read that right. Choosing what to put under the trampoline is an important decision.
You might be inclined to just place it in the yard. After all, the soft grass in your backyard should be perfect, right? Well, yes, you can do that. However, it is not the safest nor the most hassle-free solution out there.
My top five things to put under trampoline are –
- Rubber Mulch
- Grass (Artificial or Natural)
- Wood Chips
- Play Sand
- And burying it below ground level.
Now, each method has different strengths and weaknesses. Some can cost you a lot of moolah, while some may require you to take a bit of extra work. But I believe that knowing your options is never a bad thing and can help you decide what is best for your trampoline and your backyard.
And that is exactly why I am here today. Here, I will give you five great ideas about what to put under your trampoline so that you can pick out the perfect solution for yourself.
What To Put Under a Trampoline?
When it comes to what to place under your trampoline, you can get quite creative. The essential thing to remember is that the material must be soft, flexible, and able to break your fall if the mat gets damaged. Frankly, I have seen many creative ideas with trampolines, but not everyone has the resources to replicate them.
But I personally prefer solutions that require minimal hassle and effort on the user’s part. That being said, here are my top five picks for the material to put under a trampoline.
Though a relatively expensive option, Rubber mulch is considered the best choice when it comes to trampoline padding. It is soft and has a bit of bounce itself. So, even if the trampoline sinks down when the jump is a bit too high, you will be fully protected at the bottom.
Getting a soft landing while jumping on a trampoline is essential. The entire purpose of putting something under a trampoline is to ensure your safety when you land. And using rubber mulch under the trampoline offers the perfect solution as long as you have the budget for it.
The main advantage of this material is that since the rubber has a really slow rate of deterioration, you will not have to replace it anytime soon. And since it is a bit bouncy itself, even if you land on it from a high jump, the chance of injuring yourself is quite slim.
If you are going with rubber mulch, make sure you dig the ground underneath the trampoline mat at least 3 inches deep. Then apply the mulch till it fills up the hole. For a 14 feet trampoline, you might need to spend around 350 to 400 dollars on rubber mulch which frankly is quite a lot.
The grass is something that you can find anywhere. If you have a decent backyard, it should already be filled with grass. But can it serve as under-trampoline padding? Well, sure. But there are some slight hiccups. First off, you need to know that there are two types of grass, natural and organic.
While natural grass is readily available on the lawn, artificial grass is made of synthetic materials and sold as a mat. Both can be used under the trampoline, but artificial grass is typically the better choice. But a lot of people also use natural grass, which is fine too, to some extent.
Can Grass Grow Under a Trampoline? [Read More]
Let me talk a bit about the advantages of using natural grass first. It is readily available in your backyard, it is soft, and all you have to do is simply place your trampoline over it. Some would say if you have a grassy lawn, you do not have to worry about a thing when buying a trampoline.
But the truth is, that poorly maintained grass can do more harm than good. When you are putting a trampoline in your backyard, you will not get easy access to whatever is under it. Unless you move the trampoline, you will not be able to maintain the grass under it.
And without maintaining the grass, it will slowly start to die out. Natural grass requires sunlight and water, and without access  to both, it will look extremely patchy after a couple of weeks. Needless to say, it will ruin the entire aesthetics of your backyard.
Personally, I am a fan of artificial grass mats. They look the same as the real deal but do not require as much maintenance. Since these are made of synthetic materials, you do not need to worry about giving them sunlight or water.
Besides, natural grass starts to grow and requires trimming every now and then. That is not an issue with artificial grass as it is made of non-organic materials. And it is soft enough to break your landing if an accident does occur.
If I seem a bit biased towards artificial grass, it is because I know first-hand how great it is. But since grass mats can be a bit expensive, I completely understand if you want a more affordable option. This brings me to –
Back when I was young, wood chips were the go-to option when preparing the padding under the trampoline. The best part about wood chips is that they are extremely affordable compared to other options unless you are going with natural grass from around the neighborhood.
In fact, if you look around, there is a chance that you can find enough wood chips around your neighborhood, eliminating the cost altogether. And since wood chips are soft enough, they can serve pretty well as padding under your trampoline. In addition, wood chips prevent weed growth, so your lawn will look clean and healthy.
Even if you cannot gather wood chips for free, there is no need to worry. When I set up my 14 ft trampoline, I had to spend only around a hundred bucks for wood chips. Needless to say, that is a small price to pay when it comes to safety for the kids or anyone else using the trampoline.
Another great material to put under the trampoline to ensure landing safety is play sand. This type of sand is shifted to such an extent that only fine grains are left. Since there are no large clumps of sand or mud, play sand is extremely soft, making it a great choice to place under trampolines.
Compared to all-purpose sand, play sand is tested carefully. However, the main issue with using play sand is its price. If you are using a 14 feet trampoline, you would need around 400 to 450 dollars to buy enough play sand to cover the space under the trampoline.
Bury The Trampoline
I bet you never thought burying your trampoline was an option, did you? Well, it turns out, that this is not only a practical solution to ensuring trampoline safety but also a highly affordable one. Well, that is if you are willing to put in some elbow grease instead of hiring a professional to dig the hole for you.
Burying the trampoline instead of putting it above ground has a couple of advantages. For instance, the distance between you as you jump and solid ground is less now that the trampoline itself is below ground level. This means getting off the trampoline is much easier than usual.
In fact, if safety is a major concern, you can take things one step further and put materials like rubber mulch or wood chips under the sunken trampoline. But to be honest, if you bury the trampoline properly, you will not have to take any other safety measures to make it kid-friendly.
For people who want to dig the hole themselves, burying a trampoline can take some hard work. Start off by measuring the diameter or area of the trampoline. Then mark out the area on the ground where you have to dig. You want to keep one inch of extra space on either side of the trampoline.
How deep you want the trampoline is entirely up to you. However, I would recommend making the middle part of the hole a bit deeper to give the trampoline mat a bit more space to work with.
The main downside of this trick is that during rain, the hole might get flooded. So you want to take out your trampoline during the rainy season. In addition, digging a hole on the ground seems easy at first. But when you start shoveling up dirt, it gets quite tiring after a while.
Do Trampolines Need to be on Grass
No, absolutely not. Though many prefer putting a trampoline on grass, you are not bound by any law to do the same. As long as the ground under the trampoline mat is soft, you are good to go.
The main issue with grass is that it is an organic matter. And like all organic matter, it requires water and sunlight to survive. When it is under the trampoline, it will not get easy access to sunlight or water, which will slowly cause it to wither and die away.
After a while, the dead grass under the trampoline will start to give way, and the trampoline will get lopsided just enough to mess with your balance. One workaround to this is moving the trampoline once in a while and sprinkling some water on the grass.
However, I prefer using an artificial mat or wood chips as moving the trampoline around just to water the grass and give it sunlight seems hardly worth the trouble.
Are Under Trampoline Mats Worth It?
Yes. Under trampoline, mats are just the same as artificial grass mats and can be an excellent way to add some much-needed padding under your trampoline. The best thing about trampoline mats is that they do not require any maintenance. So, you can just put it under your trampoline and forget about it.
The only issue, however, is its price. A high-quality under-trampoline mat, even if it is not made with artificial glass, can be quite a lot.
Can You Put a Sprinkler Under a Trampoline?
Only if you want to end up in the hospital. Placing a trampoline over a sprinkler head is the one thing you definitely want to avoid. Many homeowners install backyard sprinklers to keep the ground fresh. But if you want to put a trampoline on the yard, make sure you remove the sprinkler head beforehand.
It is extremely dangerous and can lead to some pretty serious injuries. When you are jumping on a trampoline, the trampoline mat gets stretched downwards. And if there is a sprinkler head at the bottom, it will poke into your feet. Besides, it can also tear up the trampoline mat.
Placing soft padding of some sort under your trampoline is essential to ensure the safety of the user. Trampoline related injuries may seem comical when you think about them, but you do not want to have to deal with them. Trust me on this.
I understand that not everyone can afford to spend hundreds of dollars on rubber mulch or artificial grass mats. But for them, affordable routes such as using wood chips or even natural grass can be a decent option to prevent accidents.
In addition, remember to remove sprinklers or any other hard material from under the trampoline before you start bouncing on it.
Hopefully, you will be able to figure out which material is right to put under your trampoline. Cheers!