What to Put Under a Trampoline? 7 Great Choices

So you have decided to buy a trampoline or you have already gotten one? What to put under a trampoline then? Is it possible to make full use of the space or beautify the area?

Well, it is pretty common that homeowners get overly excited about their big new toy that they forget the aesthetic part of owning one. A big metal contraption in the middle of your backyard is sure to stick out like a sore thumb, but there are ways to work around that.

Also, there is some additional stuff to consider such as your grass dying under the trampoline.

Sounds like a lot? Don’t worry as I will help you to navigate this dilemma.

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What should you put under your trampoline

What should you put under your trampoline?

Most trampolines have a clearance of between 2 to 3 feet from the ground. Add to the fact that if you have a regular to large trampoline sitting on top, that could be quite a fair amount of unused space.

The other thing to consider is aesthetics. Some people might not care too much but some would like their backyard to be sculpted nicely, or at least pleasing to the eye.

When you have a large trampoline in your backyard, it can become an opportunity for you to exercise your creativity in beautifying the area, both directly under it as well as around it.

That said, you should be aware that if you place a trampoline in a particular spot, it might not be wise to move it sometime down the road as the grass would likely have died out, unless you don’t mind waiting for them to grow back.

Here are some of my top recommendations on what you can place under your trampoline.

1. Play sand

Sand can also be used to surround your trampoline, which is an excellent alternative if you live in a region where grass doesn’t grow well.

A sand border around the trampoline can add to a desert theme while also offering some extra safety in case one of the youngsters falls off.

If you have small children, this can also be used as a sandbox. When the children have had their fill of jumping on the trampoline, they can construct sandcastles around it.

Keep in mind, however, that sand has a few disadvantages. Sand is slightly better than grass at cushioning falls, but it isn’t the safest option for avoiding injuries.

It also has a habit of being tracked all over the place, including inside the house. Plus, while you’re not looking, it’s possible that local animals will use it as a bathroom.

Lung damage can also be caused by prolonged exposure to some types of sand.

Although the quantity of exposure your children will receive is unlikely to be dangerous, it is something to think about before installing sand around your trampoline.

2. Rubber mulch

In terms of safety, rubber mulch is excellent.

When utilized in sufficient amounts, these small shredded fragments of rubber provide great shock absorption.

Rubber mulch, like wood mulch, works best when applied at a depth of 10 to 12 inches, which means you’ll need to dig under the trampoline.

Otherwise, the mulch would most likely spread around the yard.

That leads me to one of rubber mulch’s major drawbacks: it isn’t biodegradable. As you can imagine, they will not break down, maybe even long after you are gone.

And, despite the fact that most rubber mulch is dark in color, resembling dark wood mulch, it’s easy to tell it’s not natural. As a result, some homeowners consider rubber mulch to be unsightly.

Rubber mulch, like wood mulch, is a choking hazard and is quite pricey when compared to the other options on our list.

The good news is that rubber mulch won’t mold and won’t rot, so you won’t have to replace it as frequently as wood mulch.

3. Wood chips

This is one of the most affordable items to place beneath the trampoline.

The key distinguishing characteristics of wood chips are their availability and affordability.

Each bag of wood chips costs $3 to $5, and a single bag can easily cover 2 cubic feet.

Wood chips can thus be used to cover a trampoline base area for a very low price.

They look really good in areas that are wooded too.

Wood mulch, however, gives more than just looks; it also provides increased safety.

You can help prevent serious injuries from jumpers falling off the side of the trampoline by spreading enough wood mulch around it in a large enough area surrounding it.

In reality, wood chips/mulch are occasionally utilized to help with impact absorption on playgrounds. When you use it around your trampoline, it’s the same concept.

4. Artificial grass mats

Artificial grass gives both beautiful landscaping and excellent padding beneath the trampoline.

The best part is that this synthetic turf is simple to install and maintain.

You won’t have to worry about upkeep with synthetic turf, and you won’t have to move your trampoline about.

For persons jumping on the trampoline, the man-made grass/grass floor could provide a little cushion.

One drawback is the cost.

The cost of a rubber grass mat would likely set you back more than most other materials. There are several different qualities available and some can easily run into the thousands while some can be purchased from Amazon for under $100.

5. Gymnastic mats

When placed around the trampoline, these folding mats provide excellent fall protection.

However, they aren’t the most attractive option on the list; they’re typically vividly colored and may stand out against the background.

Because most of them aren’t meant to be used outside for lengthy periods of time, you’ll want to keep them inside until you need them at the trampoline.

They’re also a tad on the pricier side, but they do offer excellent cushioning.

These gymnastic mats are great for trampoline owners who have grass growing around their trampoline yet want extra safety in the event of a fall. The grass will not be damaged if the mats are removed while not in use!

6. Pea gravel

Pea gravel is a low-cost solution that, when used in large quantities, provides good shock absorption.

Many playgrounds across the country employ these small pea-sized rocks because they’re natural, attractive, and provide superior shock absorption to grass or sand.

Pea gravel, with a depth of 12 inches or more, provides a nice cushion for anyone falling off the trampoline.

It is one of the cheapest options on this list because you can acquire a lot of it for a low price.

Pea gravel is already used for landscaping by some households, so putting more surrounding the trampoline makes sense.

Before you stock up on it, you should be aware that it is a choking hazard for children under the age of five, so keep that in mind if you have little children.

Read this too: 9 Fun Trampoline Games

7. Grass

I did mention that grass under a trampoline is likely to die as they don’t receive enough sunlight, but this could be your best option if you don’t wish to spend any money or do anything beyond just placing your tramp in the yard.

They also blend in nicely with whatever you have in your backyard so it won’t contribute more to being an eyesore.

That said, they are not really that good for cushioning any impact should a jumper fall off, or if the trampoline mat rips apart.

How to close off the area under a trampoline?

I actually hardly see anyone close off the area below a trampoline. They are some situations where you might want to block it off though, especially when you have little children who might crawl below it or dogs that can run underneath while you guys are jumping.

That can quickly become an accident if no one is looking.

To close off the area, you can either set up a kind of enclosure with portable fences or just DIY it and sew some fabric together to block the bottom of the tramp.

Some trampolines actually offer a full-length enclosure so it is covered entirely from top to bottom, but frankly, they are quite hard to find these days.

Here is a really good one from Upper Bounce for kids:

I have seen some recommendations saying to use another enclosure safety net but that is really not suitable. The dimensions are not right, so you would just end up with a lot of excess net that cannot be used.

Another suggestion about building a wooden wall got me laughing too. It is really not practical and will cost way too much.

How to Make a Trampoline Look Nice: Landscaping ideas

One of the easiest ways to get started is to make use of plants. It might sound like a tough job but it is actually pretty straightforward.

I would recommend growing only smaller plants so that you can still have a clear view of the trampoline. Plants such as blue fescue, Lamium, or creeping Jenny would make good options.

Your local nursery would be able to give you better advice since each of us will have different options.

A perimeter made of plants would be a pretty awesome way to decorate your trampoline and backyard at the same time.

If you are really concerned about aesthetics, the best thing to do is to get an inground trampoline. They are much better looking and most often blend in perfectly with everything else that’s going on in the backyard.

Here are some nice ways people have placed their trampolines:

Trampoline safety

I don’t think I can overemphasize this, but safety has got to be your number one priority when setting up a trampoline. I would never sacrifice it for anything.

Here are a few basic tips when choosing a spot for your trampoline:

  • Ensure that the ground is level
  • Clear all debris and objects beneath the trampoline that should not be there
  • Secure the trampoline with an anchor kit
  • Buy trampolines with safety enclosure nets
  • Provide sufficient clearance both laterally (5ft) and vertically (20ft)
  • Don’t jump on it during wet weather

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do trampolines have to go on grass?

It is not a must, but it is recommended as grass provides a softer surface for jumpers to land on. More importantly, you should ensure that you have a level ground to situate your trampoline.

Will grass grow under a trampoline?

When a trampoline is permanently installed in a backyard and no safeguards are taken to preserve the lawn space beneath the trampoline, the grass beneath the jumping mat will normally die after some time. Jumping mats block direct sunlight from reaching the grass below and can prevent water from reaching the soil beneath, making it difficult for the grass to survive in the long run.

How to keep the grasses under a trampoline alive?

You can either move your trampoline regularly or install a water sprinkler nearby to water the grass. This does not negate the fact that the grass will not receive ample sunlight though, so either move your trampoline or switch to an inground one instead.

Can you put fake grass under a trampoline?

Yes, you can. It is an excellent alternative to grass under a trampoline especially when the grass is not growing well due to a lack of sunlight and water. They will also enhance the beauty of the trampoline and your backyard.

Can you put a trampoline on gravel?

Yes, you can put a trampoline on gravel. You can make a gravel patch large enough to lay your trampoline on if you don’t have any in your yard. Gravel requires relatively little upkeep and eliminates the need to worry about grass or weeds beneath your trampoline.

Can a trampoline be placed on concrete?

It is not advisable to place a trampoline on concrete, even if you have a safety net enclosure. Any falls may cause serious injury, and the constant impact against the hard floor will increase the wear and tear of the trampoline. If you have no other option, you should place rubber padding all around the trampoline.

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Jacob Mackay
Jacob Mackay

Hi, I'm Jacob Mackay. I work as a structural engineer currently based in Tampa, Florida. Trampolines have brought a ton of fun to my family and now I wish to pay it forward through this blog. You will find a trove of well-researched articles that will help you choose the best trampolines, how to use them safely, as well as pick up a few tricks that will impress your friends and family! Connect with me on LinkedIn or learn more about Trampoline Junction!

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