How do you protect little feet from slippery metal grate flooring in a water playground without constricting water flow?

The water playground at Camping de Paal in the Netherlands is the campsite’s main draw, but the original metal grate flooring was proving slippery and uncomfortable. Management needed a surface solution that would ensure water flow while keeping the kids safe and comfortable.

The problem

The largest campsite in the Netherlands, Camping de Paal hosts thousands of families each summer. One of its star attractions is an indoor subtropical water playground with a children’s lagoon, specially designed so kids can play with water toys and swim all year round. Knowing they had large volumes of water to drain, the campsite had originally constructed the floor using metal grates – but these were proving uncomfortable and slippery to walk on, especially for little feet. They needed a surface solution that not only self-drained but also provided comfort and grip underfoot.

The checklist

  • Quickly drains large volumes of water
  • Provides both grip and comfort underfoot
  • Protects bare feet from bacterial contamination
  • Covers a large surface area with as few seams as possible
  • Creates a fun and visually appealing environment for kids

The solution

The hunt was on to find a mat that would effectively cover the large metal drains without constricting them in any way. Sanimat, the Belgium distributor for Plastex, suggested creating a specialist mat that built upon the features of our popular barefoot matting Heronrib – and we were up for the challenge. We worked with the campsite and Sanimat to create a 15mm thick open-grid mat with an etched surface, four-way drainage system and channeled underbars.

The elevated height and open grid creates a self-draining system that quickly dissipates large volumes of water, while the underbars help to cushion and protect bare feet. The matting was manufactured to fit the playground’s exact specifications, so it contours perfectly over the metal grating with zero seams. Permanent antimicrobial and antifungal additives helps to protect against fungal and bacterial contamination.

At a glance


Camping de Paal


Cushioning matting that can contour seamlessly to metal grates, and quickly dissipates large volumes of water.








Cushioning , Spillage , Drainage , Slip resistance

“This project was particularly interesting because of the inherent difficulty with the structural design of the floor – the twin problems of how to deal with a lot of water, as well as to provide a safe and comfortable surface on which small children could play. Now, the water flows away easily, maintenance is eliminated and, of course, management, parents and children are all very happy!”
Rob Eyckmans, Sanimat

Product spotlight

We realise that not every flooring need can be solved with a product from our core range, so if we can’t exactly meet your requirements, we’d love to talk to you about creating a custom solution like we did for Camping de Paal.

Get in touch with your local distributor, or send us a message with what you need – and we’ll do our best to make it for you.

Bespoke Matting

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