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Playground Rubber Mulch

Fall protection surfaces are not only useful on children’s playgrounds. Wherever there is a risk of injury from falls or the floor is to have an insulating effect, the installation of fall protection surfaces is recommended.

In this article, we will describe ways to use rubber playground mulch. Consider the pros and cons of its application. And make a brief review of the best rubber mulch for playgrounds. And answer to questions: How much rubber mulch do you need for the playground?  How often do you have to replace rubber mulch? Is rubber mulch safe for children?

Briefly about Rubber Mulch

  • Rubber mulch is made of 100% SBR recycled rubber and is 100% environmentally friendly as it does not harm nature.
  • Rubber mulch is in different colors and the pieces are 0.4″ to 2.7″ in length.
  • The material naturally ends up in the landscape.
  • For better holding the mulch – use polyurethane glue.

Ultimate Choice: Rubber Mulch For Playground

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Playsafer Rubber Mulch Nuggets

  • Recycled tires and are 99.9% metal-free
  • Not decompose or compress
  • Color is guaranteed to last for 12 years
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Playsafer rubber mulch is an exceptional playground protection surface, as it provides unmatched shock absorbency, and greatly reduces the incidence of playground injuries. Unlike other loose-fill surfaces, Playsafer rubber mulch nuggets require minimal maintenance, dry quickly after rain, and will not decompose. Its exceptional longevity makes Playsafer rubber mulch for play areas and playgrounds, a very cost-effective option.

The Rubber Mulch Process for Playsafer Rubberecycle – Video

Advantages of Rubber Mulch for Playground

Swinging, sliding, romping, and climbing – playgrounds are a hive of activity. Anyone planning playgrounds have to consider many aspects:

  • Is there a special theme that the playground should be adapted to?
  • Is there a special theme to which the playground should be adapted, such as a farm or a maritime museum?
  • How should the playground fit into its surroundings?
  • Is there a particular color concept to be followed?
  • How much space is available at all?
  • Is it a classic outdoor playground or a modern indoor area such as in shopping malls or airports?
  • Very important: How old are the children who are to play on this playground, and what are their requirements for playground equipment?

This list is certainly not complete, but it gives a sense of what all needs to be considered:

  1. Each decision has an impact on others. A very important one is the type and height of the play equipment because they determine the fall protection measures to be taken. From a fall height of 60 cm, special fall protection coverings are prescribed, in particular, to prevent head injuries with permanent damage.
  2. Rubber mulch is a relatively new product on the market and can be used for various purposes. It was originally developed as a fall pad/rubber for playgrounds, as it provides a super soft surface and absorbs a fall extremely well due to its structure.
    Rubber mulch can be used for various purposes.
  3. Rubber mulch can be used on almost any surface, such as grass, concrete, sand, soil, or wood.
  4. A big advantage of using rubber mulch in contrast to rubber tiles is that you do not need to prepare the surface in the same way before laying it with rubber mulch, and you do not need a 100% smooth surface.

More and more landscapers have also started to use rubber mulch for gardens, flower beds, or similar instead of ordinary bark mulch. You can get very nice results with a mix of the different colors of rubber mulch.

How to Choose Rubber Mulch for the Playground?

shredded rubber mulch for playground

Rubber Mulch In Comparison

NuPlay Rubber Nugget Playground

NuPlay Rubber Nugget Playground
  • Certified – 99.9% wire-free recycled rubber.
  • Is non-flammable.
  • Long-lasting – 12-year color guarantee against color loss

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Rubberific Rubber Mulch

Rubberific Rubber Mulch
  • From 100% recycled rubber.
  • It Will not fade.
  • It Will not rot, compress or lose its original beauty.

KIDWISE Playground Rubber Mulch

KIDWISE Playground Rubber Mulch
  • Contains some nylon threads and is 99.9%steel free.
  • Free of contaminants.
  • Meets ASTM F-1292-99 and F-1951-99.

 4,8 Rating

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Material Features

The porous structure of rubber mulch allows you to make a surface that will be injury-free, durable, but soft, and therefore comfortable for children to play on the playground. Rubber mulch made of rubber crumbs, created from recycled automobile tires, has no disadvantages inherent in wood mulch and has the following advantages:

  • perfectly conducts water, does not accumulate puddles
  • seamless surface prevents accumulation of dirt that is hard to remove
  • resistant to abrasion and weed growth
  • does not slip even when wet
  • easy to clean, requires no special maintenance
  • has a wide range of colors, the possibility of combining colors

Rubber Pad Mulch for Playgrounds – What to consider?

  • Safety

Rubber playground mulch provides maximum impact absorption of all materials. Six inches of rubber mulch can protect against falls from heights of up to ten feet. Like wood mulch, rubber mulch can also shift, so it should be monitored to ensure adequate coverage of high-traffic areas.

  • Cost

Rubber playground mulch initially costs more than grass, wood mulch, fine gravel, and sand. Although the initial cost is higher, it retains its value longer and requires less maintenance.

  • Maintenance

Rubber playground mulch is a low-maintenance covering option, so it tends to be more expensive at first. Unlike wood mulch, rubber mulch does not need to be replaced annually, and may not need to be replaced at all. Rubber mulch is durable, easy to install, and requires only a little raking to ensure that any debris is evenly distributed and removed.

  • Visual Aesthetics

Rubber playground mulch doesn’t look as natural as wood mulch, but it does have natural hues. You can choose from many colors to match your decor, landscape, or the swing itself.

How Much Rubber Mulch Do You Need?

For playgrounds, the American Society for Testing and Materials requires a safety standard depth of three to six inches of mulch. This has been determined to sufficiently cushion falls from six feet up to 12 feet.

Standard residential playsets have a platform fall height of 5-6 feet, and for that a 3-inch depth of rubber mulch is sufficient.

Commercial playgrounds like parks, schools, and daycare centers generally have higher equipment and more traction, and a 4-6 inch depth is required. Add to that the measurement for the “fall zone” which is three to six feet on all four sides of the playground, since kids don’t always fall straight down.

How big is the area?

Measuring the exact area which you will use could be daunting at first, but there are a couple of tricks to make it more manageable. You can measure the square footage, which is the equivalent of the length multiplied by the width (in feet). You can use an online square footage calculator to come up with the numbers faster.

This is easy enough to do if you have a rectangular or square space. If it is an uneven shape, you can divide the area into small rectangles, add up their total, and come up with the entire area’s square footage.

How to calculate measurement versus cost?

It’s best to refer to the manufacturer’s website for a price quote or a free estimate based on your measurements. Many rubber mulch suppliers’ sites also feature a virtual calculator to help you compute the total cost of your project specifications. You can add the shipping cost on top of them. Also, don’t hesitate to talk to a customer support agent if there is one. It’s their job to help you with concerns like these.

How often do you have to replace rubber mulch?

Rubber mulch is much longer-lasting than traditional wood mulch. Typically, wooden mulch needs to be replaced each year because it begins to break down in the weather. Rubber mulch, on the other hand, has an average life span of 10 years. Therefore, you do not have to worry about replacing it each year, which saves you both time and money.

Although rubber mulch is a durable option for ground cover, you will need to refresh the mulch from time to time. Because it is a manufactured product that has been infused with dye, the sunlight and weather will dull the color over time. While this does not impact the integrity of the mulch, it can lose its aesthetic appeal.

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FAQ - Playground repair rubber mulch

❓ Is rubber mulch safe for playground?

Rubber mulch is non-toxic and safe for use around children and pets. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) published a playground safety surfacing guideline for public playgrounds, stating rubber mulch is an appropriate loose-fill surfacing material for use on commercial playgrounds.

❓ How often do you have to replace rubber mulch?

Most manufacturers state it recycled rubber mulch will last for ten years, if not longer. Most dyes used during the rubber mulch manufacturing process will not fade or deteriorate a quickly as wood mulch.

❓ What do you put under rubber mulch for a playground?

Lay landscaping fabric. Cloth landscape fabrics are especially beneficial, as they allow water to flow into the ground beneath, preventing flooding and runoff. To install the fabric, roll it out far enough to cover the entire area you’re planning to mulch. Secure the fabric with garden staples, rocks or pavers.

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