Pros and Cons of Using Rubber Mulch in Playgrounds

Pros and Cons of Using Rubber Mulch in Playgrounds


Pros and Cons of Using Rubber Mulch in Playgrounds


Rubber mulch is a layer of material, rubber in this case, placed on top of an area’s soil to prepare it for use. This type is utilized in gardening and landscaping, but it was initially produced for children’s playgrounds. Its bouncy, soft surface generally came from pieces of synthetic rubber or waste tires that were buffed.

If you’re considering this material for your home or school playground, here are the advantages you should know about:

  1. Rubber Mulch is Durable

Because it’s made out of old tires, putting this type of material on your playground guarantees that it will last for a long time. Once it has bonded, it retains its position and you won’t have to fret over replacing it every month or year because it’s life span can go as long as a decade, thus saving you time, effort, and money in product replacement and installation.

  1. Rubber Mulch Comes in Various Types and Colors

One significant advantage of rubber mulch over other alternatives is that it provides a variety of options, allowing you to find one that will fit how you want your recreational area to look. You can choose from several colors and designs, which maintain its brightness and vibrancy while enduring the stomps of little feet. Look at this site to know more about your rubber mulch options.

  1. Rubber Mulch Requires Minimal Maintenance

Maintenance is crucial in any property, including playgrounds. By repairing the things that require fixing immediately, you save on substantial costs of remodeling due to extensive damage that comes as a result of ignoring the problem. Because rubber mulch is a durable and flexible material, you don’t need to exert a lot of effort in maintaining it.

To preserve the beauty of your rubber mulch surface, you must:

  • Sweep the Area Regularly – This way, you eliminate dirt and debris that may stick to the rubber mulch. Plus, you also keep your kids safe from harmful elements that they may pick up or accidentally ingest.


  • Pressure Wash Occasionally – Washing the area with the right amount of pressure from time to time scrubs away the grime that accumulates on the surface. This sort of deep cleansing should be done regularly for playgrounds and parks where lots of children play daily.


  • Remove Filth Immediately – Issues such as oil and gum must be addressed as soon as possible to prevent them from sticking permanently to the surface. Also, these problems are easier to eliminate when they’re still fresh.
  1. Rubber Mulch Endures Through Different Seasons

This material can withstand any element that nature throws against it such as snow, wind, rain, and even hail. Rubber mulch is denser in weight, which means it stays strong even in the midst of flooding events. It also performs better against the wind than wood mulch. The latter scatters its product when faced with this adversary, but rubber mulch does not have the same effect, which makes cleanup a breeze.

  1. Rubber Mulch is Shock Absorbent

This factor is an essential one to consider especially for playgrounds where children jump from high places all the time. Being shock absorbent means that using rubber mulch results in fewer injuries. Installing 80 millimeters of the material can protect kids when they fall from a height of 2.3 meters. Plus, it makes dribbling balls easier for those aspiring to be the next Stephen Curry.

Nonetheless, there are still disadvantages in utilizing this product, including:

  1. Its Composition May Have Impurities

Rubber mulch is made out of shredded old tires. It should be processed well enough to erase all traces of wire and steel to make it wholly safe for children. Some companies, though, take shortcuts, especially the dishonest ones. It’s best to choose a trustworthy firm that guarantees at least 99.5% of wire-free material.

  1. It’s Flammable

While it won’t ignite through a lit cigarette, the material will still burn if a lighted match with an open flame is dropped on it. Moreover, when it catches fire, it burns hotter and faster than wood. It also produces a thick layer of smoke and can be challenging to put out. That’s why it’s crucial to heighten the precautions taken when using this on children’s playgrounds.

  1. It Gives Off VOCs

VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, are elements that radiate from a material into the atmosphere. Rubber mulch releases these chemicals at a certain level of heat, which means that children are highly susceptible to inhaling them especially during the warm months and even ingesting small rubber pieces accidentally while playing.


Rubber mulch has its benefits for constructing soft surfaces on playgrounds. Nonetheless, it’s also wise to take note of the disadvantages that come with using this material, particularly with the chemicals that children get exposed to. Think through the pros and cons to assess whether it will work for your needs without compromising safety.


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