Rubber mulch is a safer alternative to wood mulch in playgrounds for several reasons. Rubber mulch prevents the common splinters that affect falling children in playgrounds with wooden mulch. Not only does it prevent scrapes and splinters, it cushions falls. This material is two times more efficient at shock absorption than bark mulch.
This type of mulch is much more beneficial financially as well because unlike wooden mulch which can rot, mold, and deteriorate, rubber mulch does not. Wooden and bark mulch also breed insects on the playground. While wooden mulch needs to be replaced due to these inadequacies, rubber mulch does not need to be replaced at all. It is a durable material that will hold up for a lifetime.
Rubber mulch is made of recycled tires, which is better on the environment than using bark or wood. The material is absolutely non-toxic to people and animals. Maintaining rubber mulch is very easy, all that needs to be done is a light raking to level out the mulch. Any branches or leaves that fall on top of the mulch can be easily raked out. This surface doesn’t even get slippery from the rain due to the draining ability of the mulch. Just a few minutes after the rain the mulch will have drained the water through and will be ready for foot traffic.
This material is ideal for all playgrounds, public or private. There are many different colors to choose from to match your playground. Black, red, blue, green to name a few, as well as rubber mulch colors made to look like wooden mulch.
The cost of rubber mulch averages at about $4.30 per square foot and is delivered in bulk bags. Before installation of the mulch, all pebbles, roots, wood chips, and vegetation must be removed. Proceed to lay down barriers around the perimeter of the area. Rubber curb or rubber landscape timber may be used. Install a geotextile landscape fabric barrier under the play area to keep the growth of plants and roots at bay. Make sure this liner is not plastic, as a plastic liner will not allow for water drainage. After this is installed, the rubber mulch may be installed.
The mulch must be installed to 6 inches above the fabric liner. It is suggested that more rubber mulch be mounded in areas of high traffic to prevent displacement of the mulch. Rubber mats may also be helpful in this endeavor. These rubber mats are generally 4 x 6 in size and have holes in them to allow for extra drainage. Once this is completed, the mulch may be raked for a neat and even surface.