About Rubber Mulch

GroundSmart™ Rubber Mulch is an innovative and eco-friendly alternative to traditional wood mulch for landscaping and playgrounds. Compared to wood mulch, rubber mulch is safer, more cost-effective, durable, environmentally-friendly and lower-maintenance. Plus, rubber mulch is clean – minimizing airborne dust and particles. Available in five fade-resistant colors, GroundSmart™ Mulch is a superior solution for your next playground and landscaping project.

Rubber Mulch is Smarter

Because you do not have to re-apply rubber mulch every year, you can save up to 65% over 5 years compared to traditional wood mulch. You save not only the costs of buying new mulch, but also on the labor (and hassle) of re-applying it on a yearly basis.  Your wallet and your back will thank you.

Rubber Mulch is Stronger

Unlike wood mulch, rubber mulch doesn’t splinter, is resistant to decomposition, compression, wind and water erosion, bug and rodent infestation, and fading caused by sunlight. Rubber mulch lasts up to 10 times longer and retains its color and vibrancy while not staining clothes or skin – even in the rain. The GroundSmart™ Color-Lock Warranty guarantees that your rubber mulch will maintain its color for at least 12 years.

Rubber Mulch is Safer

A softer surface than traditional wood mulch, impact studies on rubber mulch have shown a significant reduction in contusion and head-related injuries, with an IPEMA ASTM F1292-09 Certification for fall heights up to 16 feet. Extensive testing by the EPA and certification by the IPEMA supports rubber mulch as environmentally-friendly and safe for your kids and pets. GroundSmart™ Rubber Mulch has been determined to be wheelchair accessible per ASTM F1951-99 and the Rubber Manufacturers Association has determined tire chips are non-flammable in accordance with the Federal Hazardous Substance Act (16 CFR 1500.44).  

Landscaping Rubber Mulch

How to use: Spread 1.5 inches deep throughout landscape areas . For maximum weed protection, install a weed block landscape fabric underneath mulch.

Playground Safety Surface Rubber Mulch

How to use: Spread 6 inches deep. Check depth annually to ensure proper mulch depth of 6 inches is maintained. Add additional mulch if necessary.

Where to Use: Throughout landscape areas or anywhere traditional wood mulch, decorative rock or other ground covering materials are used. May be installed next to tree trunks, house foundations or other wood structures, unlike wood mulch.

Where to Use: Throughout entire play area. Ensure a minimum 6 foot safety zone around all play structures.

Where Not to Use: Before flower and vegetable seeds have germinated and around underdeveloped plants until they have had time to mature.

Where Not to Use: On Playground equipment. Use as playground safety surface only.

Why to Use:

  • Does not attract termites and other insects, like wood mulch
  • Saves time and money by eliminating annual mulching
  • Prevents weeds
  • 12 year color-lock guarantee
  • Up to 2X coverage per cu ft vs wood mulch
  • Supports plant health by allowing water and nutrients to pass directly into soil
  • Does not float or blow away
  • Will not rot
  • No mold, fungus or mildew
  • Wheel chair accessible per ASTM F1951-99
Why to Use:

  • IPEMA certified to provide up to 16’ of fall height protection per ASTM F1292-09 at a 6” compacted depth
  • Saves time and money by eliminating annual mulching
  • Prevents weeds
  • 12 year color-lock guarantee
  • Up to 2X coverage per cu ft vs wood mulch
  • Resists rodent infestation
  • Does not float or blow away
  • Will not rot
  • No mold, fungus or mildew
  • Wheel chair accessible per ASTM F1951-99
When to Use: Anytime.
When to Use: Anytime.
Notice: This is not the product label. Always read and follow the product label instructions before use.

Comments (19)

  • Wayne Houtler

    March 28th, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    I’m curious about the flammability of your product. Please send any information regarding the specification to me as soon as possible.



    • GroundSmart

      March 28th, 2013 at 4:56 pm

      Thanks for the inquiry Wayne. We’ll send information to you via e-mail asap. We’ll also be updating this page, and the entire ‘Learn’ section, with a lot more information over the next couple of weeks.

  • Jerrry Threlkeld Jr.

    April 15th, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    Would like to know if your product could be used in place of rocks; say in a Pond, Fish Tank, etc.?

    Will your product float in water?


  • Jimmy Schools

    April 17th, 2013 at 6:48 pm

    I also would like information about the flammability of your product. Please send any information regarding the specification to me as soon as possible.

    • GroundSmart

      April 23rd, 2013 at 6:53 pm

      We’ll be adding this info to other areas of the site soon, but here is some flammability info from the Rubber Manufacturer’s Association about recycled rubber chips:

      Tire chips were tested in 1995 in accordance with the Federal Hazardous Substance Act (16 CFR 1500.44) to determine whether this material would be considered “flammable” (a material is considered flammable if it ignites and burns with a self-sustained flame at a rate greater than 0.1 inches per second along its major axis).

      From the test results it was concluded that scrap tire material is considered non-flammable.

      Here is a link to that page:

  • Name*Isabel R. Erostegui

    April 24th, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    I would like to know about flammability of your product.

    • GroundSmart

      April 24th, 2013 at 5:40 pm

      Isabel, please take a look at our response to the comment above, which contains some info about the Flammability testing performed by the Rubber Manufacturer’s Association, along with a link to more details about the testing results.

  • Frank Griffin

    May 23rd, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    Is your product considered 100% metal free?

    • GroundSmart

      May 24th, 2013 at 2:05 am

      Our product is 99.99% metal free – meaning there is a very slight risk of finding metal in it – though you have a better chance at getting a splinter from wood mulch than finding metal in our rubber mulch.

      Our metal removal and quality control process involves high strength magnets to remove ferrous metal and metal detection to detect and remove both ferrous and non-ferrous metals such as aluminum and brass. This process was developed for the food industry, so the standards are high.

      Something worth mentioning is that GroundSmart Rubber Mulch is 99.99% Metal-free, while many other Rubber Mulch products are only 99.9% metal-free. This may not seem like much of a distinction, but that .09% could mean up to 2 pounds of metal per ton.

  • Edward Laue

    June 20th, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    Multch is also used to retain water in the soil and protect from hot summers so watering is needed less frequently. Does your product help with this issue?

    • GroundSmart

      June 24th, 2013 at 4:26 pm

      Edward: Like wood mulch, GroundSmart Rubber Mulch helps insulate the soil and retain moisture. GroundSmart Rubber Mulch is even more efficient, as it is non-absorbent and doesn’t wick moisture out of the soil like wood mulch. In fact, GroundSmart Rubber Mulch allows nearly 8 times as much water to reach the soil compared with 3″ of wood mulch.

  • Cynthia Anderko

    July 31st, 2013 at 7:10 pm

    My neighbors are concerned that the mulch will smell like a rubber factory when it is hot and humid. Will it?

    • GroundSmart

      July 21st, 2013 at 4:33 am

      No, it will not. Occasionally there is a slight smell when it is fresh out of the bag (or super sack), but within 48 hours any odor is gone.

  • Eli Webb

    December 17th, 2013 at 12:17 am

    I am a high school student at Jonesboro High School and we are researching the pros and cons of burning tires vs. the re purposing of tires like in rubber mulch. I was curious if you could send me information on how many tires you go through in a year (if you use tires), describe some of the processes, are there any chemicals that are produced and how much, the average cost for a facility to be built and an average figure for revenue, and an average of how many people work in a facility. I realize that some of this information might not be able to be shared but if at all possible it would help me out if i had it. Thanks

    • GroundSmart

      December 17th, 2013 at 12:42 pm

      Eli, we will reply directly via e-mail with as much info as we can share. Thanks for contacting us.

  • Veronica Murray

    April 19th, 2014 at 7:40 am

    The preschool I work for is trying to attain a grant in order to fill our playground with your rubber mulch, and we would be purchasing it from Sam’s. One question we have is about heat. One of our playgrounds has virtually no shade and in Ks we have 105 degree temps for a few weeks in the summer and we have heard that the mulch can get too hot to play on. Is that true? Secondly, keeping in mind that we are making our purchase from Sam’s club, right now I don’t see a sand, camel, or tan color. Is it possible to get that color from Sam’s this year? If not, can you advise of any retailer that you work with that would offer that lighter color and price match with Sam’s.

    • GroundSmart

      April 21st, 2014 at 2:36 pm

      Thank you for your interest in GroundSmart™ Rubber Mulch. Based on temperature studies that we’ve conducted, our rubber mulch does not get any hotter than the plastic equipment commonly found on new playgrounds. Plastic slides and swings are hotter in direct sunlight than our rubber mulch. While we recognize that direct sunlight can make our product warm, we have not had any reports of children not being able to play on it due to heat. Instead, we’ve had reports that playground owners limit play because the plastic equipment is too hot to touch. Installing a shade structure can be a great idea to improve the comfort level of the play area in the summertime and most playground equipment manufacturers recommend one be installed. If it is in your budget, this would keep both the surface and the equipment cooler.

      Our temperature studies also showed that our Mocha Brown is the coolest color in our color palette. Due to the types of pigments we use and our coating levels, Mocha Brown stays cooler than lighter shades we once produced and is also cooler than our Blue and Green rubber mulch.

  • Rhonda Corolla

    August 31st, 2014 at 6:53 am

    Does your rubber mulch deter insects and animals better than wood mulch?

    • GroundSmart

      September 4th, 2014 at 3:10 pm

      As a non-organic substance, GroundSmart Rubber Mulch does not provide nutrients or an hospitable environment for insects, so it DOES act as an excellent deterrent for bugs and the animals that consume them.

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