Playground Rubber Mulch2019-05-06T15:53:16-05:00

Playground Rubber Mulch

Delivering Safe & Stylish Solutions For Play Areas

Use Rubber Mulch for a Smarter & Safer Playground

GroundSmart Rubber Mulch is an innovative & eco-friendly ground cover product

Playground Rubber Mulch Applications & Uses
  • Residential Playgrounds

  • HOA/Neighborhood Playgrounds

  • School Playgrounds

  • City/County/State Park Playgrounds

  • Daycare Playgrounds

  • Church Playgrounds

  • Commercial Playgrounds

Some of the best memories children have are made on the local playground as they run, jump, swing, climb, and imagine their way into new adventures. Sometimes, traumatic memories are made when a nasty fall onto the play surface leads to a broken bone, head injury, or painful scrape. A play surface material like rubber mulch can greatly reduce any injuries your child might sustain.

Unlike wood mulch/chips, pea gravel, and sand, rubber mulch does not turn into a compacted or hard surface with frequent use. It won’t blow away in high winds or float away during big rain storms either, and stays in place to keep your child safe. Rubber mulch has been evaluated by groups like the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) as an appropriate loose full surfacing material for residential and commercial playgrounds because it provides superior fall protection when compared to other materials.

Get the Facts
Rubber Mulch Calculator
FAQs & Resources

Keeping the “Play” in Playground

GroundSmart is the nation’s leading provider of playground rubber mulch that exceeds today’s playground safety standards and guidelines and helps keeps millions of scrap tires and billions of pounds of scrap tire rubber out of landfills every year. We are dedicated to turning recycled tire rubber into new, innovative, eco-friendly, and sustainable rubber mulch products that keep playgrounds safe and improve the environment.

Get the Facts About Playground Rubber Mulch

And Other Surface Safety Standards

Rubber Mulch Meets All Safety Standards

GroundSmart Playground Rubber Mulch meets the criteria required by the International Play Equipment Manufacturers Association (IPEMA) for certification as a playground or play area safety surface and wheelchair accessibility.

  • American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) F1292-13
  • American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) F1951-99
  • American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) F3012
GroundSmart™ Playground Rubber Mulch Certifications

GroundSmart Rubber Mulch

Fall Height Protection

Safety Surfacing Compacted Depth

Up To 16 FT.

6"

Up To 12 FT.

5"

Up To 10 FT.

4"

Wood Fiber & Wood Mulch

Fall Height Protection

Safety Surfacing Compacted Depth

Up To 10 FT.

9" (Fiber)

Up To 7 FT.

9" (Mulch)

While wood mulch and wood chips have been the most popular playground surface material for years, they can be costly in the long run due to yearly upkeep costs. They also decay overtime causing splinters, attracting pests, become compacted reducing fall protection, and can be washed or blown away from weather events.

Pea Gravel

Fall Height Protection

Safety Surfacing Compacted Depth

Up To 5 FT.

9"

Pea gravel is composed of smooth, small stones that come in a variety of natural color ranges. It can be an attractive playground surface material, but it is far from ideal from a safety standpoint. Over time pea gravel compresses into a hard, non-shock absorbing surface that can be extremely painful to fall onto and no matter how hard you try, you always end up with several in your shoe that can also be painful to step on.

Sand

Fall Height Protection

Safety Surfacing Compacted Depth

Up To 4 FT.

9"

Playground sand only provides protection from falls up to 5 feet compared to the 10-12 feet that playground rubber mulch provides. In the long run, playground sand compacts, is messy, gets extremely hot in direct sun, and is seen as a giant litter box by animals.

Playground Rubber Mulch Benefits

  • Creates safer playgrounds
  • Reduces injuries from falls
  • IPEMA certified for critical fall height protection (ASTM F1292-13)
  • Recommended by the Consumer Product Safety Commission “CPSC” for use as a playground safety surface
  • Meets Americans with Disabilities Act “ADA” accessibility standards as playground safety surface (ASTM F1951-99)
  • Up to 60% savings versus engineered wood fiber (EWF) or wood mulch in playground or play area applications
  • Inhibits growth of mold and fungi, reducing allergy risk
  • Saves time and money by eliminating annual mulching
  • Requires up to 50% less material than engineered wood fiber (EWF) or wood mulch

Playground Rubber Mulch Features

  • 12 year Color-Lock guarantee
  • Helps prevent weeds
  • Does not attract termites, carpenter ants or other harmful wood destroying insects
  • Resists rodent infestation
  • Does not float, absorb water, erode or blow away with heavy wind or rain
  • Will not rot unlike engineered wood fiber (EWF) or wood mulch
  • 100% Recycled Rubber
  • 99.9% Wire Free
  • Non-toxic

Playground Rubber Mulch Cost Benefits

Products like wood mulch and engineered wood fiber (EWF) break down and decompose. As a result, the cost and maintenance of a playground using wood mulch or engineered wood fiber (EWF) significantly increases over time. Additionally, as these products break down and decompose the critical fall height protection they provide is reduced. GroundSmart Rubber Mulch does not break down or decompose and helps create safer, smarter playgrounds that are ready for play 365 days a year, year after year.

59% COST SAVINGS

Rubber Mulch vs Wood Mulch/Engineered Wood Fiber

Over 12 Year Period

GroundSmart™ Playground Rubber Mulch saves you 59% compared to Wood Fiber/Wood Mulch

Playground Examples Using GroundSmart Rubber Mulch

Cedar Red Rubber Mulch for Playgrounds
Mocha Brown Rubber Mulch for Playgrounds
Espresso Black Rubber Mulch for Playgrounds
Blue Rubber Mulch for Playgrounds

How Much Rubber Mulch Do You Need?

Rubber Mulch Coverage Calculator for Your Playground Project

Calculator Directions

  • Select Your Planned Usage

  • Select your Installed Depth

  • Enter Your Dimensions

We’ve put together an easy to use rubber mulch coverage calculator so you can easily figure out how much rubber mulch you’ll need to cover your project. Simply input your dimensions and we’ll tell you how much you need! 

Coverage Calculator

1 Select Product Use:
2

Select Desired Installed Mulch Depth:?

Please select your Product Use.
Depth in Inches:
3

Select the Calculation Unit of Measure:

4

Enter Site Dimensions:

Please Select Your Unit of Measure.
Length ft.
Width ft.
sq. ft.
cu. ft.
cu. yd
Calculate
Reset

Total Volume: cu. ft.
Amount of Mulch Required for Your Project
0.8 cuft bag



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0.8 cuft bag



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1.25 cuft bag



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1.5 cuft bag



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Pallet


contains 98 - 0.8 cu. ft bags


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76.9 cuft bag


BULK BAG


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38.5 cuft bag


BULK BAG


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Rubber Mulch Frequently Asked Questions

Will rubber mulch fade or discolor like wood mulch?2019-04-30T10:04:56-05:00

No, GroundSmart Rubber Mulch comes with a 12 year color-lock guarantee. GroundSmart Rubber Mulch looks great 365 days a year, year after year, and it’s more durable, cost-effective, maintenance free and eco-friendly than wood mulch, stone and other common landscape groundcover materials.

What if my child or dog eats rubber mulch?2019-04-30T10:07:03-05:00

Despite our fun and vibrant colors, GroundSmart Rubber Mulch doesn’t taste very good. Nonetheless, we had GroundSmart Rubber Mulch tested using the European toy test method EN 71-3 which determines if heavy and toxic metals will leach out of a product when exposed to stomach acid should a person or pet consume a piece. Nothing was determined to leach out of GroundSmart Rubber Mulch when exposed to stomach acid.

Does GroundSmart Rubber Mulch prevent broken bones and sprains?2019-04-26T10:50:36-05:00

Currently, there is not an approved or accredited test to evaluate the risk of a broken arm or leg.

Does that mean you/your child won’t be hurt after a fall from up to 16 ft?2019-04-26T10:50:36-05:00

No. A broken nose, brief loss of consciousness and other injuries may still happen but the risk of the most severe type of non-fatal injury – a non-recoverable brain injury – are dramatically reduced.

What is the maximum certified fall height protection from GroundSmart Rubber Mulch?2019-04-26T10:50:36-05:00

When installed and maintained to a proper depth for the surrounding equipment, GroundSmart Rubber Mulch softens the impact by gradually slowing the fall and dispersing the energy which greatly reduces the risk for a traumatic brain injury. GroundSmart Rubber Mulch has the unique ability to provide this protection all year, rain or shine in a variety of climates.

What are some of the short term and long term symptoms of brain injuries such as concussions?2019-04-26T10:50:36-05:00

Acute symptoms can include unconsciousness, inability to recall the traumatic event, confusion, difficulty learning and remembering new information, trouble speaking coherently, unsteadiness, lack of coordination and problems with vision or hearing.  Long term symptoms include violence, anger, depression and increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s.
Source 1: Mayo Clinic
Source 2: Alzheimer’s Association

What’s wrong with falling on grass, dirt or sand?2019-04-26T10:50:36-05:00

Falling on grass, dirt and sand is how a lot of us grew up and we’re fine, right? Thanks to the NFL and the automotive industry, today we know a lot more about head impact protection and traumatic brain injuries. The most important recent finding is that every bump to the head – whether big or small – is cumulative. Each one adds up and has an effect on the brain. Brain injuries can be the result of multiple small bumps to the head or one large hit to the head. Having a reliable, all weather safety surface made from GroundSmart™ Rubber Mulch helps reduce the number and severity of impacts to the head that can result in brain injuries.

How should the ground be prepared before I install rubber mulch in a playground?2019-04-30T10:07:21-05:00

The area where GroundSmart™ Rubber Mulch will be installed must be graded for proper drainage with a substrate that is compacted to provide a firm, even base.

Installation of a commercial grade geotextile landscape fabric is recommended under GroundSmart™ Rubber Mulch. Seam overlap needs to be a minimum of three inches and all seams need to be properly secured to prevent dirt or other substrate material from mixing with the safety surfacing. Additionally, the landscape fabric needs to be properly secured at the perimeter and around all installed equipment posts or polls. If stone or other material is used as part of a drainage system then the use of landscape fabric is also recommended in order to ensure that the materials do not mix.

If GroundSmart™ Rubber Mulch will be installed above grade, use of a retaining system is highly recommended to reduce migration of GroundSmart™ Rubber Mulch outside of the designated area and to help maintain a level, compacted play area.

When installing over hard surfaces such as asphalt or concrete, follow the November 2010 Consumer Product Safety Commission Publication 325 Public Playground Safety Handbook section 2.4.2.3 Installing loose-fill over hard surface. This guideline recommends that immediately over the hard surface there should be a 3- to 6-inch base layer of loose-fill (e.g., gravel for drainage). The next layer should be a Geotextile cloth. GroundSmart™ Rubber Mulch should be installed directly over this layer. Embedded in the GroundSmart™ Rubber Mulch should be impact attenuating mats under high traffic areas, such as under swings, at slide exits, and other places where displacement is likely.

Prior to installing GroundSmart™ Rubber Mulch the area must be cleared of all grass, wood chips, rocks, stumps, gravel, or any other type of debris.

Read the full set of instructions here.

What are the financial benefits for rubber mulch in playgrounds?2019-04-30T10:07:31-05:00

GroundSmart Playground Rubber Mulch is the smart, economical solution in playground safety surfacing. GroundSmart Rubber Mulch provides up to a 59% savings versus wood mulch or engineered wood fiber (EWF) over a 12 year period.

Products like wood mulch and engineered wood fiber (EWF) break down and decompose. As a result, the cost and maintenance of a playground using wood mulch or engineered wood fiber (EWF) significantly increases over time. Additionally, as these products break down and decompose the critical fall height protection they provide is reduced.

GroundSmart Rubber Mulch does not break down or decompose and helps create safer, smarter playgrounds that are ready for play 365 days a year, year after year.

GroundSmart™ Playground Rubber Mulch saves you 59% compared to Wood Fiber/Wood Mulch

Who recommends or approves rubber mulch as a playground safety surface?2019-04-26T10:50:37-05:00

There are many entities that support the use of rubber mulch including federal, state and local environmental agencies, the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) and the International Play Equipment Manufacturers Association (IPEMA). Rubber mulch has been proven effective in reducing critical brain related injuries from falls.

What makes GroundSmart better for my playground compared to other rubber mulches?2019-04-26T10:50:37-05:00

GroundSmart Rubber Mulch is produced to tight manufacturing specifications. This manufacturing process is certified by the International Play Equipment Manufacturers Association (IPEMA) to provide consistent head impact protection. The end product is 99.9% metal free, provides up to 16 ft of critical fall height protection and comes with a 12 year color warranty.

How many inches of rubber mulch is needed for a playground?2019-04-30T10:09:53-05:00

We recommend a 4″ to 6″ compacted layer of GroundSmart™ Rubber Mulch. A 4″ inch compacted layer is International Play Equipment Manufacturers Association (IPEMA) certified to provide up to 10 ft of critical fall height protection, a 5″ compacted layer will provide up to 12 ft and a 6″ compacted layer will provide up to 16 ft of critical fall height protection. When assessing how much GroundSmart™ Rubber Mulch you need, be sure to measure from the highest point where someone could jump or fall.

How do I clean rubber mulch?2019-04-30T10:05:11-05:00

Leaves and small branches can be blown off the surface with careful use of a leaf blower. The coating does not stain or absorb odors from urine. GroundSmart Rubber Mulch’s color can be freshened with the use of a mild detergent and a power washer on a low setting.

How do I maintain rubber mulch?2019-04-30T10:05:20-05:00

Minimal maintenance is required for GroundSmart Rubber Mulch. GroundSmart Rubber Mulch resists degrading, floating and blowing away. All colors come with our 12 year Color Lock Guarantee. Raking, leveling and compacting are occasionally required to maintain the desired depth of 4″, 5″ or 6″.

How do I install rubber mulch?2019-04-30T10:06:04-05:00

Installation is simple. GroundSmart Rubber Mulch is conveniently available in a pallet with 98 individual 0.8 cu. ft. poly bags, 76.9 cu. ft. Bulk Bags or 38.5 cu. ft. Bulk Bags. Once your ground is prepared, simply slit either bag size open and GroundSmart Rubber Mulch pours out. As it pours out, simply rake it in place and compact it. Care should be taken to not disturb the substrate material and/or landscape fabric if used.

4 Steps to a Safe & Beautiful Playground using Rubber Mulch
Calculate Rubber Mulch needed for playgrounds
CALCULATE
Order GroundSmart™ Rubber Mulch for playgrounds
ORDER
GroundSmart™ Rubber Mulch helps coordinate shipping for your playground rubber mulch
DELIVER
Installing GroundSmart™ Rubber Mulch for your playground is easy!
INSTALL

GroundSmart Rubber Mulch products are available at major lawn & garden retailers, mass merchandisers, and garden centers

Find Rubber Mulch Near You
Home Depot Vigiro Brand Rubber Mulch
GroundSmart™ Rubber Mulch is available at Walmart
GroundSmart™ Rubber Mulch is available at Sam's Club
GroundSmart™ Rubber Mulch is available at Costco

Shop Now for GroundSmart Playground Rubber Mulch

Find the perfect playground rubber mulch color to match any project in any environment

Cedar Red

Customer Rated:

Rated 5.00 out of 5
Shop Now
Cedar Red Rubber Mulch

Mocha Brown

Customer Rated:

Rated 5.00 out of 5
Shop Now
Mocha Brown Rubber Mulch

Espresso Black

Customer Rated:

Rated 5.00 out of 5
Shop Now
Espresso Black Rubber Mulch

Green

Customer Rated:

Rated 5.00 out of 5
Shop Now
Green Rubber Mulch

Blue

Customer Rated:

Rated 5.00 out of 5
Shop Now
Blue Rubber Mulch

Shop Now for GroundSmart Playground Rubber Mulch

Find the perfect playground rubber mulch color to match any project in any environment

Cedar Red Rubber Mulch
Cedar Red
Customer Rated:

Rated 5.00 out of 5
Shop Now
Mocha Brown Rubber Mulch
Mocha Brown
Customer Rated:

Rated 5.00 out of 5
Shop Now
Espresso Black Rubber Mulch
Espresso Black
Customer Rated:

Rated 5.00 out of 5
Shop Now
Green Rubber Mulch
Green
Customer Rated:

Rated 5.00 out of 5
Shop Now
Blue Rubber Mulch
Blue
Customer Rated:

Rated 5.00 out of 5
Shop Now