Training Surface Rubber Mulch2019-06-25T09:25:27-05:00

Training Course Rubber Mulch

Highest Safety Standards • Durable & Cost-Effective Surfacing

Use Rubber Mulch for a Smarter & Safer Training Course

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

Training Surface Applications
  • Obstacle Course Safety Surfacing

  • Climbing Wall Safety Surfacing

  • Ropes Course Safety Surfacing

  • Fitness Course Safety Surfacing

  • Police Training Course Safety Surfacing

  • Military Training Course Safety Surfacing

When it’s time to train, you need a training surface you can count on and one that’s as tough as the people training on it. Rubber mulch is the smart choice for all obstacle course, ropes course, and combat training course safety surfacing. Not only does rubber mulch help improve training safety, it’s more durable, cost-effective, maintenance free, and eco-friendly that other safety surfacing materials. A training surface material like rubber mulch can greatly reduce any injuries your participants 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 trainee safe. Rubber mulch helps cushion falls it provides 2.5 times more fall protection than grass, dirt, sand, pea gravel, engineered wood fiber (EWF), and wood mulch.

Get the Facts
Rubber Mulch Calculator
FAQs & Resources

Get the Facts About Rubber Mulch for Obstacle & Training Courses

And Other Surface Safety Standards

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 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 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"

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

Training Course Rubber Mulch Benefits

  • Creates safer training & obstacle courses

  • Reduces injuries from falls
  • Up to 65% 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

Training Course 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

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 training or obstacle course 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 courses that are ready for training 365 days a year, year after year.

65% COST SAVINGS

Rubber Mulch vs Wood Mulch/Engineered Wood Fiber

Over 12 Year Period

GroundSmart™ Training & Obstacle Course Rubber Mulch saves you 65% compared to Wood Fiber/Wood Mulch

How Much Rubber Mulch Do You Need?

Rubber Mulch Coverage Calculator for Your Course 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
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Rubber Mulch Frequently Asked Questions

What makes GroundSmart better for my training course compared to other rubber mulches?2019-04-26T10:50:34-05:00

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 GroundSmart Rubber mulch is needed for a training course?2019-04-26T10:50:35-05:00

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.

The amount of GroundSmart Rubber Mulch used per square foot is dependent upon on the required fall height rating of the training equipment. GroundSmart Rubber Mulch is IPEMA certified to provide up to 16’ of critical fall height protection per ASTM F1292-13.

Proper compaction can be achieved by using a lawn roller. Once the GroundSmart Rubber Mulch is raked and leveled into place, the lawn roller can be pulled directly over the surface. It is recommended to roll the roller across the surface in multiple directions. If low or high spots develop while compacting the surface, material can be added into the low areas and/or raked away from the high areas and compacted again.

To reduce maintenance in high use areas where critical fall height protection is not required, rubber mats may be used. Mats can be placed under or on top of GroundSmart™ Rubber Mulch.

How should the ground be prepared before I install GroundSmart Rubber Mulch in a training course?2019-04-26T10:50:35-05:00

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.

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?2019-07-03T14:53:05-05:00

We are often asked if rubber mulch is safe for dogs and children if it is accidentally eaten. GroundSmart Rubber Mulch has been 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.

GroundSmart Rubber Mulch is 99.9% metal free, making it safe for both children and pet to play on. The Environmental Protection Agency has studied rubber mulch and found it to be a safe, non- toxic material, posing no health hazards to pets or people.

Dogs and small children are prone to chew on anything (including other surfacing materials like wood mulch, grass, dirt) so be sure to monitor them if you’re concerned about them chewing on rubber mulch. As with any accidental ingestion, it is always best to monitor them until the non-food object passes. It should pass without incident but a digestive blockage is always a risk, so consult your veterinarian or doctor if you have greater concerns.

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.

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.

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?2019-06-04T14:21:36-05:00

In order to provide maximum head impact protection and accessibility of the playground or training area, maintenance is required. A level, compacted depth of rubber mulch must be maintained.

Upon discovery of a thin, un-compacted or non-level condition, the surface of the area must be raked and compacted to ensure consistent and proper installed depths.

Periodic replenishment may be required if your rubber mulch has migrated outside of the surface area, cannot be reclaimed and a level compact depth for the required fall height protection cannot be achieved.

How do I install rubber mulch?2019-06-04T14:21:20-05:00

Install GroundSmart Rubber Mulch at a uniform level throughout the surface area. Any variety of method can be used for spreading the mulch including blowing, shoveling and raking. Care should be taken to not disturb the substrate material and/or landscape fabric if used.

The amount of rubber mulch used per square foot is dependent upon on the required fall height rating of the playground equipment. Rubber mulch is IPEMA certified to provide up to 16’ of critical fall height protection per ASTM F1292-13. To achieve a maximum fall heights when installed in fall zones of a playground, the following depths and ratios must be followed:

Fall Height Protection per ASTM F1292-13

Un-Compacted Depth

Final Compacted Depth

Weight per Sq. Ft. Compacted

Up To 16 FT.

7"

6"

15.3 lbs

Up To 12 FT.

6"

5"

13.1 lbs

Up To 10 FT.

5"

4"

10.9 lbs

Proper compaction can be achieved by using a lawn roller. Once the rubber mulch is raked and leveled into place, the lawn roller can be pulled directly over the surface. It is recommended to roll the roller across the surface in multiple directions. If low or high spots develop while compacting the surface, material can be added into the low areas and/or raked away from the high areas and compacted again.

To reduce maintenance of your rubber mulch in high use areas where critical fall height protection is not required, rubber mats may be used. Mats can be placed under or on top of the rubber mulch.

When is the best time to put down rubber mulch?2019-06-21T10:12:49-05:00

It’s a best practice to lay your mulch down when the soil has warmed up from the winter season. We advise laying mulch down during mid to late spring. Mulching too early can slow down the warming process and negatively affect plant life for seasons to come.

Spring is also the best time to check for debris from the winter such as dead plants and weeds. Be sure to clean out this area before laying down a new layer of mulch.

Not sure how much recycled rubber mulch you need for your project? Try our coverage calculator.

Prior to installing rubber mulch the area must be cleared of all grass, wood chips, rocks, stumps, gravel, or any other type of debris.

How do I prepare the ground for rubber mulch?2019-06-04T14:21:00-05:00

The area where 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 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 rubber mulch will be installed above grade, use of a retaining system is highly recommended to reduce migration of 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 3-6 inch base layer of loose-fill (e.g., gravel for drainage). The next layer should be a Geotextile cloth. rubber mulch should be installed directly over this layer. Embedded in the 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 rubber mulch the area must be cleared of all grass, wood chips, rocks, stumps, gravel, or any other type of debris.

Related Rubber Mulch Installation Questions

4 Steps to a Safe & Beautiful Course Using Rubber Mulch
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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

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Find the perfect training or obstacle course rubber mulch color to match any project in any environment

Cedar Red

Customer Rated:

Rated 5.00 out of 5
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Cedar Red Rubber Mulch

Mocha Brown

Customer Rated:

Rated 5.00 out of 5
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Mocha Brown Rubber Mulch

Espresso Black

Customer Rated:

Rated 5.00 out of 5
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Espresso Black Rubber Mulch

Green

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Green Rubber Mulch

Blue

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Blue Rubber Mulch

Shop Now for GroundSmart Training Course Rubber Mulch

Find the perfect training or obstacle course 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
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Green Rubber Mulch
Green
Customer Rated:

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

Rated 5.00 out of 5
Shop Now