Skip to Main Content Close
Call: 800-667-0097
  • Customer Service
    • Contact Us
    • Find a Rep

What is the rubber that they use for playgrounds?

The rubber used on playgrounds is most likely safety surfacing such as recycled rubber mulch or poured-in-place rubber. Safety surfacing is the primary way that rubber is used on playgrounds. There are a handful of different types of rubber surfacing, but they share some similarities. Rubber safety surfacing is functional, vibrant, and clean. It also requires minimal maintenance needs and lasts for many years. 

Now how do you figure out which type of rubber surfacing fits your needs best? The two main types of rubber safety surfacing are play tread rubber mulch and poured-in-place rubber safety surfacing. Let’s look at the characteristics of the different types of rubber safety surfacing.


Play Tread Rubber Mulch

Play tread rubber mulch is one of the most popular playground surfacing options. It is made from 100% recycled tires, making it environmentally friendly!

Rubber mulch can be purchased in two ways: sets of 24-pound bags, which is ideal for adding small amounts to certain areas, or 2,000-pound super sacks, which often require a forklift for maneuvering. 

Rubber mulch requires little maintenance since it does not decompose or compact. Six inches of rubber mulch can absorb falls of up to 12 feet. There are multiple color options of play tread rubber mulch, which is made to hold its vibrance for up to 12 years!

Poured-in-Place Rubber

Poured-in-Place Rubber safety surfacing is a seamless, maintenance-free option. This type of safety surfacing is installed in two layers: an impact-cushioning base layer topped with color EPDM. These layers can be installed on top of a four-inch layer of concrete, asphalt, or crushed stone. 

It is not the cheapest option for playground surfacing, but it is a worthwhile investment. Poured-in-Place surfacing is designed to last a long time and requires very minimal maintenance! This type of safety surfacing generally lasts from 10-15 years.

Poured-in-place rubber safety surfacing gives any commercial playground a more polished, clean look. It is also the best option to make your play space more inclusive to people of all ability levels, including those in wheelchairs.

Rubber Wear Mats

Rubber wear mats are often a necessary component to keep your loose-fill playground safety surfacing intact and help it last longer. We recommend placing rubber wear mats around high-foot traffic areas on the playground. It gives a nice cushion for children to stick the landing at the bottom of slides, under swing set seats, and around merry-go-rounds and spinners.

Wear mats work best for commercial playgrounds that have rubber mulch or wood fiber mulch safety surfacing. Generally, they are four feet long, two feet wide, and two inches thick. Their edges are beveled so they can be slightly buried in the mulch to eliminate a tripping hazard.

Rubber Tile Matting

Rubber Tile Matting offers a low-cost option for rubber surfacing. Rubber tiles work best for smaller play areas of indoor playgrounds. Each tile features an interlocking pin mechanism, making it easy to install and ensuring that your flooring stays secure and in place.


Edited by: Ben Thompson