Pros and cons of using rubber mulch for playgrounds

Posted by PlaySmart on September 11, 2018

Rubber mulch is one of the most popular products available on the playground surfacing market. Made from shredded recyclable tyres, it’s a water permeable safety surface with the look of natural bark. We’ve seen our own brand of rubber mulch, JungleMulch, continue to grow in popularity over the years, due to its versatility and diverse range of uses. Rubber mulch can be used for a variety of applications; including landscaping, specialist sports such as golf pathways and of course, playgrounds. As with all safety surfaces, there are pros and cons of using rubber mulch for playgrounds that must be considered.

rubber mulch pros and cons

Pros and cons of using rubber mulch for playgrounds

1). Colour and design of rubber mulch


Our JungleMulch product comes in a range of colours that will stay bright due to our unique organic colouring process. Although we’re able to offer JungleMulch in a selection of natural colour blends, those looking to incorporate more colourful and intricate designs may be best suited to use our own brand of wet pour, RubbaSmart.

2). Durability


The durability of rubber mulch is second to none! As the mulch is bonded, it stays in place and is, therefore, a much more durable solution than other loose fill alternatives.

3). Maintenance requirements


As with any playground surface, we recommend that clients regularly inspect their rubber mulch installation to watch out for any damage. When quickly addressed, these problems can be solved at a lower cost than more severe issues.

We recommend:

Sweeping the rubber mulch surface regularly
Occasionally pressure washing the area
Removing small issues such as oil and chewing gum as soon as possible
Pulling any sprouts that become seeded


4). Safety


PlaySmart was founded with the promise to provide playground-flooring solutions where the safety of children is the top priority of everything we do. JungleMulch offers excellent slip resistance whilst being fully wheelchair and buggy accessible. We can install JungleMulch at a range of fully certified depths to provide fall protection to suit your requirements.

Critical Fall Height (m) JungleMulch Depth (mm)
1.3m 40mm
1.7m 55mm
2.3m 80mm
2.8m 120mm
3.1m 140mm

Pros and cons of using rubber mulch

5). An all-weather playground flooring solution


With cold winters and warm summers, finding a flooring solution that is suitable for use all year round is important to help get the most from playground equipment.

Rubber mulch surfaces eradicate the concerns around the hardness of the ground in hot and cold spells of weather.

6). Expense of product


Although rubber mulch can be a more expensive product than other alternative playground flooring solutions, you do pay for quality. Having spent time researching other mulches on the market, we’ve concluded that as a general rule of thumb, cheaper surfaces tend to be less safe.

Installing our JungleMulch product means that you’ll have a safer product with a lifespan far longer than cheaper counterparts.

7). Environmentally friendly playground surface


Unlike other competitor rubber mulches, our JungleMulch product is made from shredded recycled tyres, meaning that it is an environmentally friendly surfacing solution.

More information on the pros and cons of using rubber mulch for playgrounds 


If you’d like more information and bespoke advice on the pros and cons of using rubber mulch for your specific playground project – feel free to get in touch with one of our specialists. You can reach us on 01564 742811, or alternatively get in touch via this form.

For more information on our wider product range, including JungleMulch, why not take a look at our brand new product brochure. To download, please click below.

playground surfacing brochure

EcoSmart Safety Surfacing is the environmentally friendly choice for grass mats. It’s recycled, long lasting and allows the grass to grow through for natural play…


FireSmart Safety Surfacing is the original and the best fire retardant grass mat safety surface in the UK…


The innovative SmartPlay shock pad can be combined with EcoSmart or FireSmart grass mats offering an enhanced safety surfacing system for natural play environments…


The highest quality bonded rubber mulch, available in a range of colours, making surfaces brighter and more vibrant for longer…


RubbaSmart wet pour is a smooth surface that can be used to brighten up any area whether you want to use solid colour or incorporate crazy designs…