Mulch vs. Rubber Surfacing: What To Choose

Mulch vs. Rubber Surfacing: What To Choose

Dec 21st 2021

Mulch vs. Rubber Surfacing: What To Choose

Rubber mulch, wood chips, pebbles, and other types of flooring can all be used for the surface of a playground. If you’re stuck on what to choose and have come down to mulch and rubber surfacing, here’s how to choose between mulch and rubber surfacing.

Rubber Mulch

The rubber mulch surfacing is excellent to use in playgrounds. It’s especially great since poured rubber playground flooring isn’t messy.

Is Rubber Mulch Safe?

Even though this material is safe for the environment and can prevent accidents easier than traditional wood chips or mulch, it’s not necessarily the safest option out there. Take a glimpse at the manufacturing process below.

Rubber Mulch Manufacturing

Rubber mulch is produced through a process that breaks down recycled tires by tearing them apart. Then, a magnet is used to remove any metal pieces or other contaminants.

Rubber mulch is significant because it’s completely customizable. Many park administrators customize it to have their own colors and create specific designs.

What Are the Safety Hazards?

Rubber mulch doesn’t have a lot of safety hazards—however, metal parts could be hidden inside it. Before installation, tell your maintenance team to comb through the mix and take out any metal parts before installation.

Wood Mulch

Wood mulch is a traditional and affordable option. Typically, you get the choice of picking a conventional mix or one with an assortment of bark, wood chips, or playground chips, which is an engineered wood fiber mulch mix.

Each wooden mulch mix can prevent children from getting hurt while they’re playing. Let’s look at the pros and cons of wood mulch and rubber mulch playground surfacing in the sections below.

The Pros and Cons of Rubber and Wood Mulch

Rubber mulch and wood mulch both have many benefits and downsides. Continue reading to learn about a few pros and cons of these two materials.

The Pros and Cons of Rubber Mulch

Rubber mulch can absorb shocks if someone falls on it. It lasts longer than traditional wood chips and is also eco-friendly. And while it does have a long lifespan, one con is that you’ll have to replace it eventually. It also scatters and can be hard to play on during hot days.

The Pros and Cons of Wood Mulch

Wood mulch is natural, inexpensive to install, and has many options for mixing. It also doesn’t contaminate the soil. The cons include that it must get replaced often, and it isn’t great at preventing falls. Children can get splinters from wood mulch. Additionally, if any floods happen, it can get washed away; when it sits in water, mold and mildew will grow.

Our guide on choosing between mulch and rubber surfacing can help you select the best flooring material to use.

Along the way, you’ll need inspiration to help make the best playground floor a reality, including the best playground equipment. Discount Playground Supply carries many options to help you find the right equipment and filling to keep your park safe for children.