Create a soft and safe play area for your kids with a DIY rubber mulch playground! This easy-to-follow guide covers everything you need to know for installation.
DIY Guide to Installing Rubber Mulch on Playground Surface

DIY Guide to Installing Rubber Mulch on Playground Surface

Playing outdoors is essential for a child's physical and mental development. It allows them to explore, release energy, and develop important social skills. If you're looking to create a safe and fun play space in your backyard, installing rubber mulch under your playground equipment is the perfect solution. Rubber mulch offers a number of advantages over traditional materials like wood chips or gravel, making it a popular choice for families.

This DIY guide from Dashmesh Rubber, a leader in sustainable tyre recycling solutions, will walk you through the steps of installing rubber mulch for your playground, ensuring a safe and enjoyable play area for your children.

Why choose rubber mulch for the playground?

Rubber mulch provides several benefits that make it an ideal choice for playground surfacing:

  • Safety: Rubber mulch absorbs impact, which helps to cushion falls and minimize injuries. This is especially important for young children, who are still developing their motor skills. The playground safety standard from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends specific critical fall heights [for different playground equipment] and using loose-fill surfacing materials that meet those requirements.
  • Durability: Rubber mulch is resistant to rot, decay, and fading, making it a long-lasting solution that requires minimal maintenance. Unlike wood mulch, which breaks down over time, rubber mulch will stay in good condition for many years.
  • Low Maintenance: Rubber mulch requires minimal maintenance compared to other materials. You won't need to worry about topping it up as often as wood mulch, and it's easy to keep clean by raking away leaves and debris.
  • Accessibility: Rubber mulch provides a smooth and even surface that is easy for children of all abilities to navigate. This is especially important for children who use wheelchairs or other mobility aids.
  • Aesthetics: Rubber mulch comes in a variety of colours, allowing you to create a visually appealing play area that complements your backyard design.


Things You'll Need for DIY Rubber Mulch Installation:

  • Tape measure
  • Shovel
  • Rake
  • Landscape fabric
  • Utility knife
  • Wheelbarrow (optional)
  • Rubber mulch (amount will depend on your play area size and desired depth)
  • Safety glasses and gloves (recommended)


Step-by-Step Guide to Installing Rubber Mulch for Your Playground:

  • Measure Your Play Area: The first step is to measure the length and width of the area where you will be installing the rubber mulch. This will help you determine how much mulch you need to purchase. Remember to factor in the perimeter around the play equipment to ensure proper cushioning.
  • Prepare the Ground: Remove any existing rocks, sticks, or debris from the play area. You want to create a smooth and level surface for the rubber mulch. You may need to use a shovel to level out any uneven areas.
  • Install Landscape Fabric: Lay down a weed barrier or landscape fabric over the entire play area. This will help to prevent weeds from growing through the rubber mulch and will also help to keep the mulch in place. Secure the landscape fabric with landscape staples or sod staples to prevent it from shifting.
  • Spread the Rubber Mulch: Once the landscape fabric is in place, you can begin spreading the rubber mulch. Start by pouring a thin layer of mulch (around 2-3 inches) and then rake it evenly across the entire area. Make sure to fill in any gaps around the playground equipment.
  • Desired Depth: The recommended depth for rubber mulch on playgrounds is typically 3 inches, according to the CPSC guidelines. However, for areas with higher fall heights from specific equipment, a greater depth may be required.  Always refer to the manufacturer's recommendations for your specific playground equipment and the CPSC guidelines for critical fall heights.
  • Top up and maintain: Over time, the rubber mulch may settle or compact. You may need to add additional mulch periodically to maintain the recommended depth. You can also rake the mulch occasionally to help distribute it evenly and prevent it from becoming matted down.


Additional Tips for DIY Rubber Mulch Installation:

  • Choose the Right Type of Rubber Mulch: There are different types of rubber mulch available, such as shredded rubber and rubber tiles. Shredded rubber mulch is a loose-fill material that is similar in appearance to wood chips. Rubber tiles are interlocking pieces that create a more stable surface. Shredded rubber mulch is generally more affordable and easier to install, while rubber tiles offer a more finished look and may be easier to maintain.
  • Source Your Rubber Mulch Responsibly: When purchasing rubber mulch, look for a supplier that uses recycled rubber tires. This is a more sustainable option and helps reduce waste. You can check with Dashmesh Rubber's rubber mulch to see if they offer playground-approved rubber mulch made from recycled tyres in your area.
  • Think About Drainage: Rubber mulch is a relatively non-absorbent material. While it allows water to slowly percolate through, it's important to consider drainage, especially in areas that receive a lot of rain. You may want to create a slight slope in the ground to allow water to drain away from the play area.
  • Safety First: When working with any type of mulch, it's important to wear safety glasses and gloves to protect yourself from dust or splinters.  Rubber mulch can also get quite hot in direct sunlight. Consider installing shade sails or structures over your play area to keep it cool during the summer months.



Installing rubber mulch for your playground is a great way to create a safe and fun space for your children. By following these simple steps and tips, you can ensure a successful installation and enjoy the benefits of rubber mulch for years to come.

If you're looking for high-quality, recycled rubber mulch for your playground project, Dashmesh Rubber can help. We offer rubber mulch products made from recycled tyres, perfect for creating a safe and durable play surface. Contact us today to learn more about our products and get a free quote.

By following this guide, you can confidently transform your backyard into a safe and fun haven for your children using the long-lasting benefits of rubber mulch! Check out the comparison between rubber mulch and wood mulch.



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