Bonded Rubber Mulch for Playground Surfacing: Pros and Cons


Bonded Rubber Mulch

Bonded rubber mulch is also known as bonded rubber bark or resin bound rubber mulch. It looks like traditional wood chips. When you look closer, you will realize that it’s unique and different.

About Bonded Rubber Mulch

It is an artificial playground surface that is made of shredded pieces of rubber that can be stuck together to create a unitary surface. To be more clarity, this playground surface is not a loose piece of rubber mulch or wood mulch. They can be compressed and appear to be glued together. Hence, it is also known as resin bound rubber mulch.

Is Rubber Mulch ideal for Playground Flooring Surface?

Bonded rubber mulch is an ideal choice for playgrounds and other recreational surfaces. It offers a comfortable, soft cushion to walk, run, jump, or play on and complies with ADA standards for handicap accessible playgrounds. People who prefer this flooring surface experience the benefits of using it, like it is easy to customize and the safety of bonded rubber compared to other materials is better.

However, we all know that famously does not make something better. Here are some important considerations to take into account when you are planning to install a bonded rubber playground surface.

Safety of the playground surface

One of the most important things to consider is important fall height requirements for the surface that has to do with shock porosity. Here are some of the pros and cons:


  • Depending on the product used, this flooring surface requires 6 inches of material to better protect a child from fall, according to American Standard Testing Methods (ASTM), the institution tasked by the federal government, along with setting industry safety standards.
  • When it comes to safety and accessibility, this rubber mulch is a better playground flooring option than common loose-fill materials, including shredded rubber mulch, engineered wood fiber, wood chips, pea gravel, or dirt/grass.
  • Like tiled or poured rubber playground flooring, debris is unlikely to get buried in the material.


  • Sometimes, pieces become loose
  • In general, only a single layer of surfacing

Note: It is surpassed in safety by flooring that is the most shock-absorbent of available playground surfacing materials that help kids who need physical help, including wheelchair, walkers, scooters, and more.



Depending on the height requirements, choices of color, the condition of the existing surface, location, and similar other factors, the cost of covering a playground can be calculated.


You can choose the mulch that lasts 10 years before needing to replace it. However, it needs intermittent patching up. To make sure, the surface continues to fulfill critical fall height requirements, you need to replace sections of the bonded rubber mulch material sooner than that is suggested – especially if the ground is situated in an area that does not allow for suitable drainage.



  • There are a number of manufactures that deliver safe materials that are free of contaminants and chemicals as well.
  • These surfaces come in a number of colors that make an aesthetically pleasing playground or recreational area.


  • It may not last as long las poured rubber playground surfaces.
  • It cannot accommodate the stenciled games or patters as you might find in other rubber surfaces.
  • Not all experts use premium materials.



  • It is easy to install.
  • Quick for experts to install. Depending on the size, professional experts can install it in about one day.


  • Surface preparation can increase the time and cost of the installation.
  • Installation can’t be done in the same day. This surface needs maintenance to maintain its safety qualities. If you maintain it properly, you can avoid the disadvantages.


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