Mulch or Rubber: Which Is Best For Your Playground?
Rubber mulch has been a very popular alternative to traditional organic mulch as a playground surface. Whether you’re looking to put a playground in the backyard for your kids, or are trying to decide the surface for a local park, it is important to understand the pros and cons of each material so that you can make the best decision possible.
The Case for Rubber
Here are some of the pros of rubber mulch:
- Rubber mulch is often recycled – Rubber mulch is usually made from recycled tires that have been shredded.
- Rubber’s springiness can provide a good cushion – Accidents can happen on the playground and rubber can provide an extra cushion when someone falls.
- Rubber is low maintenance – Rubber is durable and doesn’t break down quickly, meaning it doesn’t need to be replaced nearly as often. If adequately laid down, it provides a good ground cover that looks good for a long time.
The Cons of Rubber Mulch
While rubber offers a low maintenance solution, there are some downsides to using rubber on your playground:
- Rubber can smell when it gets hot.
- Rubber may contain unwanted contaminants.
- Rubber can be more expensive.
- Rubber can get dirty over time.
- Because it is lightweight, rubber mulch often gets blown around and ends up in your yard.
The Case for Organic Mulch
If rubber mulch doesn’t seem like a viable option for your project, organic mulch is the next best choice. Wood mulches will provide the following for your playground.
- Reduce soil moisture evaporation
- Suppress weeds and prevent weed germination
- Insulate soil from extreme temperature changes
- Reduce soil erosion and compaction
- Gradually decompose adding valuable organic material to the soil
The Cons of Organic Mulch
Organic mulch breaks down over time and will need to be replaced. Additionally, dyed mulch will fade and lose its color as it’s exposed to sunlight.
We Supply Your Wood Mulch Needs
Ultimately, the decision comes down to durability versus price. Rubber mulch can be extremely durable but is often more expensive than organic mulches. Wood mulch is better for your soil but will break down over time and need to be replaced.