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View Full Version : Any opinions on rubber mulch?


tjlco
01-16-2011, 09:35 AM
My wife and I just bought the property next door, and we will be doing a play area for the kids. Somewhere in the area of 3- 4000 sq ft. Rubber mulch was my 1st chioce till I saw the price. Anyone use this stuff for a customer? Yourself? Just curious if its worth the extra cash. Thanks in advance

Lefet
01-16-2011, 09:51 AM
We put it down for a customer. It has it's advantages, and disadvantages. Cost being the biggest disadvantage.
Pros:
Looks nice
Multiple colors
You don't have to add to it every year (doesn't break down)
Safer
Maintains color, never looks dull or worn

Cons:
EXPENSIVE
It gets kicked out of the box, you'll spend time "rounding it back up"
Can't think of any more at the moment.

They do offer a "certified play ground mulch", but that's a wood mulch and will break down eventually.
I would also make sure you check your local township ordinances as there is a minimum depth required. Even though this is your property, I would make sure I was "up to code" so if the neighbors child gets hurt you're covered.

Hope this helps.

Patriot Services
01-16-2011, 09:58 AM
Yes and yes. Buy in bulk. Use best quality fabric underneath. Very safe for children. Color lasts forever. Frame it in. Only downside selling it to customers is you don't get the recurring business.
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93Chevy
01-16-2011, 10:13 AM
Yeah, this is actually one place where rubber mulch may be a better alternative to standard wood mulch.

Lefet
01-16-2011, 12:29 PM
Yes and yes. Buy in bulk. Use best quality fabric underneath. Very safe for children. Color lasts forever. Frame it in. Only downside selling it to customers is you don't get the recurring business.
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Thanks, I knew there was more, forgot about those!!

lawnpro724
01-16-2011, 01:05 PM
We do several commercial daycare business centers that have it on their playgrounds. Here is what they have told me about it. First of all if they had to do it again They WOULDN'T. Its makes a complete mess getting tracked inside into carpets and everything else and it gets very HOT in the summer sun. It's not worth the cost according to them. A good alternative would be pea gravel since it would stay cooler and wouldn't get tracked inside the building and would still be very safe for the children and the cost is much cheaper. We have replaced one of our daycare centers rubber mulch with pea gravel and they are much happier.

tjlco
01-16-2011, 09:40 PM
Very interesting, which is why I love this site.

knox gsl
01-16-2011, 10:23 PM
I would use the wood PLAY GROUND MULCH, this has been tumbled and had the rough edges worn down. I do like the idea of pea gravel.

exmark user
01-17-2011, 01:28 AM
Can you buy this in bulk because I din't think my suppliers have , but have seen it at Walmart for nearly 8.00 a bag!

Swampy
01-17-2011, 01:43 AM
Pretty much agreeing with what has been said but adding my .02 cents in. Take a look towards some of these.

http://www.greatmats.com/playground-rubber.php

Patriot Services
01-17-2011, 09:59 AM
Can you buy this in bulk because I din't think my suppliers have , but have seen it at Walmart for nearly 8.00 a bag!
Depends what is available near you. I have a large manufacturer near me that offers 6 colors in whatever amount you want. Box store costs more for packaging. Remember you not freshening this stuff every 6 months. You lose that recurring income. I recommend for play areas and around pools.
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underPSI
01-17-2011, 03:07 PM
A negative that hasn't been mentioned yet is the possibility of spontaneous combustion.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JcOJ2lxipXk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LBdiHpKtP1I&feature=related

exmark user
01-17-2011, 06:01 PM
A negative that hasn't been mentioned yet is the possibility of spontaneous combustion.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JcOJ2lxipXk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LBdiHpKtP1I&feature=related

How ?:confused:

Patriot Services
01-17-2011, 06:04 PM
[QUOTE=underPSI;3859925]A negative that hasn't been mentioned yet is the possibility of spontaneous combustion.

So does holding in your farts. Since it sits in huge piles here all summer without a problem, I feel safe using it. I'll leave that mystery to the "mythbusters"
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rlitman
01-17-2011, 06:10 PM
I don't think it is a mystery. It's arson.
The stuff is combustible like tires, although since it is shredded, it is easier to light.

Patriot Services
01-17-2011, 06:29 PM
I don't think it is a mystery. It's arson.
The stuff is combustible like tires, although since it is shredded, it is easier to light.
Spontaneous means without additon of heat, accelerant or an ignition source. It is less of a fire hazard than dried out wood mulch. Did science become an elective with language arts classes?
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Barefoot James
01-17-2011, 06:42 PM
Frame it in good - the only place it might work is framed in areas like a play area - in beds is is horriable because IT FLOATS AWAY in heavy rains.

I would use pea gravel or uncolored hardwood mulch - both rubber and colored mulch tracks in stains for carpet and floor of the church or school.

A better alternative would be synthetic turf or rubber matting.

GreenI.A.
01-17-2011, 08:04 PM
some of the schools in my area have switched to a rubber mat typ on thing. Its actually these little rubber pellets that get laid down and covered with an adhesive to form a solid carpet. The school systems I have talked to using it love it as it stays in place but is safer for the kids. Walking on it you can feel alittle spring under your step. I'm not sure how much it cost, im asuming its a good amount because I have only seen it in the wealthier towns

Landscape Poet
01-18-2011, 09:05 PM
My biggest issue in using rubberized mulch is.....what organic matter is that adding to your plant health? Regular mulch will continue to break down creating a good amount of Organic matter for your plants in the landscape, does rubber do that? Also as a ground cover great....but what kind of moisture does your rubber mulch hold and how does that benefit your landscape?

Strick
01-19-2011, 12:11 AM
Have you checked into a cypress mulch / chips. I know in Florida you should be able to get cypress at a reasonable price. Cypress should last a while also. Some wood playground mulches are referred to as engineered wood fiber or "certified playground mulch". Usually it is certified to meet an ASTM standard for falls / impact. Whatever you use, be sure you have enough depth to help cushion a fall from the highest point of the play structure. You should be able to find some depth recommendations at sites for NRPA, ASTM, or CPSC. I would recommend at least 6" of mulch material. The rubber "poured in place" surfacing is nice, but really expensive.

Patriot Services
01-19-2011, 08:40 AM
Have you checked into a cypress mulch / chips. I know in Florida you should be able to get cypress at a reasonable price. Cypress should last a while also. Some wood playground mulches are referred to as engineered wood fiber or "certified playground mulch". Usually it is certified to meet an ASTM standard for falls / impact. Whatever you use, be sure you have enough depth to help cushion a fall from the highest point of the play structure. You should be able to find some depth recommendations at sites for NRPA, ASTM, or CPSC. I would recommend at least 6" of mulch material. The rubber "poured in place" surfacing is nice, but really expensive.

Sure cypress is in 90% of the beds. Most is the unnatural looking red-orange type that tends to fade after 3 months. Eucalyptus is popular here too. I don't have the tracking, staining problems some are complaining about with organic or rubber mulch. I understand the OM point Michael made. If a customer wants something different rubber is usually the best bet. Pea gravel is too reminiscent of the white limestone yards that used to be all over this state (ugh). Lava rock (red and black) is what I personally have in some areas
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rlitman
01-19-2011, 03:53 PM
Spontaneous means without additon [sic] of heat, accelerant or an ignition source. It is less of a fire hazard than dried out wood mulch. Did science become an elective with language arts classes?
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Nope. That was exactly the point I was making. There's no mystery. EPDM doesn't spontaneously combust. Someone or something (lightning is a possibility) had to have set it afire.
Yep, dried wood mulch is certainly much easier to light up too.

tjlco
01-19-2011, 10:32 PM
Well the play area I am doing is about 3500 sqare feet. Our kids are only 19 months and 4 months so they are a few years away from using the "big" swingset I wanna build. We decided to mulch the whole area for now with what I thought was cypress mulch. (the lady today said its not, its just ground up wood)...anyway in a few years when we do swingset we'll do rubber mulch in that area only since its like 9 gazillion dollars anyway.

tjlco
01-19-2011, 10:36 PM
Now...to find a good fabric, 3 oz? 6 oz?

Patriot Services
01-21-2011, 03:54 PM
Now...to find a good fabric, 3 oz? 6 oz?

I prefer heavier. Just personal preference. But the cheap black stuff might contribute to the spontaneous combustion theory.

WenzelOSLLC
01-21-2011, 04:08 PM
The rubber mats are what I'm seeing a lot of these days. Like said before they don't spill out everywhere and are still safe. Can even clean them up if something happens on them. Probably expensive but lasts years.

GreenI.A.
01-21-2011, 05:55 PM
The rubber mats are what I'm seeing a lot of these days. Like said before they don't spill out everywhere and are still safe. Can even clean them up if something happens on them. Probably expensive but lasts years.

One of the problems with these other than the cost is cleaning. when used in a pulic area they need to be disinfected on a regular basis ber health code requirments. most health departments put these under the same catagory as artificial turf sports fields

Landscape Poet
01-21-2011, 06:13 PM
Pea gravel is too reminiscent of the white limestone yards that used to be all over this state (ugh). Lava rock (red and black) is what I personally have in some areas
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Not a big fan of any stone in the beds down here on our sandy soils for many reasons. The fact again of the OM that our soils desperately need, and of course there is the fact that if you have every redone a bed that contained this you know how far down that stone eventually goes into the landscape, our soils have a magical way of swallowing that our counterparts in the north do not have to worry about because of the clay that they have.

rbtscape
01-23-2011, 12:42 PM
With rubber mulch it sounds great at first,but it will eventually get trash in it that will not be easy to get out . This will leave you wanting to freshen it up from year to year . The wood fiber is by far the way to go. You can freshen it up many times for what the one time cost of rubber mulch is plus have a more natural look.

South Florida Lawns
01-23-2011, 11:40 PM
I just hate the smell lol

Patriot Services
01-24-2011, 08:32 AM
The biggest selling point I have found is color selection. Some people want their house to stand out from the orange hair crowd.
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4SeasonsOutdoor
03-22-2011, 01:54 AM
I know a few years back we took about 7 yards of pea gravel out of a play ground cuz the guy said it got to hot for his kids...

tallrick
03-22-2011, 02:12 AM
I use rubber mulch for my driveway and where I park my equipment. It did not cost me anything but the time and parts to repair and the fuel to run a shredder. Discarded tires are free and it lasts for years. Black seems to be the only color though.

togan
04-03-2011, 10:00 PM
its a nightmare! don't use it, yes it looks good, but it always ends up outside of its intended place and if you hit any with a mower it projects from underneath even with a mulch kit.

StihlBR600
04-03-2011, 11:54 PM
Haha one of my customers asked me i could put rubber mulch in her flowers beds cuz shes sick of replacing it every year. I was like i dont even know where to get it and i dont think its a good idea

Travel'n Trees
04-04-2011, 12:25 AM
Beginner crap holds heat. Fades, chalks up stains clothes, stains skins, then try throwing away all them tires. It comes and goes with concrete edging. I've seen it come and go 5 times. I just laugh and when it comes back
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