What To Put Under Rubber Mulch for a Playground?

You can use a variety of materials when putting under rubber mulch for your playground. The best option is to use wood chips because they are cheap and split easily. Other options include drainage rock like granite or limestone, sand and gravel, or even packed dirt if the area doesn't get too much traffic.

Rubber mulch is one of the safest playground surfaces available. It is also one of the most comfortable, making it a popular choice for backyard playsets and public parks. Most importantly, rubber mulch provides a critical layer of impact-absorbing protection to help keep kids safe as they play. While rubber mulch is an excellent playground surface on its own, there are a few things you can do to make it even better. One of the most important is adding a padding layer underneath the mulch. This will help to further cushion any falls and protect against serious injury.

So, what to put under rubber mulch for a playground? Typically, once you are through with excavating the ground for mulch installation, you need to install at least two layers of geotextile fabric. This is meant to protect weeds from growing through the mulch, which can be a huge problem. The first layer should be installed with the fabric facing up. After that, you need to put 6 to 8 inches of playground-grade wood chips on top of it before finally adding your rubber mulch layer on top.

This article discusses everything you need to know about installing playground mulch. Read on to learn more.

What Is Playground Rubber Mulch?

Playground rubber mulch is a type of loose-fill surfacing made from recycled tires. It is designed to provide a safe, cushioned surface for playgrounds and other areas where children are likely to play.

Rubber mulch is available in various colors, including black, brown, green, and red. It is also available in different particle sizes, from shredded to nuggets.

Rubber mulch was first used as a playground surfacing material in the early 1990s. Since then, it has become increasingly popular due to its many benefits. The material is durable, long-lasting, and easy to maintain.

It also provides excellent impact absorption, which helps to protect children from serious injury in the event of a fall.

In addition to being used as a playground surfacing material, rubber mulch is also often used in landscaping applications.

It can be used as a ground cover around trees and shrubs, flower beds, and slopes to help control erosion. Rubber mulch is also sometimes used in horse paddocks and dog runs.

How Do You Prepare the Ground for Rubber Mulch Installation?

The first thing you need to do is mark out the playground area. Feel free to use flags, paint, or stakes to mark out the area.

Rubber mulch on hand.
bRubber mulch provides a critical layer of impact-absorbing protection to help keep kids safe as they play.

Once you have marked the play area, excavate the ground to a depth of about 12 inches. This depth will allow you to create a relatively soft and safe play surface that will protect children against injuries.

The next thing you need to do after the excavation is to spread at least two layers of commercial-grade fabric cover over the soil.

The primary purpose of adding the geotextile fabric between the rubber mulch and the ground is to suppress weed growth and improve the durability of your mulch. A double layer of the fabric material is preferred since it resists puncturing or being torn by heavy foot traffic.

What Do You Put Under Rubber Mulch for a Playground?

By now, you already know that you need to excavate the area before installation, add a layer of geotextile fabric, and then install a layer of padding. However, you might wonder what type of padding is best to use under playground rubber mulch.

There are different types of padding that can be used, but the most popular option is black rubber mats.

Close up image of a rubber mulch.
To eliminate the risk of gaps, allow the fabric to overlap at least six inches whenever you lay the fabric side-by-side.

These mats are thick and durable, making them ideal for playground use. Another option is bonded wood fiber, which is also thick and durable.

The good thing is that you don’t need to do any soil treatment before laying the landscape fabric and the layer of padding. After excavation, you can lay the padding and fabric directly on top of the soil.

Be sure to install the first layer of padding and fabric in a north-south pattern and add some soil running in an east-west pattern. To eliminate the risk of gaps, allow the fabric to overlap at least six inches whenever you lay the fabric side-by-side.

How Is Playground Rubber Mulch Installed?

Playground rubber mulch is typically installed over a layer of padding and underlayers of geotextile fabric. The first step in installing playground rubber mulch is to excavate the area where it will be installed. This will ensure that the ground is level and free of sharp objects or other hazards.

Once the area has been excavated, the next step is to install a layer of geotextile fabric. This fabric will help to prevent weeds from growing through the mulch. The first layer of geotextile fabric should be installed with the fabric facing up.

After the first layer of geotextile fabric has been installed, the next step is to add a layer of padding. This can be any type of padding designed for playgrounds, such as black rubber mats or bonded wood fiber. The padding should be at least six inches thick.

Yellow paint rubber mulch,
Playground rubber mulch is typically installed over a layer of padding and underlayers of geotextile fabric.

Once the padding has been installed, the next step is to add the rubber mulch. The amount of rubber mulch that you will need will depend on the size of the area where it is being installed.

Typically, you will need between 6 and 12 inches of rubber mulch. The rubber mulch should be spread evenly over the entire area.

After the rubber mulch has been installed, the final step is adding a topsoil layer. This helps to hold the mulch in place and prevent it from being blown away by wind or washed away by rain. The topsoil should be spread evenly over the entire area and at least six inches deep.

How Do You Secure Rubber Mulch?

Once the rubber mulch has been installed, you will need to take steps to secure it in place. One of the best ways to do this is to add a layer of landscape fabric over the top of the mulch. This will help to hold it in place and prevent it from being blown away by wind or washed away by rain.

A worker installing a rubber mulch.
Be sure to use landscape fabric or another type of material to secure the stakes in place so that they don’t move.

Another way to secure rubber mulch is to add a border around the edge of the area where it has been installed. You can do this with pavers, bricks, or any other type of material you prefer. The border will help hold the mulch in place and provide a finished look.

Finally, you can also add stakes around the perimeter of the area to help secure the rubber mulch. Be sure to use landscape fabric or another type of material to secure the stakes in place so that they don’t move.

What Mistakes Must You Avoid Before Adding Playground Rubber Mulch?

There are a few mistakes that you will want to avoid before adding playground rubber mulch to your playground. One of the most common mistakes is not excavating the area properly. If you do not excavate the area correctly, you may end up with uneven ground, creating trip hazards.

Another mistake that people make is not adding a layer of geotextile fabric. This fabric helps to prevent weeds from growing through the mulch and helps to hold the mulch in place.

Finally, people often forget to add a border around the edge of the playground. This border helps secure the mulch and provides a finished look.

Can You Install Rubber Mulch Yourself?

Yes, you can install rubber mulch yourself if you have the time and patience to do so. However, it is essential to note that the process can be pretty labor-intensive. If you are not sure that you can handle the installation process, it is best to hire a professional to do it for you.

Hiring a professional to install rubber mulch will ensure that the job is done correctly, and that the area is adequately prepared for the mulch. It will also save you a lot of time and effort.

A playground with a rubber mulch surface.
If you are not sure that you can handle the installation process, it is best to hire a professional to do it for you.

If you do decide to install rubber mulch yourself, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.

In most cases, you will need to excavate the area where the mulch will be installed and then add a layer of geotextile fabric. After that, you can add the padding and, finally, the mulch.

Can You Install Rubber Mulch Over Grass?

Yes, you can install rubber mulch over grass, but there are a few things that you need to keep in mind.

First, you will need to ensure that the grass is short before adding the mulch. If the grass is too tall, it could end up poking through the mulch and creating trip hazards.

Another thing to remember is that you will need to add a layer of geotextile fabric over the grass before adding the mulch.

The fabric helps to prevent weeds from growing through the mulch and will also help to hold the mulch in place.

Conclusion

Rubber mulch is a popular choice for playgrounds since it provides cushioning and safety. There are several things to consider when installing rubber mulch, such as what you put under the mulch and how you secure it in place. By following these tips, you can ensure that your playground is safe and looks great!

Last update on 2023-07-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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