With so many surfacing options available, it can be a daunting task to figure out which one is the right selection for your playground. Playground rubber mulch is an excellent option, as it is longer lasting and more durable than other playground surfacing products. It also has some of the highest ratings for playground safety in the industry.

ASTM playground surfacing standard testing reveals a significantly smaller amount of head injuries occur when protective, shock-absorbing surfacing is placed around and under playground equipment versus plain, hard surfacing. Playground rubber mulch provides some of the highest levels of shock absorbency in the industry, keeping kids safe and greatly reducing the number of head injuries on the playground.

Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) guidelines require the critical height rating to be greater than or equal to the fall height of the tallest playground structure. Playground rubber mulch has been shown to have some of the highest critical height ratings in the industry when tested for impact attenuation.

In addition to impact attenuation, the CPSC recommends any manufacturer of rubber mulch to provide maintenance and test data on:

  • Minimum fill-depth data
  • Toxicity
  • ADA/ABA accessibility guidelines for firmness and stability based on ASTM F1951

Tips to Install Playground Rubber Mulch

Important tips to keep in mind when installing playground rubber mulch include the following:

  • Rubber mulch compresses a minimum of 25 percent over time from everyday wear and tear. The initial fill should be higher than the minimum depth level to ensure sufficient coverage.
  • Rubber mulch must be maintained to ensure it does not drop below the minimum depth level. Keep an eye on high traffic areas such as slide exits and under swings. These zones are particularly vulnerable for the displacement of loose fill materials like rubber mulch.
  • For best results, install a fence or other means along the perimeter of the playground to maintain the rubber mulch on site.

The easiest, most efficient way to ensure your equipment and surfacing are in good, safe condition is with a professional playground safety inspection. For more insight on playground surfacing, read our blog “Choosing the Right Surfacing for Your Playground”.