How to install bonded rubber playground mulch

Bonded rubber playground mulch or otherwise know as bonded rubber in the industry is a great, maintenance free playground surface that can provide years of fun for your kids without the daily and weekly raking associated with loose rubber. The surface works great on areas that have a pitch to it as the installed thickness stays the same over the years. Here are the steps associated with a successful installation of rubberized playground mulch.

  1. Prepare the site: Remove all organics (grass, mulch, debris....etc)
  2. Install and compact crushed stone aggregate (minimum 3 inches)
  3. Mix loose playground rubber mulch with an aromatic binder at a 18% ratio. Meaning for every 100 pounds of rubber you will need 18 pounds of binder.
  4. Trowel the mix at the thickness desired. A common thickness for most residential application is 2 to 4 inches. 
  5. Let the area cure for at least 24 hours.

Playground rubberized mulch
When installing your playground rubber mulch surface you can either hand mix it or use a mortar or concrete mixer. Using a mixer will speed things up but it is important to clean the mixer thoroughly while the binders are fresh inside it. Otherwise, you will have to chisel what's left of the mix. If you are going to be mixing it by hand, we recommend using a baby plastic tub and a hoe or shovel. Make sure all the rubber pieces are coated evenly with the Aromatic binder before you trowel. If you have an uneven concentration of binder in the rubber, you will see some unsightly foaming after the surface cures.
The right aggregate to use is 3/4" stone, or your typical road base or item 4. Recycled aggregate is great because it has finds that make it easier to compact. If you do end up getting clean 3/4" stone, you can add stone dust on top to help the compaction. Once you are done compacting you should be able to walk on the stone surface without dislodging the stone. The base is very important for a successful bonded rubber mulch installation. A poor base will cause areas in your play surface to cave later on leading to costly repairs.
One of the most important factors in a successful rubber mulch install is the weather. Look for a dry day with a minimum temperature of 50 degrees. If you have a 30 percent chance of rain that day, don't do it. Rain and aromatic binders don't get a long. The moment the binders touch water they will foam on you. Equally important is to make sure the surface is dry before you install. 
As always, if you have any questions about any rubber install, feel free to call us at 203-59-0456 or email us at