Pros & Cons of Bonded Rubber Mulch and What You Need to Know

5 min readApr 22, 2021

Also called resin-bound rubber mulch, the bonded rubber mulch resembles the appearance of traditional wood chips, like landscaping mulch. This material is often used among outdoor playgrounds, daycare centers, and other recreational sites for kids.

Bonded rubber mulch is an artificial playground surface made from several pieces of rubber and is stuck together to create one material. Contrary to popular belief, bonded rubber mulch isn’t made from loose pieces of wood or rubber mulch; this surface is compressed and appears glued together, which is why this is also called “resin bound rubber mulch” by many.

Is Bonded Rubber Mulch the Best Material For Playground Flooring?

A bonded rubber mulch playground is common today. Bonded rubber mulch has become a popular flooring option for many recreational spots worldwide because it provides a soft and comfortable cushion for kids to run, walk, and play on. This material also complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act Standards, making it an excellent choice for individuals or businesses creating playgrounds for handicapped children.

Moreover, individuals and businesses are choosing to use bonded rubber mulch because this material is easy to customize and is safe compared to other mulched materials available today.

However, this doesn’t mean that bonded rubber mulch is the best flooring material for a kid’s playground. If you’re planning to create a playground for your kids or upgrade the one you have right now, you shouldn’t solely rely on how “popular” a flooring option is.

Before you come up with a decision, it’s vital that you consider the following factors first:

● Safety

● Cost

● Quality

● Installation

Is Bonded Rubber Mulch Safe For Playgrounds?

Since playgrounds are made for kids, it’s vital that you pay attention to the safety of its flooring. Ideally, you should use a flooring material that adheres to the fall height requirements set by the National Program for Playground Safety.


● According to the American Standard Testing Methods, bonded rubber mulch requires six inches of material to protect a kid from a 10-foot fall.

● Bonded rubber mulch is a better playground flooring option than common loose fill materials because it’s a unitary surface.

● Similar to tiled rubber or poured-in-place rubber playground flooring, debris is unlikely to get buried or stuck in the material.


● Pieces from the bonded rubber mulch can get loose or unglued after long-term use.

● Bonded rubber is only a single layer of surfacing.

Tip: Poured-in-place rubber flooring is safer and more shock absorbent than bonded rubber and other playground flooring options available. Additionally, poured-in-place rubber flooring provides better accessibility and mobility to kids who use physical aids such as walkers, scooters, and wheelchairs.

Is Bonded Rubber Mulch Affordable?

You’ll need to spend money to create or upgrade a playground. When choosing which flooring material to use, you should consider the cost to ensure that you can end up with a safe and functional playground without breaking the bank.


● The cost of using bonded rubber mulch can cost at least $8 to $14 per square meter. The cost of this flooring option will vary depending on the color choices, fall height requirements, overall condition of the existing surface, and the location of the playground.


● Generally, bonded rubber mulch can last about ten years but will require intermittent patching up. You’ll also have to replace sections of the bonded rubber mulch to ensure that it continues to meet the critical fall height requirements.

Is Bonded Rubber Mulch High-Quality?

As mentioned, creating a playground for kids will require money, and you can only make the most out of your investment if you choose a flooring option that’s durable enough to last for years. Quality is also important to ensure that kids remain safe as they spend time on the playground.


● Manufacturers of bonded rubber mulch guarantee that this material is safe as it’s free from chemicals and contaminants that can irritate the skin.

● Because of its variety of colors available, you can easily create an appealing playground when you use bonded rubber mulch.


● Bonded rubber mulch doesn’t last long as poured rubber playground surfaces.

● Unlike poured rubber playground surfaces, bonded rubber mulch can’t accommodate intricate design or patterns, or stenciled games because its material looks like wood fibers.

Tip: When using bonded rubber mulch for your playground, make sure to hire an installer who uses premium rubber materials, such as SBR, EPDM, and other natural materials. Bonded rubber mulch made from natural materials is free from wood, fire, and other contaminants, making your playground safer for kids.

What’s the Installation Process for Bonded Rubber Mulch?

The installation process of your playground flooring is another factor to consider as this will help you determine the timeframe of the construction of your playground, as well as the time you need to allot during repairs or replacements.


● Bonded rubber mulch is one of the easiest playground surfacing materials to install.

● As long as you hire professionals to do the job, installation of bonded rubber mulch in your playground will usually take only a day.


● If the existing surface of your playground isn’t suitable or ready for bonded rubber mulch, contractors might need to spend more time on the installation. This can also mean expensive installation costs.

● After its installation, you need to regularly maintain the overall condition of bonded rubber mulch to ensure that it continues to meet safety guidelines. Your inability to maintain this flooring surface can cause serious injuries to kids.

Next Steps

Aside from the safety, cost, quality, and installation process, you also need to think about the climate in your area, budget, and location constraints when choosing a flooring surface for your playground.

A bonded rubber mulch playground has countless benefits, but this isn’t the only flooring option for your playground. If you’re looking for a material ideal for larger playgrounds in schools, daycare centers, and other public areas, consider using poured-in-place rubber or rubber playground tiles. We highly recommend these materials because we believe that these are some of the best ones to use for your playground.

Talk to Us

Bonded rubber mulch comes with its benefits, but keep in mind that it’s not the only material available for your kid’s play area. In fact, poured rubber and rubber tile playground surfacing are also great options as these are durable and require less maintenance.

If you want to know the best playground surfacing option for your budget and kids’ needs, reach out to adventureTURF to get recommendations. We have the skills and equipment to help you create the best playground for your kids — one that you and your kids will surely enjoy for years!




adventureTURF safety and playground surfacing is your turn-key park and playground rubber flooring installer in the United States.