Guide for Rubber Mulch in a Public Playground
to design and installation of a public playground,
we suggest a certified engineer or landscape architect
knowledgable of area climate and topography should
be consulted. The consultant must be familiar with
updated versions of applicable ASTM standards, CPSC's
Handbook for Public Playground Safety, and
state and local codes.
installation area should be cleared of rocks, stumps
and other debris, including wood mulch or other surface
material. It is not recommended to install rubber
mulch over asphalt or concrete, as these surfaces
severely compromise safety performance. Chemicals
in asphalt also break down the coloring agent on colored
should be properly graded according to intended playground
level, and firmly compacted. For in-ground installation,
area must be excavated to a minimum depth of 6".
Also for in-ground installation, a proper drainage
system should be in place as water tends to move towards
the lowest point.
installation requires a retaining wall or border.
available in 6" and 8" heights, are strongly
recommended. Curbs effectively contain rubber mulch,
preventing excessive kick-out of material, thereby
minimizing the need for replacement material in the
quality geo-textile fabric, secured with landscaping
staples, should be installed beneath the rubber mulch
to prevent weed growth and percolation of foreign
materials. Fabric should be cut to fit tightly around
all playground structures. All seams should be taped
in order to prevent separation during installation
and to prevent dirt and debris from mixing with the
pooling of water can impair rubber mulch safety performance.
To prevent this situation, a drainage system may be
necessary in some situations. For gravel drainage,
gravel must be installed below the filter/landscape
fabric beneath the rubber mulch.
/ Area Coverage
calculating required amount of rubber mulch, calculation
should be based on poundage. Although other manufactures
recommend less, fourteen pounds of Playsafer™
Rubber Mulch per square foot is the
necessary amount to achieve 6" prior to compaction
and a safe 12' critical fall height.
mulch must be installed at a minimum depth of 6"
/ 14 pounds per square foot prior to compaction, in
order to maintain minimum safety standards. The critical
fall height may allow for variation in the depth of
the surface. Some areas may require greater depth,
depending upon the height or risk level of playground
mulch should surround play equipment by a minimum
use zone of six feet, with the execptions of swings,
slides and mobile equipment. Current safety guidelines
from CPSC must be reviewed for these playground fixtures
and for periodic updates and/or changes.
Rubber Mulch can be delivered in bulk,
supersacks, or bags. If space is adequate, a dumptruck/trailer
may unload material directly into the play area. Supersacks
may be transferred to the play area by bobcat or wheelbarrow.
may be spread on play area manually, with rake or
shovel, or by machine for larger plaqygrounds. Installer
must exercise care not to disturb the geo-textile/landscape
fabric while spreading. A final hand-raking provide
a smooth finished playground surface.
Rubber Mats or equal are recommended
to be installed in high traffic areas, such as beneath
swings and sliding poles, and at slide exits. The
rubber mats are to be laid midway through the rubber
mulch (3") as the minimize displacement of mulch.
following installation and inspection, the level of
Playsafer™ Rubber Mulch should be marked
off on the playground equipment, using a permanent
marker or the like. Especially in high traffic areas
periodic raking is required to restore material to
its safe and proper depth.
guarantees the impact of performance of Playsafer™
Rubber Mulch for fifty years and provides
an eight-year warranty against total color loss. Note:
Failure to maintain appropriate depth, as determined
according to the highest potential fall height, may
avoid manufacturer warranty.