Wilson Bros
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We ship our wood mulch products direct to your site anywhere in Georgia and surrounding areas. - Our rubber mulch products can be shipped anywhere in the US or international.

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Installation Guide for Rubber Mulch in a Public Playground

Site Preparation

Site Analysis

Prior 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.

Base Preparation

Intended 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 rubber mulch.


Area 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.

Retaining Wall

Above-ground installation requires a retaining wall or border. Rubber curbs, 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 future.

Filter Fabric

A 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 mulch.

Drainage System

Excessive 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.

Quantity / Area Coverage

When 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.


Rubber 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 equipment.

Surface Area

Rubber 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.




Playsafer™ 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.


Mulch 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

Playsafer™ 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.


Immediately 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.


Manufacturer 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.

If you have any questions, need further assistance or would like to receive a quote for any of our mulch products call 678-699-5764.
Copyright Mulch Direct 2006