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Recycled rubber pavers are touted as an environmentally friendly alternative to concrete pavers. The recycled pavers are made from used automobile tires, and when the pavers become worn, they can be recycled again for another use. In addition to the positive environmental impact of using recycled rubber pavers, they are also attractive, comfortable, and easy to use. The drawbacks of these pavers are that they do not have the traditional appearance of concrete pavers, and no one is sure how they will hold up over time.
Just like the concrete variety, recycled rubber pavers are installed through an interlocking process. They are placed over a bed of gravel, which aids in drainage and keeps water from pooling on the walkway. The installation process of both recycled rubber pavers and concrete pavers is straightforward.
An advantage over concrete pavers is comfort. Concrete is tiring to stand and walk on for an extended period of time, and can cause injuries if someone falls on it. While the rubber pavers feel firm, they have a natural spring that is more comfortable than the unforgiving concrete, and will help to prevent children from scraping their knees.
Recycled rubber pavers are dyed various colors, including black, gray and brick red. While it is unlikely that anyone will mistake the rubber pavers for ones made of concrete, they are attractive and blend in well in various outdoor settings. Rubber pavers are also, like concrete pavers, available in various shapes and styles.
Their slip-resistant surface of rubber pavers makes them an ideal choice in areas where rain and snow fall can lead to treacherous conditions. They also do not buckle, like concrete can, which may reduce trips and falls.
One drawback of recycled rubber pavers is the cost. While not as expensive as natural stones, such as slate, they are more expensive than concrete pavers. The additional cost is due to their relative new appearance on the market as well as the manufacturing expenses associated with the pavers.
It is difficult to know how recycled rubber pavers will hold over time since they are relatively new on the market. Rubber has been used on running tracks extensively, however, and holds up well to heavy foot traffic, so there is no reason to believe that rubber pavers will be any different. Until they have been in use regularly, by residential customers, however, it is difficult to know exactly what type of lifespan to expect from this type of surface.