What is Shredded Rubber Mulch?

Sara Schmidt
Sara Schmidt

Shredded rubber mulch is a protective covering used in landscaping, playground designs, and other building projects. It is typically made from recycled tires and other rubber materials. Shredded mulch made from rubber is often preferable over other types of mulch because of its affordability and durability.

Rubber mulch is often manufactured from unwanted tires.
Rubber mulch is often manufactured from unwanted tires.

Like other types of mulch, shredded rubber mulch is available in several colors, textures, and sizes. Red rubber mulch is often used in landscaping, while black rubber mulch is often used as playground mulch. Other shades, such as brown, blue, and green, are also available.

When used in landscaping, shredded rubber mulch is typically sold as chunks. These chunks, or granules, provide insulation and form while still allowing nutrients and water to pass through the soil. Shredded rubber mulch is considered to be as effective as other types of mulch in most cases, for preventing weed growth as well.

Another benefit of rubber mulch is its constant appearance. While other types of mulches, such as wood-based mulch, fade over time, rubber mulch retains its vibrant color in most weather conditions, even over time. It also retains its shape and size, which accounts for less filler mulch being needed to replace it in the future. This makes rubber mulch an optimal medium for gardeners or homeowners who do not wish to mulch their property often. Though the initial cost of rubber mulch can be high, its unlimited life expectancy often makes it a more economical choice than other mulching products.

In addition to its other benefits, shredded rubber mulch offers an additional safety element. Other forms of playground flooring, such as wood chips and gravel, can present a dangerous environment to children and animals. Playgrounds designed with rubber mulch are usually safer to fall upon and do not result in splinters or as many injuries.

Recycled mulch also presents an eco-friendly option that many businesses desire. Instead of wasting further resources, this product makes use of old, discarded rubber, furthering the life of the material. Using rubber mulch in schools can also provide lessons for children about resources and recycling. It can also be a healthier, nontoxic substance for them to be exposed to.

Though most companies advertise odorless rubber landscaping products, a faint smell is usually associated with most rubber mulch, especially when new. Rubber mulch is also available as a solid, continuous product known as rubber bond. It can also be used as a trim, border, or horse arena footing.

Sara Schmidt
Sara Schmidt

A graduate of Southeast Missouri State University, Sara has a Master’s Degree in English, which she puts to use writing for wiseGEEK and several magazines, websites, and nonprofit organizations. She has published her own novella, and has other literary projects currently in progress. Sara’s varied interests have also led her to teach children in Spain, tutor college students, run CPR and first aid classes, and organize student retreats.

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