Rubber Mulch for Landscaping

Landscape rubber mulch is a great alternative to wood mulch because it continuously looks fresh, outperforms wood mulch, and is much more cost effective.   Landscape rubber mulch has gained in popularity over the last few years for good reason and is now widely used in both residential and commercial applications.  

You may be asking: I have new landscaping - should I apply rubber mulch?  I need to re-apply my wood mulch, should I just replace it with landscape rubber mulch?  The answer is yes to all of the above and we will go in to detail why below.  We will cover:

  • Application: residential, commercial, both?
  • Cost
  • Difference between landscape and playground rubber mulch
  • Landscaping ideas
  • Pests and Insects
  • Weed control
  • Positive plant growth
  • Maintenance
  • Sustainability & LEED
  • Durability
  • Colors and color longevity

Application: residential, commercial, both?

Landscape rubber mulch is appropriate for both residential and commercial use.  Aesthetically it looks great and is perfect for home usage while at the same time it boasts commercial grade durability, making it great for, well... commercial use.  Rubber mulch is one of those products where you get the best of both worlds whether you are using it for residential or commercial use.  

Residential use: Landscape rubber mulch is perfect for DIY landscapers, contractors, or your hired landscaper.  We ship right to your driveway and the bags can be easily transported to the application site for dispersal by hand or rake.  It can be applied to large expanses under trees to smaller more structured flower and shrub beds.  It also makes a great border around spaces like patios or pools to add a rich layered look.  We commonly see it in both front yard applications, front and center for a clean fresh aesthetic, and also in backyard applications as a low-maintenance option in the backdrop.

Commercial use: Landscape rubber mulch is also perfect for commercial use.  We deliver in bulk direct to your application location or loading dock.  Our rubber mulch is super durable, lasting for years on end, without the need for reapplication or any significant maintenance.  It is commonly applied in large scale applications in

  • City, state and other municipal parks 
  • Shopping mall and strip center parking lot plant beds and landscaping 
  • Hotel and other hospitality landscaping
  • Office building landscaping
  • HOA and neighborhood common area landscaping
  • Hospitality Facility Landscapes

Cost

Landscape rubber mulch is cost effective and will give you a positive return on investment when compared to wood mulch.  Both rubber and wood mulch pricing differ by location for many reason, but rubber mulch will always come out on top due to its durability and longevity.  Just look at your local Home Depot for a pallet of wood mulch (~77 cu ft).  That is what we did... we checked out our local Home Depot and compared to a pallet of our rubber mulch.  We then figured the cost of shipping or local transport plus labor for each reapplication of wood mulch.   Depending on where you live, wood mulch needs to be reapplied 1 to 2 times a year due to wood mulch decomposition, color fading, fungus growth, etc.   If reapplying wood mulch 2x a year our ROI will be 1 yr or less with material, shipping and labor figured in.  If applying wood mulch once a year, our ROI will be about 1.5 to 2 years.  You will need to determine your exact ROI by looking at your local transport and labor costs but expect rubber mulch to have a fantastic ROI.  In either case, whether you would re-apply wood mulch once or twice a year,  rubber mulch delivers tremendous savings over the lifetime of the product which could be 12+ years. 

Difference between landscape and playground rubber mulch

Our playground rubber mulch and our landscape rubber mulch are not the same.  Our landscape rubber mulch is made up of a different composition rubber which is heavier and contains less fiber than our playground rubber mulch.  This enhances the appearance and functionally increases its performance by reducing mulch erosion from rain or wind.  While it is actually more expensive to produce our landscape rubber mulch, we offer it at the same low price as our playground rubber mulch.  Both our landscape and playground rubber are premium products that enjoy the same color guarantee, environmental safety, and long-lasting durability.   

Landscaping Ideas

Just to give you an idea, landscape rubber mulch can be used in a variety of ways in your landscaping.  

 

Image
A natural looking yellow flower bed applied with landscape brown rubber mulch.
This beautiful flower bed is perfectly complemented by natural looking brown rubber mulch.  
Rubber mulch is a great option instead of stone for paths. Here are two examples with a more traditional look and a more modern look. The modern look uses a custom grey color rubber mulch. The inset pavers in these photos aren't even necessary as rubber mulch provides a great surface to walk on directly. Rubber mulch is a great option for sideyards whether it is to replace soggy grass, create a path, or line the edge of your house. The latter is not recommended with wood mulch because it retains water and can harbor insects, which is why rubber mulch makes a great alternative for borders around the house.
Image
A side yard garden path with large square paver stones surrounded by red rubber mulch.
Image
A landscaped yard path with large square paver stones surrounded by custom grey rubber mulch.
Image
A business landscaped with brown rubber mulch front and center on a main road.
Here landscape rubber mulch is prominently displayed in front of a business on a main street. It provides a clean, tailored look that won't fatigue like wood mulch.
Rubber mulch perfectly complements natural grass and can be used with or without a border. Here the rubber mulch is applied in a raised bed with a stone border.
Image
Residential landscaping flower bed with brown rubber mulch and stone border.
Image
A residential pool with a beautiful border of black rubber mulch.
One of our favorites is how this homeowner uses black rubber mulch as a border around this beautiful pool setting. Rubber mulch also makes for a great border around pavers and patios.
Rubber mulch is great for filling in large areas for a long-lasting solution that stays fresh looking and requires minimal maintenance.
Image
Landscaping with a large area of red rubber mulch spread under trees.
Image
Black landscape rubber mulch in the front yard applied in multiple layers.
Layering is a great way to incorporate both wood mulch and rubber mulch! Put either wood or rubber mulch where the green circle is in the front layer and fill the back where the blue circle is with your other material.  Rubber mulch in the front will provide a continuous fresh and clean look.  Or put wood mulch in the front for an organic appeal and rubber mulch in the back for a continuous vibrant backdrop that doesn't require reapplication and has virtually no maintenance.

Pests and Insects

Ever go to the zoo or pet store and see the snakes, spider, and other creature cages with mulch in it?  We know that we have.  That is because mulch is super hospitable to unruly garden pests like slugs, mice, snails, ants, termites, and other creatures that can wreak havoc on your plants and house.  However, rubber mulch is not a hospitable material for these pests and doesn't attract them like wood mulch does.  That means rubber mulch is ideal for use around buildings, foundations, and wood structures.  It also means that rubber mulch helps to protect bushes, shrubs, plants, and trees from being destroyed by pests who like a wood mulch host.   An added benefit is that with less pests, there is less need to use insect control chemicals in and around your landscaping.  

Weed Control

Rubber mulch helps prevent weed growth because it blocks out the essential sunlight and is void of the surface moisture that weeds require.  This is great news because weeds steel water from your plants, look horrible, and can sometimes cause damage.  Because rubber mulch helps to prevent weed growth, it reduces the need for harsh chemicals and herbicides to kill off the weeds.  For maximum protection against weeds we recommend laying down weed filter fabric underneath any type of mulch.  Rubber mulch = less weeding, healthy plants.

Positive plant growth

Image
Backyard with brown landscaping rubber mulch in the garden beds of healthy plants.

We believe both wood mulch and rubber mulch are positive for healthy plant sustenance and growth.  Mulching provides an added protective layer for plants by reducing freezing, rotting, drying out, and other climate related stressors to its roots.  Both rubber and wood mulch provide effective insulation, keeping the soil cool during the summer and warm during the winter.  

Proper mulching helps maintain proper water retention under the surface, preventing drying or rotting roots.  Without mulch, water may evaporate quicker and dry out plants as it doesn't have that protective layer on the surface.  This may require more frequent watering cycles and closer attention to water quantity.  Again, both rubber and wood mulch assist plants here in a similar manner.  

Where rubber mulch excels is in its ability to ensure water and nutrients do not sit on the surface or run off the surface. Rather rubber mulch ensures water and nutrients run directly down in to the soil where thirsty roots can drink it up.  Additionally wood mulch is prone to grow mold and fungus which can be problematic while rubber mulch does not have this issue due to its drainage characteristics.  And as mentioned above, it excels in its ability to reduce both weeds and problematic pests, which keeps your plants healthy and thriving.

 

Maintenance

In general rubber mulch requires almost no maintenance.  However, we have a few suggestions to get the most out of your rubber mulch and extend its longevity.  Rotating rubber mulch can mitigate color fading over many many years.  You can do this by simply lightly raking your rubber mulch from the bottom to the surface to the top. Last, if you have trees near the rubber mulch you may have leaves that fall on it.  Simply clear the leaves, twigs, and any other debris using a rake or leaf blower.

Sustainability & LEED

Image
Rubber mulch is a recycled green product that is friendly for our Earth.

The mulch we sell is sustainable and environmentally friendly.  It is composed of 100% recycled shredded rubber.  Our landscape rubber mulch comes from truck tires so instead of going in to landfills we recycle the tires in to rubber mulch.  Recycled truck tire rubber is used in numerous consumer applications and proven safe.  

Purchasing rubber mulch as a landscaping cover helps the environment because it reduces landfills and repurposes a very durable material that would otherwise needlessly go to waste.  Our rubber mulch goes through a rigorous cleaning process and our colored rubber mulch is further sealed with a safe, non-toxic paint.  Loose fiber and foreign materials are also systematically removed, making it 99.9% free of steel content.  You should definitely feel good about purchasing our rubber mulch because of its environmental benefits and safety characteristics.

Rubber mulch can help construction projects earn LEED credits.  As a green landscaping material, rubber mulch helps to saves trees and earns Green Building (LEED) Credits.

Durability

Rubber mulch can easily last for more than 10+ years.  That is why rubber mulch is not only suitable for residential use but is also widely applied in commercial use as discussed at top.   Our selection of rubber mulch is made from vulcanized rubber from truck tires which means it is almost indestructible but still flexible.  Rubber from sneakers and other inferior sources can get slippery when wet, break down, and rot.  

Does it stand up to the elements? Yes, our rubber mulch can withstand harsh winter climates and also hot dessert climates year after year.  Additionally, rubber mulch is great because it won't freeze, crack, or get too hot to touch in climate extremes.  Surfaces that have a continuous solid surface like tiles and cement are sensitive to seasonal shrinkage and expansion, contributing to premature breakdown.  Rubber mulch are nuggets so this problem is eliminated. Additionally, its nugget form factor is great for drainage, meaning its surfaces are much less prone to water based issues such as mold and rot.  Likewise, your landscaping as a whole will not have puddles as long as there is proper grading and drainage under the rubber mulch.  As it relates to water, rubber mulch will not wash away in storms.  In heavy wind, rubber mulch will also stay in place.  

To maintain longevity, its suggested to lightly rake rubber mulch every once in a while to vary the exposure to the elements of different pieces or different sides of the same piece.  The ability to change up the exposure to the elements, also greatly increases its durability and longevity unlike many other surfaces.  From a durability perspective rubber mulch rates high and is an excellent investment. 

Colors and Color Longevity

Image
Rubber mulch has a 12 year color guarantee.

We offer rubber mulch in seven colors: black, brown, red, blue, green, cypress, and uncoated black.  Our 7 base colors have been thoughtfully formulated to look extremely natural in any setting.  Upon request, we can also coat rubber mulch in custom colors.  This is a great option to match your specific landscaping, business colors, team colors, etc...

While wood mulch will literally fade a week after application, rubber mulch will maintain its vibrant color for years. Rubber mulch is painted with a highly durable non-toxic paint that can withstand UV and other weather elements. Manufacturers of high quality rubber mulch back this up with a 12 year color warranty.  These warranties vary slightly by manufacturers but you can be confident that your rubber mulch will look fresh for years.  Compare that to how your wood mulch looks after several months in the sun and the fresh color of the rubber mulch becomes even more evident.

Highlights

  • Long-lasting, cost effective landscape ground cover

  • Saves time and money by eliminating annual mulching

  • Quick return on investment realizing huge savings versus wood mulch in landscape applications

  • Earn construction project LEED credits

  • Inhibits growth of mold and fungi, reducing allergy risk

  • Does not float, absorb water, erode or blow away with heavy wind or rain

  • 12 year Color-Lock guarantee

  • Helps prevent weeds

  • Does not attract termites, carpenter ants or other harmful wood destroying insects

  • Resists rodent infestation

  • Will not rot unlike engineered wood fiber (EWF) or wood mulch

  • 100% recycled rubber

  • Non-toxic

Shop Landscape Rubber Mulch by State