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How Much Rubber Mulch Will I Need

September 24, 2015

calculator, mulch bag on bed of rubber mulch


Now that you’ve decided to use rubber mulch for some of your home projects, you might be wondering just how much you will need. While there is no template answer to this question, there are some practical issues you have to consider first before placing that order.

What will you use it for?


Are you using rubber mulch for landscaping, for playground infill, or for gardening purposes? The amount of rubber mulch you will need depends greatly on the depth of its intended use. There are standards you can refer to so you can have a rough estimation of how much to get.


One to two inches of rubber mulch is enough for landscaping and gardening needs. For playgrounds, the American Society for Testing and Materials requires a safety standard depth of three to six inches of mulch. This has been determined to sufficiently cushion falls from six feet up to 12 feet. Standard residential playsets have a platform fall height of 5-6 feet and for that a 3 inch depth of rubber mulch is sufficient. Commercial playgrounds like parks, schools, and daycare centers generally have higher equipment and more traction, and a 4-6 inch depth is required. Add to that the measurement for the “fall zone” which is three to six feet on all four sides of the playground, since kids don’t always fall straight down.


How big is the area?


Measuring the exact area which you will use could be daunting at first, but there are a couple of tricks to make it more manageable. You can measure the square footage, which is the equivalent of the length multiplied by the width (in feet). You can use an online square footage calculator to come up with the numbers faster.


This is easy enough to do if you have a rectangular or square space. If it is an uneven shape, you can divide the area into small rectangles, add up their total, and come up with the entire area’s square footage.      


How do I calculate measurement versus cost?


It’s best to refer to the manufacturer’s website for a price quote or a free estimate based on your measurements. Many rubber mulch suppliers’ sites also feature a virtual calculator to help you compute for the total cost of your project specifications. You can add the shipping cost on top of them.  


Also, don’t hesitate to talk to a customer support agent if there is one. It’s their job to help you with concerns like these.


How is the rubber mulch packed?


Always remember to factor in how much rubber mulch goes into a bag or pallet, as this can also help you determine the exact amount to order. Manufacturers usually offer 40 to 50-pound bags, packed in two dozens as half a pallet for delivery. You can ask your supplier for custom-size orders if they offer them, especially if you have strict specifications.