Last Modified: April 1, 2024

​Rubber Playground Tiles

Guide With A Handy Tile Calculator

Checkered playground tiles close up

By Ben Parrot - Landscape Gardener & Amateur Geologist

Overview

In this article on rubber playground tiles, we explore the alternative rubber safety surface known as the humble rubber garden tile. We cover the simplicity of installation, the many benefits they offer as well as their aesthetic versatility.

Key Takeaways

  • Safety: Rubber tiles, with their non-slip nature, ensure playgrounds and gardens remain injury-free zones.
  • Sustainability: Made primarily from recycled rubber, these tiles contribute positively to the environment.
  • Easy Installation: Simple cleaning techniques and easy replacement make rubber tiles a hassle-free option.
  • Versatility: Available in various colors, patterns, and thicknesses, rubber tiles cater to most needs.
Outdoor play area with safety rubber mats image by urszula from

Image by Urszula from Pixabay

The Rise of Safety Playground Rubber Matting

Also known as rubber safety tiles, rubber play tiles and playground safety mats have become very popular for children’s play areas, around climbing frames and for use as recreational surfaces. Due to the effective cushioning, they protect against hard falls and at the same time, create non-slip conditions crucial to playground flooring. They can get quite hot, too, so just a word to the wise about this downside.

They are often compared to the safety of wet pour rubber floors, but where are they lack the longevity and maximum protection of wet pour, they more than make up for in versatility, cost effectiveness, and flexibility.

Play tiles can also be used around the garden very effectively. Commonly referred to as rubber slabs for garden or outdoor rubber tiles, their versatility and wide range of colours make them a popular server solution for domestic homeowners.

Black rubber play tiles laid in a garden

Key Features of Rubber Playground Tiles

Critical Fall Height: Safety Flooring 101

When used for the design of playground flooring, the critical fall height protection of solutions like rubber play tiles is extremely high. This means that when laid correctly, there is a maximum height from which children can fall without suffering a severe injury.

This metric is measured against the thickness of the playground tiles, with most quality assured products meeting the following minimums:

Critical fall height tested:

  • 30mm thickness = 100cm
  • 40mm thickness = 130cm
Outdoor play area with multicoloured rubber safety tiles. Jpg

Water Resistant: No More Puddles

Another benefit of rubber play area tiles is that water recedes quickly and effectively due to their design. On top of the excellent grip that rubber play services are already renowned for, the reduction in puddling means that a rubber play tiled surface offers excellent traction in all-weather conditions.

Color and Design: More than Just Green

Another fun aspect about these innovative, re-purposed rubber products is the large range of colours and shapes they are available in. With their easy, interlocking design, creating interesting or educational patterns and designs can add an extra element to play areas that draws children in while keeping them playing safely.

Durable and Long-Lasting

Quality rubber safety tiles are generally a minimum of 30mm in thickness, making them highly durable, and long-lasting, in all weather conditions. However, if left outside in full sun during the hotter months, they will deteriorate faster. We suggest covering them while not in use, wherever practical.

Eco-friendly

Rubber playground tiles are also a repurposed material made from recycled, rubber tires, which makes them a more eco-friendly option than many other manufactured surface solutions.

Rubber tyre swing in a garden

Rubber Tile Calculator

Armed with just the tiles price and side width, plus the areas length and width measurements, our tile calculator can help you to estimate the total area of your planned play surface, the number of tiles required and approximate cost for your tiling needs. It works by taking your inputs and using relevant formulas to calculate the key numbers. This simplifies the planning process by providing accurate estimations that can help prevent over or under-ordering of materials. You can input feet or metres, too!

The number of tiles is handy for design applications where you may want to alternate colours, so you can just divide the total number of tiles by the amount of colours, and you will have the order ready!

In the case where you choose a hexagon shaped tile, the results have an added 15% to allow for cutting and errors. Please keep in mind that this is not a perfect number, and checking with the supplier before ordering is advisable if you have any doubts. 

Now go ahead, have some fun!

Outdoor Aggregates Rubber Tile Calculator

Total Area, Tiles Needed And Cost

Installation & Maintenance for Your Rubber Tiles

Easy Installation: Interlocking Pegs

Installation is a breeze, even for people with no DIY skills. Rubber interlocking tile flooring have an interlocking system. Interlocking rubber flooring tiles can also be bonded to the floor using non-toxic adhesives such as silicon rubber. The 30mm and thicker types can usually be further reinforced by the insertion of wooden dowels. This offers greater strength and easy installation.

Another benefit is the flexibility of creating a floating floor. This allows you to change designs or move the surface to different locations, without any trouble. Using rubber crumb matting or playground safety mats also offers this type of flexibility.

Diagram illustrating interlocking rubber tiles. Jpg
Interlocking play tiles being connected. Jpg

Installation Insights: Preparing the Ground

Before you lay down and install your rubber tiles, ensure that the ground is prepared. For outdoor playground setups, it's essential to lay a protective layer under the playground rubber tiles, such as adhesive or a protective mat.

Cleaning and Maintenance: Keeping Tiles Fresh

Rubber tiles are simple to care for. Regular cleaning with water and mild detergent will keep them looking new by removing built up grease. For tougher stains or gum, using specialised gum remover is recommended.

Rubber chequered playground tiles in a garden. Jpg

Summary

Rubber garden and play tiles can bring an element of safety, with environmental sustainability, and in style. Their flexibility and long-lasting qualities make them an excellent choice of play surface for many scenarios and needs, whilst being a more cost-effective option than rubber wet pour surfaces.

Child playing on a swing image by anna prosekova from

Image by Anna Prosekova from Pixabay

FAQs

Are rubber play pavers good for outdoors?

Yes, rubber play pavers are weather-resistant, ensuring durability and safety in outdoor design.

How do you install rubber tiles in a garden?

With their interlocking design, rubber tiles can be easily installed on a prepared grass or surface. It's essential to ensure the ground is level and grass has a protective layer underneath.

What do you put under rubber tiles?

Depending on the location, an adhesive layer of concrete or protective mat is commonly placed under the tiles. For added safety, and to prevent movement of surface water, a layer of adhesive or a protective mat is typically placed underneath.

How do you cut rubber garden tiles?

Using a sharp utility knife and a straight edge, rubber tiles playground mats can be easily cut to fit any design or pattern.

Are rubber tiles safe?

Yes, especially rubber playground tiles in play areas, rubber tiles offer superior cushioning and a non-slip surface.

Is rubber gym flooring safe?

Yes, rubber gym flooring is safe, providing a non-slip surface that reduces noise and offers cushioning in the event of an accident.

Are rubber tiles any good?

Yes, they can can be very suitable in many situations. Also, an outdoor play mat for concrete surfaces is a fine substitute. They both offer durable, versatile and eco-friendly safety, making them an good choice for safety surfacing across various applications.

There are many other types and styles of rubber chipping safety surfacing available for your project. Check out them out!

About the author 

Ben Parrot is a landscape gardener and amateur geologist. He is the founder of Outdoor Aggregates, with the mission to create the first encyclopaedia for decorative aggregates. From natural stone through to decorative bark, these aggregates are critical to garden and landscape design, universally.

The problem: There isn't any place where all the different types of decorative landscaping materials and construction aggregates can be found, nor are the specifications of each type readily available. So, enriched by his extensive experience, and inspired by the timeless elegance and raw beauty of stone and rock, etched by nature's artistry over millennia, Outdoor Aggregates was born.