Last Modified: April 1, 2024

Rubber Wet Pour Surfaces

Unparalleled Safety In Playgrounds

A man laying green rubber wet pour

By Ben Parrot - Landscape Gardener & Amateur Geologist


Rubber wet pour is the innovative impact absorbing surfacing solution made using rubber crumb that has transformed modern playgrounds, offering a new level of safety. Think of the colourful playground flooring where children freely run, jump, and tumble with a lower chance of slipping or injuring themselves in a fall. When laid at the required depth to meet critical fall height requirements, they offer the best protection from falls. The added 'grip' makes using wet pour rubber for gardens, such as on pathways, a common application.

In this article, we look in detail at the popularity and wide-spread use of this impact absorbing surfacing solution so common around play equipment today.

Blue rubber chippings for garden play area commercial photography by studioroost. Jpg

Commercial photography by StudioRoost

Key Takeaways

  • Benefits: include safety and a wide range of colours and designs.
  • Safety: It offers the best critical fall height protection in a fall.
  • Durability: Rubber wet pour surfacing is very hard wearing.

What is Wet Pour Safety Surfacing?

A 'wet pour' play surface is a playground safety surfacing made from a blend of bonded rubber crumb that is mixed on-site and applied onto a pre-existing foundation. The method of application results in a seamless and joint-free continuous surfacing, most often found as the soft tarmac seen in multi use games areas for children. This benefit also makes the floor very wheelchair friendly.

Multicolour wet pour close up. Jpg

Understanding Wet Pour

Known for being available in many colors that can be applied almost to any design, this rubber surface is a seamless and porous solution that creates a safer playground environment. Also referred to as ‘rubber-crumb' surface, or soft pavements, require highly experienced teams to install the surface.

The Composition of Wet Pour Rubber

Wet pour surfacing consists two layers of wet pour rubber granules (usually from recycled rubber crumb) mixed with a binding agent, most commonly a polyurethane resin. This combination ensures the surface is highly durable while retaining its impact absorbing elasticity. The resin bonds the rubber granules into a cohesive and flexible playground flooring which can stand up to more than 10 years of constant use.

Wetpour rubber cross section diagram. Jpg

Benefits of Wet Pour Rubber Surfaces

As a playground flooring, they are a lot more than just a surface capable of creating intricate and fun designs. The primary benefit is the unequaled safety they add to playgrounds and play areas. The slip-resistant quality reduces accidents, and the cushioning provides critical fall height protection in the case of all-to-common falls. Let's examine the benefits in more detail.

Safety Surfacing in School Playgrounds

Today, wet pour rubber plays a major part in making playgrounds safer. When correctly installed at a minimum thickness, the impact absorbing benefits offer unmatched protection from the critical fall heights required in public playgrounds, especially where there is playground equipment. The strategic placement of wet pour rubber surfaces helps to ensure that when a child falls, the potential for injury, and the severity, is minimised.

Although the wet pour rubber cost is far greater when compared to traditional options like gravel or concrete, wet pour rubber surfaces offer a significant safety advantage. Bonded rubber mulch for playgrounds offer similar advantages and may be worth considering.

The Colours of Wet Pour

The wide range of diverse wet pour colours can give playgrounds a vibrant look that is attractive to kids, making play more enticing. The coloured materials can be used to create unique patterns, designs, and educational elements on the playground flooring.

Rainbow design rubber wet pour. Jpg

Durability and Longevity

One of the benefits of wet pour rubber surfaces is the peerless durability and longevity. This means that after the once-off cost of installation, they continue to perform with just minimal cost and maintenance for over 10 years, withstanding all weather extremes and heavy usage.

Applications Beyond the Playground

Outdoor play area with bonded rubber safety surface image by cherylt23 from

Image by Cherylt23 from Pixabay

While a primary schools playground is the main recipient of wet pours safe surfacing, the applications extend well beyond. Many types of recreational areas and pathways, as well as features in domestic gardens and shower wet rooms, can all benefit from the safety that wet pour surfacing has to offer.

Looking for a way to add a safety surface to your children's play area or landscaping project? Check out the full range of rubber chippings.

Installation Process

Installation of wet pour surfaces is a task that requires a higher level of expertise than your average DIY project, although it is by no means out of reach to the well-prepared, especially when the plan is to install upon a suitable sbr base layer.

Starting with a solid base layer preparation, it's important to make sure the sub base has the correct square metre coverage for a uniform finish. Once the base is set, an epdm sub base of the wet pour mixture has to be laid to the minimum thickness whilst achieving a smooth and even spread. Though intricate, the two layer system process yields a surface that's safe and durable, while looking good.

Wheelbarrow of blue rubber poured onto ground surface

Technical Aspects of Wet Pour

The inclusion of a resin binder creates a rubbery cohesion that allows the surface to be tested upon contact, withstanding intense pressure without breaking apart. When comparing styrene butadiene rubber against traditional rubber, the former emerges as a stronger and more adaptable material.

Maintaining a Wet Pour Playground Surface

Maintenance of wet pour surfaces requires the regular cleaning with a mild detergent and water. Regular cleaning prevents the growth of moss or weeds and keeps the surface vibrant. Under trees, seating areas or shaded spots, a pathway moss killer may need to be used, but care is required due to the possible hazard to children.

Aside from cleaning, periodic checks are needed to find and repair wear and tear for maximising safety and longevity.


In summary, the advent of wet pour surfacing has changed play equipment safety by reducing injuries and the maintenance required to keep playgrounds safe. With a wide range of colours and applications, it is an innovation that will forever add another level of safety in areas where grip or critical fall height are concerns. Just ensure it is installed correctly and tested, when in a public setting.

Rubber mulch bonded pathway. Jpg


What is rubber wet pour?

Rubber wet pour is a blend of rubber granules and polyurethane resin, meticulously mixed to offer a very rubber safety surface commonly used in playgrounds.

What is the mix ratio for wet pour rubber?

The exact mix varies based on manufacturers and specific requirements, but typically, it's a blend of rubber granules and a binding agent like polyurethane resin.

What is the difference between wet pour and rubber mulch?

Wet pour offers a smoother, more consistent surface, while rubber mulch has a shredded appearance and texture can wet pour.

What is wet pour surfacing?

Wet pour is a type of safety surface predominantly used in playgrounds. It's designed to offer enhanced cushioning against falls and minimize injuries.

How do you clean wet pour surfaces?

A combination of mild detergent and water works best for cleaning. Regular cleaning, coupled with periodic checks for any wear or damages, ensures the surface remains in prime condition.

There are many other DIY project guides available from Outdoor Aggregates. Why not check 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.