If you have kids at home, you must be considering rubber mulch for your lawn.

Rubber mulch is an affordable, low-maintenance, and long-lasting option as compared to the other organic types of mulch.

Just like any other landscaping option, it is a mixed bag that comes with its own advantages and downsides.

Today, we will look at the rubber mulch pros and cons so that you will have a better understanding of what you are investing in.

Read More: Mulch Vs. Rock (2024 Comparison)

What is Rubber Mulch?

A definition post of what is rubber mulch

Rubber mulch is often made from tires that have been torn and thrown away. It may be used for a lot of things, like playgrounds, running tracks, and roads. 

Rubber mulch is available to gardeners in four basic forms: sheets, crumbles, shreds, and nuggets. Unlike rocks. It is light in weight, so it gets easier to transport them.

It is often seen as an eco-friendly option as it helps in waste prevention.

Rubber mulch typically costs more than conventional mulches.

However, over several years, it can save money by lasting much longer.

With that, let’s jump to the rubber mulch pros and cons.

7 Pros of Rubber Mulch 

A circular chart of the benefits of rubber mulch

Following are the amazing benefits of installing rubber mulches:

1. Highly Durable

One major benefit of using this kind of mulch is that it breaks down more slowly due to its composition. 

Shredded tire mulch is ever-lasting as compared to mulch made of organic materials, such as wood mulch.

As the organic mulch decomposes into the soil, you may need to replace it frequently.

2. Doesn’t Attract Pests 

Organic mulch tends to draw pests like wasps, termites, and ants. Moreover, they may absorb water, promoting fungal growth. 

If pest control is not your cup of tea, you won’t regret buying rubber mulch. 

Rubber mulch actually helps keep wood-eating bugs away from your buildings, allowing you to use less insecticide.

Therefore, you can use it near your house without worrying about insects invading your house.

3. Encourages Elimination of Weeds

Rubber mulches, like many other mulches, both biological and inorganic, inhibit the growth of weeds.

They cover the light and space that weed seeds require to germinate. So, if you constantly complain about weed overgrowing in the flower beds, you can use it.

4. Less Quantity Required

Rubber mulch usually only requires six inches of material to meet the safety criterion for loose-fill rubber. 

You need more material to satisfy safety standards to install wood mulch or engineered wood fibre surfacing.

5. Safer For Kids 

Children are prone to falling off playground equipment and scratching their knees when running around. 

It creates safer play areas, reducing the impact of falls and reducing the risk of painful playground-related injuries.

Also, this type of mulch lowers the possibility of catastrophic or potentially fatal head injuries from playground falls because it has a high head impact rating

6. Prevents Wind Erosion

Wind and heavy rain will not be able to move this mulch. 

Even while sawdust and leaves form great organic mulches, they can easily blow away. Rubber mulch prevents it. 

7. Retains Moisture in the Soil

Applying a thick coating of rubber over the soil’s surface makes it a great moisture barrier. 

Rain or snow can cause liquid to seep through the rubber and into the soil, where mulch keeps it from evaporating, making winter lawn care easy.

Cons of Rubber Mulch 

A list infographic of the rubber mulch cons

Below are some cons of this type of mulch:

1. High Initial Cost 

The cost of rubber mulch is significantly higher than that of organic mulch. The majority of brands cost more than $10 per cubic foot, and some can go up to $15. 

You should also add up the price of the landscaping fabric you’ll need to lay underneath.

It’s a cost-effective choice if you don’t mind using the same mulch for years. But those who revamp their yard every now and then may not find it inexpensive. 

Note that the cheapest form is the one you obtain from radial tires and may still contain small metal fragments. 

2. Not as Safe for the Environment 

It has the ability to release substances known as volatile organic compounds when heated by the sun. 

These are the same types of gasses that paint, pesticides, printers, and cleaning supplies release.

This emission may be harmful to your health. 

During hot weather, you may notice an odd smell of heated rubber in the yard. If you dwell in a region where summers are extremely hot, don’t install it close to the sitting area.

3. Removal is Complicated

To keep it apart from the soil, you must first lay down landscaping cloth. 

That is because once the mulch pieces are incorporated into the soil, they are practically hard to get rid of without manually picking them out. 

For instance, if you want to install sod, you may need to remove the top layer of soil entirely to get rid of all the rubber.

It also makes weeding more difficult. 

You can’t till it into the soil to eradicate weeds since it does not fast biodegrade and does not enrich the soil with nutrients. 

You will have to pick weeds by hand if they appear.


Do rubber mulches have a bad odour?

When you install it, initially, it may have a smell that goes away after a few hours.

What is the best method to maintain rubber mulches?

You can rake to get rid of the debris that accumulates in the yard or use a blower.

Do rubber mulches freeze in cold regions?

No, as it doesn’t take up moisture, it remains as it is in winter.


Now that you know the rubber mulch pros and cons, you can decide for yourself whether it is a suitable option for your yard.

If you have queries on the types of mulch or its installation, feel free to reach out to Falcons Landscaping.