Wetpour vs. Rubber Mulch

Choosing the Ideal Safety Surface for Your Playgrounds

When it comes to designing safe and engaging playgrounds, selecting the right surface material is of utmost importance. Among the popular choices are wetpour and rubber mulch, both known for their safety and durability. However, understanding the key differences between these two options can help you make an informed decision for your playground project.


Wetpour, also known as rubber tarmac or rubber flooring, is a combination of colourful virgin rubber granules and a specialised polyurethane binder. This mixture creates a seamless, rubbery surface that offers excellent impact absorption and slip resistance.

Rubber mulch is made from shredded rubber pieces obtained from recycled tires. It resembles natural wood mulch but provides superior shock absorption and requires minimal maintenance. To ensure its longevity and stability, the rubber mulch is bound together with a polyurethane binder during the installation process. This binding process enhances the cohesion of the rubber particles, preventing them from scattering or shifting over time.

Safety and Impact Absorption: 

Both wetpour and mulch are designed to meet high safety standards, providing a fall height rating of up to 3 metres. This means that they offer effective impact absorption and cushioning, significantly reducing the risk of injuries in case of falls from playground equipment or structures. Whether it’s wetpour or mulch, both surfaces offer a secure and reliable play area for children, allowing them to play with confidence and ensuring a safe environment.

Appearance and Design: 

Wetpour can be customised with various colours, designs, and patterns, making it an attractive choice for playgrounds seeking a vibrant and engaging appearance. Rubber mulch comes in natural shades of black, brown, green, sand, and red, complementing the playground’s surroundings and giving it a more natural look.


Both surfaces are relatively low-maintenance compared to other playground surfacing options. Wetpour requires occasional cleaning to remove debris and dirt buildup. Any damages can be easily repaired by cutting away the damaged area, and re-installing the wetpour. Rubber mulch, while also easy to maintain, may require some occasional attention to address wind-blown weeds that could settle on its surface.

Longevity and Durability: 

Both wetpour and mulch offer impressive longevity. Wetpour surfaces are highly resilient to wear and tear. When correctly installed, wetpour can maintain its integrity for many years, showing minimal signs of deterioration. Similarly, rubber mulch also exhibits excellent durability, allowing it to remain a reliable and long-lasting option for playground surfaces.

In conclusion, both wetpour and rubber mulch are exceptional choices for playground surfacing, offering safety, durability, and visual appeal. If you prioritise seamless surfaces and unlimited design possibilities, wetpour might be the preferred option. However, if you are seeking a more natural appearance, rubber mulch is an excellent choice.

For some playgrounds, the best approach may involve combining both wetpour and rubber mulch to create a varied surface. This hybrid solution can be particularly beneficial for Special Educational Needs (SEND) schools, where accommodating diverse sensory needs and preferences is crucial.

To receive a quote for your playground surface, please visit www.dcmsurfaces.com, or call us on 01772 440340.