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Rubber Paving Pros and Cons

Do you want to replace your old pavement with a rubber driveway? Whether it’s a driveway, sidewalk, patio, staircase, deck, or any other outdoor surface, take this opportunity to make this project happen.

In this article, we will look at how to choose a rubber tile. What is the best choice for the arrangement of driveways, yard areas, or garden paths? Also, let’s understand the main aspects of competent choice.

Rubber Mulch Best Choice

 4,9 Rating

Playsafer Red Rubber Mulch

  • 99.9% steel-free 100% recycled scrap tires
  • Provides 3″ of coverage for 300 square feet
  • 1/2″-5/8″ rubber nuggets with color guaranteed for 12 yrs
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Material Features

  • Depreciation. Rubber tiles have an elastic structure that is amortizable, so they can be used for garage or home access roads.
  • Frost resistance. Rubber tiles withstand frost and do not lose their properties when using winter reagents.
  • Drainage properties. Due to the low porosity of the rubber tile surface, moisture evaporates from it very quickly. So, the temperature difference – which is not uncommon for winter – on such a tile does not form slippery ice, and snow is very easy to clean.
  • Microbiological resistance. Material made of rubber crumbs and a special solution for laying such tiles prevents the formation of mold on the surface and grass germination at the joints.
  • Protection against ultraviolet. Dyes that are used in the process of manufacturing tiles, do not burn out in the sun.

Why is rubber tile better than concrete tile?

  • Rubber tiles do not crumble, have high strength and resistance to stress.
  • Operation – easy installation and repair, easy maintenance.
  • Good drainage qualities – water does not accumulate on the surface.
  • Injury safety.
  • Service life is more than 10 years!
  • A wide variety of colors and shapes, which allows you to create almost any design.

Playsafer rubber mulch is an exceptional playground protection surface, as it provides unmatched shock absorbency, and greatly reduces the incidence of playground injuries. Unlike other loose fill surfaces, Playsafer rubber mulch nuggets require minimal maintenance, dry quickly after rain and will not decompose. Its exceptional longevity makes Playsafer rubber mulch for play areas and playgrounds, a very cost effective option.

Advantages of rubber paver tiles

  • Easy installation and repair. Unlike, for example, concrete (or other different types of driveway surfaces), which takes several days to dry. Rubber tiles are collected as a puzzle, for their laying does not need a professional team of workers. And there is no need to additionally prepare the surface. The main thing is that there are no obvious ridges and irregularities. In addition, when repairing you do not need to check the reed and the level of sand, cut out with circular saw tiles of the desired size, as when replacing the paving stone. You just take out the damaged “puzzle” and insert a new one.
  • Longevity. Rubber paver tiles are not afraid of high humidity, temperature, and high loads, serves all year round, maintaining its appearance and functionality.
  • Variety of decor. A huge selection of shapes and sizes of tiles, colors, patterns, and ornaments, which allows you to realize the most daring fantasies of architects, builders, landscape designers, owners of cottages, and villas.

Rubber Tiles In Comparison

Rubber-Cal Eco-Safety Interlocking Tiles

Rubber-Cal Eco-Safety Interlocki Playground Tiles
  • Dimension – 2.50 x 19.5 x 19.5 inch.
  • Gauge: 2.5 inches.
  • Easy to clean and maintain.

 4,8 Rating

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RevTime Easy DIY Interlocked Outdoor Rubber Tiles

RevTime Easy DIY Rubber Tiles
  • Package Dimensions 20 x 20 x 5 inches.
  • Shape Rectangular.
  • It is easy to maintenance.

 4,0 Rating

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RevTime Dual-Side Garden Rubber Paver

RevTime Safety Rubber Tile 16"x16"
  • Dimensions:406x406x19mm,(16″x16″x3/4″).
  • Weight:6.40lbs each tile(2.9kgs/tile),total 38.30lbs per case(6 tiles).
  • Dual-side.

 4,2 Rating

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Playsafer Rubber Interlocking Safety Paver Tiles

Playsafer Rubber Interlocking Safety Paver Tiles
  • Dimensions:7.8″ X 6.3″
  • Thickness: ¾”.
  • Water permeable and non-slip.

 4,0 Rating

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Laying rubber tiles

The technology of rubber tile-laying requires observance of several important points:

  • It is necessary to make markings and prepare the base in advance. You can use pegs for marking, between which to pull the rope.
  • Primer or sand must be compacted, and the concrete tie to let dry and clean from dust.
  • The installation should be carried out on an even surface. Rubber tiles forgive small irregularities, however, it is desirable to achieve the smoothest possible foundation.
  • The size of the area where the tiles will be laid should be determined according to the size of the tile modules to minimize waste.

Which tool will be needed when laying rubber tiles

To layout a rubber tile with your own hands, you only need a small set of tools and appliances. You will need them:

  • a marking tool (enough pegs and rope);
  • level and ruler;
  • a knife, an electric jigsaw;
  • a wooden or rubber hammer (a mallet);
  • a toothed spatula for applying glue (when laying on concrete);
  • a sponge or rag to remove excess glue (when laying on concrete).

Installation of rubber tiles on concrete

  • paving is performed on a ready-made concrete base (or on an asphalt surface);
  • finer tiles can be used;
  • the connection is made on an adhesive base;
  • before installation, the surface of the base must be leveled, cracks closed, dust and dirt cleaned and primed. You can use an already prepared primer as a primer.

Before mounting, the base surface must be leveled, cracks closed, dust and dirt cleaned and primed.

  • As a primer, you can use a ready-made primer or a mixture of polyurethane adhesive with acetone in equal shares.
  • An adhesive is applied to the base with a toothed spatula and tiles are placed on top of it. The instructions for choosing the glue contain the instructions for the tiles.
  • It is best to lay the tiles not immediately but on slightly dried mastic. In this case, a secure fixation is immediately ensured and the drying time is reduced. It is enough to withstand the mastic for about 20 minutes. Therefore, when laying a large area, it is convenient to work in small areas.
  • From the center to the edges of the tile air is thrown out from under the tile. You can use a wooden bar and a regular hammer.
  • Between the tiles are also fixed with glue. Excess glue and immediately cleaned with a sponge.
  • The drying time of tiles is about a day, after which you can use the coating.

The technology of laying a coating of crumb rubber: the steps

  1. The laying of seamless floors made of crumb rubber can be made on almost any substrate. This can be as a solid coating of cement screed, asphalt, or boardwalk, as well as compacted sand and gravel cushion or natural soil.

2. For a hard substrate, a thinner layer of crumb rubber is sufficient. When laying on a cushioning pad, the thickness of the pavement should be at least 1.5 inches to ensure its indestructibility in service from vibration effects.

Therefore, it is advisable to prepare a rigid base, reducing the consumption of expensive components

3. The arrangement of a seamless coating of crumb rubber can be made in two ways: “dry” or with the use of a binder. In the first case, the granules are simply spread over the substrate in a fairly thick layer (more than 3 inches). But this method is used only for the quick creation of temporary coatings – they are short-lived, but the financial cost is minimal.

4. The technology of laying seamless rubber floors with the use of adhesive components allows you to get a reliable, durable, and injury-free coating for premises and outdoor areas.

Substrate preparation

  • No special requirements for the base under the rubber coating, it is sufficient to remove weaknesses and repair large cracks with special compounds (depending on the type of substrate).
  • Permissible height differences are determined by the thickness of the layer of rubber coating and should not exceed 25-30%.
  • The base should be cleaned of debris and dust. It should be free of oil and chemical contaminants.
  • When laying rubber crumb on the sand and gravel pad or natural soil, it is recommended to use roll rubber underlayment, which will not only reduce the consumption of materials but also increase the damping properties of the coating.
  • To strengthen the substrate and prevent its erosion by drainage water during operation, it is necessary to lay a layer of geotextile, thus separating the coating of crumb rubber and the ground.
  • Similar measures should be taken when arranging a sand and gravel cushion, but in this case, the geotextile fabric should also separate the layers of the cushion.
  • Before you start laying crumb rubber in the open area requires the installation of fencing elements. These may be either concrete or rubber curbs.
  • The second option more meets the requirements of traumatic safety and is suitable for sports and children’s playgrounds. If necessary, it is necessary to install “beacons”, which will be used for laying crumb rubber.
  • To give a higher adhesion, a hard surface requires primer with special compositions (you can prepare a primer with your own hands, diluting the polyurethane binder organic solvent to liquid consistency). This will also allow you to bind the small particles of dust that cannot be removed mechanically.

Preparation of the mixture

The components for a seamless coating are:

  • SBR rubber chips, which are a product of recycling end-of-life automobile tires;
  • Adhesive binder based on polyurethane resins;
  • Dye for the rubber crumb, which gives the coating a certain color (red, green, yellow, blue, etc.).

Two types of pigments are used: organic and inorganic, the first is more resistant to UV light and does not burn out under sunlight, but their cost is much higher.

EPDM-granules, inclusions of ethylene propylene rubber can be added to the mixture to give the coating additional elasticity, strength, and flexibility;
water, added in small quantities, as it serves as a catalyst for the reaction of polyurethane binder polymerization.

For the preparation of the working composition is used a screw and rotary mixer for crumb rubber, which is similar to a concrete mixer with a vertical load, but has wider blades for thorough mixing of the components.

The proportions of the mixture depend primarily on the size of the rubber granule fraction and the type of polyurethane binder. The smaller the size of the crumbs, the larger their total surface area, which requires a greater consumption of adhesive composition and dye.

The formulation should be selected experimentally, focusing on the recommendations of the manufacturer of the polyurethane binder.

Selecting the desired percentage ratio of components, you should make all mixtures, using this formulation, as only in this case you can achieve a homogeneous density and color of the rubber coating on the entire surface of the site.

It should be noted that the pigment for the rubber crumb in the prepared mixture has a darker shade, which will lighten with the drying of coating on 1-2 tones.

Pellets and paint are first poured into the mixer for the rubber crumb and mixed until homogeneous. Then water is added to wet the surface of the crumb and after mixing is introduced polyurethane binder. The output should be a mixture of viscous consistency, with a uniform color.


The technology of laying the coating of crumb rubber

  • The laying of seamless coating of crumb rubber can be performed as in one layer, and in several layers. In the first case, the mixture is laid on the prepared base and smoothed with a rule, gritter, or squeegee soaked in anti-adhesion composition.
  • Soapy water or turpentine can be used as such agent. After troweling, the surface of the mixture is required to be rolled up, using a roller for laying rubber crumbs. As a result of this operation, the coating is compacted and a smooth texture is formed.

It is not recommended to put too much pressure on the roller, it will reduce the elasticity, water permeability, and frost resistance of the rubber coating.

  • To increase the productivity of the work a rubber crumb laying machine is used, which can also be a mixer for the preparation of the composition. When moving along the guides, which are beacons, from its hopper to the surface of the base is evenly fed the finished mixture.
  • Depending on the design, such equipment for laying crumb rubber is able to cover a capture width of 1.5-3 m in one pass, while maintaining high accuracy of layer thickness. Leveling and rolling are carried out automatically under the control of the operator. Only small mistakes are left to be corrected by your own hands, which are possible when laying rubber coverings over large areas.
  • When laying two coats, there is no need to add crumb rubber pigment to the bottom coat, so the mixture is made without color. To increase the resiliency of the coating, rubber granules of a smaller fraction (0.5-2.5 mm) may be used. This increases the specific weight (reduces porosity) and makes the bottom layer more rigid.
  • When making a seamless rubber coating on a soft substrate, it is recommended to lay a fiberglass mesh between the layers, pre-fastening it with a stapler. Such reinforcement will significantly increase the strength of the rubber coating. This work can be done only after the first layer has cured.
  • The second layer of seamless coating is made thinner (0.5 inches) and may include a certain amount of EPDM-granules, or consist entirely of ethylene propylene rubber. In the second case, the addition of dye is not required, as EPDM-crumb already has a coloring applied during its production.
  • The technology of the rubber coating device allows you to create patterns, drawings, and sports markings of different colors on it. For this purpose, on the prepared hardened surface with a sharp knife cut out an area with the contour of the future drawing or marking.
  • The edges are sealed with masking tape to prevent staining of the underlying surface, and the cutout area is filled with a mixture with a different tint. Due to the high adhesion of the polyurethane binder, such a pattern will be monolithic with the overall coating.
  • Since ethylene-propylene rubber has higher performance characteristics, the abrasion resistance of such a coating is much higher, and therefore its durability is increased. In addition, no pigments are used in the manufacturing process to color the bottom layer, and the speed of application of such a seamless coating increases.
  • The curing rate of the rubber coating depends on the temperature and humidity conditions. It is allowed to work at low humidity and quite high temperatures. The optimum conditions for polyurethane binder polymerization are 77 °F and 70% humidity. The same requirements apply not only to the air but also to the substrate.
  • When working in the open area during the curing of the mixture is not allowed to get the atmospheric moisture on the surface of the coating. Partial gain of strength, after which the permitted pedestrian load on the pavement occurs after 12 hours. Full operation of the coating is allowed after 24-48 hours.


Components for the production of seamless coating of crumb rubber do not contain harmful and flammable substances. But the polyurethane binder in interaction with water during the polymerization process emits carbon dioxide.

Therefore, when installing a seamless coating in the room should ensure good forced ventilation, as the increased concentration of carbon dioxide can cause drowsiness and weakness.

All personnel must be provided with protective clothing and personal protective equipment (shoe covers, protective coveralls, gloves and goggles, and if using dyes and respirators).

Exposure to polyurethane binder on exposed skin is not harmful to health, but it should be immediately removed with warm water and soapy water solution when it comes into contact with the mucosa of the eyes and mouth. After treating the affected area, it is advisable to consult a doctor.

Pressure Washing A Rubber Driveway - Video

Max Welder

Max Welder

Hi! I'm Max Welder ( I always wanted to work with my own hands, repair something, do things. Now I combine my knowledge with computers and my own knowledge in the field of mechanics in order to understand which tools I like the most. I hope to convey some knowledge and experience.

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