How to Install Rubber Playground Mulch

One of the most common questions we get at Jelly Bean rubber mulch is how to install our product. Everything from delivery, prepping the site, to spreading and caring for the product is covered in our interview with Jelly Bean CEO Nic Campesi.

In the video you’ll learn:


  • What non-wire playground rubber mulch is
  • Why Jelly Bean is so unique
  • The difference between tire mulch and Jelly Bean virgin rubber mulch
  • How Jelly Bean smells
  • What a leaf blower will do to Jelly Bean rubber mulch
  • Why we tested our product on a bed of steel
  • And much, much more
Give the video a view to learn all about installing Jelly Bean.

Here is a transcript of the above video for your reference:

Clark: [00:00:00] Hey Clark Covington here with Nic Campesi. Nic how are you sir?

Nic: [00:00:02] Fantastic, yourself?

Clark: [00:00:04] I’m doing great Nic. Today I want to talk you about residential installation for Jelly Bean. But first tell me a little bit about what Jelly Bean rubber mulch is?

Nic: [00:00:12] Jelly Bean rubber mulch is a non-tire rubber mulch that is used as a playground safety surfacing. It’s also used in the equine marketplace and in dog agility. It’s 100 percent wire-free it is made from pre-consumer virgin rubber. That is all non-toxic and doesn’t have any contaminants like you could find in tire mulch.

Clark: [00:00:34] Great great I know it’s been real popular for as long as it’s been sold and it keeps getting more and more popular. So tell me why? Why would a parent want this product as a safety surface?

Nic: [00:00:44] Well you know I think the non-toxicity is big you know you don’t have your kids rolling around in old dirty tires which are not compounded for children to play on like Jelly Bean rubber mulch is – 100 percent wire-free and you know it’s a great value instead of putting down wood chips and having to replace them constantly, or going into really expensive unitary virgin rubber surfaces. You know it’s just a really excellent product. It’s a value for a parent who has young children.

Clark: [00:01:13] Sure, that makes a lot of sense. And what would be the application for this product? Where would you see it used in the backyard?

Nic: [00:01:20] You know typically people are going to put this in like a swingset or fort play area, and we’ve had some people do some ninja warrior and natural like little rock climbing walls so you know it’s primarily used as a safety surface. And you know in addition we’ve had some people use it in the dog agility market as well you know for their dogs to run around in.

Clark: [00:01:44] Absolutely absolutely. So it’s very versatile. Now, how would the ordering process work if someone wanted to order Jelly Bean?

Nic: [00:01:51] It’s pretty simple. You can order online or if you want you know you can call us in the office, send us an e-mail and then we simply put the order in the system it sends you over a link you click to pay and you can pay right with a credit card online and then usually within about 48 hours we try to get orders out. Now keep in mind you know during the busy time we may get back logged and you know it could be you know a little bit longer to ship. But you know we try our best to try to get material out to folk’s homes rather quickly.

Clark: [00:02:24] Absolutely absolutely. Now this is kind of a two part question how do people evaluate the need as in how much product would they need and could they get samples to evaluate the product as well?

Nic: [00:02:35] Yes. So you know we do have a residential calculator on our Web site if you just click residential at the bottom of the Web site where it says “send me a quote” then you can put in your dimensions and it will calculate how much material you need. Alternatively you could certainly always call the office. We can do a calculation for you and if you would like a sample when you click that residential calculator it will send you a link to get a sample order. And if not you know we do offer just the ability to get one right off Amazon.

Clark: [00:03:08] Sure absolutely. And how is the product delivered to the home?

Nic: [00:03:13] So the product is delivered in a one ton super sack which is banded to a skid. It will come on a freight truck and they will set it on the ground and the material you know at that point you can just cut the sack kind of shuttle it into a wheelbarrow or cart you know and then move it where you need to go to set it down.

Clark: [00:03:30] OK. So following up on that in terms of prepping the site is there anything people need to do to get their site ready for this?

Nic: [00:03:38] The best thing really. You know you want to have a nice level ground it doesn’t have to be really actual level it can be on a slope. You just don’t want to see any holes with rubber. So a nice good smooth surface with no undalations put a weed barrier cloth down some thing. You know we like poly woven cloth that’s rated 30 years or better. You put that down and then you just throw the rubber right on top.

Clark: [00:04:02] Absolutely. And in terms of post-installation keeping the product at top quality, what do you recommend to keep the product for a long time?

Nic: [00:04:10] You know there’s really no maintenance on it. You maybe need to rake it in. You want good borders to contain it. You know wind won’t blow this product away. You can actually use a leaf blower to blow the leaves off of it. And that’s a good idea to use a good leaf blower right over if you have leaves or pine straw that get on it and you know that keeps it from getting mixed in with the rubber. Keeps a nice clean surface I mean you can ultimately hose it down the material really doesn’t get dirty you know and rain will rinse it off. So it really is pretty much maintenance free.

Clark: [00:04:40] Great. I’ve got a few kind of rapid fire questions for you Nic that I’ve pulled off of Amazon when users were asking different questions about playground rubber mulch. So you just give me kind of a short or long answer whatever you think is appropriate. First question I found is does it smell?

Nic: [00:04:57] You know it’s going to have a light rubber odor. Now keep in mind our product has no VOCs or Phthalates, so I mean we’re certified through the state of California for indoor air quality. So you put this stuff outside you’re not going to even know it’s there. Now it will have a little rubber smell when you first notice it, you know when you first take it out the bag typically within a few days it goes away.

Clark: [00:05:20] Yeah that’s that’s great. It’s really good. In terms of wind storms, will it blow away once it’s put in place?

Nic: [00:05:27] You know it’s one of our most popular questions. Does this stuff blow away? It’s amazing that you can run a leaf blower right over the top of it and leaves blow away. Wind will not affect it. We do recommend you have borders around the material to keep it contained in the material tends to lock in place. It really hooks together and doesn’t migrate

Clark: [00:05:49] OK. Good. Good point. Now this question deals with delivery. Someone doesn’t really have a driveway and they were curious is there a lift gate option is there a way to get the product off the truck where they won’t have to lift it off the truck?

Nic: [00:06:02] Absolutely.

Clark: [00:06:04] Great. Next question this is a popular one. Does it get too hot during the summer months?

Nic: [00:06:09] It does not. You know this material doesn’t have a coating, it’s not a black color that absorbs a lot of heat and you know it will not get any hotter than the ambient temperature out there.

Clark: [00:06:20] OK very good to know. Now what about mold or rot issues. Do you deal with any of those issues with this product?

Nic: [00:06:29] You know I tell you something that’s pretty cool you know the original tile that we’re manufacturing that is the byproduct of the Jelly Bean is made of actually has an anti-microbial anit-fungal that is baked in. So this material doesn’t mold or mildew.

Clark: [00:06:43] Awesome. Now kind of a random question would this product fit for a carport or garage surface?

Nic: [00:06:51] You know certainly it could. I don’t see any anything any hold back. You know while it’s not really our intended marketplace you know just to cover ground with our product we’ve had people do it.

Clark: [00:07:04] Absolutely absolutely. Here’s a good question. How much area will a pallet cover?

Nic: [00:07:11] So if you take a one ton pallet and spread it out and it compacts three inches it’s going to be 222 square feet. Now if you go to six inches that’s a 111 square feet. So it’s all going to depend on coverage. But we recommend 222 square feet minimum coverage for backyard safety surfacing.

Clark: [00:07:30] OK. So just an average sized backyard playground at six inches just to get the maximum safety depth. How many pallets would that be do you think? Just ballpark.

Nic: [00:07:40] Oh probably about five.

Clark: [00:07:42] Great. Next question I got for you Nick. It says the product says its steel-free or steel-wire-free. What exactly does that mean?

Nic: [00:07:53] So our products are 100 percent wire-free unlike tire products which you know they’ve come up that these acronym agencies the tire guys came together and said it’s OK to have ninety nine point nine nine percent wire-free you know which basically says hey it’s OK if we throw a couple steel shards of metal in the rubber. Our product is 100 percent wire-free. Never had any to begin with because it doesn’t come from a tire.

Clark: [00:08:20] Sure that makes sense. Now how large are the pieces of rubber? Does it look like mulch or pellets?

Nic: [00:08:27] So it’s going to look like mulch and one piece of the rubber has to be less than three quarters of an inch. And so we found that that you know we’ve experimented with different sized screens. You know all over the board and what we’ve found is that when we you know we screen this product and we keep some smaller pieces some larger pieces in that the material tends to pack very tight. It helps us on our test data and really makes a wonderful dense product that is one, safe, and two, accessible, that we do pass ADA testing with it.

Clark: [00:09:03] Absolutely absolutely. Now here’s a good question. Can the Jelly Bean product be placed over concrete and still be safe for kids?

Nic: [00:09:11] You know funny thing there Clark. Our product is tested over a plate of steel. So as long as you put six inches in it and it is tested to exceed 17 feet of critical fall height at six inches over a steel plate. So yeah you certainly can put it over concrete asphalt or any other hard surface.

Clark: [00:09:32] That’s good to know especially if someone had a concrete patio or something in their backyard they’re turning into a playground. Now is this mulch pet friendly?

Nic: [00:09:42] It sure is. It is perfect for dog agility dog parks. You know we recently had a couple large veterinarian offices that have installed our product. And you know it’s perfectly fine for animal use.

Clark: [00:09:59] OK. And what do you do in the fall when the leaves start getting on there. How do you clean the product?

Nic: [00:10:06] So you can run a leaf blower right over the top and the leaves will blow right off and the mulch will stay put.

Clark: [00:10:12] Great. Last question. How is your product different than the popular rubber tire mulch you see on playgrounds?

Nic: [00:10:20] So the main difference you know we’re we’re not manufactured from an old dirty tire. This is a product that is manufactured from pre-consumer virgin rubber that is not used and that rubber was compounded for a child to play on this is rubber that is red list chemical-free phthalate-free latex-free and is 100 percent wire-free. So it’s a much cleaner alternative and it doesn’t contain carbon black will not leach out over time. And we have a 20 year performance warranty on the product.

Clark: [00:10:54] That’s excellent Nic. You’ve survived the rapid fire questions. All very good answers. It seems like a great product. Now if somebody wants to get a sample, place an order, or learn more, what can they do?

Nic: [00:11:05] So they can call us direct 8 7 7 2 4 9 8 8 1 8 or they can go to Jelly Bean Rubber Mulch dot com and fill out a contact form and we’ll be back in touch with them usually within about 24 hours.

Clark: [00:11:21] Great Nic, I thank you so much for your time.

Nic: [00:11:24] Thank you Clark.

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