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Engineered Elastomers and Wear Parts
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Scott Huthmacher
03/20/05
Rubber-Cal Inc.
Products discussed in this article:  EPDM, Premium Rubber Mulch, Pet Care, Sports Flooring, Playground Tiles

When talking about the great outdoors, very few people immediately think of rubber products.  The advent of recycled tire products, however, opens up new venues for outdoor flooring.  Because car tires contain a significant quantity of EPDM (an ozone and UV stable elastomer), they are well suited to outdoor use. Further, when the tires are recycled for use as flooring products, EPDM is often added either as color speckles throughout the mat, or as a finish coating over the upper surface of the mat.  This makes recycled rubber products ideal for outdoor matting applications.
With the "how" of outdoor matting solved, let us turn to the "why's":  Outdoor flooring can be used for patios, pool-side applications, playgrounds, dog kennels, barbecue applications, sealing pesky roof leaks, and miscellaneous outdoor sports uses. 
For patios, rubber flooring offers a waterproof, wear-resistant alternative to conventional flooring choices.  In these applications, the matting would not have to be permanently adhered in most cases, making the flooring easily replaceable in case of any damage.  Since these areas usually do not require heavy duty floor protection, rolled products are most appropriate for outdoor mats in this application.
Around pool-side areas, outdoor flooring is used primarily for traction/anti-slip functionality. This can be done with either large scale flooring, or single spot outdoor mats.  The benefits of rubber mats for this application would be the high coefficient of friction (which is basically anti-slip) and the cushioning effect in case of any falls.
Since most playgrounds with any sort of serious equipment are outdoors, rubber mats for this type of installation must provide excellent weathering characteristics, as well as sufficient fall protection for the height of the equipment.  For this sort of application, the available choices of outdoor flooring are either rubber tiles or rubber mulch.  Rubber mulch is a loose-fill product, basically quite similar to wood mulch, which is reconstituted from recycled car tires.  Therefore, this product is softer than wood mulch (due to the impact absorbing characteristics of rubber) as well as longer lasting.  As with any recycled tire product, rubber mulch shows excellent weathering characteristics due to its high EPDM content.  Because of its life span and appearance, rubber mulch is also becoming more prevalent as a landscaping surface.
Outdoor dog kennels often utilize rubber flooring when a resilient, easy-to-clean outdoor matting product is necessary.  Since many kennels (both residential and commercial) are placed over a bare concrete slab, rubber outdoor flooring provides an extra layer of cushioning and insulation.  Obviously, cleaning is always a factor in pet care applications.  Rubber flooring is completely waterproof, and can be cleaned with most common household cleaning products. 
Barbecue areas are another perfect place to use rubber outdoor mats.  These mats could be used either to protect your barbecue area floor (i.e. a hardwood deck) from damage from barbecue equipment, or to provide anti-fatigue comfort to the cook. 
For temporary relief from roof leaks, a moderate sized piece of rubber flooring could be used to cover the area around the leaking spot.  Since rubber is waterproof, it will defend that particular area from any leakage until you have the opportunity to fix the roof.
For outdoor flooring applications, such as a variety of outdoor sports, which involve heavy traffic with spikes or cleats, rubber flooring protects both the sub-floors and the cleats themselves from damage.  Both hard and soft spikes can be damaged against concrete, and particularly sharp spikes may actually chip the floors themselves.  Rubber flooring helps defend against this sort of damage, as well as providing a more attractive and comfortable floor than other alternatives.
For outdoor flooring and matting applications, rubber products provide alternatives to conventional flooring choices.  So when you have a pesky outdoor matting issue, consider rubber products for these and many other innovative functions.


Scott Huthmacher
03/12/2005
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Outdoor Rubber Flooring
11/06/09
Rubber-Cal Inc. Products discussed in this article:  EPDM, Premium Rubber Mulch, Pet Care, Sports Flooring, Playground Tiles

Outdoor Flooring, used to cover Playgrounds, Decks, Concrete, & Cement. When talking about the great outdoors, people rarely think about rubber products. New venues however are being opened up with witht the advent of recycled tire products. Recycl;ed tire products are well suited for outdoor use because of the fact that they contain a significant quantity of EPDM, which is an ozone and UV stable elastomer.EPDM is also added into recycled tire flooring products in the form of color speckles or a finished coating on the upper surface of the mat. Because of the high EPDM content, it makes recycled rubber products ideal for outdoor matting applications.

Now that the ourdoor matting “how’s” have been answered, lets turn to focus on the “why’s” behind outdoor matting. There are many uses where outdoor rubber flooring can be applied: patios, pool-side applications, playgrounds, dog kennels, barbecue applications, sealing pesky roof leaks, and miscellaneous outdoor sports uses.

In regards to outdoor patios, rubber flooring is an ideal choice because it is able to offer a waterproof wear resistant alternative to conventional flooring. Also, in most outdoor patio applications, the rubber flooring does not have to be permanently adhered and can be installed in a loose lay fashion. This means that the material can be easily removed and replaced in the case of any damage.Since outdoor patios do not usually require heavy duty floor protection, rolled rubber products are ideal for use as floor mats in these applications.

For wet conditions, such as poolside areas, the primary use for rubber flooring is to provide anti-slip protection and give added traction. This function can be applied on a larger scale as well in more concentrated forms such as single outdoor mats. The high coefficient of friction and cushioning effect of rubber is one of the benefits of outdoor mats because it provides an anti-slip and  anti-fatigue surface. This helps protect against the dangers of slips and falls.

Since most playgrounds containing serious equipment are typically seen outdoors, any rubber matting products used in these applications must possess excellent outdoor weathering resistance characteristics as well as sufficient protection against falls from equipment heights. For these applications, the appropriate products that would provide these qualities would be rubber playground tiles. Playground Tiles are available in much larger thicknesses than rolled rubber products and area available in multiple colors. The larger thicknesses provide added comfort and cushioning against falls. This is important when dealing with playgrounds because in these environments safety is a number one concern.

Other great applications where rubber flooring can be utilized is in dog kennels. Dog kennels require a product that is tough, resilient, and easy to clean. Rubber flooring also provides added cushioning and comfort over bare concrete slab, which is very uncomfortable and usually the subsurface in most dog kennels. Another great benefit is the ease of maitenance. Since most pet care applications require cleaning to some degree, rubber flooring is a great choice becase it is completely waterproof which makes it easy to clean. This product can be hosed off and cleaned with most household cleaning products.

Other applications for rubber flooring are barbeque areas where protection of any subsurfaces (hardwood decks surrounding barbeque) are a concern. The rubber matting also is able to provide added comfort and anti-fatigue properties to anyone in the area.

Rolled rubber can also be used to temporarily relieve any inconveniences cause by roof leaks. Since recycled rubber is waterproof and contains high amounts of UV and ozone resistant EPDM, it is great for temporarily protecting any areas against leaks until a roof repair is possible.For outdoor sporting applications, rubber flooring is an ideal choice in flooring because of its ability to protect sub floors and shoes or equipment.

For areas that experience heavy foot traffic with spikes or cleats, rubber flooring is an ideal choice because it can protect the cleats and concrete subsurface from any damage they would inflict on one another. Hard and soft spikes from athletic shoes can damage any concrete surfaces they come into contact with as well as can be damaged themselves from the concrete. With the use of rubber flooring, both the subsurface and athletic equipment can be protected.

As you can see, rubber flooring provides great benefits over conventional outdoor flooring. Next time you have an outdoor flooring project, consider the benefits of using outdoor rubber flooring. Not only does it provide a warm comfortable surface, but it is also built to last.


Mr. Elasticity
11/06/09
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1/4" & 3/8" Elephant Bark
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Video Blogs
The DIY Network team "Ground's For Improvement installs the Eco-Sport tiles in order to revamp a backyard. (View Now)
A time elapsed video showing the installation of Puzzle-Lock tiles. (View Now)
The installation of Elephant Bark Rubber Flooring and Eco-Sport tiles for upcoming season of the Biggest Loser Season 6. (View Now)
Mr. Elasticity shows us "How to cut Rubber" with safety in mind. Be careful utility knives are sharp and so is  this zany video! (View Now)
Two teams, one mission, the speed installation of Eco-Play Playground Tiles. Mr. Elasticity referees, and the winners get free lunch! (View Now)
Andy Milonakis makes an appearance and Mr. Elasticity finds out he has a son, Twister Elasticity! (View Now)
Subject: Eco-Sport Tiles.
Subject: Puzzle-Lock Installation Video.
Subject: Elephant Bark Rubber Flooring.
Subject: Cutting Rubber.
Subject: Eco-Play Safety Tile.
Subject: Maxx-Tuff and Shark Tooth Mats
Andy Milonakis
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2.5" Eco-Play
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