How Much Rubber Mulch Do I Need

How Much Rubber Mulch Do I Need? + [How to Calculate]

Rubber mulch use has grown in popularity due to its many benefits. It’s durable, more appealing, and easy to manage, to mention but a few.

You simply cannot determine the mulch you need without considering a few aspects – so, unless you consider doing several calculations that give an average that can fit in a specific space. Most manufacturers also provide an online calculator as long as you have these measurements.

The question that many people ask is, how much rubber mulch do I need?

The amount of rubber you need is relative, based on where the mulch is used. A bag of rubber mulch weighs an average of 40-50 pounds. You may use an online calculator or manual calculation to know how much you need. A maximum of two inches of mulch is enough for landscaping.

Below, we explore how much rubber you may need and how to calculate this amount.

Also Check – How To Laying Rubber Mulch

Check out our mulch calculator

How Much Rubber Mulch Do I Need?

The amount of rubber mulch you need depends on the area you need to cover, including the recommended mulch depth. It, however, depends on several things, for example, what’s the co-sue of your mulch?

Mulch has different uses and specific dimensions which determine the exact amount. Some of these dimensions are determined by governing bodies and should be followed.

You may use it in landscaping, gardening, playground infill, or equestrian footing. Each of these has its recommended standards for use.

Rubber Mulch Uses and Dimensions that Help Determine the Needed Amount

Some use rubber mulch to cover plants, while others use it on residential and commercial playgrounds. The amount of mulch needed to cover plants is less.

The recommended depth is 2-4 inches to avoid smothering the roots, which may suffocate and kill them.

However, rubber mulch for a playground needs to be more in-depth for maximum comfort.

For playgrounds, 4-6 inches or more is recommended for comfort and meets the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) safety standards. This is highly recommended for residential playgrounds to provide adequate cushioning.

The rubber should be at least 9 – 12 inches deep for commercial playgrounds, considering there is larger equipment and the human traffic is much higher.

Equestrian footing requires a depth of 1 -1.5 inches.

Check out our mulch calculator

How Much Does a Bag of Rubber Mulch Weigh?

On average most manufacturers pack 40-50 pound bags. These are packed in two dozen pallets for delivery. 

You can inquire if the manufacturer offers customised packaging and request it if need be.

How Do I Calculate How Much Rubber Mulch I Need?

The best approach is to use the online calculator provided by most manufacturers. The second option is measuring the area in rectangles and calculating each portion size.

Generally, it’s difficult to figure out how much mulch you may need unless you’re well-versed in the industry.

Therefore, the best approach is to calculate the size of the area that you intend to mulch. This can be a garden or a play area. Multiply this figure by the recommended depth. 

If you’ve broken your yard into rectangles, it becomes easy to calculate the correct amount you mulch you need. Get the square footage and multiply it by the length as well as the width. 

The output should be in square feet. 

Check out our mulch calculator

Calculating Mulch Needed for a Rectangular or Square Garden

As aforementioned, the first step when determining the amount of mulch is to calculate the square footage of the total area that needs to be mulched.

For irregular gardens, you may divide the area into rectangles and circles. 

For a standard rectangle, use the below formula to calculate the volume. To calculate cubic feet of rubber mulch to get the volume, multiply the length, width, and depth in feet, then divide by 27 to find the cubic ft.

In this case, if your playground is 30 feet long and 30 feet wide, you multiply by 12 inches which is 1 ft for a commercial playground whose recommendation is 12 inches. 

For irregularly shaped beds or playgrounds, a better option would be to break them into rectangles, calculate what is needed in each section then add the totals.

How Much Mulch Do I Need For A Circle?

With a rounded garden bed, you need to find the area first. Measure the diameter and divide by 2 to come up with the radius. Square the radius by size by multiplying the number by itself. 

Multiply the total number by 3.14 (pi) to get the square footage. Multiply the total figure with the required depth in feet(ft.), not inches.

For instance, if the diameter is 20, the radius is 10(20-2). Square the radius, 10×10=100 feet. To get square footage, multiply by 3.14= 314.

Assuming you’re mulching plants with a recommended depth of 3 inches (0.25 ft.), multiply this by the Square foot.0.25×100 = 25.

In this case, you need 25 cubic feet of rubber mulch for your circular garden.

For irregular gardens, you may divide the area into rectangles and circles. Use the two formulas to get the square feet and then add the totals.

Check out our mulch calculator

Converting Rubber Mulch Square Footage to Cubic Yards

Most are sold in cubic yards and not square feet if you intend to buy mulch in bags. You, therefore, need to convert the feet into yards.

Each cubic yard is equivalent to 27ft2

You divide the total area by 27, then round off this figure to the nearest whole number. This way, you’ll know the exact amount of mulch you need in bags.

For the circle garden discussed above, 25/27=0.92 rounds off to 1 cubic yard. In this case, you need only one bag for ample coverage.

How Thick Should Rubber Mulch Be For Landscaping?

For landscaping, one or two inches is enough. This is considering the depth doesn’t matter as long as the coverage is enough. However, this may differ when it comes to other uses.

What Is The Best Depth For Rubber Mulch?

This depends on the use. For instance, for commercial playgrounds, ASTM has its regulations depending on the height of the playsets. It has a stipulated four to the six-inch in-depth requirement as a safety standard.

With such depth, you can successfully cushion a 12ft fall. Besides this measurement, a fall allowance requires 3-6 feet on each side of your home or commercial playground.

Even so, for your residential playground, it’s necessary to have a height of about 6ft. The depth of the rubber mulch, though, should be around 3 inches. 

For plants, a maximum of four inches is recommended.

How Much Does .8 Cu Ft Rubber Mulch Weigh?

A .8 cubic foot bag weighs approximately 35 pounds. It covers 4.8 SQ feet when applied 2 inches deep.

How Do I Calculate Cubic Feet of Mulch?

You can cover about 324 ftusing a single cubic yard of top-quality mulch. This only applies when you use it on one-inch depth. 

To calculate the cubic feet, you need to divide your total area in square footage by 324.

How Do I Figure Out The Number of Bags That I Need?

An average bag is two cubic feet. To figure out the number of bags you need, determine the required depth. Multiply the figure in square feet by the current depth in feet, then divide the total by the size of each bag (in cubic feet).

With a single bag of top-quality mulch, you should cover at least 12ft2  — the depth should be two inches.

Is Cubic Feet The Same as Square Feet?

No, cubic feet is not the same as square feet. A square foot, also abbreviated as ft2, refers to an area unit. This, however, doesn’t involve height.

You may also consider a cubic foot as the unit volume. In this case, though, the dimensions of the heigh are inclusive. 

How Many Cubic are in a Yard?

Bagged rubber mulch is mainly sold in 2 cubic bags. You, therefore, need 13.5 bags for each yard. 

How Many Yards Are In A Bag of Mulch?

If you buy your rubber in bags, you may need approximately 13.5 bags, assuming it’s packed in 2 cubic bags. 

This means a  bag of mulch would fit only a section of the yard.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Many Cubic Feet Is a Bag of Rubber Mulch?

A standard rubber mulch bag in the US is two cubic feet. 

As earlier mentioned, a cubic yard translates to  27 cubic feet. So, 13.5 bags for a cubic yard should be enough.

How Many Yards of Mulch Will Fit in a Pick Up Truck?

This mainly depends on the size of the pick-up. Usually, a pick up can carry at least 2 – 3 cubic yards — that’s considering that you’re using a full-size pick up. 

On the other hand, a mid-size pickup can accommodate 1 – 2 yards, while a small pickup can fit 1 yard of mulch.


 As highlighted above, the amount of rubber mulch you need depends on the usage. The amount required for landscaping differs from the amount used for commercial playgrounds.

Most manufacturers provide a calculator on their website, which makes work easier. However, at times you may be forced to make calculations by calculating the surface area depending on the shape of the ground.

Some can even pay a visit to do the calculations and quote accordingly. This can be at a fee or free if you place a firm order.

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All About Mulching + [The Ultimate Guide]

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