Homeowners seeking to upgrade areas currently covered in lawn face a dilemma – how to add patios or pathways without sacrificing open yard space or requiring extensive excavation and concrete pouring. New products offer a solution – rubber paver systems that install right over your existing grass.
Rubber pavers provide a durable, eco-friendly patio surface that allows water, air and sunlight to still reach the soil and grass below. This guide covers the benefits of rubber pavers, material types, costs, installation methods, and how they compare to standard patios.
Why Choose Rubber Pavers for Patio Areas?
Rubber pavers offer a unique set of advantages over concrete or stone patios:
Maintain yard area – Preserve open lawn space since excavation and foundation construction are not required. No need to relocate utilities.
Protect grass health – Sunlight and rain still penetrate to nourish the grass through the porous rubber blocks. Grass stays lush.
Comfortable surface – Rubber blocks have slight flex for comfort walking, standing or sitting as opposed to hard concrete. Gentler on joints.
Simple DIY installation – Lightweight interlocking blocks install directly on level grass without heavy equipment needed.
Portability – Entire system can be disassembled and relocated if desired to rearrange yard space usage.
Environmentally friendly – Manufactured from recycled rubber tires otherwise destined for landfills.
Affordability – Lower cost than poured concrete. DIY friendly.
Rubber pavers enable converting sections of yard to patios or paths minus the cost and hassle of traditional hardscape options.
Types of Rubber Paver Materials
Three main rubber options exist, with varying characteristics:
Recycled tire rubber – Shredded tire chunks bonded using polyurethane. Most affordable choice. Can smell initially before curing.
EPDM rubber – Made from ethylene propylene diene monomer. Resists UV and ozone damage. Long lifespan.
Polyurethane blends– Combination of recycled rubber bound with polyurethane. Optimizes traction, stiffness, and color stability. Popular choice.
Consider the color options, surface traction needs, and odor sensitivity when selecting material. Talk to manufacturers to identify the optimal rubber paver composition for your project requirements.
Interlocking Rubber Pavers vs. Rubber Paver Mats
Interlocking rubber pavers consist of:
- Tiles or bricks of various rubber material mixtures
- Interconnecting edges allowing flexible configuration
- Install directly on leveled grass or loose substrate
- Modify layout easily
Rubber paver mats involve:
- Solid continuous sheet of outdoor rubber material
- Flexible mat rolls out over area
- Requires secure staking at edges to anchor in place
- Seamless surface appearance
- Cannot later reconfigure shape
Both options provide a breathable yet solid surface. Interlocking tiles offer more layout flexibility while mats involve quicker installation.
How Much Does Installing Rubber Pavers Cost?
Prices depend on type of material, overall coverage area, and DIY vs. professional install.
- Budget recycled tire rubber pavers cost $2-$4 per square foot.
- Higher-end EPDM or specialty rubber runs $4-$8 per square foot.
- Professional paver installation often doubles material prices.
- Paver mats range from $2-$5 per square foot. More DIY friendly.
A 300 square foot patio could cost $600-$2400 depending on choices. While not cheap, this is very competitive with poured concrete patios.
Can You Install Rubber Pavers on Grass Yourself?
Installing rubber paver tiles over established lawn is a very doable DIY project. Follow this process:
Plan layout – Sketch the shape so pavers fit evenly over area. Order 5-10% extra to allow cutting.
Level ground – Fill any dips with extra soil. A consistent base prevents shifting.
Install perimeter borders – Dig narrow trenches to sink wooden edging boards around area perimeter. Contains pavers.
Lay pavers – Interlock the rubber paver tiles snugly together over grassed area. Cut edge units with utility knife.
Fill perimeter – Pour gravel or sand into edge border trenches. Compact well. Prevents border rise.
Use adhesive – If needed in windy conditions, apply thin bead of exterior-grade adhesive between paver bricks for stability.
With a prepared base and proper installation, rubber paver patios can perform for decades right atop your yard.
How Do Rubber Pavers Compare to Poured Concrete Options?
Poured concrete offers:
- Very hard, durable surface. Withstands decades of use.
- Smooth surface. Risks becoming slippery when wet.
- Can crack over time. Requires sealing.
- High heat retention. Can become hot in summer sun.
Rubber pavers provide:
- Durable yet slightly flexible surface. Gentler underfoot.
- Textured for traction. Safe even when wet.
- Flexibility and modular units prevent cracking.
- Stays cooler than concrete in hot sun.
- Unsealed porous design not subject to staining issues.
Maintenance Required for Rubber Paver Patios
Minimal periodic upkeep is required:
- Blow debris off pavers to avoid grass shading and moisture buildup.
- Realign any shifted pavers immediately to prevent gaps.
- Weed whack any grass growing between pavers.
- Refill sunken edge border trenches to keep pavers flush.
- Occasionally lift pavers and rake soil beneath to improve drainage if puddling occurs.
Essentially, keeping the paver surface clear while ensuring level base retention equals many years of service with no sealing or refinishing needed.
Can You Install Rubber Pavers Over Existing Concrete?
Rubber paver tiles generally require a flat, flexible base to conform well. Pavers over sound concrete may result in some unevenness in the rubber unless the slab foundation is perfectly level and crack-free.
Gluing rubber tiles to concrete is also difficult. Adhesives bond optimally only to very smooth, non-porous substrates, while concrete is porous. Glue-down tiles tend to fail over time on concrete.
Paver mats that roll out like carpets can work over concrete, but seams may show where the flexible rubber bridges any cracks or irregularities.
Key Takeaways on Grass Rubber Pavers
Rubber paver benefits include:
- Preserve open lawn space unlike standard patios
- Allow grass and soil to still get sun, air and moisture
- Comfortable, slip-resistant walking surface
- Perfect addition for young children’s play areas
- Low maintenance compared to concrete or stone
- Lower long-term cost than poured concrete
With so many positives and easy DIY installation, rubber paver systems provide a great option for converting sections of yard to patios and walkways while retaining maximum greenery. Soon you’ll be enjoying bonus outdoor “rooms” more comfortably atop your lawn.
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