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What Are Rubber Patio Tiles?

By Kyle Schurman Created: June, 2021 - Modified: October, 2023

Rubber patio tiles fit over the top of an existing patio or deck to improve the look of a worn outdoor space and provide cushioning.

These tiles can feature either a free-floating interlock design or a glue-down design, depending on the planned use case.

For a permanent install, gluing the tiles over a concrete patio is the best selection. For those who may want to move the rubber patio tiles to a new location at the home later, interlocking tiles will stay in place, often without adhesive, meaning they will pop apart later when needed.

When installing rubber patio tiles, a homeowner or a commercial building owner receives a number of key benefits, including:

  • Creating a cushioned play area for children
  • Covering a rough, worn wooden deck
  • Covering a cracked concrete patio area
  • Creating a safe area to guard against fall injuries
  • Providing traction to guard against slippery concrete after a rainstorm
  • Eliminating the need for regular maintenance
  • Delivering a new color and design look to a patio area
  • Gaining a high level of durability in widely varying temperatures
  • Supporting heavy outdoor furniture without showing wear

One important advantage for those interested in eco-friendly outdoor flooring and recycling is rubber tiles nearly always consist of recycled rubber.

Using recycled rubber is safe for areas where people will be sitting and playing on a patio while keeping tires out of the landfill.

Can You Use Rubber Patio Tiles to Create a Playground in the Patio Area?

One of the best reasons to use rubber tiles in a patio area is to create a safe area for children to play. Rather than leaving a hard concrete patio floor surface, which could lead to serious injuries after a fall, rubber patio tiles offer a number of benefits.

When children run and play on a playground, they will have far less chance of slipping with the excellent traction rubber provides.

Extremely thick rubber tiles also yield a fall height rating. This means that if a child falls to the ground from a few feet while climbing on playground equipment (or just tripping), the cushion in the rubber greatly reduces the chances of head injuries.

Additionally, the area is ready for playing quickly after a rainfall. If the original patio area has low spots and doesn’t drain properly, installers can create a proper drainage grade with the layout of the tiles, removing puddles and standing water.

Blue Sky Interlocking Playground Tile Colors 3.25 inchThe Blue Sky Interlocking Playground Tile Colors 3.25 Inch product offers an 8-foot fall height rating, making it ideal for use underneath climbing equipment. Each 2x2-foot tile measures 3.25 inches in thickness and weighs 32 pounds.

This tile is available in seven colors, including a bright green color that will resemble a natural surface like grass. The tiles use an interlocking system that simplifies installation, allowing an installer to insert a pattern into the rubber flooring using different colors.

Blue Sky Outdoor Interlocking Tile Colors 2.25 InchFor a little thinner tile that may be easier to handle during installation, consider the Blue Sky Outdoor Interlocking Tile Colors 2.25 Inch product. This tile also measures 2 by 2 feet, but it weighs 27 pounds, making it a little easier to carry than the thicker tile.

These 2.25-inch tiles use the same interlocking system as the thicker models, and they offer the same color options. With its thinner design, this tile has a 4-foot fall height rating.

Do Thinner Rubber Tiles Work for Outdoor Patio Installations?

Thinner rubber tiles provide a little less cushioning than thicker models, but they’re also easier to handle for installers and they cost less.

Terra Cotta 2-Inch Sterling Roof Top TileA couple of options for slightly thinner rubber tiles for a patio are the Terra Cotta 2-Inch Sterling Roof Top Tile and the Gray 1.25-Inch Sterling Athletic Rubber Tile. These tiles offer excellent durability with some interesting color options beyond the basic black that’s common with rubber.

Both Sterling tiles measure 2 by 2 feet in size and use an interlocking slot on the edge. Installers may want to glue the slots of adjacent tiles together to ensure a secure layout.

The 2-inch Sterling tile weighs 24 pounds, while the 1.25-inch Sterling tile has a weight of 19.3 pounds. Both tiles deliver a lifetime limited manufacturer warranty, so customers know they’re receiving excellent value.

Gray Equine Paver TileAnother option in a thinner tile design is available in the Gray Equine Paver Tile. This square rubber tile measures 2x2 feet and works with either a glue-down installation or a dry-lay installation.

Each tile has a dog bone shape pattern imprinted on the top of the tile, which makes the patio flooring appear to be made up of individual dog bone-shaped tiles. With this Equine tile, installers can achieve the look of a more complex layout while dealing with an easy-to-use square-shaped tile.

A single tile weighs 20 pounds, so one person can handle the installation if desired. Each tile measures 30 mm (almost 1.25 inches) in thickness, so it will provide a nice level of cushioning over an existing concrete patio or wood deck.