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Calculate the Amount of Mulch to Order for Playgrounds

As a cost-effective engineered wood fiber (EWF) known for its ability to absorb high impacts, as well as excellent slip resistance and accessibility, WoodCarpet mulch is an excellent wood mulch for playgrounds. However, when it comes to ordering, clients often wonder how to calculate the amount of mulch needed for their project. To answer that question, we’ve created this guide to help calculate how much WoodCarpet mulch to order.

WoodCarpet Mulch

Product Details

IMPACT RATING12″ Rated to 12′
ADA COMPLIANTYes, with proper installation and maintenance
SUB-BASESoil or Sand
GREEN FEATURESExtracted, processed and manufactured regionally
Pre-consumer recovered content
OTHER FEATURESSimple Installation
MAINTENANCERaking and occasional topping off
WoodCarpet mulch for playground

Calculate the Amount of Mulch Needed

click to skip directly to formula chart


To calculate the amount of WoodCarpet mulch to order based on average or typical conditions, complete the following steps:

  • Calculate the estimated percentage of settling/compaction that will occur. During installation, WoodCarpet settles/compacts at a rate of:
    • at least 35% naturally
    • at least 50% when mechanically compacted during installation

To clarify, EWF tends to settle around 20% during shipping and 15% during installation or within the first few weeks of use. So under normal conditions, this totals at least 35% additional cubic yards needed for the desired area. However, a variety of conditions can affect this. For example:

  • distance traveled affects how much settling occurs during shipping
  • rain hastens settling and compaction
  • installation using backhoes and skid loaders increases compaction when driven on the EWF
  • blower truck installation results in immediate compaction due to the force at which it is blown

Based on these conditions, if WoodCarpet is mechanically compacted using equipment like vibratory compactors or rollers, then about 15% more material is needed. As a result, adding 15% to 35% means that a total of 50% additional cubic yards are necessary. Use the following formula to calculate settling and compaction in order for the depth of your surface to meet your needs:

sq.ft. area x depth(ft) ÷ 27 x 1.35 or 1.50 = cu.yds.

Play Area Mats

Next determine the amount of mats needed.  To do so, specify the quantity of slides, swings, and any other areas that require a mat.

There are two types of mats available — PVC and foam:

  • heavier than foam
  • available in the following sizes: Swing Bay, Spinner, Tire Swing, XL Spinner, Universal
  • anchor kits are not necessary, but available if preferred
  • lighter than PVC
  • available in the following sizes: Swing Bay, Spinner, Tire Swing, Universal
  • anchor kits are necessary
Foam mat under playground swings
DuraLiner Drainage Fabric for WoodCarpet Mulch

Calculate DuraLiner Drainage Fabric

The final step is to calculate how much DuraLiner drainage fabric to order for your space. Drainage is important for playgrounds. Namely, good drainage systems increase the life of the surface, keeping it safe and accessible.

DuraLiner drainage fabric comes in 5′ x 300′ rolls of fabric (1500 sq. ft.). To decide how many rolls to order, complete the following steps:

  1. Divide the size of your play area by 1,500 square feet
  2. Multiply that by 1.2 to accommodate 10” overlap of seams and waste due to cutting around equipment posts
  3. Multiply by two if you want two layers (one layer between the subsoil and drainage gravel and a 2nd layer between the drainage gravel and engineered wood fiber)
  4. Round up to the next whole roll

sq.ft. area ÷ 1500 x 1.2 x 1 layer or 2 layers = rolls (round up)

Formula Breakdowns

ProductFormula for Ordering
WoodCarpetsq.ft. area x depth(ft) ÷ 27 x 1.35 or 1.50 = cu.yds.
Matsspecify quantity of slides, swings, tire swings, etc.
Duraliner Drainage Fabricsq.ft. area ÷ 1500 x 1.2 x 1 layer or 2 layers = rolls (round up)

Have questions? Ready to start a new project? Contact Us and a representative will be ready to help.

  1. Amy
    March 7, 2023 at 9:51 am

    Our swing bank is 59×33 so could we please get a quote for that sized area?

    • tony
      March 10, 2023 at 12:12 pm

      Amy, thank you for your interest in our playground mulch.

      Please email us your address info along with your dimensions so that we can get you a quote with the shipping. Our email address is

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