How to use recycled tires to make rubber mats

Written by annat
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How to use recycled tires to make rubber mats
Rubber tires are used on almost all modern automobiles. (Riou/Pixland/Getty Images)

Tires are ring shaped coverings that wrap around the edges of wheels in order to reduce shock and increase traction. Before the invention of rubber, steel tires were used to increase the durability of wooden wheels. Rubber tires are predominant in modern cars, but some new materials and pliable plastics are being used. So many rubber tires are used each year that the manufacturing of tires has a large impact on the environment. Recycling tires reduces the impact of their use on the environment. Common uses for used tires are playground mulch and rubber mats.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Pocketknife
  • Polyurethane
  • Spatula
  • Rubber tires
  • Cloth

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    Rubber Mats Made From Recycled Tires

  1. 1

    Pick a sheet of cloth that is larger than or equal to the planned size of your mat in each direction. Fabrics made from strong materials such as nylon are preferable.

  2. 2

    Cut out a sheet of fabric exactly the size of your mat.

  3. 3

    Use the pocketknife to cut the tire into small pieces. The tire has a natural curvature that will force your mat to roll up automatically unless it is broken down into pieces. Cutting along the thin sections in between the treads is the easiest way to break it down.

  4. 4

    Remove all the pieces of the tire that came from the sides of the tire and were not meant to come in contact with the ground. The only pieces of rubber you should have left are the treads.

  5. 5

    Use the spatula to spread a thin layer of polyurethane on a 1 foot by 1 foot area of the mat.

  6. 6

    Press pieces of rubber onto the polyurethane covered section of the mat. The pieces of rubber do not have to fit together exactly, but avoid large gaps. You can cut some of the pieces of rubber to fit gaps in the rubber layer. The rubber pieces should fit together similarly to a mosaic.

  7. 7

    Repeat steps 5 and 6 until the entire sheet of cloth is covered in a layer of rubber. Your rubber tire mat is now complete.

Tips and warnings

  • Some dumps have sections devoted to used tires. You can ask your local dumps if they will give you some used tires.

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