Roadside Management Toolbox: Weed Control Mat (Rubber)

Rubber weed control mat in actionRubber weed control mat in action by long grassRubber weed control mat on terrain near Jolon RoadRubber weed control mat on dried grass near 10th street

What Is This Treatment?

Rubber mats are an adopted technology from the recreation industry where they were used primarily for playground safety surfacing. As with most structural treatments, the tiles prevent sunlight from reaching the ground surface, retarding seed germination and plant growth. The major component is recycled tire rubber bonded together with a resin into a mat. Cut outs are molded or cut into the tile for post placement. The inherent weight of the tiles keep them in place, no staking is usually required. Mats are joined together with an overlap that is sealed with an asphalt crack filler or resin adhesive.

This Powerpoint Presentation on Rubber Weed Mat (PDF) helps illustrate some key points regarding design and installation.

When To Use This Design Concept?

Use this product in urban, suburban or transitional areas under new and existing guardrail, around sign posts and under fences. Rubber mats are not recommended for large, non-linear areas or slopes.


  • The treatment is installed in sections and can be placed or repaired with no specialized equipment.
  • Due to the weight of the mats, no staking is necessary.
  • Since the product is flexible and not adhered or staked to the ground surface repairs after a hit are more easily accomplished than with other surface treatments.
  • The manufacturing process allows for specialized design for site specific requirements.
  • Integral color can be added in the manufacturing process.


  • Multiple joints in continuous runs may become unsightly over time.
  • Installation can be slow and labor expenses may be cost prohibitive for small installations.
  • Exposure to high winds, or disturbance by mowing equipment may displace or lift mats, allowing weed growth.
  • Not recommended directly along the road edge in areas that receive snowfall as the rubber mat may be damaged by snow removal equipment.
  • Joints have the potential for separation and vegetation growth if not sealed properly.
  • Weeds may germinate on the surface of mats if not kept clean of debris.
  • Long term degradation of the mats due to UV light and other factors is unknown at this time.


  • Use the 2015 Specifications for Vegetation Control Mat (Fiber or Rubber)
  • Details:

  • New Standard Plans (NSPs) and Revised Standard Plans (RSPs) for Vegetation Control Mat (Fiber or Rubber) are available.
  • Estimated Costs:

    • $53/ yd2
    • BEES Item - 832073 Vegetation Control Mat (Fiber or Rubber).

    Updated March 28, 2017