Environmental Molding Concepts

Environmental Molding Concepts (EMC) of San Bernadino, Calif., was created in 1997 with one idea in mind: to make a terrific product using recycled rubber supplied by its parent company, BAS Recycling, Inc. In 1997, the eight-year-old tire-recycling company was producing quality, contaminate-free crumb rubber from whole tires–their focus being rubberized asphalt. When the market for rubberized asphalt died in the states, BAS was left with a large amount of crumb rubber, waiting for a destination. In the spirit of entrepreneurship, EMC was born.

EMC is the producer of Kid Kushion Playground Tile. Kid Kushion safety surfacing tiles are all 24-inch by 24-inch squares and are designed to provide impact attenuation while providing drainage during inclement weather. Kid Kushion Tiles can be produced with a UL Class A or Class B fire rating if required. Transition pieces, or ramps, are also available in different thicknesses, along with specifically molded inside and outside corner pieces.

Because the Kid Kushion Playground Tile system provides a level and resilient surface, it also provides wheel-chair accessibility with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Compliant Ramp that has a 1:12 slope exceeding the ADA minimum of 1:10. The preferred sub-surface for a Kid Kushion surface is concrete or asphalt, but it is acceptable to install it on top of compacted crushed rock.

Kid Kushion products are free from hazardous materials because EMC searches for raw materials that are lead-free. They even go one step further by requiring their suppliers to be environmentally friendly—meaning minimal waste and minimal impact on the earth. And in addition to being environmentally friendly, the products are safe as well. They meet the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) Standard for Impact Attenuation (ASTM F1292-04) and the International Playground Equipment Manufacturers Association (IPEMA). As one of the first surfacing manufacturers to become IPEMA members, EMC is actively involved in the development of playground safety.

EMC’s complete process of manufacturing takes place in the same facility as BAS Recycling. That means it is guaranteed a steady flow of available recycled rubber, made from scrap tires collected in the state of California. 

EMC products also include Paver Tiles, SportPlay Mats, and Tumbled Turf.

Paver Tiles

Paver Tiles are a resilient alternative to traditional commercial flooring materials: they are made from California recycled rubber, which means they are exceptionally durable, provide high traction, absorb shock, require little maintenance, and are incredibly comfortable underfoot.

The Paver Tile is attractive in that it takes the place of concrete or hard brick surfaces used around a home. It is much easier on the feet and softer for a child to fall on. It turns a sterile, plain area into a warm and inviting space. Because it endures outdoor elements as well as indoors—being water-permeable and a fast-drying surface that cleans easily—it can be used in public walkways.

SportPlay Mat

The SportPlay Mat is a one-inch thick indoor/outdoor tile that provides a skid-resistant surface, used primarily to soften an existing surface whether for a play area or walkway.

Fitness facilities use this mat in free-weight areas and convert hard floor spaces into aerobic areas. Daycare facilities use the mats to cover areas where children are constantly running and falling. The SportPlay Mat has a two-foot fall rating, which is ideal for small play structures. Retirement homes and homes for the elderly see it as an efficient method to prevent falls from slick surfaces.

Tumbled Turf

EMC’s Tumbled Turf colored loose fill rubber is an attractive, non-toxic, long-lasting, low-maintenance alternative to traditional wood mulch products. Tumbled Turf loose fill rubber does not compact or decompose over time, greatly reducing the need for replacement. Tumbled Turf is used wherever wood mulch products are typically used. Tumbled Turf’s bright, attractive colors make it a great decorative landscaping product.

All EMC tiles come in the standard six colors: black, blue, gray, green, and terra cotta (red). In addition to the standard colors, the Kid Kushion 2.5-inch and thicker tiles are available in several color mixtures: Confetti, Green Fields, Purple Mountain, Starburst, and Tutti-Frutti. The three-quarter-inch and one-inch Paver Tiles can also be ordered in the Brick-Top pattern or a Solid-Top pattern.

EMC is proud to announce that it will soon begin offering poured-in-place surfacing under the Kid Kushion brand and tile installations, taking recycling technology where it is destined to go in the 21st Century. 

Press Releases

Fall into the best of both worlds with safe, durable and environmentally-friendly Kid Kushion tiles manufactured by Environmental Molding Concepts (EMC). Although there’s nothing that can guarantee a child will never fall on the playground, EMC safety surfacing products are there to ease the fall and help reduce the risk of injury. 

Over the past 25 years, safety has become a growing concern, which has brought the words safety and surfacing together for playgrounds as well as fitness and daycare facilities. EMC has made sure that safety and surfacing go hand in hand in its manufacturing process. 

In the beginning, EMC was mostly concerned with simply responding to the consumer demand for improving playground safety but could also see that by bringing the recycling process full circle using the byproduct of its sister company BAS Recycling, EMC could also help the environment.

Founded in 1989, BAS Recycling has become one of the more stable tire recycling facilities in California, providing crumb rubber recycled from tires collected locally in California for asphalt roadway surfacing companies and poured-in-place playground and synthetic turf companies. 

What’s so great about recycled crumb rubber? The word crumb doesn’t necessarily lend itself to sounding stable, but when used in playground surfacing, it offers a tighter and smoother surface than the larger strands of recycled rubber. Combined with the use of top-grade polyurethane binder and EPDM granules, this creates a high-quality, durable surface made to handle the ups and downs of children engaged in an active playground experience.

In 1997, EMC was created with this environmentally-safe, durable product in mind and since then has always strived to manufacture the best quality playground tile on the market while continuing to work on new designs to improve on its already superior product.

EMC safety surfacing, made 100 percent from recycled crumb rubber, maintains the highest quality while “[working to] ensure thorough customer service while delivering the finest quality recycled rubber product available, resulting in long-term complete client satisfaction,” says Joel Lucas, director of Sales and Marketing.

If you have done any research at all on playground equipment, you are probably familiar with IPEMA (International Playground Equipment Manufacturers Association),  which sets standards for and certifies playground surfacing for specific fall heights as per Federal ASTM-1292-99 testing (for Head Impact Attenuation). CPSC also uses this same test to determine the safety of the playground surfacing. For instance, a potential six-foot fall requires a two and one-half inch safety surface thickness to comply with IPEMA standards. There are different requirements for different fall heights, and EMC has made sure that it manufactures different tile thickness to meet these requirements.

The great thing about using the tiles is that in most playgrounds you will notice that different play structures are, of course, different heights, requiring a different thickness in each area, so using tiles allows you to place tiles of different thickness in the required areas to meet the various fall height standards.

Using tiles also mean easy installation, and there are a few options available. While it is better to be able to have concrete or asphalt sub-surface, you won’t be limited by having a compacted dirt or crushed rock surface. Whatever the surface, you will want a stable, solid surface with a small grade allowing for heavy rainfall to drain. Just be sure to seal the tiles so that water will not be able to puddle beneath and cause dips that affect the appearance over time.

The single-component adhesive works well because it actually contains the same bonding agent used in the manufacturing of Kid Kushion tiles. It keeps the tiles from slipping after installation, making an even more secure play surface and also makes it theft-proof. 

You may even want to install your tiles with aluminum metal clips. These do make it possible to remove the tiles from the original location and easily move them. 

Nothing says you can’t use both the clips and adhesive for installation. With this option, you would likely secure the center tile pieces with clips and the rest of the tiles with the adhesive, resulting in a surface locked together and sealed by a glued down perimeter. 

Over the past few years, EMC has also added an emphasis on the thinner surfaces such as their one-inch SportPlay Mat. Tumbled Turf, a colored rubber mulch product, has also come to being through the company’s creative efforts.