Recycled rubber stepping stones

Discussion in 'General Gardening Discussion' started by ViewAhead, Apr 8, 2024.

  1. ViewAhead

    ViewAhead Keen Gardener

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    A couple of quick qus!

    Are these environmentally friendly? I guess they would last a while and the rubber is being put to good use, but is that negated by the rubber manufacture/transportation in the first place? Do they leech anything into the soil?

    Also, can they be painted with wood stain? Would it stick or just flake off?

    The reason I ask is I think the time has come to get rid of my last small areas of grass, but I will need to be able to get from A to B, so stepping stones would work. I could use decking tiles, but the wood is very poor quality these days and would rot quickly. I could use stone-effect ones, made of cement, I assume, which I am not a big fan off. Plus, they are very heavy and my preferred colour (buff) does not come in my preferred shape (rectangular). Rubber ones would be light, but they only come in dark grey or dark brown, so I would want to paint them green, to match my raised beds.
     
  2. ViewAhead

    ViewAhead Keen Gardener

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    These are the ones I am considering ... if I could stain them green.

    Homebase UK
     
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    • pete

      pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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      I wouldn't know but is this the American part of B&Q.:biggrin:
       
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      • amancalledgeorge

        amancalledgeorge Gardener

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        That Photoshop by Homebase is hilarious! They look nicer than most out there...but can't imagine you'll be successful in painting or staining them, it will be a constant bit of maintenance.
         
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        • ViewAhead

          ViewAhead Keen Gardener

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          That was my worry! :scratch: Don't want them to look constantly in need of a repaint.

          It turned into an Australian outlet for a while, but then reverted to Homebase. Not sure who owns it now.
           
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          • amancalledgeorge

            amancalledgeorge Gardener

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            It was much better as Bunnings @ViewAhead but clearly their finances didn't work out. Have you seen those in the flesh?
             
          • ViewAhead

            ViewAhead Keen Gardener

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            I have, @amancalledgeorge . They look OKish! Better quality than the decking tiles, that's for sure. For a distance, I think they imitate wood pretty well. Crucially, for my POV, they are pretty light, so much easier for me to work with than stone slabs.
             
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            • Plantminded

              Plantminded Keen Gardener

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              Are you also planning to put plants where your lawn was @ViewAhead? If so, have you considered covering what was the lawn/new border with bark? I use bark on some of my borders without weed suppressing membrane and it still keeps the weeds away and is easy to walk on. It just needs topping up once a year or so. The only downside is that blackbirds like throwing it around but that only matters if there's lawn or paving nearby.
               
            • ViewAhead

              ViewAhead Keen Gardener

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              Plants will move in! :biggrin: Primroses, windflowers, expanding patches of carex, waldstenia ternata, geraniums and crocosmia are all bursting out of their spaces into the grass. So, I need stepping stones just to keep small areas for me to get around between them. I will have a layer of gravel, but unless I mark out territory, I can see it being a problem to reach things that need deadheading or staking or whatever.
               
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              • Plantminded

                Plantminded Keen Gardener

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                That does sound good @ViewAhead. I think those rubber stepping stones will be problematic if you want to paint them and I'm not convinced that they will have enough weight to stop them moving around without staking or nailing down!
                 
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                  Last edited: Apr 8, 2024
                • NigelJ

                  NigelJ Total Gardener

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                  It was owned by Wesfarmer and traded as Bunnings; now owned by Hilco and is currently up for sale again.
                  Given that they are made from recycled tyres they won't stain and probably won't take paint well.
                  Enviromentally it's better than dumping the tyres in landfill, burning them, or shipping to a third world country.
                  I've had door mats with a backing of recycled tyres and reckon they will be non slip and probably heavy enough to stay where they are put.
                  They should be pretty much indestructible.
                   
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                  • Javidr

                    Javidr Gardener

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                    Not sure if it fits here but I just bought flexiborders for a border I’m building and I’m in love with it. It’s built from old car tyres so looks eco friendly
                     
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                    • ViewAhead

                      ViewAhead Keen Gardener

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                      I've seen this, @Javidr. :blue thumb: You can build in curves nicely with them, I imagine.

                      That's what I wondered.

                      Hmmm, might reconsider the decking tiles. I like some grey paving slabs they have, but I am trying to keep uniformity. I already have buff patio stones and brick edging, wooden raised beds painted green, and gravel. In a small garden, having 3 different hard materials works fine ... but adding another might feel bitty, and I'm not sure the grey would be great with beige gravel. Plus the slabs are very heavy for me to move around. If I could have painted the rubber, it would have looked like wood, keeping the overall effect at 3.
                       
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                      • fairygirl

                        fairygirl Head Gardener

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                        They sell those rubber pavers/stepping stones in B&Q. I'd agree you woudn't be able to paint them, especially if you're actually going to be using them regularly!
                        Not all paving is terribly heavy, but are you meaning you want to move them around?
                        In a similar vein to what @NigelJ has described, I inherited an outdoor mat when I moved in here. It's rubber, with metal joints, so it's quite flexible. I don't know where it came from but it's certainly light and could be moved around. I have it at the back doorstep just now, but it would be a good alternative if you could find an outlet for something similar.
                        I don't think you could paint anything of that kind though.
                         
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                        • ViewAhead

                          ViewAhead Keen Gardener

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                          By "move around", I really mean "woman-handle" - from shelf to trolley to car boot to back garden to position to reposition (due to "woman-mindchange", which is allowed :biggrin:), all while avoiding any bending and wearing a hot water bottle on my lower back. Now, you might say, get someone in to help, which I could do, of course, but if I can make a task manageable, then I prefer to do that.

                          I have gone off the recycled rubber idea as I can't wood-stain it, so am back in decking-tile mindset. :) The Homebase ones are pricey at £10 each, but I could pick out my own, which is a distinct plus given the quality is variable.
                           
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