Roll out rubber path for wheelchair

Zinnia(z6 OH)April 3, 2002

Hi Folks, Just a question, I use an electric wheelchair and our yard has been too wet for me to roll around on for months now. We don't want to put in any type permanent path since our yard is somewhat small and it would detract from the gardens, we also like to have some grass. I wondered if there is some type of rubber mat that could be rolled out when the yard is wet and rolled up again when finished working in the garden. I tried plastic but the tires on my chair chew it to pieces, so it doesn't work. Any ideas.

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Maigan(z6b MD)

Interesting dilemma. How much rolling space are you talking about? What types of plastic were you using? Have you tried using heavier plastic like rug runners you see in people's houses with the little grip teeth? It might work and you can get them cut into any length you need at Lowe's or Homedepot.


    Bookmark   April 4, 2002 at 9:11AM
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taba(z5b MO)

Sounds like a good idea to use a roll-up rubber path! Home Depot and Lowe's do carry rubber runners by the foot. Not sure if they *all* do, but I know I've seen it at a couple. You might also call around to carpet warehouse stores and used carpet stores to see what alternatives they may have. If they don't have it, check with real estate companies that use them in "show houses" to protect new carpets during walk-throughs. They may have a source.

Let us know how it works out.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2002 at 9:38PM
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What a great idea. I've spent time in a wheelchair and find that I need one from time to time. I have wall to wall carpet in the living room and don't go in there with the wheelchair because it's too difficult to wheel around.

Here's a site I found and a rubber mat that interlocks for runways and paths.

I did a search at and put in "rubber mats" in the quotes and got over 100,000 hits.

I do remember seeing some type of rubber or vinyl type of floor covering that fits together like a puzzle used in kids playrooms. It comes in squares. The only 'problem' I would see with this product is that it comes in bright colors and might be too objectionable in a garden. I do remember it in green, though it was kind of a chartreuse color.


    Bookmark   April 7, 2002 at 4:17PM
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I was just reading the posts here. Did you see this one?

They talk about something called permaturf. Give this a look see and maybe it will help. Might be a great solution so you don't have to haul out a pathway and put it away.


    Bookmark   April 7, 2002 at 4:46PM
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Looks like my reply got dropped...? I have used the black rubber matting made for lining pickup beds. Comes in rolls of about 4' wide X 8' long (less than $10.00 at K-Mart a couple of years ago.) Quite sturdy, but can be cut with household shears.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2002 at 9:17PM
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lodinana(z9 Ca)

Hi all,
In the gardeners supply I saw rolls of composted rubber from
old tires. You can roll it out and use it as a mower strip so why not a portable path??

    Bookmark   April 9, 2002 at 5:57PM
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Zinnia(z6 OH)

Texanne, the truckbed liner sounds interesting and affordable! Dev, I looked at the gardener's supply catalog and found the rubber mulch you are referring to but it's only 6" wide and I need something at least 3' wide, I wonder if it's made from the "permaturf" Newt mentioned? It would be the ideal material if I could find an affordable source since I will need at least 40' in length to reach the back garden during the rainy season. Thanks to all for your suggestions so far, nice to see we have a creative group for brainstorming ideas.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2002 at 8:53PM
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The Perma-Turf product referenced is actually a loose-fill crumb made for playgrounds, and won't do much to help with accessibility. I've seen folks use a similar product for making "kneeling paths" around their beds, but you said you don't want a permanent path. The real answer is to improve your drainage. Have you thought about grass pavers? You can get open concrete pavers that the grass grows through that won't be quite as obvious as a sidewalk. There's also a company in Colorado making a plastic version that comes in 40" squares and essentially disappears into the lawn. Good Luck

    Bookmark   June 3, 2004 at 1:01PM
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It could be an expesive project but wouldn't have to be rolled back up. In a deli look at what some slicers stand on. It's a mat with holes and I would think a grass can be grown through it and mowed over.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2004 at 6:54PM
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What about using old chain link fencing? Would that be something to have it just under the surface and grass growing through it? Just an idea, wondering if that would help a wheelchair move on wetter, muddy surfaces. It helps car get out of snow and ice.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2004 at 8:55AM
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Debbie_N_Ontario(zone 2)

I have a scooter that I use when I need to go long distances. We used old skidoo tred up the ramp to give me good grip, even with snow on it.

You might be able to find some at a ski doo shop when they have to replace them on old ski doos. I don't know if it will be too heavy a tread for you though.


    Bookmark   September 8, 2004 at 4:21AM
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olddutchbear(7=upstate SC)

Hi Zinnia;
When you find out what to use would you please let me know? I have the same problem as you (clay soil & rain = a nightmare). My house is on a 1/2 acre lot & I have a 100 x 90' backyard (house is 9 months old). Waiting for info from SC Parks Dept on what they use for hiking trails for wheelchairs. Hang on; Spring is on its way! I'm in Travelers Rest (25 miles S of Blue Ridge Mts) & everything is blooming. Tody = 80 degrees! Lookup = it's GREAT! Bye Bob

    Bookmark   April 4, 2005 at 8:07PM
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My husband works for a paper company and unloads semi-trucks as part of his job. The truckers use thin rubber mats that are the length of the truck and about 5 feet wide. These are disposed of at the end of the delivery run, so we recycle them in the garden to create paths and keep the weeds down. You might want to check with some of your local trucking companies, they usually throw them away after use!

    Bookmark   May 14, 2011 at 3:08PM
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dickiefickle(5B Dousman,Wi.)

Better spiked tires, maybe run with dual wheels on each sde of chair

    Bookmark   August 6, 2011 at 5:14AM
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I usually do not post a website but I just thought there might be some here would would like to take a look at this website I ran across watching the news. The price is a bit steep for most of us but just maybe the ideal might help someone.
The hard part is the $8,800 and up price
Action Manufacturing, based in Marshall, Minn., has designed a chair with caterpillar tracks instead of wheels: a trackchair. With the Action Trackchair, the manufacturer touts, "you'll go places you didn't think possible", which includes the woods, the beach, in mud, on snow, etc.


    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 8:50AM
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