The use of rubber is widespread, ranging from household to industrial products. Tires and tire inner tubes are the largest consumers of rubber. The remainder is taken up by the general rubber goods sector, which includes a wide array of manufacturing and textile applications.
Rubber products produced by the manufacturing industry include rubber door and window seals, rubber hoses, rubber belts, rubber matting, rubber flooring, rubber grommets, rubber washers and dampeners for engines. Medical, household and industrial grade gloves, and toy balloons are large consumers of rubber, in the form of concentrated latex. Rubber is used as an adhesive in many manufacturing industries and products and is commonly used to make rubber bands and pencil erasers.
In textile industries, rubber is used in the form of elastic, which is found in many clothing items. Rubber is also commonly used for the soles of footwear and to produce rubber boots. Synthetic rubber in the form of neoprene and spandex elastane is both stronger and more durable than natural rubber, and is increasingly found in many textile products; from wetsuits and waterproof jackets to exercise clothing. Retailers of rubber products can either specialise in, or may carry rubber products in conjunction with other goods. Specialist rubber retailers will stock standard and specialised rubber sheeting and strips, rubber seals and mouldings, mats, matting and flooring, for commercial and domestic uses. Other retailers may specialise in automotive and industrial extrusions, foam and seals, with some retailers also producing their own extrusions.