There is more to artificial grass than just grass. One of the most important elements for keeping artificial turf looking great, lasting a long time, and providing enjoyment to the whole family is the artificial turf infill.
What is Artificial Turf Infill?
Artificial turf infill is the material used to fill up space in between the blades. It acts as a foundation for your artificial turf and serves several purposes including:
· Helping each blade stand up straighter
· Providing a padding for you, your children and pets to play comfortably
· Helps in the long-run durability of your grass because it protects the fabric mesh foundation.
· DrainageWhile there are some artificial turf products that do not require infill, the vast majority recommends it.
There are several types of artificial turf infill products to choose from including crumb rubber, acrylic coated sand, silicon granules, thatch and a new product called Zeofill. There are advantages and disadvantages to each and the product you pick depends on your particular location and use.
Varieties of Artificial Turf Infill
Crumb rubber cost more than some of the other artificial turf infill products, but is widely used. It is made from recycled tires, so it is a positive choice environmentally. Many in charge of playgrounds and athletic fields make this their choice because it is safe for children and pets. It also provides a nice cushion for feet and offers better protection than sand or stone when children fall. It is also low maintenance over an extended period of time because worn out elements can be easily be replaced at a low cost.
The downside of using crumb rubber is it can get hot in direct heat. Also, children and pets could decide the little pellets are fun to play with and spread them all over your property and home.
Acrylic Sand and Silicon Granules
Acrylic coated sand and silicon granules are incredibly popular as artificial turf infill and are also used for athletic fields and playgrounds. The granules are a round shape so they are smooth on both the artificial grass and feet. The sand is coated green in an anti-microbial outer layer so it blends with the yard. The coating also halts bacteria from animal waste and any trash from spreading. It is more durable than rubber and is affordable.
A negative of this product is it can’t be replaced as easily as crumb rubber. You have to buy it by the bag and it takes one to two pounds for the average space.
Thatch, organic material consisting of things like dead leaves, is another option as an artificial turf infill. People who use this want a natural element as a foundation. It creates a nice cushion and support for your artificial grass and works well.
A disadvantage of thatch is it can hold water and the excess water causes it to decay faster. This product doesn’t last as long as some of the others and has to be replaced more often.
ZeoFill is made from zeolites, which are minerals in certain sedimentary rocks. This product is popular as an artificial turf infill for several reasons. It is a certified organic product, so it’s completely safe. ZeoFill also meets communities’ local laws regarding environmentally-safe products, so it’s an easy, no hassle solution.
For families with pets, this product’s best advantage is that it reduces odor because it is naturally absorbent. It naturally releases any gases and impurities into the ground when it gets a heavy watering or rainfall, keeping your lawn looking like new. Other advantages of this product as an artificial turf infill is it will provide excellent drainage and it allows water to gently evaporate, so it keeps your artificial grass cooler in hot weather.
The downside is you will still need to use an enzyme cleaner to remove bacteria, especially in areas where it doesn’t rain often.
Before you settle on a particular artificial turf infill, be sure to feel each of the products in your hands and even on your feet to see which one feels better to you. While all of them have advantages and disadvantages, they all work well and your decision may depend on simply how they feel while you are using your lawn.