DIFFERENT TYPES OF INFILL FOR ARTIFICIAL TURF
What is infill? Infill is the granular material that goes on top of artificial turf. It is important to use infill in turf for a few key reasons:
- Acts as a ballast to keep the turf weighted down and level.
- Improves resilience of the turf backing by providing another layer of ‘cushion.’
- Keeps the turf fibers standing up straight.
All infills provide the three key benefits above; however, there are many options that provide additional benefits. What infill you use greatly depends on your unique situation.
HOW TO DECIDE ON WHAT INFILL TO USE?
When deciding on what type of infill to use, here are the two questions you must ask yourself:
- Will the artificial turf be used for aesthetic purposes only, or will dogs and children often be using the turf?
- What is the weather like near me? Dry and arid? Humid and rainy?
ProGreen has been manufacturing artificial grass since 1987, so we have seen the use of infill evolve as the industry grows. Some turf manufacturers claim that their product does not require infill. However, this is a rather untested approach. We highly recommend that you use infill even in these cases. Think of artificial grass as a system: infill plays an integral part in that system. It acts as the backbone, the cushion, and the support. Without it, your turf’s life could be greatly reduced.
Practice Over Product
Although we go over the different types of infill and suggested applications below, these are merely suggestions and best-practices. We’ve worked with hundreds of turf installers and landscapers across the country, and we’ve found that everyone has their own approach to infill. Here is the important thing for you to know as the owner of the turf: as long as you are taking care of your turf, then the type of infill used doesn’t matter nearly as much. If you follow these steps, any infill will work just fine for your situation:
- Pick up leaves, debris, and pet feces in a timely manner
- Rinse the yard with a hose at least once a week (if there is no rain)
- Power broom the fibers once every two years
- Top off the infill once every two years
One of the most popular and affordable infill options, silica sand, consists of tiny granules of quartz that have been broken down over time by water and wind. Be aware of the different levels of this product: the silica sand infill normally used on landscape artificial turf lawns is #20 Clean Silica Sand. The #30 Silica Sand has slightly larger granules, and we mainly recommend this size for sand-filled putting greens. Silica sand infill is great for front and back yards that are not used by pets.
ANTIMICROBIAL PET SAND (ENVIROFILL)
If you have pets, you will want to use an antimicrobial pet sand as your infill. The most popular antimicrobial infill is called “Envirofill.” This product consists of silica sand that has an antimicrobial coating added during the manufacturing process. Because of this coating, bacteria and microbes that cause stains, odors, and product deterioration have a much harder time growing.
In addition, this product is green colored. Many homeowners like to use it because it blends into the artificial turf and is barely noticeable, unlike the white/tan color of plain silica sand. For putting greens, we will use the green antimicrobial pet sand as a “top dressing” on the putting surface to hide the white silica sand for aesthetic purposes.
Zeofill is another infill that we recommend for pet owners, specifically in areas that receive above average rainfall. Zeofill has a ‘honeycomb’ shape at the molecular level. This allows the infill to “pull” the urine-smelling gases in and capture them. This greatly reduces the pet urine smell. Once these gases are trapped, they are not released until the sodium ion in rainwater interacts with the infill. Only then do these gases release and drain directly through the backing of the turf and into the ground with the rainwater.
Greenplay’s corkonut infill is a key piece to the ProGreen Cool Turf System. This infill is all-natural, consisting of a proprietary blend of cork and coconut fibers. This blend provides a low bulk density, meaning it will not get as hot as other infill options which have a high bulk density (sand, silica, rubber).
This infill also recreates the evaporative cycle of a natural lawn, which creates an active cooling effect on the turf. This effect allows the turf to remain within 30 degrees of natural grass even on the absolute hottest days, in direct sunlight. We highly recommend this product for families with children, playgrounds, or athletic fields, specifically in areas with humidity or average rainfall. With its cooling factors and its increased shock absorption, Greenplay infill is the best option for play.
Crumb rubber is not used for residential landscape applications. It is sometimes used for large athletic fields because of the inexpensive nature of the material and the shock absorption that it provides. However, there are many other infill options for athletic fields nowadays that provide even better safety to players.
Let us know what you are looking to do, and we can point you in the right direction for what type of infill to use on your artificial turf installation. We are here to help! Contact us today for a free estimate for artificial turf installation!
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