In natural grass, nutrients are sent from the roots up to through the blades. This process makes the blades of natural grass very resilient. In artificial grass, this process does not exist, which can make the blades of fake turf less resilient. High-quality artificial turfs feature a durable backing, which supports the faux grass blades and can help the artificial turf bounce back into its original place, making it more resilient. However, relying on the backing alone to return the grass blades back to their upright position is often not enough. Even if the backing is made of the highest quality, durable materials, it will not always ensure that the grass blades will return to their original position.
That’s where infill comes into play. If you’re interested in purchasing faux grass turf and you want it to stay as good looking as possible for as long as possible, you are going to want to choose an artificial turf that features infill.
What is Artificial Grass Infill?
Infill refers to the products that are placed in between the fibers of artificial turf, or the synthetic grass blades. The purpose of infill is to help the grass blades stand up, or return back to their intended upright position after they have been exposed to pressure. Additionally, infill helps to shield the backing used on artificial turf from the damage that is caused by UV rays.
Not only does infill help to maintain the look of faux turf, but it also helps to gives it the feel of natural grass. Infill mimics the impact absorption qualities of the soil under real grass, thus, you will feel as if you are walking on real grass. Another benefit of infill is that it helps to weigh down artificial turf, preventing it from developing wrinkles, buckles, or ripples that can occur as a result of movement. It also aids in drainage, which means you won’t have to deal with pooling water after it rains or if your faux grass is exposed to any other type of precipitation.
If you are going to install artificial turf in areas that receive a lot of foot traffic, or are exposed to any other form of pressure, you definitely want to make sure you purchase a product that contains infill.
Types of Infill for Artificial Turf
There are several types of infill used in synthetic grass. Each type is intended to provide the same benefits; however, some do a better job than others at delivering these benefits.
Here’s a look at some of the different types of infill materials that are commonly used in artificial grass.
Silica sand is derived of quartz that has been eroded by wind and water. As the quartz erodes, it breaks down into small granules. This material is used in several commercial applications, including artificial grass infill.
Silica sand helps keep the blades of artificial grass standing in an upright position. It also helps to improve drainage. Another benefit of this type of infill is its cost; generally, it is the least expensive type of infill material. However, there are some downsides to this type of infill product. The sand is not rounded, but rather angular. The composition of the sand can also harden, which means that your artificial grass can end up losing its permeability. Lastly, it has been known to trap pet odors, so if you have pets, you may want to avoid this type of infill.
Silica sand infill is ideal for areas that don’t get a lot of traffic, such as hills, thick turfs, balconies, commercial spaces, or open fields that aren’t used a lot.
Another popular material that is used for infill in artificial turf, rubber will offer your grass a nice softness and make it feel more like natural grass. That’s because rubber has a natural bounce, which will make your grass more permeable. Rubber infill also adds volume to artificial turf, making it look fuller and more lush, and it helps to keep the faux grass blades standing in their upright position. Lastly, rubber infill is pretty easy to install.
Despite its benefits, there are some disadvantages to rubber infill. It quickly absorbs and traps heat, which means that the infill can get very hot, and therefore, it can make the surface of your grass hot, too. It can also spread dust when it is walked on, and that dust can be kicked up onto your shoes or clothing. Rubber also doesn’t kill any bacteria, and it has been found to trap small amounts of odors.
Rubber infill is ideal for use in areas that receive light to moderate amounts of traffic. Lawns, play spaces, and commercial or retail spaces are some of the best locations to use rubber infill in.
Another infill option for synthetic grass is Durafill sand. Made of rounded quartz core, Durafill sand is mad e specifically for use as infill for artificial turf. It stays cool, which prevents your faux grass from heating up. It’s also the only type of infill used in artificial grass that has anti-microbial properties, which kill bacteria. Durafill sand doesn’t absorb liquids, making it a great infill material if you have pets. The rounded shape of the sand allows for softer and more natural impact absorbency without doing any damage to the fibers of the turf. It’s also safe for children and pets.
The only real downsides of Durafill sand is that it tends to be more expensive than silica sand and rubber infill, and it doesn’t cover the same amount of space as rubber or silica sand.
If your budget allows, Durafill sand is the best infill material you can choose for your artificial grass. It is easy to install and can be used in a variety of faux turf applications, including areas that get a lot of traffic, lawns, play spaces, dog runs, areas where pets are trained, and just about anywhere else you might use artificial grass.