Learn about the infill options that are available for artificial grass installations so that you can make the most informed decision for your home or business!
What is Infill? How is Infill Used on Artificial Grass?
Infill is a very small granular material, usually sand, that is spread over artificial grass during installation. Once the infill material has been spread over the artificial grass, a power-broom is used to agitate the turf fibers which enables the infill to evenly distribute and settle between the fibers.
Once in place, the infill material will help to keep the turf fibers standing. When you walk on artificial grass or simply place your hand on it to flatten the turf fibers, the infill will help the grass blades return to an upright position. Additionally, infill helps to shield the turf’s backing from the sun’s damaging UV rays.
The infill isn’t just for aesthetic purposes. It also provides a cushion when walking on it that mimics the impact absorption qualities of the soil under natural grass, therefore, when walking on artificial grass vs. natural grass it’s a similar sensation.
The most important role of infill is to weigh down the artificial grass, acting as ballast. This is what prevents wrinkles, buckles, or ripples from forming as a result of movement. Infill also plays an important role in how your turf drains water and pet urine. By keeping the individual turf fibers upright, infill ensures that liquids are able to flow right to the turf’s backing where it will pass through the turf’s drainage system and into the sub-base below.
It should be clear by now that if you’re going to install artificial grass, you’re going to want to include an infill on your installation. Most turf installations would involve silica sand infill, which is the most common type of infill used on artificial grass. It’s affordable and has withstood the test of time.
For some installations, like on fake grass for dogs it’s worth upgrading the infill material to something with features that will enhance the functionality and performance of your artificial grass. Below we’ll take a look at some of the most common types of infill materials.
Types of Artificial Grass Infill Materials
Natural grass is extremely resilient, with the individual blades of grass always returning to an upright position, no matter what mother nature throws at it. The individual blades of artificial grass on their own aren’t quite as resilient as real grass. The durable backing found on the best artificial grass products supports the artificial grass blades and can help them return to an upright position, but it’s just not the same as with natural grass. Unless you add infill!
There are several types of infill materials used on artificial grass. Each type of infill will perform the same basic functions of weighing down the turf and keeping the turf fibers standing. Dozens of companies have flooded the space with infill products touted as revolutionary, and must-haves. For the most part, you should ignore them and try to avoid getting overwhelmed with all of the options available.
Here at Arlington Turf Installers, we try to make your life simpler, so we’re not going to cover dozens of infill options. Below we’ve included what we consider to be the only infill materials worth considering for your artificial grass installation.
Here’s a look at some of the different types of infill materials that are commonly used in artificial grass.
T°Cool® Infill is a newer type of artificial grass infill that cools artificial grass through a process of evaporative cooling. It also has an antimicrobial coating, making it the best infill for pet-friendly turf applications like in dog runs and dog potty areas as it keeps the turf cooler by as much as 30° – 50° F.
Silica Sand Infill
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 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.
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