Are you looking to get an artificial turf for your landscape? Did you come across the word “infill” while researching different grasses for your turf?
If yes, then you must be thinking, oh well another one of those technical terms. Don’t worry, in this article we have covered everything there is to know about artificial grass infill for readers like you.
What Is Infill for Artificial Grass?
Infill is a material that is primarily composed of minute particles of crushed sand that are coated with an acrylic polymer.
These crushed materials are spread on the surface of the turf so that the infill eventually deposits in between the blades of the grass and keeps them standing upright.
Why Use Infill In Artificial Turf?
Used in artificial grass, infill emulates the nutrient-absorbing properties of soil under natural grass to provide a more lush feel to the upright blades of the turf.
When pressure is applied to the artificial grass blades, for example, while walking on the grass, the blades get bogged down while they’re being stepped.
But as soon as the pressure is removed, they will instantly return to their standing position instead of getting crumbled to pieces, all thanks to the infill.
Benefits of Infill for Artificial Grass
1. Protect Artificial Grass Backing from UV Damage
Artificial grass backing is a protective covering that forms the lower surface of a synthetic turf. The backing material is typically composed of two separate layers, a primary layer and a secondary layer.
The primary backing is made of a non-woven textile to which the artificial grass fibers are sewn.
Infill helps secure the turf’s primary backing from the harmful effects of UV rays. As a general rule of thumb 1lb per square foot of Infill is sufficient to protect the turf backing from UV exposure.
2. Help Turf Fibers Stand Upright
Technically speaking, infill helps “add ballast” to your turf. This means that infill has chemical properties that support the grass fibers and prevent them from getting dislodged under pressure.
In other terms, it improves the “memory” of the grass fibers, protecting them from getting damaged and displaying wear patterns on the surface.
3. To Add Weight for Better Stability
Artificial turf is sensitive to changes in temperature, this means that it will expand and contract when subjected to varying external temperatures.
The grass backing provides protection from these changes by maintaining the dimensional stability of the turf to a certain extent.
However, applying infill adds an extra layer of defense from the expansion effects of high temperatures.
The application of infill is especially important when the turf is placed over a nonpermeable sub-base like concrete or asphalt because these eliminate the possibility of using nails to fix your synthetic turf to its base.
Instead, you have to use industrial tape or glue to put the whole thing together. This can make the turf more susceptible to dimensional changes when it gets too hot or too cold.
4. For Pet Waste Odor Suppression
Applying infill to your turf is the most effective way to get rid of pet waste odor.
The infill forms part of the turf system that absorbs the most urine, it neutralizes the urine odor by breaking down its ammonia and protein component and as a result, eliminating the stench completely.
5. To Add Cushioning
Infill adds a cushion effect to your turf when you step and walk on it. It strengthens the whole artificial turf system by protecting the grass fiber roots from damage due to the added weight on top.
Therefore, an infilled artificial grass system is more resistant to damage from foot traffic as compared to a similar non-infilled grass system when subjected to the same external conditions.
What is a Good Infill Quality for Artificial Grass
For Residential Applications
The two most commonly used infill options for residential turf include Silica Sand and Sand-Rubber mix.
When looking at its composition, silica sand comes from quartz that has been eroded by wind and water.
The quartz is broken down into smaller particles via the erosion process. Silica sand is mainly used in the production of artificial grass infill for residential applications.
It helps keep the blades of artificial grass standing in an upright position like other infill options but does so at a very low cost, this makes it a go-to option for residential lawns.
Sand Rubber Mix
This type of infill is derived from the combination of silica sand and crumb rubber. Crumb rubber is made out of used motor vehicle tires that are set to be disposed of at landfill sites, this makes it an environmentally friendly infill option.
Contrary to popular belief, infill made out of Sand-Rubber mix has proven to be safe for children and the surroundings when used in a residential setting.
On top of that, its low manufacturing cost makes it a very affordable option for residential customers looking to keep their turf’s maintenance cost to a minimum.
Silica Sand and Crumb Rubber when combined, produce a heavy-duty, long-lasting infill that can help the grass blades withstand the pressure of increased foot traffic without matting down.
This is also a great option for pet owners because the Sand-Rubber mix does a great job at breaking down the chemical components of pet waste, essentially eliminating the stench of waste odor.
For Pet Turf
For pets, artificial turf is just like natural grass since they can’t tell the difference between the two. They will poop and urinate on artificial grass turf just like they do on natural grass.
Therefore, the infill you choose for your pet turf needs to be durable and resilient so that it can withstand relatively frequent foot traffic. It should also be able to resist odors and discoloration caused by pet waste.
Another important feature of a good infill for pet turf is that it should be a good absorbent so it can soak up urine and get rid of its odor quickly.
There are many different infill varieties specifically manufactured for use on pet turf. They are all available at different prices and provide slightly different benefits when applied to pet turf.
Let’s look at the three most commonly used infill options for pet turfs.
This is a top-tier infill variety out there thanks to the power-packed features it possesses. It is most commonly used by pet owners with pets that are not potty trained.
This is because MellowFill has special odor-eliminating properties that keep your turf fresh and free of bacterial build-up.
Owing to all these features, MellowFill is also the most expensive option on the market – around $23 per pound.
Despite being relatively new on the market, Zeolite has made a name for itself.
It is made out of crushed sedimentary rocks that possess minerals containing antimicrobial and antibacterial properties to keep your turf protected from any kind of bacterial buildup.
In addition, Zeolite is a great absorbent so it instantly soaks up liquid waste such as urine.
Read more – Zeofill Zeolite Infill Review
Most commonly used on pet turfs, Envirofill (Durafill) is known for eliminating pet waste odors and protecting the field from the spread of microbes and bacteria.
The most distinct feature of Envirofill is its strength and durability, as it can withstand foot traffic very well.
Unlike other pet-friendly infill varieties, Envirofill is not a great absorbent and it allows fluids to quickly make their way through to the drainage system.
For Sports Turf
Several sports like hockey, futsal, and golf are played on artificial grass fields, commonly referred to as sports turf fields.
The infill used on sports turf should be durable so that it can maintain the integrity of the grass fibers as they are consistently subjected to heavy foot traffic.
While also providing even bounce across the entirety of its surface.
MellowFill is highly recommended for sports fields due to its effectiveness at providing ballast to the turf fibers.
MellowFill also contains cooling properties, keeping artificial grass cool to the touch and reducing the chances of athletes getting turf burns.
It is the most commonly used infill for sports turf because of its durability; as it can withstand high foot traffic.
The small rubber granules are also great at giving the turf a unique bounce which is essential for any kind of sports turf.
By adding ballast, it firmly supports the grass blades to give a natural aesthetic to the sports field.
How Much Infill Per Square Foot for Turf?
For Residential lawns
Residential applications like lawns and backyards are considered to be low foot traffic areas and so 1 pound per square foot of infill is considered to be a sufficient amount for their maintenance.
However, if you have pets, especially overenthusiastic dogs, it would be a good idea to keep the amount anywhere between 1.5-2 pounds per square foot.
For Commercial Playgrounds
Owing to the high foot traffic and heavy use, 2.5 to 3 pounds per square foot may be required to keep the field fresh and prevent the grass from matting down.
Commercial playgrounds are used more frequently than residential lawns.