Whether it is for lowering maintenance costs, reducing the water bill, or eliminating the need for mowing, artificial turf has gained great popularity over natural grass nowadays.
With the installation of artificial turf comes the need to decide on what kind of infill will be used in order to take more advantage out of the artificial turf.
Why Use Silica Sand on Artificial Turf
Many artificial turf companies claim that they are producing ‘non-infill’ turf that does not require an infill, hence the total installation cost comes down, attracting more customers.
However, it should be clear to the customers that while not using an infill may reduce the initial installation costs, in the long run, the turf may not last as long as one that is ballasted with some type of infill material.
So, which infill material is the best to use? There are many reasons why silica sand should be used as the choice for infill material for artificial turf.
As a Cost-Effective Artificial Turf Infill
There are three types of infill that can be used in artificial turf: silica sand infill, crumb rubber infill, and organic infill.
As compared to its competitors, the rubber infill and the organic infill, silica sand infill is the infill that has the least associated overall cost.
Therefore, the first and foremost advantage it has over other types of infill is that it is a cost-effective artificial turf infill. The price for silica sand infill ranges in price according to the business model and brand.
Hence, if there is a desire to install artificial turf with an infill that will reduce installation costs, silica sand infill is the best option.
Made of Non-Toxic Materials
Another advantage of silica sand infill is that it is purely natural: made from grains of small, angular granules of sand that are made up of silica, which in turn is derived of quartz.
Because it is made up of substances that naturally occur in nature, it is non-toxic. The toxicity of any infill is a major concern especially because it may pose health risks to the people who tread on it, including pets.
The other types of infill do not have the same non-toxic characteristics as silica sand, as they have additives like chemicals or PAH’s that pose serious threats to the health and lives of people and pets.
Safer than Crumb Rubber Infill
As already explained, silica sand is made up of naturally occurring materials, hence is safe. Crumb rubber infill, on the other hand, may not be as safe as silica sand.
This is due to the fact that crumb rubber is derived from crushed rubber tires and has additives that include other types of rubber and materials such as black carbon, Sulphur, zinc, and oils that contain polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).
It is a known fact that PAHs may pose a threat to health, as they are considered to be carcinogens. Therefore, it is always a better idea to choose silica sand over crumb rubber for the safety of anyone who comes in contact with the artificial turf with that infill.
Helps Synthetic Grass Blades Stand Upright
A quality of silica sand infill is that it helps add stability to the fibers of artificial turf grass blades.
This helps keep the grass blades stand upright, giving the artificial grass a more natural and three-dimensional look just like natural grass. If the grass blades are not stable, they will droop down after a short period of time and will affect the over all look of the artificial turf.
This will in turn bring about the need to replace the turf sooner which will incur even more cost to the customer. Therefore, along with helping keep the synthetic grass blades stand upright, putting a silica sand infill in the turf will reduce the costs in the long run.
Provides UV Protection for Turf Backing
Ultraviolet rays are known to cause a lot of damage to any surface they encounter, whether it is human skin or any other unliving thing.
Similarly, the UV rays from the sun can cause damage to the turf backing as well. A great way to extend the life of the artificial turf backing that holds the plastic grass blades together is to use silica sand as the infill.
Silica sand infill has the qualities of repelling UV rays from the sun, which helps keep the turf backing safe and remain in good condition for a longer period of time.
Is Silica Sand Safe for Artificial Grass?
Silica sand is considered very safe to use as infill for artificial grass because of its qualities.
First of all, unlike crumb rubber, it is made of naturally occurring components and is free of chemicals, which means it is non-toxic.
It is very important to ensure that the artificial turf being installed is not toxic because it may pose a health threat to anyone who comes into contact with the infill employed.
Furthermore, since it is UV repellent, silica sand helps keep the artificial grass in great condition for a long period of time before it needs to be replaced. This ensures lower associated costs.
Does Artificial Grass Need Sand Infill?
The sand infill helps weigh down the artificial turf so that it does not move or ripple due to environmental conditions or overuse. So, it is extremely important to use sand infill in artificial turf.
The artificial turf may look very attractive initially, but over time, it will lose its charm because it is the sand infill that helps the grass blades keep their erect shape and keep standing.
Many manufacturers claim to be selling artificial turf that does not need infill because it is produced with high-quality materials.
This, however, is advertised just to lure customers into buying their product because of their lower installation charges, from which the cost of infill has been deducted. Hence, this makes the customer think they are saving money.
How Do You Spread Silica Sand on Artificial Grass?
There are two ways the sand can be spread on the artificial grass.
- The first way is to use a seed or drop spreader by filling up the dispensing bucket with the sand and then moving the spreader along the length of the turf to spread the infill evenly.
- Alternatively, it can also be spread by making tiny cuts at the bottom of the sandbag and manually spreading it evenly across the turf.
Finally, by using an artificial grass rake, a mechanical brush or a stiff broom, the artificial turf needs to be brushed to help settle the sand deeply at the bottom of the artificial turf.
Before spreading silica sand, the very first thing that needs to be ensured is that the artificial grass is completely dry, otherwise the sand will clump together.
This makes it difficult to comb through the turf to make the sand settle down into the roots of the fibers, to achieve the desired result of a flat artificial turf.