Installing artificial turf comes with many choices. Some of the decisions you will need to make regard infill options. While deciding on an infill may not seem like an exciting task, it is one of the most important decisions you can make. The right infill not only protects your artificial turf and helps it last longer, but it also makes your use of the yard safer and more enjoyable.
Infill is best explained by defining how it works with your artificial turf. Infill is a material used to fill in space around the synthetic grass blades. It is sort of a dirt substitute that helps blades remain straight and adds cushion to those walking on it. Infill has other purposes including:
• It helps in drainage. Infill keeps water from remaining on the turf product and helps it flow away. This helps reduce bug problems and keeps your artificial turf lasting longer.
• It can help reduce bacteria. Certain types of infills have substances that prevent bacteria from spreading.
• It can reduce pet odors. There are specific infills manufactured specifically to address pet odors.
How Many Choices Are There?
Infill typically comes in five different materials. The material you choose really depends on your budget, needs, and environmental preferences. Choices include both natural and recycled material options, as well as certified environmentally-friendly options. Different materials have various life spans and warranties, so all should be considered when making a choice.
Rounded silica granules, which is a coated sand, are by far the most widely used type of infill. It is most widely used on playgrounds and athletic fields. There is a good reason for its popularity. Rounded silica granules have many advantages:
• Sand offers a natural protection from the beating rays of the sun, helping prolong the life of your artificial turf.
• It is a highly durable material and will last for years.
• The smooth texture of rounded silica granules is easy on bare feet and provides great comfort during play.
Parents are happy to discover that rounded silica granules also help prevent the spread of bacteria. The anti-microbial coating stops the spread of bacteria in the yard produced by animal fecal matter, wildlife and trash blown or thrown onto your property. The outer coating is green, so the granules blend with your artificial turf blades.
Another sand mix infill product is subangular silica, a silicone manufactured product that also uses sand. Subangular silica is inexpensive but deteriorates rapidly.
The Big Trend
One of the growing trends for infills is Zeofill, a natural, environmentally safe infill. Zeofill, a certified organic material, is expanding in popularity largely because many local governments are requiring certified organic infill products in artificial turf installations. Zeofill is the primary product on the market that meets all the required certifications. Those using this infill will also need an enzyme cleaner to properly kill bacteria.
Zeofill is produced from sedimentary rock minerals called zeolites, which are excellent at reducing smells. Drainage is easily handled because this infill allows a slow, gentle evaporation. The drainage will keep your lawn cooler during the hottest months.
What Is Thatch?
Another natural element used for infill is thatch. Thatch is made up of things like dead leaves and other organic debris. This infill provides a natural look and feel to your artificial turf. Many people with pets choose this as an infill because it is completely natural and pets adjust well to it.
However, thatch doesn’t drain as well as some of the other infills. Because it’s made up of natural debris, thatch retains water and that will cause it to break down more quickly than some of the other products.
A Rubber Infill Option
Commercial properties favor crumb rubber as an infill because of its safety and cushion. It can be replaced easily at a reasonably low cost, requires little maintenance and lasts longer than some of the other infills. It is made from recycled rubber, like old tires, so it is considered environmentally sound.
This infill is generally not recommended for backyards in hot-weather areas because rubber retains heat and will make your entire yard hotter. It also isn’t the best option for those with small children and pets because the pieces are large enough to pull out from between the blades.
With the variety of artificial turf infill options, finding the best one for your use is a doable task. Consider your yard use, family members, and pets and prioritize your benefit preferences.
Learn more about installing artificial grass with IdealTurf of North Texas!