As more homeowners choose artificial grass for a low-water, low-maintenance lawn, more questions are coming up about the specifics of synthetic turf. This is great, since the more we can help educate people about manufactured lawns, the more information they will have to determine if this is the right landscaping solution for them.
One of these questions that folks are starting to ask is, “Do I need infill for artificial grass?”
It is possible to have fake grass installed either with or without infill. Choosing to not include infill means an easier, faster installation process and less money out of pocket, since you are not paying for the infill material or application. Infill application is among the last steps of an artificial grass installation, and you may notice that your grass already looks great and wonder why you need infill at all.
Plus, some folks have heard the stories about certain infill products making grass hotter, getting stuck on their kids socks and clothes, and maybe even causing some health concerns.
Let’s address this last part before we go any further: Crumb rubber is often used in sports fields and larger grass installation and is the infill material that is implicated in all of these concerns about increased heat, having little black dots stuck all over your clothes and possibly having health implications.
What you need to know here is that the crumb rubber in question is made from recycled car and truck tires. It is great that folks have found a way to recycle tires that would otherwise end up in a landfill, but it does not take much imagination to see how this material could contain harmful substances, get hotter than other options and stick to your clothes. We do not use crumb rubber, and we do not recommend using crumb rubber as artificial grass infill for residential applications.
We use DURAFILL, which you can learn more about here.
So, now that you know you do not want crumb rubber infill, let’s look at why you may or may not want another infill material installed.
Three Reasons to Not Use Artificial Grass Infill
There are only a couple of reasons that someone might not want to use infill and plenty of reasons why we recommend using it in every installation.
Let’s start with the three reasons you might not want it:
1. Installations with no infill are less expensive.
2. Installations with no infill are faster and easier.
3. If you are just covering a patio or deck for aesthetic purposes, you may not care how the grass feels or functions.
The health concerns issue is not a reason to list, because we have already covered the particular type of infill that is in question, have noted that we definitely do not recommend it for residential installations, and hope that you have already crossed that one of your list of options.
5 Reasons You Need Artificial Grass Infill
Now let’s go over the five main reasons that, yes, you really do need artificial grass infill for the longevity of your lawn and for your enjoyment of it.
1. Infill is used to weigh down your grass, which helps ensure that your lawn will not wrinkle or sag.
2. Infill plays an important role in helping your blades stand upright and bounce back when walked on to avoid a flattening effect.
3. Artificial grass infill is what gives your manufactured lawn the soft, cushiony feel of walking on real grass.
4. The impact absorption offered by infill makes it safer for you, your family and your pets.
5. Adding infill to a synthetic turf installation helps protect the backing material from activity and the environment, which can extend the life of your lawn.
So, to review, infill helps maintain your lawn’s integrity, attractiveness, and longevity, while making it safer, softer and more resilient to heavy traffic.
You can work with your installer to see just how much infill you need and to see if you might be able to save some money by using less (depending on the intended use of your lawn), but you do need infill and should include that in your budget for your artificial grass installation.