Whether it is for lowering maintenance costs or reducing water bills, artificial grass has gained great popularity over natural grass. More and more people are turning to artificial turf for the consistent, beautiful look it provides, thanks to the numerous components that make artificial turf look and feel incredibly realistic.
What is Artificial Grass Infill?
Infill normally refers to the products that are placed in between the blades or fibers of artificial turf, or the synthetic grass blades. Infill helps maintain the look of synthetic grass but also helps give it the feel of natural grass.
If you are installing artificial turf you will need to decide what kind of infill will be used. There are many options when choosing an infill, but sand is perhaps the best choice for most artificial grass applications.
Sand infill for artificial grass absorbs shock, deters bacteria, and provides the same durability as crumb rubber, making it a great solution for playgrounds, pet areas, and yards.
Why Sand is Better
Considering the various types of infill available and the qualities all of them will bring to your yard of artificial turf, the better choice is clearly a sand infill. One should simply look at the economic and physical benefits of using a sand infill to see why this is the better choice over rubber.
Benefit of Sand Infill
1. Holds Grass Upright
The first benefit is that a sand infill will hold your artificial lawn in position. Believe it or not, once a sand infill has been installed to an artificial lawn, it adds a lot of weight to it. The sand infill acts like ballast; it weighs down the grass and prevents it from being lifted. This benefit becomes more obvious over time. It slows the process of your lawn becoming flattened through walking.
2. Prevents Rippling
Artificial grass can expand when subjected to sunshine during the summer months and also contract during cooler periods. This slight movement can potentially result in ripples or ridges appearing in your artificial lawn. The additional weight will also prevent your artificial lawn from rippling as it expands and contracts, and will ensure that your grass lies flat on the ground without ridges appearing in your lawn.
3. Increases Fire Resistance
One of the things you should be looking for when choosing an artificial grass is that it has been tested and certified as being fire resistant. Unfortunately fires do happen and, should the worst happen, you’ll want the peace of mind that a fire cannot spread to your artificial lawn. Adding a sand infill will also help to increase the fire resistance of your artificial lawn
4. Improves Drainage
Another reason to install a sand infill is for drainage. If you look at the backing of artificial grass you will notice drainage holes that will allow rainfall to drain away through your fake lawn. During periods of torrential rainfall the presence of sand will act as a filter, regulating the flow of water through your lawn. This slower speed will make it easier for the sub grade to cope with heavy amounts of rainfall without causing flooding.
5. Stays Cooler
Sand infill reflects sunlight, instead of absorbing it. This helps to keep your artificial grass cool, even on those hot summer days. Couple this with premier-quality artificial grass made with technology to dissipate heat and you can enjoy a cool lawn all year round.
6. Protects the Backing
When a sand infill is applied to artificial grass, it should be brushed into the turf with either a stiff broom or a mechanical brush. This enables the sand to fall to the bottom of the pile. The sand will then rest on the backing, protecting it from damage. This is a very important benefit if you have a dog or a cat that likes to dig.
7. Helps Prevent Weeds
To combat weeds, there are now weed-free silica sands available on the market that will help prevent the growth of unwanted weeds. This form of sand has a naturally alkaline mixture of nutrient-poor minerals that keep weeds at bay without the need for chemical weedkillers.
Sand infills range in price, with Durafill typically being the most expensive and Silica sand being more affordable. However, these two will provide a high-quality infill that, despite the price, will not need to be replaced frequently because of wear, liquid saturation, or odors. It provides exceptional value up front.
What Type of Sand Should be Used?
Silica sand, or kiln-dried sand, as it’s also known, is a very fine sand. Because it’s very fine, once it’s been applied and brushed in to your artificial lawn, the tiny grains of sand will find their way to the bottom of the pile and rest on the latex backing. This will ensure that it’s the grass, not the sand, that can be seen and it will provide your lawn with all the great benefits we listed above.
How do You Spread Sand on Artificial Grass?
The first rule to remember is that it’s extremely important that you install the sand infill when your artificial grass is completely dry and free from moisture, otherwise the sand will clump together.
There are two ways the sand can be spread on the artificial grass:
- The quickest method of spreading the sand infill is by using 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.
The next step is to brush the artificial grass. The brushing process will enable the sand to fall through the fibers and settle at the bottom of the pile. Any excess surface sand can be removed with a leaf blower.
How Much Sand Infill Should You Install on Your Artificial Lawn?
We recommend applying approximately 4kg of sand per square meter of artificial grass. This will be enough to weigh down your artificial grass and prolong its lifespan.
Will Sand Infill Stick to My Feet?
You won’t have any problem with sand being walked out of the grass, as it’s covered by the fibers. The sand will sit below the surface of the thatch, resting on the latex backing. When you walk on the artificial turf, your feet are in contact with the artificial fibers and not the sand.
Consumers have many options when it comes to choosing an infill for their artificial turf. Naturally, value and quality will be two factors that influence the buying decision and with these two factors in mind, sand infill is clearly the better choice. In contrast to rubber infill, sand infill will provide the artificial turf with a shock absorbing, bacteria-deterring, durable, and pet-friendly infill to keep the grass blades standing up tall and looking authentic.