Homeowners decide to install artificial lawns for many reasons, but typically chief among them is the low maintenance requirement. Despite its undemanding nature, though, there are still a few things you need to do to maintain your synthetic turf’s shape and beauty.
One of the biggest aspects of artificial turf maintenance involves installing turf infill. Infill is material homeowners use to support the turf fibers, and add weight, and additional protection to their artificial turf at large.
There are many different varieties of infill available, and each serves its own purpose depending on the application you’re using your turf for, but one option we are routinely asked about is sand infill. In this blog post, we’ve outlined the pros and cons of using sand infill to help you decide whether this is an excellent fit for your needs.
What is Sand Infill?
With time, artificial turf blades may curve and lose their structure. Because of this, homeowners use sand infill to correct the stance of each grass blade.
Several types of sand infill are currently available in the market, but the most commonly used by many homeowners is silica sand.
Silica sand is a type of hard, round sand derived from quartz. This artificial sand is highly durable compared to other infill options. Silica sand infill, or simply sand infill, is relatively easy to find and inexpensive, although sand infill has its criticisms.
You should consider the pros and cons of using sand infill if you plan on installing it.
What Are the Benefits of Using Sand Infill?
Added Weight Prevents Rippling
If you live in an area with high temperatures, you know that artificial turf can sometimes appear rippled. Artificial turf expands when subjected to high heat, which is particularly evident during the summer season.
By adding sand infill, you’ll provide extra weight to keep your turf straight and look fresh all year long.
Artificial turf made of nylon or polyethylene can be a fire hazard. In case of accidental fires, these materials can quickly ignite and cause significant damage to your property.
Using sand infill will improve the safety of your artificial lawn from fire hazards. This is because sand (whether natural or artificial) has fire-resistant properties and can stop the spread of fire.
Perhaps the biggest pro! Artificial turf lawns save homeowners time and money over the long run, so if you’re on a budget when it comes to the infill as well, sand infill is often less expensive than other materials such as Zeolite and MellowFill. All while performing its job to perfection.
Sand, especially silica sand, is very easy to find online and in-store. Lawn care stores, dedicated artificial turf stores, and home improvement retailers alike will typically have sand infill in stock.
Its affordability, durability, and accessibility make sand infill popular for every artificial lawn owner. With sand infill, you won’t need to change them because they are mostly resistant to strong elements.
Can Prevent Weed Growth
Sometimes airborne seeds are deposited between the blades of your artificial grass, meaning the potential for intrusive weed growth is ever-present. However, certain varieties of artificial turf sand infill are actually created specifically to combat this.
Kiln-dried sands composed of nutrient-poor materials will not grant these intruders the sustenance they require to grow, stopping the problem before it ever starts.
What Are the Disadvantages of Sand Infill?
Sand infill is not always suitable for every application. Here are some disadvantages of using sand as a synthetic turf infill:
Can Be Messy
Although sand infill comes with various benefits for artificial turf, it can also be a messy option. Sand is generally a loose material that can be easily carried and spread by strong winds.
Furthermore, it’s also easy for it to attach to pet fur and skin. Because of this, it might not be the best option for pet turf applications, as you might see specks spread into your home or indoor facilities.
Traps Pet Odors
If there are pets that regularly frequent your artificial turf, sand infill tends to trap these odors as well as pet urine. You will have to take steps to regularly deodorize your artificial turf so this does not become an issue.
Can Clog Drainage
Artificial turf obviously doesn’t need watering. However, they are made with a holed backing to protect the synthetic grass blades from water damage.
If you live in an area with frequent rainfalls, water can quickly build up on your turf, and with a sand infill, it can usually clog the draining hole. This can cause waterlogging, which can ruin your artificial grass.
Lastly, some people may experience allergic reactions when exposed to sand infill. Depending on the type of sand used in artificial turf, some sand-based infill types are prone to developing mold. Silica-coated sand options have also been known to create silica dust, which has been shown to lead to health concerns for those who have prolonged exposure.
Overall, sand infill is a great option for an affordable and long-lasting artificial turf lawn. However, it’s essential to consider its disadvantages before purchasing one for your home or business property.
How to Install Sand Infill on Your Artificial Grass Turf
Applying artificial grass sand infill is very straightforward. Once the turf is properly installed, you will need to use two tools to ensure an even sand infill distribution.
- A drop spreader
- A push broom
You will use the drop spreader to install the infill between artificial grass blades. After this, you will use a push broom to distribute your infill throughout your artificial lawn evenly.
Conclusion: What is The Best Type of Sand for Artificial Turf?
Protecting and maintaining your artificial turf involves choosing an infill that suits your preference, needs, and budget. Your decision will always boil down to the infill’s pros and cons. In most cases, if a customer is interested in utilizing sand infill for their artificial turf installation, we actually end up recommending Envirofill infill, which is a sand-based infill alternative that brings you many of the same benefits but without some of the cons that silica-coated sand carries, like health risks due to silica dust.
If sand infill sounds like the perfect solution for your artificial turf project, contact us to get started!