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Sand and Infill

Of all of the elements of the artificial grass install, few are as important or as misunderstood as the application of infill.

The infill is the final “part” to be attached to the installation. In most instances it is silica sand poured onto and sifted into the blades of the turf.

The silica sand used is more “pure” than run-of-the-mill sand purchased at the hardware store for your kid’s sandbox or of the type used in the production of concrete. Silica sand granules are close to being perfectly round and easier (more likely) to be sifted to the bottom of the blades and onto the base of the turf.

The application of sand does two things:

  • It holds the turf in position.
  • Makes the individual blades of grass stand upright.

By weighing down the turf, this allows the glue to take hold and supplements the holding power of the stakes driven into the turf.  The whole package keeps the turf from shifting and allows it to feel firm as the real grass it replaces.

Raking in the sand makes it sink to the bottom of the installation.  Hundreds of pounds of sand are used on each installation.

Making the blades of grass stand up not only makes the close-up appearance look real, it also makes the “step-back” look of the turf look real.  You have to see it to appreciate it.

The Grass Queen

How to Measure Turf

Just as you might choose a diamond for color, cut and clarity, artificial turf and grass products are measured and defined by different characteristics. There are four basic measures of the quality and type of turf:

  • Pile height
  • Face weight
  • Color
  • Yarn type

Pile height is the height of the actual blades of “grass” in inches. They vary in size from 0.5 inches to 2.5 inches. The shorter lengths are used for putting greens; the longer versions for pet turf and lawn applications.

Face weight is the weight in ounces of a square yard of the product. Like carpet, the grade varies with application and ranges from 40 ounce to 120 ounce, with 60 ounce being typical.

Colors are as varied as “real” turf. There are many different colors, mostly variations of green, but the most common are:

  • Field green
  • Grass green
  • Olive green
  • Lime green

Some varieties of turf will include more than one color, depending on the natural turf they are mimicking.

Yarn type is the description of the blades. Most are Polyethylene variants that includes types that are labeled monofilament and slit film. Thatch is the textured yarn within the blades.

Consider your application carefully and, as you would in choosing a carpet or floor covering, consider wear patterns, usage and aesthetics.

The Grass Queen