Infill Or Non-infill Artificial Grass, Which Is Better?

Do I need infill for my artificial grass, do you have non-infill artificial grass? Infill or non-infill, which one is better? These are the questions we are asked frequently. Generally speaking, no mater for play areas or football fields, we always recommend using infill for the traditional artificial grass to add stability, resistance, and durability. But In some situations, you do not need to use infill, and we do have artificial grass that does not need any infills (Especially the grass that was originally developed as professional non-infill artificial grass). This article will tell you why you need infill, and in which situation you do not need infill.

Below is a list of all the topics we will cover in this post. Go ahead and click on any of these links, and you’ll be taken to that specific section.

Why use infill for artificial grass?

First of all, we should understand why to use artificial grass infill (quartz sand, crumb rubber, or both)

  1. Infill provides a structure for the artificial grass fibers, helping the fibers to stand. The fibers of an artificial turf naturally lay “flat” without the infill material if the artificial grass has no frizzy fibers in the root. For most products, even the artificial grass with thatch can not stand very well without infill.
  2. Infill provides a “cushion” effect when stepping over the turf. This protects the roots of the fibers and at the same time adding resilience to the whole artificial turf system. Normally infilled artificial grass system could take more traffic than a non-infill artificial grass system under the same condition.
  3. Infill protects the primary backing from UV exposure. For the traditional football turf, or artificial grass with thatch but pile less than 30mm, the yarn can not cover the primary backing completely. Infill protects the primary backing from UV exposure and it helps to extend the useful life of your artificial grass product.

In the pictures above, the left one is one of our non-infill artificial turfs, and the right one needs infill. The fibers of the second artificial turf will stay flat without infill.

What is non-infill artificial grass?

Our non-infill artificial grass refers to those artificial grass with frizzy fibers(also known as thatch); narrow-gauge (distance between rows); and high stitch rate. The frizzy fibers are working similarly as infills to support the grass to stand, and to provide appropriate resilience.

So there are three obvious key factors for the non-infill artificial grass: 

  • With thatch in the root zone
  • Narrow gauge, normally the gauge less than 3/8inch
  • High stitch rate

Even three factors are listed above, there are no exact technical data to define which artificial grass needs an infill, and which no need. Just keep this in mind: the non-infill turf should be dense enough, flexible enough,  and can endure enough traffic. 

Does artificial grass with thatch mean non-infill artificial grass?

You may find most of the landscape artificial grass products are made with thatch at the root. As we mentioned above, for the artificial turf with thatch, The frizzy fibers can support the straight fibers keep standing up. If so all of them are non-infill artificial turfs?

No, Artificial grass with thatch ≠ Non-infill artificial grass

Some artificial grass is made with thatch, but the fibers can not stand up very well as the density is not high enough. The turf surface goes “flat” easily when you impose pressure upon the surface. This kind of product is not non-infill artificial grass. We recommend infilling some silica sand into these kinds of artificial grass products to keep the system more stable, flexible, and durable.

Infill or without infill, How to decide?

Infill or non-infill, it depends on the conditions of your project. 

1. Landscape and play areas:

If just for landscape and no traffic or no much traffic on the turf, you can use all the products we recommend without any infill.

If high traffic areas, we would advise you always to use silica sand fill. Ultimately, it increases the lifespan of the artificial grass system. Meanwhile, the process is not complicated. Using a common drop spreader or cast spreader to infill the sand. Once the material is spread over the artificial grass, then brush the sand into the fibers with a stiff bristle broom. You may need to hire a brush machine to infill the artificial grass for a larger project.

However, even for high traffic areas, you might want to consider a non-infilled artificial grass for the following applications:

  • Your yard contains severe slopes (gradual slopes are fine).
  • You want a play area for the kids and pets.
  • You want to put artificial grass around the swimming pool.

In these situations, you can use our non-infill artificial grass. As defined above, the artificial grass made with thatch, narrow gauge, and extremely high density. 

Without infills, kids can tumble down the rolling hills in the backyard, no fear that they will put the rubber granules or sands into the mouth. It’s safer for pets without an increase in surface temperature. Heavy foot traffic is not a problem and you never have to worry about maintenance due to infill. Non-infill artificial grass is also ideal for pool surroundings or indoor applications. No infill will get caught in your pool filters. And no mess when using it indoors.

2. Football fields

Almost all traditional football grass needs silica sand and crumb rubber as infills. The fibers of a football grass naturally lay “flat” without the infill materials. Silica sands and rubber granules work together to provide a stable and flexible surface.

Sand and rubber infill stabilize and support the system

The fibers of a football grass naturally lay “flat” without the infill materials

SILICA SAND

  • Stabilizes and supports the system.
  • Environmentally beneficial.
  • Accounts for 70% of total infill weight.

RUBBER GRANULE

  • Provide a softer artificial football grass surface and give bounce.
  • Rounded granules resist floating or displacement in high-use areas.
  • Environmentally beneficial.
  • Accounts for 30% of total infill weight.

Non-infill Football Grass

Our non-infill football turf combines the newest and most revolutionary yarn and tuft design to create high quality, low maintenance, football pitch of the highest standard. Laid onto a shock pad (optional but recommended), it does not require sand or rubber infill which means faster installation, and less maintenance. Shorter blades make it ideal for multi-sport pitches, training pitches, and smaller pitches such as 5-a-side.

We have almost the best non-infill football grass on the market. Different models are available for choice. Please contact us for more details.

Will the non-infill artificial grass provides enough resilience?

As mentioned above, one of the functions of infill is to provide a “cushion” effect. We have explained that the “thatch” grass plays a similar role in non-infill grass, but is it enough?

If a 5-a-side, 3-a-side practice football field for practice, the non-infill football grass itself will perform well. If for landscape and pool surroundings, it is quite OK. But if you need extra resilience and better protection for a professional football pitch or playground, we recommend you add a layer of shock pad beneath the non-infill artificial grass.

Accessories

Shock Pad

Different types of shock pad are available for choice. Please contact us for more details.

Conclusion:

For landscape, we recommend using sand infill the provide a better performance and longer lifespan. If just for decoration, pool surrounding, rooftop, and no much traffic, it is ok to not use infill.

For play areas, we recommend infilling some silica sand to make the system more, stable, durable, and flexible. Meanwhile, we have very dense artificial grass products that can be used for a playground without infill. If you need to make sure of the resilience, we recommend adding a layer of the shock pad.

For a football project, we always recommend using infilled football grass for professional performance. But for a 5-a-side, 3-a-side, or indoor project, our non-infill football grass is an ideal choice.

For other applications, we suggest you consult with an installer or contact us for more details.