If you’ve already chosen an artificial grass for your project, congratulations! Now onto the next big decision: What kind of infill do you need?
First off, let’s talk about why infill is important. It serves three primary purposes:
- To protect the primary backing from UV exposure
- To add weight
- To add ballast
Depending on the type of project, around 1-2 pounds of infill per square foot should be enough to do the job. But what kind of infill should you use?
At Purchase Green, we offer a few different options for infill. Let’s break them down.
Silica sand is the most basic option. It’s a high-quality infill, but doesn’t have all the fancy features the others do. It does what infill is made to do: support the blades and prevent matting. Silica sand is often used for putting greens and aesthetic installations where pets and kids won’t be playing often. It is, however, the most cost-effective option at $8.50 per 50-pound bag.
Zeolite is used as an infill for pet applications, primarily for its odor reducing capabilities.
Zeolite is a negatively charged, honeycomb-shaped molecular structure which absorbs liquids and gases like a magnet to prevent ammonia from forming a gas. (The ammonia buildup in pet urine is what you typically associate with the smell.) This molecular structure holds the ammonia until the sodium ions found in rain water release the magnetic ability which forces the odor causing bacteria down into the ground ultimately “flushing out” the ammonia smell. The purity rate is the key component in the ability of the Zeolite infill to perform its intended function as an artificial grass infill.
A maintenance item to pay attention to when using a Zeolite infill is that it is best NOT to flush your turf from a garden hose when using zeolite for urine odor control because the hose water is usually filtered and will end up being encapsulated in the Zeolite granule in lieu of the urine.
This option is also popular with pet owners, but requires additional antiseptic treatment from time to time to keep it free of microbes. Zeolite runs $15 per 50-pound bag.
HeroFill & MellowFill
HeroFill and MellowFill are considered premium-grade because of the many functions they pack. They are the most popular for putting greens and pet areas. They’re also the most expensive – around $23 per 50-pound bag.
MellowFill is infused with anti-fungal protection. This fungistatic agent inhibits growth of mildew and algae. This product’s unique biocide chemistry controls odors caused by mildew, mold fungus, and algae and significantly reduces the odor caused by ammonia buildup in pet urine. This is our highest-quality infill option so it is a little pricier than our other options. MellowFill also keeps artificial grass cooler to the touch than other infills such as crumb rubber and silica sand.
MellowFill prevents the ammonia buildup in pet urine while Zeolite simply “captures” the ammonia and then releases it when it rains. Additionally, any impurities in rain or hose water will reduce the effectiveness of Zeolite. So will a lack of rain.
While Zeolite is effective at reducing pet odor, because of its mesh size it tends to be more susceptible to compaction than MellowFill and is not as effective at providing ballast.
There are a lot of infill varieties to choose from, but we believe MellowFill is the best product with its long list of amazing features.