Should I Infill My Artificial Grass With Sand?
Artificial Grass Discussion

Should I Infill My Artificial Grass With Sand?

March 10th 2022

What is a sand infill?

Infilling artificial grass involves spreading a kiln-dried sand across the newly laid lawn and using a stiff brush to work the sand in to the base and lift the grass fibres upright. 

When artificial grass was first used for sports pitches, adding a sand or rubber crumb infill was standard practice to provide longevity of the pitch and give a more natural bounce. When artificial grass started to become popular for domestic applications, the infilling process was adopted also. 

Over the years, the need to infill artificial grass has become a topic of debate. With advances in technology and design, and with installers looking to reduce costs, there are arguments for and against infilling.  

In this article, we will look at the pros and cons of infilling with sand. 

The benefits of a sand infill 

Adding a kiln-dried sand (or silica sand) does provide many advantages. 

The main benefit, is that the sand helps to support the grass fibres, keeping them upright for a better-looking lawn. The added durability and longevity sand infilling gives to your new investment is well worth it, as you will have a lawn which can withstand more traffic and look beautiful for longer thanks to the pile being held upright and reduced flattening. 

Additionally, sand is heavy, and this added weight helps to keep the grass in place. By keeping the grass weighed down flat to the foundations, it reduces the chance of the grass lifting and shifting from heavy traffic or rippling due to expansion and contraction during the Summer months. 

When the Sun is at its hottest, a sand infill can also help to keep your lawn cooler by deflecting some of the sunlight and reducing the amount of heat absorbed. 

Bizarrely, artificial grass thefts are a thing, so the added weight of sand across your turf will provide security against this happening to you. 

 A sand infill also provides better fire resistance, reducing the spread of fire across your lawn should a nearby BBQ tip over for instance. Hopefully this never happens, but it could make all the difference if there is an accident. 

Arguments against infilling 

A sand infill does add another cost to the install, although it isn’t generally a huge amount in the overall project. 

Similarly, there is an element of extra effort that goes alongside. Brushing the sand in to the grass is a good work out. You can make the job easier by hiring a power-brush from a local tool hire shop which does speed up the job and gives a professional finish. 

It is argued that the sand can block the drainage holes which are perforated in to the underside of the grass, potentially causing rainwater to drain slower. 

Although a sand infill helps to protect the base of the artificial grass from dogs trying to have a dig, that particular pet-friendly benefit could be outweighed by the sand infill potentially holding some of the moisture from pet wee. 

There is also an added element of upkeep in that sand will need to be topped up every so often due to it gradually washing away – particularly where hosing down the grass. 

Some suppliers claim that a sand infill is only necessary for inferior grasses, which is not entirely un-true, but even our super-dense grasses such as Buxton and Bakewell which have some of the highest stitches per m² on the market can still benefit from the added protection of a sand infill.  

Conclusion 

There are certainly a lot of genuine benefits to adding a sand infill which helps with the appearance and longevity of the lawn, but it ultimately boils down to personal preference, the practicalities of the install and how the artificial lawn will be used. 

As a very rough rule of thumb; pet owners who have incorporated a more porous sub-base to aid with drainage to help flush away odours are probably best avoiding a sand infill, whereas families that expect their lawn to take an extra beating from the kids may choose to infill with sand to help provide additional protection and longevity. 

Each situation is unique and there isn’t a one rule fits all approach. If you are unsure as to whether a sand infill is right for you; wait. See how the grass handles the wear and tear, and if you feel it would benefit from a sprucing of sand, then it can always be brushed in afterwards. 

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