As parents in Atlanta considering artificial grass for your children’s play space, one of the most important decisions you’ll make is which infill to use. Infill is what gives artificial turf its realistic look, feel and performance. It also provides cushioning, protects grass fibers, and stabilizes the surface.
However, not all infill options are equally suitable for areas where kids play and pets roam. This guide will explain what infill is and highlight the best options to keep your little ones safe.
What Is Artificial Grass Infill and Why It Matters
Infill refers to the material that goes between the blades of artificial grass to support the upright fibers. It’s usually comprised of sand, rubber or other aggregates that act as a cushion.
The infill provides stability underfoot, protects the turf fibers from excessive wear, reflects heat, and gives the grass system a natural, lush appearance. The right infill also allows the artificial lawn to handle activity without getting compacted.
For play areas, infill safety should be the number one priority. The material can directly impact the risk of abrasions, allergies, skin irritation, and even burns. Kids spend hours tumbling, digging, and rolling on the turf surface. Babies and pets are prone to ingesting bits of infill when they play.
So you want an option that’s perfectly child and pet-friendly. An ideal infill for playgrounds should also inhibit bacterial growth, reduce odors, and be easy to clean and maintain over time.
Recommended Infill Options for Kids’ Play Spaces
Silica sand infill is a naturally occurring sand with high silica levels that lends good traction. It doesn’t compact easily under active play and allows the turf blades to remain upright. Silica drains well and reduces heat retention. It’s an affordable option suitable for play areas, pet yards, and landscapes on a budget. Just ensure the product is lead-free to keep kids safe when they inevitably get the sand on their hands and feet.
Coated sand infill takes standard silica sand and coats it lightly with a flexible non-toxic acrylic polymer. This protects kids by preventing dust inhalation and abrasions from regular sand. It also minimizes compaction and resists bacteria and odor better than regular sand. Ideal for playgrounds and pet areas.
Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM) is a type of recycled rubber made from car and truck tires. The bright colored EPDM granules provide excellent shock absorption for playgrounds. It also offers great acoustic properties to reduce noise. EPDM infill is non-toxic, lead-free, and relatively low cost. It lasts over 15 years with proper care. Just ensure you source high-quality EPDM certified safe for child play areas.
Thermoplastic Elastomer (TPE) infill is environmentally-friendly, utilizing recycled post-consumer and post-industrial plastic waste. Its non-abrasive texture makes TPE infill safe for children, while providing unparalleled durability and resilience. TPE also limits bacterial growth, resists static build-up, and endures extreme weather fluctuations between hot summers and cold winters here in Atlanta. It’s costlier than rubber but ideal for schools, parks, and home play areas.
Some artificial grass manufacturers now offer lightweight organic infill options like cork oak granules or coconut husks. These make a good choice for parents wanting a 100% natural and non-toxic infill. The organic materials also retain less heat compared to rubber and plastic options. Just be aware that organic infill usually costs more while breaking down faster. Proper maintenance is key to longevity.
Keeping Your Kids’ Safety the Top Priority
The infill options above strike the best balance between safety, performance, and affordability for artificial grass play spaces. Ensure any product you choose has proper certification for child safety. This ensures lead-free, non-toxic, and non-allergenic materials ideal for sensitive young skin.
Also prioritize how well the infill stands up to foot traffic and resists bacterial odors over time, especially with pets frequenting the area. Lastly, proper drainage and heat mitigation will keep play comfortable year-round.
As Atlanta’s leading artificial grass provider, we offer FREE consultations to discuss your family’s needs. Our installation crews are fully trained on creating the safest play spaces for kids and pets. Contact us today by calling 408-317-0931 or messaging us to schedule a quote! We look forward to making your dream turf area a fun reality.