Synthetic Turf FAQ

Learn about synthetic turf's benefits, creation, and safety. Discover its low-maintenance appeal for sports and landscaping, including pet-friendly options.

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How is synthetic turf made?

Most synthetic turf systems installed today include a drainage layer, a multi-layered backing system, and resilient "grass" blades that are infilled with a granular filler to resemble natural turf. "Infilled" means that the man-made grass blades are interspersed with a topsoil created with antimicrobial sand or other infill materials that provide the necessary stability, uniformity, and resiliency. Each blade customarily stands above the infill material. The typical blade length and system characteristics are determined by the specific activity requirements. In some applications, the synthetic turf system includes a pad or elastic layer underneath the turf, often in combination with lower pile height and less infill.

How is the new generation of synthetic turf different from that of the past?

Increasing demand for high quality playing surfaces and intense competition for field accessibility has given rise to a new generation of synthetic turf systems that replicate the look and feel of lush, natural grass. While the first artificial turf systems used in the 1960s and 1970s were hard, significant advancements have been made during the past few decades. By the 1990s, the first synthetic turf systems with sand and rubber infill were introduced, which dramatically improved player performance and safety. Today's synthetic turf, used by many NFL franchises, as well as member associations and teams of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the International Rugby Board, and other international sports federations, combines the playing characteristics, look, and feel of natural turf, with the advantages of increased frequency of usage, extra revenue generation, safety, longer playing sessions, fewer canceled games, and lowest cost per playing day.

Is synthetic turf safe?

Turf Exchange Inc products are made with the highest safety standards for chemical makeup. Out of an abundance of caution and in recognition of public concerns, all Turf Exchange products are created without PFAS chemicals in any part of the manufacturing process, including raw ingredients and materials.More than 50 independent and credible studies from groups such as the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, and statewide governmental agencies such as the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, New York State Department of Health, and the California Environmental Protection Agency, have validated the safety of synthetic turf. Recent highlights include:

In October 2010, the California Office of Environmental Assessment completed its multi-year study of air quality above crumb rubber infilled synthetic turf, and bacteria in the turf, and reported that there were no public health concerns.

In July 2010, the Connecticut Department of Public Health announced that a new study of the risks to children and adults playing on synthetic turf fields containing crumb rubber infill shows "no elevated health risks.

”The California EPA released a report dated July 2009 which indicated there is a negligible human health risk from inhaling the air above synthetic turf.

Independent tests conducted by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and New York State Department of Health, released in May 2009, proved there were no significant health concerns at synthetic turf fields.

In July 2008, a U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission staff report approved the use of synthetic turf by children and people of all ages.

Can synthetic turf hold up under heavy use?

High-quality artificial grass can last up to 20 years with average use and regular cleaning maintenance. To back this up, TE offers a limited 16-year warranty on all landscape turf installed or sold from our company. Yes, one of the important advantages of synthetic turf is its ability to hold up under very heavy use. While natural turf shouldn’t be played on during or immediately after a rainstorm, after the application of pesticides and fertilizers, or during the months when grass doesn’t grow, synthetic turf is always ready for play. Regular maintenance is important to enable synthetic turf to withstand the heavy use that it is often subjected to.

Does synthetic turf fade?

Synthetic turf is U.V. stabilized to provide colorfastness, and the warranty typically includes a guarantee against fading for a certain number of years. Be aware of the relative impact that ultraviolet rays can have on the life of your field – the greater the intensity of the sunlight, the shorter the lifespan of the fiber. Ask the turf vendor for this information. A field in Texas will not last as long as the same field in Maine.

Is maintenance of synthetic turf required?

While much less time and money is required to maintain a synthetic turf sports field than a natural grass field, synthetic turf needs to be maintained to maximize playability and the life of the product. The STC's Guidelines for Maintenance of Infilled Synthetic Turf Sports Fields provides essential guidance on proper maintenance techniques and frequency. The Buyers' Guide and Member Directory will also guide you to specific service providers.

Is artificial turf good for dogs?

Artificial turf for dogs can provide several health benefits for pets, such as reduced exposure to harmful chemicals, allergens, and parasites that are often found in natural grass. It can also promote better hygiene and cleanliness by preventing mud, dirt, and pests from getting into the house. Also, artificial turf drains well when your pets urinate. We recommend flushing heavy urine areas with water occasionally.

Does artificial grass melt?

Yes. Synthetic turf melts at 175ºF or greater. Avoid using BBQs directly over your turf, and never pour boiling water onto the surface of your turf landscaping. If your house or business has double-paned windows installed, we recommend getting a UV filter applied to your windows before installing artificial turf as the glare from double-paned windows has a history of reaching high temperatures.

What is infill?

Infill refers to the products placed between the blades of an artificial turf lawn, filling in the otherwise empty spaces. Infill is traditionally made of sand, EDPM, or TPE. Infill primarily helps the turf blades maintain their upright position and shields the turf’s backing from the sun’s UV rays. It also helps give artificial grass the feeling of natural sod grass, with infill mimicking how soil absorbs impacts. Infill also weighs the turf down to prevent it from developing wrinkles, buckles, or ripples, extending the lifespan of your artificial grass.