The turf industry is always evolving and Envirofill is no stranger to evolution; it was created as a refreshingly progressive alternative to traditional raw sand infill, with a focus on safety, sanitation, and sustainability.
So, what are the latest, cutting-edge trends in landscape turf? Before we dive into the newest trends in synthetic turf landscaping, let’s take a quick look back at some of the industry’s most notable changes and best innovations from decades past.
The past, present, and future of artificial turf
Synthetic turf gained popularity in the 1960s, and since then, it’s been reimagined and improved upon continually. In its early days, artificial grass landscaping was made from Nylon, and to put it bluntly, looked very fake. Furthermore, until recent times, artificial turf infill was made from often non-traceable materials like crumb rubber and raw silica sand.
Compare that image to today’s modern turf systems, which almost always appear natural, vibrant, and full, with an authentic feel underfoot. And nowadays, thanks to industry pioneers like the makers of Envirofill and Safeshell, it’s easy to source and install high-performance, nontoxic turf infill and alleviate health concerns of the past. It’s clear to see how far the artificial grass landscaping industry has come. But what do the present and future landscapes of synthetic turf look like?
Current trends in synthetic turf
One of the industry’s most popular and fastest-growing trends these days is the creation of denser, taller turf systems that achieve a lusher aesthetic and feel. And this trend makes complete sense. By increasing the height and density of the turf carpet, installers are bettering the appearance and quality of their synthetic turf systems.
Traditionally, landscape turf was installed with an average face weight of 50-60 ounces. Face weight is a measurement that refers to the weight of turf pile per square yard and mainly consists of turf blades and thatch. The face weight impacts the appearance and consistency of the turf surface in the same way that the number of trees in a particular forest determines its conditions and aesthetics.
Lately, landscape turf installers are increasing the face weight of their systems to 70-120 ounces in order to improve the density, texture, look, and feel. You can think of it as adding double the amount of trees to the forest.
Pictured side by side for face weight comparison: 50-60oz turf versus 70-120oz turf
How are turf installers adapting to and meeting the infill requirements for this trend?
By using Envirofill 16/30 which installs more easily into the turf. Envirofill 16/30 sieve size translates to faster installation times and turf infill that’s easier to work into the taller denser turf fibers. Artificial turf installers prefer Envirofill for installation because with it’s 100% encapsulated acrylic coating and prop 65 labelling exemption, they are not inhaling toxic dust and harmful chemicals which can be found in other infills. And with an identical bulk density, Envirofill 12/20 and Envirofill 16/30 can be installed interchangeably at the same application rate. So if you are installing Envirofill in a highly dense turf carpet, you will benefit from installing 16/30, with no additional infill product necessary. For a quick guide on Envirofill infill sieve sizes and when to use what product, read this blog.
Infill installation in denser taller turf
Denser turf tends to be taller, and it is important to note that with a taller turf carpet, you need more infill in order to create the sought-after fuller turf profile the industry is leaning towards. Many installers in the industry underestimate the amount of infill they will need, and with a taller turf carpet, the turf fibers do not appear as lush and tall without the proper amount of infill. Refer to the chart below to see how much infill you would need to install depending upon the height and application of the turf.
Install the same amount of 16/30 as you would 12/20.