DIY Turf Blog

Learn How Artificial Turf Has Changed From Its Past Designs


The artificial turf industry has gone through massive changes since it was first used on athletic fields in the 1960’s. Today’s synthetic grass looks and feels more natural and is safer for you and your family than ever before.


Old Days, Old Ways

In the old days, artificial turf was short and resembled an outdoor carpet. While it was durable, it didn’t look or feel natural. A thick rubber backing was underneath. It absorbed pressure from foot traffic and falls and stabilized the turf against the ground, but also trapped moisture and odors.

While synthetic turf was used on athletic fields and playgrounds, the fact it didn’t look or feel natural made it impractical for residential use.

More than all of the lacking in aesthetics, the old artificial grass contained lead. We know now how dangerous that is to people, pets, and children.

Modern Artificial Turf Products

Today’s artificial turf is made of nylon and polyethylene. Not only is this combination safer, it makes for beautiful blades that look and feel like real grass. Modern artificial grass contains both long and short blades in its installation, so it looks like the real thing. The new grasses come in a variety of greens, so you can get a lawn that fits the landscape. It feels great on bare feet too!

The new artificial grass is more durable than past generations too. They will not fade, wear and can’t be easily destroyed by pet digging or children’s rough play. The new products are so well made that most come with a 10-year-warranty.

Infill Changes

Another change in modern artificial turf installations is the infill. Instead of a rubber backing that didn’t allow for proper drainage, today’s infills promote flow and drainage. Your dog can use the bathroom and you can easily wash it away, knowing it isn’t going to get trapped underneath.

Infills now come in crumb rubber, natural infills from organic materials like leaves, silicon sand, acrylic coated sand and new environmentally-friendly infills that prevent bacteria from spreading and, with some products, even claim to kill it.

The new environmental infills are sand-based, but are round, soft and have anti-microbial coatings that don’t absorb liquids. These changes mean that homeowners now have solid options for artificial grass that are pet and kid-friendly.

All of these artificial turf infills are in smaller pieces, allowing for proper drainage. The backing of today’s synthetic grass is a mesh material, allowing rain and other liquid to pass through to the infill. So, you will be left with pools of water over your yard. That means a more natural yard for you and your family.

Proper drainage also allows for easier cleaning than ever before, as today’s grass is low maintenance. A spray hose works well for areas where the grass was trampled by heavy traffic or areas where pets left a mess.

Modern artificial turf has so many advancements that it is well worth it for homeowners to check out. You will be surprised and pleased with your options.