DIY Turf Blog

Infill Options: Where the Rubber Meets the Road, er, Grass


Among the most frequently asked questions we hear from DIYers are:

“Crumb rubber infill? What’s that?”

“What’s it do and why would I need it?”

“Where the heck do I get it?”









While there’s nothing very appealing about the term crumb rubber, the fact is that the substance itself has many attractive benefits and innovative uses, not only in the synthetic turf grass industry but also in applications like playground mulch, sports tracks, mats and field surfaces, and in a wide variety of molded and extruded products, from children’s rubber toys to surgical gloves to food packaging.

Crumb rubber is simply rubber that has been ground or otherwise reduced to a specified particle size, as measured by passing it through a mesh screen or sieve. Almost all crumb rubber is made from recycled automotive and truck tires from which the metal, fabric and other unwanted materials have been removed. A single reclaimed passenger tire generates 10-12 pounds of crumb rubber. The use of crumb rubber in commercial products offers enormous environmental advantages, saving millions of used tires from ending up in stockpiles or landfills. According to the Rubber Manufacturers Association, almost 90 percent of the scrap tires generated in the United States (more than 265 million!) are recycled and reused.

Clean crumb rubber is used to improve the mechanical performance and aesthetic qualities of many materials. Depending upon the requirements of the specific application, crumb rubber additives can enhance resilience; aid drainage; create sound, water or vapor barriers; increase cushioning and non-skid properties for improved safety; reduce cure time; reduce weight; improve surface texture and color retention; and more.

Crumb rubber is a popular infill option for synthetic lawns, golf courses and playing fields because it increases resilience, durability and safety. Homeowners often choose to include crumb rubber in the infill mix because it improves drainage, dries quickly, reduces dust and mud, and creates a “springy” surface that feels more like natural grass. And it’s been critically examined and studied since the late 1980s and has been proven to be safe for children and people of all ages. It’s even pet friendly!

That last question is really easy to answer. Artificial Turf Express supplies crumb rubber and other industry-standard infill materials, along with everything else you need for a professional-looking DIY installation. We can help you decide which products are best for your specific area and type of installation, calculate how much to buy, and answer any questions you may have. To speak to a technical advisor, just give us a call at 408.413.3179.

We’re here to make it easy and cost-effective for you to have the lawn you’ve always wanted.