DIY Turf Blog

The Pros and Cons of Different Infill Types


One of the questions that we often get at Artificial Turf Express is, “What kind of options do I have for infill?” For some, infill can make a significant difference in the lifespan of their turf, its visual appearance, the way it drains, and many other factors that need to be considered for DIY installers. Some infill types provide better cushioning for sport applications; others are more suited for dogs because they feature an anti-microbial coating that prevents odors and bacteria from pet urine. Certain turf installers are shying away from crumb rubber because of its negative press, while others swear by it for all athletic turf work. This can be very confusing for a novice turf installer or even a seasoned veteran. The purpose of this article is to help you understand the pros and cons of infill types, and answer the question, “What type of infill is best for me?”


Acrylic Coated Silica Sand



Anti-microbial coating

Multiple color options available

Uniform shape reduces compaction under heavy traffic


More expensive than other types of infill

Absorbs heat

No cushioning effects when not combined with other infill types

Best uses: Pet areas, athletic applications, and artistic designs

Best combinations: Crumb rubber

Crumb Rubber

Crumb Rubber for Artificial Grass


Adds realistic feel to the turf


Documented safety record (Athletic Business article)


Absorbs heat

Can be messy

Controversial press (LA Times article)

Best uses: Sports, play areas

Best combinations: Sand, any other infill types

Shell Tech 



All natural, organic infill

Stays cooler than all other infill types

Low carbon footprint


Can be dusty

Can possibly trigger a nut allergy

Best uses: Landscaping

Best combinations: None, or crumb rubber for sport applications

Silica Sand

artificial grass sand infill




Industry-wide acceptance


Can compact over time due to heavy use

Absorbs heat

Heavier than other infill types

Best uses: Putting greens, landscaping, sports

Best combinations: None, rubber, or shell tech

At Artificial Turf Express, we are dedicated to getting you the best information about artificial turf and the turf industry. In the comments section below, let us know what your favorite infill types are, and what you use them for. We look forward to hearing from you!