Artificial turf as we know it today — a complete surface system that contains fiber, backing and infill — has been around for more than 20 years. Yet misperceptions still persist. Here are seven of the most common myths about turf, followed by the sometimes surprising reality.
1. Turf is used only for sports.
Maybe you’ve seen homes with synthetic turf lawns. Or noticed turf used for playgrounds or dog runs. Artificial turf also is taking root at airports as a safety-enhancing surfacing technology for the safe-zone areas around runways and taxiways, replacing natural vegetation that is prone to fires caused by fuel leaking from planes. Interested in turf for residential or commercial use? Click Here.
2. All turf is the same.
Just like practically everything, all artificial turf is not created equal. We don’t like to brag, but FieldTurf’s infill system — the single most important aspect of any turf field — packs the most pounds of material per square foot than any other product available. That adds protection for the turf fibers and keeps safety and performance constant throughout the life of the field. We encourage facility operators to comparison shop. Learn more on FieldTurf’s infill system Here.
3. Turf doesn’t require maintenance.
While it’s true that artificial turf requires no irrigation, mowing or chemicals, it still needs some TLC every so often. Brushing, aerating, raking and sweeping the surface should all be part of the standard maintenance procedures for any turf field. Need help maintaining your field? Reach out to our maintenance expert Here.
4. Rubber infill is toxic.
When this new generation of turf was introduced to the public more than 20 years, it quickly became the focus of intense scrutiny regarding potential health dangers posed by the infill, which is manufactured with recycled tires. But hundreds of independent studies rebuke claims of toxicity caused by infill. Medical and science experts have reviewed the health effects of crumb rubber as it pertains to toxicities from inhalation, ingestion and dermal contact, and they’ve found nothing directly linking it to cancer or other diseases. Concerned about turf safety? Visit our Safety page Here, for a collection of research on turf and infill.
5. Turf gets too hot to play on.
Turf temperature is an important concern, and watering the fields only lowers the temperature by about 10 degrees and provides temporary respite. But early reports of turf fields reaching 200 degrees Fahrenheit or hotter proved faulty. Credible research suggests that at 2 feet above the surface, the average temperature differential between artificial turf and natural grass is 4 degrees Fahrenheit. At 5 feet, the average temperature differential is less than one degree Fahrenheit.
6. Turf is anti-environment.
The installation of a turf football field can save up to 1 million gallons of water per year by eliminating irrigation, and that field will use an estimated 20,000 recycled tires for infill. Additionally, operators of turf facilities no longer need to rely on billions of pounds of chemicals to keep their grass fields green, or countless gallons of fuel for mowing, aerating and re-seeding. Many turf fields that have reached the end of their life are now recycled for use in new turf fields and other products. See how artificial turf helps the environment Here.
7. Turf costs too much.
Because a turf field will allow for significantly more use, as well as a reduction in maintenance costs and potential revue from rental opportunities, we estimate the average cost per hour of grass field usage to be more than three times ($91) the average cost per hour of turf field usage ($25). Want to see how much you field could cost? Try our cost calculator Here.