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synthetic playground surfacing

Why choose STSM synthetic turf for landscaping?

Synthetic Turf or Artificial Grass, installed correctly, can give you a beautiful lawn or play surface without the daily maintenance hassle – a long lasting / low maintenance solution! No watering, no mowing, no weed eating, no fertilizing, no chemicals, no pet damage, no pests, no allergies and 24 – 7 green. Savings payoff in a few short years – typically 5 or less.
What are the costs of a typical STSM installation and how long does it take to install?

Installation costs vary depending on the type of application.  Typical lawn projects range from $9 - $14 per square foot. Playgrounds can range from $10-16 per square foot. Golf Greens can range from $12 - $20+ per square foot.  Prices vary due to complexity of work and area of the country. Most projects can be completed in a few short days!
How does the installed cost of STSM synthetic lawns compare to a water need (sod or newly seeded) lawn installation?

It typically costs more initially, however, over time a water need or seeded lawn will range 5 to 15 times more in total costs (after maintenance and care costs). Savings payoff in a few short years – typically 5 or less.
What are all the applications that STSM synthetic turf can be used for?

Residential lawns & play areas, commercial lawns and landscaping areas, road medians, parking islands, dog runs & kennels, playgrounds, play areas, day cares, common areas (condos, apartments, and neighborhood communities), roof tops, golf greens, and more!

What STSM turf styles are suggested for certain fall height requirements?

The STSM Centipede and SuperLawn systems are suggested for fall heights from 0-12 ft: Test data available that meet/exceed ASTM 1292 and ASTM 1951 testing.  Other STSM products can be used as well to meet any fall height up to 12 ft. 

Do friction pads need to be used under swings and slides?

Yes, these are recommended to be placed under all swings and at the bottom of slides.  Friction can accelerate wear in these areas and it is the responsibility of the customer to purchase and supply these at the time of installation.  The installer will place these in the correct areas and install the turf around.

What type of infill is used for playground and landscape applications?

STSM has an anti-microbial, acrylic coated silica sand that is used in both landscape and playground applications. STSM infill resists compaction, is non-toxic, non-flammable and 20% cooler than other infill systems on the market today. XGrass infill is much safer than granulated rubber (recycled material).

What happens if a child or pet swallows the infill material?

The unique acrylic coated silica sand that we use for playground installations will pass through the system and should not have any effect on the person or pet (there are no heavy metals in the material).  More detailed information is available

How long will STSM synthetic turf last?

STSM landscape turfs come with a limited 9 year u/v warranty.  Length of the turf lifespan depends on the amount of traffic (wear and tear) and how it is maintained.  Playgrounds may not last as long as a low-traffic lawn but should get 5+ years of life.  Maintenance includes an occasional brushing (may need to add more infill) and keeping the surface clear of debris.  Maintenance packages are usually available through your installer.  Re-surfacing can usually be completed at a lower cost than the initial turf installation as needed.

Can I put swing sets and other child play equipment on STSM synthetic turf?

Yes, while we do not provide specific wear warranties in these situations, the turf is a great surface to have under your child’s play equipment and on playground surfaces.  Friction in the swing set area and bottom of slides can cause accelerated wear on the turf and it is suggested that a pad be used on top of the turf in these areas.  STSM will not provide these pads unless specified in the final project quotation. 

Is synthetic turf by STSM safe for play areas / playgrounds?

Synthetic turf presents a surface that is softer than many forms of natural earth and grass. Furthermore, the newer polyethylene (PE) based turf products are less abrasive and consistently free of the sharp stones and other protruding objects typically rising to the surface in natural soils. A child's play will never result in the grass and mud stains in clothing or the potential of dangerous wood splinters that is so common to traditional wood mulch play surfaces.   The beauty of turf with sand infill is its versatility and decidedly superior safety features. It can be installed over hard surfaces to provide a soft, safe playground and can be engineered for falls up to 12 feet. The synthetic turf system complete with drainage pad and infill also looks and feels natural, without the constant maintenance. In addition, synthetic turf is reliable – it can be played on year round, even after it rains.

What kind of maintenance can I expect after STSM synthetic turf is installed?

There are minimal maintenance activities that we recommend.   The turf can be raked with a leaf rake or gone over with a stiff broom a few times a year. The purpose of raking is too stand-up the fibers and to reconstitute the infill, and to gather weeds, seeds, foliage and refuge typically deposited by winds and weather.   You may need to apply infill once or twice a year as well depending on the traffic and application.
Can I expect weeds to grow on my synthetic turf?

Yes – but very limited growth.  The sand infill can provide an environment in which wind blown seeds can and will take root and grow. The backing material, however, provides a strong barrier that dramatically inhibits root growth to the underlying stone and soils. What this means is that weeds are easily plucked or can even be removed by a leaf rake or broom.

What about insects and allergens?

Not an issue.  Initially, surface insects are eliminated entirely. Over time and with the introduction of precipitation and wind-borne minerals and nutrients, the infills can support and sustain insect life. Neither the infills nor the synthetic grass themselves are, however, conducive to infestation at any level comparable to grass.  Topical insect solutions can be used should you ever run into a problem.

Does STSM synthetic turf drain well?

Yes.  Synthetic turf will get wet, however, will dry in about the same or slightly less amount of time as grass, and, as it dries naturally, there does not exist the underlying inconvenience of muddy soils.  Depending upon the size of the installation, some sub-surface drainage may be installed.    Most residential applications do not require added drainage.   In addition, STSM uses a unique backing (porous geotextile) that allows water to drain very quickly.

How does STSM synthetic turf drain water in comparison to grass and earth?

The same or better. STSM synthetic turf is manufactured with a special backing that provides ample drainage. Any water landing upon the grass fiber surface has the capability of being absorbed by the ground very quickly, allowing play on the surface almost immediately after a rain.
Adding to the drainage capacity is the fact that the sub-base, sand infill will retain heavy rain down-pours for a more natural absorption rate by the ground beneath.   Test results are available from STSM. 

Can the sand infill be tracked and transported by shoes or clothing?

Yes, slightly, but not to any level of appreciable notice! The infill might be particularly transported on the soles of feet after a rain, but, not to any more degree than is common dirt or cut grass clippings transported when wet. More relevant is that the infill is clean, non-staining and easily swept or vacuumed.    

Can STSM synthetic turf be installed over asphalt or concrete?

Yes.  Such an installation requires either a gradual natural slope for surface drainage or a special underlayment for a sub-surface drainage system (drainage pad).   

What concern do I need to have for dropped cigarettes or surface fire in general?

Very little.  STSM synthetic turf does not burn and the consistency of its sand infill is not dense enough to sustain a fire (e.g. the flame is immediately extinguished by the sand infill). A lit cigarette, may, in extremely dry circumstances, cause immediately touching fibers to bend or distort but not to any degree that is noticeable. Accelerates, such as gasoline, will cause harm to the immediate area to about the same degree as would occur on natural grass. Fire is not a good thing under any circumstances, so try and keep all these materials away from your surface.   Flammability tests are available for STSM products. 

What about kids playing on STSM synthetic turf?

Kids love it! STSM synthetic turf is softer and safer than real grass and they have loads of fun playing on it. Parents love the fact that there are no more stained pants and scraped knees. STSM synthetic turf is the turf-of-choice of hundreds of daycare centers, play areas, schools and school districts, recreation departments, and playgrounds around the nation.
Can the synthetic turf / artificial grass be damaged?

The grass can be damaged by intentional vandalism or open flames. However, it can usually be cleaned with typical cleaning solvents. In the case of a burn (as from a cigar), the surface could be patched using replacement materials. The surfaces are flame resistant, but will melt under open flame.
Can STSM synthetic turf be used for kennels, dog runs, etc. and how do I wash out contaminants?

Yes!  Solid waste can be easily removed and washed away and will not harm or affect the turf fibers.  We do recommend that you hose down the areas on a periodic basis to wash out any urine or other possible contaminants.  Anti-microbial spray applicants can be used on the turf if needed.  Please contact STSM for further information on available products.

What product can I use and how do I wash out contaminants?

Anti-microbial spray applicants can be used on the turf if needed.  Please contact STSM for further information on available products.


Synthetic Turf Solutions of Minnesota | 7546 Kimberly Lane Eden Prairie, MN 55346 | Phone: (651) 341-7763 | Fax: (706) 529-0849