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07-21-2018

Cost Difference Between Crumb Rubber & Progressive Infill Turf Fields

We understand the pressures you face when deciding to spend more of your budget on your new synthetic turf field. Whether you serve on a turf committee, on the school board or on your child’s team as a coach, this new synthetic turf field could be one of the biggest projects that you’re involved with over the course of your career. It may feel like the entire community has their eyes upon you and there is no shortage of opinions to go around.

At Motz, we want to work with you to create better systems together. A good starting point is helping you understand the basic difference between a typical crumb rubber system and a system made with a progressive (non-rubber) infill. For the purpose of this blog entry, we want to focus on the question that comes up most often:  how much does it cost?

When you’re early in the planning and fundraising process, its good to know how much the various options cost so you know where you should target your number and set your goals. A well-qualified landscape architect or civil engineer will be the best path to helping you budget for that field but perhaps you aren’t that far yet and are just considering your options. If you need a recommendation for a field designer, Motz has built relationships across the U.S. and beyond. Get a recommendation for a field designer in your area here.

Well, let us help you get started…

Before we get to the infill, we should let you know that we believe that all synthetic turf systems should be built with a pad. They are safer when built this way and go a long way to ensuring your field performs at an optimal level for a long time. They also seem to make the overall system last a couple years longer. For the sake of this exercise, let’s assume that a pad is part of the system in all scenarios.

Once you’ve committed to a pad, then it really opens your options on what type of infill to consider. If you’re on our website because you’re checking out one of our best-in-class infills then you’re probably curious how much they cost. In approximate terms, the cost of a field built with Envirofill or Safeshell instead of crumb rubber is about $1.25 – $1.50/sf premium when installed in one of our recommended systems. Depending on the part of the country, this can be 10-15% premium over the cost of a typical system. When you spread that cost over the ten-year life of the system, it doesn’t seem all that bad. And in the case of Envirofill, it can be used over at least two lifecycles so the premium can be spread out even further.

These cost estimates are obviously in a vacuum and do not account for additional considerations such as:

  • The shipping distance from the manufacturing facility to your site can have an impact on the cost.
  • Contractor markup and installation costs.
  • End of life disposal costs.  In some areas the cost to dispose of rubber at the end of life can be significant.
  • Warranty. For example, Envirofill has a two-turf lifecycle warranty (that’s 16 years!), Crumb rubber has no warranty.
  • Peace of mind. You know exactly what’s in our infill products and can rest easy.
  • Consistent playability.

If you are ready to take the next step, keep in mind, no other component impacts performance as much as the infill. Don’t skimp here!

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