What is the Cost Difference Between a Crumb Rubber System and Progressive Infill System?

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, on your son or daughter’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 USGreentech, our mission is to create better systems together and we want to help 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, USGreentech 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 at USGreentech 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 and make replacing the synthetic turf much easier. For the sake of this exercise, lets 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 $1.00 – $1.25/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.

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

–          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 USGreentech products and can rest easy.

–          Consistent playability.

If you are ready to take the next step, we encourage you to check out our system recommender and keep in mind, no other component impacts performance as much as the infill.   Don’t skimp here!

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