Artificial Grass Fitness Turf
When we first started in the athletic flooring business many years ago, no one was using turf indoors. Most gyms were using Dog Daycare flooring stall mats and frankly back then most gym owners would have thought you were crazy to install turf indoors. Turf was strictly an outdoor application for sports fields and residential lawns.
That has all changed over the last 15 years with the growth of functional training, body weight training, boot camps and of course CrossFit. Functional training has its roots in the physical therapy and rehabilitation world and has evolved as many trainers started to open smaller, nontraditional gyms and concentrate on functional training to utilize Dog Daycare flooring. CrossFit of course was very instrumental in moving this trend forward, involving more than just Dog Daycare flooring.
Similar to our Dog Daycare flooring, there are many options in Artificial Grass Turf. Currently there are over 200 different types of turf manufactured. So as you can see, there can be a lot of confusion regarding what is the best fitness turf for your gym. Many of the turfs available are not the correct material for fitness. Although many of the turfs available will look the same since they are green, you still need to be very careful and make sure you are getting the right turf that will perform well and last for your gym.
We get asked all the time by our customers what the difference is between the available turfs on the market. So let’s talk a little about the different types of material used in turf manufacturing and why it is so important to choose the right turf for your gym. After all, just because turf is green, it does not mean that the different types will perform the same.
Polypropylene Artificial Turf
Poly Propylene is a thermoplastic polymer that is widely used in many applications. Poly Propylene turf is the least expensive of all turfs and can be damaged quicker and easier than any of the other types of turf. A lot of gym owners will purchase budget Poly Propylene turf and although it will look good at first, it will not hold to the rigors of functional training.
Pros – Lowest cost, can look good.
Cons – The least durable of all the turfs and will not stand up well to pushing sleds and flipping tires.
Polyethylene Artificial Turf
Polyethylene is the most widely used Polymer in the world. It makes a much stronger and better performing turf. The texture is much softer and it can be by far the most realistic looking turf available. The softer texture is very important especially if you are doing bootcamps or anything that requires your members to get on their knees or lay down on the turf.
Pros – Very durable and softer.
Cons – Higher cost.
Nylon Artificial Turf
Nylon is a lightweight, very tough elastic polymer that is the most durable of all turfs. Nylon turf is used a lot on putting greens and can hold up to higher use and higher temperatures. The problem with nylon is that it is the most expensive turf and it can much rougher and stiffer than other options. Many gyms that have used a straight nylon turf are not happy with the feel of the turf since it can be uncomfortable to lay on, do stretching on and can be very hard on the knees.
Pros – Extremely Tough and Durable.
Cons – Highest cost, hard and uncomfortable.
We also need to address the different types of turf used in Fitness. Let’s start with In Fill Turf.
This is just like you see at a high school, college or NFL football game. The blade of the turf can often be longer and does not usually stand up on its own. The turf is installed and then sand and rubber granules are spread and raked over the turf. The sand and Rubber goes to the bottom of the turf and in between the turf and this is what holds the blades up. The sand and rubber also provide a small amount of cushioning. I am sure you have watched a football game and have seen that when a player is tackled and hits the turf there is often an bunch of black rubber granules that fly up into the air.
Although this is great of football, it is a nightmare when it is installed indoors since the rubber granules will migrate all over your facility and you will go home with rubber granules in your shoes and socks. Definitely not a good choice for indoor or outdoor fitness.
Pros – Tough and Durable
Cons – Rubber granules get everywhere and it will be much hotter when installed outdoors.
This can be any kind of turf without any padded backing. Just like you would use on your lawn. If you are ever at a home Depot take a look at any of their turf samples and you will notice there is just a plastic backing that holds the turf together and there is no built in pad. We have seen many gyms use Unitary Turf and although it can look good, it is not very comfortable.
Pros – Lower Cost
Cons – Is not user fitness friendly and can be uncomfortable.
Which Turf Do We Recommend?
Over our many years in the athletic and fitness flooring business, we have been heavily involved with the development of fitness turf that is tough, durable and comfortable. We are big fans and have had great success with blending Polyethylene and Nylon together in our turf. The Polyethylene makes the turf softer and has a good look to it and the nylon adds durability and toughness to it. Softness and comfort are combined so your members can lay on the turf, stretch or do floor exercises. The toughness and durability helps the turf hold up to pushing sleds, flipping tires and even dropping dumbbells.
We have also added a 5mm thick pad under the turf. So not only is the turf tough and can hold up to the punishment of tough functional training, it also has a very nice feel to it and you will find your members naturally gravitating to the turf. Our padded turf comes in green, red, blue, orange, purple, black & gray.
We can also make and sew in at the factory various logos, game lines, hash marks, numbers, dot drills, agility ladders and even paint the turf on site.
If you would like a quote on our proven Dog Daycare flooring and turf products, give us a call or fill out a contact form and one of our Dog Daycare flooring and turf fitness experts will be happy to help you out.