Chapter 1: Why we certify?

Updated: Nov 17

So, you see the pictures of a beautiful, completed, synthetic turf project online. And you think to yourself, “that looks great”! No more mowing, no more water, no more problems!

The Real Question is: is that really the truth? Well, it depends on several factors, methods, turfs and environments. Before you spend a good portion of your money to install turf, the simple “truth” is No! Can it be low maintenance? Absolutely! But you also might be inheriting a perpetual problem and headache! So before you say yes…

I want to provide a professional’s perspective before you write that check.

A little about myself. I’m the CEO of Synthetic Turf World. I’m a CTI-L Certified installer and STW is a STC Certified company. I did not begin in turf as I owned a Tree and Landscape company prior. So, I had years of experience as in arbor care, irrigation, drainage, and landscape design and installation as well as trainer and teacher. I entered this industry at the request of a manufacture interested in developing landscape turf.

Honestly, when I was first asked to meet, I thought to myself “why in the world would someone want to put that ugly plastic stuff on their yard”? Let’s just say there has been an change in the perceptions of turf. I’ve worked with many manufacturers helping to develop turf as well as walking through every part of how it’s constructed, how it’s formed, the machines that make it, types of blade design, as well as the materials and polymers used. I’ve also work as a preferred installer for several manufacturers, so I’ve handled many styles of turf including experimental turfs as well. This experience has allowed me the opportunity to train the guys in the field as well as the leadership teams behind the scenes.

So, my approach is much more encompassing and as an environmental minded owner I want to see our world as equally protected in the process.

Did you know that there is an actual certification for turf installers and companies? It is the Synthetic Turf Council

Most certified installers apprentice for two years on multiple types of projects. Install thousands of feet of many types of turf. They work with manufacturers on the production and making of turf and took classes and tested before they became certified. They train in safety for humans and pets, sanitation drainage, anchors, arbor care, environmental concerns, glues, panels, seams, thermal expansion, thermal melting, and architectural layouts and base construction. Do these matter? They absolutely do and we will discuss why in this series of posts!

What are you purchasing?

Can you hire an unlicensed plumber or electrician? Yes, of course you can. But there are inherent risks including fines from municipalities, loss of warranty from the manufacturers, and even having to replace the entire project which costs thousands more than the original cost.

Can you hire a non-certified installer? Absolutely! However, when you decide to skip certified companies/installers and things go wrong later you have limited recourse because you personally made that decision knowing that they were non-certified. I’ve personally repaired or replaced thousands of dollars of bad installs in both residential and commercial applications. I feel absolutely horrible for the clients because their dream yard disaster could have been avoided from the beginning.

Things to consider:

Certified Installers and STC companies sign a code of ethics. These individuals are trusted by the manufacturers, architects and retailers. If you do have a warranty claim, 99% of the time it will get covered.

They considered safety, sanitation, and microplastic waste as well as other environmental concerns when they install. What’s the point of water conservation if you’re simply going to pollute the water ways you’re trying to save. Good certified installers train regularly and take CEU every year as well as renewing their certification every two years. They grow with the technology, environmental concerns and will be there if something does go wrong.

They are craftsmen and will install to a higher standard (a certified standard) than the untrained contractor that may or may not be around if something goes wrong. The reality is that every project has a unique install that needs to be considered. I’ll talk about this later!

It’s a real concern in this industry.

They can repair and maintain your turf! As I said in the opening, you will need maintenance. These individuals will be available and have the knowledge and skill to keep your turf beautiful for years to come.

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