Looking for the best artificial grass is a daunting task. You want to be sure that you are making the right choice based on what your needs are and your budget.
This guide will give reasons as to why you may want to install artificial grass, the different types there are (along with their pros and cons), and how to choose the best artificial grass for you. This includes the different features to look out for that you may not have known about before. It is important to not only think about the aesthetics of the artificial grass but also the features that make up a high-quality lawn that performs well and ticks all of your boxes.
- Why Install Artificial Grass?
- Types of Artificial Grass
- How to Choose the Best Quality Artificial Grass
All of this information will help you so that you can make the most informed decision possible and find the best artificial grass for you
Why Install Artificial Grass?
Having a perfect, natural garden is a lot of hard work that takes time to keep it looking fresh and neat. Not only to they need mowing but they also need to be routinely fed and watered and can grow weeds and moss which also takes time to remove. After all of that the grass still may not respond well, leaving you with an untidy looking garden and feeling fed-up.
This is where artificial grass comes in, with brilliant results that require little effort on your part.
- Low maintenance
You do not need to mow, weed, water or feed your artificial grass. Once installed it requires little maintenance as the grass does not need to grow, does not die and stays the same vibrant colour. It may require a brush every now and then to remove any debris from trees or that has been blown in by the wind but overall, artificial grass doesn’t require much care.
When you have chosen the type that you want, you can guarantee that it’s going to look and feel exactly how you want. This means that instead of constantly looking after your grass, you can actually enjoy your garden.
- Saves you money
Even though the initial cost of installing your artificial grass may seem like a big investment, in the long run it can save you money. This is because you do not need to spend on the countless items and products that come with maintaining a healthy, natural garden including fertilisers, pesticides, lawnmowers, shears, hoses, rakes, weed killers, and grass feed.
You can also save money on your water bills as you do not need to worry about watering the grass. Another benefit to this is that it is also better for the environment as you are reducing your water usage, especially in the summer months.
Finding the best artificial grass makes for a far more cost effective garden overall as it will last longer and does not cost you in all the small and regular expenses that natural grass requires.
- Hard-wearing and durable
Come rain or shine artificial grass is not affected by the weather. In comparison to natural grass which will dry up and go brown in the sun or become waterlogged in rainy conditions, artificial grass is made to last.
Artificial grass is dig-proof for animals, is stain and fade resistant. All of these benefits is something that you would not get with natural grass, meaning that artificial grass is the best option for if you need a durable and hard-wearing garden or lawn.
- A wide variety of options
We will be going into more detail about the options of artificial grass that there are but for now all you need to know is that there are different colours, lengths, textures, and design options. This means that you can research and decide on the best artificial grass for you and what you want the end result to look like.
Because of the wide variety of options you can choose what suits the shape of the area that you are looking to cover, for example artificial grass is perfect if you want to cover a roof terrace, decking areas and balconies.
- Easy to clean
You can remove any debris from your artificial grass easily using a leaf blower, brush, or rake so that it can always look pristine and clean. If it does get dirty you can easily clean it too. There are special cleaners that you can buy that are made for artificial grass or you can use a mild detergent and a brush.
You do have to be careful when using a homemade cleaner or one that is not specially labelled for artificial grass. This is because the formulas for artificial grass cleaners usually are child and pet friendly and free from dangerous chemicals that could hurt you and your family but also could damage your grass.
Types of Artificial Grass
What we mean when we say the ‘types’ of artificial grass is the main material that the fibres are made from. There are different types of artificial grass to suit the different needs of the buyer. For example, if you are on a budget or if you are willing to spend as an investment, or if you have pets or children.
Artificial grass is made from synthetic fibres that are stitched to a primary and secondary backing. The choice of the core material is three different plastics: polypropene, polyethylene and nylon. We are going to start by giving you more information of nylon and why it could be the best artificial grass choice for you.
Types of Artificial Grass
Nylon Artificial Grass
Nylon artificial grass is the most resilient of the three plastic fibres. This is because nylon has the highest melting point meaning that during the hot summer months, the fibres in the other plastics can become more pliable compared to nylon which will stay strong.
Poor resilience in artificial grass can lead to the lawn losing its ability to spring back after it has been walked over or after any furniture is moved after being on top of it for a long time. As upright fibres are what gives artificial grass a more realistic look, you want to make sure that the grass you are purchasing can withstand all the foot traffic that may be going over it otherwise it will look flat and unrealistic.
Nylon is also a strong plastic fibre. Because of its strength it is used to make all sorts of products from fishing lines to carpets and rugs. This is what makes it a superior material for artificial grass. It can outlast and outperform other plastic fibres because it can withstand heavy usage.
Another benefit to nylon artificial grass is that it is more environmentally friendly. Many companies offer to recycle your artificial grass, however there are some instances where they end up at landfill. Nylon has a long lifespan, meaning that you will need to replace and throw away your old grass less than if you were using a different material.
As nylon fibres are more resilient and stronger than the other options, choosing nylon will save you money in the long run as you will not have to replace your grass regularly meaning that this investment will save you money in the future.
We have said that choosing nylon can save you money in the long run, however, It should be noted that nylon is the most expensive option for artificial grass, however if you are going to get a lot of use out of it then it is worth the spend. This is because polypropylene and polyethylene do not last as long if you are using the grass often because their appearance and performance will deteriorate over time.
Because nylon is hard-wearing, it does not have the same softness as the other materials which may be what you are looking for when thinking about artificial grass that looks and feels real.
Why Use Nylon?
Because it is so strong, you should consider a nylon plastic fibre for your artificial grass if you have a family or pets and you use your garden a lot. It will last longer than any other type of artificial grass because it is strong and resilient. We all know that a garden that is used a lot needs to be resilient whether that be because of the swing sets and slides sitting there for years or because of a new puppy running around, a family friendly garden needs to withstand all sorts of situations.
Nylon is also a good choice if you are looking to purchase the best artificial grass for a school, playground or for areas of public use. Because nylon is strong, it will be able to withstand the weight of a playhouse, pet kennels, garden furniture and more so it is the smartest choice if you want to maintain the look of the grass so that it looks real even after items have been placed over it.
Polyethylene Artificial Grass
An aesthetic benefit to polyethylene artificial grass is that it is a realistic looking material. It is the most popular choice for those who want to reap the benefits of artificial grass without sacrificing the look of their garden or lawn. It has a vibrant green colour and is soft to the touch and is still resilient.
Polyethylene is not as resilient as nylon, however, it is more resilient than polypropylene so it is a good middle ground if you do not want to spend as much as nylon aesthetic grass but you still want a good quality option.
Another benefit to using polyethylene artificial grass is that it has a lower static charge than polypropylene, meaning it attracts less dirt and dust which for you means that it requires less cleaning than other materials would.
As polyethylene is not as strong as other materials such as nylon, then there may be an issue with the grass not springing back after time from being trodden on over and over again. The general rule is that softer fibres are weaker meaning that if you want to use a soft material, there is a higher change that you will have to replace your grass more frequently than if you were using a stronger material.
Even though polyethylene is not as expensive as the nylon artificial grass, it may cost more in the future. This is because, as just mentioned, polyethylene is weaker than other materials so if it is used too much then it will deteriorate. This means that it will need to be replaced which is not only a bad thing for your wallet but also for the environment as if it can’t be recycled then it will end up at landfill.
Why Use Polyethylene?
Polyethylene may be the best artificial grass for you if you have a garden that is not used too often as it lasts well when there is not large amount of foot traffic or furniture being placed on it.
It may be the right choice for you if you are looking to put grass down on an athletic field as when it is combined with nylon as a secondary thatch then it has the vibrant colour, is soft to the touch but is also quite resilient.
Polypropylene Artificial Grass
Polypropylene is considered as the most realistic looking artificial grass because it has the finest fibres. This option is good for those on a budget as it is the least expensive type of artificial grass. Because it is the least expensive, however, there are a fair number of reasons that show why it is inexpensive.
Polypropylene has a considerably lower quality than it’s counterparts. This is because it is the least strong and resilient material, meaning that if it is walked over or if furniture is placed over it then the grass will not spring back and therefore not look as realistic anymore.
Because of the lower quality, polypropylene is more likely to be damaged by UV rays which makes it even more susceptible to breakages. This can mean that your grass will need to be replaced more frequently than the artificial grass made from other materials which will cost you money and time to fix it.
This process, as mentioned, is also damaging to the environment due to the amount of used artificial grass that will need to be thrown away if it is unable to be recycled.
Why Use Polypropylene?
Because polypropylene is the cheapest option, then it is perfect to use for creative indoor or outdoor projects whether that be a DIY or a school project. This is because for small projects that mean the grass is not being used on a garden or lawn, it makes more sense economically to save money and buy the cheaper option.
Another use for polypropylene artificial grass is if you need to put a small area of grass on a balcony or rooftop to add some greenery to the area. Again, this is because if you are looking for grass that does not need to be trodden on and that will look realistic, then polypropylene could be the best artificial grass option for you!
A final use is for home putting greens where the buyer desires realistic looking grass with a vibrant colour that is soft so they can hit their balls nice and neatly.
How to Choose the Best Quality Artificial Grass
There are different considerations to think about when deciding on the best artificial grass for you and your needs. Here we are going to list some factors to think about when comparing different artificial grass options in order to find the best. You should obviously think about the type of material you want, as explained above so we are going to talk about the other factors that you should consider.
Testing for Harmful Substances
In the past, there were instances where harmful substances were used in artificial grass which is obviously not healthy for you, your family, your pets and the environment. To make sure that your grass is safe to use, good advice is to check if the grass has been manufactured in Europe.
This is because the regulations ensuring safety in the EU are specific on what is acceptable and what is not. In order to comply with these regulations, artificial grass in Europe has to be analysed for harmful substances. Therefore, to know that your grass is safe, you need to check where it has been manufactured and if it has been assessed.
Is it Fire-Resistant?
It is important to check with the artificial grass’ manufacturer that the grass is fire resistant as you want to be reassured that any fire is not likely to spread and be made worse because of your garden or lawn.
There are also regulations of the fire-resistance of all flooring products, meaning that checking to see if the manufacturer complies with the regulations could save you later on in the unfortunate event of a fire.
The longer the warranty, the better the product. To give you peace of mind that you have protection against factors that you cannot control such as fibre loss or UV damage it is important to check the small print of the warranty.
Be aware though, warranty will not cover improper use or failure to maintain your artificial grass, so you need to make sure that you are looking after it (even though artificial grass does require little maintenance!).
Due to the increase in popularity of artificial grass and increase in research, there are new technologies that you can think about so that you can buy the best artificial grass for you.
Instant recovery technologyis when the artificial grass has been made with nylon fibres so that the grass will recover from any weight that has been placed on top of it and bounce back to its original condition. This is for if you want your grass to stay looking realistic for long amounts of time.
Feelgood technologyis all about how the artificial grass feels temperature wise. During hot summers, artificial grass can easily become hot to the touch. Feelgood technology was developed to keep the grass cool by reflecting the air back into the atmosphere rather than absorbing it.
Depending on the lighting conditions and the angle that the grass is being seen from, artificial grass can look smooth and polished and not very realistic. Natural look technologywas developed to minimise the glare that artificial grass can have due to it being made from synthetic materials.
Pile Height and Density
The pile height of your grass is the length of each fibre from the backing to the tip of the grass. This is personal preference as some people will want their feet to sink into their grass in the back garden but others will want a short length so they can tee off their golf ball.
In terms of density, the greater the number, the lusher the grass will look. The look that you want to go for is again personal preference, however it is recommended that higher use areas have a higher density and ornamental areas have a lower density.
When you think of artificial grass you may have a picture of a fake-looking dark green in your mind but this is not the case! Much like natural grass, there are many different shades that artificial grass comes in meaning that you can choose what looks best for your tastes.
A tip is to think about the light exposure that the grass will have depending on where it is put. This is because different light levels may affect how the grass looks, in sunny areas the grass will look brighter than in shaded areas or inside.
As you can tell by all of this information, finding the best artificial grass comes down to personal preference depending on what you are looking for, how much you want to spend, where you want the grass to be and what you want it to look like.
You can also tell the importance of research as it will be hard to make an informed decision without assessing your needs against what each type of artificial grass can offer you. Reading this article is a good step towards your purchase as hopefully now you have the information necessary to start looking at manufacturers and the types of artificial grass that they offer.