Everyone loves a beautiful lawn, but it can be expensive to keep one looking healthy and attractive. Water and fertilizer bills add up and mowing and weeding can eat up valuable weekend time. Today’s artificial grasses are almost undetectable from the real thing and could be the perfect landscaping solution for homeowners who want to save money and reclaim leisure time.
Artificial Grass vs. Artificial Turf
Artificial grass and artificial turf are both synthetic grasses designed to look like natural grass. The basic difference between the two is in how they’re constructed and installed. Both products also have different levels of qualities and performance.
Many people use the two terms interchangeably but in the industry, “turf,” which is shorter, is used to describe sports grass, and “artificial grass,” which is longer and fluffier, is used to describe landscaping material.
Here’s everything you need to know about these two quite different products.
What is Artificial Grass?
Artificial grass with its green synthetic fibers that are made to look like real grass is the most common term used for all types of artificial ground cover. While artificial turf is action-oriented, artificial grass is more aesthetically pleasing. But don’t let its beauty fool you. These grasses are as equally durable as artificial turf.
There are five levels to artificial grass:
- Visible blades
- Weed barrier
- Base material
- Natural soil
When choosing a product for your home, it’s important to keep in mind that not all artificial grasses are the same. Workmanship and materials determine the quality and value of the grass and professional installation and maintenance ensures years of performance. In fact, when properly installed and cared for, top-quality artificial grass can last 15 years or more.
Modern artificial grasses make for beautiful lawns, backyard pet runs, a child’s play area, and more. And because artificial turf is non-allergenic and non-toxic, it won’t produce the unpleasant symptoms of allergies such as a runny nose, itchy eyes, and rashes.
As a durable product that withstands high traffic, artificial grass is also a safer option for children. And unlike natural grass that wears down or develops holes that pose tripping risks, synthetic grass, with its extremely high drainage rate, doesn’t allow water to collect and cause damage.
What is Artificial Turf?
You’re probably more familiar with the term “Astroturf” than artificial turf. Astroturf is actually the name of the company that sells artificial turf; it specializes in large sports arenas and training camps.
The artificial turf designed for sports is extremely rugged and can withstand the constant running and turning moves sports enthusiasts and professionals make with their cleated shoes. Compared to natural grass used for the same applications, it’s a safer option that helps reduce injuries, particularly when conditions are wet.
Artificial turf is also used for “smaller” residential purposes such as backyard putting greens, tennis courts, and bocce ball courts.
What Do Artificial Grass and Turf Have in Common?
For all their difference, artificial grass and artificial turf have a lot of benefits in common. People who opt for artificial grasses love them because there’s:
- No watering expense and less water waste.
- Virtually no ongoing maintenance expenses.
- No built-in toxins or allergens.
- No harmful residue from chemical applications.
For sports facilities, the need to constantly replace damaged sod is eliminated and for homeowners, well, they get to reclaim their weekends!
Different Types of Artificial Grass
There are three forms of synthetic grasses and which one you choose depends on how you want your lawn to look and how long you want it to last.
- Nylon grass is best at withstanding the elements. Made from strong plastic fiber it has the stiffest blades and holds it original shape even under the harshest of conditions. It also holds up well in high temperatures. Nylon grass is the most expensive option of the three materials but if you have small children and/or pets who will regularly use the yard, it can be an investment well worth making.
- Polyethylene grass looks the most life-like and is a great option for homeowners who want quality on a budget. It has a nice natural look and feels like real grass. It’s especially durable when combined with nylon as a secondary thatch. Best of all, it’s simple to maintain with just an occasional brushing necessary to keep it looking great.
- Polypropylene grass is your least expensive option, but it also has the shortest lifespan. Its finer texture makes it very realistic looking but, like real grass, it has low heat-resistance; if exposed to high heat for an extended time the blades may become deformed. It is lightweight and flexible and because it has a softer roll, one of the most popular at-home uses for this grass is a backyard putting green.
The Potential of Artificial Grass
The artificial grass market is a rapidly growing one as more and more homeowners come to realize how it can make for the perfect family lawn. With a virtually endless selection of colors and shades, an artificial lawn is safe, low-maintenance, eco-friendly, and looks great! And while it may not feel exactly like the real deal, it still feels soft and comfortable.
Artificial grass is an excellent way to have the best of two worlds: a terrific looking lawn that doesn’t require constant maintenance. Without the constant drudgery of watering, mowing, and weeding, you can still be the proud owner of a beautiful landscape that’s also safe and durable for kids and pets.
Talk to an Expert
When it comes to artificial grass, the times have changed! If you haven’t shopped for artificial grass recently, you’ll be surprised at how much science and technology have revolutionized the industry. Depending on the intended purpose, you can now choose from a wide variety of products. When selecting the best product for your project you’ll want to consider things like appearance, longevity, and durability. Overwhelmed by all the options? Our artificial grass experts can help.
For years, Northview Landscaping has been providing full-service landscaping solutions to Sonoma County residents. Our professional landscape designers and installers have the artificial grass world covered, so to speak, and can educate you on how to best make over your property with the finest products available.
Contact us today to discuss your next landscaping project. We think you’ll be amazed at the available options!