It’s hard to imagine that anyone here in the Bay Area could still think artificial turf is nothing more than green outdoor carpet. After all, what with our prolonged drought and other factors, synthetic grass has become a go-to resource for both commercial and residential property owners. It is reliably beautiful, and surprisingly versatile.
Just as different varieties of natural grass have varying characteristics, there are now different types of artificial turf grass specifically formulated to meet a variety of needs. For example, sometimes we want grass to feel naturally soft underfoot, but softer materials aren’t as durable as those that can produce a stiffer, more resilient surface. The thinner pile breaks down faster under high traffic, which can shorten the life of the product.
Looks, feel, durability, and cost all dictate product choice. Today’s artificial turf grass can be made from three materials, each of which has distinct traits that produce different results:
Nylon is very strong and produces the stiffest blades. That means it holds its original shape, even under hard athletic play or other types of high foot traffic. Nylon also stands up to high temperatures without losing stability or melting. It is the most expensive artificial grass material.
Nylon might look like natural grass, but it does not respond the same as the real thing. It is used to produce secondary thatch in high-end synthetic turf products and also for putting greens.
Where nylon is the most expensive artificial grass material, polypropylene is the least costly. It has a finer texture, so it is more realistic looking. However, it is also the least durable, least resilient, and least heat-resistant. Under prolonged heat, the blades can deform and become unnatural looking.
Nonetheless, this material is popular for home putting greens because it has a softer roll. And because it is lightweight and flexible, it is also popular with people who want to use artificial turf grass for creative indoor or outdoor projects.
This material produces the most life-like grass. Not surprisingly, it is a popular choice for home owners who want to replace their natural grass lawn with a synthetic turf product without sacrificing aesthetics. Polyethylene is vibrantly green, soft to the touch, yet very resilient. It is especially durable when combines with nylon as a secondary thatch. That makes it a good choice for athletic fields, too.
Artificial grass made from polyethylene is simple to maintain, as it requires only the occasional raking or brushing. This keeps the surface free of debris and “fluffs” the blades, ensuring the blades and infill retain their cushion and bounce.
Which type of artificial grass is right for your project?
Naturally, price is a concern for almost everyone. But choosing the least expensive product up front could result in noticeably lower performance and/or lifespan. Higher quality products last longer and function reliably over time, so the ultimate cost-per-year may actually be quite a bit lower.
It is also important to consider money saved when replacing a live grass lawn with synthetic turf. Often, property owners have no idea what it really costs year in and year out to maintain their lawn.
Talk to an expert
To choose the best type of fake grass for your project, you’ll need to consider how you want it to look, how you plan to use it, and how long you expect it to last. And you’ll need to consider special factors such as children or pets. A landscaper or artificial turf company such as Heavenly Greens who has extensive experience with all types of synthetic grass can help you make a decision that’s the most attractive from every angle.