There are some amazingly real-looking artificial grass options available. It's much better for the environment too in the long run. We list out all the types of artificial grass options here by materials, color, length and features.
Artificial grass is interesting these days because you can types of artificial grass that look incredibly real. While by far most homeowners still opt for natural grass, more and more are using artificial grass. This could change as many places are running low on water and severely restrict watering of lawns.
My biggest problem with artificial grass is any possible off-gassing from the synthetic materials used to make it. While not necessarily proven it’s harmful, it’s a concern.
I think the benefits of artificial grass, especially environmental, are considerable. You don’t have to water it or use any power sources to mow it. Less noise in the neighborhood too. Those are two very significant resource-heavy activities to maintain a real lawn. Moreover, artificial lawns don’t require any effort (i.e. my time) to maintain them, which is fabulous.
If you’re like me or a growing number of other homeowners considering switching to an artificial lawn, here are the many types by material, purpose, color and features.
Table of Contents
- A. Materials
- B. Pile Height
- C. Use
- D. Color
- E. Features
This is the strongest type of artificial grass that is available on the market. Nylon artificial grass can stand up to both heavy weight and high temperatures without getting matted down or losing its original shape. This makes nylon grass a great choice for a number of applications as you won’t have to worry about accidentally crushing it or the hot sun damaging the appearance of your grass.
Unfortunately, due to its high cost and how stiff the pile is, it’s not used very often for backyards or for landscaping. It does do a great job as a putting green and many homeowners opt to have a patch of nylon artificial grass installed at their homes if they are interested in being able to practice their putting.
Nylon artificial grass is often used as secondary thatch to help improve the stability of other artificial grass products. This means that it will give polyethylene and polypropylene artificial grass a lot of structure and strength. It will be mixed with these other artificial grasses to create a final product that is comfortable, strong, and great-looking, combining the strengths of the types used.
Due to the texture and stiffness of the pile, this grass does not feel natural at all, although it does look great and tends to last for a very long time when it has been installed correctly. This is the most expensive type of artificial grass but because it will last so long, it generally offers a great return on the investment. It’s ideal for areas where you won’t be playing as it is not the most comfortable artificial grass option available but will look great for a very long time without much care.
When homeowners are looking to install artificial grass at their homes, most of them opt for polyethylene products. This type of artificial grass not only looks amazing with bright green colors and plenty of textures but also feels softer and more natural than nylon does. It is often used for landscaping as well as athletic fields such as soccer, football, and baseball.
When paired with a nylon secondary thatch, this type of artificial grass will hold up to a lot of use and abuse without beginning to look ragged or worn-out. Because polyethylene grass is non-porous, it will not retain odors the way that nylon artificial grass will. This makes it ideal for pet owners who do not want to have to worry about the smell of their yards when the pets go outside. In addition, all of the waste will easily wash down between the blades of artificial grass and limit the chance of bacteria being able to grow in the yard.
Taking care of polyethylene artificial grass is fairly easy as it only needs to be raked or brushed from time to time to ensure that the blades are perked up and look their best. This type of artificial grass most closely resembles natural grass and is usually what homeowners opt to install at their properties when they are interested in converting their lawns to artificial grass.
While there is a wide range of polyethylene products, when you buy higher-end polyethylene artificial grass, you can rest easy that it will stand up to play and abuse almost as well as nylon options will. The problem occurs when people are more interested in saving money and buy a lower-quality artificial grass option that is not able to stand up to the wear and tear of a lawn.
This is not only the least expensive option for artificial grass but it’s also the least durable. While it may seem to be a great deal for the homeowner who is on a hunt for a great landscaping bargain, it will not stand up well to people walking or playing on it. If you want durable artificial grass, then you will need to choose another option as polypropylene wears out very quickly due to its fine texture.
In addition, it can not stand up to high temperatures the way that nylon and polyethylene can, which means that if you install it in a very hot area, it will not hold its shape very well. This can lead to an unnatural-looking lawn that has flat spots and misshapen areas due to heat exposure. Some golfers do like to install a patch of it for home putting practice due to the soft roll that it provides. Polypropylene is a great option if you want indoor artificial grass or to use it as a decoration in your home where it will be protected from extreme temperature swings.
B. Pile Height
Going shorter than 30mm may cause your artificial grass to not look as natural as choosing something that is a bit longer will. Even knowing this, however, slightly shorter choices have a few benefits and uses that make them a great option for some people. For a yard dedicated to dogs, a shorter pile will ensure that the grass is easy on their paws while still being durable enough to stand up to their activity. Another use for slightly shorter pile is if you want to set up a putting green at your home. Being able to choose the perfect height for you ensures that you can perfect your putt without ever leaving the comfort of your house.
While most people associate a nice full lawn with longer piles, ones that are too long will look very unnatural. The heavier the blade of artificial grass is, the more likely that it will become too heavy to stand straight upright and will lay down. This is not a look that anyone wants and can greatly detract from the overall appearance of the lawn.
It’s very important for playgrounds to be as safe as possible so that the children using them aren’t accidentally injured. One of the best ways to ensure that all children who are using the playground are completely safe is to install artificial grass.
This has a number of benefits including that kids will have a durable and safe surface to play on, there won’t be any loose dirty fill that they track out of the playground, and some artificial grass comes with antimicrobial properties to keep children as healthy as possible while they are playing. In addition, installing artificial grass on a playground ensures that the ground is ADA-compliant and that all children in crutches and wheelchairs can still navigate the area quickly and safely.
2. Pet Yards
Even small dogs can quickly tear up a yard by playing and running around but artificial grass is made to stand up to the wear and tear that comes from an excited animal. In addition, pet owners won’t have to deal with muddy fur and paws when it is time for their pets to come inside from playing.
The best artificial grass for a pet yard will have great drainage that will allow any accidents to quickly drain away from the surface and ensures that no matter how much it rains, there won’t be a wet surface for the animal to play on. By choosing artificial grass for the backyard, dog agility courses, kennels, and boarding facilities, the dogs using the yard will stay clean and dry.
3. Sports Complexes
One of the biggest benefits of using artificial grass for a sports complex or arena is that it is much safer for players to use. This type of grass will never get muddy and then become slippery the way that real grass does and players will be much less likely to accidentally become injured when using these fields.
Artificial grass can also easily be customized, which makes it very simple to have the right lines drawn on the grass for your particular sport. By choosing different colors or patterns that are available, it’s easy to represent the local sports team. Not only is it easy to play on without being worried about an injury but artificial grass is green all year long, which will improve the overall appearance of the arena.
4. Home Lawn
Ideal for homeowners who are either uninterested in maintaining their lawn at home or have physical restrictions that make it difficult, artificial grass looks great all year long so homeowners don’t need to worry about the appearance of their yards. Instead of having to spend time and money fertilizing, mowing, and watering the lawn, when the grass is artificial, it will look green and the same height every day of the year.
Artificial grass is ideal for putting greens, especially for the golfers who want to be able to practice their putts without having to leave the comfort of their homes.
This grass can be installed both inside and outside and will allow golfers to practice whenever they want to without having to go to the golf course. In addition, when installed inside, artificial grass allows owners to putt no matter the weather. It can easily be installed indoors with glue or seam tape. Seam tape will allow it to be easily removed at a later time.
6. Balcony Surface
There’s no reason why people who live in the city can’t enjoy a little grass on their balconies. While it would be impossible to grow real grass on a balcony, artificial grass can easily be installed so that the users can feel a little green under their feet when they are sitting outside. It’s easy to install and to maintain, allowing anyone to create a little bit of nature in his or her home in the city.
7. Truck Bed Liner
Installing artificial grass in the bed of your pickup truck will allow you to carry anything without worrying about damaging the paint. Truck lines are notoriously expensive and aren’t soft enough to offer any cushion to the items that you are hauling; however, artificial grass is not only tough enough to stand up to heavy items but also soft enough to cushion them while you are driving. This ensures that everything arrives in one piece and you don’t have to make repairs or repaint the bed of your truck.
While most people assume that their artificial grass is going to be a solid green color, high-quality products will have variations to ensure that the grass looks as real as possible. A yard that is perfectly green will not look normal while one that has shades of lime, olive, dark green, and jungle green will.
Choosing within the available green products allows buyers to customize the appearance of their artificial grass and to match it to what grows naturally in the area. This also makes it very easy to adjust the appearance of your yard and cause it to look more lush by simply choosing a natural-looking artificial grass that has brighter, healthier colors. Being able to have so much control over the appearance of your lawn without a lot of expensive and time-consuming upkeep makes green artificial grass a great choice for a number of homeowners.
2. Bright Colors
Pink, turquoise, purple, orange, and yellow are all available as well if you want a pop of color when buying artificial grass. Most homeowners will not want to install these bright colors as their yards but they do have other applications. They are a great way to add a splash of color around a pool, in a dog run, or in an all-weather sunroom. It’s important to embrace these bright colors for the fun that they bring as they will allow users to become very creative when planning out their spaces. In addition, pops of bright color are really useful on sports fields to delineate certain areas and showcase the colors of the home team.
While sometimes used around a pool to mimic the color of the water, blue artificial grass is also fairly common on playgrounds.
Kids love bright colors and it’s easy to stimulate their excitement and their imagination by installing blue artificial grass where it will pump them up while they are playing. It’s also very easy to delineate different areas of the playground with bright colors of artificial grass. Kids won’t mind so much when they have to stay in a particular area of the playground when the ground is a fun color. It makes it easy for children who may not be very verbal to understand what area they need to be staying in.
If your artificial grass is going to be installed outside, then you need to make sure that it can stand up to the hot sun, no matter how much exposure it will get during the day. The last thing that you want is for your yard to begin to fade after being installed but this can happen due to the damaging effects of the sun’s rays.
It’s important to look for artificial grass that has been UV-stabilized so you can be sure that it will last for a long time in the sun. Even if the grass you are considering can stand up to high temperatures, if it can’t stand up to UV rays, then it will begin to deteriorate quickly.
2. Urethane Backing
The right backing on your artificial grass will not only ensure that your new yard is tough and will last for a long time but also allow water to drain. A urethane coat on the backing of artificial grass keeps the product very durable and also ensures that the seams are very strong.
This is especially important if the artificial grass that you are going to buy is not nylon as nylon will add so much additional strength to the grass product. A strong backing will ensure that the yard is very durable and can stand up to a lot of use for a longer period of time without having to be repaired or replaced.
3. Non-Absorbent Fiber
If the artificial grass that you choose for your home is absorbent, then you will have to worry about smells from animals being absorbed into the grass. These can be extremely difficult to get out and the best way to deal with the problem is to buy artificial grass that won’t absorb any smells to begin with.
While this may increase the overall cost of your new grass, it will keep you from having to deal with expensive and time-consuming upkeep and cleaning in the future. This is also very important for artificial grass that will be installed by a pool so that the chlorine does not make the grass smell over time as this smell is very strong and can be incredibly difficult to get out of artificial grass.
4. Heat- and Frost-Resistant
Temperature swings can really damage your artificial grass so it’s important to buy quality products that can stand up to hot summer days as well as freezing nights. This may not be a big deal for people who live in very temperate areas but for anyone whose grass will be exposed to extreme temperatures, this is added protection to ensure the longevity of the grass.
It’s important for people who are going to be grilling on their artificial grass or who will have a fire pit set up nearby to ensure that they aren’t putting themselves or others at risk of fire with their new grass. Fire can spread very quickly and if you are going to be grilling near or on your new grass, then look for a kind that is non-flammable to ensure the safety of your family.
6. Varied Color Blades
Variation in the blades will ensure that the grass looks as natural as possible. While solid-color options are available and will be a lot less expensive, blades that are different colors create a natural look and will ensure that the lawn looks real.
Perforation will ensure that water and messes will be able to drain quickly through your grass. Without this ability, you will quickly be dealing with puddles in your yard. Unfortunately, puddles will negate some of the benefits of artificial grass, including being able to play without getting dirty and not having to worry about messes from a dog or a cat. Choosing artificial grass that has been perforated to drain quickly is important for those living in very wet areas.
No matter how you are going to be using your new artificial grass, you want to make sure that it won’t stain easily. This is important to protect its appearance against any food that is dropped, animal waste, or toys that may be left out in bad weather.
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