Finding The Best Artificial Grass

Fake Grass in Yard

Taking care of a yard is a lot of work. It can be difficult to keep your conventional live grass yard looking its best throughout the year. If you live in a hot or dryer climate, keeping your lawn green throughout the year is extremely difficult and requires a lot of water.

In addition, conventional grass yards have to be mowed regularly, fertilized, and at times weeds will need to be pulled. If you have pets or children running around the yard, the areas that see the most action will likely need to be replanted from year to year.

For these reasons and more, many people are looking at artificial grass as an alternative. Artificial grass has been gaining in popularity because it does not need to be mowed or fertilizer and you do not have to water it in order to keep it green. It has gained a reputation for being eco-friendly because of these reasons. Additionally, the newest forms of artificial grass often looks so real that many people cannot even tell that it is fake.

Holding Fake Grass in Hand

There has been a bit of backlash to the artificial grass craze. Some people think that it is better to grow a living thing rather than smothering the living organisms in the soil underneath the artificial turf. Other complaints are that the artificial turf can get really hot, which can cause problems when children or pets are playing on it.

The question becomes, does fake grass provide salvation to areas that are prone to drought or is this artificial turf simply one of those inventions that will end up being too good to be true? Here we will look at some of the pros and cons of artificial grass versus live lawns and also provide some information about different types of fake grass that is available for purchase.

Pros And Cons Of Conventional Lawns

Negatives Of Conventional Lawns

Let’s start with some of the reasons that live lawns are getting a bad rap. First of all you must consider the amount of water that is necessary to keep a live lawn alive and thriving. Having a lush green lawn comes with a cost to the environment. Watering lawns accounts for a third of all residential water usage. For dry climates, this poses an environmental disaster.

Lawn Watering with Sprinklers

The effort it takes to maintain a live lawn, from trimming, blowing, and mowing, using electric and gas powered tools also creates air pollution. This air pollution strips away any benefits that are provided from the oxygen produced by the grass in the lawns.

In addition, when chemicals or fertilizers are used on the grass to keep it healthy, the groundwater in the area becomes polluted.

These environmental issues that come from having real grass have caused some areas to restrict the areas of lawns for all new building projects. For example, in Mill Valley, California, the regulations will only allow for 500 square feet to be used for real grass in any major remodel or new home project.

Positives Of A Live Lawn

When it comes down to it, there is nothing quite like the feel of real grass underneath your feet. For some people, grass lawns are emotional things and provide an emotional value for them. There are some people that simply enjoy taking care of their grass and making sure that it looks nice at all times.

Man Mowing The Lawn

There are ways to decrease the environmental impact your lawn can have. One of the ways to do this is to use recycled water from the shower and laundry to water your lawn with. This is known as gray water and offers a way to utilize water that would otherwise go down the drain.

In addition, rainwater can be collected in a rain barrel and then used for watering your garden and lawn when the weather is dryer.

There are also organic fertilizers available that will not be as harmful to the environment.

As for the air pollution caused by gas and electric powered tools that are used to trim the grass, there is not much that can be done. There are push mowers available that simply use blades and are powered by the human body, but these will require a lot of motivation and endurance to use if you have a larger yard. Choosing to mow later in the evenings can help lower the impact of emissions from your yard tools.

Real grass is something that a lot of people truly enjoy. There are ways to keep a conventional grass yard and lower your impact on the environment. One important thing to remember if you have real grass is that it does not have to be perfect. If you are okay with some occasional brown spots and patches that are not filled in, keeping a real patch of grass in your yard is okay.

Pros And Cons Of Artificial Grass

Positives Of Artificial Grass

True artificial grass for the outdoors directly addresses the main environmental concerns of conventional lawns. There is no watering required, no need to add any type of chemicals, and there is no mowing.

Green Fake Grass Lawn

There are some artificial grass manufacturers that use recycled materials to make the fake grass. These companies use materials such as plastic bottles or old tires to create fake lawns, which further improves the environmental impact of having a fake lawn.

Artificial lawns can be expensive to install. However, since the life expectancy of these artificial grass lawns can be as long as 25 years, over its life it will actually end up being cheaper than using real grass in the long run.

The aesthetic value of artificial grass simply cannot be ignored. Artificial grass comes in a number of blade lengths, has different textures, and is available in a variety of colors. The newest generation of artificial grass can fool most people. Once it is installed it is truly very difficult to tell the difference between real grass and fake grass.

Negatives Of Artificial Grass

When it comes down to it, artificial grass does really look and even feel like real grass. However, it is tough to get over the fact that this grass is made from plastic. In addition, while fake grass is hailed for the benefit of saving water, fake grass does not come without its own environmental issues.

Touching Real Grass with Hand

Synthetic grass is a petroleum based product. This creates waste and pollution during the manufacturing process. While some manufacturers use recycled materials to make artificial turf, this grass is not biodegradable. While these fake lawns do have a rather long life span of between 15 to 25 years, ultimately these products will end up taking up space in a landfill.

Some critics of artificial grass call it an environmental heater. Fake grass mats can absorb heat and will feel hot to the touch when they are in direct sunlight for long periods of time. Owners of pets have mixed reviews of artificial turf. The turf will not absorb waste from animals, but does provide drainage for liquids so these wastes will pass through to the ground that lies underneath.

Is Artificial Grass Safe

After reading the pros and cons about fake grass versus real grass, you may be thinking that installing fake grass seems like a good solution for your particular needs. One concern that some people may have is the safety of artificial grass.

Little Boy Laying on Grass with His Dog

There have been some concerns raised recently about the artificial turf that is being used on athletic fields, in parks, and at schools, as well as for yards and landscape areas around homes. The main issue is the presence of residue from hazardous chemicals that may be used during the manufacturing process of fake grass.

Many newer synthetic turf materials use a substance that is referred to as crumb rubber. This is made out of recycled tires. The crumb rubber is used for the top layer of artificial grass products to provide an extra layer of padding. It also helps to keep the grass standing upright.

There have been a few studies conducted that have found that crumb rubber can contain small amounts of PAHs as well as VOCs. It also has traces of heavy metals such as iron, manganese, zinc, and lead.

Children and pets who play on this artificial grass may be exposed to these elements through direct contact with the crumb rubber. They could also be accidentally ingested by placing your fingers in your mouth after being on the turf or from not washing your hands before eating after playing on the turf.

Washing Hands

Currently, there has not been any study that has identified any type of specific health risks that can be directly linked to artificial turf. However, in laboratory studies it has been found that PAHs at higher levels than what are found in most artificial turf, can cause cancer and organ damage in animals. In addition, these toxins could pose a risk of cancer in humans who are exposed to high levels for longer periods of times.

Another safety concern involves the use of lead. Lead was once used to promote color fastness in artificial surfaces. However, lead has not been used in artificial products since an agreement was signed in 2008. If you have artificial turf that was manufactured before 2008 it is important to have it tested for lead.

Overall, there is no significant reason to think that using artificial grass is not safe. Real grass that is exposed to chemicals such as herbicides and pesticides would be just as toxic as the current generations of artificial grass.

Can Artificial Grass Be Used For Pets

If you own a pet you may be wondering if you can safely use artificial turf for your pets. The answer is yes. There is special artificial grass that has been designed specifically with pets in mind. This stronger artificial grass is made to withstand wear and tear caused by constant running and playing from your pets.

Black Dog Laying on Fake Grass

The real question that many pet owners have is how to clean up pet waste from artificial turf. Cleaning up solid waste from fake grass is the same as cleaning it up from a regular grass yard. You can simply pick it up with a plastic bag and dispose of it as you normally wood. Once you have removed all of the solid waste you can simply spray the area with a hose to remove any excess debris that may be left behind.

Liquid waste will automatically drain through the turf into the soil beneath. If there is an area of the yard that your pet tends to prefer to use, you can hose that area whenever necessary. You do not have to worry about creating a muddy mess.

From time to time you may want to spray down the area where your dog uses the bathroom the most with a water/vinegar mixture. This will kill any bacteria that may take hold and grow.

Watering The Lawn with Spray Gun

One of the other added benefits of choosing artificial grass for your yard is that if you have a pet that likes to dig you will no longer have to worry about muddy messes or filling in holes over and over again. Artificial grass is extremely durable and dogs will find it less inviting when they are searching for an area to dig.

Most dogs tend to adjust to using artificial grass quite easily. They tend to enjoy the way that it feels and have no issues using it to relieve themselves when the time arises.

How Long Does Artificial Grass Last

Another question that often pops up when people are searching for artificial grass is how long it will last. The answer to this will depend directly on the type of grass that is chosen, how it is installed, and how much the yard is used.

Green Synthetic Grass

Typically, the average lifespan for a synthetic lawn is roughly 15 years or so. There are some types of artificial lawns that can last for more than 25 years. Once again this depends on foot traffic and how much action the yards see throughout the year.

The great thing about artificial grass is that it is easy to maintain. If you take a hose to it every once in awhile to keep it clean and rake it so that it stands straight like it should, an artificial grass lawn should last for a very long time.

How Much Does Artificial Grass Cost

The cost of installing artificial grass will vary. There are certain types of of fake grass that cost more than others. In addition, the cost will depend on whether you hire a professional company to install the turf or if you do it yourself. If you decide to install the turf yourself you will save a bit on the cost, but hiring a professional to install the turf will ensure that it is done correctly.

Counting Dollar Bills

The preparation of the area that the fake grass is going to be installed. It is important to make sure that the base is prepared correctly so that no issues arise. The size of the area where the artificial grass is going to be installed will also affect the price.

For a basic artificial lawn with 8 mm blades, including the price of installation a person is looking at spending around $50 per square meter. For a lawn of mid height, around 26 mm, the price goes up to around $61 per square meter. For higher end artificial turf, which tend to be around 36 mm in height, the price starts at around $70 per square meter.

Of course all of these prices will vary based on manufacturer, location, and some other factors as well. Typically, a person can spend anywhere from $5000 to over $25,000 to install an artificial lawn. The cost of artificial grass will really just depend on your particular needs.

Types Of Artificial Grass

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As mentioned there are several styles of artificial grass from which to choose. Fake grass comes in many colors as well. One way to look at artificial grass is to compare it to carpeting for your home. There are types of artificial grass available to suit every need and budget.

Fake Grass Carpet

Just like carpet, the density of the fibers and the height of the blades will affect how the grass looks and feels. A basic lawn will start with an 8 mm blade length. However, for a more lush looking yard there are blades that are as tall as 36 mm high. These longer blades provide denser grass, which creates yards that are more natural looking and feel more lush.

Artificial grass is woven into a fabric that can withstand wear. Different colors of grass can be chosen in order to create a unique blend. Using thicker stitches on the backing will also help create denser yards that will last a lot longer.

If you are considering installing artificial grass in an area of your home, here are a few products to consider.

Premium Artificial Grass Indoor/Outdoor Synthetic Turf

Specifications

  • Eco friendly
  • Drainage holes
  • Easily cut to meet your needs
  • Rubber backed
  • Easy to clean
  • Grass blade height: 30 mm

This artificial grass is perfect for families and pet owners. It has a rubber back that has drainage holes, making it perfect for use with pets. You can easily cut this artificial grass into sizes that will best meet your needs.

Synturfmats 3x5 Artificial Grass Carpert Rug - Premium Indoor Outdoor Green Synthetic Turf, 4-Toned Blades Outdoors

The maintenance for this turf is quite simple. You will just use a hose on areas that become dirty as needed. This means that once you have it installed, cleaning it is quite simple. You can use this artificial turf in any type of space that you may have. You can use it to create a great outside space for your kids and pets or on an indoor patio to create an indoor/outdoor space for your home.

When purchasing this artificial turf you will want to make sure that you prepare the area that you will be placing it in. Once the area is prepared, you can simply attach the fake grass using the appropriate nails. The thick rubber backing will ensure that it stays in place.

The vibrant green color looks just like real grass. This artificial turf is very durable and guaranteed to last for many years.

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Premium Synthetic Turf Artificial Grass Lawn

Specifications

  • Made from high quality raw materials
  • Grass blades are approximately 25 mm
  • Rubber backing
  • Eco friendly
  • Can be cut to fit your exact measurements
  • Drainage holes

Overview

This synthetic grass is made from high quality raw materials, which is completely eco-friendly. The turf features drainage holes so that liquid will permeate through quite easily. In addition, the synthetic turf has a rubber backing so that it will stay in place.

6' x 8' Premium Synthetic Turf Artificial Grass Lawn Rubber Backed with Drainage Holes

You can easily cut this premium synthetic turf to create a great outdoor space for your family or pets. Simply use a utility knife to cut the turf to fit into the space that you have. This turf is great for terraces, garden areas, and entire lawn areas. The height of the grass is around 25 mm.

This is the newest generation of fake grass products. It has a great color and includes monofilaments that help it maintain a realistic look. It can be easily washed with the hose and will last for a very long time.

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Premium Synthetic Turf

Specifications

  • Works for decks, dog areas, lawns, and terraces
  • Rubber backed
  • Drainage holes
  • Over 50 sizes are available
  • Made in the United States
  • ​Lead free

Overview

This premium synthetic turf is perfect for those who want to use fake grass in a large area. There are more than 50 different sizes of this premium turf available. When ordering you can simply request the size that you need for the space that you have.

Premium Synthetic Grass Turf

This fake grass is made from the best materials and is completely eco-friendly. Your pet will love the way that this fake grass looks and feels. In fact, your pet will likely not even notice a difference. This is also a great choice for creating a safe play area for your children as it will provide them with a soft area to land on when playing on their playground equipment in your yard.

The turf is a great color and made with a yarn that helps it look even more realistic. You can easily wash it and it will last for many years.

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LITA Realistic Indoor/Outdoor Artificial Grass

Specifications

  • Non-toxic
  • Looks like natural grass
  • Has drainage holes
  • Easy to maintain
  • Great for both indoor and outdoor projects
  • Backing is coated and made of a durable rubber
  • High quality synthetic material
  • 4 tone pattern
  • 14 year warranty

Overview

This artificial grass has been constructed with the highest quality synthetic materials. It is made with polypropylene and polyethylene yarns that are UV resistant. This means that you will not have to worry about the synthetic grass color fading while in the sun. The color of the blades will remain the same throughout the life of the artificial grass.

LITA Realistic Indoor&Outdoor Artificial Grass on White Background

The LITA realistic artificial grass uses a special design of spine yarn that ensures an artificial grass that is extremely dense. The backing is a dual layer polypropylene that is sealed using a high quality waterproof coating made of rubber. This backing provides great stability for the artificial grass.

The pieces of turf can be cut to fit your particular space. Different pieces can be either seamed, glued, or stapled together to create a flawless look. In addition, this artificial grass was designed so the blades will stay upright without the use of any type of infill product.

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Synthetic Turf Artificial Lawn Fake Grass

Specifications

  • Low maintenance
  • Rubber backed
  • Drainage holes
  • Eco friendly
  • ​Uv protection
  • ​8 year warranty
  • 30 mm blade height
  • Can be used for :
  • Gardens
  • Kid areas
  • Home decoration and Balconies

Overview

If you are looking to create a great indoor or outdoor space using artificial grass, this is a great option. This is the latest generation of artificial turf, which is completely non-toxic and eco friendly.

Green Synthetic Turf Artificial Lawn Fake Grass

The artificial turf offers a great color using yarn that is designed to last for years to come. It can easily be washed and comes with an 8 year warranty.

You can cut pieces of this artificial grass in order for it to meet your current spacing needs. It can be stapled or glued together to create a seamless look for your yard, patio, or whatever area that you have in mind.

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StarPro Natural Artificial Synthetic Grass Lawn Turf

Specifications

  • Made in the USA
  • Natural look
  • Great for pets
  • Comes in many sizes
  • Durable
  • Eco friendly

Overview

The StarPro artificial grass is made in the United States. This artificial turf comes in many different sizes. StarPro is one of the largest manufacturers of artificial turf in the world.

Green StarPro Natural Artificial Synthetic Grass Lawn Turf

This turf will provide you with a yard that looks natural. StarPro has made it a goal to perfect the natural color combinations that occur in regular grass yards. There are four colors that are used in the combination including 2 types of green for the blades, a third type of green for the thatch, as well as a tan color that mimics blades that have expired.

This artificial grass is also extremely durable. The blades are resistant to stains and the color is UV stabilized so that the color will not fade in the sun. In addition, the blades stand tall due to the thicker thatch layer. There is no infill needed in order to keep the grass looking great.

This is a great option for pets because of the medium pile height, lighter color, medium density, as well as the UV and uric acid stabilization. The extra drainage holes throughout the backing mean that it is easier to wash away pet waste.

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Conclusion

There are pros and cons to both artificial grass and real grass for your yards. Real grass yards are tough to maintain as they require constant work, from watering to weeding to mowing and trimming, it may seem like you are spending a lot of time in your yard just trying to keep it looking good throughout the year. This can be especially tough when you live in a hot and dry area that does not get a lot of water.

Watering Fake Grass with Sprinkles

In addition to needing water, which may be difficult to get during drought conditions, real grass yards also need to be mowed. Lawn mowers emit harmful air pollutants, which are also bad for the environment.

Artificial lawns come with a few negatives as well. The plastics that they are made from are not biodegradable, which means that when they wear out they will end up in a landfill. In addition, there are some safety concerns about some of the fill that is used to create these artificial grass mats.

Overall, fake grass can provide you with a luscious looking lawn that requires very little maintenance. Most of the newer synthetic grasses that are available are considered to be safe for both children and pets to play on and use on a regular basis.

For those who live in dryer climates and would like a yard that is easy to maintain and will look good throughout the year, artificial grass is a great option. It can be installed easily and will last for many years to come.

Two Mens Cleaning Fake Turf

Fake grass is not for everyone. There are some climates where regular grass lawns do great and only require mowing and trimming to keep them looking great. In addition, there are some people who simply prefer the feel of real grass and this is okay to. It is possible to create a great outdoor space that uses both real plants and grass as well as artificial turf in areas.

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