Everything You Need To Know About Fake Grass

Lawn in Front on House

Installing fake grass in your yard is not typically the first choice that homeowners gravitate towards when they are planning the perfect landscaping. However, fake grass is definitely something that should be considered.

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Guide To Best Fake Grasses

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Fake grass was once reserved for practice putting greens and sports pitches, but over the past few years it has evolved greatly and is now extremely realistic and very versatile.

History Of Fake Grass

During the 1950s there was a desire to find a solution to improve the physical fitness of youth living in inner cities. The solution for this problem came in the form of synthetic grass.

Fake Grass in Front of Moses Brown School

The Ford Foundation’s Education Facilities, along with Chemstrand, and Monsanto Industries worked together and encouraged the use of synthetic fibers for the carpeting in schools. The Creative Group, which was a part of Chemstrand research organization, tested synthetic carpets for water drainage, flammability, as well as durability from the years 1962 through 1964.

The first large fake grass installation occurred in the year 1964. It was installed at the Moses Brown School located in Rhode Island. The grass that was used was called Chemgrass.

In the year 1965, the Astrodome in Houston was in need of a consistent playing field. Environmental conditions in Houston did not allow a decent atmosphere for naturally growing grass. Monsanto was consulted about the installation of Chemgrass for the field.

The Houston Astros started their 1966 season playing on Chemgrass. The fake grass was then renamed as Astroturf. This is the name that many people recognize today. Astroturf was invented by Robert T. Wright and James M. Faria. The first generation of turf used nylon fibers that were tightly curled and then woven into a foam backing.

Green Astroturf

On July 25th, 1967, a trademark patent for artificial turf was officially issued.

After the successful install of turf at the Astrodome, Indiana State University installed astroturf in the first outdoor stadium in the year 1967.

Fake grass became successful throughout the 1970s. Sports teams throughout the U.S. and Canada installed the fake grass in their stadiums.

During the 1970s, the fake grass industry followed with the shag carpet trend and a shag turf was introduced. This fake grass used longer yarn that was made from polypropylene material that was softer.

This material was more user friendly than the previous turf material that was used. Sports such as field hockey benefited from this type of artificial grass. However, it could not be used on soccer fields because of the way the soccer ball reacted to the material.

Fake Grass on Soccer Pitch

A third generation of artificial turf was introduced during the middle of the 1990s. This new generation used soft polyethylene blade fibers. This is the turf that you find today in commercial, sports, and residential landscapes.

This generation of fake grass features longer fibers that are spaced farther apart as well as dead grass yarn known as thatch that is positioned between the blades of grass and on the backing.

For further function and stability, infill is spread all throughout the fake grass rugs in order to add extra comfort while also providing an adequate amount of traction for the foot.

American’s attention was first captured by fake grass in the year 1966 when it was used in the Astrodome. This first installation is what would set the precedent for many fields across the United States that could not maintain natural grass.

Fake grass has seen media scrutiny throughout the years and many product modifications have been made. Second and third generation versions of artificial turf were staples in the 2010 World Cup that took place in South Africa. In addition, artificial grass has taken root on the lawns of homeowners throughout America.

Crowd on Stadion on World Cup South Africa

This grass has even replaced the red carpet on occasion, including during the Latin Grammy’s, the Teen Choice Awards, as well as many other Hollywood parties as it helps to encourage the “green” lifestyle.

Reasons To Install Fake Grass At Your Home

Now that you know the history of synthetic grass, you may still be wondering why you should consider installing fake grass at your home. Perhaps the best and simplest reason is simply because it requires very little maintenance.

Installing artificial grass will provide you with a lawn that is essentially maintenance free. It will be green all throughout the year and it cannot be destroyed by your pets.

Green Fake Grass in Yard

When you have natural grass around your home it will become muddy and soggy during the rain. It can dry out and even die during the changing weather conditions. Not to mention the fact that you will have to mow it regularly in order to keep it from becoming too tall. In addition, an artificial lawn can last a very long time.

Here are the top ten reasons to consider fake grass for your landscaping:

  • Low maintenance - when you install artificial turf around your home you will no longer need to worry about watering your lawn or keeping it mowed.
  • No Lawn mower - not only is mowing the lawn a time consuming process, it also requires a working lawn mower. Lawn mowers can be costly to maintain, and they also are responsible for 5 percent of the air pollution in the country.
  • No chemicals - you do not need to use any type of weed killer or fertilizer. Synthetic grass will need some infill in order to help the fake blades stand up, but all of the infill products are non-toxic and completely safe for people, pets, and the environment.
  • Environmentally friendly - fake grass helps air quality as it will eliminate the need for garden equipment. Additionally, installing fake grass will save tons of water.
  • No weeds - there are no weeds to worry about as most fake grass has been designed so that weeds will not grow through it.
  • Long lasting - it can last for up to 20 years when it is well taken care of. Most fake grass products have been designed to withstand a large amount of foot traffic as well as all types of weather without breaking down.
  • Drainage - fake grass drains at a high rate and will not accrue any mushy mud or have any holes that need to be filled.
  • Durable and Strong - most fake grass blades have been tufted within the polyurethane backing. Each of the blades are created to handle a huge amount of foot traffic. You will be able to play all sorts of games on your fake grass.
  • Looks great - fake grass will always be green and will appear to be perfectly groomed throughout the year.
  • Time - these days everyone is busy all the time. No one really has time to spend manicuring their lawns on the weekends. When you install fake grass in your yard you will be able to spend more time relaxing on the weekends.

Different Types Of Fake Grass

There are many different styles of fake grass available. Each strand of fake grass is made of three colors to provide a more natural look for your yard. When considering fake grass you can compare it to choosing carpeting for your home. There is a type of fake grass available to suit every need and budget.

Different Types of Fake Grass

Just like carpet, the density of the fibers as well as the pile height will determine how the finished product feels. Basic lawns typically start with a blade length of 8 mm. However, there are manufacturers that create grass with blade lengths of up to 36 mm. The longer the blade, the denser the grass. Denser grass will help create a lawn that is more lush and natural looking. It also feels great to walk on.

All fake grass will be woven into a back that can withstand a lot of wear. The colors of the fake grass mat are chosen to blend in. Thicker stitching on the backing creates denser and longer lasting fake lawns.

Where Can Fake Grass Be Installed

Fake grass is a very universal product. It will work for smaller gardens, courtyards, inside spaces, roof terraces, as well as many other locations.

If fake grass is installed on a hard surface such as a rooftop or on a balcony, a foam pad that has shock absorbing qualities will be placed underneath of the fake grass carpeting.

Fake Grass in Living Room

Fake grass can also be shaped to create dips and mounds. This type of installation will be a bit harder, but it can be done and when complete will look completely natural.

Essentially, fake grass can be placed in any type of area as long as the base for it is in good condition. The base is important because you do not want the lawn to sink. The surface the fake grass is placed on needs to be completely sound without any type of big gaps or cracks. There should not be any excessive ridges or undulations in the base area in order to achieve the best effect.

How To Install Fake Grass

Installing fake grass can be quite basic. However, it is important to note that no two fake grass installations will be done exactly the same way. There are always going to be unique situations for every install process. However, there are some basic differences for specific fake grass needs. Typically, it will take between one to three days for fake grass to be installed.

Man Installing Fake Grass

Here are the basic steps to follow for a fake grass installation:

Pre Installation

All existing materials as well as any rough grade should be removed from the area that the fake grass will be installed. The area will then need to be rough graded in order to uncover everything that lies beneath the surface. This includes the pipes, irrigation, and electric wiring. Sprinklers should be capped at pipe level to avoid leakage. Bender board should be installed in order to create a clean separation for turf and plants.

Base Preparation

Install about a half inch of crushed base in order to allow for drainage. This layer should be about three inches deep. The base should be distributed and then leveled to account for areas that may slope. Next, install the drainage area. Creating a smooth base is important for the overall surface appearance of the fake grass project.

Fake Grass Base Preparation

Compacting Base

You will need to compact the base by tamping, vibrating, and rolling the gravel. This will ensure that the base is solid so that the nails can be driven into the fake grass.

Optional Weed Retardant Layer

When installing fake grass for your lawn one thing that you need to think about is weeds. One option is to choose a weed retardant layer. This layer will prevent any type of weed from growing through the base layer through to the turf.

If your installation will involve pet usage, a weed retardant layer is not recommended.

Installing Weed Retardant Layer

To install this layer you will overlap the edges of the cloth by six inches and then secure them in place using flat head nails. Use as many nails as possible to keep the clot from moving. Trim the weed retardant cloth to fit into the space and leave about a quarter inch gap around the hardscape or borders to allow it to be easily tucked.

Laying Turf

When laying the turf you will want to find a perpendicular edge or straight edge of turf in order to align it. Square the turf to fit into the area and minimize fitting and cutting for each of the four sides. Use nails to secure the edges of the turf and keep it in place.

When laying the fake grass remember to lay it towards your viewpoint. In other words, consider how the blades of the grass lie naturally.

Man Laying Sod

When laying the turf you will want to custom fit it to your space. Make sure that you over cut the pieces by about an inch in order to leave room for tucking. If you have any doubts, always cut the turf fatter than necessary as you can always trim it later.

A seaming tool should be used to seam all of the edges of the turf together. Seams of the turf should be cut in an S shape to help avoid pushing up. Nails should be installed every six inches along the edges and driven in about three quarters of an inch. U shaped nails should be used along the seams to join the edges of the fake grass together.

Tucking In The Turf

The edges of the turf can be hidden along the hardscape using a wonder bar. This bar is placed to help keep the edges of the fake grass down.

Man Tucking in The Turf

Apply Infill

After the fake grass is installed you will then want to use a power brush to force the grass blades up. Once you have done this you will then apply the infill layer to the top of the fake grass. The infill layer is designed to help keep the blades of fake grass upright. It also provides more weight for the turf to help keep it in place.

Finishing Touches

After the infill layer is installed you will want to power brush the fake grass again. This will force the infill into the turf base. Any excess debris should be removed.

Installing Fake Grass For Pets

If you have pets that will be using the fake grass area as their restroom, there are some added steps to the fake grass installation process.

Dog Laying on Fake Grass

Fake grass for pets will have a turf deodorizer applied to the top of the base layer. The purpose of this is to help neutralize the smell of ammonia that comes with pet urine.

In addition, a drainage membrane will be placed on the top of the base. This is to help with proper drainage in regards to pet urine.

Fake grass for pets can be installed the same way as a regular fake grass installation. The differences will be that a durafill mix that has turf deodorizer will be added. The average installation process for fake grass for pets will take between one to three days, dependent on the size of the area that the fake grass is being installed.

Other Fake Grass Options For Pets

For those who have pets and do not want to install fake grass in their entire yard or for those who have pets in smaller apartments and are looking for other options when it comes to training their dogs to go outside, there are some great fake grass carpets and mats that have been specifically designed for training your pets.

Dogs on Fake Grass Mats

These fake grass mats are perfect for those that have balconies or patios, but no real outdoor space for their dogs to go. The fake grass makes training puppies much easier as they will have a place to go that feels like going outdoors. In addition, fake grass mats are also good for older dogs that may not be able to make it outside anymore.

Here are a few fake grass mat options to consider for your pets.

Synturfmats Indoor/Outdoor Pet Potty Patch

Specifications

  • 3 layer training pad for medium and large dogs
  • Bullet Point 2
  • Portable
  • Features plastic insert for liquid to drain
  • Measures 20 x 30 x 1.25 inches
  • Easy to clean
  • Eco-friendly materials
Dog on Synturfmats Indoor And Outdoor Pet Potty Patch

Overview

This fake grass mat provides a unique solution for pet owners. It is the perfect choice for when you get home late and need to quickly let your dog out or for when you cannot let your dog outside because of the weather. It is also great for training your puppy.

This mat is made from fake grass material that looks and feels just like the real thing. The fake grass mat is weather proof so you can leave it out on your patio or on a balcony.

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PAW Puppy Potty Trainer Indoor Restroom For Pets

Specifications

  • Use for training puppies
  • Great for indoor use
  • Durable collection tray
  • Synthetic grass mat
  • Can be used outdoors on patios
  • Measures 20 x 25 x 1.25
Dog on PAW Puppy Potty Trainer Indoor Restroom For Pets

For pet owners who have to be away from home for long periods of time or if your pet simply cannot go outside for whatever reason, this fake grass mat and tray system provides a solution.

This mat has an organic scent that attracts dogs to it. This will teach them quickly that this is an acceptable place for them to go potty. The mat is on a plastic insert so liquid will drain easily. The insert can be removed and easily cleaned. Just remove and rinse with warm soapy water.

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Prevue Pet Products Tinkle Turf

Specifications

  • Perfect for training, home, or travel
  • Convenient
  • ​Portable
  • ​Easy to clean
  • Lightweight
  • Measures 41 and ¼ inch long, 28 and ⅝ inches wide and is 1 and ¼ inch high
  • Lead free turf
  • ​Protects flooring
  • Soft synthetic turf
Dog on Prevue Pet Products Tinkle Turf

Overview

This pet product is for larger sized dogs. It creates a designated area for your dogs to potty. This is perfect for when you cannot take your dogs outside. The pan will protect your furniture and your flooring. It is great as a training tool for your puppy.

This product is great for traveling and is the perfect solution for pet owners who have a small space.

It has a low profile so smaller dogs can easily use it and it is large enough that bigger dogs can use it as well.

It is made from a soft fake grass that is certified lead free, making it safe for your pup to use any time. To clean, simply rinse the pan with warm soapy water.

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Sonnyridge Easy Dog Potty Training Synthetic Grass

Specifications

  • Made from anti-microbial material. The fake grass has been treated so it is difficult for bacteria to grow. It also helps absorb odor.
  • Helps potty train your pup quicker
  • ​Similar to grass
  • Easy to clean
  • 3 layer system: outer layer is fake grass, middle layer is a porous tray that separates the top and bottom layers, and the bottom layer is a self contained tray that will hold urine
  • Helpful for dogs that cannot get outside
Dog Puppy on Sonnyridge Easy Dog Potty Training Synthetic Grass

Overview

This fake grass mat is a good way to avoid your dog having an accident in your home. Your dog can use the potty patch whenever you are not at home and he needs to go. This potty patch is ideal for puppies that need to be trained as well as older dogs that may have difficulty getting outside.

If you do not have time to take your dog on a walk every time he has to go, this system is the perfect solution. It is also great for those that do not have yards for their dogs to go in. If you do have a yard, but are tired of having areas of dead grass or picking up poop in your yard, the fake grass mat is a good solution.

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Putting Green Installations

If you are installing fake grass for a fake grass, you will want to make sure that you install a base that is about one or two inches thicker than a regular base. You should use a road base first in order to compact and to isolate an area that is specifically designated for your putting green area.

Man Installing Fake Grass

Once the base is complete you will need to install about an eighth of an inch of silica sand on top of it. If you have chosen a Nylon or Polyputt putting green, you will want to set the cups at the grade level. If you are using a Trueputt product you will want the cups to be about 5/8ths of an inch above the final grade level.

Next, you will need to cut and shape your green and attach the fringe. A viper plate should be used in order to place the sand infill into the fake grass putting green material.

Installation of a fake grass putting green will take about a day to complete.

If you are a golfer and need to work on your putting game, installing a fake grass putting green is a great option. You will not have to worry about mowing it. Simply install it and start playing. Here are some practice putting greens that are available for you to consider.

StarPro's 15'x20' 5-Hole Professional Practice Putting Green

Specifications

  • Cut from master putting turf, which is the best in the world
  • Non-directional provides great ball roll
  • ​Feels like a real putting green
  • 15x20
  • Rolls out flat and putts at country club speed
  • Made to last, comes with 8 year warranty
  • ​5 inground cups included
  • Stimp 9.5 speed
StarPros Fake Grass

Overview

This 15 x 20 practice green offers 5 holes that you can practice with. The material is cut using a water jet from the Master Putting Turf. It is made from ¾ inch twisted nylon filaments, which are heat set and then cut smooth to one half inch.

The nylon face of the putting green is UV stabilized. It is backed using a scrim fabric, a natural rubber pre-coat, and a mesh. It has a natural rubber base that will not skid. The 5 holes that are included each come with plugs that include 2 tabs that will keep them in. You can choose to have as many holes on your green as you would like.

To install the green you will need two inches of ⅜ minus gravel base and a 15 x 20 space. It can be installed in your yard, by your pool, on a patio, in a game room, and can even be used in gyms or for trade shows and conventions.

Pencil on StarPro's 15'x20' 5-Hole Professional Practice Putting Green

You can place breaks in the green by placing a large freezer bag filled with a cup of sand under the surface of the green. Foam water line insulation can be used to create backstops. Simply cut the required length of the tubing and then fit it over the edge of the green.

The speed of the green can be reduced by back raking the green with a leaf rake and then vacuuming it with a beater bar. If you want to increase the speed you can use a sand infill.

This green comes with the rules to 4 putting games that you and your family can enjoy together. If you are a golfer, having your own putting green right in your backyard can be a really great and easy way to improve your game.

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StarPro Pro-Am Professional Practice Green

Specifications

  • Provides 1000s of long challenging putts from anywhere on the green
  • Provides real feel putting practice
  • ​Pro-am turf roll
  • Can create breaks
  • No folds, ramps, sponge, or other unnatural platform
  • Country club bent grass
  • ​True feel
  • Measures 3x10

Overview

The StarPro ProAm professional putting green comes with a 3 x 10 putting surface. It includes 5 starballs, 5 starball cups, and five 12 inch flags. The cups all have plugs and 2 tabs to keep them in place. It includes instructions for 5 different putting games.

StarPro Pro-Am Professional Practice Green in Living Room

The turf is made from a 32 ounce nylon face and has a rubber precoat, an action back, and a non-skid base. Out of the box the speed of this green is stimp 10.5. If you want to reduce the speed you can back rake the green and vacuum with a beater bar.

You can choose to have up to five holes on this green. If you want to create different breaks on the green for practice you can simply fill a freezer bag with some sand and place it underneath the green.

If you have a small indoor or outdoor space and you want to quickly add a putting green to practice your golf skills on, this professional putting green is a good choice. It measures 3x10 feet, so you only need a small space to fit the putting green in.

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How To Clean Fake Grass

If you decide to install fake grass in your yard or even just a putting green, you should know that there is still some maintenance involved to keep it clean. While keeping a fake lawn is much easier than real grass, there are still some steps that you will need to take to make sure that it lasts a long time.

Man Cleaning Fake Grass

Here are a few guidelines for keeping your fake grass clean:

  • Debris such as leaves can make your lawn appear more natural. However, you are going to want to clear away some of the debris at times. You will need to rake the fake grass as you would normal grass in order to clear away any decomposition from the debris that falls into your yard. A leaf blower or a carpet rake are good tools to use for this clean up. Depending on where you reside, a weekly cleanup should help keep your yard clear.
  • Heavy traffic areas and other parts of your yard may not stand as tall as it did when first installed at times. To fix this simple use a brush or a broom and brush against the natural grain of the fake grass to make the blades stand tall once again.

If you have pets using the yard you will have additional clean up. If the pet waste is solid, wait until it is dry and then simply remove it as you would from normal grass. You can then rinse the area with a hose. If the pet waste is loose, remove it and then treat the area with a disinfectant such as vinegar, or an enzyme cleaner.

Machine Cleaning Fake Grass

For liquid pet waste it is going to be hard to tell where it is on the turf. It is best to assume that your pet uses the entire area. Use the sprinkler setting on your hose and evenly distribute water throughout the entire system.

You should not use any cleaners that contain alcohol, harsh acids, or pressurized water to clean your fake grass. If you avoid these items you can help preserve your fake grass so that it lasts for a really long time.

How Much Is Fake Grass

When it comes to the cost of installing fake grass the cost will vary based on the type of fake grass that is chosen as well as which company is chosen to purchase the fake grass from. The price will also depend on the preparation of the base that the lawn will be installed on as well as where it is going to be installed at.

Handgiving Dollars

For a basic fake lawn that is 8 mm, including the installation, the price would start at around $50 per square meter. For a mid-height lawn that is 26 mm the price would be around $61 for a square meter. The most luxurious or higher end fake grass lawns that are 36mm start at around $70 per square meter.

Are Fake Lawns Safe

Fake lawns are all non-toxic and they provide a practical solution for homeowners who simply do not have enough time to take care of real grass properly. In addition, they are great for pet owners who may have a dog that really loves to dig. Dogs cannot dig through the fake grass and they also cannot eat it the way that they could a regular grass lawn. In addition, if your pet uses it as a bathroom you can simply pick it up and rinse the area.

If there are any spills or other accidents that occur on the lawn you can simply use the hose and wash it away. These lawns are porous and feature drainage holes that will allow the water to pass through. This helps to keep the grass clean and dry at all times.

Family Playing on Fake Grass

Fake grass is not damaging to the local ecology as the soil underneath the fake grass will not be affected by the installation.

In addition, fake lawns make safe places for children to play. Fake grass provides children with a clean and soft surface that children can play on safely.

Fake grass is also UV resistant and fire retardant. This means that there is no danger of the fake grass losing its color in the sun and it will not catch on fire.

Conclusion

Having a large yard of real grass takes a long time to water and maintain. This can make it difficult to find time to focus on other garden plants and landscaping throughout your yard. Even if you only have a small yard, mowing, weeding, watering, and everything else that goes into keeping your yard looking good takes a lot of time.

Astroturf in Backyard

Choosing artificial grass for all or a portion of your yard helps to conserve water and it does not require an air polluting lawn mower to maintain it. When the ground is properly prepared and the right construction materials are used, your fake grass will look just like the real thing, without all of the hassle.

Fake grass can be used for many different things. If you live in an apartment and want a green space for your pets to use the bathroom, a fake grass mat for pets can be found. These mats provide a small space for your pets to use the bathroom without making a mess of your flooring.

Fake grass can also be used to create putting areas to perfect your golf game. Using a fake grass putting green at your home can help you greatly improve your short game as you will be able to practice at any time.

Astroturf on Ground

There are some people who are also choosing to use fake grass for indoor spaces. Fake grass is perfect for creating an indoor picnic space in an office building or even in the home. Fake grass can be used to make some really cool work spaces.

If you want to think out of the box, manufacturers also produce fake grass in different colors. You can create a fun play space for your children with some great colored fake grass.

Overall, fake grass provides an attractive option for busy lifestyles. It looks fresh and clean and there is minimal maintenance required, which is something that many homeowners are seeking.

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