Artificial grass and lawns are getting very popular day by day, especially in the metro and urban areas. They have many amazing features that make them suitable for use in homes, gardens, lawns, playgrounds, stadiums, and many other places.
Artificial grass is also known as fake grass, synthetic grass, artificial turf, artificial lawn, astroturf, etc. Artificial grass is a synthetic man-made material that looks like real grass.
It consists of synthetic grass-like fibers or yarn often made of nylon, polypropylene, or polyethylene. It was most often used in the sports field and grounds however it is now being used in residential lawns and commercial applications as well.
Advantages And Disadvantages Of Artificial Grass
Synthetic grass is an amazing product to make your property look beautiful, green, and attractive. There are several advantages of using artificial grass or fake grass in your home, office, or any other place.
It also has a few disadvantages that you need to be aware of before using this synthetic grass. Let’s have a look at some of the main advantages and disadvantages of using artificial grass.
Advantages Of Artificial Grass
The biggest advantage of using artificial grass is that it does not require a lot of maintenance. Once it has been properly installed you can enjoy and relax on this grass with very little to no maintenance. You also do need to cut or mow the grass like the natural grass option.
When you use fake grass in your home you save a lot of water. There is no need to water the synthetic grass, water will only be required for the purpose of cleaning and washing once in a while. Since water is very precious, fake grass provides a great alternative to save it.
When you use natural grass it requires a lot of expenditure on monthly maintenance, mowing, fertilizers, water, etc. But with synthetic grass, you don’t need to spend on any such expenses. This makes synthetic grass a very economical and cost-effective option.
The good thing about fake grass is that it will always look green, unlike the natural grass that changes color. Artificial turf will maintain the same color and beauty all around the year irrespective of the time and season.
Easy To Clean
The synthetic grass is very easy to clean and wash, also any kind of solid waste on the fake grass is quite easy to pick and clean. The natural grass is not very easy to clean and it also requires a lot of time for thorough cleaning.
Artificial grass is an environment-friendly product as it does not require any maintenance from gas or electric-powered lawn equipment. This makes synthetic turf a more eco-friendly option for your property than even natural grass.
Safe For Children
The artificial lawns do not require any weed killer, fertilizers, pesticides, or any other harmful chemicals. This makes them safe for any child to play, so if you have children in your home then fake grass can be a good option for you.
When you have a natural grass lawn you need to mow it at regular intervals to keep it in a good-looking condition. But with synthetic grass, you do not have to worry about the cumbersome mowing process, as such it saves a lot of your precious time.
Disadvantages Of Artificial Grass
Fake grass absorbs heat from the surroundings and the temperature of the grass gets substantially higher than the surrounding air temperature. This makes it not a very good candidate for outdoor and terrace lawns, especially during the summer season.
Fake grass contains many toxic chemicals like lead, zinc, chromium, and cadmium and these can be harmful to health. Also, when this grass is exposed to extreme heat it emits a pungent rubbery smell that is not good for the health.
Probably the biggest disadvantage of using fake grass is that it does not get recycled. A lot of work is being done in this field but at present, it is observed that most of the old fake grass ends up increasing the wastage component.
Water Run Off
The fake grass allows very little rainwater to pass through it during the rainfall. Also, the soil below synthetic turf is in compact condition and during rainfall, it doesn’t absorb the water. This leads to water runoff and wastage during rainfall.
Components Of Artificial Grass System
An artificial grass system has five major components, lets have a look at all of these components.
It is the layer underneath the synthetic grass and it has a big impact on the success of the whole system. The best choice for making the sub-base for artificial grass is sand and gravel mix as it offers the best support and reliability for the system.
There are three types of backing, Non-permeable backing – it does not allow water to pass through. Hole punch backing – it allows for adequate drainage through the holes. Flow-through backing – it allows for a hundred percent liquid permeability.
It is the substance the installers put in between the blades or strands of artificial grass. The purpose of infill material is to keep the grass in an upright position, to protect the backing from direct sunlight, and to add weight and durability to the lawn.
Seaming refers to the joining of artificial grass mats or sheets. It can be done by using different types of materials like seaming tape, glue, short staples, nails, pins, double-sided tapes, and other such materials that can be used for adjoining.
The grass fiber or yarn is the material that is used for making the blades of grass. The ideal fiber for artificial grass should reduce skin friction and abrasion. It should offer superior durability, high resilience, and temperature stability to the system.
Types of Artificial Grass
On the basis of materials used for making artificial grass or synthetic grass, it can be of the following types.
Polyethylene Artificial Grass
This synthetic grass material is highly resilient and has a softer texture. It does not require a lot of maintenance other than an occasional brushing or cleaning. It offers an ideal surface for playing fields including soccer, baseball, and football.
Nylon Artificial Grass
Nylon is one of the strongest materials that is used for making artificial grass. It keeps its proper shape for a long period of time and is able to endure even high traffic. It can withstand high temperatures without melting or losing stability, it is quite expensive.
Polypropylene Artificial Grass
It is the least expensive and least durable material for making artificial grass. It is not suitable for the areas with high heat and temperature, it is only good for indoor usages such as carpet, rug, or other decorative material in the home.
Installation Of Artificial Grass
The installation process of artificial grass is not very complex but you need to take care of some important factors while laying down the artificial grass system. Let’s have a look at the step-by-step process of installing artificial grass.
- The first step is to clean all the unwanted vegetation present in the area. So you can start by spraying with a good quality weed killer to kill all the unwanted vegetation and then clear all the weeds from the area.
- The next step is to remove the top three to four inches of the sod to make room for the new base. Prepare the soil base properly to allow the setup of the new artificial grass or fake grass system.
- You have to properly plan the drainage and then install the drainage system to keep the proper slope for the drainage of water. You should also install a waterproof border along the perimeter.
- Prepare the sub base with about 3 to 4 inches of finely crushed rock gravel or decomposed granite to prevent slumping and improving drainage. If you have prepared a concrete base for the fake grass then it will also serve the purpose.
- The next and most important step is to take a measurement of the area and cut the artificial turf or mat with the help of a carpet cutter. Now spread the artificial grass mat all over the area and fit it properly to cover the whole area.
- Join the artificial grass mats together with the help of seaming material, join all the strips of turf properly. Use landscaping anchor pins to properly fasten the turf around the perimeter.
- The last step is to fill the infill material evenly to keep the artificial or synthetic grass in an upright position. You can now sprinkle the whole area lightly to make it clean and fresh for usage.
Maintenance Of Artificial Grass Lawn
It is quite easy to maintain your artificial lawn, all you need to do is keep an eye on the basic things in the lawn to ensure it lasts for the full span of its life. Let’s have a quick look at the main things that you have to take care of for maintenance of the lawn.
Regular brushing of the artificial lawn will help to keep the fiber or blades of the grass in an upright and proper condition for a longer period of time enhancing the natural look of the artificial lawn.
Using Leaf Blower
Leaves from the surrounding trees generally fall on the lawn and make it look messy. You can remove these leaves with a leaf blower to clear the synthetic grass surface of fallen leaves and other debris.
Synthetic grass will generally not get damaged because of frost or snow. However, if the artificial lawn gets filled with snow it should be cleared carefully in order to prevent the fiber from damaging.
The artificial grass can be easily damaged when it comes in contact with hot items like cigarettes and barbecue ash. These items can melt the grass and change its shape, which will spoil the natural look of the whole lawn.
How To Select Best Artificial Grass
There are certain parameters that you can look for while checking the quality of artificial grass. These parameters help you to assess the quality of the grass and select the best one for your home or any other property.
The thickness of the fiber – generally for a fake grass mat the better the thickness of the fiber the stronger it is. You can also ask for the details of the material used for making the fiber for proper assessment.
Backing – most artificial turfs have a single backing, this may look good at first but in the long run, it is less sturdy and stable. So you should always choose artificial turf that has a double backing.
Pile Height – choose a pile height between 32 to 37 mm only. If the pile height is more than this the blade will be long and it is more likely to bend because of the gravity, this will spoil the look of the grass.
Density – a good quality fake grass will have a weight of about 3 kg per square meter. A dense fake grass will have more yarn content and hence will be more expensive than a less density option.
Color – to get the natural look for your lawn, don’t choose artificial turf options that are perfectly green. Rather choose the imperfect and variety turf that has different shades of green along with some brown blades.
Cost Or Price Of Artificial Grass
The overall cost of the artificial grass depends on many factors such as type of yarn, the material used for making grass, type of stitches, pile height, the density of grass, brand name, the thickness of fiber, the shape of the grass, weight per square meter, type of backing, etc.
Since there are so many factors in play the cost of artificial grass can vary a lot. The starting cost of artificial grass in India is around Rs. 20 per square foot.