Synthetic lawn. Astroturf. Fake grass. Turf.
Artificial grass has come a long way in recent years in terms of appearance and quality. More and more homeowners are considering having artificial grass installed for their lawn instead of natural grass. That's because synthetic grass has some important advantages over natural grass. In addition, artificial turf can actually increase curb appeal by being a perfectly green lawn year round. With all of these advantages, it might be time to start thinking about an artificial lawn. Before you make the decision of whether to go with natural grass or artificial grass, there are a few things you should consider.
Many homeowners who have installed artificial turf did so because it is easier to care for and maintain than a natural lawn. For a natural lawn, first of all you have to own a lawnmower and have sprinklers installed in order to properly care for a traditional lawn. Real grass also requires constant upkeep and maintenance including mowing, watering, fertilizing, and applying pesticides and other chemicals. If you are uninterested in doing these chores, do not have the time, or are simply not physically able to, a low maintenance artificial lawn could be the right choice for you.
You don't have to do any of those chores with an artificial lawn. Artificial grass does not grow so it does not need to be cut. Artificial grass does not need water to stay green. Artificial grass does not attract insects the way real grass does so it doesn't need to be regularly doused in harmful chemicals. To top all of that off, if you have pets, you won't have to worry about them leaving dead spots in your yard when they go to the bathroom.
Yes, artificial turf is low maintenance compared to natural grass lawns, however, low maintenance does not mean "no" maintenance. There are a few things you will need to be prepared to do to keep your synthetic grass looking its best and lasting the longest. Artificial grass does need to be hosed off or vacuumed from time to time to keep dirt and debris from building up and to keep your lawn shiny.
Artificial grass can save you money over time compared to natural grass. You will not have to spend money on lawn services to keep your landscape design looking its best. It will save you money on water as well as fertilizers and pesticides.
Buying sod to install a lawn of natural grass will definitely cost less up front than artificial grass installation. The average price for turf installation at your home is up to $12 per square foot, or over $5,000. For natural grass, that cost is less than a dollar per square foot, or around $1,000. That's a significant difference, but once you install your artificial grass it is free from then on whereas a natural lawn is not. If you consider costs over time, you can recoup the money you spend on synthetic turf.
On top of that, many companies that sell artificial grass include a warranty, so if anything goes wrong with your lawn that wasn't your fault it can be replaced at no cost.
Synthetic lawn quality has improved a lot in recent years. Having a synthetic lawn these days does not automatically mean that your yard will stand out from your neighbor's natural grass. If you get high quality artificial grass people walking or driving past would likely not even notice unless they really stopped to inspect it up close.
There are different levels of quality in artificial grass these days and a lot of it has to do with the material the grass is made from, the density of the grass, and pile height - or how high each blade of grass is. The more dense the artificial grass the more durable it will be. Taller blades of grass will look more lush. But get too high and the grass might sag under its own weight. Getting quality turf may make the price per square foot a little higher, but it can save you money in the long run as it will look better for longer.
As far as the infill materials - the stuff that goes under the grass to form the base - this can affect the overall quality of your synthetic lawn as well. Rubber and sand are commonly used and can mimic the bounce you would get from a natural lawn. Your choice of infill material has a lot to do with how you plan to use the area. If it is going to be used as a play area, putting greens, or sports field, be sure to discuss this with your artificial grass installation company to get their opinion on the pros and cons of different infill materials.
If you are installing the artificial grass in an area with a lot of foot traffic, you'll definitely want to opt for the higher quality synthetic turf otherwise it could get matted down easily. And like we said before, artificial grass is low maintenance, but not exactly no maintenance. Be sure to ask about how your choice of quality in synthetic turf will affect maintenance needs.
A good quality synthetic lawn can last around 20 years with very little maintenance. And you won't have to worry about those dry, hot years frying your yard and making your grass look brown. With artificial grass you can rest assured that you will have a green lawn year round for as long as you have it installed.
This can definitely improve your home's curb appeal! And if you are trying to sell your home, having a green lawn that looks perfectly manicured can help increase your sale price. Landscape design and having an attractive outdoor space can contribute to selling your home for more.
Artificial grass can actually help protect the environment. It is counter-intuitive, I know! Most people think of synthetic grass as plastic and as we all know, plastic is not good for the environment. However, artificial lawns are made out of many different types of materials these days - including recycled materials. There are even some types of fake grass made from plant-based soy beans. In other cases, the lawn itself can be recycled if you choose to have it removed so it will not end up in the landfill.
On top of the materials not being as environmentally-aggressive as many people assume, having a synthetic lawn will help the planet because it does not require the amount of water that a natural lawn does. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the average American uses about 320 gallons of water per day. And about one third of the water the average American uses per year goes to outdoor uses - and much of that is because of natural grass.
Finally, since you will not have to use harmful chemicals to keep pests away or spur grass growth, you will not have to worry about runoff transporting those pesticides and fertilizers to areas where your pets or children might be exposed to them.
After reading through this post, have you started considering how artificial grass might be a better fit for your property than natural grass? There are definitely advantages to natural grass - lower up front costs and it doesn't necessarily have a limited lifespan like synthetic grass does. However, there are a lot of benefits to artificial grass that aren't well known, like those we have just gone over. These benefits increase if you live in a hot or arid climate, or if your local municipality puts a limit on water use during the summer seasons. If you're thinking about making the switch to artificial turf, our experts at Ergeon are ready to talk to you about the advantages of having a synthetic lawn.