Installing artificial grass in your backyard can completely transform the look and feel of your outdoor space. Once an unusual alternative, artificial grass has become incredibly popular in recent years as homeowners seek out low maintenance, environmentally friendly landscape options.
With so many artificial grass products on the market, it can be tricky to determine which option is right for your home. Keep reading to learn about the top features to consider when shopping for Artificial Grass for Backyard.
What Are the Benefits of Artificial Grass?
Before diving into the key features to look for when shopping, let’s first go over some of the main reasons homeowners choose artificial grass in the first place.
Low Maintenance: Once installed properly, artificial lawns require very little regular care and upkeep. There is no mowing, watering, fertilizing or seeding needed.
All Weather Durability: Synthetic grass for residential yards is unaffected by changing weather. You can enjoy a vibrant green lawn year-round, rain or shine.
Pet and Kid Friendly: Artificial grass stands up very well to heavy traffic from children and pets. Materials are durable and drainage is built right in.
Water Conservation: Using artificial turf eliminates the need for irrigation, saving thousands of gallons of water each year.
Consistent Appearance: Artificial lawns offer uniform color and thickness. You never have to deal with brown spots or patchiness.
Cost Savings: Though the initial investment is significant, not having to pay for lawn maintenance and water can lead to long term cost savings.
With so many advantages, it’s easy to see the appeal of artificial grass for today’s busy, eco-conscious homeowners. Now let’s look at the specific features you’ll want to evaluate as you shop.
Blade Shape, Length and Density
One of the most important factors when selecting an artificial turf product for residential yards is the shape, length and density of the grass blades. These factors affect how realistic and durable the lawn will be.
Blade Shape: The blades of higher end, more realistic looking artificial grass are usually W-shaped. The center ridge and curving edges help create depth and mimic real grass blades. Lower quality grass may have flat, paddle-shaped blades.
Blade Length: Blade lengths range from 20mm on the low end to over 50mm for very lush and thick turf. Longer blades generally create a more luxurious look. However, longer blades are not always better. Consider your climate and intended use. In hot regions, shorter blades may perform better. For areas with a lot of foot traffic, slightly stubbier blades hold up better.
Density/Pile Height: Density refers to how many individual grass blades there are per square inch. More blades means a thicker, fuller, more verdant lawn. Density ratings usually range from 30 ounces per square foot on the low end to 90 ounces per square inch for very dense artificial grass suited for sports fields. For residential use, look for density of 60 ounces or higher.
When researching artificial grass for backyard, checking the specifics on blade shape, height and density will give you a sense of how realistic and durable that variety will look.
Another important factor is the backing material the artificial blades are attached to. The backing gives the grass structure and stability. Higher quality synthetic turf uses backings made from durable woven or tufted polyethylene or polyurethane. Inferior products may use latex or other less reliable backings.
The material used also affects drainage. Better backyard artificial grass uses backings with perforations that allow water to pass through the turf into the ground below. If drainage is inadequate, puddling can occur.
Finally, some artificial grass is installed over a cushioned pad in addition to the backing. This pad lends extra comfort and safety if you plan to use the lawn for play or sports.
When learning about products, find out not just about the grass blades themselves but also the less visible but very important backing components.
Most artificial lawns contain infill material deposited between the blades. Good infill does a number of important jobs. First, it adds crucial weight and stability to the turf. Heavier infill prevents blades from matting down or shifting.
It also protects the artificial grass in your backyard by cushioning impact and foot traffic. Infill fills in the space between blades, creating an even, lush surface. It keeps blades standing upright.
Different types of infill offer different benefits:
Sand: The most affordable and commonly used infill. Provides stability and support but little cushioning. Best for landscaping applications.
Rubber: Made from recycled tires, rubber infill offers cushioning and temperature reduction. A good choice for play areas.
Coated Infills: Some infills are coated for antimicrobial protection, decreased dust and increased safety. Useful for play sets.
Alternative Infills: Newer options like cork and coconut coir offer sustainability benefits.
When comparing products, look at the type of infill used and consider the benefits it offers based on your goals for your yard.
Pile weight refers to the density of the artificial blades and infill measured in ounces per square foot. As discussed earlier under density, more pile weight generally equates to thicker, fuller, more realistic looking turf.
Pile weight can range from 40 ounces per square foot on the low end to over 100 ounces per square foot for high quality sports turf. For artificial turf for residential yard applications, look for pile weights starting at 60 ounces per square foot and higher. This creates lush, realistic looking grass with good durability.
Along with pile weight, the density of the backing material also matters when it comes to quality and durability of the overall system. Higher quality backings use more polyethylene or polyurethane, making them heavier and more resilient.
Average backing weights are around 15-20 ounces per square foot. Compare backing densities as you evaluate products to find an option suited to the traffic and use your lawn will see.
Higher end artificial grass for backyard may be constructed using more than just the grass blades, backing and infill. Additional layers can enhance drainage, cushioning and durability.
Drainage Layer: Some systems include a permeable drainage mat laid below the turf. This ensures adequate drainage and prevents water pooling on the grass surface.
Cushion Layer: An extra cushioning pad or foam layer can provide added support and safety for play areas.
Reinforcement Layer: Secondary scrim or mesh backing improves resilience and prevents rutting from heavy use. Helpful for pet areas.
Multiple-layer construction with an emphasis on drainage and reinforcement makes for turf better able to withstand wear and tear over time.
When making any major purchase for your home, an important factor to evaluate is the warranty provided by the manufacturer. Artificial grass is no exception. Better quality materials come with longer and more comprehensive warranty coverage.
Here are some key factors to look for when comparing turf warranties:
Length: Warranty terms ranging from just 5-7 years often indicate lower quality components. Look for at least 10-15 year coverage, preferably up to 20-25 years for the very best grass.
Blade Coverage: More protective warranties guarantee blades against excessive fading, flattening or splitting for decades rather than just a few years.
Backing Coverage: Look for at least 10 year coverage for failure, deterioration or loosening of backing.
Comprehensiveness: How much of the turf system and installation is covered? Better warranties cover labor and additional costs if replacement is needed.
Carefully examining warranty terms provides insight into how long the manufacturer expects their product to last and how much they stand behind it. Choosing turf backed by a strong guarantee gives you peace of mind with your investment.
Of course, as you choose artificial turf for your residential yards, you’ll also want to consider the available color options and which hue best suits your landscape vision. The good news is that today’s faux grasses offer many realistic looking shades of green and even brown.
Lime Green: The most popular artificial shade, lime green mimics lush, verdant living grass.
Olive Green: For a more muted tone, olive shades offer a laidback, casual feel.
Bluegreen: Captures the cool tones of healthy, well-watered grass.
Turf Green: A classic athletic field green tone.
Emerald Green: For a deep, regal shade of green.
Field Green: A more yellow-tinged hue like sun-drenched natural grass.
Pine Green: A muted, grayish-green tone.
Brown: For a drought-tolerant landscape look.
Take colors and combinations into account as you envision your ideal artificial backyard greenspace.
To complete your artificial turf research, here are a few final factors worth taking into account:
Independent Testing: Look for turf that has been evaluated and rated by independent organizations like STC (Sports Turf Council) and FTGA (Fake Turf Grass Association). These ratings validate quality, performance and safety.
UV Protection: Quality turf contains UV inhibitors to prevent fading and damage from sunlight exposure.
Permeability: Look for options designed to allow rainwater to filter through, especially if you need to meet stormwater regulations.
Flammability: Seek out turf rated as fire resistant.
Static Control: Some synthetic blades are treated to prevent static buildup, an advantage for play areas.
Antimicrobial: Antimicrobial treatments inhibit bacterial growth, minimizing odors and health risks, especially nice for pet areas.
Insulation: In colder climates, insulated turf provides warmth and expands the seasons of use.
Patented Technology: Unique innovations like built-in antimicrobials, c-curl blades and KoolBACK backing set some brands apart.
Focusing on the details above will help you thoroughly evaluate the options and confidently select high quality, long lasting artificial grass tailor made for your backyard.
FAQs About Installing Artificial Grass in Your Backyard
If you’re strongly considering artificial turf for your residential yard, you probably still have plenty of questions. Here are answers to 5 of the FAQs we hear most often about installing synthetic grass:
How much does installation cost?
The average cost to install artificial grass ranges from $8-20 per square foot depending on the quality of materials and complexity of the project. Professional installation is recommended to ensure proper drainage and anchoring. Any permits and site preparation also impact overall costs.
How is the grass anchored?
Quality turf features perforations in the backing so it can be securely anchored using stakes and screws. U-shaped turf nails along the perimeter hold the grass in place. The strongest installations include a border adhered around the edges.
How is artificial turf cleaned and maintained?
Basic upkeep involves removing debris using a stiff broom, leaf blower or vacuum. Occasional deep cleaning with a turf cleaner and water keeps it looking fresh. Synthetic grass requires little maintenance compared to natural lawn.
How long does artificial grass last?
With proper installation, materials rated for residential use should last 15-25 years on average. Higher quality options maintain their appearance and performance even longer. Following recommended maintenance extends useful life.
Is artificial turf safe for pets and kids?
Reputable synthetic grasses are entirely safe for children and pets when installed properly over a porous, draining base. There are no toxic chemicals, allergens or other risks associated with top quality faux grass.
If you’re ready to trade mowing, watering and maintenance for free time spent enjoying your yard, artificial grass is an excellent alternative to conventional lawns. By carefully comparing materials, construction, warranties and features using the guidance above, you can find resilient, great-looking synthetic turf tailored for your climate, lifestyle and landscape vision.
Transforming your backyard with artificial grass is a big investment that can significantly enhance your outdoor living space for years to come. Partner with a reputable supplier and installer like Creative Turf Install who specializes in beautiful, durable Artificial Turf for Residential Yards designed to meet your needs. Contact us today to get started designing the yard of your dreams!
For more information on creating the perfect artificial backyard environment for playing, pets, parties or peaceful relaxation, reach out to the experts at Creative Turf Install. Call or visit us online today to schedule a free consultation. We’ll help you select the ideal artificial grass for your bakyard and landscape goals and handle the hassle-free professional installation. Invest in quality and enjoy your beautiful new low-maintenance lawn for years to come!
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