We’ve previously explored the installation process of artificial grass, but let’s take a step back. The increasing popularity of artificial grass worldwide has meant there are more choices than ever available. It can feel like a bit of a minefield when you start to explore all the types on the market, so here are some helpful reminders of what to consider when choosing your artificial turf.
Set your budget
Let’s face facts, your final choice of turf will ultimately boil down to the budget you have available to spend. It makes sense to start here so that you aren’t considering grass options that are wildly out of reach financially. Measure your space and investigate your installation costs, this will help to establish your remaining budget.
How are you going to use the space?
Different artificial grass products are designed for a variety of uses. Think about how you will be using the finished lawn, will it experience a lot of foot traffic, could you save same costs in areas that will hardly be used, and does it need to be pet friendly with excellent drainage? Most artificial lawns are made from Polypropylene or Polyethylene which are softer to use but not as hard wearing as Polyamide which is made from nylon. Polyamide lawns are stronger and more resilient but also more expensive.
Consider your grass aesthetics
How your grass will look and feel really matters. There are a few factors to consider here:
The pile height is the length of the grass fibres from the backing to the tip of each blade. For a natural lawn look we recommend the pile height to be within 30mm-38mm but you may want to go shorter if you prefer the ‘freshly mown’ look. Shorter piles are also better for cleaning up after pets and can be harder wearing than longer piles, especially when it comes to compaction from heavy items.
The greater your pile density, the more luscious your lawn will look. The optimum lawn density is between 16000 and 18000 stitches per square metre; however this will need to increase for heavy use areas. A good quality lawn should also be weighty, falling between 2-3kg per metre square. Keep in mind where you will be viewing your lawn from, if you are going to be looking down on to it a lot, such as from an elevated building, you will need to opt for a higher density to avoid the grass looking sparse.
Colour & feel
Take full advantage of all the free samples available. We recommend you try them out in situ by placing them in the area that you will be laying the turf. Make sure you view them at different times of the day to see how the colour changes in differing levels of light. If your landscape doesn’t get a lot of light, a lighter shade of grass may help brighten the space, similarly opting for too dark a shade can make your outdoor space feel smaller. We also recommend having a real good feel of each sample, and not just with your hands. Feel the sample on your feet, arms and legs, its likely you will be using the finished turf in a variety of different ways and not just standing on it!
Explore the production process
We’ve already touched on the different materials used in various lawn products. It’s also important to consider the production and testing processes that your chosen product has been through.
We always recommend checking the country of origin from your supplier, this can be provided in the form of certification if you wish. Depending on where the grass was made will alter the regulations it has to comply with. This includes being fire resistant and being tested for harmful substances that can be dangerous to humans, pets and wildlife.
You can also get a good idea of the quality of your artificial grass by inspecting the fibres and the grass backing. If the fibres feel thin and the backings can be easily separated, this suggests the turf is of poor quality. Similarly, if there are few holes in the backing and they are very spread out, this indicates that water will not drain effectively. It is also important to check the warranty length that your provider offers, ensure it covers against UV stability and fibre loss to help keep the lawn intact and reduce fading from sunlight. All these pointers will help you to get as much life out of your lawn as possible.
Keep your next steps in mind
Once you have selected your lawn you will be laying it and for years to come you will have to maintain it. Check out our tips on selecting the best sub-base for your lawn and discuss the laying process with your installer to ensure there are no unexpected costs. All artificial lawns will require some level of maintenance but it’s important to check how easy the grass is to clean and how much maintenance, and cost, will be required further down the line. A cheaper turf may require more maintenance in the future meaning that a larger investment cost initially could actual be more cost effective in the long term.
Regardless of which type of artificial grass you opt for, you can really get the most out of it by pairing it with the Drainbase tile system during install. Drainbase provides the optimum finish to your lawn while increasing its durability and lifespan through increased airflow. The tiles are incredibly easy to install with a simple connection system that expands and contracts during temperature changes. It also improves the sustainability of your artificial lawn as it requires less excavation during install, is fully recyclable and buffers up to 30 litres of water per metre square.
If you are ready to take the next step, you can learn more about Drainbase by watching this handy video.
Choosing your artificial grass needn’t be difficult, but it's important that your final product works for you and is sure to last the test of time.