Artificial grass is no longer used solely in sports stadiums. It has steadily been making its way into the front and backyards of homes across the U.S. So, what’s the big deal about artificial turf?
Now, if you haven’t already seen a high-quality, well-installed turf lawn in-person, your mind might wander to that really awful stuff The Brady Bunch family had in their backyard. It just screamed “fake”, didn’t it? Faux grass has come a long way since the ’60s. With ever-advancing technology and improvements, turf products now are so realistic, both in look and feel, it’s hard to tell the difference!
You can’t beat its longevity either. A good synthetic grass lawn can last 15-20 years. Between that and the fact that sports arenas use them because they can withstand a lot of wear and take little to no maintenance, it’s clear why more and more home and business owners are making the switch for their own outdoor spaces.
Let’s take a closer look at the costs of artificial lawns, why they’re so durable, and things to consider if you’re deciding whether one is right for your home.
Artificial Grass Cost
Understandably, price is a major consideration for anyone thinking about having an artificial lawn installed. Some may balk at the upfront cost for fake grass. But, keep in mind that it pays for itself after a few years. This is credited to saving on the upkeep and maintenance costs of sod and real grass. Plus, that’s a lot of time you’re saving too if you’ve been doing the work yourself!
As we mentioned, some artificial turf lawns can last as long as 20 years. According to others, you can expect at least 8 years. Why such a discrepancy? Several factors can affect its durability and longevity.
- Quality of materials – Naturally, the better quality of turf used, the longer it is likely to last. As the old saying goes, you get what you pay for. It is especially important in our area of the country to choose a top-quality turf product that can withstand heat and sun exposure.
- Appropriate installation – It can be tempting to save some money and try installing synthetic grass yourself. However, the whole process is much more complicated than simply laying down some fake grass in your backyard. If not installed properly, artificial lawns can end up with misaligned seams, weeds, and drainage problems.
- Regular upkeep – Right now you’re probably thinking, “But I thought you said artificial turf lawns didn’t require any maintenance?” In general, no. It is advisable to rake them occasionally, especially high-traffic areas, to dislodge any compacted infill and to “fluff up” your blades of grass. It’s also wise to rinse off natural debris and dirt as well as the places your pet does its business to avoid stains or smells.
- Wear and tear – Occasionally, rips or stains can happen. Fortunately, these spots can easily be fixed without having to replace ALL of your artificial turf. (It is best to replace these spots quickly, though.) Higher quality turf products also hold up better to heavily used yards.
Now that we’ve talked a bit about the main factors that affect the cost and longevity of synthetic lawns, let’s explore why fake grass lasts so long.
Why Does Fake Grass Last So Long?
Fake grass’ longevity is due to the materials used and how they are constructed. Most synthetic turf is made with two or three materials. This includes polypropylene, polyethylene, and nylon. The blades of grass themselves are usually made with nylon or polyethylene. The latter is heated down with dyes and UV-resistant additives. Nylon blades are made with molds to give them their realistic look and shape. Polypropylene is usually used for the thatch layer. This provides the turf with more cushion and support. The blades and thatch are secured into the backing with a special machine, ensuring the components won’t work loose. Finally, all of this is attached to more cushioning. This is usually made with polyester foam or rubber compounds.
These materials are used because they do not degrade quickly: Under the elements or from heavy use. They are also stain and fade resistant and hold up well under fluctuating weather conditions.
Infill also plays an important role in an artificial lawn’s longevity. For residential use, sand, silicon mixtures, and pea gravel are usually used. These don’t hold heat like the rubber used in some commercial uses. In turn, this helps keep the turf cooler, extending its life.
So, in a nutshell, artificial turf is made to last so long from the durable materials that are used and the way they are treated and put together in the manufacturing process. They are treated to be UV stabilized and water-resistant, which prevents degradation from the elements. This also means they won’t fade or flatten over time.
Should I Opt for an Artificial Lawn?
As with anything in life, there are pros and cons to having an artificial lawn. Though the good aspects are much more numerous, fake grass may still not be for everyone. Let’s break down the good and the bad of synthetic sod.
- Little to no maintenance – An occasional rake and rinse of faux grass seems a lot less tedious than mowing, watering, and fertilizing each week.
- Cost-effective – Artificial lawns generally pay for themselves after a few years. And for the remaining years, think about all of the money you’re saving on maintenance and upkeep costs!
- Evergreen – No more worry about brown, dead spots. Just beautiful green lawns year-round.
- Irrigation issues solved – Although it might sound contradictory since artificial turf is treated to be water-resistant, it’s still permeable. Plus, proper drainage will be addressed before installation begins. No more worrying about standing water in your yard.
- Save on resources – Speaking of water, the shortage in the western states is becoming an increasingly frequent issue. No need to worry about watering artificial lawns and you’re helping to conserve resources!
- Non-toxic and non-allergenic – Artificial turf is a great option for those with kids, pets, or grass allergies!
- Warmer than natural – Unfortunately, fake grass, even with its treatments, does heat up more than real grass. Again, the type of infill used can also add to this.
- Odor build-up – Speaking of infill, some tend to hold odors more than others. Messes that aren’t cleaned up promptly can give your grass some funk.
Many people interested in artificial turf wonder what it is about it that helps it last so long. Much of this can be attributed to the materials used to make it, the manufacturing process, and special chemical treatments to protect it against the elements. But, several other variables can affect the lifetime of fake grass too: the grade of turf materials used, how well it was installed, how much traffic it gets, and how well you take care of it.
Although estimates of longevity vary due to many factors, you can expect an artificial turf lawn to last at least 8-10 years. With high-quality turf and a little regular upkeep (raking and rinsing), you can easily expect your ever-green yard to withstand 15 to 20 years. Either way, a properly installed, quality synthetic turf yard is worth making the switch to.
Ready to get started on your own artificial lawn? The experts at Turf Monsters are here to help! We provide non-toxic, heat-resistant, 100% USA-made turf products, ensuring you get a quality product you will be happy with for years to come. Give us a call or send us an email today to get started!
Looking for a bit of inspiration when it comes to installing artificial turf in your yard? If so, check out some of our most recent projects in Phoenix, Paradise Valley, Peoria, and Scottsdale.