Last week, we talked about how to install artificial grass on a patio, but what about the kind of grass you should get for your patio in the first place? Today, we’ll discuss the key features and characteristics you should look for when shopping for fake grass for your patio.
1. Backing strength.
As with any type of fake grass installation, you should determine how much foot traffic your grass will be receiving. In the case of patio grass, this question takes on an additional dimension: do you have outdoor furniture? What’s it made of? Will it be moving?
Lightweight outdoor furniture, like plastic chairs, won’t have any effect on the grass, but heavy metal chairs or a metal grill might. If you’ve got heavy outdoor furniture, you’ll want a grass with robust backing and tuft bind – how hard it is to pull the blades out of the backing. Steer clear of aesthetic-only grasses, which, while cost-effective, won’t perform over time.
2. Blade Memory and Height
On a patio where there is heavy furniture, you’ll want a grass that springs back to its original shape after being compressed. Blade memory and height play a big part in determining how well a fake grass does this. In general, you’ll want to look for shorter blades and strong memory. While a plush grass like our Nature’s Sod Platinum might feel great on your bare feet, it likely won’t hold up to furniture and crowds over time. A medium-height grass with excellent memory, such as our Vista grasses, will be a better fit here.
2. The Cool Factor
One final consideration: heat. Fake grass can get hot. What can you do about this? Here are some work-arounds.
Many of our customers are surprised to learn that ambient air temperature has no effect whatsoever on the temperature of artificial grass. The real culprit is direct sunlight. Sunlight is most direct between 11AM and 2PM, so if your patio isn’t in direct sunlight during those times, it’ll stay cool. Additionally, even if your patio is in direct sunlight during those times, it’s really only a problem if it’s being used at that time. So, consider your daily habits to see if this will be an issue for you.
What if your patio does get direct sunlight from 11AM to 2PM and you do intend to use it during those times? Is all hope lost? Not at all! Thanks to the rapid evolution of turf technology, there’s a type of turf that doesn’t get as hot – and we carry it! It’s called CoolYarn, a unique combination of UV-deflecting and heat-shedding technology wrapped into the yarn itself, resulting in a 15%-20% decrease in overall temperature. This decrease in temperature is usually enough to make it comfortable at any time of day.
Localized Heating Problems
Finally, a word of caution in the temperature department. While direct sunlight won’t melt artificial grass directly, focused sunlight might. Focused sunlight can easily scorch and melt fake grass, an effect we call “localized heating”. There are a lot of things that can focus sunlight in this way, including glass furniture and machinery, but the most common culprit by far is reflective windows. Before you proceed any further in your quest for the ultimate grass patio, take a minute to look for focused light reflections on the patio where the grass will be between 11AM and 2PM. If you see any, try to determine where the reflection is coming from. If it’s coming from furniture or machinery, moving or covering the source might be enough. If it’s coming from your window, you might need a solar screen or tinting.
That’s it! Everything you need to know to select the right fake grass for your patio. We hope this helps you make an informed decision. As always, if you have any questions or would like additional guidance, don’t hesitate to give your local Purchase Green store a ring or drop by in person. Our turf experts will be happy to help you find your perfect patio grass.