Now that you’ve made the decision to invest in artificial grass for your yard, the next thing you need to do is become familiar with the various styles of grass and then take a look at what factors are going to be most important for you and your family’s lifestyle. Here are a few tips on how to select the right type of grass for your specific lawn needs.
Key Specification Points for Artificial Grass
- Price per Square Foot
- Square Foot Per Roll
- Face Weight
- Pile Height
- Manufacturer’s Warranty
Artificial grass is delivered in full or partial rolls, depending on the amount you purchase. Manufacturer’s specification sheets will give you the actual weight of one full roll. This will become an important factor depending on how you plan to transport the grass to the site where it will be installed, and also when you’re investigating whether your proposed site can handle the weight. For example, if you’re planning to create a lawn oasis on top of your apartment, you’ll need to know the load limit of the roof and plan accordingly.
Price Per Square Foot
Obviously, price is a very important concern and is usually the first thing you’ll consider. However, depending on the needs of your situation, meeting a specific price point may only be one part of the equation. The price per square foot is for the grass layer and its attached backing – it does not include any site preparation expenses you may have to pay for in order to install the grass. For a site that is already set on a flat, even surface with built-in drainage, like a cement roof over a garage, your prep expenses will be lower. You can then spend more of your budget on getting a more high end grass. If you are dealing with a large and bumpy back yard with lots of weeds, shrubs and drainage issues – you’ll want to consider all the costs related to cleaning up the surface before installation.
Face weight is a term you may have heard when you selected the carpets for your home. It is basically the amount the “yarn” or fibers that make up the artificial grass weigh per square yard. The higher the face weight, the denser the grass is. This measurement is for weight of fibers only and does not necessarily equate to a better durability. The reason is that the weight does not differentiate for the height of the grass. If you have two different grasses with the same face weight, but one is taller than the other – the taller one will be less dense than the shorter one. Density is a key thing to consider if you’re expecting a lot of foot traffic where you’ll install the lawn. The more dense the face weight, the higher the durability.
Pile height is the height measurement of the grass blades that rise above the artificial grass backing. As mentioned, the combination of the face weight and the pile height will help determine the durability of a product. A taller pile height may look more aesthetically pleasing, but will show more wear patterns over time.
Artificial grass is created in “tufts” which are then attached to the backing which is a woven fabric or cloth designed to hold the grass tufts in place. There are several types of backing, each best suited for a specific usage. Some products have a primary and a secondary layer of backing – e.g. 32oz latex added for additional durability and stability. Special pet backings will allow for good drainage, odor reduction and easy cleanup.
If you plan to host sports activities or have young, active children on your lawn, you’ll want a backing that helps keep the grass stable but is very durable.
A manufacturer’s warranty is one of the luxuries of investing in artificial grass – if your grass is determined to be defective in any way – you can replace or return it. Most artificial grass products come with at least a 10 year warranty.
Units refer to the width of each roll of artificial grass. This factor comes in to play when determining whether you’ll be able to fit the roll in the space for your site based on the site’s width. Generally speaking, your installation will be less expensive and less prone to problems if you have fewer seams to deal with. Planning around the size of your roll is critical to keeping the number of seams down.
When faced with so many choices in artificial grass, always let your usage needs guide your decision. Taking the time now to investigate all your options and research the important determining factors will ensure you have a perfect looking lawn to enjoy for years to come.