Artificial Grass Pros And Cons: What You Need To Know

Installing artificial grass in your home is no small decision. And if you’re considering an artificial lawn for your home or yard, you might be wondering to yourself:

“Is artificial grass right for me? Is it truly worth the investment?”

There are lots of things to consider, including cost, installation, and long-term reliability…

And it’s only natural for homeowners to feel a little lost when deciding whether to install artificial grass.

Don’t worry – We’re here to help!

Today, our team of experts will walk you through the pros and cons of artificial grass, so you can learn everything you need to know to make an educated decision.

The Key Benefits Of Artificial Grass

There are many reasons why artificial grass has been exploding in popularity all around the world.

You see, at one point in time, “fake grass” was associated with cheap, tasteless surface coverings that look tacky and unappealing.

These days, however, things are very different – In fact, it’s quite hard to distinguish some artificial lawns from the real thing!

But if you’re still on the fence about whether or not artificial grass is for you, read on to find out some of the key benefits of artificial grass:

1. It Has Great Durability And Longevity

Some of the things that draw homeowners to artificial grass are its ability to last and function for a long time, as well as its rugged durability.

When it comes to artificial grass, manufacturers have been hard at work for many years to create a formula for manufacturing grass that is both durable and long-lasting.

In fact, a well-installed and properly maintained artificial lawn can generally last up to 25 years!

Its durability also saves you many headaches over the years.

For example, there’s no need to worry about your dogs digging holes in your lawn, nor do you have to stress out about replacing patches from wear and tear.

What’s more, most artificial grass brands will have built-in features that make them extra rugged and durable.

For example, they may come with UV-coating to prevent the colors from fading even under harsh sunlight, and special polymers engineered to help each grass blade maintain its shape throughout the years.

2. It Requires Very Little Maintenance

The cost of installing artificial grass might deter some homeowners at first…

But once you factor in the long-term savings from its low maintenance requirements, it becomes a very attractive choice.

Artificial grass has very few maintenance requirements. It saves you time, money, and most importantly it’s easy to do.

From our research, we estimate that the average person who owns a lawn spends 70 hours a year on yard work.

This includes regular watering, weed removal, mowing, fertilizing, pest control, and repairs too…

In fact, the average cost of maintaining a natural lawn professionally is about $1,800 per year (or about £1,300 as of the time of writing).

And any additional needs or problems you run into throughout the seasons and years will only stack on top of this!

Meanwhile, artificial grass owners have none of this to worry about.

In fact, it takes little more than a quick rinse every week with a garden hose, and you’re done!

Once you consider the thousands of hours and dollars you will save over its 25+ year lifespan, the 1-time cost of installing artificial grass becomes a no-brainer.

(See Also: The Complete Guide – How to Clean and Maintain Artificial Grass)

3. It’s Great Around Pools

Artificial grass is an ideal surface covering around pools for several reasons.

For starters, it provides a cushioned surface surrounding the pool area. This reduces the risk of injury to your family and friends in case of slips and falls.

When properly installed, it also drains extremely well. You won’t have to watch out for puddles or slippery surfaces, which also reduces the risk of injury and falls.

Because it is made from synthetic materials, it is resistant to fading or damage from the chlorine in your pool water. And unlike natural grass, there’s no mud or dirt to worry about!

Finally, it just looks and feels amazing around a pool! Artificial grass provides a soft and welcoming surface to step on barefoot compared to traditional hard pavers.

(See Also: Artificial Grass Around Pools – What You Need To Know First)

4. It Can Withstand Heavy Usage And Foot Traffic

If you’ve ever owned a natural lawn, you’d understand just how frustrating it can be to see your lawn torn up and tattered after a party or gathering.

As nice as natural grass may be, it is always going to be vulnerable to heavy foot traffic.

Fortunately, artificial grass is designed to be resistant to exactly that!

Due to its synthetic and inert nature, there’s no need to worry about the “health” of your artificial lawn.

This also means it can support heavy usage. It won’t be damaged underneath your trampoline or picnic tables, nor will it break down during a casual backyard football game.

5. Artificial Grass Is Dog-Friendly

If you’re a dog owner, you’re probably concerned about the safety and comfort of your four-legged friends in the backyard.

Well, here’s the good news:

Artificial grass is not only safe for dogs, but also a great overall choice for all pet owners!

Thanks to the permeable backing on modern artificial grass, urine is allowed to flow through completely into the ground.

And because it’s synthetic, it stops urine stains from causing dead patches of grass.

This also means bacteria and odors are kept to a minimum, simply because there is little organic material for your pet’s waste to interact with.

What’s more, its rugged materials and design make it a lot harder for dogs to dig through compared to natural grass.

You’ll find that dogs enjoy playing on artificial grass just as much as on real grass. And thanks to the use of inert, non-toxic materials and the complete elimination of pesticides and fertilizer chemicals, your dog now has a safe and clean environment to play on

6. Artificial Grass Is Child-Friendly

There are many reasons why artificial grass is increasingly found in schools and playgrounds.

For starters, it provides a soft and comfortable surface for children to play on.

The surface is also completely even: No stones, dips, humps, or unevenness at all. Coupled with a foam underlay, this will greatly reduce the risk of injury from trips and falls.

Many parents also enjoy the fact that it is mess-free. Your children will not be bringing any mud or dirt back into the home!

The elimination of chemical pesticides and fertilizers also makes it a much safer and healthier environment for children to play in.

What’s more, there will be far fewer allergens in your yard, since pollen and other organic materials are essentially absent.

And finally, its durable nature means you can let your kids play as rough as they want on your artificial grass without damage to your lawn!

7. It Offers Perfect Consistency

Natural lawns are never consistent. Even if you prepare the surface perfectly and plant only one type of seed, you will eventually develop weeds, stones, patches, and unevenness in your lawn.

With artificial grass, however, you will get perfect consistency and smoothness with very little maintenance.

Many homeowners prefer this look. It’s also particularly useful for certain applications, such as backyard putting greens.

8. It Looks And Feels Just Like The Real Thing

If you’re concerned about your artificial grass looking “fake”, don’t worry!

Nowadays, artificial grass is engineered to look and feel just like real grass. Everything from the materials and coating used, down to the shape and contour of the grass blades is designed with realism in mind.

Obviously, not every artificial grass is created equal. What’s more, the needs and preferences of homeowners vary greatly.

That’s why we always recommend seeing and inspecting samples in person before committing to installing artificial grass in your yard.

If possible, bring a few sample patches home. Take your time to see how well the grass complements your yard and its lighting conditions. Consider the feel of the grass underfoot too.

(See Also: How To Choose Artificial Grass – 10 Things To Look For Before Buying)

9. There’s A Wide Variety To Choose From

Sure, there are many types of natural grass to choose from, each with its own set of features. But artificial grass takes this to a next level.

From the feel and color of the grass, all the way down to the shape of each individual grass blade, there is always an artificial grass that will suit your needs and preferences.

With artificial grass, you can get the exact combination of features that you want. And you can do all this independent of climate considerations.

All this means you’ll be able to find an artificial grass that is perfect for your home and your household.

10. No Climate Or Soil Considerations

Your artificial lawn will look as good now as it will in the summer or the winter. The same certainly can’t be said about real grass!

With artificial grass, you won’t have to worry about how much rainfall or sunlight your location gets, nor the quality and properties of your soil. These are all factors that will limit your available choices of natural grass.

What’s more, natural grass may have various maintenance requirements depending on the season. Many types will suffer under harsh weather conditions, including droughts and storms.

But all these concerns are eliminated with artificial grass. You can simply kick back and enjoy your lawn all year round!

11. It Is Shade-Friendly

Because artificial grass does not need sunlight to stay looking new and healthy, it’s an excellent choice if your yard is shaded or you live in a location that receives little sunlight.

An environment without sufficient sunlight can result in dead grass and patches, making it very difficult to maintain a healthy-looking lawn.

Since artificial grass is completely synthetic, it’s ideal for shaded locations where real grass struggles to grow.

12. It Saves Water

Saving water is great for the environment. But it’s great for your bank account, too!

Nearly 9 billion gallons of water are used to water gardens and lawns every day in the United States!

In fact, the average home in the United States uses around one-third of its total water consumption outdoors. In hotter, drier climates like Texas. this figure can shoot up to 70 percent.

What’s more, thanks to inefficient irrigation systems and methods, 50% of this water is wasted.

All you have to do is imagine the amount of water (and money) you’d save across the 25-year lifespan of your artificial grass to understand why it’s such a popular option amongst homeowners!

13. No Pesticides Or Fertilizers

For most natural lawns to remain healthy and green, they need to be fertilized and treated with pesticides.

Both involve various chemicals that can pollute the water and soil, and pose a health risk to both humans and pets.

What’s more, it’s a costly affair in the long run too.

American homeowners use between 80 and 100 million pounds of fertilizer, pesticide, and insecticide every year on their lawns.

With all this in mind, it’s not hard to see why artificial grass represents an easier and healthier choice in the long run.

14. Weed Resistance

Artificial grass is much more weed-resistant than real grass. And anyone who’s owned a real lawn will tell you just how annoying and difficult it is to pluck out unwanted weeds from your yard!

A proper installation with a simple weed membrane will largely eliminate weeds from your artificial lawn.

And even if weeds do grow through the backing, it will be a much smaller problem than if it were to occur on a real lawn.

This also means you won’t have to invest in chemical weed-killers, which can be toxic and harmful to humans.

15. It Is Mostly Pest-Free

Bugs and pests thrive in organic environments. The humus and topsoil in natural grass are perfect examples, and that’s why they love living in it so much.

Sometimes, things can get out of hand and they can cause damage to your lawn too.

Artificial grass? Not so much! This means no grubs, ticks, and bites for your children and pets, and no pesticides too.

What’s more, a proper installation will also prevent bigger pests like gophers and moles that could wreak havoc on a natural lawn.

(See Also: Getting Rid of Fleas and Bugs in Artificial Grass – What You Need To Know)

16. No Lawn Diseases

When dealing with natural grass, it’s important to bear in mind that it is a living thing.

And like every other organism, grass can be vulnerable to a variety of diseases. This is simply nature.

For example, diseases such as Rhizoctonia can completely devour your grass. And this will cost you more hours, more money, and more headaches to take care of.

Needless to say, this isn’t a problem with artificial grass!

17. It Offers Great Drainage When Properly Installed

On a natural lawn, puddles and waterlogged patches are a common problem. Not only are these slippery and unappealing, but they can also form breeding grounds for mosquitos and other pests.

Artificial grass has a completely permeable backing, which means it can drain up to 50 liters per square meter, every minute.

This ensures water doesn’t collect on your lawn, even under heavy rainfall.

The most important part is to make sure the ground is prepared properly. With a good sub-base and laying course, water will be free to drain through into the soil below.

(See Also: How to Prepare the Ground for Artificial Grass)

18. It Reduces Risk Of Allergy

One of the biggest causes of allergies is pollen.

With artificial grass, pollen is eliminated. This makes it a great choice for those who are prone to hay fever, allowing them to enjoy their yard all year round.

19. Artificial Grass Is Safe

Throughout the years, some have voiced concerns over the safety of the materials used in artificial grass.

Many homeowners ask if these materials can be toxic, or whether chemicals could be released in the long term.

With modern-day artificial grass technology, however, there is nothing to worry about. The materials used in good artificial grasses are inert, stable and non-toxic.

In fact, most of these health concerns can be traced back to an outdated infill called crumb rubber, which was almost exclusively used in turf on sports pitches.

In many respects, artificial grass provides a safer environment than a natural lawn, with the removal of pesticides, fertilizers, and weed killers, its elimination of pests and pollen, and its inherent softness and consistency.

20. Cleanliness And Hygiene

In general, an artificial lawn will be cleaner and more hygienic than a natural one. Here’s why:

Imagine you threw a party in your yard, and one of your guests dropped a slice of pizza in the corner, which goes unnoticed.

If you had a natural lawn, you’d be left with quite a mess in no time. The pests and organisms in your grass would flock to it, and the food would begin rapidly decaying and rotting, mingling with the rest of the organic material in the soil.

With artificial grass, the mess would be a lot more subdued, simply because the lack of organic material does not promote rapid decay. What’s more, the cleanup is going to be a lot easier.

The same goes for dog urine and feces. On a natural lawn, these might quickly start breaking down into the soil and causing all sorts of problems.

With artificial grass, however, it’s just a matter of picking up the solids and rinsing the area down with water, which washes everything into the ground below.

21. It Offers Huge Long-Term Cost Savings

Let’s take a moment to consider the cost of natural and artificial lawns:

While natural sod will cost you anywhere between $0.15 to $0.60 per square foot (or £0.10 to £0.45), artificial grass can cost up to $5 to $20 (£3.5 to £15) per square foot!

This represents a huge initial cost. But which one is more expensive in the long run?

Well, bear in mind that artificial grass requires almost no maintenance. For the most part, your maintenance schedule will consist of sweeping any loose debris away and giving it a quick rinse once a week.

A natural lawn, however, will require a lot more work:

In fact, with repairs, watering, fertilization, mowing, aeration, weed care, and much more, it can cost up to $2,000 (or about £1,500) per year for a small 1000 square foot lawn.

This comes down to a total of $50,000 (or around £37,000) after 25 years!

And this doesn’t even take into account any damage from unexpected events such as disease, extreme weather, or pest infestations.

You may be able to save a bit of money by doing all this yourself. But this requires investing in the right equipment and maintaining it yourself too.

This also represents hundreds of hours of maintenance work across time.

In short, while the initial cost of installing artificial grass might be higher, the long-term savings are huge.

22. Usually Comes With A Warranty

A 25-year lifespan might seem a bit unbelievable at first. But modern artificial grass is indeed capable of that.

In fact, manufacturers are so confident in their products that they often offer warranties for up to 25 years.

Coupled with its low maintenance requirements, artificial grass truly gives you long-lasting peace of mind.

Disadvantages Of Artificial Grass

Artificial grass is great, but it’s not all fun and games! Here at AlmostGrass, we believe every homeowner should be fully informed about it so they can make an informed choice.

Below is a list of major disadvantages of artificial grass, as well as some tips on how you may mitigate them.

1. High Upfront Costs

As we’ve covered above, artificial grass is certainly a lot more expensive initially when compared to real grass.

However, the long-term savings are significant. And if you plan on keeping it for a while, artificial grass is definitely a good investment.

If you are someone who is handy with tools, you can certainly cut down on the upfront costs significantly by doing the installation yourself.

In fact, labor usually accounts for anywhere between 30% to 40% of the total cost of an artificial lawn.

2. The Installation Is Mostly Permanent

If you’re a gardener, you probably enjoy digging holes in your lawn, planting new flowers and herbs, switching things up now and then.

With artificial grass, however, this is not an option.

Once it is installed, it is quite difficult to make these sorts of changes to your lawn. Artificial grass is a mostly permanent installation.

Since the top soil would have been excavated and replaced with a sub-base and laying course, it’s very hard to switch back to a natural lawn.

That being said, there are certain things you can do to circumvent these obstacles.

If you don’t want to give up gardening completely, you may incorporate flower beds, herb gardens, and tree wells into your lawn.

These will have to be put in place as part of the artificial grass installation process, so make sure to plan ahead.

Also, if you later discover wrinkles and creases, it is possible to flatten them out even after the installation is complete.

(See Also: How to Lay Artificial Grass on Concrete – The Complete Guide)

3. Repairs Can Be Tricky

Rest assured – Your artificial grass is remarkably tough and durable. And in most cases, you won’t ever have to worry about repairing it.

That being said, accidents do occur. Perhaps a family member drops a piece of coal from a barbeque and causes a burned patch. Or perhaps someone spilled a corrosive chemical over it.

It’s not possible to “grow” new artificial grass, so your only option is to repair the damaged patch.

This involves sourcing the exact same artificial grass used, and carefully replacing a new patch of grass such that it blends in seamlessly.

4. Some Materials Are Not Bio-Degradable

While many artificial grass brands are made from recycled materials, certain types are not bio-degradable afterward.

For example, polyethylene is a plastic commonly used in artificial grasses that cannot be recycled at the end of its lifespan.

If this is a concern for you, it is worthwhile to double-check whether a specific artificial grass is recyclable when you are choosing one for your home.

(See Also: What Is Artificial Grass Made Of? Your Guide To Artificial Grass Materials)

5. Surface Heat

Artificial grass is frequently criticized as being too hot in the summer.

This is something to consider if you live in a particularly hot climate, or you’re used to the feel of cool green grass on the bottoms of your bare feet, or if your children spend a lot of time outside on the lawn.

Another cause of surface heat in artificial grass is glass reflection. This is where sunlight is magnified and intensified onto your lawn as it passes through glass windows or doors.

Fortunately, many manufacturers now offer artificial grass with heat-resistant properties. What’s more, there are plenty of simple measures you can take to cool down your grass.

And when all is said and done, artificial grass will remain cooler than many other ground coverings (such as concrete or paving stones).

(See Also: Does Artificial Grass Get Hot? And 5 Ways To Cool Down Artificial Grass)

6. Could Cause Rug Burn

Certain artificial grasses might have rougher finishes or designs that could cause rug burn. However, this is not a problem for most grasses, and it is easily preventable by inspecting the artificial grass in person before making a final choice.

7. Eventually Requires Replacement

Yes, artificial grass has a very long lifespan. But eventually, it will lose its shape and break down too.

This means you will have to replace the entire lawn since it’s not possible to seed new artificial grass.

Once your ground is prepared, however, it is a lot easier to replace artificial grass, since it is just a matter of stripping away the top layer and laying down a new one.

8. Banned In Some Locations

While artificial grass is rapidly growing in popularity, some of the health and environmental concerns remain. This has led to certain localities restricting or banning its use.

This is not a problem in most cities and municipalities, but it’s worthwhile to double-check ahead of time.

Conclusion

There you have it! Now that you know all the pros and cons of artificial grass, you can finally make an informed decision for your own home.

Remember: Artificial grass is a big upfront investment and a permanent installation, so if you have any doubts, make sure to contact a professional before proceeding!