It’s hard to deny the simply elegant aesthetic touch that comes from having a beautiful lawn at your home.
But nowadays, you have an important choice to make: Artificial grass vs Real grass.
It’s not an easy choice to make, and whichever option you choose, it will be an expensive investment that’s hard to back out off.
But don’t worry – We’re here to help!
Today, we’re giving you a complete guide to the pros and cons of each option. All the information you need to make a sound decision is included.
Our team has installed both artificial lawns and real lawns in hundreds of houses around the world, with decades of combined experience under our belts.
As you’d expect, there are several important factors you need to consider before you pull the trigger and make the big purchase.
You will also get practical insights from our experts that can will help you make an informed decision for your specific home and situation.
In This Article:
The Cost of Artificial Grass Vs Real Grass
The problem that many people have with evaluating the ownership cost of artificial grass versus real grass is that they don’t consider the entire lifetime of both options.
First of all, both options involve a big upfront cost. You’ll also have to factor in installation costs.
But even after the lawn is installed and present, the financial obligations do not end there.
The only way lawns can remain beautiful and attractive is if homeowners put in the required time and financial investment to maintain them in the long run.
That’s why we always advise homeowners to consider the big picture and long term costs before making a final choice.
So, how do the natural and artificial options compare to each other in terms of overall cost?
Natural grass emerges from either seeds or sod. The installation type is up to you, and each has its advantages and disadvantages.
Generally, seeds come with a lower initial cost than sod. However, sod makes up for it by producing almost instant results and allowing for superior erosion control.
Whichever you choose, you still need to spend quite a lot of time and effort on your lawn in the long run.
Remember: Real grass is a living thing! This means regular mowing, weeding, reseeding, feeding etc. are all potential considerations you need to make.
During the installation process, artificial grass will cost a lot more than that of natural grass, whether seed or sod is used.
However, the fake grass makes up for this initial disadvantage by having a comparatively low maintenance cost after that.
In fact, all you have to do is brush and rinse it every week – This saves you time, effort and money for years to come.
In other words, the cost of owning a natural lawn catches up to that of artificial grass, and is going to be a lot higher in the long run.
Installing Artificial Grass Vs Real Grass
You may be wondering what the installation process looks like for both natural and artificial grass.
After all, the installation cost is one thing, but the effort involved in the process is another.
If you are going with natural grass, then the first option is to grow it from scratch. You need to prepare the soil, plant the seeds, and nurture the grass to a healthy state.
This method is the slowest way to go about it, but it’s very reliable when done right.
Sod is the second option, which boils down to rolling out the turf with the grass somewhat preinstalled. When using this method, you still need to adequately prepare the ground if you want the grass to grow well.
It’s critical that you avoid walking on natural grass until you have mowed it at least three times. Normally, the grass gets mature enough after that to handle being stepped on without any adverse effects.
The artificial grass installation process is also a quick one, and there’s no need to worry about walking on it since it’s not real.
Fake grass is based on a synthetic material that is designed and engineered to look like the real thing.
Though the grass doesn’t have the same needs as its natural counterpart, a similar level of ground preparation is still required.
However, the good news is that the grass is ready to be enjoyed and used once the installation is complete, and will stay that way for many years to come.
If the DIY alternative for either natural or artificial grass looks too demanding, remember that there are always professionals who are willing to complete the installation for you.
Artificial Grass Requires Less Maintenance
In comparing fake grass vs real grass, the difference in maintenance requirements is like night and day.
If your lawn is made up of natural grass, expect to put a lot of work in for years to come if you want to keep it looking amazing.
You’ve probably seen how bad and unhealthy an unkept lawn looks. And it doesn’t take a lot of deviation from that routine for your lawn to start looking like that too.
You are going to need to dedicate several hours weekly to keeping the grass in tiptop shape, especially in the first few weeks.
Artificial grass doesn’t have the water or nutrient requirements that natural grass does. That’s a great thing, since you don’t have to spend so much time maintaining it.
Note that this doesn’t mean that you can forget about maintenance completely.
Debris can trap water and bacteria in your grass, and pets can leave odors on it. Therefore, it’s important to give it a quick brush and rinse occassionally, to keep it in pristine condition.
Real Grass Looks and Feels Better
When it comes to aesthetics and feel, it’s no surprise that real grass takes the win here. After all, the idea of fake grass is to emulate the real thing as closely as possible.
Despite this, artificial grass has come a long way, and the technology today makes it very realistic in terms of both looks and feel.
Bear in mind: While a real lawn has the potential to look better, it can only do so with the right environmental factors at play.
This means both regular maintenance and a suitable climate for your grass to grow in.
Unfortunately, some of those who wish to have a lush looking lawn don’t have the kind of garden that can support one. Some people might live in places with harsh weather conditions, while others have poor soil in their yards that’s unsuitable for grass.
Under these conditions, your natural grass may end up looking worn and unhealthy, no matter how much effort you put into it.
If you fall under this category of homeowners, artificial grass may be a better alternative since it can maintain a fresh and attractive look, regardless of the climate or environment its in.
Artificial Grass Is More Durable
Durability should always be an essential factor in your decision. Depending on your location, this concept can have different meanings to you.
For example, if you live somewhere with a mostly hot climate, durability may mean a lawn that can stand up to the extreme heat.
Alternatively, your yard may be a high-traffic area, and you need it to be able to stand up to the demands of heavy usage and foot traffic.
Whatever durability means to you, a lawn that can withstand harsh conditions is one that is going to save you a lot of cash and time.
It’s no secret that artificial grass tends to be the better option in this regard. As we’ve mentioned above, natural grass is a living thing, which means that it has a bigger set of requirements to stay strong.
Artificial grass does not have any of these inhibitions, and its immunity to temperature changes, moisture, pests, and weeds, makes it a great choice for the busy homeowner.
Your lawn is not a temporary thing. This means you want to be sure of its health and condition for years to come. Artificial grass has a lot of resistance, so you can expect it to be around for the long haul.
Real Grass Vs Artificial Grass For Dogs
For many homeowners, their first consideration would be whether their beloved dogs would feel at home on their new lawn.
But this poses many new challenges for maintenance and upkeep. Some people have even concluded that it’s impossible to grow a lawn and have a dog simultaneously.
Rest assured: You can have both, but the comparison of real grass vs artificial grass for dogs illustrates a world of difference.
First, it’s important to understand the potential problems that dogs can present for your lawn.
For example, foot traffic can pose some issues. While a dog is generally lighter than a human, they enjoy running and playing on your lawn. The repetitive trampling can result in weak looking grass.
Digging is also a problem, which creates dirt patches and holes in your lawn. Naturally, this means that the uniformed look that a lawn should have becomes compromised.
But perhaps the biggest problem is waste on your lawn. Here’s why:
Dog urine and feces contain nitrogen. In moderate quantities, this is good for natural grass.
However, the waste that dogs produce contains way too much, which kills the integrity of the grass and soil, creating brown spots and empty areas.
Additionally, it’s just super messy to have your lawn littered with dog poop!
If you have natural grass, then all these problems can create a significant source of worry.
You are going to have to take various strategies to mitigate each. For example, blocking off an area for running, scooping up poop quickly, and replanting grass as soon as patches appear in your lawn.
While artificial grass doesn’t require zero effort where dogs are concerned, you certainly have a lot less to worry about.
In fact, it drains just like real grass, so all you have to do is pick up solid waste as soon as you see it, and rinse away your dog’s urine.
In most cases, that’s all it takes to keep your artificial lawn clean, and you can let your dog have free rein on your yard without a single worry!
Which One Is Safer?
Safety to your family and friends is yet another critical aspect of your decision between artificial and natural lawn alternatives.
The good news is that there is plenty of evidence that points to the safety of both choices.
Natural grass doesn’t pose any safety risks based on its composition. And modern day synthetic grass is mostly nylon and polyethylene, which are safe and widely used materials found in many different products, such as bottles and plastic bags.
Previously, there have been health concerns surrounding artificial turf. However, this was limited to black crumb rubber infill that was used in sports fields.
Nowadays, all the materials used in artificial grass are inert and safe.
Safety concerns tend to come into play under special circumstances, such as when grass becomes wet or when young children are playing on it.
When the ground is very moist, natural grass is likely to lay flat, contributing to sliding in the mud. The plastic composition of artificial grass mitigates this problem.
Additionally, there are many options for shock absorbing artificial lawn underlays. This offers extra cushioning for falls, which prevents injuries.
Which One Is More Environmentally Friendly?
The world has become a more environmentally conscious place, which means many homeowners will make their decisions with its impact on the environment in mind.
Most people will consider natural grass to be the more eco-friendly alternative, while artificial grass is the opposite. However, the truth isn’t quite as clear-cut.
Real grass produces oxygen that promotes better breathing, it’s conducive to maintaining the ecosystem, it can breakdown naturally, etc.
On the flip side, natural lawns require a great deal of water. You may also need to use various products to maintain it, such as fertilizer and pesticides, which are potentially harmful for the environment.
Artificial grass doesn’t require any water, nor does it require any fancy products to upkeep. So despite having no potentially beneficial effects for the ecosystem, you will be saving a lot of water for years to come.
Conclusion – Which One Is Best For Your Home?
There are several factors to consider before going ahead with natural or artificial grass. You got a wealth of information on how the two compare in various important aspects.
Natural grass looks better, feels better, is natural, and has a lower initial cost.
Artificial grass, on the other hand, has a lower aggregate cost, an easier installation procedure, lower maintenance requirements, greater durability, and more convinient for dog owners.
At the end of the day, it’s your choice! But it’s no surprise that more and more homeowners are opting for an artificial lawn, as opposed to the natural alternative.