As the demand for artificial grass grows, so does the choice and different types of grass on the market not to mention suppliers and installation methods. So we have produced a definitive guide to artificial grass that covers off everything you need to consider when making the switch to artificial lawn.
The Trulawn guide to choosing your grass:
Pile Height: Everyone associates real grass with a lush-look, because of this longer pile height artificial grasses are often popular. We recommend going for a pile height of between 30 – 37mm. Anything higher than this and you risk having flat-looking grass. The reason for this is the longer the blade the heavier the blade will be and the more likely that gravity will bring it down leading to flat-look, rather than lush-look grass.
Density: Pile height is only half the story, look for the density of the product as well as the weight per m2. A really good quality grass will have a weight per m2 of around 3kg.
Colour: Believe it or not, there are many different artificial grass colour variations. It’s not just as simple as ‘let’s go with green’ either… To achieve a natural appearance you need the right shade of green with the addition of a brown fleck often referred to as a ‘thatch’ or ‘brown root zone’. This replicates the look of real grass. If you opt for grass that is too perfectly green, then your lawn will look more like a bowling green than the natural-look you want. Greens come in different shades; olive greens, darker greens and lime greens. Which you opt for very much depends on personal preference.
Samples: Artificial grass companies will usually send out free samples of their artificial grass range – but these are usually quite small. Use these samples to help shortlist the companies that you want to see for a site visit. When they visit ask for larger samples and you can also ask them to leave these behind, so you have a bit of time to make your decision. Request your free samples now.
Just as when you are choosing a paint colour, it is advised to paint an decent sized area of the wall with your chosen colour and live with it for a couple of days to see how the lights effects it and how the colour looks at different times of the day. It is the same with grass. Lay the large samples on your lawn and watch and see how the sun reflects on them. Once you’ve lived with the samples for a couple of days – a clear favourite will emerge!
Installation & sub-base
As well as deciding on the grass you need to decide on sub-base, whether or not to use a sand in-fill and very importantly who you are going to use for the installation.
We’ll cover off sub-base first. ..
Sub-base: Sub-base refers to the materials that are used as the base for the artificial grass. There are two options here, either type 1 aggregate and grano dust or sharp sand, which is what we recommend for domestic installations. Some installers will only use sharp sand but this isn’t enough to ensure a high quality and long lasting installation.
For schools and nurseries or back gardens where play equipment is used and you want some extra peace of mind, we recommend using sharp sand and shockpad.
Sand in-fill: Some artificial grass companies will opt for sand in-fill grasses this means that instead of being fixed down to the perimeters during the installation process they are weighted down using sand. This is a cheaper installation method but it is not one Trulawn recommends. The reason for this is that because of erosion and weather the sand needs to be topped up every year. As well as adding maintenance to what is supposed to be a maintenance –free solution, the sand can cause a mess and can be trodden in through the house. One of the more obvious risks of opting for sand in-fill grasses is during stormy weather any grass that has not been properly secured can blow up at the edges. This is something that we have seen a lot of over recent weeks.
All our grasses used for domestic installations are non-sand in-fill grasses. As part of the Trulawn installation process the entire perimeter is edged using a 2 x 2 tanalised timber. The grass is then secured with small nails to the timber edging.
Choose your installers wisely…
Installation: When choosing who to install your artificial grass it’s important to do some research and find out how much experience they have. If it’s an established artificial grass company it’s likely they’ll use the same installers’ day in and day out so they’ll be experienced at the trickier parts of the process like ensuring the edges are perfect. A straight hand for cutting in around things is also very important and can have a big impact on the overall finish of the grass.
Find out what guarantees are on offer to you. Specialist and reputable artificial grass companies will offer a workmanship guarantee that cover things like fixings, seams and joins – usually the things that are affected by a poor quality install. Trulawn offers a two year workmanship guarantee.
Also consider the actual grass guarantee. Most companies will offer a grass guarantee of up to 10 years. If there is a problem it is slightly harder for any recourse with a third party installer as opposed to dealing directly with an artificial grass company.
One last piece of advice…
Skip hire: Installers will need a skip to remove all the sod and waste from the initial lawn dig out. Find out if the skip hire cost is included within the price or in addition to it. No one likes getting invoiced for something they just weren’t expecting at the end of a job.