Explanation of Rating Criteria
Artificial grass is far less expensive and resource consumptive than real grass, which means that you can afford to make a good investment. High quality artificial grass looks real, has a soft, nonabrasive texture that is comfortable for interaction, drains well to allow for cleaning and pet use, and deflects and/or releases heat quickly. Let’s take at the rating criteria we’ll use throughout our reviews so that your research goes over smoothly.
Despite the higher purpose of child play, grass came about purely because of its aesthetic contribution to vast, empty yard space. A perfectly manicured lawn can certainly attribute beauty to a home, but it doesn’t have to be expensive or consume a ton of time and resources.
Artificial grass is actually a much more inherent concept than real grass because it does serve a purely aesthetic purpose without taking a very real toll on natural resources.
When we rate artificial grass, one of the things we look for is aesthetic quality. How does the grass look? An ideal candidate looks like real grass. When people think of artificial grass, the association is that bright green, super-cropped, tacky carpet-looking thing they spread on miniature golf-courses. That is the primitive specimen of artificial grass and it is used in those scenarios purely for economic and practical reasons; today’s artificial grass can be just as gorgeous as the real thing- it just takes a bit of research.
Artificial grass colors come in three different categories: monotone, two-tone, and four-tone, with the latter resembling real grass more closely.
Brands that receive high ratings will possess two key features: natural-looking color, high blade density, and a realistic-looking length. These are the features that make artificial grass of superb aesthetic quality.
Texture & Density
A nice, green turf also happens to make an excellent play surface for young children and/or pets and many people choose to plant grass for precisely this reason. The best feature of natural grass is indeed, its texture, and this is something very important to criticize when you’re researching artificial grass.
An artificial grass of excellent quality has a texture that feels like the real thing and functions like the real thing- that is, as a nice cushion for your toddler’s bottom- or Rascal’s paws.
Artificial grass textures come in three different categories: short pile, mid-range lawn, and long-pile. These different textures range (respectively) from an economy lawn to a realistic-looking lawn inset with mock-moss infill. Brands that receive the highest ratings will usually have a mid-range or long-pile texture.
When it comes to artificial grass, density does it. The denser the grass, the softer it feels and while there are less-dense types that are used for athletic, recreational, or infrastructural purposes, the turf ideal for a home lawn is a dense one because it feels softer under foot and lends better to interaction.
The density of artificial grass is determined by three factors: face weight, pile height, and yarn type. Face weight is simply the amount of yarn used per square yard of grass and much like carpeting (it is a type of carpet), that amount contributes directly to the quality. Dense grass is high quality grass. We mentioned pile-height while discussing aesthetic value. This feature describes the blade-length of a sample’s longest blades and while it contributes to density, the length you choose is preferential (athletic fields use a shorter length). Finally, there’s the yarn type. Polyethylene is the most popular type of yarn because it is highly versatile and very durable. The other two types of yarn used in artificial grass are nylon and polypropylene.
We’ll get into the details come review time, but for now, suffice it to say that density is quality.
Draining capacity is very important when it comes to artificial grass because it determines how odor-neutral your grass will be as well as how easy it will be to clean. If you mean to install artificial grass for your pets, draining becomes the most important feature of your grass.
In artificial grass, the backing style determines draining capacity. There are two layers of backing, the primary and secondary. The primary backing is the base layer- the material that the yarn is sewn through to make the artificial grass; in this step, the more layers used, the better the draining capacity and overall quality of the grass. The secondary backing is the coating applied to the back of the turf. This layer is used to add stability to the blades and increase the durability of the grass.
An artificial grass with a high draining capacity will be made with multiple backing layers and sewn with a polyethylene or polypropylene yarn because unlike nylon, these do not absorb liquid.
One of the downfalls of artificial grass is its tendency to heat up to temperatures higher than the surrounding air. Then again, this depends on what type of filling is used (crumb rubber is notoriously thermogenic) as well as exposure to direct sunlight.
Today, artificial grass continues to improve and many brands make their grass with built-in cooling technology that reduces heat retention by up to thirty degrees. A high quality artificial grass will either resist heat, cool rapidly, or be designed with cooling technology. This is an especially important feature because hot turf becomes hazardous.
Finally, we will rate artificial grass on its value. This criteria will take into account the quality of the grass, its durability and resistance to damage, as well as the cost of installation, maintenance, and replacement. A high quality artificial grass will be considered an investment and pay for itself in the course of a few years.