The days when artificial grass was used only for sports venues has long since passed, and more and more people are choosing to replace high-maintenance natural lawns that give unsatisfying results with artificial grass, or turf. Some may be surprised at the variety and difference in the types of artificial turf available. In order to select the right type of artificial turf, it is important to consider several factors, from budget to appearance, location and use.
WHAT IS IT FOR
That may seem a simple and unnecessary question, but it isn’t. Identifying the type of use a lawn composed of artificial turf is going to be subjected to will dictate the type of turf that should be chosen. For example, artificial turf comes in different lengths, thicknesses and degrees of softness. If the artificial lawn to be laid is going to see only occasional use and is largely expected to simply look good, choosing a harder composition of artificial turf will do the job. But if the lawn is to see a high volume of traffic, with children regularly playing on it, then a softer composition that will have a ‘springy’ feel will be a better selection. Choosing an artificial turf with short rather than long blades will reduce wear in high traffic areas.
LOCATION AND PREPARATION
Where the artificial lawn is to be laid will have an impact upon the overall costs. It is usually recommended that the area to be laid is excavated to around three inches (more if it is an area rich in clay) and levelled. Sand is then put down and compacted, giving a hard, even surface. A membrane to prevent unwanted weeds growing through the artificial turf is then put on top of that. The size and type of area to be prepared is therefore a factor to be considered when drawing up a budget. It is possible to use padded insulation under artificial turf to reduce the amount of groundwork necessary, but again the area to be covered will dictate whether this is the best option.
Whatever its location and function, everyone will want their artificial turf lawn to look good. There are many different types to choose from, ranging in colour, thickness, length and quality. It is always advisable to choose a colour and type that will blend in with real grass around the property or area. This will make it appear more real. The more economically priced artificial grasses are short in pile and will be composed of one colour. More expensive options can offer a surface that has colour variation, just as a real lawn may have, and longer blades. The appearance should be considered with every other factor, but is ultimately going to be dictated by personal taste and budget.
Depending upon the quality and type of product, some will last longer than others under the conditions to which it is to be subjected. The type of use it will be subjected to should be taken into account when choosing quality.
Because of the variety of different products available, the preparation of any surface that is going to take the artificial turf, and the groundwork necessary to do it, it is important to set a budget. If the suppliers of the artificial turf are also to lay it, quotes should be obtained for all of the work to be done. Like anything else, it pays to shop around and most suppliers of artificial grass will be pleased to provide a no-obligation quote, and many will offer free samples of artificial turf to be considered.
For more information, visit: Artificial Grass and Lawns.