What is artificial grass?

What is artificial grass?

When it comes to creating the perfect lawn, it’s hard to believe how far artificial grass has come in the last 60 years. With the aid of modern technology, artificial grass is so realistic, we doubt many people can tell the difference!

What are the benefits of artificial grass?

  • While it might seem the more expensive option, artificial grass has many benefits:
  • Hard-wearing
  • Minimal maintenance
  • Looks great all year round
  • Suitable for most locations including roof terraces, balconies, areas with low sunlight, and small areas where real grass isn’t practical
  • Can be better for people with allergies like hay fever
  • Can even be used indoors!

It's worth noting that when considering options for your home and garden, it's important to remember that artificial grass is not the most eco-friendly choice. Artificial grass is commonly made from petroleum-based materials and requires a significant amount of energy to produce, transport, and install. In contrast, natural grass provides numerous environmental benefits such as supporting animal and plant life and oxygen production. To create a more sustainable living space and reduce your environmental impact, consider exploring eco-conscious flooring options like Tapi's TreadKindly range which features sustainable materials and manufacturing processes for inside your home.

What colour is artificial grass?

Natural grass is not a consistent colour, so to replicate this, artificial grass uses different shades of green and brown to make it look as real as possible. Generally, the more money you spend, the more realistic the artificial grass will look. The grass colour will have more variation, and these extra strands will make it feel more luxurious and much softer under foot.

How long is artificial grass?

Artificial grass is generally available in lengths between 20mm and 40mm. As the length of the ‘turf’ increases, so does the price. The best artificial grass is longer, with a much denser pile, and generally feels softer, more cushioned, and looks more like a freshly watered lawn. All types of artificial grass feel great under bare feet too.

What do you lay artificial grass on?

We often get customers asking what surfaces they can lay artificial grass on. The good news is that artificial grass can be laid on almost any surface including soil, stone, concrete, slabs, decking and more. Check out our guide to laying artificial grass to find out what you need to do.

How to look after artificial grass

The best thing about looking after artificial grass is that it’s really simple and requires minimal effort. The main benefit is that you don’t have to mow it or break your back constantly pulling out the weeds. Simply sweep away leaves and dirt with a stiff brush once a week. If it’s particularly dirty, gently rinsing it with a hosepipe should do the trick. If you’ve got pets and/or children and are worried about germs, then mixing up some environmentally friendly detergent with warm water and brushing it into the fibres should be all that’s required for your basic artificial grass maintenance.

How long does artificial grass last?

The short answer is - a long time! The longer answer is - it depends.

Most artificial grass is made from either polyethylene, polypropylene, or nylon. Nylon is much more hard-wearing, and therefore you could go for a longer pile length of 30mm+ without any noticeable effect on expected lifespan. As a rule, the shorter the pile, the longer it will last, and it may also need less maintenance than longer grass, as less debris will get stuck in between the fibres.

Is artificial grass safe for children?

Absolutely! Artificial grass in your garden gives your children a soft surface to play on all year round. Less mud and grass stains in the winter, and less skinned knees in the summer from the hard soil. It’s a win-win situation. What’s more, if you’ve got the next Lionel Messi in your family, they can play without churning up your garden, making artificial grass care even easier. Plus, you can add additional padding underneath artificial grass to make it even safer for use under play equipment like swings, slides and climbing frames.

Is artificial grass safe for pets?

Yes! Pets won’t know the difference between artificial grass and the real thing. In fact, artificial grass with a shorter pile height of around 30mm, is ideal if you have pets, you just hose it down when it needs a rinse. No more pet stains on your beautiful lawn! Have a look at our artificial grass care guide for all the cleaning hacks from the experts.

What to consider when buying artificial grass

There are 4 main things to consider when you’re looking to buy artificial grass:
  • The style and the type of artificial grass you want
  • Your own installation requirements
  • Your budget
  • The amount of time you’re able to dedicate to upkeep and maintenance
Which style of artificial grass you choose is down to your personal tastes. You may want something that’s cost-effective and simple for a small garden or balcony, or you may want plush, deeper pile grass to form your main lawn. For that extra bit of style, some artificial grass even comes with stripes!

What is the cost of artificial grass?

As with anything, you can spend as much or as little as you like. Generally, the price of artificial grass will determine how ‘real’ it looks and feels. As you move up the price range, you’ll get more variation of greens and browns for that natural look, and the fibres are longer and denser to provide a more luxurious feeling underfoot. Of course, it’s possible to find cheaper artificial grass elsewhere, but it’s usually low quality and only suitable for temporary installations.

Things to consider with the cost of artificial grass

As a very rough guide, artificial grass costs between £60 - £80 per m2 to install, not including the cost of the turf itself. It’s possible to lay artificial grass yourself to save money but when you include the cost of hiring tools and how long it will take you, it might not be as attractive a proposition as you first thought. For both professional turf installation and the ‘doing it yourself’ option, there are extra costs to consider:
  • Installation - In the UK, the size of the average area for installing artificial grass is around 40-50m2. Professional fitters will generally charge between £100 and £150 per person, per day. If they are also required to do some prep work, then the whole project could take 2-3 days. If it’s just the installation, they may be able to do it in a single day.
  • Prepping the base - However, if you need to lay a concrete base underneath your artificial grass, this will need time to dry before the grass can be installed. The additional prep work and extra time required will also increase the cost.
  • Additional materials - You also need to consider the cost of the materials for the sub-base, as well as the sand infill, and any foam underlay you may decide to use. For a project of 40m2, you would need 4-5 tonnes of sand for the bedding, to cover it at a depth of 50mm. This would cost you in the region of £300-400. You would need another half a tonne of fine sand to brush over the top. This would cost around £50.
  • Skip hire - Finally, you should find out how much it would cost to hire a skip to dispose of your old turf and soil. A medium skip is around £200 to rent for one week.

How much does it cost to lay artificial grass?

If you’re considering switching over to artificial grass, the upfront costs can sometimes leave you feeling a little green. While artificial grass is initially more expensive than natural turf - especially when you include the cost of installation - it will save you lots of time and money over the course of its life, as artificial grass maintenance is a lot simpler than looking after actual grass. You’ll rejoice at not having to spend money maintaining your garden, on things like lawnmowers and other gardening equipment, watering, reseeding, fertiliser, food and more. When you choose artificial grass, you’re paying for the convenience of very little maintenance and year-round good looks.

How much does it cost to install artificial grass myself?

You may want to save money by installing it yourself, although there are a few costs you’ll need to factor in.
For example, there are a lot of tools you’ll need to hire to install your artificial grass, and these are usually on a weekly basis:
  • A turf cutter - £100
  • Compactor plate - £40-£50
  • Skip hire - £200
  • Turntable trolley (to carry the turf) - £45
  • Sand spreader - £200-£400
The main bonus of opting to install artificial grass yourself is that these costs don’t rise with the size of the project, so in the case of a larger project where you’d pay a professional by the square metre, doing it yourself could save you a significant amount. 

How much does artificial grass cost compared to real grass?

One of the main disadvantages of artificial grass is the upfront cost, which, for many, is significant. However, artificial grass maintenance costs are essentially zero, and with an expected lifespan of 15 to 20 years, the cost of artificial grass will often end up paying for itself. 
Natural grass, on the other hand, requires the purchase of a lawnmower (maybe two in that time frame) at several hundred pounds, it also requires watering during the summer months. For example, a 50m2 lawn would require roughly 1.5 cubic metres of water every time. This is 1500 litres (nearly 20 bathtubs), which at around £2.50 a cubic metre would cost around £375 - £400 a year if watered every week. Then there’s the cost of lawn feed or fertiliser at around £25 per bag, as well as weed killer at a cost of around £20 per 5L bottle.
Now armed with all the information you need and a whole host of amazing artificial grass guides on our website, you can make the right decision for your home. 
If you’ve decided a hassle-free garden is for you, find out how to lay artificial grass on concrete, and then check out our garden party inspiration so you can show your guests your fabulous new space.

Learn more about artificial grass