Should You Get Artificial Turf? The Pros & Cons
From sports teams to golf course managers, many will tout the natural-looking aesthetics of artificial grass. Known for its organic appearance, synthetic turf has been a popular choice for everyone looking to create a safe space. It cushions as well as pleases the eye.
There’s no doubt artificial turf has been the choice for many. However, is it something you want? Is it worth your money? To help you make a more informed decision, we have a list of synthetic turf’s boons and banes.
So, if you are in limbo between a fake grass playground and a poured-in-place play space, keep reading!
Artificial Turf Playground or Poured-In-Place Space?
Artificial turf or synthetic grass is a surface that was made to appear similar to natural grass. The creation of this material surface is the result of a demand for natural grass. Unfortunately, natural grass has proven itself inadequate for playgrounds and other safe spaces. On top of that, natural grass is also high maintenance and requires expertise to install.
Artificial turf or synthetic grass was then seen as the alternative. It has been one of many options for safe surfaces and play spaces.
Often, any home or business owner choosing the right material for their surfaces decide on the following considerations:
● Indoor and outdoor utility
● Ease of installation
In the following sections, you will learn how artificial turf performs in these areas.
Safety of Artificial Grass
Artificial grass mimics the level of cushioning of natural grass. This has made it an available option for many homeowners and businesses.
Artificial grass or synthetic turf usually comes as 2.1 to 3.1-inch thick panels. With its thickness, artificial grass can cushion most slips and falls. Its shock-absorbing capacity can also provide a non-bouncing surface for balls.
Despite the cushioning and shock-absorbing capacity of synthetic turf grass, there are limitations.
First, to have a safe artificial turf playground, a panel of synthetic grass will likely need more padding underneath. Often, the padding is similar to a pour-in-place surface. This can mean investing in both synthetic turf and additional padding.
Also, there is a limit to how much synthetic turf can cushion. It does not break the fall of a child that falls from a five-foot elevation. So, without padding, a fake grass playground may not be a good idea.
Double-layer rubber and pour-in-place surfaces are still the materials of choice for playgrounds.
Price of Artificial Grass
Generally speaking, artificial grass can be cheap or expensive depending on how much you need.
Artificial grass for a small artificial turf playground is as affordable as it is low cost in its maintenance.
After all, you do not need to mow it or reinforce it with future seeding.
Sure, artificial turf is in itself cheap. However, the same cannot be said of its installation if you factor in ground prep and installation costs.
Also, the big problem with artificial grass surfaces occurs once a panel becomes worn out. Replacing only one damaged panel will lead to uneven coloring. So, a damaged panel can require you to replace your entire synthetic grass lawn or playground.
Accessibility of Synthetic Turf
When we talk about accessibility, we mean the safety of synthetic grass.
Natural grass can lead to allergies. Since synthetic turf releases no pollen or seeds into the air, it is a safer alternative for those with allergies or respiratory conditions.
Synthetic or natural, any type of grass is not exempt from bacterial growth. Rain and summer humidity can make even synthetic grass a breeding ground for microorganisms.
In addition, something has to be said about how turf can be a tripping hazard. The material of artificial turf makes it quite slippery. Also, faulty installation can create gaps that can trap your feet, causing you to fall.
Aesthetics and Utility of Synthetic Grass
For its color and reflectiveness, synthetic grass does have its aesthetic appeal. In fact, for some, having a fake grass lawn can even add curb value to a property.
Synthetic grass can give your fake grass playground a natural look. It is equally pleasing to the eye in an indoor environment.
Synthetic grass also comes in a variety of densities and shades, allowing you to choose based on your tastes.
It is a well-known fact that artificial grass can contain rubber granules. These granules can be quite sticky, adhering to most clothes. These can be quite challenging to remove.
Synthetic turf does not lend itself to stencil and graphics, so you may not be able to design it.
Quality and Maintenance of Artificial Grass
Many home and business owners deem artificial grass a low maintenance option compared to natural grass. Synthetic turf is also easy to clean.
Nonetheless, artificial grass comes with its set of quality-related drawbacks.
As mentioned, low maintenance costs and a surface that is easy to clean are among the benefits of turf. Also, due to its coating, it is heat resistant, so it does not warp.
The surface of turf also drains quickly, although it may need a good rinse occasionally. It can also repel insects and other pests.
Turf grass is low-maintenance compared to natural grass. However, it is much more high maintenance than rubber tiles or pour-in-place surfaces. In a dusty area, synthetic turf requires a lot of cleaning and rinsing.
Its heat resistance is also a problem. When sunlight comes into contact with turf, it heats up much faster than natural grass or rubber tile. This can be a problem if you walk around barefoot.
Unlike natural grass, synthetic turf develops a lot of static electricity with repeated friction. This can make synthetic turf a potential fire hazard.
Installation of Synthetic Turf Grass
Installing synthetic turf is best done by a professional. A mistake can spell disaster.
There are enough businesses and homeowners seeking turf installation. This development has created a market for turf installation professionals. In other words, you will not find installers in short supply.
Installing turf requires the capable hands of a professional. For this reason, you will pay for turf and an installation fee.
Worse yet, it takes a lot of ground preparation before installing fake grass. As mentioned earlier, you will also need to invest in some additional padding. In short, the installation of synthetic turf can be costly.
Final Thoughts: Synthetic Grass Is Fine. But There Are Other Options
For all the benefits of synthetic turf, it comes with a lot of drawbacks as well. Synthetic turf or artificial grass may provide your outdoor or indoor environments with a modicum of cushion. It may even be enough to give your playground or yard a natural look.
Nonetheless, for superior protection, cushion, and maintenance, nothing beats rubber tiles or a pour-in-place surface. Get in touch with us for rubber and pour-in-place surfaces that are cost-effective and low-maintenance!