If you are a homeowner with a spacious yard and wish to add some flair to it, you might have been searching for inspiration online. Most of the time, lush green lawn photos pop up on your screen, which seems like the perfect idea for your traditional lawn.
Or if you own an apartment that has been blessed with a balcony, patio or terrace, make the most out of it. After all, you can turn it into a functional room for yourself, friends and family, or even your pet.
Now that you’ve decided to revive these extra, often overlooked spaces, what do you do? From endless online searches, you finally got an image in your head. Décor, plants, lights – you have your list ready. Only one thing left to be decided; flooring.
In any case, especially when it comes to exterior flooring, a little touch of nature never goes amiss. In light of the fact that you have decided to install grass flooring, is it better to go with real grass or artificial grass?
What is artificial grass?
Natural grass might be the pride of homeowners. However, many have decided to go for fake grass over traditional lawns due to the benefits that come with it.
Artificial grass or fake grass is a layer of green synthetic, man-made fibre made to look and feel like natural grass. In a lot of ways, artificial grass is constructed the same way carpet is made – the synthetic grass blades are stitched with a machine on a solid backing.
Most artificial grass that is being produced today generally features an infill, which leads to a much softer, gentler surface, making the faux grass look uniform and even.
With the technology that is available today, artificial grass now looks more realistic and performs better in terms of durability.
3 major artificial grass types to consider
When deciding on artificial grass, surely it is great to have realistic-looking grass for your home. Nevertheless, it is better to purchase good quality grass that will last for a long time. So, it is in your best interest to focus on its durability.
Artificial grass manufacturers mainly use these three materials:
It is well known that nylon is the strongest type of plastic fibre. It is extremely resilient and resistant to heat and UV light. Today, nylon is commonly used in the carpeting industry.
Nylon artificial grass can tolerate high-traffic areas, excessive weights and high temperatures without losing its original shape or look. Naturally, this type of grass will make for an ideal solution for sports fields, golf courses, playgrounds and public areas.
Artificial grass made of nylon does outperform other synthetic grass types. At the same time, its quality ensures your lawn stays good in terms of look. However, the major drawback of nylon is its cost. With its quality, artificial grass prices made of nylon are certainly not cheap. Nylon is also relatively stiff. So, it lacks a natural vibe due to its texture. Thus, it is not typically the first choice for lawns or balconies.
Polyethylene is the most common type of material chosen by homeowners for their homes. It looks realistic and feels more natural and softer compared to nylon. This material is extremely resistant to water absorption and has a non-porous quality. This means that any odours, especially from pets, won’t linger. So, if you have a pet, polyethylene material is the ideal solution for your artificial grass choice.
Polyethylene strikes a balance between being soft yet sturdy. Besides that, this type of artificial grass is also easy to look after. You only need to regularly brush it to maintain its look, and hose it down to wash away any smell and waste, whenever you need to.
With its quality and durability, polyethylene artificial grass is a good choice for an active family that owns pets and likes to spend lots of time in their garden. However, make sure you choose the grass with added UV protection in order to preserve the grass’s green colour for a longer time.
Polypropylene is the general name for a group of polymers and is also the cheapest type of plastic used in artificial grass manufacturing.
Polypropylene artificial grass is one of the least expensive options on the market. It is the thinnest and softest of the three other synthetic materials, but it has a shiny and polished surface, which means you will not get the natural-looking grass with this material.
The downsides of polypropylene grass is that it does not have the resilience of nylon and is not as abrasion-resistant as polyethylene. It also cannot tolerate high temperatures very well too.
How to choose the best artificial grass for your home?
Having learned about artificial grass materials, you may now be in a better position to choose a suitable artificial grass. But still, what characteristics should it have to ensure you are making the right investment?
Can withstand your daily usage
Is your artificial grass carpet or flooring pet-friendly? Are there often large groups of people around? Do you intend to keep the area private for your own use only?
Different types of fake grass tolerate different amounts of usage. So, choose one that can withstand your daily usage. Bear in mind that the excellent resilience type will cost you extra bucks.
Its aesthetic point of view
The beauty of modern artificial grass is that it looks like natural grass. It can also mimic different species of grass. If you prefer your grass flooring to look better and more natural, focus on the pile height, infill and density. Additionally, you might also need to choose the colour according to your personal preference. It is important to get the samples, and not just rely on the picture you get from the internet. However, remember to take care of your artificial grass regularly to preserve its lush appearance, as well as to prevent matting.
Keep in mind that your artificial grass lawn will be out in the heat, cold, sun, dust, and rain 24/7. Today’s artificial grass is extremely durable and long-lasting; yet, depending on your usage and maintenance, choose the one that comes with features to help it endure through Malaysian weather.
Modern technology design not only creates the best-looking fake grass, but it also helps to produce the best grass quality that will not make the grass look unsightly even with heavy usage.
Drainage problems are some of the worst issues you would want to avoid with artificial glass. A poor draining system will collect water in all the wrong places, which may cause an extra cost in the long run.
Take note that a quality drainage system and drainage capacity are important considerations when choosing the best artificial grass for your lawn or balcony. Installing a suitable drainage system with a good drainage capacity can help in cleaning up and enable a direct flow of water to reduce the accumulation of spores and germs.
So, choose the one that is fully permeable so that there is no risk of water build-up. Water can flow straight through to the grass’ sub-base.
Is it fire-resistant?
In the highly unlikely event of a fire, you would want to be reassured that the flames will not spread via your artificial grass lawn. Furthermore, it could also melt if it comes in contact with the fire. As a result, lives could be put at risk and grass could be ruined. In this regard, it is crucial to make sure that your choice is fire-resistant.
Bacteria can breed on any surface including on artificial grass. If you have children or pets running around often, consider getting an artificial grass product with antibacterial properties.
The antimicrobial additives help to prevent any build-up of odours from pet waste or urine, as well as keep your lawn clean and safe.
Check the backing layer
The artificial grass backing is made up of primary and secondary layers. The primary backing is where the synthetic grass is stitched to. The secondary backing, normally made from latex, acts as the glue that holds everything together. Remember, it is extremely important that high levels of latex are used – to prevent the grass from separating as well as prevent any yarn loss. You don’t want your artificial lawn gradually becoming thin and tattered, and ultimately looking unnatural now, wouldn’t you?
Is the fake grass safe for kids and pets?
Artificial grass is generally safe and is made of non-toxic material. Thanks to advanced materials technology, today’s fake grass are totally different from before and reliably safe. However, you can always ask the supplier to ensure your choice of grass is safe, especially for kids and pets.
Does it come with a warranty?
Clearly, the longer the warranty, the better the product is likely to be. However, sometimes warranties can be vague without any protection for the customer. Hence, be sure to check the small print and get the proper document!
Pros and cons of artificial grass
If you are looking to transform the thirsty grey concrete balcony into a green and low-maintenance space, artificial grass flooring can do the trick. Similarly, you may also want to contemplate having fake grass added to your lawn in order to give it a more natural, earthy feel.
Artificial grass offers a wide range of benefits for the consumer. Let’s start by looking at the advantages of installing one at your home:
Easy to maintain
Although natural grass produces a lovely smell, especially after rain, it does require a significant commitment to upkeep. However, if you choose artificial grass, you no longer have to commit to keeping it nourished and trimmed. Basically, you can bid farewell to grass mowing or even garden sprinklers, if you have any.
Moreover, you don’t need pesticides or other chemicals for maintenance. At most, all you need is an occasional rinse with low amounts of water and a brush to remove any dirt or dust.
The problem with natural grass is whenever live plants can grow, weeds can too! However, artificial grass won’t have any weed problems for sure. One less thing to take off your to-do list!
Long life expectancy
Depending on the quality, artificial grass is usually very long-lasting and has a life expectancy of around 15 years through normal use. Not only weather-proof, but artificial grass also does not dry out and can generally withstand wear and tear. Basically, it will look the same, no matter the condition.
Real grass typically becomes muddy, especially during the rainy season. You will never have this problem if you choose artificial grass. It is especially important if you have pets or kids running around; no muddy footprints are coming from faux grass. But, do take note of the risk of water build-up.
Natural grass is a haven for a wide variety of pests. You might need to spend time, effort, money, and harmful pesticides to take care of your grass. It is never fun to imagine if your kids accidentally step on a fire ant hill.
Artificial grass, on the other hand, stays pest-free. So, not only is this type of grass safe for children, but you also do not have to commit to pesticides to take care of your lawn.
Artificial grass is highly versatile. With a wide range of applications, artificial grass can look amazing in your yard, garden landscape or home, even for other residential projects, as well as in a variety of settings including playgrounds, golf courses, offices and commercial areas.
Artificial grass will always look aesthetically pleasing in all types of weather. Be it rainy or sunny, the weather does not have a direct impact on the appearance of the faux grass. It will continue to stay green, neat, and look good all year round, especially if you take care of them properly.
Although it comes with various advantages, artificial grass can also make you think twice about having them. Especially when they are:
Although it helps you reduce water costs or other additional costs, like a garden sprinkler, for example, there still will be a significant cost involved, especially if you choose the highest quality artificial lawn grass. Add another cost if you require them to be installed by a professional.
Easy to heat up
It is true that faux grass holds more heat than natural grass. It can also melt if something hot falls onto it, or even if it gets direct, intense sunlight. Additionally, some types of infill can also raise the surface temperature.
Low maintenance, not no maintenance
While you can bid farewell to grass mowing, it is worth noting that you still need to take care of it, at the very least, hose it down with some water. If you don’t clean up any messes on the artificial grass, they will fester. Although it is pet-friendly, unfortunately, certain types of infill are prone to holding odours that are coming from your pets too!
Look the same, but not as soft
Artificial grass is not as soft as natural grass, especially if you lay it on top of a concrete floor. Although it has the same colour, it certainly did not give a natural vibe like real grass. Moreover, you will not get the freshly-cut smell that some people enjoy.
Care tips for artificial grass
Now you have decided to get artificial grass as the optimal solution for your turfing project, the next step is to know how to maintain and care for it. Here is a quick list of things you can do that can help prolong the lifespan of your new grass flooring:
Do not use or place heavy equipment over the artificial grass
Clean up pet waste as quickly as possible
Give your flooring a quick rinse whenever you can
Avoid any heat sources – BBQ, fireworks, smoking, around the faux grass
Replace any worn-out patches
Conclusion: Experience the benefits of artificial grass yourself
Throughout this article, it is clear that the pros of artificial grass far outweigh the cons when it comes to adding a touch of green to your home. Artificial grass is low-maintenance, durable, pet-friendly, and long-lasting, allowing you to enjoy your outdoor space for years to come without the hassle of constant maintenance. It is an optimal solution for your lawn or balcony.
Whether you are looking for faux grass for your balcony, garden or anywhere you can think of, there are many artificial grass suppliers offering artificial grass installation in Malaysia. Some of these artificial grass companies have years of experience in the landscape industry. A quick Google search will lead you to the leading supplier within the artificial grass industry in the country that provides a wide range of turfing services, including residential projects.
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