Are There Different Types of Artificial Grass?

December 27, 2022
6 min read

Artificial grass, also known as synthetic turf or fake grass, is a surface made of synthetic fibers that is designed to mimic the appearance and function of natural grass. It is often used as an alternative to natural grass in areas where natural grass is difficult to maintain, such as in dry or heavily shaded areas, or where natural grass is not practical, such as in high-traffic areas or on rooftops. Artificial grass can be made of a variety of synthetic materials, such as polyethylene, polypropylene, or nylon, and is typically designed to be durable, low maintenance, and weather-resistant. It is often used in residential and commercial landscapes, sports fields, and playgrounds.

Artificial grass is a popular choice for landscaping due to its numerous benefits. It is low maintenance, requiring no watering, mowing, fertilizing, or weed control, making it a convenient option for busy homeowners. It is also highly durable and able to withstand heavy foot traffic, making it a good choice for high-traffic areas or areas where natural grass may be damaged. 

types of artificial grass
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Additionally, artificial grass is an environmentally-friendly choice as it helps to conserve water and can be used in all weather conditions, making it a good choice for areas with water restrictions or shortages or where natural grass may be prone to drought or frost. It also provides a safe and consistent playing surface for sports and other activities, and is pet-friendly, as it is easy to clean and does not contain chemicals that may be harmful to pets. Lastly, artificial grass adds aesthetic appeal to your landscape, providing a green, manicured look all year round.

4 Common Types of Artificial Grass

1. Polyethylene Artificial Grass

types of artificial grass
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Polyethylene artificial grass is a type of synthetic turf made of polyethylene fibers. It is known for its soft, plush texture and is often used in residential landscapes, particularly in areas where children or pets will be playing. Polyethylene artificial grass is typically designed to be low maintenance, durable, and weather-resistant. It does not require watering, mowing, fertilizing, or weed control, and is able to withstand heavy foot traffic. It is also UV-resistant, so it does not fade over time. Polyethylene artificial grass can provide a green, manicured look to your landscape all year round, regardless of the weather or maintenance schedule. It is a popular choice for homeowners who want to create a low-maintenance, attractive outdoor space without the hassle of natural grass.

Advantages of polyethylene artificial grass

  • Most realistic-looking of all artificial grass materials
  • Behaves most like real grass
  • Extremely resistant to water absorption
  • Does not retain pet odors, making it good for pet owners
  • Softer than nylon but more durable than polypropylene
  • Good middle ground suitable for a variety of applications
  • Low-maintenance, requiring only occasional brushing

Disadvantages of polyethylene artificial grass

  • Relatively low melting point, typically in the range of 248-266 degrees Fahrenheit
  • May be susceptible to melting or deforming in extreme heat
  • May be combined with other polymers to improve heat resistance
  • Susceptible to UV degradation in raw form
  • Almost always combined with UV stabilizers to improve resistance to fading
  • Important to ensure polyethylene grass includes added UV protection to avoid brittleness in the sun

2. Polypropylene artificial grass

types of artificial grass
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Polypropylene grass is a synthetic grass option that is known for its low price point. However, it is also less durable compared to other synthetic grass options. This type of grass may be a good choice for those on a budget who want to create an artificial lawn, but it may not hold up well over time. It is important to note that polypropylene grass is not designed to withstand high temperatures, so if you live in a hot climate, it may become matted down and lose its shape, resulting in an unnatural appearance. While it may be suitable for decorative purposes and low traffic areas, the main advantage of choosing polypropylene grass is its affordability.

Advantage of Polypropylene artificial grass

  • Thinnest and softest of three materials commonly used in synthetic grass blades
  • Melting point ranging from 320-331 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Highly resistant to moisture absorption
  • Good choice for pet owners and for backing applications
  • Inexpensive to manufacture
  • Cost-effective option for those looking to install synthetic grass

Disadvantages of Polypropylene artificial grass

  • Lack of resilience compared to nylon
  • Susceptibility to flattening, especially at taller pile heights
  • Not as abrasion-resistant as polyethylene or nylon
  • May not be as resistant to wear and tear and may not last as long
  • Not as UV-resistant as nylon
  • Can begin to break down at temperatures above 214 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Often combined with other UV-resistant polymers during manufacturing process to improve durability
  • Important to make sure any polypropylene turf has UV protection added to improve lifespan

3. Nylon Artificial Grass

types of artificial grass
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Nylon artificial grass is known for its strength and durability, making it the ideal choice for high-traffic areas such as sports fields and playgrounds. Its stiff blades are able to maintain their original shape, even under intense athletic play or heavy foot traffic, making it a reliable choice for areas that require a lot of wear and tear.

Advantage of Nylon artificial grass

  • Nylon artificial grass is low-maintenance and durable
  • Its individual fibers “spring back” and require less grooming
  • Nylon is resistant to UV radiation and won’t fade in the sun
  • It has a high melting point and is the most heat-resistant material available
  • Nylon is highly abrasion-resistant and won’t be worn away by friction or rubbing
  • It is a long-lasting choice for high-traffic areas
  • Nylon artificial grass is a great option for those who want a synthetic turf that is easy to care for and will last for years to come

Disadvantage of Nylon artificial grass

  • Nylon artificial grass is durable and resistant to wear and tear
  • It can cause problems with friction, leading to injuries like “turf burn”
  • Nylon is prone to staining from acidic substances
  • Green dyes in nylon turf can help hide stains
  • Nylon absorbs water more easily than other materials like polyethylene
  • It is not ideal for pets
  • Nylon is the most expensive type of artificial grass to manufacture

Pick the Best Artificial Grass Type That Suits Your Needs

When choosing the right type of artificial grass, it is important to consider your specific needs and budget. Different types of artificial grass offer different benefits and drawbacks, and it is important to choose a type that is suitable for your intended use and location.

Ultimately, the right type of artificial grass will depend on your specific needs and budget. It is important to do your research and compare the different types of synthetic turf available to find the one that is best suited to your needs.

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