Whether a homeowner wants to have a low-maintenance yard, use less water in their landscaping, or simply have a lawn that is always green, artificial turf is an attractive, affordable option. Today’s artificial turfs look more natural than ever and are more environmentally friendly than lawns, requiring less water and no pesticides. Artificial turf looks good in even the most shadowy corners and near pools, provides a fun, indestructible playing surface for children, and has a much longer life than traditional turf. Artificial grass may have a relatively high upfront cost, but is much less expensive to maintain than living landscaping. With artificial turf, homeowners can cut costs and make their home more environmentally friendly. The turf itself is recyclable.
Type of turf
Artificial turf is made from nylon, polyethylene or polypropylene to mimic various grass species, such as Bermuda grass, fescue or zoysia. Some have a thatch layer to make it appear even more realistic. Some styles have non-directional "blades" of grass, which make them more realistic — and more expensive.
Comparing turf to grass
In general, artificial turf costs $5-$20 per square foot, while professionally laid sod costs less than $1 per square foot. For a 500-square-foot yard, assuming the average installation cost for turf of $12.50 per square foot, installing artificial grass would cost $6,250; grass would cost about $185. But artificial turf has zero annual costs, while maintaining the sod costs anywhere from $100 to $300 a year, depending on local water fees and professional landscaping services.
Unlike sod, artificial turf is best installed by a professional, such as Install Turf AZ in Phoenix, Landscape Doctors in Glendale, Arizona, or Tru Turf in San Jose, California. While experienced homeowners may be tempted to install artificial turf themselves, it’s time-consuming and very physically demanding work that requires specialized tools for installation. You must remove existing grass or other landscaping and install an aggregate base, such as crushed rock, to allow proper water drainage through the turf. The turf must then be trimmed to the size of the site, making sure the grain of the turf is all facing in the same direction. Seams need to be carefully connected, and then the turf must be secured in place with long nails or landscape anchor pins. Like indoor carpeting, if this isn’t done precisely, the turf may buckle or wrinkle and seams may show, ruining the natural effect.