Installing Artificial Grass is a very expensive project, AND it should last you a very long time,
and that's why it should be seen as an investment.
Therefore, the decisions you make in the beginning while shopping for the product that suits your needs and budget, it is of the outmost importance to know the hidden secrets and how to properly evaluate your product against the best in the market.
We at Turfscape (One of the longest Artificial Grass supplier/installer in South Africa) want to help you make the correct decisions when it comes to choice of Artificial grass and base your decisions making on pure facts, not only by knowing what to look for but being educated in the complete process/project you are about to undertake.
Backing is the heart of any Synthetic Grass product.
If the backing is weak, then your investment will not last. How to determine what does a strong backing looks like?
If you look at the backing, you will immediately notice two mesh patterns.
Look at the pictures below and spot the double mesh backing.
The first picture is an example of an extremely poor backing, and you should think five
times before investing in a product with this quality of backing.
The second picture is a rubbery type backing and you should bend it and test it. If it does crack I would highly recommend you think twice about this product.
Be cautious and buy your Artificial Grass products with samples in your hands and testing it against these criteria.
The third picture is a typical strong reliable backing with clearly a double mesh backing pattern visible. This should be your fist choice and then proceed with further investigations.
One of the oldest tricks in the book is to sell your cheap products with a technical specification that
most people does not understand and or fully grasp the idea of formulating a specification base on something so irrelevant,
but sounds impressive enough to make a sale to most un-informed people.
I do not imply that stitches/inch² is completely irrelevant but you should never base your first impression on that spec.
Specs do change over a relative short period of time, and does not reflect the truth about the product anymore, especially when your product is overpriced and you need to bring cost down to be competitive in today's market. 99% of all people asking what is your stitch rate/inch² do not even know how to count it, and prove me wrong.
On the first picture it can be clearly seen that the shape of the blade is flat. Flat blade grass tends to go flat very , very, VERY quick and is very maintenance intensive, meaning it should be brushed up on a very regular basis. (twice a week). If this maintenance aspect is neglected, the Artificial grass becomes like a flat-worn_out-carpet, and render the product useless within a month or two.
On the second picture the grass blade is formed to an C-shape, making this blade a much more robust blade that is very nearly immune to going flat that quick. This also then lends itself towards a less maintenance intensive artificial grass type.
The last picture shows an S-type blade, which soon will become the norm for all grass blades.
Lastly, let's look at the pro's & con's of each of the grass blade shapes:-
Flat bade:- It is the softest of all the blade shapes and the most compelling type BUT it is the worse choice of them all.
You WILL reap your consequences within a month or two.
C-Shaped:- Very strong and durable and does NOT go flat as quick as the flatblade yarn,
meaning much less maintenance, BUT it does feel a bit more harder to the touch than the flat blade.
This tends to fade away within two to three months of installation.
S-Shaped:- The S-Shape will become the norm of all grass blades within the near future.
It's got the robustness of the C-shaped i.e. does NOT go flat that quick, and it does have the softness of the flat bade grass types.
The blades are also bit broader lending it more towards a realistic kikuyu type grass.
Thus, if there is no shape to the blade (flatblade), be prepared to maintain your grass on a regular bases, twice a week with a hard bristle broom against the grain. This is NOT a job for the faint hearted.
Because of the technology and innovation that goes into the grass blades the next thing we should have a look at is the physical yarn and infill.
There is clearly a huge difference between these two types of yarn and infill.
Be careful, because the market is now getting swamped with this bottom low type cheap yarn, and it is heart broken to think
I have just been to a Cricket academy's artificial pitches, (TWO of them) that was constructed with the bottom type yarn, and in filled with river sand to give ball bounce.
I have been asked numerous times by Daycare centers to please coma and fix there artificial grass, and then you find this stuff was sold to them. Because of budget????
Inspect the products backing, there should be enough drainage holes clearly visible. If you do NOT see any drainage holes, then don't even think of investing in such a product.
It is imperative that your artificial grass is installed on a well constructed/prepared drainage base,
and that the slope is being taken in consideration as to prevent rain water gather at some places.
Remember, if you had water problems before, installing artificial grass will not solve your problem.
The tendency today be most installers is to make use of river sand, with either a wooden border for nailing the grass down (the worst of worst) and or a cement border to glue the grass down on the sides. This option is preferred, but things to remember here are the following:-
1) Cement needs to cure for a day, so if your installation is done in ONE day with this method, think twice, because the bonding between wet/semi wet cement and glue cannot work.
2) Some installers don't even use wooden bars for nailing the grass down, they just use a 6
inch nail and nail it to the ground. Very dangerous, especially so when this is done where children run and play.
Every thing in life does stretch and crimp, and so does artificial grass. Because of that slight movement, the nails tend to come loose and raise itself out of the wood/soil, creating a very dangerous situation.
3) Many installers opt for a cement slab, or even worst, recommend that the customer himself put a
cement slab down, and he(the installer) will just glue the Artificial Grass down on the cement.
If this is a big area, and especially where children play, you defeat the purpose of Synthetic grass, and might as well just paint the area green.
I do understand that in some cases its best to install a small piece of Synthetic grass in an awkward area on cement i.e. rock garden between the rocks.
I want to add here, if you do opt for this option, make sure your your area is sloped for the rainwater to run-off and there is ample water escape holes at the lowest point. Never let the water dam against your house walls.
4) Using river sand as a drainage base is really not a good idea,
and even worst if the area is slightly sloped.
The river sand tends to displace underneath the grass and within a month your grass will become wave. If the area is just slightly sloped, drainage water will move that sand to the lowest part of your grass. Leaving you with a nightmare to fix, as all the Artificial grass must be lifted, and the complete drainage base should be reconstructed.
5) Your Artificial Grass should always/preferably be separated from your
garden beds and/or other natural grass areas.
This can be done with any means of physical separation like cobble stone, edging etc....
In the case of installing Artificial grass next to natural grass, the edging is needed to prevent the weed eater/lawnmower of damaging your Artificial grass where they meet. If it is a garden bed, edging will prevent the soil/mud flow onto your Artificial grass.
6) Your grass will always be a little more than the actual size(m²) of your area.
That's because the rolls are 2m and 4m wide, and rule of thumb is what they cut from the roll is for your wastage.
If your area is a configured in straight squares, then the wastage should not be that much.
Thus, if your did get 2 - 3 quotes for your project, and they are not within R500/R800 apart from each other, or your cheapest quote you received is so much cheaper than the other, be sure your installation method is based on many shortcuts listed above.
Worst is that your installation can looks like the picture on top of this page.
Many of the so-called low-end/cheap Artificial Grass suppliers will tell you that most other more advanced
products contains high amount of lead, just to sell their own product which most likely contains high amounts of lead.
If you have evaluated the Artificial grass against all the above factors, you can be sure the last thing that product will have is high amount of lead.
Many installers will warn you to stay away from the products imported from China.
I agree to some of the products currently flooding the market, but once again, if you have evaluated the product against the
above criteria, you can be certain that your investment is safe.
That same installer is using a cell phone made in China, and he is most likely very happy with it. Many of the current product do come from China via other countries and the supplier does not even know it.
Many installers will convince you that their cheapest low-end Artificial grass is perfect for your application.
He also promise you a warrantee for a certain amount of years, and most of the time, they will compare that number with high-end Artificial grass warrantees.
Firstly, that is precisely why there is different types of Artificial grass, and as a reputable Artificial grass dealer, we stock Artificial grass for different applications.
An example is typically :- A longer pile height grass should be installed on playgrounds, but is obviously more expensive, so,
Many of the cheap low-end artificial grass product, cannot even be installed outside on the ground, let alone last you a long time.
Remember, make sure you get what you pay for.
I don't think there is ONE artificial grass supplier that do NOT claim his product is Pet Friendly.
If pet friendly is defined as a relative term with reference to: Do pets like Synthetic grass, then the answer the claim could be perceived as a true statement.
BUT if the question lends itself towards whether pets can freely use Artificial grass as spot to do their thing, then surely the the claim cannot be true.
Why? Refer to the above picture of backing, how could any of those grass types be fully pet friendly, and NOT starting to smell terrible after a month or two.
If this is NOT the case, you will have huge problems very soon, not only in your own back garden, but the neighbors too.
Remember, the BIGGER the dog, the BIGGER the bladder, the BIGGER the problem.
What is the solution then if you want artificial grass, and you do have dogs?
If pet friendly artificial grass is defined in terms of whether dogs can use the Artificial grass for their inner needs,
Refer to the picture, it can be clearly seen that the backing has got a wider woven backing, Still Doubled mesh and will let all urine freely through to the sub base drainage material.
The normal drainage holes is still clearly visible.
Remember, additional maintenance work is still required even on real pet friendly grass like the Petscape.
We at Turfscape generates customer satisfaction by exceeding expectations through creativity, innovation and teamwork.
Through this, we have developed solid relationships with all our clients over the years.
We constantly monitor and evaluate new products and propose the best solution to fit your budget and schedule.
Our success derives from a deep understanding of our clients, to whom all of Turfscape is committed to deliver exceptional service and value.
We insist on excellence in all we do for clients and ourselves,
striving always for recognition among the leaders in our industry.
We accept individual responsibility for our commitments and expect to be accountable for results.
Simply put, we listen and understand your needs regarding your project.
Close collaboration with many companies, home owners, schools, clubs and practices like yours has given us valuable expertise that readily translates into a key area of trust.
Leveraging our knowledge of your project, we’re able to create world-class solutions that incorporate the latest
technologies used in the synthetic grass industry.
There’s tremendous value in providing quality Synthetic grass products, that match your needs at a cost effective price and functions the way you intended.
To complement that powerful portfolio, we provide a variety of products, services and support offerings that tap into the experience base of our team..
Over time, with our high quality synthetic grass products and innovative ways to provide best solutions, Turfscape began to build a reputation for delivering the high quality projects. You become known by your client base. These relationships were founded on a genuine interest in creating win-win scenario between our clients and us.