Artificial Grass Guide
Artificial Grass - Is it a good one?
When it comes to talking to customers about quality artificial grass this is probably the question that gets asked the most.
“You get what you pay for” and “You buy cheap, you buy twice” are comments we have all heard in our office many times. This guide is intended to educate you, the potential customer, so you can buy quality artificial grass from us with complete confidence.
Customers often believe 2 myths when it comes to what constitutes a quality artificial grass. Myth 1 is the longer the pile height of the grass then the better the quality of the grass. And myth 2 is the heavier the grass the better the grass. Many factors contribute to an artificial grass’s quality which we will outline in this article.
In simple terms when buying Artificial Grass from us at ARK the price tells you everything you need to know, If a range is higher in price than another then in some form or another it is a better grass. Here is a handy guide as to what to look out for when choosing your new artificial lawn.
In simple terms pile height just means how tall the blades are. Most would consider 15-20mm short, 25-30mm normal, 30-40mm medium, 45mm long.
If looking for a sports grass premier league football cannot be played on grass longer than 30mm and most side who like to pass the ball will have the grass around 20mm in length.
Pile Height makes very little difference to the cost of Artificial Grass. An extremely high density grass will be somewhere around 20000 blades and will therefore a 40mm pile height grass will be manufactured using just a minimal extra amount of synthetic yarn than a 30mm or 35mm grass so this has little impact on price and is not a factor at all when determining quality. Pile height is simply about what sort of finish do you want.
Density, Stitch Rate & Stitch Gauge
“I want a 40mm one because I don’t want to see the backing through the grass” is the sort of thing we hear daily.
Pile Height plays little part in if you will see the backing of your artificial grass or not. Density, Stitch Rate & Stitching Gauge are the key factors if seeing the backing through the blades is your concern.
Artificial grass is stitched into a backing material. The stitches will run down the length of the grass and the closer they are stitched will result in a high stitch rate and makes it less likely you are to see the backing through your grass.
You then have stitching gauge which means when looking across the back of your grass your grass how close to each other are the rows of stitches or how wide is the gap between the rows.
If a grass has a wider gap between rows, for example a stitching gauge of 5/8 inch then this is quite wide so makes it more likely you will see the backing of the grass between the rows of stitches. 3/8 inch would be considered an excellent stitch gauge. Generally speaking the smaller the gap (gauge) then the better.
The density of a grass is calculated by multiplying the stitch rate and the stitch gauge and in simple terms the higher the density, the less likely you are to see the backing through your grass. Blade Density begins at 8400 (extremely low) and increases by 2100 blades (10500, 12600, 14700 blades etc).
Many, but not all, sellers of grass will state the density for you. This helps determine how likely you are to see the backing but doesn’t give you as a buyer the whole picture though. You need to observe the stitching gauge and the stitch rate as well.
As a general rule the higher the density the less likely you are to see the backing through your blades but it is imperative to ensure that the balance between stitch rate and stitch gauge is observed as it is possible to manufacture grass with a really high stitch rate but with a 5/8 or wider gauge (or the other way round). If it is manufactured this way it is likely to result in you seeing the backing through your artificial grass.
Weight per Square Metre
Maybe you are thinking you don’t need to know the ins and outs of the grass manufacturing process to know you are going to make a good buying decision. Obviously the weight of the grass tells you everything you need to know doesn’t it?
Longer grass weighs more than shorter grass. Higher quality yarn weighs more than lesser quality yarn. High density grass will weigh more than low density grass. So its easy isn’t it? The heavier the grass per square metre - the better quality the grass.
Whilst all of the above statements are true you need to be aware of the weight of the yarn vs the weight of the backing.
Many manufacturers and sellers treat customers for fools. They state that a grass weighs 2, 2.5 or 3kg per square metre so therefore what they are selling is a good quality grass.
What they don’t tell you is that the backing has multiple layers of glue on it which adds a few hundred grams per layer of glue.
When making your buying decision and looking at many samples from many sellers simply have a look at the back of a grass. If it is extremely hard and very firm, not easy to bend within your hands then it is highly likely that this has had multiple layers of glue applied to the back for the sole intention of increasing the weight to make a grass seem a higher quality than it actually is.
One to be aware of. As stated many times in this article, many factors contribute to a high quality artificial grass - do not be fooled by a high weight per square metre.
This means blade quality and blade width. As we have learned already stitch rate and stitch gauge multiplied gives us the blade density. Just because the density is high, doesn’t mean that the grass you are buying is high quality. It is important to ensure, not just that we have a large number of blades, but that the blades themselves are of a good quality - this is where yarn dtex comes in to the equation.
Lets imagine we had a density of 21000 blades per metre. This is extremely high but if the blades themselves were only 1mm wide then we would still see the backing of the grass through the blades and its likely we would be disappointed by the finish of our new artificial lawn.
A green grocers stall type grass will have a huge density - often as high as 80000 but the yarn dtex will be extremely low so the weight of the grass despite that high density is highly unlikely to be more than a few hundred grams.
An extremely high yarn dtex, lets say around 12000 like our 40mm Great Artificial Grass means we would have nice, thick blades. This coupled with a high density would mean a thick lush lawn. We encourage you to look at other sellers websites - you will see very few sellers will give you the yarn dtex which is yet another crucial piece of information to allow you to make an informed buying decision.
Ultimately an artificial lawn is a form of plastic grass. As I am sure you are aware there are bad plastics. To save money in the manufacturing process some sellers will use recycled plastics to create their yarn without checking the plastic for toxins. This can be extremely harmful to dogs and children who would be a lot closer to the blades than we adults would be. All we can really say on this matter is that ALL ARK Artificial Grass is NOT made from recycled plastic and our grass does not contain Lead, Cadmium or other harmful toxins.
It is important to have good backing to ensure that the blades remain in place if animals scratch at the blades or if heavy patio furniture is dragged over the grass or even if a sled was dragged over the grass in a gym environment.
We have already advised above in this article to watch our for backing that is extremely rigid as this is highly likely to have layers of glue on it.
A good backing will be not be made of latex, It will be made of SBR, PP (Polypropelene) and have a mesh inside of it to protect the blades. ALL ARK Artificial Grass is manufactured with this type of backing.
In respect of our artificial grass it is sold in 2m or 4m widths. All of our grass has backing which extends 50mm beyond the width of the grass. If you are fitting just a single piece of grass simply cut this off or fold this piece of backing underneath the grass. However, if you are joining pieces of artificial grass this extended backing makes the job easy and eliminates the need for joining tape. Simply lay your first piece, apply waterproof adhesive to this extended area and then lay your 2nd piece over the top of it. This gives a much neater finish to hide a join than traditional joining tape and makes the job much easier.
This isn’t really a factor which affects price too much but is something which affects how the grass looks when installed. For most grasses the blades will be a flat shape. Some blades are manufactured in a C shape or S shape to help the blades stand up better. A range like our regal has a “spine” in each individual blade which helps the grass stand up better after installation. If you buy a low density grass with flat blades it is advised to brush some kiln sand into the grass to help the blades stand up better but if you buy a high density grass with high stitch rate and gauge or you buy a grass with C or S shape blades sand is not usually necessary.
We hope you found this article useful and look forward to you buying artificial grass from us soon.