How To Choose The Best Fake Grass for Patios & Outdoor Living Spaces: A Complete Buyer’s Guide
- How To Choose the Best Fake Grass for Patios, Decks & Rooftops?
- 1. Perform Research
- 2. Learn Patio Turf Terminology
- 3. Costs, Budget & Financing
- 4. Weigh The Pros & Cons of Fake Grass for Patios, Decks, Balconies, & Rooftops
- What to Consider When Choosing the Best Fake Grass for Patios?
- Our Top Picks of the Best Artificial Grass for Patios
- Wrapping up the Best Fake Grass for Patios, Decks & Rooftops
If the only yard you have is your rooftop or balcony, you’re probably looking for a way to green things up a bit.
Having a lawn in these spaces would be impossible.
And while houseplants are nice, they require a lot of TLC.
A low-maintenance way to add an organic feel to your urban space is to add artificial grass to your roof, deck, or patio.
Fake grass in your outdoor living space gives it a cozy, beautiful look.
(And you don’t have to feel guilty if you forget to water it.)
If you’ve got questions about choosing the best fake grass for your patio, deck, rooftop, balcony, or other outdoor living space, read on to find answers.
How To Choose the Best Fake Grass for Patios, Decks & Rooftops?
Unlike the turf products of yesteryear, modern advances in manufacturing and technology make the fake grass look and feel extremely close to the real thing—right down to that soft, squishy feel between your toes.
Even if the only green spot you’ve got is the synthetic turf on your deck, you want to choose the best artificial grass product for your outdoor space.
Below, we’ve come up with a detailed guide to empower homeowners to evaluate and choose the best fake grass for their roof, deck, or patio.
1. Perform Research
The first step in finding the perfect artificial grass for your outdoor green space is to do some research.
Artificial grass is not a commodity — it comes in dozens of varieties.
Investigate which brands and specifications offer products that will work best for hard, outdoor surfaces such as a patio.
We recommend starting your search online, then asking in-depth questions to a turf expert in person.
To help with your research, we’ve published several blog posts that you may want to check out.
2. Learn Patio Turf Terminology
Understanding the terms used in the artificial turf industry will aid your search for the perfect artificial grass for your patio.
Not all of the terminology used is easily discernible, so we’ve defined and explained the most important things for you to know while shopping for artificial grass.
The yarn is the fibers that comprise the blades of grass.
They are made of one of the following three materials:
- Polyethylene – This material is a popular choice among artificial grass owners. It’s soft, durable, and economical. However, it’s prone to sun damage, so if you go for a polyethylene artificial grass, choose one with UV protectant.
- Polypropylene – While this is the cheapest and softest option, polypropylene is also the most prone to flattening and wearing out. This is why you’ll see it used more often as a backing than in grass fibers.
- Nylon – Nylon is extremely durable, resistant to sun damage, and great at bouncing back from heavy traffic. But because it’s tough and strong, it isn’t very soft. Nylon fibers can cause turf burn on skin if you fall on them. Because it’s so durable, it’s also the most expensive material available.
Fibers & Thatch
The fibers in a grass product are the straight grass blades that stand up.
The thatch portion is made up of curly, tan threads that lay flatter than the normal fibers.
These simulate the dead grass layer beneath the live, green layer of grass that occurs in natural lawns.
Thatch gives the artificial grass a cushy feel when you walk on it and is an indicator of a good-quality, realistic product.
Density Pile Height & Face Weight
Each of these items tells you a lot about the quality and durability of an artificial turf product.
The density is just what it sounds like — how much material is used in each square yard of turf.
A denser product will be more durable and of higher quality than a less-dense product.
As with carpet, the pile height of artificial grass describes how tall the fibers are.
A tall pile height (1.5 inches or more) doesn’t necessarily mean the product is high quality; it means it’s main purpose is to look realistic and feel springy.
A short pile height (less than 1.5 inches) is found in products that are designed to stand up to constant use from people and/or pets.
A turf product with a short pile height will be less prone to matting.
The face weight tells you how much material is used in the front (or face) portion of the product.
This measurement excludes the weight of the backing of the product, so it describes just the weight of the thatch and fibers.
More is generally better here, as a product with a high face weight has more material to absorb the shock and friction from foot traffic.
Turf Backing & Drainage
The back weight measurement has two parts: the primary backing and the secondary backing.
The primary backing is the grid or netting that the thatch and fibers are attached to.
To seal the fibers in, a secondary backing is glued to the underside of the turf, ensuring the fibers don’t come loose.
High-quality products will have a back weight of at least 25 oz. per yard of turf.
The backing is also how the turf drains water and pet urine.
Unlike the artificial turf on a lawn or pet run, fake grass on patios won’t have to drain off much water.
So the most common type of turf drainage on patios and decks is a “hole-punched” or “perforated” backing.
For more efficient drainage, especially if you have a dog, a “100% permeable” or “non-perforated” backing is best.
Artificial grass comes in a host of colors.
High-quality products often have a variety of colors of fibers to make the turf look more like natural grass.
If you’re installing artificial grass on your patio, deck, or rooftop, we recommend matching the color of the turf to whatever grass species are growing nearby.
Infill goes between the fibers and provides some needed cushion.
It’s small particles of a variety of materials (silica sand, cork, quartz, rubber, and more) that are spread on top of the turf once it’s installed.
In addition to cushioning your feet, infill helps the grass fibers resist matting and stay upright.
It also weighs down the turf, which keeps it from shifting and buckling.
Infill can also keep your artificial grass from getting too hot- especially when your patio or balcony is in direct sunlight.
At Ideal Turf, we recommend a rounded silica sand infill and T°Cool’s Evaporative Cooling Infill in our synthetic grass installations.
Cooling infill can reduce the surface temperature of your artificial grass by up to 50 degrees!
Antimicrobial Additives & Turf Products
Like many materials, artificial grass can harbor mold, mildew, and bacteria if it has standing water or a lot of pet urine.
To prevent this, some turf products include antimicrobial additives, which prevent bacteria and other microbes from forming in the grass.
This feature is particularly important for pet owners and folks in moist climates.
The antimicrobial backing found on Ideal Turf’s artificial grass products called “Microbe Safe” helps prevent the buildup of odors from pet urine, as well as germs and bacteria.
UV Protection / UV-Stabilized
Depending on the location of your deck or patio, your artificial grass may see quite a lot of sunlight, which means exposure to and damage from ultraviolet (UV) light.
The backing of products without UV protection tends to break down in the sun, which lets grass fibers loose and results in thin-looking grass.
To keep your grass from fading or cracking in the sun, some artificial grass products have additives to help them resist damage from UV rays.
Choosing a product with UV protection will ensure that your grass will last longer and look lush and full for years to come.
3. Costs, Budget & Financing
While you’re likely looking for artificial grass on your deck or patio for the green, lush look, there are financial benefits to installing artificial grass.
Installing fake grass tends to increase your home’s value and boost burb appeal.
It’s also a great way to cover up an unsightly, old deck or patio.
By putting artificial grass on top, you’ll never need to stain or refinish your deck again.
You’ll also put a stop to any weeds that try to poke through between planks or cracks in the concrete, which will save you time and potential repairs.
Also, financing is available for qualified buyers, so you won’t necessarily have to pay the entire cost upfront.
How Much Does Artificial Grass for Patios Cost?
To get a good idea about how much it will cost to install artificial grass in your outdoor space, measure the square footage of the area and use our handy cost calculator to estimate your expenses.
Remember — artificial grass is a long-term investment, and it takes time to see an ROI.
4. Weigh The Pros & Cons of Fake Grass for Patios, Decks, Balconies, & Rooftops
We might be a little bit biased, but we think artificial grass is the perfect covering for your deck, patio, or balcony.
However, we want you to be happy with your purchasing decision, so we’ve laid out the pros and cons of using synthetic turf on your outdoor living space below.
|Non-slip surface for bare feet||Can get hot in the sun|
|Beautiful, organic aesthetic||Expensive|
|No cracking or dry rot|
|No dust or mud|
|Low maintenance (no staining or refinishing)|
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Fake Grass for Patios?
Below, we’ll review the most important aspects of finding high-quality artificial grass for roofs, decks, patios, and outdoor living spaces.
1. Foot Traffic
Different turf products are able to withstand different levels of foot traffic and usage.
Before selecting a turf product, ask yourself about who will be using your outdoor area.
Do you have children that will be running and playing on the turf?
Do you have a dog or dogs?
If yes, how active are they and what size?
These questions and more will help school your decision of which kind is the best turf to buy for your patio or deck.
2. Resilient & Springy Fibers
Springy, resilient turf fibers will resist laying flat and will return to an upright position when you walk across them.
The resilience of the fibers has to do with the variety of yarn used in the product, the type and quality of the infill, as well as whether or not the turf is maintained regularly.
3. Durable & Long-Lasting
Naturally, you’ll want your artificial grass to last a long time and stand up to any abuse from feet, paws, sun, and weather.
Look for products with high face and back weights to ensure they’re durable enough for the job.
Also, choose a product that’s backed by a long warranty (at least 20 years).
A warranty is a good sign that the manufacturer is willing to stand by their product over the long haul.
4. Realistic & Natural-Looking Aesthetics
Lush, full, realistic-looking grass comes from a generous pile height, a thatch layer, and adequate infill.
While some of the aesthetic of the grass comes from which product you choose, maintaining your grass by replenishing infill and fluffing it periodically with a Turf Rake or Power Broom will keep it looking beautiful for years to come.
5. Drains Water, Spilled Drinks, & Pet Urine
A sheltered deck or patio may not see the same exposure to water or pet urine that a lawn would.
However, rain, pet urine, and even spilled drinks from a rooftop BBQ will require a quality turf drainage system.
When choosing artificial grass for roofs, decks, patios, and outdoor living spaces, don’t forget to ensure the product you choose has adequate drainage.
6. Trustworthy & Reliable Turf Installer
You won’t need quite as much site prep for a patio or deck as you would for a ground installation of artificial grass.
But that doesn’t mean you should skimp out on finding an experienced, trustworthy artificial grass installation company.
Check out reviews from multiple sources when checking out a turf installer, particularly from companies who have done patio or deck installations before as the preparation process is different.
Turf installers should be willing to provide you with all the information you want about their turf products and installation process.
Our Top Picks of the Best Artificial Grass for Patios
While there are many turf products that would meet the needs of an outdoor deck or patio, we thought we’d share our two favorites with you below.
These are our top picks for the best fake grass for roofs, decks, patios, and outdoor living spaces.
The deep green of our Ascot 101 artificial grass is sure to look striking on your roof, patio, or outdoor space.
Its ample thatch layer will make your bare feet feel like they’re on a lawn, not a deck.
Ascot 101 features a generous 20-year manufacturer’s warranty as well as DUAL FLOW backing and antimicrobial additives to prevent the formation of odor-causing bacteria, mold, and fungus.
Preston 93 artificial grass is equipped with a Dual Flow backing that allows for optimal drainage.
1.75 inches of pile height provides a lush, soft, natural grass look and feel to your roof, deck, patio, or outdoor living space.
A summer blend of green and tan works together seamlessly to provide a natural look all season long.
Backed by a 20-year manufacturer’s warranty, Preston 93 is sure to keep you loving your lawn for years!
Wrapping up the Best Fake Grass for Patios, Decks & Rooftops
Artificial grass can do a lot to enhance outdoor spaces like patios and decks.
It provides a non-slip surface as well as a lush, organic feel to an otherwise cold, hard space.
If you’re ready to have artificial grass installed on your balcony, deck, or rooftop (or you just want some more of your questions answered about doing so), give Ideal Turf a call today!
You can get your FREE artificial grass design & installation estimate by clicking the “GET A QUOTE” button or reach our team of synthetic turf experts at 800-204-4650.
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