- 33 Questions To Ask Before Buying Artificial Turf
- 1. Is Artificial Grass Safe for the Environment?
- 2. Does Artificial Grass Need Water?
- 3. Can I Use Artificial Grass Around Swimming Pools?
- 4. Can you Install Fake Grass on Concrete?
- 5. Is Artificial Grass Dog-Friendly?
- 6. Will My Dog Damage Artificial Grass?
- 7. How Do I Remove Pet Odor/Urine Smell from Artificial Grass?
- 8. Is Artificial Grass Safe for Children?
- 9. Is Artificial Grass Safer Than Natural Grass for Outdoor Play Areas?
- 10. Can You Install Artificial Grass on an Oddly Shaped Lawn?
- 11. How Much Does it Cost to Install Artificial Grass?
- 12. What Financing Options Are Available?
- 13. How Do I Choose Between Artificial Grass Products?
- 14. How Does Artificial Grass Drain Water & Pet Urine?
- 15. How Much Maintenance Does Fake Grass Require?
- 16. Is Artificial Turf Easy to Clean?
- 17. Will Artificial Grass Stain or Fade?
- 18. How Hot Does Artificial Grass Get in the Summer?
- 19. What is Infill?
- 20. Will it Reduce Pests Like Bugs & Rodents?
- 21. Will Weeds Grow Through My Artificial Lawn?
- 22. How Long Does it Take to Install Artificial Grass?
- 23. Are all Turf Installations Pretty Much the Same?
- 24. Can I DIY Install Artificial Grass?
- 25. How Long Does Artificial Grass Last?
- 26. What Type of Warranty Does Artificial Grass Come With?
- 27. Where is Your Turf Made?
- 28. How Long Have You Been in Business?
- 29. How Many Installations Have You Completed?
- 30. Do you Have Your Own Team of Installers?
- 31. Will Installing Artificial Grass Increase my Property Value?
- 32. Can I use a Grill on Artificial Grass?
- 33. Can I Park Cars on my Artificial Lawn?
- Wrapping Up the 33 Questions You Should Ask Before Buying Turf
Everyone is familiar with grass.
It’s all around you, whether you’re at home, around town, or out in the wilderness.
And while you might not understand the nuances of fescue versus Kentucky blue, you get the general gist of how to get grass to grow.
Artificial grass is another matter.
If you’ve never had it installed, you may not know the terminology or specifications associated with it.
This makes it particularly challenging when you go shopping for synthetic grass products.
You likely have a lot of questions you want to be answered before you’re ready to settle on a turf product.
If the world of artificial grass is new to you, you’ve come to the right place.
Here are the answers to the questions you should ask before buying turf or choosing an artificial grass company.
33 Questions To Ask Before Buying Artificial Turf
We get it—artificial grass is a brave new world with a language all its own. (What the heck is pile height anyway?)
You naturally have questions about how artificial grass will work in your space.
- Can my kids trash artificial grass?
- Will it fit in my weirdly shaped lawn?
- What happens when the dog has to “go” outside?
At Ideal Turf, we’ve been in the artificial grass business since 2013, and we’ve heard it all.
We know the niche of artificial grass is a unique one, and you may not even know what questions to ask like, how it works, how it’s installed, and whether it makes sense for your yard.
We’re committed to educating consumers to empower them to make the best decision possible when considering artificial grass for their home or business.
1. Is Artificial Grass Safe for the Environment?
Many people are attracted to the low-maintenance profile of artificial grass, but they’re concerned about the environmental impact.
Truth be told, fake grass used to be manufactured with damaging chemicals such as lead.
These days, however, nearly all grass companies make products that are 100% lead-free, and they test for harmful chemicals like PFAS.
Manufacturers are also getting more creative with ways to make artificial grass as “green” as the real stuff, using renewable materials such as soybeans and sugar cane fibers, as well as recycled ocean plastics.
Additionally, there are numerous environmental benefits of artificial grass.
Fake grass drastically reduces the need for water.
It doesn’t require chemicals, fertilizers, or pesticides either, preventing these harmful chemicals from disrupting the ecosystem through lawn runoff.
A synthetic lawn also eliminates the pollution from gas-powered lawn equipment (as well as the time and energy that lawn chores require).
2. Does Artificial Grass Need Water?
This one may seem like a no-brainer, but the answer may surprise you.
Obviously, your artificial grass does not need water to grow.
That said, there are a few cases in which you may need or want to “water” your artificial lawn.
- Rinse it off to remove dust and debris. Texas dust storms and autumn leaves can muck up your gorgeous, green lawn, but a quick spray-down every two weeks or so can solve those artificial grass problems easily.
- Hose down areas pets use. After removing any solid pet waste, it’s beneficial to spray the areas pets use for doing their business to remove any residual liquid waste, as well as the odor and bacteria that accompany it.
- Spray hot, sunny areas to cool off artificial grass. In direct summer sun, fake grass can become a bit hot for bare feet or paws. A quick soak with the hose before you let children or pets play can cool things off.
3. Can I Use Artificial Grass Around Swimming Pools?
Many homeowners enjoy the traction and aesthetic provided by artificial grass around swimming pools.
It provides a green, realistic-looking, and slip-resistant pool area ground cover that won’t be damaged by heavy foot traffic or pool chemicals.
If you opt for fake grass around your pool, be sure to choose a variety with a fully permeable backing to allow splashed water to drain properly.
4. Can you Install Fake Grass on Concrete?
Fake grass is extremely versatile, and it can even be installed on hard surfaces like a deck or patio.
Installing synthetic grass on concrete is actually easier than installing it on dirt or soil, as the even surface eliminates a lot of the labor-intensive prep work that’s necessary for smoothing out the ground.
5. Is Artificial Grass Dog-Friendly?
Artificial grass for dogs and pets has become increasingly popular in recent years.
In fact, it’s the most popular turf application for residential properties that we install.
Dogs especially are murder on lawns, creating well-worn ruts and brown urine spots that are tough to get rid of.
6. Will My Dog Damage Artificial Grass?
The popularity of fake grass for dogs is due in large part to how easy it is to maintain and how durable it is.
As long as you choose a quality product designed with pets in mind, artificial grass stands up to heavy foot/paw traffic, prevents dogs from digging, and won’t end up covered with brown dog urine spots.
The durability, low maintenance, and high ROI of manufactured grass is evident in its popularity amongst dog parks, veterinarians, and pet-care facilities.
7. How Do I Remove Pet Odor/Urine Smell from Artificial Grass?
Dogs tend to pee in the same areas over and over, leading to a build-up of urine in the backing of the artificial turf.
This accumulation of urine is a prime breeding ground for odor-causing bacteria.
The build-up is exacerbated by things like dog hair, leaves, dust, and other debris, as these prevent the turf from draining properly and give the bacteria more surfaces to cling to.
To prevent pet odor on your artificial grass, clear the debris with a rake or a hose regularly.
Remove solid waste from your yard promptly, and thoroughly spray down any “pet potty” areas with a hose at least once a week.
If the urine smell continues, you can buy a pet odor removal product that is specifically designed for artificial grass, or you can just sprinkle the offending areas with baking soda and rinse with vinegar and water.
These features do a lot to prevent pet odor before it happens.
8. Is Artificial Grass Safe for Children?
Artificial grass has recently become popular in playgrounds and parks.
As it’s so new, many parents wonder if this playing surface is safe for their kids.
Unbeknownst to many, the pesticides, weed killers, and fertilizers routinely used in natural grass lawns contain toxins and carcinogens that are harmful to children.
Artificial grass needs none of these chemicals and is safe for children and pets.
Modern artificial turf is manufactured without lead or other toxins (ask your artificial turf retailer if you have specific concerns).
It’s also hypo-allergenic, which makes outdoor play a lot more fun for kids with seasonal allergies.
9. Is Artificial Grass Safer Than Natural Grass for Outdoor Play Areas?
Artificial grass improves playground safety by providing a softer surface for trips and falls than natural grass does.
You can enhance this benefit even more by placing a shock pad under the turf for greater cushion.
It also negates the need to use polluting and potentially dangerous lawn care equipment in areas where children play.
10. Can You Install Artificial Grass on an Oddly Shaped Lawn?
Whether your lawn is shaped like a square, circle, hexagon, or amoeba, you can install artificial grass on it!
Synthetic turf is extremely versatile and can be installed on pretty much any shape you can imagine.
Much like carpet, strips of fake grass can be cut to size then joined using joining tape and adhesive.
Cutting and installing artificial grass in odd-shaped areas can be a bit tricky, so we recommend working with a professional turf installer to do this.
11. How Much Does it Cost to Install Artificial Grass?
The cost of installing artificial grass varies significantly and is dependent upon a number of factors:
- Size of installation
- Amount of prep work involved
- Quality of product
- Site accessibility
On average, you can expect to pay $8-$20 per square foot.
For more information on the costs of artificial grass, check out our Free Artificial Grass Cost Calculator.
12. What Financing Options Are Available?
Installing artificial turf can be a large financial investment.
While it will pay for itself in savings on water and maintenance over time, synthetic grass represents a high upfront cost.
Each turf company offers different financing options, but most companies will finance 100% of the costs, including installation.
Financing terms are usually for 18 to 84 months, with some companies offering an 18-month same-as-cash option.
Find out about Ideal Turf’s financing options here.
13. How Do I Choose Between Artificial Grass Products?
This can be the most difficult part of the buying process, especially given the sheer number of options available in the turf industry.
Different turf products are best suited to certain applications, and all come with different specifications, durability, and features.
To find out which products would best suit your location, we recommend speaking with a turf design and installation expert for specific recommendations.
If you are looking to familiarize yourself with the industry’s lingo and offerings, please check out our buyer’s guide to the best artificial grass.
14. How Does Artificial Grass Drain Water & Pet Urine?
Liquid passes through artificial grass and its backing and drains away through the sub-base beneath.
Different products offer two main varieties of backing: fully permeable and hole-punched.
Synthetic turf with permeable backing is best suited for areas where quick drainage is essential, such as under downspouts, areas where pets will urinate, and low spots that are prone to collect water.
Top-rated synthetic grass with fully permeable backing can drain away up to 1,500+ inches of water per hour.
Hole-punched backing is adequate for installations that will see only moderate rainfall.
This kind of turf drains at an average rate of 50 – 500 inches of water per hour.
To learn more about how artificial grass drains water & pet urine, visit our turf drainage page.
15. How Much Maintenance Does Fake Grass Require?
Maintaining fake grass is a cakewalk compared to natural grass maintenance, which requires a significant amount of time, effort, and money.
Fake grass is not maintenance-free, however.
To keep your lawn looking its best, plan on removing solid debris (leaves, branches, solid pet waste) once a week or so.
Spraying it off with a hose twice a month will rinse off any pet urine and dust that might accumulate on the fibers.
To prevent matting and lengthen the life of your artificial grass, have it brushed with a power broom once a year.
Depending on the foot traffic to your yard, you may also need to replenish the infill about once a year.
Keeping your fake grass well supplied with infill helps the fibers stand up straighter and protects the grass’s backing from sun damage.
16. Is Artificial Turf Easy to Clean?
A rinse with the hose is great for routine, weekly cleaning of your synthetic turf, but occasionally your yard may need a more thorough, heavy-duty clean.
You can purchase an antimicrobial, deodorizing cleaner designed for artificial grass (such as Simple Green or Turf Renu), or opt for more natural cleansers such as baking soda and vinegar.
Do NOT attempt to vacuum your artificial grass if it has infill; this will ruin your vacuum very quickly.
17. Will Artificial Grass Stain or Fade?
Cheap, low-quality artificial grass products will stain easily and will fade quickly in the sun.
High-quality turf products include UV inhibitors that are added to the fibers to prevent fading, keeping your grass green for years to come.
While a very small amount of fading can still occur over a long period of time, reputable companies will offer a warranty that covers potential fading.
18. How Hot Does Artificial Grass Get in the Summer?
The summer sun in Texas tends to make pretty much everything hot, and synthetic grass is no exception.
That said, we provide a simple and affordable solution that will keep your fake grass 30° – 50°F cooler through the process of evaporative cooling.
We offer T°Cool® Infill, which traps moisture and slowly releases it, cooling the turf.
This is especially advantageous for homeowners with children or pets that like to play outdoors in bare feet.
19. What is Infill?
Infill is small particles that are poured over and tamped down into the artificial grass.
It sits between the blades, keeping them upright and supported when they’re walked on giving your artificial grass a springy, soft feel.
The weight of the infill acts as a ballast and prevents the turf from shifting around or buckling.
Additionally, infill shields the turf’s backing from the sun’s damaging UV rays.
There is a wide variety of infill options available that are made from different materials: silica sand, crumb rubber, zeolite (a moisture-absorbing volcanic material), walnut hulls, acrylic-coated sand, and more.
Each has pros and cons and is suited for different situations.
Zeolite, for instance, is best for pet turf as it traps odor-causing ammonia in pet urine.
20. Will it Reduce Pests Like Bugs & Rodents?
When you replace real grass with fake grass, you remove the food sources and hiding places of bugs and rodents.
The quick drainage of artificial grass takes care of muddy puddles, eliminating any spots where mosquitoes can breed.
While fake grass won’t eliminate all bugs completely, homeowners with a synthetic lawn will have fewer troubles with insects, ticks, and other unwanted pests.
21. Will Weeds Grow Through My Artificial Lawn?
It is possible for weeds to make their way through the drainage holes of turf products with a hole-punched backing, but it’s not very common.
Hole-punched turf is usually installed with a weed barrier to help prevent this, but some weeds are exceptionally stubborn and will find a way.
As with a natural lawn, if you spot a tenacious weed or two poking through, simply pull them out and throw them away.
22. How Long Does it Take to Install Artificial Grass?
The length of the artificial turf installation process will vary depending upon several factors: the area of the installation, the prep work needed to flatten the lawn, the site’s location, accessibility, etc.
On average, most residential projects can be completed in 1-3 days.
23. Are all Turf Installations Pretty Much the Same?
Turf installations are far from a one-size-fits-all commodity.
The quality of the installation is very important for aesthetics and longevity.
Small nuances such as how the sub-base is compacted, how the edges are addressed, how the turf is secured, and most importantly how the seams are put together will impact the beauty and durability of the synthetic lawn for years to come.
Inexperienced crews will leave noticeable seams, which are not aesthetically pleasing and will continue to open up over time.
DIYers without the proper training are prone to making mistakes, such as leaving small rocks under the turf or wrinkles that may hide for a while but will show up eventually.
If you choose to install artificial grass in your yard, we recommend hiring a professional crew with the proper experience to get the job done right.
24. Can I DIY Install Artificial Grass?
Yes, you can DIY install artificial grass, but we do not recommend it.
Installing artificial grass requires a lot of prep work and specialized tools as well as several people to handle the heavy rolls of turf.
Fake grass is expensive, and a miscut or poor installation can cost you more than hiring an experienced crew would.
With a professional & trustworthy turf installer, you can rest assured that your faux grass was installed right and will last for years to come.
25. How Long Does Artificial Grass Last?
The life expectancy of modern artificial grass is about 15 to 25 years.
How long your artificial grass lasts will depend largely on the quality of turf product you choose, how well it’s installed, and how well it’s cared for.
To maximize the lifespan of your grass, take care to hose it down to remove dust or pet urine, power brush it periodically, and keep the grass supplied with infill.
26. What Type of Warranty Does Artificial Grass Come With?
There’s a lot of variability in the warranties offered by turf manufacturers, and the length of the warranty is usually indicative of the quality of the product.
Here at Ideal Turf, our turf products come with a 1-year installation warranty and a manufacturers’ warranty that ranges from 8 – 20 years.
27. Where is Your Turf Made?
At Ideal Turf, we only use turf products that are manufactured in the United States.
This ensures the highest quality materials and standards of testing for toxins like PFAs, so your turf is safe for your family.
28. How Long Have You Been in Business?
Ideal Turf has been in business since 2013.
Since then we’ve expanded from serving the DFW area to installing artificial grass throughout Texas and now in Oklahoma too!
Below is a list of the areas we serve:
29. How Many Installations Have You Completed?
Ideal Turf has been one of the leading artificial turf installers in Texas for several years.
In that time, we’ve completed hundreds of artificial grass installations for any application you can think of.
30. Do you Have Your Own Team of Installers?
We know how crucial the installation process is to a beautiful, long-lasting lawn, so have our own highly experienced, professional, and trustworthy teams of installers.
Our installation technicians have been trained in our proprietary turf installation techniques that we’ve been working with for years.
They’re masters of the craft and will ensure your new artificial lawn looks nothing short of amazing.
31. Will Installing Artificial Grass Increase my Property Value?
A common artificial grass misconception is that it will decrease your home’s value.
That couldn’t be further from the truth.
Since it looks green and gorgeous whatever the weather, artificial grass will give you unmatched curb appeal.
On average, homes with great curb appeal sell for 7% more than those without.
Whether you’re selling your house soon or just hedging your bets, a synthetic lawn will make your home more valuable.
32. Can I use a Grill on Artificial Grass?
While synthetic grass won’t burst into flames from a hot ember landing on it, it will still melt under too much heat.
Burning embers or hot surfaces can leave marks on your lawn, which may require repair.
Because of this potential damage, you should not set portable or tabletop barbecue grills directly on your lawn.
If you’re a dedicated outdoor chef who wants to have your grill and your fake grass too, opt for a gas-powered grill.
Gas grills allow you to avoid lit charcoal or burning wood from falling onto your grass.
A safer option would be to use your grill on a paving stone or concrete patio or create a dedicated gravel area for grilling.
33. Can I Park Cars on my Artificial Lawn?
Regularly parking cars on a synthetic lawn can cause damage over time, artificial grass products are not designed for the weight or friction of cars.
Automobiles, boats, and other heavy equipment can cause damage to the grass fibers or issues from gas or oil leaks.
That said, artificial grass can be used for driveways and parking areas, but consider the following before using turf for this purpose:
- Ask your turf installer to ensure the sub-base is appropriate for heavy traffic
- Get recommendations for the best type and quality of fake grass for this application
- Discuss possible alternatives [i.e., a combination of paving stones & artificial grass)
Wrapping Up the 33 Questions You Should Ask Before Buying Turf
At Ideal Turf, we know the niche of artificial grass is a unique one, and our customers may not have all the answers—or even know what questions to ask!
There are a lot of specifics to understand about artificial grass, and the first step to creating a flawless, maintenance-free lawn is to educate yourself on the many features and options available.
We’re committed to educating consumers to empower them to make the best decision possible when considering artificial grass for their home or business.
We’ve done our best to answer all the most frequently asked questions about artificial turf installation, but if we didn’t address yours, please give us a call.
We are happy to give you all the information you need about products, features, installation, financing, and more.
We have artificial turf products for every situation, free quotes, and world-class customer support.
Let’s get an expert on your side to help you put together the perfect installation plan.
We have teams of the best artificial grass installers located throughout Texas and in Oklahoma.
Author: Tim Taylor
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