Types of artificial grass are changing how people in hot and sunny planting zones maintain their beautiful green yard without having to spend on professional services, fertilizers, and constant upkeep. With different types of artificial grass, you can avoid these tasks and still get a green, beautiful lawn for your pets and kids to play on. However, not each type of artificial grass is the same, and it’s essential that you know the different types of grass so you don’t install the wrong one. We’re going to outline 24 popular types below.
Properly done, it’s virtually impossible to tell the difference from real and artificial grass at a glance. It’s a viable option for anyone who wants to get a stunning yard with minimal maintenance. Grass by tico_24 / CC BY 2.0
1. Balcony Surface
There’s no good reason why you can’t enjoy a little patch of grass on your balcony if you live in the city. It is impossible to grow real grass on a balcony, but types of artificial grass go nicely on the balcony to help give you the look and feel of grass under your feet as you sit out and relax. It’s easy to maintain and install, and this gives you a small bit of nature in your home.
You usually find this type of artificial grass used around your pool to mimic the look of the water, and it’s also common to use on playgrounds. Kids adore brighter colors and it’s easy to kickstart their imagination and excitement levels when they play on this grass. It also makes it easy to tell the difference between different areas of a playground when you choose to put in bright colored artificial grass.
3. Bright Colors
Yellow, purple, pink, orange, and turquoise are all colors you can pick for types of artificial grass. Most people won’t want to install these bright colors in the yard, but they do work in other areas. They’re a fantastic way to add a splash of color in an all-weather sunroom, in a dog run, or around a pool. It’s essential that you embrace these colors for the fun they bring, and they allow you to get very creative when you plan out your space. Pops of bright colors are really useful when it comes to sports fields to help map out areas and showcase the home team’s colors.
It’s common to find different types of artificial grass on putting greens, especially if you want to practice the putting portion of your game without leaving the comfort of your home. You can install this grass inside and outside to practice whenever you want without having to go to the golf course. Also, if you choose to install it inside, you can putt no matter what the weather does outside. You can use seam tape or glue to install it, and seam tape allows you to remove it easily later.
Most people assume that their type of artificial grass is a solid green color, but higher-quality products come with variations to ensure that your grass looks as real as it possibly can. A yard that is one perfect shade of green won’t look natural or normal, but one that has shades of olive, lime, jungle green, and dark green will. Picking one product from the available options allows you to customize the appearance of the grass to match whatever naturally grows in your area.
This also makes it very easy to change how your yard looks and cause it to look more full and lush by picking a natural-looking artificial grass that has healthier, brighter colors. Being able to have this level of control over how your lawn looks without a lot of time-consuming and expensive upkeep makes different types of artificial grass a fantastic choice for many homeowners.
6. Heat- and Frost-Resistant
Temperature changes can damage your type of artificial grass, so it’s important that you purchase high-quality products that can withstand freezing nights and scorching summer days. This might not be a big deal for people who live in more temperate areas. However, for anyone who has grass that will go through extreme temperature changes, this is an added protection layer that will ensure that your grass lasts a long time and looks nice.
7. Home Lawn
It’s ideal to have a type of artificial grass as your home lawn if you have physical restrictions that make maintaining the lawn difficult, you’re short on time, or you have no interest in doing so. It looks great all year round, and you don’t have to worry about mowing it. In turn, you won’t have to worry about your yard’s appearance as much. Instead of having to spend money and time mowing, fertilizing, and watering your lawn, the grass is fake. So, it’ll look green and stay the same height day in and day out.
Using types of artificial grass at your home allows you to get a picture-perfect lawn that is very easy to maintain while reducing possible messes. Leisure grass at playground by Soft Surfaces Ltd / CC BY 2.0
Long pile types of artificial grass is another option you have. If you’re going to buy grass with a higher pile, you do have to be careful because any pile that is greater than 37mm is too heavy. The grass will start to look very flat. Most people associate getting a lush and full lawn with longer piles, ones that are too long don’t look natural. The heavier each blade of artificial grass is, the more likely it is that it’ll get too heavy to stand upright and it will fall down. This isn’t the look anyone wants to get if they’re going for the look of a well-maintained lawn.
Medium pile types of artificial grass is the most common type, and most average between 30 and 37mm high. This gives the grass enough height to create a very natural, full look without the pile getting heavy enough that it’s not able to stand upright by itself. Picking a pile inside this range will usually give you a yard that you’ll love. However, you do want to consider the benefits and drawbacks of having a shorter pile, depending on the intended use. For a multi-use backyard where you can get heavy traffic, especially around play equipment, anything in this range is great because it won’t get tamped down.
If your type of artificial grass is absorbent, you’ll have to worry about smells from any pets absorbing into the grass. This can be almost impossible to remove, and the best way to deal with it is to buy a non-absorbent type of artificial grass to begin with. This can increase the overall cost of your project, but it’ll prevent you from having to deal with time-consuming and expensive upkeep and cleaning going forward. It’s also important to get this artificial grass type if you plan to install it by a pool so the chlorine doesn’t cause the grass to smell because it can be a very sharp odor.
If you plan to grill on your artificial grass or you want to have a fire pit set up nearby, you want to ensure that the type of artificial grass you pick out isn’t a safety risk that will catch on fire. Fire can spread very quickly, and if you plan to grill or have a firepit by or on your new grass, you want to get a non-flammable type. This will ensure that any stray embers or coals fizzle out.
No matter what you plan to use on your type of artificial grass, you want to make sure it won’t pick up stains easily. This is important to help protect the appearance against any animal waste, dropped food, or toys that you may accidentally leave out in bad weather. If you plan to have it by a pool, the chemicals can bleach it if it’s not a non-staining variety.
This is the strongest type of artificial grass that you can purchase to date. Nylon artificial grass can stand up to higher temperatures and heavy weight without getting matted down or losing the original shape. This makes this grass a great choice for a range of applications, and you won’t have to worry about crushing it accidentally or it getting damaged from the hot sun. Unfortunately, due to how stiff the pile is and how expensive it is, you won’t find it used in landscaping projects or backyards. It does work well as a putting green, and a lot of people use it in their homes if they want to have an area to practice their putt.
Nylon is a type of artificial grass you use as a secondary thatch to help improve other artificial grass product stability. This means that it’ll give polypropylene and polyethylene artificial grass a lot of strength and structure. You can mix and match it with these artificial grass styles to create a strong, comfortable, and great-looking product that combines the strengths of the types of grass you use.
Due to the stiffness and texture of the pile, the grass won’t feel natural at all. Although it tends to last a long time and looks great when you install it correctly. This is the most expensive option because it lasts long enough to give you a fantastic return on your investment. It’s nice for areas where you won’t be playing as much because it’s not as comfortable as other choices. It doesn’t require a lot of care to look nice for years.
Types of artificial grass with perforation will ensure that messes and water drain quickly through the grass. Without it, you’ll end up with puddles in your yard. The puddles will negate some of the benefits of having artificial grass, and this includes being able to play or walk on it without getting dirty or worrying about messes from your pets. Picking artificial grass that is perforated to drain fast is important if you live in a wetter climate zone.
It’s essential that playgrounds and the areas around your kid’s swing sets are as safe as possible so your kids don’t accidentally get hurt. One of the best ways to ensure that all of your kids and any kids that come over to use the playground equipment are safe is to install this type of artificial grass.
This grass has several benefits, including that kids will have a safe and durable surface to play on, it can have beneficial antimicrobial properties to keep your children as healthy as possible, and there won’t be any loose dirt to track into the house. Also, installing this type of artificial grass on a playground ensures that the ground is ADA-compliant. In turn, kids with crutches or in wheelchairs can navigate the area safely and quickly.
16. Pet Yards
Even smaller breeds can quickly tear up a yard by running around and playing, but types of artificial grass get made to stand up to general wear and tear that comes from owning animals. Also, pet owners won’t have to worry about dealing with muddy paws and fur when it’s time for them to come inside.
The best type of artificial grass for a pet yard will have excellent drainage that will allow any accidents to slip through quickly. It also ensures that no matter how much rain you get, there isn’t a wet surface for your animal to walk and play on. By picking out artificial grass for the backyard, kennel, agility course, and boarding facility, your dog’s space will stay dry and clean. Also, good drainage reduces the chances that urine puddles, sinks in, and starts to smell.
If you’re considering installing a type of artificial grass in your home, you will most likely go for a polyethylene product. This option will look very realistic as the light hits it, and it has a very healthy and lush coloring. There are also plenty of textures that make it softer, and it feels much more natural than nylon. You’ll find it used in landscaping projects, and it’s also popular for use on athletic fields like football, soccer, and baseball.
When you pair this grass with a secondary nylon thatch, it allows the grass to hold up very well to hard use and abuse without looking worn-out or ragged. Because this type of artificial grass is non-porous, it won’t retain any odors like nylon will. This makes it a great pick if you have pets running around and you don’t want to worry about the smell of the yard when your pet goes out to go to the bathroom. Also, all of the waste products easily wash down between the blades of artificial grass, and this limits that change of bacterial growing.
Taking care of this grass is a relatively easy process because you’ll only have to brush or rake it from time to time to help perk the blades back up and ensure that they look their best. This is the artificial grass type that looks the most like natural grass, and this is what most homeowners typically choose to install in their properties in the front yard when they want to turn their lawn into artificial grass.
There is a broad range of polyethylene products available, but you want to buy higher-end ones. This ensures that it’ll withstand heavy use without showing wear and tear almost as well as nylon options. The problem happens when people are more interested in trying to save money upfront and so they purchase lower-quality types of artificial grass that show wear much quicker.
This is the least durable option available, and it’s also the least expensive on the market. It might not seem like a great deal if you own your home and you’re trying to get a fantastic landscaping bargain, but it won’t survive playing or walking on it well.If you want durable types of artificial grass, you’ll need to pick out another option because this one has a very fine texture that’ll wear out quickly.
Also, it can’t stand up to hotter temperatures that way that polyethylene and nylon can. In turn, if you choose to install it in an area that has hotter temperatures like in the desert, it won’t hold the shape well. This can lend to having an unnatural looking lawn that has misshapen areas or flat spots due to exposure to the heat. Some golfers like to install this type of artificial grass to allow them an area to practice putting at home because it provides a soft roll. It’s a great option if you’re after artificial grass inside or you want to use it as a decoration in your home where it has a shield from wild temperature swings.
Having grass that is shorter than 30mm can cause it to look less natural than picking something that is a bit longer. However, there are a few benefits of choosing a slightly shorter type of artificial grass that makes it a solid choice for some people. If you have a dedicated dog yard, shorter grass will ensure that it’s easy on your dog’s feet as they walk on it. However, it’s still durable enough to withstand the activity. Another use for this shorter pile is if you want to set up a putting green. Being able to pick the perfect height for your intended use ensures that you can perfect your putt without leaving your yard.
20. Sports Complexes
One of the biggest reasons people choose to have different types of artificial grass in an arena or sports complex is that it’s a lot safer for the players. This grass type won’t get muddle and slipper like real grass does, and the players have a much lower chance of accidentally slipping and getting injured on it. You can also customize artificial grass, and this makes it simple to get the lines drawn on it to act as boundaries for your particular sport.
By picking out different patterns or colors when you buy it, it’s easy to represent your home team. Not only does it make it easy for the athletes to play without worrying about injuries, but it’s also green all year long. In turn this improves the overall look of the field.
Generally speaking, artificial grass is much safer for athletes to play on because it reduces the chances of slipping and injuries in different weather conditions. Third General Synthetic Turf by Soft Surfaces Ltd / CC BY 2.0
21. Truck Bed Liner
You use your truck bed to haul a variety of tools, especially if you’re an avid gardener. Installing a type of artificial grass in your truck bed can help you load anything without worrying about scratching the paint or damaging the bed. Trucks are very expensive, and they’re not soft enough to give any cushion for the things you load on it. However, this grass is tough enough to withstand heavy items, but it’s soft enough to provide cushion. This helps to ensure that everything arrives in one piece and you don’t have to repaint the bed or repair it.
22. Urethane Backing
The correct backing on the artificial grass you pick out will ensure that the new yard is tough and that it’ll last for a long time while allowing the water to drain out. A urethane coat on the backing portion of the grass will keep it very durable while helping to ensure that you get strong seams. This is extremely important if you have artificial grass that isn’t as tough as nylon so it’ll give it more strength to withstand wear and tear. A strong backing will allow your new type of artificial grass to stand up to heavy foot traffic, playing, and pets running around.
If you plan on installing your artificial grass outside, you’ll need to take steps to ensure that it’ll stand up to the hot sun exposure, no matter how much it gets throughout the day. The last thing you need is for your yard to fade after you install it, but it’s easy for this to happen with constant UV ray exposure. This is why you want to look for a type of artificial grass that has UV-stabilization on it. This helps prevent damage, weaking, and fading from sun exposure. Even if the grass you pick out is rated to withstand higher temperatures, if it won’t survive UV ray exposure, it’ll deteriorate quickly.
24. Varied Color Blades
Finally, your type of artificial grass should have blade variation that ensures your grass looks as natural as it possibly can. There are solid-color options available and it’ll be much less expensive, blades that are two different colors will create a natural look that will ensure everything looks real.
We’ve outlined 24 types of artificial grass that you can use to get a lush, full yard with minimal maintenance and upkeep. You can get one type of artificial grass or mix and match to get the perfect look for your front yard, back yard, and landscaping needs.
Jen is a master gardener, interior designer and home improvement expert. She has completed many home improvement, decor and remodeling projects with her family over the past 10 years on their 4,500 sf Victorian house. She is also a passionate farmer who keeps goats, chickens, turkeys cows and pigs on her farm, and an instructor for her community’s Organic and Sustainable Farming project.