How to Choose the Best Artificial Grass for a Roof Garden, Balcony or Terrace
Not all types of artificial grass are suitable for every type of application.
Due to the wide-ranging benefits of artificial grass there are many and varied applications where fake grass makes for a perfect alternative to the real thing.
The focus of his latest blog post is solely on choosing the best artificial grass for a roof garden, balcony or terrace.
Artificial grass is perfect for areas such as these as it very low maintenance and can withstand heavy, frequent use.
Green spaces have an amazing calming effect and help people to relax. But the problem with roof gardens and balconies is that it is extremely difficult, not to mention expensive, to grow and maintain real grass.
That’s where artificial grass completely outperforms its real grass counterpart.
It’s quick, easy and inexpensive to install fake turf to a roof garden, balcony or terrace.
This makes it extremely popular for artificial grass to be used on roof gardens, balconies and terraces throughout the UK.
But how do you go about choosing the best artificial grass for this type of application?
What exactly should you be looking for when choosing the best artificial grass?
In this article we’re going to be taking a closer look at some of the attributes you should be looking for to help you make an informed purchasing decision.
What is the best pile height for a roof garden, balcony or terrace?
For this type of application, a shorter pile is typically the way to go.
This is because the fake grass will almost exclusively be viewed from directly above, meaning that you won’t really get the perception of depth that you do when viewing artificial grass from a distance.
The eye won’t really be able to see much difference between a 25mm or 35mm pile in this instance.
Of course, longer pile grasses are more expensive than shorter ones, so choosing a long pile wouldn’t be particularly cost-effective, either.
When choosing an artificial grass for a roof garden, balcony or terrace, we recommend that you look for a pile height of between 20mm and 30mm.
What is the best pile density for a roof garden, balcony or terrace?
When choosing a fake grass for a roof garden, balcony or terrace, you should favour pile density over pile length.
Again, as the AstroTurf will be viewed from above, it’s vitally important to choose a fake turf that won’t look sparse – which it will if you don’t opt for a dense pile.
You should be looking at artificial grasses with at least 18,000 stitches per square metre. The higher, the better.
Ask your chosen manufacturer for a detailed specification of their products, paying particular attention to the pile density.
What is the best fibre material to choose for a roof garden, balcony or terrace?
Although a hard-wearing fibre is important, softness is important, too, as you’ll likely want to walk barefoot on your balcony or terrace.
Therefore, choosing a fibre that has a good balance between softness and resilience is key.
For this purpose, polyethylene fits the bill perfectly.
Does artificial grass for a roof garden, balcony or terrace need Instant Recovery Technology?
Instant Recovery Technology enables the plastic fibres of artificial grass to recover to an upright position following foot traffic and garden furniture placement.
This is perfect for heavy use areas.
Instant Recovery Technology works by incorporating ultra-strong, ultra-resilient nylon (polyamide) fibres alongside polyethylene fibres.
However, one of the drawbacks of nylon fibres is the fact that they are more abrasive than both polyethylene and polypropylene.
This results in a lawn that doesn’t feel quite as soft underfoot.
So, there is trade off.
Therefore, the question of whether or not you should choose an artificial grass with Instant Recovery Technology really depends on how you will use your fake grass.
If your roof garden, balcony or terrace will receive heavy use and the chances of anyone walking on it barefoot are slim, then yes, certainly go for a grass that incorporates Instant Recovery Technology.
It will provide you with a stronger artificial lawn.
But on the other hand, if you’re likely to be walking on your balcony or terrace barefoot then you may be best off choosing a fake grass manufactured solely with polyethylene fibres, so long as it has a dense pile structure.
Does artificial grass for a roof garden, balcony or terrace need Feelgood Technology?
Feelgood Technology controls the temperature of your artificial lawn.
During the summer months, the sun’s rays can warm up the fibres and they can become hot to touch.
However, Feelgood Technology will keep your lawn up to 12 degrees cooler than standard artificial grass.
It works by dissipating and reflecting the heat away from your artificial grass.
If your roof garden, balcony or terrace receives plenty of sunshine, choosing Feelgood Technology might be good idea, but if it doesn’t, it probably isn’t necessary.
Does artificial grass for a roof garden, balcony or terrace need Natural Look Technology?
Natural Look Technology ensures that artificial grass looks natural from every angle.
Depending on which angle you view artificial grass from, it can appear to be a variety of slightly different shades of green, due to glare and reflections.
This can look unnatural.
Natural Look Technology reduces this glare to produce a more natural-looking artificial lawn.
When choosing an artificial grass for a roof garden, balcony or terrace, choosing Natural Look Technology is highly recommended.
Will my roof garden, balcony or terrace need a foam underlay?
In most cases, yes.
But it does depend on the installation method as to whether it is essential.
Typically, artificial grass for a roof garden, balcony or terrace will be laid on to an existing hard surface.
Installing a foam underlay to the existing surface has two main advantages under these circumstances.
The most obvious advantage is that it will give your artificial lawn a soft feel underfoot, almost like walking on air.
The other advantage of using a foam underlay is that it will mask any undulations in the existing surface.
For example, if you were to lay artificial grass directly on top of concrete, and the existing concrete wasn’t perfectly smooth, you would see any visible bumps, dips or cracks in the concrete through your installed artificial grass.
Using a foam underlay masks any undulations in the underlying surface.
How should artificial grass be installed for roof garden, balcony or terrace?
Typically, there are different installation methods used for roof garden, balcony or terrace than for a standard artificial grass installation.
This is because of the nature of the existing ground and the obvious access restrictions when installing an artificial lawn for a roof garden, balcony or terrace.
In the vast majority of cases, you’ll follow the same recommended installation procedures used when installing artificial grass on concrete, for which you’ll find our step-by-step guide useful.
Is there anything else to consider?
There are some standard principles that apply when choosing the best artificial grass, regardless of the application.
For example, choosing a fake turf that is fire-resistant, has been tested for harmful substances, is manufactured in Europe, and comes with a comprehensive warranty should also be high on your list of priorities.
We have covered these aspects in greater detail in other articles, so we won’t repeat the same advice here; instead, please have a read of our previous article, ‘7 Important Considerations When Choosing the Best Artificial Grass’, and you can also find more information on choosing the best artificial grass on this page.
What products do we recommend?
From our range of artificial grass products, we recommend choosing between two artificial grasses, Tempo and Inverness.
It has a 22mm pile, but its main strength lies in its market-leading pile density. Tempo is packed with a whopping 48,000 stitches per square metre, making this an extremely dense artificial grass.
Another popular choice for roof garden, balcony or terrace is Inverness.
Inverness has a 25mm pile height and its main advantage is that fact that it’s packed with the latest technology.
Instant Recovery Technology, Feelgood Technology and Natural Look Technology are all incorporated into Inverness, making it one of the most advanced artificial grasses on the market, both in terms of performance and aesthetic appeal.
If you would like to discuss your specific project, please contact us.
Choosing an artificial grass for a roof garden, balcony or terrace is much different to choosing one for a front garden, for example.
As you’ll now be aware, not every artificial grass is best suited to every application.
Each artificial grass has its strengths and weaknesses.
We hope that you have found this guide useful in choosing the best artificial grass for your roof garden, balcony or terrace.
If you would like to view our range of fake grass please click here, or you can view our Tempo artificial grass, which has been designed specifically for use on roof gardens, balconies or terraces.
You can also request free samples here.
As always, if you have any comments or questions we’d love to hear from you, so please leave us a message below.