How Long Does Artificial Grass Last For?
One of the most common questions we get asked here at NeoGrass is, how long will artificial grass last?
And rightly so. If you are considering investing in fake grass, then it’s understandable that you’ll want to know how long it will last.
But, unfortunately, there is no easy answer to the question.
It really depends on several different factors.
That’s because a fake turf that is installed in a front garden that very rarely gets walked on will wear much differently to an artificial lawn at your local pub. Under those circumstances, a poorer quality artificial grass laid as a front lawn might well outlast a high-quality, hard-wearing installation in a public place.
And, of course, there are also other factors that will have a significant impact on how long your artificial grass will last for.
Let’s take a look at some of those factors in greater detail.
What Are the Fibres Made From?
The fibres used in artificial grass manufacturing can be made from either nylon, polypropylene or polyethylene.
Nylon is the strongest and most resilient of the three types of plastic fibre.
In fact, it is up to 40% more resilient than polyethylene and 22% more resilient than polypropylene.
It’s also 33% stronger than polyethylene and 26% stronger than polypropylene.
Therefore, a fake grass that is manufactured from nylon fibres will outlast a product made exclusively from either polypropylene or polyethylene.
But, of course, that doesn’t mean that you should always choose a product manufactured from nylon.
While nylon might seem to have everything going for it, the downside is that it is a more expensive plastic and therefore should only be used for artificial lawns that will receive plenty of use.
For lawns that will not be receiving much foot traffic, choosing polyethylene or polypropylene would be your best bet.
How Good is the Backing?
One of the key aspects of any artificial grass is the backing.
That’s because it’s the backing that holds everything together.
If the backing is weak, it doesn’t matter how strong or realistic-looking the pile is, because once the backing fails, the whole product fails.
The backings used in artificial grass manufacturing comprise a primary and secondary layer.
The primary backing layer is made up of either a woven or non-woven membrane, and it’s this that the synthetic tufts are stitched on to.
The secondary backing layer can consist of either latex or polyurethane. It’s this layer that effectively acts as the glue that holds everything together.
It’s essential that the two layers are effectively bonded. If the primary and secondary backing layers separate, it will severely compromise the fake turf and the installation will likely need to be replaced.
When comparing different types of artificial grass, it’s important that you take a close look at the backing, as well as the pile. Try pulling the two layers apart, to see how well they’re bonded.
To ensure the backing is of a sufficiently high quality to prevent separation or excessive loss of yarn, we recommend that you choose a product that has a reinforced polypropylene backing to form the primary layer, and a secondary latex backing, consisting of at least 900 grams per square metre, and with an anchoring resistance of 30 newtons to each fibre.
This will adequately prevent against separation, cracking and loss of yarn.
What Type of Application is the Artificial Grass Being Used For?
Any application that receives heavy, frequent foot traffic is clearly going to wear quicker than an ornamental lawn that receives very little.
Areas for public use, such as at hotels, pubs and restaurants, or amusement parks, are likely to receive the heaviest amounts of wear.
When choosing an artificial grass for these types of application, it’s extremely important that you choose the hardest wearing fake grass that you can afford.
A turf manufactured using nylon fibres is highly recommended, rather than a product made from either polyethylene or polypropylene, as nylon is a much harder-wearing fibre.
Other applications – such as front garden lawns, for example – are unlikely to receive much foot traffic, so it’s reasonable to assume that the artificial grass (as long as it is of a good quality) will last longer than artificial grass that has been installed for public use, such as at a theme park, for instance.
The type of application and the level of foot traffic the turf will be subjected to has a significant bearing on how long the artificial grass will last.
Where was the Artificial Grass Manufactured?
The best artificial grass is manufactured within the EU.
Why? Because the regulations and standards in the EU are stricter than they are elsewhere in the world – in places such as China, for example.
There are many shortcuts that can be taken during the manufacturing process that can help reduce the cost, but poor quality artificial grass just won’t stand the test of time.
When choosing the best artificial grass, always choose a product that has been manufactured within the European Union and always check for certification from an independent body that any claims made are, in fact, true.
How Well Will the Artificial Turf be Maintained?
Don’t believe the claims made by some manufacturers and installers that artificial grass is ‘maintenance free’.
Unfortunately, this isn’t quite true.
Luckily, though, the maintenance that is required is minimal, especially when compared with the amount needed for real grass.
But keeping your lawn in tip-top condition is essential when it comes to maximising its lifespan.
Artificial grass does need the occasional brushing to reinvigorate the fibres, and it should also be kept free of dirt and debris by using a blower or garden vacuum.
You can find out more information on maintaining artificial grass here.
Will You be Using a Sand Infill?
There are many advantages to using a sand infill for your artificial grass.
One of the main ones is that it helps to increase the longevity of a fake lawn.
It does this by adding stability to the fibres, which helps them to stand more upright – a key ingredient of realistic-looking fake grass.
Once correctly brushed into the pile, the sand infill will sit at the very bottom of the tufts, which also helps to protect the backing.
To increase the lifespan of your fake grass, always install a sand infill.
How Well Has the Artificial Grass Been Installed?
A big part of long lasting artificial grass is the ground preparation and installation.
We highly recommend that you choose a NeoGrass Approved Installer.
Their skills and experience in installing artificial grass will mean that your fake lawn will be installed to a high standard, using the correct techniques and procedures to suit your needs.
Of course, there are different procedures to follow when installing artificial grass for a lawn replacement than when installing fake grass to an existing hard surface, such as concrete.
They will be able to advise you on the best fake turf, edging systems and sub-base installation to ensure a long lasting artificial lawn.
As you’ll now be aware, answering the question of how long artificial grass will last isn’t easy.
It depends on so many factors.
But, of course, it’s always useful to have a rough indication of how long your fake grass might last.
We couldn’t write this article without giving you some idea of the longevity of artificial grass.
So, let’s take the example of a back-garden installation for a family of four, who use their lawn regularly throughout the summer and occasionally during the winter. If we assume they have chosen a good quality artificial grass that has nylon fibres, and that it has been installed following the correct procedures, then the artificial grass would have a life expectancy of around 15 to 20 years.
If the same quality of installation were put in a public area that would be receiving frequent heavy use, you would probably be looking at a lifespan of around 10 to 15 years.
An ornamental lawn would likely last 20+ years.
Hopefully, by adapting these estimates to your own situation, it will give you a rough idea of how long you can expect your artificial lawn to last.
Have any questions regarding how long artificial grass will last for? Then why not leave us a comment below, we’d love to hear from you!