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How to Spot Bad Turf Material

Sometimes it can be hard to spot cheap artificial turf, so here are some tips to spot lower quality grasses. Before purchasing, we recommend checking the grass manufacturer’s credibility in the industry. Keep reading to learn more! 

Do Your Research

Look at the grass in person before deciding which one to use for your project. Take a look at it up close and hold it in your hands to get a good feel for it. It's also very important to set it down and step back. It's in this perspective that you'll notice differences in the samples as far as shape, look, and texture.

Avoid Luster

If you’re going for a natural look, it’s best to stay away from grasses that are super shiny. On top of looking low quality, there are also performance issues with grasses like this. A grass with shiny blades will reflect the sun more. While this doesn't seem like a huge deal it can greatly affect the use of your space. Sun reflection will cause blinding glares and the surface temperature can become hot to the touch. 

Look For Thatch Blades

Thatch is the brown and green curly grass fibers that are under the green straight blades. Thatch is used to make artificial grass look more real, as it replicates dead grass. Having thatch fibers is an important feature when assessing if the grass is high-quality. Thatch blades also provide stability for the turf and can help keep the grass in an upright position for longer. 

Thatch grass blade materials in backyard turf installation.

Opt For Adequate Drainage

You’ll want to make sure that the backing of the grass has good drainage. This usually means that you'll see holes punctured throughout the backing to help the flow of water. Some companies have micro-drainage technology where there are nanoholes around each stitch to help drain as well, so make sure to ask the supplier about this before assuming there's no drainage. It can be hard to tell if the backing is bad quality, but over time the cheap products will fall apart or wrinkle. Save yourself the costly repairs - ask a professional.

Know Your Intended Use 

The heavier the grass doesn’t always mean better, it really depends on the project. Heavy grasses are typically used for balconies, rooftops, and lawns that don’t have a lot of foot traffic. With that being said, if a grass feels weightless in your hands - this could be a sign that it won’t hold up to weathering. Anything weighing under 50 oz. isn't recommended.

Brighter Is Not Always Better

Is the grass too vivid in color? This could be another indicator that the grass is of low quality. Cheap grasses are way more vivid in color because the manufacturer knows that the color will fade faster. So, by making it more vivid upfront they slightly prolong the lifetime. If your grass fades heavily within two years, you should contact the manufacturer or installer. 

Assess The Blade Shape

While the blades are small and may require a magnifying glass to see, take a look at the shape of the blades. You should be able to see either an "S" or "W" shape at the top of the blade. If they feature these shapes, they tend to be more durable and long-lasting. You want to avoid a flat blade, even if it feels soft. Flat blades don’t survive foot traffic because they don’t have the structure to provide durability. Use this in unison with the steps above, because sometimes even cheap quality grasses will be the "S" or "W" shape.

S blade technology in artificial grass materials for backyard turf installation projects.

These are our tips when choosing quality long-lasting artificial grasses. As always, we recommend allowing professional installers to assist you in this process to achieve the best results. Whenever you're ready to build the space you've been dreaming of, request an estimate!

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