How to Choose Artificial Grass: A Guide
Artificial grass technology has advanced so much over the last two decades that most people are not aware of the intricacies of grass design. In the past, there were limited options that did not always compare well to natural grasses and that left a lot to be desired. However, today’s synthetic turf has come a long way from what your grandmother had in her backyard.
Now there are many products from which to choose, which allows you to choose the face weight, drainage rate, color combination and other properties that work best for your installation. One characteristic with which you might not yet be familiar is blade shape.
Artificial grass blade shape, which you will also see referred to as blade profile, is incredibly important in achieving the look and function you want in your lawn. Blade shape is part of what makes fake grass look like real grass, is the reason some turfs hold up better to traffic than others, and can even keep your lawn cooler on hot days.
Choosing the right blade shape is so important to the look, function and longevity of your lawn that it is safe to say that this one characteristic could be the determining factor in whether or not you love your lawn for years to come.
When installing manufactured turf in a residential, commercial, institutional or recreational setting, your design consultant will help you choose the right artificial grass blade shape for your particular project. Therefore, this is not something you need to spend weeks researching or have weighing heavy on your mind while trying to decide which product is right for you.
To help you begin to think about which blade shape is best for you and to better prepare you to discuss your options with your synthetic turf design consultant, read on for the basics of what you need to know about blade technology.
Artificial Grass Blade Shape Basics
Install-It-Direct uses high-quality turf products from Global Syn-Turf, which offers a wide range of products in eight basic blade shapes. Here is some basic information about each blade profile.
S Blade Shape:
Blades designed with an S-like curve look more like natural grass than flatter blade shapes. This is due to the reduction of flat surface area, since flat surfaces reflect more sunlight and give a mirroring effect that can make a fake grass lawn look closer to white than green. S-shaped blades also usually provide a softer-feeling turf.
V Blade Shape:
V-shaped blades are generally considered to have a higher wear tolerance and are popular for their faster recovery in high-traffic areas. V-shaped blades also stand more erect than most other blade shapes.
U Blade Shape:
The U blade shape is known for its ability to withstand heavy traffic, its high wear tolerance and its longevity. This is a popular choice for playgrounds, sports fields and other high-traffic areas, but it also a good overall choice for almost any application. Although it is quite durable, it also has a softer feel.
C Blade Shape:
C-shaped blades offer great durability and a high wear tolerance, which makes them a good choice for high-traffic areas. Turf products with this blade shape tend to stand more erect under pressure than some lower-quality options. C blade shapes and V blades shapes perform in a similar manner.
M Blade Shape:
M-shaped blades create a lawn that looks incredibly similar to natural grass, including the way it reflects light, which is similar to light reflection on natural grass blades. Like S-shaped blades, M blades are often chosen for front yards and other areas where it is important to avoid excessive sheen for a more realistic look.
W Blade Shape:
W-shaped blades, along with Double W-shaped blades, are on the cutting edge of artificial grass technology and are changing the industry. The W blade looks like natural grass, is durable enough for use in playgrounds, pet areas and high-traffic corridors, reduces sheen, and disperses heat in a way that keeps this turf product 15 degrees cooler on hot days.
Double W Blade Shape:
Double W-shaped blades have similar qualities to W-shaped blades but are considered even more realistic and just as durable in high-traffic areas. Like W blades shapes, Double W blades disperse heat for a cooler lawn.
Seven Stem Blade Shape:
Seven Stem has a completely different shape and texture that is unlike any of the above artificial grass blade shapes. This unique profile has smooth, angled surfaces all along the blade that diffuse light and reduce reflection for a look that is incredibly close to natural grass. Although the blades are relatively flat, this blade shape holds up well to high traffic. This popular choice looks and feels like natural grass while also withstanding heavy traffic, which makes it a good choice for residential lawns.
Artificial Grass Blade Shape: Final Thoughts
Each of the above-mentioned blade shapes is designed to look and feel like natural grass as much as possible while offering durable, long-lasting options for residential lawns, sports fields, playgrounds and commercial settings.
While each artificial grass blade shape is uniquely designed to fit a variety of needs, trying to decide which is best for your installation can be confusing. However, working with an experienced synthetic turf design consultant will help you get your questions answered and help to ensure that you make the right choice for a great end result at your home, school, sports field or office building.
Ready to install artificial turf to your outdoor living space? Take a look at our How To Install Artificial Grass Guide for step-by-step directions.
Photos Courtesy of Global Syn-Turf