26th May 2023 -

The quest for a picture-perfect, hassle-free lawn has led many of us to consider installing artificial grass as an alternative to a traditional natural lawn. Artificial grass, also known as synthetic or fake turf, continues to gain popularity due to its low maintenance requirements and lush green appearance. However, like any landscaping option, artificial grass comes with its own set of disadvantages you should think about. In this article, we explore artificial grass vs natural grass and the pros and cons of artificial grass to help you make an informed decision when transforming your outdoor space.

How long does artificial grass last?

Your artificial grass lifespan will depend on several factors, including the quality of the lawn material, how much maintenance you undertake, and the amount of foot traffic. On average, a well-maintained artificial grass lawn can last anywhere from 15-20 years. Regular maintenance is essential for prolonging the lifespan of artificial grass. This includes removing debris, brushing the fibres to maintain their upright position, and occasionally rinsing the surface to prevent the build-up of dirt. 

Also, proper installation, including the use of a suitable artificial grass underlay and adequate drainage, can contribute to your artificial grass lifespan. It is important to note that while artificial grass has a long lifespan, it is not entirely maintenance-free. Over time, the fibres may flatten or wear down, requiring some level of refurbishment or replacement. But with the right care, artificial grass can provide you with an attractive and durable outdoor surface for many years.

Advantages of artificial grass

An artificial grass communal space with a water feature and seating area.

Artificial grass has been a popular landscaping choice in recent times, offering an array of benefits that have captivated home and business owners alike. Here are the 9 main advantages of laying artificial grass in your garden or workplace.

1. Low maintenance

One of the primary advantages of artificial grass is its low maintenance requirements. Unlike natural grass, it does not need regular watering, mowing, or fertilising. This will cut down on time and money, allowing you to enjoy your artificial grass lawn for longer. 

2. Durability

Artificial grass is highly durable and can withstand tough weather conditions and heavy foot traffic. It does not develop bare patches or wear out like natural grass, making it ideal for settings such as sports fields.

3. Water conservation

To remain healthy and green, natural grass requires a significant amount of water. In contrast, artificial grass does not need any watering, helping conserve water resources, particularly in regions which face strict water regulations during the warmer months.

4. Appearance

Synthetic turf provides a consistently green and well-manicured appearance throughout the year. It retains its lushness and vibrancy regardless of weather conditions, ensuring a visually appealing landscape all year round.

5. Allergy-free

If you suffer from grass allergies, artificial grass offers a hypoallergenic alternative. It reduces the risk of allergic reactions because it does not produce pollen, making it more comfortable for allergy sufferers during the high pollen season. 

6. No fertilisers pesticides

Maintaining natural grass often involves the use of fertilisers, pesticides, and herbicides to maintain its health and control pests. With artificial grass, you will not need to use any of these chemicals, leading to an eco-friendly and safer environment.

7. Versatility

You can install artificial grass in various settings, from sports fields to residential lawns, commercial spaces, and rooftop gardens. Its versatility makes it suitable for a wide range of design ideas to brighten up any space. 

8. Longevity

With proper installation and maintenance, artificial grass has a long lifespan - it can typically last for 15-20 years or more. This longevity makes it a cost-effective option in the long run, as it eliminates the need for regular replacement.

9. Even playing surface

Particularly beneficial for sports fields, synthetic turf provides a consistent and even playing surface. It offers predictable footing and ball bounce, enhancing performance and safety for athletes for pupils in PE lessons at schools. 

Disadvantages of artificial grass 

Green artificial grass.

While artificial grass offers fantastic benefits for any setting, it is important to consider the potential drawbacks. Despite its lush appearance and minimal maintenance requirements, artificial grass comes with its fair share of disadvantages. Below are some considerations to think about. 

1. Initial cost

Artificial grass installation can be expensive, especially for larger areas. The artificial grass price includes buying the synthetic turf, preparing the site, and the labour costs for an artificial grass installer. Overall, the initial investment will cost more than keeping natural grass.

2. Heat retention

Particularly in direct sunlight, artificial grass can retain and absorb heat. This can make the synthetic grass temperature too uncomfortable to walk or play on in summer weather. The high temperatures can also cause the breakdown of artificial grass materials over time.

3. Limited lifespan

While artificial grass is designed to be durable, it will eventually wear out and require replacement. The lifespan of artificial grass depends on various factors such as climate, the quality of the lawn, and usage. Constant exposure to extreme weather conditions and high foot traffic can impact its longevity.

4. Environmental impact

Despite artificial grass eliminating the need for water and reducing the use of fertilisers and pesticides, it still has significant environmental implications. The production process involves the use of chemicals and non-renewable resources. Plus, at the end of its life cycle, synthetic turf is non-biodegradable and each artificial grass roll greatly contributes to landfill waste.

5. Needs maintenance

While artificial grass is generally low-maintenance compared to natural grass, it still requires some upkeep. Cleaning of artificial grass will consist of the occasional brushing to prevent matting and maintain its appearance. Also, you can use an artificial grass hoover for cleaning stains, odours and bacteria from pet waste. 

6. Potential for injuries

Artificial turf tends to be harder and less forgiving compared to a natural grass lawn. This can increase the risk of injuries, particularly when used for sports and other physical activities. The surface can be less shock-absorbing, leading to a higher chance of abrasions and more stress on your joints.

7. Appearance and feel

Although newer artificial grass products continue to improve in quality, the texture and colour of synthetic turf can sometimes appear less authentic. You may find it does not provide the same sensory experience as lying or walking on a natural grass lawn. 

Artificial grass vs natural grass - which is best? 

From reading the advantages and disadvantages, here is an overview of the main artificial grass pros and cons to think about.

Artificial GrassNatural Grass
DurabilityIn comparison to natural grass, synthetic turf can endure heavy use and foot traffic without compromising its appearance.Over time, natural grass can develop worn and bare patches due to overuse such as for sports.
MaintenanceArtificial grass maintenance requires little maintenance compared to natural grass, which needs to be mowed and watered.With a natural grass lawn, you will need to keep on top of a regular maintenance pattern to keep its neat and tidy appearance.
LongevityWhen you lay high-quality artificial grass and if properly maintained, you are guaranteed it will last anywhere from 15-20 years.Depending on how you use your natural grass lawn, such as for sports activities or leisure, its longevity will be affected if it is poorly maintained.
AllergiesYou will not have to worry about grass allergies when you install artificial grass because pollen can not be produced.Because natural grass produces pollen, it can make the pollen season very uncomfortable for hay fever sufferers.
AppearanceArtificial grass is a neat and lush alternative but it does not have the same authentic appearance as natural grass.A natural grass lawn is the more authentic option but can lack the green and luscious aesthetic, particularly if it has not been watered.
Eco-friendlyAt the end of its lifespan, artificial grass is not biodegradable. But you will not need to use water, fertilisers or pesticides for its maintenance.Although you will need to water your natural grass lawn, it is not made from synthetic materials and chemicals which can cause a significant impact on the environment.
PetsThere are many pros and cons of artificial grass for dogs and other pets. To avoid stains and bacteria growth, be sure to pick up dog and pet waste as soon as possible.Not dissimilar from artificial grass, pet waste can cause stains on natural grass if not attended to quickly, as well as spread harmful bacteria.

How much artificial grass can enhance your outdoor space

When it comes to planning your artificial grass garden, trust Building Materials Nationwide to supply top-quality astroturf and artificial grass materials for your project. Whether you need artificial grass edging, cleaning products, or rolls, rest assured that our products are reliable and we offer fast delivery options throughout the UK.

Simplify your shopping experience for tools and materials by opening a trade account with us. With a trade account, you'll have your own dedicated account manager who can assist you in finding all the necessary materials and arrange convenient delivery to your desired location and schedule. Additionally, we offer credit accounts to make your shopping stress-free by spreading out the cost. Give us a call for a friendly conversation or sign up online to get started.