The Best Artificial Grass Options in 2022
There’s a lot more to artificial grass than meets the eye! Obviously it’s important that a lawn looks good, but what about water permeability, or tuft bind strength? How about its flammability rating? Its lead content? These are all critical questions you should ask yourself before investing in any new product.
Below is a comprehensive breakdown of all the specs you should review before choosing a new artificial grass to carry.
Six Things to Consider When Choosing the Best Artificial Turf
Everybody wants a lush looking lawn! But just because something looks good doesn’t mean it’s fit for everyday use. To make sure the turf you’re interested in has the functionality to match its looks, ask about how it stacks up against STC standards.
The Synthetic Turf Council is a non profit organization which advocates and provides guidance for turf companies. The STC has their own set of rigorous standards crafted to ensure that consumers receive safe, top quality products. By checking for how turf scores on STC standards, you can better assess the quality of the product.
Tests are administered by a third party company who score turf based on how it performs in a series of tests. Vital standards include water permeability, tuft bind strength, flammability and lead content. Other important standards not addressed by the STC are UV resistance and machine wear.
1. Water Permeability – Water permeability determines how quickly artificial grass drains water. This is important to know since an artificial grass’s water permeability score will determine whether a lawn will flood in the wet season — leading to property damage and an unusable yard.
In this test, water is pumped rapidly through a tube positioned vertically above the product, simulating rainfall. Six inches of water are allowed to accumulate. Test administrators then time how quickly water drains from the surface. Ten inches of water drained per hour is considered passing by STC standards. Though this is low for top tier turf. Leading products feature water permeability scores in the low to mid hundreds.
2. Tuft Bind Strength – Tuft bind strength measures the amount of force required to pull the yarn (or blades) of artificial grass from its backing. This statistic is key in determining the durability of turf. Pets, kids, big events, and even everyday use can slowly wear down a yard.
The STC considers 6.8 pounds of force or more to be a sufficient tuft bind strength, but as always, the higher the better. Investing in a stronger product means a more competitive pitch and less unhappy customers.
3. Pill Flammability – The ASTM D2859 Ignition Characteristics is a standard of the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) that measures the ignitability of flooring surfaces.
A methenamine tablet is used as the incendiary source during testing. The test involves placing an ignited methenamine tablet in the center of a test specimen, and then measuring the size of the burn hole. This test is meant to simulate a lit cigarette being dropped onto the testing surface. The STC’s own standards rank test results on a scale of one to eight, with a seven and above considered passing.
4. Lead Content – A product’s lead content can make it a potential health risk to consumers.
Lead poisoning is difficult to detect. Lead is toxic and harmful to internal organs — especially the brain. It can significantly impact the physical and mental development of children.
STC safety standards say that lead content in a turf product should be less than 100 milligrams per kilogram to be considered safe, as this amount should have negligible health effects.
5. UV Resistance – Quality turf needs to be capable of enduring the toughest conditions. And nothing is harder on artificial grass than the sun. Years of UV radiation can turn a pristine olive colored lawn into a faded green-gray, if it’s not built to the right standard.
Companies like Testing Services offer comprehensive product testing that gauges everything from tuft bind strength to UV resistance. They measure UV light’s effect on the color and texture of a product using a simple 1-10 scale.
In the test, the product is placed under a high intensity fluorescent light for a period of 2,000 hours. The product’s change in quality is gauged every 500 hours. This is referred to as accelerated weathering.
6. Lisport Damage – Lisport is a machine which simulates years of heavy use. The wear pattern is characterized by the compressive stress of football studs and the abrasive wear caused by flat-soled sports shoes. If an artificial grass can withstand this type of abuse, it will have no problem handling the challenges of everyday use!
The result of Lisport machine wear is scored based on a scale of one through five, with one representing negligible damage and five indicating severe damage.
What Are Your Artificial Grass Needs?
Now that you know the essential characteristics of a great lawn, you can begin to narrow your
search based on your customer needs. If you operate in a wet region, like Florida, you may place greater importance on a prospective product’s water permeability. If you operate in the Southwest, maybe you care more about UV resistance.
Think about who’s your target demographic. What do they want in an artificial lawn? What should they want in an artificial lawn? Grass with a high tuft bind strength is great for heavy foot traffic and is great for families, but this might not matter for a retired couple who only use their yard for lounging. Maybe you want to offer a variety of products just to cover all your bases. If so, Turf Distributors can help!
Our turf specialists will help you buy artificial grass that’s right for your business. We offer turf for every project and every budget, so no matter what your need, we have the solution!
Our Top Picks
Turf Distributors’ artificial grass is in a league of its own. Our lawns blow STC standards out of the water! Here are our top picks for the best artificial grass for residential spaces.
Water Permeability – Flow 75 Olive
Our Flow 75 Olive boasts a water permeability score of 331.3 inches per hour, outpacing the STC standard by a 33 to 1! This turf is great for wet regions, where heavy rainfall increases the risk of flooding, and constant moisture accelerates the growth of bacteria and molds.
Tuft Bind Strength – Eco 96 Gold
The Eco 96 Gold perfectly balances strength with beauty. Its pristinely trimmed blades are firmly held by the iron tight vice of its polyurethane backing.
With a tuft bind strength of 14 pounds, the Eco 96 Gold is the toughest turf in town! Its amazing strength is backed by a comprehensive sixteen year warranty.
Pill Flammability – Platinum Dream
Platinum Dream is more than a silky, green carpet. With a pill flammability score of 8 out of 8, Platinum Dream is as fire safe as any flooring on the market!
Lead Content – Everything TD
Continuous testing has demonstrated that no Turf Distributors product contains more than 0.5 mg/Kg of lead — 200 times less than the STC standard!
UV Resistance – Eco 48 Silver
A perfect 10/10! The Eco 48 Silver showed no noticeable change in color or texture after 2,000 hours of intense UV radiation.
Lisport Damage – Flow 98 Olive
The Flow 98 Olive’s proven ability to withstand heavy abuse is unparalleled.
After enduring the absolute brutality of the Lisport machine, it showed negligible infill dispersion, tuft loss, and fiber splitting, with slight pile flattening.
Best in Show – Platinum Dream
Platinum Dream is an all star grass. Not only does it perform highly against STC standards, it also provides an unparalleled turf experience.
Platinum Dream’s silky smooth blades provide support and comfort by gently hugging the feet, while its soft, elastic yarn snaps immediately back into position after being stepped on and flattened.
Best Artificial Grass for Dogs
Pet turf is in huge demand! Artificial turf for dogs received 2,300 searches last month alone.
The best pet turf features a solid tuft bind strength, exceptional water permeability, and contains virtually no lead. For this reason we recommend Hydro 75 Forest as the most easily marketable turf for pet owners.
Offering a tuft bind strength of 10.8 pounds and a water permeability rating of 331 inches per hour, the Hydro 75 is made to endure the toughest conditions! Its lightning fast drainage quickly gets rid of liquid pet waste, while its powerful tuft bind strength can endure constant digging, scraping, and chewing.
Best Artificial Turf for Playgrounds
Playground turf is not a place to cut corners! The integrity of this product can profoundly impact the health and well being of kids across the country. That’s why we designed our own line of tier playground turf products.
Turf Distributors offers retailers safe, affordable playground turf. Our products create safer, more comfortable environments for residential and community playgrounds.
TD Impact Pads use recycled cross-linked polyethylene foam to create a soft, yet stable playing surface. Our signature impact pads offer exceptional shock and drainage, keeping kids safe and playgrounds dry. They are suitable for both indoor and outdoor applications, and come in four by five foot panels. This product is made using compression instead of adhesion, which doesn’t affect drainage the same way glue does.
Agility Sports Turf
Built with a polyethylene slit-filament fiber design, Turf Distributors’ Agility Turf offers excellent durability with less abrasiveness than typical nylon or polypropylene carpets. Built with a 5mm foam backing, Agility Turf doesn’t sacrifice comfort for performance — it provides both!
Agility Turf is designed for indoor environments and comes in a variety of colors.
Eco 59 Silver Hybrid is TD’s premium outdoor sports turf. Its unique mix of slit-filament and mono-filament yarn provides a thick, lush aesthetic while keeping infill migration to a minimum. Hybrid 59’s high density yarn reduces infill cost thanks to the natural cushion of the blades.