Meet The Material: Artificial Grass

Article Posted By: Jae Warren

of The Home Depot

Image of a room with artificial grass as a wall covering on one wall

Image via Especiarias

Today’s artificial grass has grown leaps and bounds in terms of appearance, feel and composition. Whereas the earliest iterations of synthetic turf looked both cheap and plastic, the quality and variety of synthetic grasses available now has improved dramatically. You can get artificial grass that looks late-summer long or manicured, or get short turf grass in dark or light shades of green. And better still, it’ll never need mowing, aerating, watering or fertilizing.

Now, in truth, there has been more than a little disagreement over the growing use of artificial grass in residential landscaping. Many concerned about the environment argue that plastic grass is just another petroleum product that contributes to our growing global CO2 problem and will end up as more trash clogging landfills. Other environmentally conscious observers counter that the pollution caused by fertilizers, gas-powered mowers, trimmers, blowers and the like are far worse – not to mention the huge amounts of water needed to preserve these pristine natural lawns.

We’ll let you settle that debate among yourselves. Our only intent here is to perhaps alter your view about the possibilities for artificial grass, just like this incredible image from Especiarias did ours.

What is artificial grass? A man-made surface composed of polyethylene-blend fibers tufted onto a polypropylene backing, artificial grass is often called artificial turf, AstroTurf and synthetic or fake grass.

What are some of the cool properties of artificial grass? It looks like real grass, and with some of the most recent advances in the technology and manufacturing process of artificial grass, some of it even feels like natural grass. It’s also low maintenance, requires no watering, mowing or fertilizing, and is nearly impervious to the elements.

How is artificial grass used? Artificial grass has been used most often in arenas to cover athletic fields and for a variety of commercial applications such as flooring for event spaces.

What can you use artificial grass for? Anywhere or any way you might use natural grass, you can use artificial grass — as well as many other ways you may not have thought possible.

Not convinced? Check out the rest of this post.

Home Depot customer Jaybird’s condo courtyard makeover using StarPro Greens Centipede artificial turf.

Home Depot customer Jaybird’s condo courtyard makeover using StarPro Greens Centipede artificial turf

We love it when customers share their project success stories. On a shady plot at the entrance to his condo where grass simply refused to grow, Jaybird from Little Rock, Ark., installed StarPro Greens Centipede artificial grass. And with the addition of a stunning sculptural fountain and landscape lighting, he transformed his courtyard from meh into a space that is truly marvelous. Well done, Jaybird!

Leftover pieces of artificial grass can definitely be used to make entertaining things like comfy chairs, DIY house numbers, jewelry, garden art and inviting decorative accessories that can be placed all over the home.

Sandy Skoglund image of artificial grass room with blue dogs

Image via Sandy Skoglund

Conceptual artist Sandy Skoglund created this visually arresting work with artificial grass, sculpted epoxy resin dogs, and live models using her trademark tableau photography technique. In a 2008 interview with Luca Panaro, she commented: “I see myself naturally attracted to some very artificial things … . To me, a world without artificial enhancement is unimaginable, and harshly limited to raw nature itself without human intervention.” Perhaps this too explains our surreal affinity for this most unnatural turf.

Artificial grass makes the perfect landscaping for backyard playsets and playhouses. And, as both Julia and Gary enthused to Apartment Therapy, “The kids love all of it and we especially love the artificial lawn as it requires zero maintenance.”

Meet the Material is a series designed to introduce you to some of the everyday goods sold at The Home Depot. Is there a material you’d like to know more about? Just let us know in the comments!