It’s a tough decision to make, turf vs grass. But I promise you that if you make the right choice, you’ll have a garden you can be proud of.

When it comes time to get your own lawn, cost, maintenance, and environmental impact may not be the first thing on your mind, but it’s crucial to know whether to choose turf or grass to make sure you’re making the right choice for your backyard. Today, I’m going to tell you about the major differences between artificial and real grass.

Artificial Grass vs. Natural Grass, what’s the difference?

On the surface, artificial grass and natural grass can look almost the same. Nowadays, synthetic grass is manufactured in several lengths and colors to fit each preference. However, there are crucial differences between the two that everyone needs to be aware of to choose the suitable material for their space.

First of all, artificial grass doesn’t need watering, unlike natural grass, which takes up a relatively large amount of water to help the grass grow. Synthetic grass might need to be watered only to wash away dust collected on its surface.

Another big difference is the installation cost. Artificial grass needs professional installation and can get rather pricey. On the other hand, natural grass can be grown by putting down grass seed, which costs much less than installing synthetic grass.

Artificial Grass

Let’s take a look at the good and bad for “fake” grass.

Turf vs grass. Photo of artificial grass.

Costs

One of the biggest reasons why people would be hesitant to get artificial grass is its price. Fake grass requires professional installation as well as preparation.

A good quality artificial lawn of 1,000 square feet could cost roughly $9,000, which covers only the turf’s price. So, in addition, you’d need to pay for the installation services of the fake turf.

However, all in all, artificial grass proves to be a good investment, as it pays for itself by saving maintenance costs.

Pros

Saves water

Doesn’t require mowing

Can last up to 25 years

No fertilizers needed

Closely resembles real grass

Cons

Not biodegradable

Quickly gets hot to the touch

Turf installation costs more

Care and Maintenance

Maintenance is a breeze with synthetic grass. It requires no trimming or fertilization and only needs to be occasionally rinsed. If you have pets, you’d need to take care of washing away odors from pet waste.

Artificial grass is a perfect choice for people with pets, as they provide an easily cleanable lawn, and they’re also great for lawns that can’t hold the weight of water. The absence of soil beneath fake grass makes it a cleaner option.

Generally, you could go as long as a month without doing any work on your lawn, and no one would be able to tell.

Aesthetics

A good quality artificial lawn will be able to resemble a natural lawn closely. Sometimes, it can be pretty hard to tell the difference. With all the different textures, lengths, and colors available, a synthetic turf field can look perfect all year round, as the rich, green turf preserves the same look through the seasons.

In addition, golf fans would have the option to install a putting green right in their lawn.

Natural Grass

Let’s see what the argument for “organic” grass is.

Photo of natural grass being rolled.

Costs

Natural grass can be implemented by one of two methods. You could either seed the area, which would cost about 1 cent per square foot, or you could roll sod, which costs between 10 and 30 cents per square foot. 

For a 1,000 square foot lawn, the total cost would range from 10$ to 300$. Keep in mind that you’d need a spreader if you plan on seeding, which costs at least 100$.

A proper drainage system would also need to be installed. Besides, you’d need to install a sprinkler system for watering the soil, which costs an average of 2$ per square foot or $2,000 for a 1,000 square foot lawn.

Pros

Improves air quality

The cost of laying down sod is less

Real grass simply looks better than artificial grass

Filters pollution

Doesn’t require professional installation

Cons

Requires a lot of watering

Higher lawn maintenance

Care and Maintenance

An unkempt lawn will quickly show with natural grass. Maintaining a beautiful lawn requires much more work with real grass, as the soil needs to be adequately watered for the grass to grow. If the grass gets worn out, it’ll need to be patched. It’ll also need to be cut, trimmed, and treated with fertilizers.

A good chunk of your monthly water bill would be spent on water used on your lawn. Also, the cost of the tools required for maintenance can get quite pricey.

Aesthetics

The beauty of real grass isn’t limited to its looks. Of course, a properly maintained lawn would look beautiful any time of day, but the smell of natural grass, as well the feeling of soil beneath your feet, is a huge part of the charm of having natural turf.

The main downside in the aesthetics of natural grass is that it’s easily affected by a weather change. Different seasons and moisture levels can quickly take their toll on the lawn and give it a dull appearance.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you can’t find an answer to your question below, get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.

Is Turf Good for the Backyard/Garden?

Turf is a generally good choice for your backyard or garden. It’s especially great for people with a busy lifestyle as it requires very low maintenance and can look identical to natural grass.

It’s great for kids, pets and won’t break your bank in care costs as it also needs to be cleaned to get rid of dust, debris, and foul odor from pets.

Is Turf Cheaper Than Grass?

A quality artificial turf installation will be needed for it as cheap versions don’t look real. For a quality installation, turf would start at around 9$ for each square foot. For a grass lawn of 1,000 square feet, the installation would cost around $9,000.

Artificial turf is the more expensive choice. But the good news is that turf makes up for its price by saving on water consumption and can last for decades.

Can Dogs Pee on Artificial Grass?

Dog urine usually kills real turf, but thankfully, it’s not the same case with artificial grass. Since it’s fake grass, there’s really nothing to kill. Dog pee drains away just like rainwater would.

You might need to use bicarbonate of soda every once in a while to get rid of any unpleasant smells, but on the other hand, letting your dog play in artificial grass will weed out the chance of muddy paws.

Is Artificial Grass Worth the Money?

There’s no denying that artificial grass is expensive, but is it worth the money? Well, it depends.

On the one hand, a synthetic lawn requires less maintenance, so it might need watering only once a month to get rid of dust collected on any grass blade. The long life expectancy of faux grass would save on maintenance costs what natural grass would require for mowing and other expenses. So, in short, it’d pay for itself.

How Long Will Artificial Grass Last?

Artificial grass will last you pretty long, depending on how you use it and the volume of traffic on your lawn. In general, the grass is durable and will provide you with a beautiful lawn for at least a decade or longer than twenty years.

Artificial turf glass will retain its color without fading throughout the years and will give you the look of a natural grass lawn for several maintenance-free years.

Is Turf Dangerous?

One certain component of artificial turf, the infill, has caused some speculation about turf safety. It uses crumb rubber made from recycled car tires to give a cushion-like effect to the turf field.

Public concern was raised as the infill material is petroleum-based, so several studies were conducted to monitor an artificial turf field’s impact on people’s health. It was determined that artificial turf fields aren’t linked to any health risks.

Can You Lay Turf Over Grass?

If you’re looking for a temporary fix for your yard’s bald patches, then you can lay turf over grass. Otherwise, if your lawn is worn out and you want to give it a fresh look, then laying turf over it isn’t the best idea.

The new turf’s roots need fresh soil to grow properly, and any type of pre-existing pests in the soil will transition to the new turf and ruin it.

Final Verdict: Turf vs Grass, which is better?

  • Artificial turf costs much more to install
  • Natural grass requires higher maintenance than turf
  • Artificial turf is bad for the environment and ends up in landfills
  • Natural grass is good for the environment and improves air quality
  • Artificial turf lasts up to 25 years
  • Fake turf is better for busy individuals