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Proof all Artificial Grass is Not Created Equal: Part 1 of 4

In this detailed turf review with photos, we highlight why it’s so important to do your homework before selecting an artificial turf installer.

  • Part 1: Evolution of Turf / How It’s Made
  • Part 2: When Artificial Grass Attacks / The Worst That Can Happen
  • Part 3: Side-by-Side Comparison of 2 Leading Turf Brands / Real Foot-Traffic Test
  • Part 4Typical Installation Costs / Life-Spans & Warranty

Evolution of Turf / How It’s Made

There are more synthetic turf manufacturers than ever before. The good? More variety, and cheaper products. The bad? More confusion, and a watered-down industry.

See some amazing pictures in Part 2, to see what could go wrong when manufacturers cut corners and flood the market with inferior products – and learn about the HUGE cost of CHEAP turf.

Artificial Grass has made incredible progress over the past 40 years. From it’s introduction in the 1960’s at the Astrodome; to being used for playgrounds, dog parks, and residential yards today.

Turf has experienced an impressive evolution.

The “original” Artificial Turf from the 1970’s

2016 – Much more of a natural grass appearance

The synthetic turf boom is upon us, which means a WIDE variety of choices. And variety is always a good thing, right?

Not in this case. All variety has done for the turf world is make it extremely confusing for consumers to identify quality products. Learn more about why it can be difficult to find good turf, in Part 4.

Bad turf can lead to massive re-work, since removing a product weighing thousands of pounds and anchored into the ground is not easy work. And when the turf was done cheaply, most likely so was the sub-base. Often this means the incorrect crushed rock or installation methods may have been used – and you can’t have a quality turf installation without a quality sub-base. This means a total sub-base tear-out, disposal, and start-over – which can be extremely expensive. Read more about typical turf installation costs in Part 4.

How It’s Made

The Devil is in the Details

wrigsGive it the ol’ sniff test

What you don’t see on the surface, can be detrimental to the life-span of your turf.

Similar to sports netting and other textile industries, the difference between high and low quality turf, is in the raw materials used to build the fibers; followed by the manufacturing processes (tufting and coating).

In a nutshell, artificial turf is produced by melting plastic pellets; extruding / cooling / solidifying; trimming / spooling; needling / tufting; coated with a backing, and cured.  Watch an interesting “How it’s made video here“.


It’s relatively easy to make turf *look* high quality, but just like any booming industry, manufacturers are taking advantage of an essentially “blind industry”, where it’s difficult to identify quality until it’s too late. Many “turf companies” have appeared over the past 10 years, as the fake grass business has exploded in the US largely due to the drought in California, Nevada, and Arizona – in addition to the rapidly expanding sports turf segment.

Next in Part 2, see actual photos of “the worst that can happen” when selecting turf based on cost alone.

Prepared by:

Chad Schneider | Operations Director
SYNLawn – Nebraska & Iowa Installer
14706 Giles Rd. Omaha, NE 68138
800.877.6787 x801 | 402.592.2000 | Fax: 800.577.3046 | | Product Reviews

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