Artificial Turf vs. Sod

While far from new, artificial turf has steadily gained popularity over recent years. While oft-requested, even people interested in it still have questions and reservations. Some of the most common questions we hear are: How does it look? Is it worth the investment? Does it hold up? How does it compare to natural turf?

Artificial Turf Backyard with Fire Pit

Artificial Turf helped us create this low-maintenance outdoor living space.

Appearance

This is one of the biggest concerns for most people. Artificial turf has made leaps and bounds in appearance. There are multiple shades of green, variations in blade shapes and lengths, and even some scarce browns and yellows to emulate real turf. It is definitely going to look too good to be true come winter, and while you can probably still tell them apart during the growing season, it isn’t going to stick out.

Maintenance

The biggest selling point for artificial turf is going to be maintenance. Compared to a lawn that needs to be watered several times a week, cut weekly, fertilized and weeded periodical, and aerated yearly, artificial turf is as low maintenance as it gets. If you like to travel, this is a big selling point. That turf is going to look just as good as when you left, and you won’t’ have to hire a lawnmower.

Artificial turf backyard with rock garden, awning, and pond

Artificial turf helps to create a secluded patio space with a natural feel.

Cost

Cost is one area where sod is going to come out on top, at least in the short term. Installing irrigated sod areas is a fairly inexpensive way to come ground, but the costs do catch up. Colorado Springs and the Front Range are in a semi-arid climate zone, and water concerns are always present, so Colorado Springs Utilities utilize tiered water rates to discourage overconsumption. Years of watering will eventually overtake the upfront cost of artificial turf. If you’ve found your forever home, artificial turf is a good investment. If you are planning to move in a few years, you’re not going to recover the cost.

Artificial turf backyard with gazebo and hanging lights

Shade Sails keep this turf area cooler as the sun shifts throughout the day.

Utility

Artificial turf has benefits and drawbacks depending on what your intended usage is. Is it just for aesthetics? Kids? Pets? Artificial turf can make for a great play area, it’s used in all kinds of sporting applications. If you have rowdy teenagers playing sports or hyper dogs, artificial turf will hold up better than sod. However, kids taking a skid on it might get rug burn rather than grass stains. Being a synthetic product, it also gets hot in the sun. It’s not going to cause injury, but if your goal is a place for the little ones to crawl around or run barefoot, it’s not going to be very comfortable in the summer sun.

Artificial turf play area in a backyard

Artificial turf was used for an expansive play area in this project.


Interested in artificial turf? Whether you are ready to install or just have questions, reach out to one of our designers here today to learn more about artificial turf.

Artificial turf vs. sod

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