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Debunking common artificial grass myths

Abode Magazine spoke to Jack Kennedy, of SmartGrass, to dispel some of the myths about artificial grass.

Why is winter a busy time of year for artificial grass installations?

Well, winter is upon us, and so is the hassle of kids and pets tracking mud inside.

Kiwis are now spending more time at home, and want to extend their living areas outdoors, come rain or shine, but without the mud! Hence why more and more Kiwis are
turning to artificial grass.

The first thing to realise about artificial grass is that it is different from the old ‘AstroTurf’.

Newer artificial lawn products do look good. But not everyone realises the different ways you can use artificial grass. SmartGrass is often installing lawns but also lay turf around pools and on decks and balconies. The fact that it’s suitable for all sizes of property, from postage-stamp-sized lawns to large sloping lawns for kids to play sports on all year round, is attracting more and more customers.

“I had no idea of the range of applications and the look and feel of the turf,” says Vicki O’Sullivan of Mt Pleasant. “The brown-thatch colour actually looks like it’s got dead flecks of grass in it – it’s so life-like.”

The next thing to note is that artificial lawn can deal with a large amount of wear and use.

It may comfort you to know that over half of SmartGrass’s residential installations are for dog owners.

“I’ve got two very active dogs,” says Vicki. “So I chose a slightly shorter pile height. It means I can rinse and clean away pet messes quickly. It’s such a blessing to have space where they can run around outside, and the lawn stays immaculate, and my home is muddyfootprint-free.”

Jack Kennedy, the owner of SmartGrass, says he’s never been busier, with customers recognising the winter benefit of clean and tidy gardens. “Dogs peeing on lawns or digging holes is always a big issue for households. An artificial lawn can’t be dug up and doesn’t get muddy. Our Earth Series product is three times stronger than traditional artificial grass and drains five times faster. It’s extremely popular with animal lovers who also want their landscape to look

Maintenance is another crucial consideration.

Artificial grass requires a lot less maintenance than natural grass, a lifesaver for those wanting a beautiful lawn with minimum maintenance.

“I was concerned about how I would keep my artificial lawn looking great, year after year,” says Vicki. “But it’s just so freeing to have my weekends back. No more mowing, weeding and fertilising. I just blow the autumn leaves aside and occasionally rinse the lawn. That’s it. It’s fantastic.”

The longevity of your artificial lawn is also worth considering.

Made of polyethylene, it is very long-lasting and softer than other materials on the market.

Being UV-stabilised, it won’t fade either.

SmartGrass prides itself on careful site preparation. The team of professional turf installers excavate the site first, then box it up and install fine rock aggregate to create
a smooth, level and sturdy base.

“I was impressed with the care given at preparation stage,” says Vicki. “I think this has made all the difference. There’s no undulation in the lawn, and we often get compliments from friends telling us how great the lawn looks.”

“That’s another myth of artificial lawn – that you have to keep replacing it,” says Jack. “Depending on the thickness of the blade and the density of the grass that you choose and the amount of usage it gets, these turfs are fairly indestructible for twenty years.”

Offering a ten-year warranty on their Earth Series range is evidence of SmartGrass’s surety of its product. And being the only 100 per cent recyclable turf in New Zealand, it’s got the sustainable stamp, for sure.

“It’s created a peaceful oasis for us outdoors,” says Vicki. “And that has certainly meant it’s paid for itself already.”

Originally appeared in Abode Magazine


Artificial grass is getting really popular. How do I get involved?

Being organised is key here. If this is a service you’d like to have ready to offer to your customers, then download our 2020 Artificial Turf Guide to learn more. Alternatively, get in touch with us and we’ll deliver you samples, pricing and important information.

Can sports turf be laid indoors?

Yes! Artificial grass is just like carpet, and can be laid indoors.  Most of our products have a D or E class fire rating, meaning that they can usually be used indoors.

Can I install artificial grass myself (DIY)?

It is possible to install artificial grass yourself, however having artificial turf professionally installed may save you money in the long run. Builders will often prepare the base, and get the turf professionally installed.

You can learn exactly how to DIY install your artificial grass here.

Can I put furniture, trampolines or pools on artificial grass?

Yes! As long as there are no sharp or high pressure points, heavy objects can be used on artificial grass.

How is SmartGrass different to other turf?

SmartGrass Earth Series is 100% recyclable, and three times more durable. This means it lasts longer than any competitors’ products and carries a 10 year warranty.

SmartGrass has a range of turf that has been developed for high end residential homes instead of preschools. This is designed to look more like real grass.

SmartGrass Earth Series drains 5 times faster than other latex backed turf, which is essential in poor draining areas, and when dogs pee on it.

How much does SmartGrass cost?

Contact us for a ballpark estimate over the phone or a measure & quote at home.

Artificial grass itself is priced per square metre (typically between $45-80/m2 +gst depending on the type), however the cost of the installation depends on a few factors.

A professional installation that is 30-100m2 in size typically costs (for the supply and installation of the grass):

  • $120-180/m2 for direct installation to a prepared base, concrete, patios, decks and balconies.
  • $180-$280/m2 for converting an existing lawn (i.e. the full excavation, base construction, supply and installation of artificial grass).

Small areas (under 30m2) tend to cost approx. $300-$450/m2. Areas over 100m2 will benefit from scale of economies.

For comparison, SmartGrass does cost significantly more than a real lawn up front, but saves you thousands in maintenance costs long term. Per square metre, fully installed, SmartGrass is a similar cost to paving /outdoor tiles. SmartGrass is about half the cost of Kwila decking. A lot of the investment is associated with removing the exisiting lawn and then preparing a base for the SmartGrass – this ensures your lawn will properly drain and still look perfect for years to come.

The above figures are ballparks only. When we visit you we will assess your requirements and provide you a bespoke proposal which includes pricing for your custom solution. There are 23 factors that we consider to determine the cost of your installation which include things like the product you choose, your location, shape of the area, technicality of the install, access to site and the base preparation requirements.