High-quality artificial grass isn't your run-of-the-mill green plastic carpet. Far from it.
Every blade and cluster is finely engineered based on several factors to deliver specific aesthetics, performance, and incomparable feel.
Two of these factors are pile height and face weight, and they will heavily influence the type of turf you need for your project.
What Is Artificial Turf Pile Height?
Pile Height refers to the length of the grass blade from its base to the tip, measured in millimeters.
Picture the blades of grass in a natural lawn and imagine measuring them from the ground to their pointed end - that's your pile height.
Pile Height Differences
Shorter pile heights (Around 1/2" to 1”) resemble a closely mowed lawn or a well-trimmed putting green.
This height is more robust and less prone to matting because it has less height to 'fall' or bend over, maintaining its straight and upright look even with high usage.
The downside, however, can be less cushioning underfoot due to the shorter length of the blades.
Longer pile heights (More than 1”) deliver a lush, carpet-like feel underfoot, resembling a fluffy, fresh-mowed lawn or meadow.
Though they might be more prone to flattening because the longer blades have more tendency to bend over, the lush, thick look may make this worth the trade-off for some.
Beyond aesthetics, longer pile heights often involve a little more maintenance to help the blades stay upright by brushing or 'fluffing' them up from time to time.
What Is Artificial Grass Face Weight?
On the other hand, Face Weight is less about the height and more about the density and heft of your artificial grass. More specifically, it refers to the weight of the grass fibers per square yard, measured in ounces.
Think about it as how much green material you're getting in your turf. A higher face weight implies that your turf will be denser, giving it a robust feel.
Face Weight Differences
Lighter face weights (around 30-40oz) have fewer blades of grass per square yard, which might result in a less dense and somewhat sparse-looking turf.
However, they retain the grassy feel and can still provide a satisfactory look if installed and maintained properly.
Lighter face weight grasses are typically less expensive and are easier to handle due to their reduced weight.
Heavier face weights (50oz and up) carry a higher amount of grass blades per square yard.
These turfs are lush, thick, and robust, imitating the look of a dense, natural grass field. The feel underfoot will be more luxurious and 'cushioned' due to the increased material.
They're also often more abrasion-resistant and durable through heavy foot traffic or repetitious activity.
Examples of Pile Height and Face Weight Combinations
Pile height and face weight can work in numerous different combinations to create various turf experiences.
Higher face weight with short pile height will give you a sturdy, densely populated grass carpet that remains upright even in heavy traffic.
Alternatively, if you combine a high pile height and high face weight, you'll create a luxurious, dense carpet of grass that's a delight for bare feet to tread upon, albeit more prone to bending over.
Meanwhile, a turf combining smaller pile height and lighter face weight can result in a less luxurious but still aesthetically pleasing solution, particularly suited for areas of low activity or ornamental use.
And of course, a high pile height and low face weight could also work, but with taller, sparser blades that may not withstand heavy footfall or activity.
What is the ideal pile height for backyards?
The ideal pile height for your lawn depends on your preferences and usage. For a lush appearance in a low-traffic area, you might prefer a higher pile height.
For areas that experience regular or heavy foot traffic, a medium or short pile height may provide more durability and maintenance ease.
Again, it varies – we’d love to walk you through our landscaping artificial grass products to help you decide.
Is a higher face weight better for artificial grass?
A higher face weight can be an indicator of better wear resistance and denser grass blades, but it's not the only measure of quality.
Other factors, such as materials, blade shape, backing types, and color authenticity, also contribute to the overall quality of the artificial grass.
What should the pile height be for a putting green?
For a putting green, a shorter pile height is generally preferred to provide optimal ball roll performance. See our Putting Green Artificial Grass selection for reference.
Is it possible to have high pile height and low face weight artificial grass?
Yes, it's possible to have artificial grass with a high pile height and low face weight. Such grass will have long, but fewer blades.
However, this combination is typically not recommended for high-traffic areas due to reduced durability. It may be more suitable for decorative areas with minimal foot traffic.
Why might two grass products with the same face weight feel different?
The feel of artificial grass can vary due to factors like different pile heights, blade shapes, materials used, and manufacturing methods.
Even with the same face weight, grass products with longer blades might feel more plush underfoot compared to one with shorter blades.
Blade shapes also contribute to the difference in feel and appearance. That’s why we recommend visiting our showroom so you can see our artificial grass yourselves.
Visit Our Showroom to Browse Our Turf Samples
Remember, pile height and face weight are just two pieces of the puzzle when it comes to successful artificial grass installation.
At Artificial Turf Express, we're here to simplify this process for you. Whether it's answering your questions or guiding you through your options, we've got you covered.
Artificial Turf Express is located at 370 Umbarger Rd, San Jose, CA. We’re open Monday to Saturday – see you soon!