Is all artificial grass shiny?

This isn’t as straight forward as yes or no.  In reality all artificial grass has at least an element of shine in at least one direction – but the degree of shine can vary dramatically and will often decrease with time and use.

Shiny artificial grass has been a problem manufacturers have being trying to combat since artificial grass was invented.  In the worst cases grass will shine from every angle.  In most cases these days there is only a issue as you look down the back of the pile.

There are a number of factors that play a part in how shiny a product is.  These include:

  • blade profile – a wide flat blade of artificial grass will reflect more light than a thinner, shaped profile
  • low density products with uniform direction – low density products tend to be much flatter and more uniform in the direction they lie.  This creates a much more uniform surface which will reflect and shine better
  • low quality plastic – think of the cheap plastic toys that come in Christmas crackers and you will be reminded of very shiny injection-moulded spinning tops and leaping frogs. Cheaper plastic is cheap because it is processed more and is less pure.  It costs more to use purer materials with very specific qualities and properties capable of being suitable for artificial turf
  • Ultra-violet protection coatings – these protective coatings are a big contributor to shine.

So we wanted to do a test.  We got some samples from a leading international manufacturer who have a patented shine-reduction technology and we compared it side by side with our own home:urf™ and pure:urf™ products (2015 product range) . Here are the results:

In the top photo we are looking into the pile of the grass and all of the products look great.

In the bottom photo the products have been spun around 180° and it clearly shows the competitor product is very shiny down the back of the product.  This may not seem a huge problem on a small sample but over a 30m² lawn the effect is multiplied.

Summary

When you are considering buying artificial grass, get as many samples as possible to compare side by side.  Even if you don;t know anything about artificial grass seeing the products and feeling them are the best ways to make your choice.  A good product will be slightly stiffer, more dense and less reflective than a bad product.  If the blades feel soft and like they have been make out of plastic bag material then avoid the product – it is either a low density product with less plastic in each blade of grass so it has been extruded thinner, or it is a very low quality plastic that is not fit for purpose.

A picture of the Turf King warehouse
About Turf King

Turf King is a Bristol based supplier and installer of artificial grass across the domestic, sports and education markets.  We are an independent family business dedicated to excellence in artificial grass.  Through our blog we aim to give buyers of artificial grass all the tools they need to make good purchasing decisions when buying artificial grass product and services. Follow the Turf King blog for regular updates.

Top Turfing Tip | compare samples outside

When comparing samples make sure you do it in natural light.  The grass is most likely going to live outdoors and how it looks in your living room verses how it looks in your garden will vary dramatically.

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