What is Pile Height?
Pile height is a measurement from the backing of the artificial turf to the end of the grass fibers. In the US, pile height is generally measured in inches and it’s one of many factors that you’ll want to consider when selecting the right artificial grass for your lawn.
What Pile Height Should I Choose?
Pile height is one of many factors that influence how your lawn looks and feels. Ultimately pile height is a personal decision and though these are general guidelines, it’s your yard! It’s important to note that none of the grasses pictured here are what we’d call extremely long pile. SYNLawn grasses tend to range in height from 1.0 inches to 2.0 inches.
When to Choose a Longer Pile Height
A longer pile height is all about aesthetic appearance. For example, the SYNPro 100 in the above photo has a pile height of 2.0 inches. If look and feel are your primary concerns, then you’re probably going to want grass with a longer pile.
You want a deep, lush look. Longer pile heights provide a lush look and feel. If your lawn is mostly for looks and you don’t plan on hosting weekly soccer games, then a longer pile may suit your lawn. It provides a deep, lush look and is the furthest thing away from sports turf. Many people don’t want their lawn looking like a sports stadium.
You want a little more cushion underfoot. Aesthetics aren’t the only reason to choose grass with a thicker pile. You may enjoy the way longer grasses feel underfoot. They’re typically have a softer, more enjoyable feeling on the undersides of your feet. If you enjoy going barefoot in the backyard, this might be the choice for you. It can also provide a little bit of cushion for kids, though if that’s a concern we’d recommend looking at our padding and play surface options.
The area you’re covering is not high traffic. Longer pile heights are great for look and feel, but they can also flatten out more quickly. If the area you’re installing artificial grass sees a lot of foot traffic, you may find you have to broom it often or add additional infill to help it spring back. We generally recommend only installing longer pile grasses in low traffic areas.
When to Chose a Shorter Pile Height
Generally, shorter piles are better for yards that are going to see more wear and tear. SYNSport option in the image above has a pile height of 1.0 inches, and is a good general-purpose grass that can be used for fairways or all-around turf. SYNRye 200 is a little taller, with a pile height of 1 1/8 inches.
You (or your pets) plan on utilizing the area often. If the area is going to have high foot traffic, a shorter pile might be a good option. A shorter pile means less flattening, and therefore less brooming and overall maintenance. Plus, it’s easier for dogs (and humans) to get traction and avoid slips on a shorter pile.
You plan on using the area for sports and events. There’s a reason sports turfs are made of short grasses. The provide better traction, and the shorter pile requires less maintenance. This also makes options like line markers more visible.
You’re concerned about wear and tear. Although all artificial grasses are incredibly durable and last a long time, shorter pile grasses don’t flatten as fast as longer pile grasses. Over time, longer pile grasses can tend to flatten out a little bit as they age.
Meeting in the Middle
Often selecting the right grass is a bit of a Goldilocks story. The best all-around solution is a grass somewhere in the middle. You may need to try out a few, and your final selection will likely be something that’s not too long or too short. For example, the SYNtipede x43 has a pile height of 1 ½ inches, right in between. It’s a good all-around grass that could be used in almost any yard or commercial space. It looks natural without requiring lots of maintenance. Or you might choose SYNAugustine 847, with a pile height of 1 ¼ inches. Both of these grasses are versatile and can be used in a variety of applications.
Whatever you decide, we hope you consider Paradise Greens as your installer. Give us a call our send us an email and we’ll be happy to bring by samples for you to take a look at.