Modern sports surfaces are designed for levels of durability and versatility that natural grass fields can’t offer to the same degree as Artificial Grass installations or Hybrid Grass solutions. Choosing the best synthetic grass mats for your sports court or field depends on many different factors: the amount of play, the sport to be played, the cost, and the maintenance required.
Artificial grass from PlaySmart comes in a variety of versions and applications. Our team of expert installers will effectively match you with the ideal sports surfacing solution for your football field, hockey pitch, or mini-golf course.
Benefits of Artificial Grass
In recent years, artificial grass has rapidly gained popularity for a whole range of uses, particularly for recreational and even professional sports grounds. People choose artificial grass because of the many benefits it provides, including:
- Minimal Artificial Grass Maintenance- No mowing, watering, or fertilisers needed, keeping your pitch green year-round without any extra costs post-installation.
- Uniform, flat surface- Year-round consistent playing surface unaffected by weather, seasonality, or over-use that can cause patchy, boggy grass or tripping hazards.
- Durability- With secure turf pegs, durable synthetic grass fibres, and expert installation, artificial grass surfaces can withstand heavy foot traffic from high-intensity sports activities.
- Water Conservation- Synthetic grass mats reduce the costs of water use and remove the need for sprinkler systems. It also naturally drains rainwater into the subsoil, avoiding puddling.
- Safety- For high-intensity sports, safety is crucial, therefore PlaySmart’s artificial grass can be installed with our patented SmartPlay shock absorbent system for fall protection.
What are 2G, 3G, or 4G+ Grass?
When researching your artificial grass solutions, you may see the terms 2G, 3G, or 4G+. These refer to the generations of artificial grass developed by the industry over the last few decades.
2nd Generation / 2G Artificial Grass
Shorter grass fibres provide a hard surface with minimal shock absorption, mimicking a grass carpet texture using a sand-base or other hard sub-base material suitable for the existing ground quality. This has been the typical artificial grass material since the 1990s, but is falling out of favour due to its lack of fall protection.
3rd Generation/ 3G Artificial Grass
The most common artificial grass for sports pitches, 3G pitches offer greater grip and shock absorption than natural grass. Long fibres with rubber infill provide a surface option designed for a great sports experience recommended for football or rugby pitches.
4th Generation+ / 4G+ Artificial Grass
As subsequent generations of synthetic grass develop greater shock absorbance with more natural feeling grass, the generational categorisation of artificial grass can be seen as obsolete. There are so many approaches to take with artificial grass as new innovations continue to be made.
Advanced materials with different lengths, curls, and shapes of fibre provide a variety of uses for 4G+ artificial grass. You have more options than ever in the world of modern artificial grass solutions, including shock pad underlays, different colour options, rubber crumb infills for greater ball bounce, or other performance-enhancing additions.
Artificial Grass Installation Process
- Site preparation- Existing ground cover is levelled and natural grass removed. A sub-base may be installed to provide adequate drainage.
- Sub-base installation- An aggregate for improved stability may be applied if necessary, or PlaySmart’s innovative shock-absorbent, weed-resistant, or seeded matting installed as sub-layers on request.
- Artificial turf laying- Grass mats are rolled out across the area. Different sections are applied neatly together to create a smooth, natural look.
- Fixing- The grass mats are secured using durable pegs that lay flat to the ground, removing tripping hazards and reducing mat slipping.
- Infill and compaction testing- Where necessary, rubber crumb or sand infills are applied for greater stability, compacted, and tested for drainage and safety performance.
Hybrid Grass Alternative
Hybrid solutions provide a modern alternative to artificial grass that utilises natural grass while boosting the durability of the surface. Hybrid Grass is growing ever more popular, combining artificial grass’s synthetic grass fibres with natural grass growth to enhance the look and feel of your sports pitch.
Artificial grass technologies are a great investment for your sports area to provide a professional and accessible space for everyone. Notably, the 2023 Women’s World Cup final was played on a hybrid football pitch at Accor Stadium. Meaning Mary Earps was able to win her Golden Glove Award for her amazing penalty save without concerns of slipping on muddy natural grass or getting turf burns from old-fashioned G2 artificial grass!
Looking for more Sports Surface Options or Ready to Install your Artificial Grass Pitch?
PlaySmart provides a range of professional sports surfaces for any requirements. Our focus is always on the quality and safety of our surfaces so you get the best result possible for your sports area. For more sports surface inspiration visit our Full Guide to Sports Flooring.
Get your Free Quote today or book a call with our experts to get one step closer to your ideal sports surface or playground.