We are strong believers in “doing your homework” when considering your artificial turf investment. Let’s face it. No matter what company or product you choose, you’re going to be spending a lot of money on your turf project so please make sure you ask the right questions! Unfortunately, there are little to no barriers to entry to become a Artificial Turf installers of industry standard turf and we all too often hear horror stories of botched installations, product failures, and painful to say but, unethical practices. Please make sure you ask the right questions, consider the long term investment, and choose a reputable product and installer. We have been asked to fully replace several projects that have only been installed 6 months-a year.
We are an open book on all these questions - if you would like us to clarify anything further please call us at 214.206.3920, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We received an email from a potential client who had been asked by another turf company to have the other bidding companies respond to the following questions. We were happy to respond to all these questions! I can only imagine the alternative inferior solutions, methods, and products. Our Sales Manager, Jason Delph wrote an incredible email in response and was able to educate and wonderfully articulate our processes and craftsmanship to our now happy client!
Below are my responses to your questions. Please let me know how else I can help you all feel more comfortable with this decision. I want to make sure you all feel fully informed before you make your decision. Let me know how I can serve you, and what I can do to earn your business. Thank you!
What is your warranty (coverage and duration), expected useful life, and how often are there claims?
We are proud to offer a 10 year commercial, closed loop warranty. Per our conversation, this covers installations for large, high traffic applications like Disney, Magnolia Silos, etc. Therefore, I expect and have seen our products last well past the 10 year warranty, and we’ve seen our innovative product last 15 years in a residential setting like yours. I will mention that our warranty is also fully covered in house, by ForeverLawn, a company built on Integrity. We do not third party warranty and therefore you can rest assured that it will be covered if there is a claim on the product. Our warranty is also fully transferable to the next homeowner, should you move homes. We also offer a two year installation warranty, which covers things like seams, stone base, etc. on the turf. It’s the most carefully manufactured and designed product in the industry, and there is a reason it performs the way it does. For more information regarding our warranty, please visit the link below.
How deep is the sublayer and what rock material do you use?
We will install up to 6 inches of crushed 3/8”s limestone. This is a clean/washed stone and therefore will allow for superior drainage – which is key when dogs are using it as a bathroom. There are a lot of companies that will use a Decomposed Granite or even a Crushed Concrete. We believe that both of these bases work great, but don’t provide the same drain-ability and will often “wash out” when the fines in the material shift after heavy rains. We will use the Decomposed Granite underneath a putting green because we don’t need or want the base to drain under the green (there’s no perforated holes in a putting green anyways).
What are the details on the backing — material , thickness, drainage impact?
This is maybe the biggest difference between ForeverLawn and the rest of the industry, and the reason we continue to be specified by every landscape architect in the area – because our product is simply built better. Our turf drains over 43 inches per hour, which is better than the industry standard of 25-30 inches. We are proud to offer Premium backing featuring three-layer system with final layer made from 100% recycled plastic from Project Yellowstone and Project Grand Teton. Our 3 layers allow the blades to be rooted deeper and the blades are protect by our third layer, which also allows us to seam without using glue. I’ve attached a graphic that breaks this down in further detail.
BioCel™ Premium Backing
The polymers used in our premium backing are created from Soybean plants—a stable and 100% renewable resource. This backing is fully permeable - which means that rain water doesn't get trapped in the backing. It adds dimensional stability to the blades of grass, as well as added protection between the blades of grass and the ground below.
BioCel™ Turf Backing Systems, by Universal Textile Technologies (UTT) was awarded the Grand Prize for Environmental Initiatives by the the Buildings Magazine at NeoCon in Chicago in June, 2004. Many of the ForeverLawn products use BioCel™ Turf Backing Systems. You can be confident that when you choose a ForeverLawn product, you are not only receiving a premium turf, but the highest quality backing as well.
ForeverLawn uses a knitted backing for the K9Grass and SplashGrass lines of products. Because of the unique needs of these specialty turfs, ForeverLawn uses a knitted backing with flow-through technology that is unique in the synthetic turf marketplace.
Benefits of a knitted backing:
The knitted backing allows for rapid drainage, efficiently removing liquids from the turf
Allows for a denser blade structure, eliminating the need for infill
Blades of grass are knitted into the backing, preventing pets from digging up or easily removing the blades
How is it installed?
We are the leading craftsmen in the industry, so every installation is specifically tailored to the needs of our clients. On a typical landscape installation, we will install the turf using 6 inch twisted shank galvanized landscape spikes every 6 inches around the perimeter , which do not rust like our competitors who use standard irrigation staples that rust within weeks of installation. On a K9Grass application, we use a 50 year warranty full Plastic EPS nailor board and staple the turf every half inch around the perimeter using 1 1/4” stainless steel staples. Other companies are using a much cheaper benda board which doesnt have the structural integrity, or enough bite in the board to create a secure edge for installation. When we are installing in areas where there are dogs, we want to create a failproof install where even the most curious and deviant puppies can’t find an corner of turf to play tug of war with!
Authorized ForeverLawn Dealers follow a ten-step process for installing the ForeverLawn product to ensure that every installation meets our highest standard of quality. Our trained professionals give each installation their focused attention. Although there are always some nuances with each installation, the following guidelines are used for reference and consistency.
1. GROUND CLEARING The first step in the installation process is to clear the ground of any covering or debris. A clear base is vital to the long-term quality of our installations. For existing lawns, this may include removal of sod, rocks, gravel, etc. Although new construction installations will not require the same time commitment during this phase (and therefore are typically discounted), time is taken to ensure that the ground is clear of any remaining construction debris, or obstructions.
2. BASE HEIGHT The second step in our installation process is to ensure that the installed product will be at the desired finish grade. This requires that the initial base be at approximately 3" to 4" below finish grade. Depending on the current conditions, any excess soil is removed and discarded, or fill is brought in at this time.
3. GRAVEL SUB-BASE Next, 8 minus crusher fine gravel is installed to create a stabilized sub-base. The crushed gravel is brought in and spread to create a base approximately 3" thick. The gravel sub-base is used to give a solid base for the product while still allowing for drainage.
4. GRADING Now the crusher fine is graded to meet drainage requirements as well as customer desires. This step allows us to determine the exact finish level of the grass, as well as prevent ay areas of water build-up or improper drainage.
5. COMPACTING THE BASE A plate tamper or roller is brought in to compact the base. Water is sprayed over the gravel prior to tamping to ensure proper compaction and to reduce dust. The goal of this step is to reach 90% to 95% compaction. The compacted crushed gravel sub-base is then given time to dry and checked for inconsistencies prior to proceeding.
6. FOREVERLAWN LAYOUT The ForeverLawn turf rolls are brought in and laid out. ForeverLawn comes in 15-foot-wide rolls. Our professional installation team will lay the grass out in a manner that will best fit your lawn. Due to the natural direction of the grass blades, the turf must all be laid out in the same direction. Therefore, it is very important that this layout is thoroughly thought out before cutting begins.
7. CUTTING THE GRASS This phase is where the turf is trimmed to fit your yard. The product can be cut around your existing landscape whether it is a perfect square, or a winding path that is bordered by rocks.
8. SECURING AND SEAMING We secure the turf by staking the edges with 6" galvanized landscape spikes. The spikes are inserted through the turf and into the base at 6" intervals around the edges and more frequently along the seams. Once installed, the seams (where two pieces of ForeverLawn are joined to create widths greater than 15 feet) are virtually invisible and very durable. Much of that is due to the seaming process, which uses our new, proprietary micro mechanical bonding system. No glue is required in this method. This eliminates the seam failure you are likely to have with glue over the next 10 years and beyond.
9. RUBBER INFILL Approximately one pound per square foot of the cracker-mill rubber is spread out over the turf, and worked into the base of the grass blades using a power broom. The all-rubber infill stands the grass blades up and cushions the product. No sand infill is needed as our product has dimensionally stable backing. When sand is used, it is primarily to act as a ballast to support the grass. Our reinforced backing eliminates that need and enables us to use 100% rubber; which is less abrasive and softer. ***in DFW we use Envirofill, a Rubber Coated Sand which is also non abrasive, and contains Microban creating another layer of anti-microbial protection in your installation. If you would like us to use rubber infill, we can and will do so, but our installs come standard with Envirofill which is the cadillac of infills.***
10. CLEAN-UP No job would be complete without the proper clean up. You can use a blower, rake, brush or broom to clean up the grass, as well as water.
Micro Mechanical Seaming System
We also use a patented micro-mechanical seam tape and NEVER staple in the middle of the seams like other companies, which can be dangerous with kids playing on it. All Urethane backed products (industry standard) require a seam tape and turf glue which creates a chemical bond that will typically start breaking down from weather and exposure after 3-4 years. Our goal is to install you a system that will well outlast the life of the product (15+ years)
Do you use head/butt seams?
We NEVER install head or “butt” seams, as they will wear out quicker and typically show over the course of a couple of months. Now this is where a lot of the competition will try and cut corners and jigsaw puzzle in turf pieces. They will typical send an inexperienced salesman with little to no installation experience where all they care about is figuring out the actual square footage. Because most companies can run down to the Turf Warehouse down the road to grab more turf when they run out, if a project is installed over 1500 sq. ft, they will show up with 1500 sq. ft of turf, and any curves, bends, or areas that they don’t have enough turf for, they will install with scrap turf - sometimes even facing the turf in different directions. Most turf comes in 15’ wide rolls, and so design layouts need to account for 15’ wide increments. There are some ways to get creative on layout, but make sure that you are using a company that has sent salesmen to corporate lay out and design trainings, and that also has a certified installation team that will actually follow those plans! Require your turf company to provide you their layout plans so you can see how much turf they plan to use (and that you’re paying for), and hold them to that plan!
What are your infill options and associated costs?
Unless otherwise directed by our client, we exclusively use Envirofill 12/20 . This is a rubber coated, safer and non-toxic sand unlike common silica sand, which is angular and course in nature and therefore is deteriorates the blades quicker. Its also 25% cooler than common rubber infills. Our infill has a 16 year warranty, which increases the performance and lifespan of your turf. Its also antimicrobial so it’s safer for kids and dogs.
Envirofill is the most expensive infill, but comes standard in our installations.
Crumb Rubber is the next tier price wise
Rounded Silica sand is the most affordable infill option for reference, it is about a fourth of the price of Envirofill.
Does the grass include “thatch" fibers?
As the innovators of the turf industry, we are the first company to use thatch into our product, and thus it is the most realistic and best performing. Also, as far as I know, we are the only company whose thatch is fully made using Nylon fiber. This is a much more durable and higher wearing fiber. What this means is it will hold the blades up longer AND retain the infill better, thus maintaining sharper and less matted-down blades. The tan thatch also serves as a “hide and hold” feature related to infill for added safety. Our DuPont Landscaping Grasses’ blade construction is : Primary: Polyethylene monofilament Memory Fiber™ Secondary: Heat set textured nylon monofilament
How do you handle dog urine/feces? Do you recommend a special spray used periodically?
Our non-absorbent polyethylene & nylon fibers and built-in AlphaSan®antimicrobial technology give K9Grass a strong layer of protection. The blades will not stain or retain odors. However, the grass surface, backing, and surroundings must be kept clean to control odors and enhance the product lifespan.
Easy as 1-2-3
Caring for K9Grass takes a few basic guidelines:
Pick-up solid waste as it occurs
Groom to remove dirt and debris (using a leaf blower, vacuum, extractor, or power broom)
Clean the surface (rinse, sanitize, and/or treat with bacterial enzymes)
By following our care instructions, you’ll extend the life of your product and have a cleaner, better smelling environment. For more detailed product care instructions, check out our maintenance guidelines.
See how Oh My Dog Daycare and Boarding Facility maintains their K9Grass to maximize their artificial grass performance. Maintenance guidelines are customized to meet your desired level of cleanliness and are based on the variables of your specific installation (size of area, number of dogs, climate, and frequency of use). For example, a veterinary clinic caring for sick dogs would be more focused on sanitation than a training facility would. Indoor installations often require additional maintenance protocols that are specifically tailored to your facility. A K9Grass expert will be happy to explain your customized maintenance plan with you.
How do you handle existing irrigation, drainage and tree roots?
It’s entirely up to you, and doesn’t affect your price. Some clients want to get rid of the sprinkler heads, so we can cap them or cut around them if you’d prefer to keep them available. We cut around tree roots to create the most natural and beautiful aesthetic in the market. This is a common practice for us, and our customers LOVE it. We recommend getting a licensed irrigator to take care of your irrigation system before we show up on site. We are in the process of getting our Project Manager’s license, and have multiple contractors we are in partnership with that can legally take care of all your irrigation needs. Please note - if you have existing drainage issues in your yard, you will want to have that addressed before we show up for installation. Turf will help but not fix existing drainage issues. We are able to install french drains and will grade the yard to help move water correctly, but require that any substantial drainage corrections are complete before we arrive on site. Please consult your sales representative for their professional opinion and direction.
What options or features does it include to reduce heat?
Our unique C-shaped blade design as well as the ridges built into the blades allow our product to not retain heat. We also exclusively use Envirofill Infill which is proven to be 25% less hot than typical infills. For an additional cost, we can also add a half pound of our specialized cooling infill, Safeshell, to your turf that will help cool the grass an additional 40 degrees compared to average infill. Keep in mind, this can add quite the expense and we normally recommend this being done as an add after the initial install if the turf is hotter than you prefer. We have clients that will keep their irrigation systems available to water the yard for 5 minutes before use which cools it significantly. Keep in mind you’re not getting any benefit of growing grass when you are putting water on your Synthetic Grass.
There are a couple different turf companies that say that they have a “cooling turf blade” - we haven’t seen sufficient testing or data to prove this to be true. Sounds like a good marketing idea though! In the heat of the summer, most people are not walking around barefoot for extended periods of time outside of shaded areas. The turf gets hot when it is exposed to the sun, but the second there is any shade, or you even put your hand or foot on the turf, it immediately cools down because it is not exposed to the light. Turf does not get as hot as other hardscape like concrete, asphalt, decomposed granite, pool copings because again, it does not retain the heat.
Should we install additional padding anywhere (either throughout or in certain locations) if we plan to have swingset/playset/treehouse?
We just completed another project in the Lakewood area where we did put our specialized Playground Pad, SafetyFoam Pro, under a residential swing set. Playground Grass is a third of our business, and yet another area where we are the experts. ForeverLawn is the first company to have an ASTM 1292 safety-rated grass system, and we continue to set the bar for the Playground market with our high performing turfs and pads.
Inevitably, this is more common in a commercial setting, as there are critical fall height requirements, but we have done it residentially as well and it truly does makes sense to do if it is in the budget. I have four kids of my own and we will be putting the SafetyFoam Pro underneath our swing set soon as its just another layer of protection for your kids.
However, I would suggest only using it in the Play set/treehouse areas. It isn’t necessary to put it over the entire yard unless your kids are prone to spontaneous falling!
12. Finally, is there any other info that we should know or questions that we should ask?
As I mentioned when we met, there is a reason we are the preferred synthetic grass provider in the Park Cities, with the higher end landscapers, and with landscape architects nationwide. Quality, innovation, and integrity are the foundations for which our company was founded and built. We do things differently and we care about our customers. We understand this is an investment, and that is why we are so passionate about educating our customers rather than just “selling” them. Once people take the time to understand just how much more innovative our product is, its obvious we are a cut above the rest of the industry, and it’s the reason our synthetic turf is the only product backed by DuPont – the premium fiber manufacturer in the industry. I sell “industry standard” turf as well and would love to be considered if you need a cheaper price. However, I would employ you to consider this as a long-term investment in your home and backyard – which is a no-brainer when considering how much longer our turf will last. I have also attached a few more links that demonstrate why our turf is set apart from the rest of the market.