Artificial Turf vs. Natural Grass: Making the Right Choice for Your San Antonio Business

San Antonio businesses face a dilemma when it comes to their lawns and landscaping – go with natural grass for the classic look or opt for artificial turf to save water. With Texas no stranger to severe droughts and water restrictions, more businesses are leaning towards artificial grass. Studies by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension found that a typical lawn in Texas needs around 30,000 gallons of water per year. For a business property with expansive lawns, that can add up to hundreds of thousands of gallons annually. Going artificial can provide huge water savings.

This is especially crucial for San Antonio, which relies heavily on the Edwards Aquifer for its water. During dry periods, the aquifer level drops and water restrictions kick in. The biggest water users tend to be businesses with large swaths of turf grass. Converting to artificial grass keeps companies compliant with water restrictions while maintaining attractive green spaces. Beyond water, artificial turf provides other benefits like reduced maintenance, usability year-round, and environmental friendliness. Read on to learn more about artificial versus natural grass for your San Antonio business.

Water Usage of Natural Grass

Keeping a lawn looking lush and green in San Antonio’s hot climate takes a lot of water. Natural grass requires frequent irrigation to stay green and healthy. Most types of grass need about 1 inch of water per week during the growing season. This can add up to a staggering amount of water usage over time.

To put this into perspective, consider that the average lawn size in the U.S. is about 0.20 acres. For a lawn of this size, 1 inch of water equates to over 6,000 gallons per week! During the hot summer months, natural grass may need to be watered 2-3 times per week to stay green. Over the course of a 5-month growing season, a 0.20 acre lawn could easily use over 150,000 gallons of water just for irrigation.

The numbers speak for themselves – natural grass has a very high water demand. For businesses and organizations in the San Antonio area seeking to conserve water and save on utility costs, natural grass may not be the most sustainable choice.

San Antonio Water Usage of Artificial Turf

One of the biggest advantages of artificial turf is that it requires no watering at all. Once artificial turf is installed, you can simply forget about watering your lawn. There is no need for sprinkler systems, hoses, or any other irrigation.

Artificial grass blades are composed of polyethylene or polypropylene fibers that retain their color and shape without any water. The perforated backing allows rainwater to drain through, so puddles won’t accumulate on the surface. But artificial turf never needs manual watering by the owner.

This means you can save thousands of gallons of water every year compared to a traditional grass lawn. For businesses and organizations in drought-prone areas like San Antonio, this water savings can be substantial. Maintenance costs go down dramatically as well, since there is no need to pay for irrigation systems and the labor to monitor and adjust them.

Going with a permanently drought-resistant surface like artificial turf just makes practical sense for San Antonio businesses aiming to conserve water and reduce expenses. And it comes with no downside in terms of aesthetics or usability, since modern artificial grass looks and feels realistic.

Water Savings with Artificial Turf

Installing artificial turf can provide immense water savings compared to a traditional grass lawn. Natural grass requires frequent watering to stay green and healthy, especially in hot and dry climates like Texas. During the summer, grass may need to be watered 3-5 times per week or more, requiring around 1-2 inches of water each time. This can add up to over 20,000 gallons of water per 1,000 sq ft of lawn over a summer.

In contrast, artificial turf needs no irrigation at all once installed. The synthetic blades are designed to retain their color and texture without any watering. An artificial turf lawn provides basically the same aesthetic benefits of a real grass lawn without the massive water usage. For businesses and organizations in San Antonio looking to save water and money on utility bills, artificial turf is an excellent eco-friendly solution. The water savings are even more substantial for larger properties with expansive grass areas. Reducing outdoor water usage is a priority in San Antonio and across Texas, and installing artificial turf is one impactful way to achieve significant savings.

Other Benefits of Artificial Turf

In addition to dramatic water savings, artificial turf provides a number of other benefits compared to natural grass.

No Mowing or Trimming Required
One of the biggest hassles of caring for a lawn is the constant mowing, trimming and edging required throughout the growing season. Natural grass needs to be cut frequently to keep it looking neat and tidy. With artificial turf, there is no mowing or trimming required at all. The synthetic blades of turf stand upright without ever growing longer. You can enjoy a perfectly manicured lawn look year-round without any lawn maintenance.

No Need for Fertilizer
Natural lawns require regular fertilization to keep the grass healthy and green. Fertilizer has to be applied several times throughout the year. Fertilizer can wash off into waterways and contaminate groundwater. Artificial turf does not need any fertilizer to thrive. It retains its vibrant color and appearance year after year without any chemical additives. This eliminates fertilizer runoff pollution.

No Pesticides
Weeds, insects and other pests are an ongoing battle with natural grass lawns. Pesticides are often applied repeatedly to control weeds and bugs. These chemicals can be hazardous to pets, children and the environment. Artificial turf does not have issues with weeds, pests or diseases. There is no need for any pesticide application. Your lawn stays pristine with no pest problems.

Types of Artificial Turf

When selecting artificial turf for your San Antonio business, you’ll have a few main options to consider:

Polyethylene Turf

Polyethylene, or PE, is one of the most popular and affordable types of artificial turf.


  • Very durable and stain resistant
  • Withstands heavy foot traffic
  • Soft and realistic looking
  • Cost effective option


  • Can retain heat which may become uncomfortable in hot climates
  • Prone to some fading over time from UV exposure

Polypropylene Turf

Polypropylene, or PP, is another common type of synthetic turf material.


  • Withstands very heavy use and abuse
  • Excellent durability and longevity
  • Higher heat tolerance than polyethylene


  • Typically more expensive than PE
  • Can feel stiff and less natural underfoot

Nylon Turf

Nylon turf has fibers that resemble natural grass blades.


  • Very natural looking with vibrant colors
  • Soft to the touch feel
  • Good durability


  • More expensive than PE or PP
  • Requires more maintenance to keep upright
  • Can mat down over time under heavy use

When selecting the right artificial turf for your business, consider factors like budget, expected traffic, climate, and desired aesthetics. Reputable installers like Waterloo Turf can help you choose the ideal turf to suit your needs.

Artificial Turf Installation

Installing artificial turf is a bigger project than just rolling out some fake grass. Proper installation requires several steps to ensure your turf looks great and lasts a long time. Here is an overview of the artificial turf installation process:

  • Site Evaluation and Prep — The installer will assess the project site, looking at the terrain, drainage, and any existing grass or landscaping that needs to be removed. They may need to grade and level the area and address any drainage issues before installation.
  • Base Installation — Artificial turf requires a base underneath it for support and drainage. Crushed stone is usually used, compacted to create a stable base. A perforated drainage pipe may be laid on top of the base if drainage is a concern.
  • Turf Roll Out — The artificial turf rolls are unrolled onto the prepared base. The rolls are cut to fit the contours and shape of the area. Seams between rolls are nailed or glued together.
  • Infill Application — Infill material like sand or rubber is brushed into the turf fibers to help the blades stand up and provide cushioning. Proper infill levels are important for optimal turf performance.
  • Seam Trimming — Once infill is applied, the seams are trimmed to create clean edges between turf sections. Adhesive is applied to firmly secure the seams.
  • Grooming — The fibers are brushed to remove any wrinkles and ensure the infill is spread evenly throughout the turf.
  • Finishing Touches — Any additional edge trim or borders are installed to provide a neat, finished look. The turf is cleaned up and ready for use! Proper installation by experienced crews is key to getting great results from your artificial turf. Make sure to work with a reputable company and insist on trained, skilled installers. The quality of the installation will determine how well your new turf performs.

Artificial Turf Cost

Artificial turf can often seem expensive upfront compared to installing natural grass. However, it’s important to consider the ongoing costs associated with maintaining a natural grass lawn. These recurring costs include:

  • Fertilizer — Natural grass requires fertilizer several times per year to stay lush and healthy. Fertilizer must be applied evenly across the entire lawn and can cost hundreds of dollars annually depending on the size of your yard.
  • Mowing — Unless you want your business to look unkempt, you’ll need to mow your natural grass regularly during the growing season. For large lawns, hiring a professional landscaping company is often required which can cost $100 or more per mowing.
  • Watering — Natural grass requires heavy watering to survive in hot climates like San Antonio. The average lawn requires about 30-60 minutes of watering 2-3 times per week during summer heat, which leads to expensive water bills.
  • Weed and Pest Control — Crabgrass, dandelions, chinch bugs, and other weeds/pests require yearly control treatments costing $200+.
  • Aeration — Natural lawns need periodic aeration (puncturing small holes to allow air/water to the roots) which costs around $100 each application.

When you total up these regular maintenance costs, natural grass can end up costing thousands per year for a commercial property to maintain. The initial investment for artificial turf may be higher, but most turf products are guaranteed to last 15-25 years. And other than occasional cleaning, artificial lawns require no ongoing maintenance. So while more expensive at first, artificial turf saves substantially in the long run compared to natural grass.

Choosing a Turf Company

When selecting an artificial turf company for your San Antonio business, it’s important to do your research to find a reputable installer. Here are some tips:

  • Check reviews and testimonials.
    Online reviews can give you insight into a company’s quality of work and customer service. Look for companies with consistently positive feedback over many years.
  • Ask for references.
    Reputable artificial turf installers should be able to provide references from past clients. Follow up with these references to ask about their experiences.
  • Verify licenses and insurance.
    Make sure the company has all required state and local licenses and liability insurance for installation services. This protects you in case of an accident on your property.
  • Get multiple estimates.
    Meet with 3-5 turf installation companies to get quotes. Comparing estimates will help you understand pricing and find the best value. Make sure all quotes are based on the same scope of work.
  • Inquire about warranties.
    Quality artificial turf should come with at least an 8-10 year product warranty. Many reputable installers also offer additional warranties on their work.
  • Check credentials.
    Ask about installer training and certification from the manufacturer. Prefer companies that employ full-time professional turf installers rather than subcontractors.
  • Learn about turf options.
    A knowledgeable company representative should explain the differences between turf materials and guide you in selecting the right product for your needs and budget.

Taking the time to carefully evaluate artificial turf installers will give you peace of mind that your new turf will be high-quality and professionally installed.

Closing Thoughts

When deciding between natural grass and artificial turf for your business in San Antonio, it’s important to consider the long-term costs and benefits. Artificial turf provides significant water savings compared to natural grass, which is especially relevant in the arid climate of Texas. The upfront cost of installing artificial turf may seem high, but over time it pays for itself through reduced maintenance and water expenses.

Additionally, artificial turf offers benefits like durability, fewer injuries, and usability in all seasons. The best artificial turf products today offer the look and feel of real grass, while being environmentally friendly and safe. Work with a reputable company when choosing and installing your artificial turf, to ensure proper materials and techniques are used.

Companies like Waterloo Turf use top turf products and experienced installers to create attractive, functional artificial lawns. When weighing artificial turf versus natural grass, the choice becomes clear. For San Antonio businesses looking to save water, money, and effort while enjoying a lush, green landscape, artificial turf is the superior option. Contact a turf provider today to get started with an artificial grass installation that will serve your business for years to come.

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