Local News


Thinking about installing artificial grass? The pros and cons

Could be dangerous for kids, pets during summer
Posted at 7:05 PM, Jun 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-18 23:09:05-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The idea of putting away the lawn mower forever sounds appealing, especially on hot days.

But what seems to be the perfect replacement for grass could be dangerous for your kids and pets during summer.

It can get too hot: about 120 to 180 degrees on a warm day.

Kim Kohut got rid of real grass and installed an artificial one in her backyard last week. "We have three dogs and they were just destroying it. It was mostly just dirt to be honest."

She knows, on warm clear days synthetic turf gets as hot as 170 degrees.

At first she was concerned her pets' paws might get burned by the synthetic material.

"Because we have shade in the morning and then again in the afternoon on sections of our grass, in the morning and the afternoon I'm not as concerned about it but if it was full sun, I'd maybe think twice."

Toby Bickmore of the Southern Nevada Water Authority says extreme heat is one of the common concerns brought up by homeowners looking to convert their lawns.

"Any surface alternative is going to get warmer. Even if it's rock, pavers, sidewalk, artificial turf, all of that is an alternative to a real grass."

Bickmore oversees the water smart landscapes rebate program -- offering money back to homeowners to replace grass and save water. "We know for every square foot of real grass if it goes to any other type of landscape we see a savings of about 55 gallons per square foot per year."

And every gallon saved translates to money off your bills.

Another incentive --- the SNWA also has a rebate program offering $3 per square foot of grass removed and replaced with desert landscaping up to the first 10,000 square feet converted per property, per year. Beyond the first 10,000 feet, the water authority will provide a rebate of $1.50 per square foot.

"It's the stuff that you mow it and water it. If it's just for the looks that's the kind of grass we're trying to get rid of because it's using so much water," says Bickmore.

Before you remove grass in your yard, you need to apply for the rebate program first to get money back. You can do that online thru the water authority's website.