For anyone who is installing artificial turf on their own and without a professional’s help, it is very important to make sure that you are doing so correctly.
Getting this job done on your own can help you to feel accomplished and satisfied with your work, and the end result will be a beautiful artificial lawn that you can enjoy for days to come.
Follow this easy guide so that you can learn how to install artificial grass on your own, making sure that you are doing everything correctly every step of the way. It’s a simple and easy process, and you’ll be able to enjoy your artificial lawn in virtually no time at all!
Installing your Artificial Grass
STEP 1: Mark Underground Utility Lines
Before anything else, you will want to make sure that you prep the area for installation. This includes checking the ground for various hazards that may be present. These hazards could include, but are not limited to:
- Water pipes
- Electric lines
- Gas lines
Before doing any digging make sure that you properly mark any and all of these things as rupturing or cutting any of these could cause quite big problems down the line. If you have sprinklers on your lawn, cover them up or remove them if you are not going to be using them any longer.
Add drainage pipes where needed in order to clean water out easily, and then mark each location of sprinklers (if you left any) so that you can avoid an uneven surface later on down the line.
Make sure that any electric wires that are found are moved away from the area by a minimum of 6 inches and a maximum of 8. This is to ensure that they are not damaged in any way during installation.
STEP 2: Prep the Area for Installation
Begin the process by removing any weeds in the area. You want to eliminate any weeds as they will wreak havoc on your artificial lawn if they are left unattended. Once they are all pulled up, spray down the entire expanse with a weed killer, preferably one that is non-toxic. Allow the weed killer to work before moving on.
Remove the Topsoil
After the weed killer has taken effect, remove the uppermost layer of soil. This can be done by digging down from three to four inches. After this is complete, tamp down the loose soil with a hand tamp.
Those who are installing their artificial grass atop soil that drains well will most likely not have to deal with this, but those who do not have this benefit will need to make drainage gaps every so often in order to allow water to drain efficiently.
Artificial grass is known to drain quite well, but if the ground below it does not drain the water then issues can arise. For areas that suffer from only light rain, you may place your drainage gaps only six inches apart around the perimeter of the installation area. This should provide sufficient drainage.
Install Bender Board
Along the perimeter of your planned artificial lawn site place down bender board. This is to ensure that the grass will not extend past where it is intended.
Install Gopher Wire (Optional) and a Weed Barrier
This last step is not required, but you may do it if you want to prevent any rodents from digging up your artificial lawn later on and weeds from possibly popping up.
Simply roll out the wire across the area and secure it down with shaped staples to ensure that it does not move as time goes by. Trim it down to fit the area afterwards.
You can also lay down a geotextile layer that will prevent the growth of weeds after you have placed your artificial grass.
STEP 3: Lay the Base for your Artificial Grass
Lay Down the Sub-Base
Scatter the material that you will be using as your sub-base. This can be done with a wheelbarrow and shovel. For most areas that have mild climates, you can simply use any sort of stone or rock mix that is 3/8 of an inch or smaller at the base.
Place down between three and four inches of this material in order to avoid slumping of your artificial grass and to ensure that drainage is sufficient.
Lay Down Sharp Sand
The next step is to place a 10-15mm thick layer of sharp sand atop the sub-base. This will help to make the ground you are laying upon the firm.
Water the Area
Now, spray the entire area with water. Only water it enough to wet the area but do not overwater as the sub-base you laid out earlier may wash away.
Compact the Surface
Utilizing a plate tamper or compactor you will now need to compact the entire area. You want to get as close to 90% of the original depth of the base during this step, as the end result will be much like concrete yet remain drainable.
Those who have the money may look into renting a vibratory plate compactor. This tool will save quite a bit of time and get the job done very effectively. Hand tamps are affordable and can get the job done well, though they are slower and more tiresome.
Level the Area
Now you will need to level out the area. Ensure that there are no dips or bumps that are left behind. You may need to add another base in some spots or rake down some higher areas. Adjust the area accordingly so that everything is flat and ready for your artificial grass.
STEP 4: Attach the Artificial Grass
Roll your Turf out and then In
Roll the turf out on an even surface out to the measurement needed and then mark it via a cut that is set four inches away from the edge. Make sure to leave a bit of space in case you make a mistake.
Next, roll it back and stop just where you previously marked. Cut along these marks and you will get your custom-cut portion of turf.
Lay the Turf out and Seam it Together
Now that you have cut out your Turf, simply roll it out onto the area that you will be installing it. Seam the parts of it together through the use of seam tape. Then nail down the turf with 6-inch nails in order to keep it in place.
Pour glue along the seams and spread it evenly along with the tape. After this, you will get your assistants to help you hold the turf as you stitch it together, constantly applying pressure. Lay down some heavy objects along the seams after you are finished in order to ensure that the turf sticks together properly.
Nail the Turf Down
Nail the turf down every few inches in order to keep it in place. Make sure that you do not nail down any grass fibers as this will not look good. Utilize landscaping anchor pins along the perimeter of the turf and along the seams at regular intervals of around 6-8 inches.
Make sure that you do not hammer down these nails too much as it can cause dips along the artificial grass.
STEP 5: Finalization
Trim the Grass
Now that you have installed your artificial grass you can move on trimming it down to your desired length. Be very careful when doing this as any grass that you cut won’t grow back!
You have successfully installed your artificial grass! Following these steps will help to ensure that you get the best artificial grass possible while performing the entire process yourself. You can now enjoy your artificial lawn and not have to worry about watering ever again.