Imagine sitting in your garden on a warm, sunny day, enjoying the look of a beautiful, green lawn. Sounds good, right? A lush and thriving lawn is something every homeowner would like to have. However, real grass needs its fair share of maintenance. It takes a lot of knowledge and time, something many of us simply don’t have. That’s why many turn to the affordable and quick solution that artificial grass provides. In this helpful guide, we share our tips and tricks on how to lay artificial turf.

Table of Contents:

If you are:

  • Too busy to take care of a real grass lawn;
  • Thinking of turfing your garden with artificial grass;
  • Wondering how to install fake turf yourself,

Then read on! This article is for you.

Before you begin

To ensure you get the best results, there are several steps you need to take before laying artificial grass. You’ve probably heard the old saying “measure twice and cut once”, right?

Tools you will need

You may already have some of the tools necessary to do the work, but you will most likely need to buy some additional supplies and products, as well. Here is what’s required, in order to lay fake grass:

  • Seaming tape
  • Sharp Stanley knife or a cutting blade
  • Geotextile membrane – it will prevent weeds from growing in between your grass blades
  • Oval head fixing pins
  • Artificial grass adhesive
  • Spreader to spread the glue

Measure your garden

To ensure you buy the right amount of turf, you need to find out how much space you need to cover.

  1. Decide where you will put down the fake grass. You may need to cover only a small part of your garden, or maybe you want the turf to cover your whole yard.
  2. Measure the area a couple of times. You can do this by using a tape measure, or you could map out the plot on a grid system. It doesn’t really matter, as long as the calculations are correct in the end. Artificial grass is charged per square meter, so you should be as precise as possible when purchasing.
  3. You may want to include some extra length in your order. This is simply to ensure you don’t end up short on material.

If you need a helping hand, you could have a friend over to assist you with the measurements.

Choose the type of artificial turf

After measuring your space, it’s time to pick what kind of fake grass to lay down. You can check around shops or online to see what options are available and compare prices and quality.

There are three main types of synthetic turf you can choose from:

  • Nylon
    Nylon grass is perhaps the most expensive kind, but the price is high for a good reason. It is by far the most durable of the three types and has the looks you’d expect from high quality turf. It will never lose its grassy shape, it won’t melt in high temperatures, nor lose its robust feel. So, if your garden endures a lot of foot traffic, this turf is a good choice.
  • Polyethylene
    PE grass is many people’s first choice when it comes to artificial lawns. This is due to its functional properties and aesthetically pleasing appearance. The soft, life-like texture and vibrant green colour make it extremely realistic. This type of grass is often used for football, baseball and rugby fields. When combined with a secondary nylon thatch, it becomes even more resilient. PE grass doesn’t require much maintenance, apart from the occasional raking.
  • Polypropylene
    The cheap price of polypropylene grass can be tempting, but this type comes at a different cost. It’s not nearly as durable as the other two and has a tendency to melt in the heat. Give it a couple of hot, sunny days and the blades will quickly lose their shape and natural look. This type of grass is mostly suitable for decorative areas with less sunshine and little to no foot traffic.

So, take your time when choosing the right type of artificial grass. Keep in mind that the initial investment may seem costly, but it will pay off in the long run, especially if you have children or pets that will regularly put your lawn to the test.

Now that you have measured your garden and chosen the type of turf, you are ready to order. A roll of fake grass is usually 25m long and 1 to 4m wide. Take into account the amount of grass you need and buy accordingly.

Identify the type of soil

One important pre-installation step is to determine what type of ground you have underneath. By determining the soil type, you will know how to prepare for laying fake grass. You will need to find out what level of drainage it has, in order to know what kind of stone aggregate or sand you will need. If you’re struggling to determine the kind of soil you have, you can find more detailed information right here.

Of course, this step is only necessary if you decide to lay the turf directly over soil. This may not be possible in all gardens, or you may have chosen to install it over a concrete surface. If this is the case, head over to our post, devoted to laying artificial grass on concrete.

Preparing for Laying Artificial Grass

Before you can roll out your new turf, you need to prepare the surface. Naturally, the first thing you need to do is make some room to work.

Clear the area

You will need to remove anything that is blocking access to the lawn area.

  1. Begin by removing the largest objects. Move any lawn furniture, large rocks or decorative pieces away from the space you will be turfing.
  2. Clear any green waste and smaller objects from the area. Make sure to leave some empty space around it, as well, to give yourself room to move.
  3. If you will be replacing real grass with the synthetic kind, dig out the turf down to about 100 mm with the help of a spade or turf cutter. This will make sure your artificial grass doesn’t stand unnaturally tall compared to the surrounding areas.

Prepare the base

Usually, soil types are clay or sand-based. The base preparation method will differ, depending on which category yours falls under.

  • Sand-based soil offers good drainage. To create the base, you can use 50 mm of sharp sand.
  • Clay-based types barely provide any drainage, so you would need to add an extra stone layer beneath the base. This should consist of type 1 stone, with a depth of 50-100 mm.

Level and compact the soil

For best results when laying artificial turf, make sure your base is smooth and level. Even out the sand across the area, keeping in mind the possible depth difference in various parts of the garden, adding more sand where necessary. While having the occasional bump may help the surface look more natural, having a very uneven base will make the installation more difficult.

Many people rely on using an electric compaction plate to level the surface. If you don’t own one, relax! You can just use a flat, straight piece of timber. If you want to know more, in this article, we give you a detailed guide on how to level the surface before turfing.

Install landscape fabric

If you want to protect your artificial lawn from weeds, fit a protective membrane underneath the turf. Not only will it prevent anything from growing in between the grass blades, it will also provide additional stability to the base. When placing the sheets, make sure they overlap by around 30 cm.

How to Lay Artificial Grass

All the preparations are now done and your grass rolls have arrived. You can now move on to installing your artificial turf. But how exactly do you go about doing that? Well, the process is quite simple.

Roll out the turf

Yes, artificial turf more often than not comes in big rolls. When it is time to install them, you simply need to roll them out and secure them.

  1. Place the turf in one corner, then roll it out until it reaches the other end. For larger areas, you may need to join two pieces of turf together. You can do this with the help of joining tape and an artificial grass adhesive, suitable for outdoor use.
  2. Let the grass settle. Give the grass at least 2-3 hours to settle or even leave it for the night.
  3. Cut and tidy the edges. Once the grass is unrolled and settled, take a sharp craft knife and neatly trim the edges. For better control, you can turn the grass over. Run the knife next to the stitch lines, but avoid cutting into them wherever possible.
  4. Brush with a broom. This will bring out the natural look of the grass blades.

Glue the rolls together

To keep your artificial grass in place, you need to glue the separate pieces together. As we pointed out earlier, you will need joining tape and an appropriate adhesive.

  1. Cut a couple rows of stitches off the two pieces. Afterwards, fold back the edges.
  2. Lay down the joining tape. Always make sure the shiny side is laid face down.
  3. Spread the glue evenly on the tape. You can use a spreader or apply it with a cartridge gun in a zig-zag pattern. Make sure each roll covers about 5 cm of the tape for a strong bond.
  4. Be careful not to get any glue on the grass blades. This could damage them.

Pin down the artificial turf

Usually, it is recommended to use a timber frame to create a solid edge around the area.

  • If you’ve decided on a timber frame, secure the grass to it with screws or nails, placed 15-20 cm apart.
  • If you’ve chosen concrete framing, glue the grass to the horizontal haunch of your edging block.
  • Alternatively, use ground pins. Use a hammer to secure them in the ground about 20-30 cm away from the edges.
  • Finally, brush the grass again. This will hide the presence of any pins.

Should you use sand infill for artificial grass?

Something else you can do to pin the grass to the ground is use sand infill. This provides several advantages, such as increased durability, fire resistance, cost effectiveness and versatility. However, there are some drawbacks, as well. To get a better understanding, you can check out our post on the matter.

Finishing Touches

You may be tempted to use your lawn right away, let the kids or pets run around. Before you can fully enjoy your new turf, though, you need to make sure the glue has dried completely and all loose grass blades and debris have been removed. To do so, use a stiff brush to clean up the lawn.

Another optional but important step that we’ve mentioned above, is to spread evenly silica sand over your synthetic turf. Here is what it does for your lawn:

  • Boosts fire resistance;
  • Stops it from rippling;
  • Holds the fake turf in a secure position;
  • Keeps it cool on hot days;
  • Protects the synthetic fibers.

To be on the safe side, let the silica sand settle and cure for about 2 hours before using your new, evergreen lawn.

How to Look After Artificial Grass

Caring for synthetic turf is far less time-consuming and cumbersome than watering, mowing and aerating a real lawn. However, you still need to provide it with some basic care and attention. So, follow these tips to keep your artificial grass looking fresh for longer:

  • Rake the surface or use a leaf blower regularly to remove fallen leaves and debris.
  • Brush the grass with a broom to keep the blades looking even, neat and straight.
  • Clean up any spills right away with a mild detergent.
  • Pet accidents are best left to harden up before removing them and wiping the residue with a disinfectant.
  • Make sure that you don’t place any heavy objects and furniture in one place, but distribute them evenly across the lawn to avoid indentations.
  • Never place cooking devices on your turf.
  • Be cautious when using sharp objects around your new artificial lawn.
  • Address any repair issues straight away, whether they’re related to installation mishaps or accidents during use.

Want to enjoy a fresh, green lawn all year round?

Artificial turf may just be what you need. Not everyone is able to lay it themselves, however. If you don’t have the time or tools to tackle the installation yourself, why not leave the hard work to us?

Fantastic Services offers professional installation of artificial grass. You can choose between various types of turf, then sit back and relax while the skilled specialists lay your new grass. Enjoy an evergreen lawn with just a few clicks! Let us handle the hard work for you.

Come one step closer to a fresh, new lawn! Find out about our turf laying service here.

Learn more

Takeaways

  • You need to prepare the ground before laying artificial turf.
  • For best results, remove any old grass and vegetation.
  • To prevent weeds from growing through, you can install landscape fabric.
  • To improve your artificial lawn, you can use silica sand.
  • Fake turf still requires some basic maintenance. Make sure to provide it to be able to enjoy your lawn longer.

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Did you find this article useful? Do you have any fake turf laying tips and tricks of your own? Share them with us in the comments below!

  • Last update: November 6, 2019

Posted in All About the Lawn

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