How to Install Artificial Grass: A DIY Guide and Expert Insight

A Step-By-Step Guide on How to Install Synthetic Grass

Artificial grass is a great choice for homes and businesses alike. It requires very little maintenance, doesn’t need water, and stays perfectly green all year long.

Installing synthetic grass is fairly straightforward, but does require some elbow grease. A gorgeous new artificial lawn can be installed almost anywhere.

For the best results when installing artificial grass, encourage your customers to follow these steps:

Step 1: Pre-Installation

First, it’s important to have the right tools for installing artificial grass. This includes:

  • Tape measure
  • Shovel
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Tamper tool
  • Gloves
  • Utility knife
  • Builder’s Sand or Gravel DG Mix
  • Drop spreader
  • Turf infill
  • Turf nails
  • Hammer
  • Seaming tool
  • Carpet tucking tool
  • Stiff bristle broom
  • Landscaping rake
  • Weighted lawn roller
  • Weed barrier fabric (optional)

Once the right tools and materials are obtained, it’s time to remove the existing turf in the area. You can use a shovel and wheelbarrow to excavate the top 3 to 4 inches of soil. You can also rent a sod-cutting machine at a local hardware store to expedite the process.

A sod cutter removes strips of grass with roots and soil attached. Gas-powered models roll forward while dragging a cutting blade through the ground. The length of the strips is determined by the distance pushed by the sod-cutting machine. You’ll need to remove the top four inches of your existing lawn and base, and then dispose of it according to local regulations. Soil builds up quickly so it’s best to have a way to dump it onsite.

If you can’t find a way to reuse the unwanted soil, be sure to follow local waste regulations when disposing of it.

Step 2: Base Preparation

Nobody wants uneven turf. To create a level base for new artificial grass, evenly spread three inches of class two road base over the area where you’ll be laying your turf. Road base will help you create a level platform.

Try to account for drainage and slope the base away from living areas.

Step 3: Compacting Base

Add water to the base material to get it wet. Then, begin compacting the base.

Use a tamping tool to compact the base material, or rent a plate compactor. The idea is to agitate and roll the gravel to remove air pockets and uneven spaces.

If any more leveling or grading needs to be done, or if a weed membrane needs to be installed, now is the time.

Step 4: Custom Fitting Turf

It’s time to fit the turf to the area. We recommend rolling it out and letting it sit in the sun for up to an hour to let it expand, making sure that all the blades and stitch patterns are facing the same way.

Use a utility knife or seaming tool to cut the turf into the desired shape. Be sure to leave about 1 inch of extra material along the edges.

This extra material will help with seaming sections of turf together. As a rule of thumb, it’s better to have too much turf than not enough. You can always trim material off, but you can’t put it back.

Use a seaming tool, cut the turf into an s-shape to avoid collision with the hard angles of other turf sections.

Then, put down turf nails every six inches around the perimeter of each turf roll to prevent movement. Avoid driving the nails too deeply, which can cause the turf to dip. Instead, try to install the nails about ¾ of the way down.

Use u-nails to join seams together every six inches. When driving nails into the turf, try to separate the turf blades into a bald patch so no grass gets pulled down.

Step 5: Tucking Turf Edges

Aesthetics are everything when it comes to artificial grass. Tuck the edges of your turf with a putty knife and hammer, place 40D 5-inch non-galvanized turf nails every six inches to secure your turf to its three inch base. You can also use a carpet kicker or tucking tool to hide the edges of your turf.

Once you’ve done this, place a handful of nails along the seam to reinforce these areas then bush the turf with a power or push broom to stand the blades up straighter before adding the infill. This creates a more vertical balde memory.

Step 6: Applying Filler

Proper turf infill will help to weigh down the turf and help to prevent unwanted voids, wrinkles, and matting in your synthetic turf. Use a drop spreader to evenly disperse the proper amount of infill.

Step 7: The Final Groom

Finally, give the turf a good brush to remove any excess debris or loose infill. A stiff bristled broom will help the grass to stand up and flow in the same direction. You can use a weighted lawn roller to comb over the area and ensure the best appearance. Lastly, give your grass a good rinse to remove remaining dust and enjoy the final result!

Tips for Making Your Artificial Grass Install Look Professional

Artificial grass doesn’t require much maintenance, but it does need a little extra care to look its best. Your customers can help make every square foot of their artificial grass install look more professional by:

  • Brushing – Regular brushing or sweeping removes debris and foreign material. It also encourages the turf to stand up.
  • Choosing the right infill – A quality infill like silica sand can help to maintain the performance and appearance of the turf.
  • Cleaning – A garden hose with a spray setting will rinse away small particles that a broom can’t remove. A 1:1 solution of white vinegar and water can be used to wash away any pet odors.

FAQs

What do you put under artificial turf?

A base layer of builder’s sand or crushed rock like decomposed granite (DG) is put under artificial turf. This base material provides an even surface for all the turf and encourages proper drainage.

Can you lay artificial grass on soil?

Artificial grass can be laid over bare soil, as long as 3-4 inches of soil are removed prior to installation. It’s not recommended to lay artificial grass over real grass or an existing lawn.

What is the best surface to lay artificial grass on?

Soil is a popular surface to lay artificial grass on because it can be easily modified for custom installations and drains naturally. Soil surfaces are ideal for putting greens, bocce ball courts, and other recreational purposes.

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