How to Install Artificial Turf
Considering the initial cost to sod a yard and the ongoing cost of maintaining a lawn, more and more home owners are choosing to install artificial turf instead of sod grass, especially when landscaping a smaller backyard. This article is intended to answer general questions about how to install artificial turf and includes information about proper ground preparation, laying synthetic turf as well as a list of materials and tools required for installation.
How to Prep Ground for Artificial Lawn Installation?
For years of enjoyment, do not skip any of these ground preparation steps when installing artificial turf.
- Remove the existing sod;
- Compact the ground to prevent future settling;
- Install weed barrier over the ground;
- Add 4″ decomposed granite base material;
- Compact base material with a hand tamper or plate compactor;
- Add 1/4 inch cushioning sand.
Laying the Synthetic Turf
Once the prep work has been done, it’s time to lay the roll of synthetic turf.
- Lay out the artificial turf and cut pieces to fit with a utility knife, cutting between the factory seams;
- Secure adjoining turf seams with glue or staples;
- Tuck the edges of the artificial turf and secure with nails along the perimeter;
- Cut around any sprinkler heads, irrigation boxes, installed lawn drainage systems or anything you will need access to;
- Spread infill along the entire surface area of the artificial turf and use a power brush to push it beneath the turf blades.
How to Install Weed Barrier Under Synthetic Grass?
Using a commercial grade landscape fabric or weed barrier and sod staples, cut the fabric material to fit and secure with sod staples between the compacted soil base and decomposed granite.
How to Cut Artificial Turf?
The best way to cut artificial turf is with a very sharp utility knife between the factory seams. Have plenty of extra blades on hand because they will dull quickly.
Sand Infill for Artificial Turf
The sand infill material is what helps weight the turf roll and make the blades stand up for a natural appearance.
Using a standard sand infill made of a silica sand is fine for most artificial turf applications.
If you have pets, choose a sand infill treated with Microban to help reduce pet odors and make for easier clean-up.
What Do I Need to Install Artificial Grass?
If you have decided to install artificial grass yourself, we suggest you find a local artificial grass vendor. These vendors will carry a selection of turf products and materials needed for installation. As for the tools needed, you may have some of them on hand already or may need to purchase or rent them from your local hardware store.
Materials Needed to install Artificial Grass:
6″ Steel Nails
Tools Needed to install Artificial Grass:
Edging for Artificial Lawn Grass
Installing an edging material around the perimeter of artificial lawn grass is important because it gives the project a finished look where any cut pieces can be tucked out of sight.
There are many types of budget friendly edging available for purchase including steel, composite and wood. However, choose to install the best stone landscape borders or concrete borders for lasting results when budget is not an issue.
Can You Install Artificial Turf Yourself?
Yes, you can absolutely install artificial turf yourself. There are quite a few tools and materials needed that are specific to artificial turf installation, so we would suggest practicing on a small area and borrowing or renting the tools for your first try. When you feel confident to attempt a larger installation, you will certainly need a truck, a trailer to transport things, the complete list of materials and tools from above and lots of labor to help with existing sod removal as well as to carry and position the large lengths of artificial turf.
How Long Does it Take to Install Artificial Turf?
If you decide to have a professional landscaping company do your turf installation, you can expect the installation to take between 1-3 days depending on size of project.
Is There Artificial Lawn Grass for Dogs?
If you have dogs that plan to make use of the artificial turf for bathroom breaks, you should purchase an artificial turf that has been treated with Microban. This extra coating on the turf blades themselves will help to eliminate pet odor.
If the artificial turf itself does not have this Microban protection, you can purchase a treated infill sand material. Installing one or the other is sufficient for keeping the pet odors at bay.
To keep things maintained for pet owners, plan to irrigate or hose down your artificial turf each week. We would also recommend installing a shorter pile artificial turf as it will make cleaning up pet waste much easier.
Best Time of Year to Install Artificial Grass?
Artificial turf can be installed anytime throughout the year. If you are undertaking the project yourself, you might want to do it when the sod is dormant as removal will be a bit easier.
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