DIY Artificial Grass Installation: The Comprehensive Guide to Artificial Turf Installation

Why is artificial grass better than natural grass?

So you’ve decided to get yourself a Synthetic lawn. Good decision, synthetic grass or turf is slowly overtaking natural grass in home and office outdoor spaces, and rightly so for the following reasons:

Artificial grass does not require fertilizers or pesticides

This lowers ground pollution caused by using chemicals for these products

Artificial grass does not need watering

The world has around 80 countries where there is extreme water vulnerability, affecting 1.42 billion people globally.

Artificial grass is pest free

Real grass is home to countless garden critters and bugs. Killing them includes using harmful pesticides.

Artificial grass does not require mowing

Mowing is not just strenuous, it can cause severe injuries and accidents. 37,000 Americans are involved in lawn mower accidents on average, some of these accidents are fatal.

Artificial grass from good companies comes with a warranty

There are so many reasons grass dies. There’s no guarantee your real grass will grow or stay alive for long. Synthetic turf stays green for ages, and comes with exactly that: a guarantee.

Artificial grass is very economical in the long run

From growing grass costs of seed, sod, fertilizers and mowing equipment real grass isn’t cheap. You’ll be looking around month after month for ways to cut costs, while artificial grass may have higher initial costs, but pays for itself over the years.

So if you were on the fence about laying that turf down, I hope the above reason moved you in one direction. Let’s get to the reason you’re here: to learn artificial turf installation.

Laying a Turf

Measure and draft

Carefully measure out the area where you plan to install the synthetic grass. Artificial grass rolls are sold length-wise in meters and are 2m or 4m wide. Ensure your measurements are accurate by measuring several times. This will save you from wasting expensive grass rolls later. Create a visual draft of your measurements on paper or on an appropriate app to refer to when required.

Note that the grass blades (fiber pile) look best when they all face the same direction. Work out on your draft how many sections would be cut out (and how) to effectively get the fiber pile facing one way. Now add up the total length of the joins, to determine how much jointing tape you require. You would need a tube of adhesive for every three meters of tape.

Prep your surface

If you already have grass or plants growing, you need to first get rid of the natural turf. Water the natural turf a few days before you remove it, to stop dry mud and dirt scattering. Don’t overwater as this creates muddy patches. Remove any paving stones, large stones, bricks, or other impediments. Check that there are no cables and water pipes at your digging depth.

Remove the turf to a depth of 2″ using a turf cutter or spade and

Lay the Base

Lay down 6mm of granite dust. This binds the top of your subbase and ensure an even distribution across the workable area. Use a plank to smooth the surface. If you use sand, don’t keep it deeper than 20mm.

Apply weed control membrane (optional)

If you opt for weed membrane, secure it to the area with 4″ galvanized steel nails every 0.75m around the perimeter. If you have to join portions overlap the edges, and join with gaffer tape. Trim off any waste membrane from the edges. Be careful not to dislodge the subbase or it might create an uneven surface, this will be detrimental while laying out your artificial grass.

Lay the artificial grass and trim edges

This is the longest and most important step: before anything else, plan for this. Your artificial turf installation should be done in lengthwise sections, so that you minimize cutting too much. If you have to join two or more pieces of grass, make sure the synthetic grass is laid with the pile on both sections running in the same direction on each piece.

Unroll the artificial turf over the area carefully over the weed membrane. If your pile direction faces the office or house, it looks best aesthetically from inside. It’s best to install the grass with the longest straight edge to avoid cutting. Don’t worry if this is not possible, section your grass roll and lay it according to your needs.

Ideally leave the rolled out artificial grass for 24 hours, to allow creases to fall out. Stretch the grass to flatten it. When artificial turf installation is done in summer, the daytime heat makes the process quicker.

Trim any excess

Once the grass has been positioned, trim off any excess artificial grass. Measure many times before cutting. You can use a sharp utility knife, artificial grass cutters/scissors or cutter. Change blades every 3-5 meters to keep using sharp ones.

Your final joins will be next, so the worst mistake here would be being hasty and cutting off extra. Joining smaller sections together to repair the problem area is difficult. Don’t rush this step.

Join Grass Roll Sections at the Seam

Remember we said twice that the pile on joining pieces of grass should face the same direction during the artificial grass installation process. This made joining sections of artificial grass much easier. Unroll joining tape down the center line of the join so that the shiny side is down. Fix it at both ends with a nail or adhesive.

Fold over the grass on to the tape so the seam has a 2-3 mm gap. If the gap is too small or too much, you will create a poor seam. Apply your adhesive just under the edge of the first section of grass. Now add adhesive to the front edge of the second piece.

You will need someone’s assistance on this next bit, because the whole carpet might just spring back over forcefully impacting with the glue. With your assistant, bring the seam together. Make sure you don’t accidentally bury any grass blades during this process. Press down on the seam to even spread the adhesive, and keep checking at every 0.5m spacing of the seam to ensure its staying together. Fold the turf back on to the wet adhesive, working your way down.

Nail Down the Grass

Keep the seam weight down until the adhesive has dried. Some people opt to nail down their turf. If you choose to do so, 5.5″ or 6″ non-galvanized nail are enough to complete the job. If you need more fastening power, 8″ spikes can also be used every 10 to 12 inches around the perimeter of the lawn and around tricky edges and corners. Please note that we recommend you check with someone professional for this step.

Sand the grass

You’re almost done. Brush the pile, and with the help of a stiff brush, a blower and or a seeder, spread kiln sand to the turf for a natural-looking finish. Around 6-8kg of sand per square meter of product should suffice, make sure you brush the pile while spreading the sand to even application. Get it one final brushing after complete application against the pile fiber direction to get the grass blades to stand upright… Don’t apply all the sand at once and only on a dry day, so that you can brush it in. Wet or damp sand will not brush in properly and affect the appearance of the end result. Sand application must be done on the same day as the lawn installation.

Synthetic Lawns of Las Vegas

And there you have a complete guide for your artificial turf installation. Though it’s not rocket science, it tends to be tricky, so make sure you follow all the instructions carefully, and hire out any equipment you may need. At Synthetic Lawn Las Vegas we are just one call away if you need to purchase the best artificial grasses under warranty, or if you want us to help you lay your turf down. For us, it’s important that your grass looks great, no matter who lays it down and for that, we’re always available.