How to Install Artificial Turf

May 17, 2022

If you're a homemaker in the US, or you have a family with pets, then you know that keeping your yard looking nice can be a challenge. Between mowing the lawn and dealing with pet waste, it can be hard to maintain a healthy and green yard. One solution to this problem is to install artificial turf. Artificial turf is made from synthetic materials, so it doesn't need to be watered or mowed and is significantly easier to maintain. It's also resistant to pet waste and other debris, making it a perfect option for families with pets. If you're thinking about investing in artificial turf, here are some tips that will help make the process go smoothly.

What is artificial turf and what are its benefits?

Artificial Grass is a very smart and suitable solution for your lawn and has several benefits that make it more convenient for the owner. Artificial grass has now been developed to such a high standard that it looks and feels natural and many cannot tell the difference between a real lawn and a fake lawn. Say goodbye to all the hassle of high water bills, brown spots, mud, and mowing a high-maintenance natural lawn. And as a bonus, the amount of water conservation and not needing fertilizers or weed killers, opting for artificial turf reduces your carbon footprint without sacrificing the aesthetics of greenery.

But how do you go about replacing your lawn with artificial turf?

Here’s a walkthrough of the installation process for artificial turf - so you know what to expect. We’ll go over each bullet in detail but it typically goes as follows:

Some additional prep work might include taking measurements of your current lawn, matching the appropriate infills to your choice of turf, and checking with your local city’s resources for properly disposing of soil but most synthetic grass installation professionals can help with that - along with saving you the cost of labor, tools, and equipment.

Grass removal

So it begins with removing at least 4 inches of your existing lawn or base. You’ll be needing an onsite dump trailer and the timeline of this process would vary depending on the amount of ground you want to cover. This is why measuring the area you intend to work with is important, because it’ll give most professionals an idea of how long a project is going to take, along with an estimate of the amount of soil that would need to be disposed of to make way for the artificial turf.

Base preparation

A good base is an even spread of 4 inches of class 2-road base that would create a level platform and proper drainage. Lightly wet the area, and use a compactor to achieve a smooth surface. You can do this with a sheep’s foot or a plate compactor, and make sure to make about 10-20 passes over every inch of the road base. This is to assure the compaction density is sufficient and won’t create a potentially unlevel lawn. Cover the whole area and repeat the process if you need a second lift of the road base. Depending on your locale, you may need to consider having additional protection added such as a weed barrier to discourage vegetation and gopher wire.

Turf layout

Safety first - you may need to wear knee pads to protect your knees and shins for all the turf manipulation on this step. Take out your turf and carefully lay it down without dragging it across the freshly prepped base. Nudge and move carefully into the desired position. If you’re working with multiple rolls, take note of the blade direction and the stitch patterns and ensure that they’re all facing the same way to maintain a clean and uniform look. Let the turf sit in the sun for 30 minutes to an hour to let it expand prior to final installments and use a carpet kicker if needed to help stretch and maneuver.

Cutting to fit

Once the turf is in the desired area, use a razor knife or carpet cutter to make any adjustment cuts. Make sure to cut from the back of the synthetic grass so you can cut along the stitch rows for clean lines. Leave about ¼” to ½” allowance of turf over the edge of your borders to make room for finishing touches. If you’re working with multiple rolls of turf, make sure the blades of the turf are laying in the same direction and secure your seams with seam tape and turf glue. Place the red line of the tape down the center of the seam, create an “S” pattern with the glue and move your turf into place. Let the glue set for at least 15 minutes before placing your infill bags on the seam to enforce contact with the adhesives.

Securing the perimeter

Space your nails or staples every 6 inches along the outside of the perimeter, and every 2 feet on the inside areas. With a metal putty knife and hammer, tuck in the ¼” to ½” allowance of turf to secure your artificial grass to the ground. With the hammer, gently tap the nail or staple until you feel it pierce the backing. Disperse the turf blades with your fingers and drive the nail or staple to the ground. Be sure to reinforce the seamed areas with a few nails or staples and then brush up the turf with a power broom or push broom.

Spreading infill

Each turf system would need the proper infill requirement to ensure the appearance, performance, and life span of your artificial grass. Talk with your synthetic grass installation professional for advice on choosing between common infill options like Acrylic Coated Sand, Zeolite, Silica Sand, and more. Once you have your infill, use a drop spreader for an even dispersion of the proper amount of infill over your newly installed turf. The even dispersion helps to facilitate the look and feel of your turf to look naturally uniform.

Brushing infill

To achieve that final, freshly mowed grass look, use a power broom or another stiff-bristled broom to brush the turf. This will help the turf blades to stand straight and repeat the process until the infill is spread evenly and the seams disappear. Make sure to do this quarterly on top of recommended sanitation as needed - especially if you have pets.

And finally, enjoy your new turf without ever worrying about the weather, patching, or your water bills! If you’d love to get started on your options for artificial turf, check out our catalog of order samples that you can get as a business here.

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