DIY: How To Install Artificial Turf

by Senior Editor on May 21, 2013


Artificial Grass Installation is Easy When You Follow the Steps

Whether you’re a professional with years of experience or one who likes to DIY, synthetic grass installation is easy when you follow the steps.

Required Tools:

Grading Rake
Drop Spreader – for infill
Push Broom or Power Broom
Carpet Knife or Box Cutter
Wheel Barrow
Carpet Scissors
Plate Compactor

As with any project, you must start with a clean work area.

Step 1: Clear existing grass and vegetation from the area you will be the laying the artificial turf.  You will remove  3-4 inches of the existing sod.

Step 2: Cap or Remove Sprinkler Systems. If you have pets you may want to leave the sprinklers working to automate cleaning of the grass.

Step 3: Apply crushed stone aggregate or decomposed granite, which will aid in drainage.  You’ll want this layer as level as possible with a slight grade to aid drainage.  Use a plate compactor to compact the aggregate.

(If you have pets it is advised to put a layer of odor control such as Turfill™ which is a natural odor absorbing mineral)

Step 4: Next, lay weed barrier fabric.  Using landscaping staples, secure the weed barrier to the stone layer.

Step 5: Now, it’s time to roll out the turf.  Once rolled out cut the “salvage” off the sides of the turf.  The salvage is the black and red material on the edges. Make your cut 3 stitches in.

Step 6: Then lay out the synthetic grass according to your measurements, making sure grass blades point in the same direction if there are multiple pieces.  Take good measurements so the turf fits within your area in as few pieces possible.  When necessary, make clean cuts with a box knife or carpet knife.  Seam pieces together with a 4’ to 6’ indoor/outdoor carpet seaming tape or 6” landscape stables.

Step 7: Now the turf is ready for installation.  Use 6-inch galvanized nails and drive them into your turf . Start from one side so you can pull the turf tightly from the opposing side.  The turf must be attached securely and properly.  Drive in the nails around the perimeter of the installation.  Drive nails into the middle every 2’ to 4’ to fix the turf to the base and every 3” to 4” inches along the perimeter.

Step 8: Infill is the next step in turf installation.  Before you add infill material, you need to fluff up the grass with a push broom or power broom.  Once fluffed, add infill material, using approximately 2-lbs of infill material per square foot of turf.  Evenly apply the infill material on top of the turf with a drop spreader.  You can also do this process by hand, but be prepared to spend a significant amount of time.

Step 9: Use a soft to medium bristled brush to work infill material into turf until the bristles stand upright.  Note to brush infill against the grain of the turf so material works its way to the base of the fibers.  Take care in this step, as the art is to brush infill evenly so its appearance is consistent.

Now stand back, take a walk around, and be proud.  You did it!  Perhaps stop to think about how if you would have known how much work went into these simple steps, you would have simply called Home Turf’s Synthetic Grass installation professionals.

Some additional tips:

  1. Roll out turf for acclimation 1-2 hours prior to installation this will make the material easier to work with.
  2. Careful to not drive stay nails to far into the base as this may cause a noticeable dip in your lawn.
  3. Fluff up the fake grass prior to infilling with power broom or push broom.
  4. Careful  not to overlap seams.
  5. Always stretch the turf tight when installing

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