Bringing the tranquillity of a lush, green lawn to your home doesn’t have to be a back-breaking process. Wave goodbye to the weekend-long hard work of traditional turf laying and embrace the sustainable and hassle-free alternative: artificial grass. From improving the aesthetic appeal of your property to saving you time on upkeep, artificial grass installation is a trend that many Liverpool homeowners are jumping onto in 2024. But how can you save more by installing synthetic turf with your own two hands? Join us in this ultimate DIY guide where we peel back every blade of artificial grass planning, preparation, and installation process. Save money, learn new skills, and transform your garden into a year-round green oasis today!
Our comprehensive Artificial Grass Installation Guide provides step-by-step instructions on how to successfully instal synthetic turf for your outdoor space. It covers essential topics such as site preparation, measuring, ground levelling, edging, base installation, turf laying, seaming, and finishing touches. This guide aims to help you achieve a professional-looking artificial grass installation with proper techniques and expert tips.
Preparing Your Area for Artificial Grass Installation
Installing artificial grass is a great way to save water, time and resources. Before you dive headlong into an installation process, it’s important to document a few crucial preparatory steps. One of them is preparing your area as this will determine the final outcome of how your lawn looks and feels. This section covers essential tactics for preparing your area.
Think of it like building a house – laying down a solid foundation determines how strong the structure will be.
The first step in preparing your area is to remove any existing turf or debris in the area and make sure that the surface underneath is levelled. This can be achieved through several techniques, such as using a shovel, turf cutters, or mechanical equipment.
Ensure that there are no underground cables or gas lines beneath your planned installation area by calling 811 for accurate marking of utility lines in advance. Clear the area of stones, pebbles or rocks that might cause bumps or unevenness in the final product. Use weed killer on any grass, weeds or grass remains left after digging out the soil before proceeding with preparation procedures.
Suppose that you plan on installing artificial grass in a garden that has not been used for some time. You’ll need to remove any debris from the area and use a lawn edger to cut out the perimeter around structures like fences or trees.
Once you are done with removing all debris, old grass and other obstructions from the area, it’s time to prepare the ground for installation properly.
Measuring and Clearing Your Area
Now that you have removed all debris from your selected site for artificial grass installation, it’s essential to measure and clear your space properly. Accuracy during this stage sets up the rest of the activity for success.
Start by measuring the full width of your site; this will give you an idea of how much turf you’ll need. You can use a tape measure or yardstick to ensure accurate measurements.
For example, if you’re installing artificial grass in an area that’s 20 feet by 15 feet, then the easy calculation tells us we require a total of 300 square feet of artificial grass turf.
Use sandbags or spray paint to mark out the borders of your installation site and remove any above-ground roots and rocks. Ensure the ground temperature is between 50℉ and 70℉; that way, the turf backing adhesive adheres properly. It’s best to do this on dry ground so you don’t end up creating mud patches unintentionally.
Finally, calculate how much infill you’ll need; this is typically around one and a half to two pounds per square foot.
Now that you have a clear idea of the size and dimensions of your installation site let’s dive into ground preparation techniques in more detail.
Ground Preparation Techniques
Preparing the ground before installation is arguably the most critical step in artificial grass installation. So, what are some crucial techniques to ensure your ground is adequately prepared?
First, remove existing plants, rocks, and debris that may impede the installation process. Even small rocks can make it challenging to achieve a level surface. You can dig up the topsoil and replace it with clean sand.
Next, compact the soil using a soil compactor or roller. This ensures stability and prevents eventual sinking of the artificial turf when stepped on. If there are uneven areas, you can fill them in with a compact base aggregate material.
It’s also essential to ensure proper drainage for your lawn by sloping the area slightly away from your house or any structures to avoid water build-up. A gentle slope ensures that rainfall doesn’t ruin the foundation underneath your artificial grass.
To finalise cleanup preparation, lay down weed barriers to prevent future weeds from growing under your synthetic lawn. This way, you won’t have to deal with an unsightly mess after you’ve completed your DIY installation successfully.
For example, let’s say you’re preparing a football field for artificial grass installation; after clearing all debris, rocks and levelling your soil compaction systems should be implemented throughout the area for stability and safety during use.
Required Tools and Materials
Once you’ve settled on a location and prepared the ground, it’s time to gather all necessary tools – a list comprised of both professional and household items based on installation requirements. So what do you need?
- Measuring Tape
- Utility Knife/ Carpet Cutter
- Sand & Gravel Base Material
- Vibratory Plate Compactor/Soil Roller
- Broom/Push Broom
- Adhesive/Seaming Tape
- Power Washer
- Infill spreader
Most artificial grass retailers can provide all the materials and tools required for installation, which are typically delivered to your doorstep. If you have some of these supplies at home or can purchase them at a lower price, this could help cut down on initial costs.
Think of it like baking a cake; ensure you have all your ingredients before starting to avoid any last-minute trips to the store – only instead of flour and sugar, you’re collecting vital artificial turf installation equipment.
It’s crucial to note that while these supplies may seem minimal, they make a significant difference when it comes to ensuring quality artificial grass installation.
Armed with essential techniques and required tools, it’s time to move onto the next stage – Installing your synthetic turf.
- When installing artificial grass, it is important to gather all the necessary tools and materials. This includes measuring tape, a utility knife or carpet cutter, a shovel or rake, sand and gravel base material, a vibratory plate compactor or soil roller, a broom or push broom, adhesive and seaming tape, a power washer, and an infill spreader. These tools can be obtained from artificial grass retailers, but if you already have some of them or can find them at a lower price elsewhere, it can help reduce initial costs. Just like baking a cake, it is essential to have all the ingredients before starting to avoid any last-minute trips to the store. These supplies may seem minimal, but they play a significant role in ensuring the quality of the artificial grass installation. Once you have gathered these tools and materials, you can proceed to the next stage of installing your synthetic turf.
Essential Turf Installation Parts
Before starting your artificial grass installation project, it’s important to have all the necessary tools and supplies. These include:
|Crushed rock or decomposed granite
|Sand or silica sand
|Box cutter or carpet knife
|Weed barrier fabric or landscape fabric
|Rake or landscaping rake
|Nails or turf stakes
|Power broom (optional)
|Infill material (optional)
These tools and supplies are essential in ensuring a successful installation process. The weed barrier fabric can prevent weeds from growing under the turf while the nails or stakes help secure the edges of the turf to the ground. The crushed rock or decomposed granite goes underneath the turf, providing a firm base for the surface. The sand, silica sand, and infill material can provide cushioning, making it comfortable underfoot.
Now that we know what is needed for the job, let’s dive into the installation process.
Process of Artificial Grass Installation
While professional installation of artificial grass is an option, doing it yourself is a budget-friendly alternative with numerous benefits. Installing synthetic grass requires proper preparation and technique to ensure that the resulting yard is level and smooth.
The following step-by-step guide outlines a basic procedure:
- Excavate existing lawn – Remove old turf, rocks, debris and prepare a levelled soil
- Lay down Weed Barrier Material – Roll out your weed barrier material over designed area. Trim it to fit if needed.
- Create a Base Layer – Spread 3-4 inches of crushed aggregate evenly across the designated area using a wheelbarrow and spreader.
- Compact Sub Base – Rent a plate compactor & compact base material evenly across area.
- Add a Layer of Sand – Spread a layer of sand over the top of compacted aggregate and use your rake to evenly spread it in between the synthetic grass blades.
- Lay Down Turf Rolls – Loosely lay smoothened turf rolls, ensuring that they overlap correctly and do not contain any wrinkles or creases. Trim as required until everything fits perfectly.
- Securing the Turf – Nail down or staple the edges, leaving no gaps. Cut off the turf excess around the borders using a carpet knife.
- Infill and Brooming – Spread infill material evenly across turf using a drop spreader then use a power broom to brush turf fibres upright.
It’s important to pay attention to the regions with seams, as those are most likely to be weak points in your installation. You may use glue if necessary.
While the prospect of DIY artificial grass installation can seem intimidating at first glance, it’s entirely achievable with proper preparation and technique.
Proper knowledge and adequate preparation will help you secure an even and long-lasting application of artificial grass. Enjoy the new look and feel of your lawn!
- According to the Synthetic Turf Council, artificial turf installation can reduce residential water usage by up to 70%, as it requires significantly less water than natural grass.
- Industry reports suggest that with proper installation and maintenance, artificial grass can last for an average of 15-20 years, offering a longer lifespan compared to natural lawns.
- Despite varying costs, the Association of Artificial Grass Installers suggests a well-installed synthetic lawn can pay for itself in water and maintenance cost savings within five to seven years.
Securing the Turf
Before commencing with artificial grass installation, it’s crucial to have all the necessary equipment at your disposal. Depending on the design of your yard, you may need a shovel, utility knife, wheelbarrow, measuring tape, landscape fabric, and more. Once everything is set up, let’s move onto securing the turf.
Firstly, eliminate any debris that may be present in your yard and cut away any existing grass. This will create ample workspace for laying down the turf. Next up, roll out the synthetic turf like you would with a regular carpet before removing any extra sections. Ensure that the surface of your artificial lawn extends far enough so that once it’s pinned down with landscape staples every 6 inches across the perimeter of the area, it won’t shift or wrinkle. Consider installing additional pegs for more significant projects like football pitches or entire lawns.
Picture this: Your artificial grass is being installed in an uneven corner of your garden due to varying height levels. To mitigate this issue and ensure that your artificial lawn looks seamless, make use of infill material such as rubber crumb or sand which creates an even plane beneath the turf. In some instances such as those involving pets or children playing on it frequently, it might be necessary to opt for a heavier infill material – even a layer of gravel could do.
Now that we’ve securely pinned down our artificial grass and infused an infill where required let’s focus on finalising our masterpiece.
Final Touches for Artificial Grass Installation
The hard work is over after completing our preparation work and fixing the turf correctly with staples every six inches while infilling in areas requiring adjustment. What awaits us is now smoothing out the grass carefully while trimming off excess edges to give it a polished look.
Think about how forever lasting paintings complete a perfectly decorated wall or how a piece of jewellery polish compliments the perfect fashion accessory. What we have in front of us is something similar, an installation which needs final touches to look aesthetically pleasing and blend naturally into its surroundings.
The final step is to trim off any overlapping grass from the edges using a utility knife- do this carefully to avoid damaging the turf. If you encounter complications while trimming, take it slow, and give yourself ample time for every inch to avoid unnecessary frustration. Then ensure that the blades lay smoothly against each other by brushing against the grains with a broom- this will cause them to fall into place. Finally, pour some sand over the grass and distribute it evenly with a broom to secure it in place and keep it standing upright.
Something else to consider: A common problem during artificial grass installation is wrinkles forming underneath, most pronounced when laying the turf on top of existing concrete slabs. But don’t worry; they’re not impossible to fix: simply make small cuts into the underside of your fake lawn and fold back the ridges before flattening them down thoroughly on top of themselves with adhesive tape.
Congratulations! You’ve successfully installed your synthetic turf while giving it an impeccable finish that’s sure to impress all those who see it.
Spreading Sand for Finishing
After laying and securing the artificial grass onto the prepared surface, it’s time for the final touches. One crucial step is spreading sand across the lawn to add ballast and provide underfoot stability while keeping the blades of grass upright.
But how do you go about spreading sand on your artificial lawn? First off, ensure the sand layer is an appropriate depth while being careful not to overdo it as this can cause drainage issues. A good rule of thumb is to use around 25kg (~55 pounds) of sand per square metre.
The most effective way to evenly spread sand involves borrowing or renting a topsoil spreader machine. This tool allows you to evenly distribute the sand over your lawn, minimising manual labour as well as promoting uniformity throughout. An alternative option would be using a rake/broom or manually spreading the sand, making sure to scrub the grains down into the roots.
It’s crucial to remember that when adding infill (i.e., sand), brush strands will need some time to become settled correctly and achieve their desired vertical orientation. The ideal period would be around seven days after installation, allowing ample time for the process to complete its settling cycle.
Now that we’ve covered spreading sand on your artificial lawn, let’s look at tips on post-installation maintenance and sooner than later can one expect.
Post-Installation Maintenance Tips
Artificial grass installation does require regular maintenance altogether for an extended useful lifespan. Here are several tips to ensure a healthy-looking lawn in no time:
- Brushing: Regularly brushing the turf blades helps maintain its shape, keep them upright and prevent soil compaction; a leaf blower may come in handy here.
- Cleaning: Taking care of spills and debris immediately prevents staining; mild soap detergent and a hose could help take care of stubborn blemishes.
- Clear away twigs/leaves: Clear any debris like branches or leaves from surface as they can block drainage during rainy sessions
- Aerate and Power Brooms: Using a stiff-bristled power broom helps your lawn maintain its look, while regular use can help keep blades of grass upright. Aerating the yard also means removing dirt and debris manually.
- Pet Cleanup: Regular cleaning up after dogs or other pets ensures fluid even penetration into the soil/base to keeps nasty smells away.
Post-installation maintenance varies with the type of installation, materials used, etc., so it’s necessary to get an idea of how often maintenance is required when planning for artificial grass installation.
Think about maintaining an artificial lawn like maintaining a natural lawn – mowing and grooming; dirt you might want to rake, using fertiliser in both scenarios, etc.
Remembering what we’ve gone through here today helps in reducing maintenance time drastically over the life span of your synthetic turf, making it an excellent investment option.
Considering Artificial VS Natural Grass
Are you trying to determine whether artificial grass installation is worth it over natural grass? The first step is understanding the drawbacks and benefits of both types. Natural turf offers traditional beauty but requires constant maintenance, including mowing and watering, which isn’t necessary with synthetic grass. In contrast, artificial grass can save water, lower your carbon footprint, and is optimal for high wear or low light areas. However, significant factors that differentiate these two types need to be considered before deciding which option works best for your lawn.
For example, if you have primary school children who enjoy playing sports in summer months when the sun is gruelling, natural grass can prove hazardous compared to artificial alternatives providing insulation from heat and additional shock absorption from falls that can occur during gameplay. You’ll also find that synthetic options require far less attention over prolonged periods while ensuring a consistently green lawn year-round.
Now that we’ve weighed both options let’s take a look at the key factors that impact the decision to choose between artificial or natural grass:
Key Factors to Contemplate
|Low cost comparatively
|Higher per square foot cost
|High ongoing expenses
|Lower overall costs
|Resale Value Impact
|Positive impact on resale value
|Negative impact on resale value
One of the most significant differences between natural and artificial grass is price. Natural grass installation costs less than artificial turf; however, this is usually only true about initial costs. Ongoing maintenance expenses such as regular mowing, fertilisation, and irrigation can easily add up over time. In contrast, installing synthetic turf may seem more expensive initially; however, once installed, there are little to no expenses.
Another factor to consider is the visual appeal of your lawn. If you prefer a more natural look, then natural grass is the way to go. This option also includes the added benefits of pleasing fragrance and oxygen production. However, if you want a consistently green lawn regardless of rainfall, season, or weather, then an artificial solution is best.
The durability of natural versus artificial grass can vary widely. While both types have expected lifespans, synthetic options are far more durable and resilient than their organic counterparts. Artificial turf can withstand trampling, pet playtime, and harsh weathers without showing signs of wear and tear like natural grass. Such long term assuredness that requires little maintenance on your part can save you time and resources.
Think about how silk plants hold up against real ones over time – the fake versions often outlast their authentic counterparts with proper installation and care.
|Regular use involved
|Significant amounts of water required
|Provides high carbon sequestration values
|Upfront material production costs followed by low overall carbon footprint
The decision between natural and artificial grass depends greatly on environmental factors as well. Natural grass lawns can help absorb heat while providing oxygen; however, they also require regular pesticide use for optimal performance. Additionally, significant amounts of water consumption may not be suitable for drought-prone areas. In contrast, synthetic lawns can conserve water usage by up to 70% compared to traditional turf while also avoiding harmful pesticides.
By reviewing the above-explained factors to contemplate when deciding between artificial or natural grasses, one can assess their priorities and make an informed decision to switch to artificial turf.