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How to Install Artificial Turf

The advantages of artificial turf are evident. Everything from low maintenance qualities to everlasting endurance make it one of the more sought-after alternative landscaping options of the past few years. If the sound of less work spent attending to your yard and more time actually enjoying it sounds appealing, then perhaps it’s time to consider artificial turf as the right type of lawn for you. But before you start pondering what samples to order, you should be aware of what the installation process is for adding artificial turf to your outdoor space. Check out these artificial turf installation tips:

Remove previous lawn

If you’re installing artificial turf in your yard, the first thing you’ll need to do is remove all existing grass, plants, weeds, etc. It’s recommended to use a sod cutter when attempting this step, as this tool will help evenly cut over your yard and will generally make cleaning up the remaining grass and plants an easier task. After you’ve removed all the grass, you should make a note of where all your irrigation systems are, as well as any electrical lines that may have been lying below your original surface. When you’ve located your sprinkler systems or other yard accessories, cap the irrigation heads, as you won’t need them once you have your artificial turf installed.

Your artificial turf will be looking this realistic in no time. Your artificial turf will be looking this realistic in no time.

Laying gravel

The next step in your groundwork preparation is getting the base of your soil ready for installation. You want to have a depth of around 2 inches between the base of the soil and the top of your artificial turf. After you’ve dug a depth of at least a few inches, it’s time to begin laying down the gravel. A good type of gravel to use is quarter-inch self-compacting gravel, which is easy to use and helps maintain a more even surface. Spread the crushed rocks around with a shovel everywhere you’re planning on layering the artificial turf. After you’ve laid the gravel, bring out a plate compactor and begin to pack all the gravel together. While using the compactor, make sure to create a slight, yet gradual runoff that slopes away from your house, so water drainage will flow away from the foundation of your home. When you’ve completed a quick rundown with the plate compactor, wet the gravel with a hose, and repeat compacting.

Protect against weeds and pets

Just because your new yard will be artificial doesn’t mean the risk of weeds is completely gone. You’ll need to lay down a sheet of weed-barrier membrane, which will require cutting off sections with a utility knife, so that the sheets cover all dimensions of your yard. If you have pets or plan on getting one later down the road, it’s a good idea to add some pet waste absorber over the gravel, compressing it with the plate compactor after applying it to the yard.

Rolling out the turf

Now you’re getting closer to the end. After the gravel is compact and the weed mats are applied, start rolling out the artificial turf around the yard. Lay it all out nice and flat, and allow it to soak in some sunshine for an hour or two so the synthetic blades can relax after being packaged for so long. Once it’s gotten some sun, start cutting any excess material that won’t be used for your new lawn. Consider using a silver marker to plot out your cutting lines, so you can better visualize where to apply the utility knife. After you’ve adequately cut off the excess material, you’ll need to start inserting nails to lock the artificial turf in. Hammering in a nail every couple of feet along the perimeter of the surface should work to keep it in place, and any seams within the material should also be nailed down, at least every few inches.

Final steps and infill

“Infill is what gives your artificial turf a more natural look.”

After you’ve secured the artificial turf, brush the surface with a power broom, sweeping away any excess debris that may have found its way onto the turf during installation. Once you’ve cleaned up, it’s time to apply the infill – if your choice of turf requires this material. Infill is sandy, crumb-like particles that help weigh down your artificial turf while also allowing the blades to stand up straight. There are many types of infill to choose from, depending on what kind of look you want to give to your lawn. There’s silica sand infill, which is essentially like beach sand, or crumb rubber if you’re looking for an infill that better resembles darker soil. Pet owners should consider using a deodorizing infill that will help eliminate smells of pet waste. To apply infill, you can use a drop spreader to evenly distribute the particles over the turf, and brush over the material once you’ve used all the infill.

Are you interested in completing a DIY turf installation?

Click here to browse our online selection of natural looking synthetic turf. Create the lawn you’ve always wanted.

One Comment

  1. I like your point about how after you’ve laid the turf you should make sure to sweep away an extra debris. My brother is a big turf lover but really doesn’t really know how to install it so he’s looking for a profession that can do it right. I’m going to encourage him to make sure the turf installation goes smoothly and they sweep out any extra debris once finished.

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