There are plenty of advantages to having artificial grass, and we’ve seen a huge rise of people switching to this version due to its low maintenance and pristine nature – say goodbye to mowing and trimming. Plus, it’ll look green all year round.
Leading landscaping specialists, Marshalls share their step-by-step guide when it comes to laying artificial grass.
- Turf cutter
- Tape measure
- Plank for compacting
- Craft or Stanley knife
- Always Green Jointing Tape (if a joint is required)
- Ground pins
- Hammer for compacting and pinning
- Granular sub-base material – MOT type 1 material
- Geotextile membrane
- Sharp sand or granite dust
- Silica sand (kiln dried sand)
- Tanalized timber and Pan Head screws (for timber restraint)
- Always Green Aqua Bond (for concrete haunch restraint)
- Weed membrane
- You might also want to consider a pair of knee pads as the majority of work will be done on the ground.
Step by Step Guide
Clearing the area
If you’re laying the artificial grass to replace natural grass, start by digging out the turf down to about 100mm using a spade or a turf cutter. This is to ensure that the finished product doesn’t stand unnaturally tall over surrounding paved areas, once the base layers are secure. If you’re edging the area, use a tantalized timber frame and secure it with timber batons or use a concrete edging block/restraint with an internal concrete haunch of approximately 100mm.
Preparing the base
A sub-base (graded to MOT Type 1) underneath the turf promotes proper drainage and provides a solid foundation to lay the artificial grass on top of – and make sure you remember the geotextile membrane underneath to prevent the sub-base from sinking into the soil below. Cover the area with a sub-base and compact it in two layers to a depth of 70-75mm using a compactor plate.
Spread a layer of sharp sand to about 20mm depth using a shovel or sand spreader. Smooth out the sand evenly across the sub-base and press it down using a compactor or hammer and plank. Check the depths and add or remove sand as needed. Your lawn may appear more natural if you want to retain the odd dip or bump in the lawn, but the surface should be level overall.
Roll out sheets of weed membrane over the sub-base as a bedding layer. This will prevent weeds from growing and reaching through the surface of the fake grass, which will help it to drain more efficiently. There should be some overlap between sheets of weed membrane – about 30cm.
Roll out the lawn
Roll your artificial grass making sure the pile is facing towards you or the main viewpoint allowing 5cm of extra grass on all sides. Try to avoid lining up the ends of the rolls exactly, as it will give a less natural appearance.
Cutting and tidying
Once the grass is unrolled, take a craft knife and trim the rough edges away from the grass rolls. Make sure the grass rolls are placed neatly together so nothing shows up from underneath. We’d recommend cutting through the latex backing cloth and not the grass itself, running the knife next to the stitch lines but avoiding cutting into the stitching wherever possible.
Remove 2-5 rows of stitches from both adjoining rolls of grass using a Stanley knife. Fold the edges back and lay Always Green jointing tape, ensuring its shiny side is laid face down. Apply Always Green Aqua Bond using a cartridge gun onto the jointing take in a zig-zag pattern – and make sure each roll of grass has at least 5cm of adhesive in contact with the tape. Hold the grass back and press down on the tape to spread the adhesive. Try to keep the blades of grass from getting onto the glue. Sweep the edges of the joins to hide them from plain view.
Pinning it down
If you’re using a timber frame, secure the grass to it with Pan Head screws every 150-200mm, or you can glue the grass to the horizontal concrete haunch of the edging block. If not, use a hammer to bash in the ground pins 20-30cm apart around the edges. Brush these edges to disguise the appearance of the pins in the ground.
Once the glue is dried, sweep off the surface with a broom to cast off loose blades of grass and dust or dirt. Infill the grass using silica sand and either a power or a stuff brush, ensuring your brushstrokes direct into the pile. Sand should be evenly distributed ensuring no excess appears on the surface of the turf. Don’t forget to leave it to settle and cure for 1-2 hours – more if it’s cold outside – before walking on it.