As a resident in the UK, installing artificial grass is a low-maintenance strategy to keep your lawn looking great without wasting time and money maintaining it.
You can either install artificial grass yourself or opt for a professional installation service to ensure a smooth, aesthetically pleasing installation that will last in good condition for many years to come.
In this guide, we’ll walk you through the whole process of installing artificial grass from A to Z.
Installing Artificial Grass
Artificial grass is installed as follows:
- Soil is dug out at a 100mm depth
- Type 1 stone base and compact is laid
- Weed proof membrane is laid
- Granite dust is added while ensuring to compact it tightly
- The grass is laid and cut into the desired shape
- 6-inch galvanised nails are used to nail the grass
- The pile is lifted with a brush
The process may seem easy on paper, but it’s actually a time-consuming task that requires expert-level qualifications. Because of that, installing artificial grass on your own isn’t recommended. It’s possible, but you won’t likely get the results you seek.
Nevertheless, if you don’t have any other options based on your budget, your best solution is to watch a tutorial video that clearly shows how artificial grass can be installed. A step-by-step guide would also work well.
Simple Steps to Install Artificial Grass
To install artificial turf on your own, follow these steps:
Plan Your Layout and Clear the Area
The first thing you need to do is plan your layout and make sure that the area is clean and shiny.
You don’t want to install artificial grass on a pile of dust. It’d also be a bad idea to start installing artificial turf without carefully planning out your layout first.
A good practice is to inspect the cables and water pipes to make sure they’re in good condition. It’s also important for them to be below the standard digging depth (usually 2 inches).
If there are any large objects, such as bricks or stones, remove them.
Dig Up Grass and Top-Soil
Once you have a layout and the area is clean, you can start digging up any real grass or topsoil in the area with a shovel. You also need to remove the turf to the required 2” depth with a spade or cutter.
Create an Edging System
If you’re installing artificial grass in an unconfined area, you must set the perimeter for the grass to butt up against. The best thing to do here is to create an edge with an edging system.
For best results, use a hammer and a brick-shaped piece of wood to knock the edge into the soil. It’s also recommended that you leave at least 3cm exposed.
Lay the Base Materials
If you’re installing artificial grass, you need to add a lazy foam underlay to protect the soil from severe environmental circumstances that could also affect your artificial grass. If you don’t want to use lazy foam, you can use granite dust.
Regardless of your base choice, you must drag the dust or sand with a piece of timber to smoothen the work surface. Just make sure that the depth is below 20mm if you’ll be using sand.
Add Weed Membrane
After you successfully lay the base in position, secure the weed membrane with galvanised steel nails. You need to add one nail every 3 quarter of a metre. The ideal length for the nails is 4”.
Then, remove the weed membrane from the edges. If joining is required, create an overlap around the edges and attach it with gaffer tape.
Lay the Artificial Grass and Cut Off the Edges
Lay the artificial grass over the membrane while making sure that the pile direction is pointing to your house for aesthetics. Then, remove any excess turf with a knife.
However, you might want to use multiple knife blades to ensure the best sharpness.
Brush Grass and Add Finishing Touches
Brush the grass with a sand dressing using a stiff brush and a blower. This will give your fake lawn a more natural look and feel.
Look for Professional Help
If you believe that the process is complicated or you don’t have enough time to figure it all out by yourself, seeking professional help would be your best bet.
Professional artificial turf installers have enough experience to ensure a perfect installation for your artificial grass in the least possible amount of time. It might cost you more money, but it’s definitely worth it.
After all, you don’t want to waste time installing artificial turf by yourself, only to end up opting for a professional service anyway.
Things to Avoid When Installing Artificial Grass
When installing artificial turf, avoid these common pitfalls:
- Uneven surfaces: Before installing artificial grass, it’s important that you ensure an even base to get the best-looking turf landscape.
- Poor or lack of drainage: Rainfall in the UK is common all year round, so it’d be a good idea to add a base of concrete and crushed sand under the grass to improve drainage.
- Unsecure edges: Not securing the edges of your artificial grass lawn will cause them to curl up and fray, resulting in a not-so-good-looking installation.
- Unsecure joints: Uneven joints are easy to avoid, but they make your fake lawn look much better.
- No weed barrier: Weed barriers prevent weed from growing under your turf. Without adding it, your turf won’t look great, and you’ll waste time weeding it frequently.
Things to Consider Before Installing your Artificial Grass
Before installing artificial grass, there are a few things you need to keep in mind to ensure a smooth and reliable installation process.
Should my artificial grass installation include a base?
It’s highly recommended that you install artificial grass on a base to lay it perfectly. A layer of lazy foam under the artificial grass should serve as a reliable installation base. In addition, it’ll drastically improve cushioning and draining. Another good option is to use a combination of MOT Type 1 and granite stone 6mm-dust.
Laying artificial grass directly on the soil, in particular, is far from ideal. This is because the soil is prone to wearing and tearing due to fluctuating weather conditions.
On the other hand, if you’ll be laying artificial grass on concrete or decking, you won’t likely need an additional layer as a base.
Tools needed to install artificial grass
Here’s everything you need to install artificial grass:
- Installation pins
- Artificial grass
- Weed membrane
- Artificial grass jointing tape
- Jointing adhesive
- Turf cutter
- Razor knife
How much does artificial grass installation cost?
The cost of artificial grass is broken down into supplying and fitting costs. The cost of artificial grass supplies generally depends on your budget and the type of artificial grass you prefer.
Generally speaking, artificial grass may cost you anywhere from £10 all the way up to £30 per square metre.
As for fitting and installation materials costs, expect to pay £1500 or higher depending on the size of the area you wish to install artificial grass in.
When is the best time to install artificial grass?
Fall and winter are the best times of the year to renovate your yard with artificial grass. However, it’d be best to avoid months of heavy rainfall as this could disrupt the installation process.
There you have it: your complete artificial grass installation guide.
Maintaining a natural grass lawn is a tough job, so installing artificial grass gives you a nice-looking landscape that also doesn’t require much maintenance.
Looking for a reliable artificial grass installation service? Reach out to us now for a consultation!