How To Install Artificial Grass: The DIY Guide
Laying artificial grass yourself can be a lot cheaper than paying a professional to do it. But it does come with its risks! Improper installation can result in drainage problems, rippling, or curling at the edges. Which will inevitably mean you end up paying for someone to come and fix it further down the line!
To help you do-it-yourself right, first time. We’ve put together this handy guide. So read on to get started.
Step 1: Gather your tools
Before you start doing anything, make sure you have the right tools. There really is nothing worse than starting a job only to realise you haven’t got the correct equipment to get it done.
Generally, you will need the following items:
- Weed resistant geotextile layer
- Tape and glue for artificial grass
- A turf cutter or shovels
- Tape measure
- Type 1 hardcore
- Sharp sand or granite dust
- Edging, this could be treated timber, cement haunch, everedge or similar.
- Landscaping pins
- Stanley knife and blades
Step 2: Measure the length, height and width of the lawn space
When you have everything you need, clear the area where you would like your artificial grass to go. Then grab your tape measure and calculate the length, height and width of the space. Keep in mind that a lot of artificial grass ranges come in a 4 metre or 2 metre width.
Artificial grass also has a pile direction, this is how the fibres naturally point in one direction, this means you need to ensure the fibres are always directing your viewpoint. If you are completing artificial grass in your back-garden and you’re looking at your garden from your house, you would want the fibres to be facing you to provide the best natural look.
Step 3: Remove your existing grass or patio
If you are replacing a traditional lawn, it is essential to remove not only all of the natural grass but all of the top soil. How you do this will depend on how large the area is. It may be possible to do smaller areas by hand. But for larger spaces, a turf cutter will save time – and your back!
Similarly, if you plan to lay artificial turf in place of a patio, ensure any weeds and ensure you are working from a nice clean base.
Step 4: Make the ground flat and compact
Once you have removed all the topsoil, you need to flatten the ground beneath. This needs to be done quite aggressively. So, we suggest hiring either a vibrating plate or roller to do the job well. Once finished, your base should be smooth and compact, with the ground very densely packed underneath.
Step 5: Lay your membrane
Now is the time to lay your weed resistant geotextile layer. This membrane is essential as it will prevent weeds from infiltrating your artificial grass and allow for water to easily drain away. Be sure not to skip this step – no matter what!
Step 6: Place the edging
An edging system is important because not only will it keep your aggregates in place and prevent subsidence, it will also act as an anchoring point and prevent lifting. There are many edging options on the market you can use. Alternatively, you can also use timber to the same effect.
For this step, place down the edging around the perimeter of your lawn space. But make sure it is not higher than your artificial grass, as if the height of your edging exceeds that of the lawn line you will run into drainage problems further down the line.
Step 7: Put down a base
As a rule of thumb you would install around 1 ton of type 1 hardcore per 10M2 of area, i.e if your garden was 50M2 in total you would install 5 ton of type 1 hardcore, this would then be compressed using your whacker plate and a blind layer of sharp sand or granite dust would be installed. This is then compressed again and a layer of weed membrane installed.
Step 8: Roll out your artificial grass
First things first, when it comes to rolling out your artificial grass it is VITAL to keep in mind the directional pile. Make sure with each reach you stay consistent in this, as failure to do so will result in very obvious seams at the joins.
When you’re ready, carefully roll out your artificial grass. Do this gently, so as not to disturb the layers underneath.
Top Tip: For a natural finish, lay the grass with the pile leaning towards your house, seating area or focal point of the garden.
Step 9: Let it rest
Now it’s time to put your feet up and have a well-earned cup of tea. In fact, take the rest of the day off if you like. It’s important to let your artificial grass rest for a minimum of three hours. But if you can leave it overnight, even better.
Step 10: Trim the edges
Once the grass has settles, grab a sharp Stanley knife and cut around the edges. Do this as neatly as possible for the perfect finish!
Step 11: Tape and glue the joins
Next, grab your tape and glue. But before you do, have a good read of the instructions on the package! This is because directions may vary from brand to brand, and you don’t want to fall at the last hurdle.
Lay the tape along the joins, then apply the glue. Once this is done, pull the edges of the grass together. You might want to grab some house bricks, plant pots or anything heavy you can get your hands on and place these on top of the joins to flatten them.
If you don’t have a join then please skip this step.
Step 12: Pin down your turf
Depending on the type of edging you use, you might need landscaping pins or nails for this part. Either way, you should use this to secure your artificial grass and prevent it from turning up.
If the edging is a cement haunch you would of course use glue for this section.
Step 13: Grab a brush
There’s just one step less for this DIY job, but it’s pretty easy. Simply grab a stiff brush and give it…well a brush! It’s possible that after being rolled or during installation the pile may have flattened, so be sure to go against it to get it all standing up straight once again.
And you’re done! It’s time to reward yourself with a cuppa and a biscuit…or something a little stronger if you’d prefer. That being said, if you’ve gotten to the end of this article without lifting a finger and find yourself overwhelmed at the thought of this DIY job, then use our handy form to get an install quote in less than 5 minutes. We’ll take it from there, bringing directly to you a selection of the best quotes from our approved installers.