Artificial grass DIY installation

Written by meg butler
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Artificial grass DIY installation
Installing artificial turf is an easy DIY project. (artificial soccer grass image by Inger Anne Hulbækdal from Fotolia.com)

Homeowners choose artificial grass for many reasons. Whether you are dealing with small plots with heavily shaded areas that will not support natural turf, or you want to avoid the headache of caring for natural grass, you should find artificial grass installation an easy DIY project. It is easiest to install over concrete surfaces which only needs cleaning before installation. Laying artificial grass over an existing yard, however, takes a little more preparation.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Flat shovel
  • Turf cutter
  • Vibrating plate compactor
  • Geo-textile weed barrier
  • Sharp sand
  • Ruler
  • Utility knife
  • Jointing tape
  • Joint glue
  • Brush

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Remove any existing grass with a flat shovel or turf cutter.

  2. 2

    Compact the ground with a vibrating plate compactor. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for operation guidelines.

  3. 3

    Lay a geo-textile weed barrier over the ground.

  4. 4

    Spread a layer of sharp sand over the ground to create a level surface. The layer should be no thinner than ½ inch and no thicker than 1-and-¾ inch at any point.

  5. 5

    Compact the sand using your vibrating plate compactor.

  1. 1

    Cut the roll of artificial turf into lengths that fit the shape of your yard. Allow a few inches of overlap on each length. These edges will be cut more precisely once the turf is laid.

  2. 2

    Lay the turf over the area in its permanent place. Make sure adjoining seams fit together without any visible gaps, but do not overlap them. Once the turf is in place, leave it to "rest" for two to three hours to allow any wrinkles or creases to relax.

  3. 3

    Cut the edges of the artificial turf to fit the edges of the lawn. Use a utility knife to cut the grass from its underside. Make sure that there are no gaps between the artificial turf's edge and the edge or border of the lawn.

  1. 1

    Peel back the joints between the artificial grass strips along their length. Reveal enough of the underlying ground to fit the jointing tape with an inch or two to spare on each side.

  2. 2

    Lay the jointing tape in the gap you have created so that, when laid, the seam between the two adjacent strips of artificial turf will run down its middle.

  3. 3

    Paint the jointing tape with the glue. Cover the length of the tape with a thin layer. Stop to within ½ inch of each edge of the tape.

  4. 4

    Lay the edges of the adjoining artificial grass pieces over the jointing tape and adhesive so that they are in their original and permanent position. Press the seam down with your hands along its length to help it adhere to the adhesive. Weigh the joint down with sandbags placed every 3 to 4 feet or so along the length of the tape. Leave the sandbags in place overnight.

  5. 5

    Repeat for each of the joints in the turf.

  1. 1

    Line the edge of the artificial grass with decorative stones, logs or clay-potted plants.

  2. 2

    Nail down the edges of artificial turf on natural ground. Hammer landscaping nails through the turf and into the ground every 2 inches along the perimeter. This creates a more natural looking border.

  3. 3

    Apply the jointing tape around the edges of artificial turf laid over concrete. Lift the edge of the turf. Lay the jointing tape down (cut it to fit the edges of the turf if necessary). Apply the adhesive onto the jointing tape. Lay the turf back into its original and permanent position. Press the turf onto the adhesive with your hands, then weigh it down overnight with sandbags.

  1. 1

    Spread the recommended amount of infill evenly over the artificial grass.

  2. 2

    Rake the infill over the artificial turf to work it underneath the surface.

  3. 3

    Allow it to settle overnight.

  4. 4

    Spread and rake in more infill if necessary, until the space between the sub layer and the bottom of the artificial grass is filled.

Tips and warnings

  • Purchase the joint glue, jointing tape and infill from any manufacturer that sells artificial grass.

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