How to Lay Fake Turf

Updated February 21, 2017

Fake turf may seem like a product reserved for sports fields and golf courses, but many homeowners can benefit from this material in their own yards and landscapes. Because the turf needs no water, food or cutting, anywhere that you install it stays green and flush year round, bringing the appearance of vibrant grass growth to shaded areas, plots of land with poor drainage and anywhere that can't otherwise support grass growth. Installing this product involves excavating your landscape, so take care to do the work properly to have a safely-installed lifetime product.

Mark out the area in which you want to install the fake turf with marking paint. If you are completely replacing a yard or landscape, you can skip this part.

Dig out the installation area to a depth of 6 inches with sharp spades or shovels. You should notice the colour of the soil change from dark to lighter; this indicates that you have hit compacted, firm subsoil, which will better support your fake turf.

Layer the bottom 4 inches of the dug out area with a mixture of equal parts sand and pea gravel. This will ensure that rainwater and dew will drain through into the lower soil, instead of accumulating in and flooding your fake turf.

Compact the sand and pea gravel with a plate compactor or hand tamper to firm up the support base. Run a level across the area to ensure that it is relatively level; it doesn't have to be perfect, since most grass, both artificial and real, has small hills and valleys.

Spread out the rolls of artificial turf over the entire prepared area. If you need to use multiple rolls, glue seams together with artificial grass adhesive, spread evenly along the whole seam. This will ensure that the seams are invisible to onlookers.

Secure the fake grass to the ground below with steel irrigation pins, spaced every 24 inches along the edges, along each seam and across the turf in a grid pattern. This will prevent the edges or middle from pulling up or bulging under weight.

Run a push broom across the entire area, against the general lean of the grass, to ensure that the sand below is evenly distributed. Once everything is swept evenly and secured tightly, the installation is complete.


Contact your local utilities company before you begin excavating to ensure that you will not hit any power lines or underground pipes while digging. Remember to follow all local building codes regarding this type of installation. If you need to cut the fake turf to fit around obstructions or edges, use a sharp utility knife.

Things You'll Need

  • Marking Paint
  • Shovels or spades
  • Sand
  • Pea gravel
  • Plate compactor or hand tamper
  • Artificial grass adhesive
  • Irrigation pins
  • Push broom
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Samantha Volz has been involved in journalistic and informative writing for over eight years. She holds a bachelor's degree in English literature from Lycoming College, Williamsport, Pennsylvania, with a minor in European history. In college she was editor-in-chief of the student newspaper and completed a professional internship with the "Williamsport Sun-Gazette," serving as a full-time reporter. She resides in Horsham, Pennsylvania.