1. Use a turf cutter
First things first, it is time to clear a place for the artificial grass. Strip away any natural grass and create a level ground which you can then replace with the artificial turf. The easiest way of doing this is by using a turf cutter which will strip away terrain easily. It is best to remove the turf to a depth of 2 – 3 inches. Free draining lawns will require a 2 inch base, whereas poor draining lawns will require a 3 inch base.
2. Clear room for the sub base
With all turf removed, the area is ready for the sub base to be installed. As you can see from this image, there is a firm edge all the way around. If installing up to a flower bed however, tanalised timber edging or metal edging should be installed.
3. Prepare the weed membrane
Install the first layer of geotextile weed membrane on top of the soil. This will prevent the sub base sinking into the mud. It is best to fill the area with Type 1, sometimes known as MOT (crushed stone).
4. Level area
Make sure the Type 1 is evenly spread, and smooth off any humps with a rake. Doing this will help make sure that the finished project is level and doesn’t have any lumps or sharp objects which may damage the turf over time.
5. Compact the Type 1 with a wacker plate and blind off with a thin layer of sharp sand.
Using a wicker plate, make sure that all of the Type 1 and sharp sand is compact before installing the sharp sand with a wacker plate. After doing this, smooth off the areas with the back of a rake or by using a roller. After this the area should look completely smooth and level. It is important to spend time on the pre-installation of artificial grass, as this will result in a more comfortable, longer lasting area.
6. Install a second layer of weed membrane
Install the second layer of geotextile weed membrane and pin in position with 6 inch galvanized nails. This will prevent any weed growth. Use a Stanley knife to cut the layer to the required layout.
7. Install the artificial grass layer
Lay the artificial grass out and leave to settle for a couple of hours. Once you are happy that the grass is flat and settled, you can then cut it to shape using a sharp Stanley knife. Blades will need to be changed approximately every three metres of cutting.
8. Join pieces of artificial turf together
When joining two pieces of grass together, cut evenly down the stitch lines on each piece of grass. Butt the two pieces together and check the join. It is quite possible there is still some trimming to be done.
Once you are happy the two pieces of grass are butted up exactly, fold both pieces back and lay the joining tape evenly between them. Apply the glue to the joining tape and spread with a toothed trowel. Carefully fold both pieces back and apply pressure to the join. Make sure the glue is not too thick or it will push through the join or the drainage holes.
9. Secure edges
Once the glue has bonded you can trim the edges. This is easiest done using a sharp Stanley knife. Change blades if required for better quality installation.
Once this is done, use 6 inch galvanized nails to pin the turf. This should be done every 6 – 12 inches around the edge
Hold the pile open and tap the nail in so the head of the nail is just touching the latex backing of the turf. Once in position, release the pile so it covers the nail.
Once you have secured the borders, step back and admire your new garden. It may take a little time for the grass to acclimatise (sometimes we like to hurry the process along with a leaf blower!) but your garden is immediately ready to play on or just enjoy and will look fantastic for many years to come.
MATERIALS AND TOOLS NEEDED
Before you start installation make sure you have the following:
- 2 layers of weed membrane, preferably Type 1
- Turf cutter or shovel
- Rake or wicker plate or roller
- Sharp sand
- Artificial grass to cover area required
- Toothed trowel
- Glue to join seams
- Galvanised nails
- Stanley knife