Learn how cheap contractors are offering turf installation at $4.99 per sq. ft. Discover what you're really getting at this cost. Below we’ll walk you through how they...
Installing artificial grass yourself? Find how to save money and achieve a great-looking lawn. We've created a DIY turf installation guide to assist you throughout the process, as well as walk you through maintenance best practices! Get the job done right!
*Note: While manufacturer recommendations are to use Class II Road Base during artificial grass installation, decomposed granite is a favorite among people who want to DIY their own project. It provides the best results without the need for heavy machinery or expensive hauling.
Preparing the Turf Base
1. Remove Existing Grass and Save on Hauling By:
a.) Keep the surface dry, no watering. Most of the grass will die making it lighter and easier to remove.
b.) Scrape the surface with an aluminum landscape rake to remove the top layer. Dump this into your green waste bin to save on hauling and waste removal!
2. Apply a Generous Amount of Weed Killer
This will help prevent weeds from popping up through the surface in the future. If you have any leftover roots underneath the soil it's very important that these are killed. Weedkiller is typically effective enough, and you may only see the occasional weed on the edge.
Alternatively, you can lay weed barrier cloth to keep weeds away. In our opinion, weed barrier cloth is not highly effective and can trap bacteria beneath the surface. For this reason, we don't often recommend weed barrier cloth as it's just an extra cost and doesn't offer much protection.
3. Install Edging Around the Perimeter Where Needed
To stabilize and support the base of artificial grass, you'll want to make sure there is proper landscape edging installed. Most often for residential projects, polymer bender boards will be used. However, in certain scenarios you may used treated wood boards or aluminum boards. Artificial grass edging will need to be installed to separate the turf from planters, fencing, and other softscape.
4. Lay Decomposed Granite
To prepare the base, lay a 1 in. layer of DG along the surface of your base. Use a push broom to evenly spread the DG, and then use a heavy-duty roller to compact and smooth grade the surface. Repeat this process two or three times for the best results.
5. Stabilize the Decomposed Granite
Next, the decomposed granite must be treated with a stabilizer. This will make the base sturdy enough to hold onto nails during the turf installation process. Skipping this step will cause the nails to not fully secure and your turf to start lifting from the edges with time. Allow the area to dry fully before moving on to the next step.
To learn how to prep and Install pet-friendly turf, check out our other article: How to Install Pet Turf - DIY!
Artificial Turf Installation
1. Unroll and Lay the Artificial Turf
Lay the turf roll in the sun for 30 minutes before unrolling. This will make the material more manageable. Unroll on a flat surface, ensuring all blades are facing in the same direction. If necessary, cut the turf to size to ensure it fits in your space. Measure multiple times before cutting!
2. Seam Artificial Grass Pieces Together
This step is only necessary if you have multiple pieces of artificial grass. Once the artificial grass is measured and cut to size, seam the pieces together using professional adhesive. For best results, use the zipper method to make the seams less visible.
How to Seam Artificial Grass With Zipper Effect:
When seaming in a straight line, the eye can spot small inconsistencies, and most often you'll see a line where the two pieces were seamed together. Instead, we break the line and cut the stitching before seaming to pull the pieces together the same way a zipper does. This method creates an illusion to the eye and will provide invisible seams.
A more popular method of seaming is creating an "S" shape on the edges of the pieces and seaming them together. When done correctly, this provides the same results as the zipper seam and hides the visibility of the seam. However, this is a much trickier method and it's easy to make mistakes. Once these mistakes are made, they're also extremely difficult to repair. For this reason, we'd recommend using the zipper method when seaming two pieces of artificial grass together.
3. Stretch and Secure the Artificial Grass
Stretch and nail down the turf along the perimeter every 2 in. Stretching the artificial grass on the sides is very important. It will help to prevent wrinkles and buckling over time. Make sure that the nails are hidden and deep. Use non-galvanized nails to ensure the nails won't come up over time. We also recommend nailing every 2 ft. throughout for added stability.
4. Apply Sand Infill
While many cut corners during this step, sand Infill in turf applications offers multiple benefits. This will help with blade recovery, protect the backing of your turf from harmful UV rays, and even prevent wrinkles! We'd recommend using an anti-bacterial sand infill to make the surface cooler and cleaner for pets and recreation. Lay approx. 1 lb. per sq. ft. Use a push brush to evenly distribute the sand along the surface.
Maintenance Best Practices for Artificial Turf
Perhaps one of the most sought out benefits of artificial lawns is reduced maintenance needs. Because you're removing soil and dirt from the surface, artificial grass can remain clean and pest-free for years! We'd recommend occasionally flushing the surface with a hose to remove dirt and debris. You can also use a stiff-bristled brush every so often on the surface to redistribute the turf infill and bring the blades upright if needed. To learn how to keep pet-friendly artificial turf clean, check out our favorite cleansers!
If you're ready to begin your DIY artificial grass project, let us support you the whole way! Check out our Online Turf Store to browse high-quality grasses from trusted suppliers, and get them at a discounted price. We'll assist you in purchasing the right fake turf for your needs, and ship it directly to you! Begin by requesting a deal below.