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How to Install Artificial Pet Turf - DIY

Making the switch to artificial turf that's pet-friendly? Installing it yourself at home? We've created a DIY guide to assist you with your pet turf installation! Reference this when beginning and completing your project to get the job done right! 

Base Preparation

*Note: Manufacturer recommendations are to apply road base under the surface of artificial turf. For DIY, most homeowners will work with decomposed granite instead. This will provide the best results without the need for heavyweight hauling and renting machinery. 

1. Remove natural grass and soil from the surface prior to laying decomposed granite. Use a sod-cutting knife during this process. Manufacturers recommend removing approximately 2 in. of soil, however, you may remove less depending on the roots in your space. Remove a bit more soil around the perimeter. This will help with weed prevention and securing the turf later on in the installation. 

2. Apply a generous amount of weed killer on the surface. This will help prevent weeds from occurring down the line. For pet turf installations, we do NOT recommend installing a weed barrier. Weed barrier is a cloth-like fabric that will trap and hold bacteria; inevitably leading to strong odors over time as pets use the bathroom. 

3. Lay 1 in. of decomposed granite on top of the surface. Use a push brush to even out the DG along the area and use a heavy-duty roller to grade the surface. Repeat this process two or three times to ensure the area is level. 

4. Apply a decomposed granite stabilizer to the DG. This will solidify the surface so it can hold the nails during the turf-laying process. *One container covers approx. 50 sq. ft, divide the square footage of your area by 50 to determine how many containers you'll need. Skipping this step will cause turf to begin to raise on the edges over time and the nails will not be secure. Allow the area to fully dry before moving on to the next step. 

5. Apply a layer of turf deodorizer (Zeofill) on the surface. This will help prevent odor from occurring beneath the surface in pet relief areas. Typically, 2-3 bags are used for every 100 sq. ft. of turf. 

Pet-Friendly Turf Installation 

1. Lay your drainage layer on the surface. Drain core comes in sheets that are 4 x 50, (covering 200 sq. ft.) so plan accordingly to ensure you order the correct amount. The drain core will need to be fixed with nails on the sides to keep it secure under the surface. 

2. Lay the turf in the sun for 30 minutes before unrolling. This will soften the material and make it easier to work with. Unroll the turf making sure if you have multiple pieces you're facing the blades in the same direction. 

3. This step is only necessary if you have multiple pieces of turf. 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. 

*Note: Manufacturers do not advise the use of nails during pet-friendly turf projects. This is due to the possibility of dogs digging at the turf and removing nails. Instead, they recommend building a frame around the perimeter and stapling turf to the frame. This is a much more secure installation. Most homeowners still use nails, however, manufacturers are not liable for turf damage.

4. Stretch and nail down turf on the perimeter every 2 in. Stretching the artificial grass is an important process to prevent wrinkles from occurring. Make sure the sides are nailed deep into the ground and that nails are hidden. This will help prevent dogs from digging at the turf. We'd also recommend nailing every 2 ft. throughout the surface for added protection. 

5. Apply antibacterial sand infill to the surface. This will help prevent wrinkles, bacteria, and help make the surface cooler for your pets. Use 1 lb. per sq. ft. While this is the step most people cut corners on, sand infill is very important for the life of your new installation. Use a push brush to evenly distribute the sand along the surface. 

Pet Turf Maintenance 

While pet turf systems provide added ventilation and drainage underneath the surface, that doesn't mean it doesn't require cleaning. Pet Turf must be rinsed and sanitized consistently to control the smell. Make sure the grass is brushed prior to deep cleanings to help redistribute the sand infill and allow for a better flow of cleaning solution. To learn about popular cleansers, check out our article here

Whenever you're ready to get your project started and have a new clean and green lawn for you and your pets, request a pricing estimate for turf materials below. We'll assist you in purchasing the perfect turf for you and help you with all accessories needed for installation as well. We can't wait to get started! 

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