A Guide to Fitting Artificial Grass
You’ve purchased some fabulous artificial grass to bring out the best in your garden – now it is time to fit it! We’ve pulled together a guide filled with expert hints and tips to make it as easy as possible!
If you have water ‘ponding’ on your natural lawn after rainfall for prolonged periods you will need to check your garden for areas with poor drainage. Please seek professional advice as you will require additional excavation, several layers of aggregate may be needed. You will need to consider additional drainpipes, catch basins, connectors or drainage rock.
In this fitting guide we’ll cover each stage of the installation process, including:
- How to measure your garden for artificial grass
- Tools you’ll need when fitting artificial grass
- Preparing a sub floor for artificial grass
- How to fit artificial grass
1. How to measure your garden for artificial grass
- The key element to all DIY jobs is preparation. Measuring the area you wish to cover with artificial grass should be done with precision. Measure the area twice just to be sure!
- Draw a simple diagram of the area that you wish to cover with artificial grass, it doesn’t need to be perfect, just ensure the measurements are completely accurate.
- For square or rectangular areas you simply need to multiply the width by the height. For example, a garden that measures 6m x 7m will require 42m² of artificial grass.
- Ensure you add an additional 5cm to each edge.
- If the area in which you wish to lay your artificial grass has recesses, you will still need to measure the complete area as the artificial grass will need to be cut around them. If measuring the area is not easy, work out individual areas and write the measurement on the space of the diagram. Once you have double checked the measurements of each area, add them up to reach the total area of artificial grass required.
2. Artificial grass fitting tools
Make sure you have the right tools for the job, this will ensure you achieve the best possible finish and should make the process easier for you.
- A sharp knife and spare blades
- Knee pads and gloves
- Tape measure/straight edge
- Compaction plate or roller
- Turf cutter
- Stiff outdoor broom or motorised power brush
- Sand spreader
- Notched trail
3. Preparing a sub flooring for artificial grass
Solid Base (Concrete Area)
- The surface needs to be smooth, clean and level. However if there are any undulations in the concrete apply a thin layer of sand on top of the sub-base which will help to level and fill in any minor defects.
Sand and Stone Base
- Ensure you are happy with the required height of grass against the existing area, allowing for any sub-base preparation.
- For large lawns remove the natural turf using a mechanical turf cutter, or use a spade for smaller lawns. Remove the natural grass and subsoil to a depth of 10cm (if your ground is well compacted and free draining remove 7cm). Artificial grass should not be installed directly onto topsoil.
- Compact the surface with a roller or vibrating plate (both can be hired if necessary).
- Spray the area with a weed killer and then install weed membrane.
- If a timber surround is required, place it at this stage whilst ensuring that it is not above the final planned grass line (otherwise drainage may become inhibited).
- Now apply a minimum of 75mm of clean Type 1 or limestone – 20mm grade size – aggregate onto the surface and compact the stone with a roller or vibrating plate. Please note the base preparation for artificial grass is the same as the foundations for laying a patio.
- After compacting the aggregate, use a layer of fine stone – 6–14mm grade size – or builders’ type sand (sometimes called sharp sand or grit sand) to a depth of 20–40mm. Compact this to the required level, topping up if needed to achieve the desired level.
4. How to fit artificial grass
Solid Base (Concrete Area)
- Roll out your grass onto the levelled area allowing 5cm of extra grass on all sides. This will give you enough material to ensure a perfect edge. Leaving your grass to settle for 2–3 hours will help remove any creases.
- Trim your grass carefully using a sharp knife to give it a smooth and neat finish. We recommend that you turn the grass over and run your knife neatly next to the stitch lines avoiding cutting into the stitches. You can use carpet tacks to secure the grass to a wooden surface or decking or an adhesive suitable for outdoor use on a concrete surface.
- For large areas you may have to join two pieces of grass. For this you need to purchase joining tape and adhesive (see point 3 under Sand and Stone Base).
- You may need an infill of sand when installing Yorkshire Dales, Snowdonia, Windermere or Parkgate (see point 9 under Sand and Stone Base).
Sand and Stone Base
- Roll out the grass onto your level, compacted base then allow the grass to settle for 2–3 hours or preferably overnight. When deciding which direction to lay your grass bear in mind that artificial grass looks at its best when you’re looking into the pile of the grass.
- Trim your grass carefully using a sharp knife to give it a smooth and neat finish. We recommend turning the grass over and running your knife neatly next to the stitch lines avoiding cutting into the stitches.
- For large areas you may have to join two pieces of grass. For this you will need to purchase a joining tape with a suitable adhesive (ensuring that both are suitable for outdoor use).
- Make your cut on the reverse of the grass. SEE PICTURE A
- Roll out the next strip of grass and repeat the process. Lay both pieces together and check that they are properly aligned and that the join is not visible. The width of the join between the two strips should be no more than 4mm. SEE PICTURE B
- Apply a zigzag line of adhesive to the tape and spread using a notched trowel. SEE PICTURES C & D
- Lay both pieces of grass together again and carefully apply pressure along the join. Weight the join with something heavy (e.g. sand bags) and leave to cure. SEE PICTURE E
- You can either use a wooden batten to secure your grass or use landscaping nails placed every 10–20cm.
- You may need an infill of sand when installing Yorkshire Dales, Snowdonia, Windermere or Parkgate. We suggest using silica sand (0.3–1.0mm). Use a sand spreader to evenly distribute the sand to a depth of approximately 15–20mm.
- Remove all of the surplus pieces of grass and brush with a broom.
In the days after fitting
- Regular brushing of your grass with a broom or plastic leaf rake will help to keep the fibres straight and even.
- Leaves and other dirt can be removed with a broom, leaf rake or leaf blower.
- Spillages can be washed away with water. Dog or cat faeces can be left to harden and then be removed. A diluted disinfectant can be used to wash away any residue.
- Avoid sharp objects and spread the load of garden furniture, trampolines or outdoor play equipment to minimise indentations.
- Ensure that barbeques or other hot objects do not come into contact with your grass.