Artificial grass is preferred over a natural grass lawn by many people because it is low maintenance and budget-friendly. Thus, instead of having a high-maintenance natural grass lawn in their yard, people turn to artificial grass to reduce water, fertilizers, and pesticide costs, and the hours spent grooming.
The following steps to install artificial grass in the backyard are provided to make sure that you have prepared the area so there will be no ground hazards. To begin, get rid of the weeds and remove the topsoil. After, add the base and evenly fill and spread the purchased crushed rock, gravel, or decomposed granite, and lay the turf to the desired area.
Cut the turf so that it fits the backyard’s dimensions, and if there is any excess, remove it. Seam the strips of the artificial grass together, and apply a strong bonding adhesive or glue to secure the perimeter. Next, spread the infill using a drop spreader and rake it evenly.
The final step of installation of the artificial lawn consists of brushing the infill repeatedly until it is in place. It is recommended to leave the artificial lawn overnight, meaning not to step on it or go over it with anything that has wheels to ensure the best results.
With synthetic grass, you no longer have to deal with lawn disease, pests, weed, and muddy puddles. In the long run, you will reduce your spending on fertilizers, pesticides, water, and maintenance. Artificial grass eliminates time-consuming lawn maintenance and is preferred by homeowners for its always presentable, healthy, and lush look.
Instead of spending the weekend mowing, fertilizing, and watering the your lawn, you now have more time to spend enjoying life with your family and friends.
In this article, we will tackle the installation of artificial grass in the yard, whether on concrete slabs or if you are switching from natural grass to synthetic. We will also discuss the required care and maintenance for the artificial grass and its benefits.
8 Steps to Install Artificial Grass In the Yard
Artificial grass does not necessitate regular maintenance, but the installation itself can be intense, especially for a side yard. You could consider hiring or reaching out for some help if installing the artificial grass is too time consuming for you.
Follow these easy steps to install the artificial grass and achieve a high-standard backyard lawn.
Step 1: Prepare the Area
Before you install your artificial grass, it is very important that you prepare the area first to ensure an easy and seamless installation. Here are the things that you should do to make sure that everything is good to go for your artificial grass installation.
Check for ground hazard
Before installing artificial grass, it’s recommended to check the ground for any hazards. There may be water pipes or any other type of lines under the area of the desired installation. Cover water sprinklers or remove them if you don’t need them, then mark the location to avoid uneven surfaces. Add an efficient drainage system for water clear out.
Move any electric wires from the perimeter, 6 to 8 inches away. Keeping it out of the way will not damage them once you secure the turf’s edges. Lay them on the top of the subgrade (crushed rock) surface with u-nails later on.
Get rid of the weeds or grass
The next step before installing the artificial grass is to remove existing grass or weeds. Spraying the area with non-toxic weed killers two weeks before you start the project will ensure that any grass and weed is dead down to the roots.
Remove the topsoil
Dig up to 3 or 4 inches of the existing lawn to make room for the new base. Use a rototiller for some help in digging and breaking up the soil. Remove all the grass and other plants because they create an uneven surface, but make sure to let the soil dry up before you harrow to avoid slumping. Walk over or use a hand tamper to compact loose soil.
Add weed barrier
Once you’re done cleaning up the area where you want to install the artificial grass, it’s time to put a weed barrier to avoid weeds from growing through the artificial grass. Lay-out a geotextile layer at the bottom of the dug-up area. Weed barriers help in discouraging pests, earthworms, and gophers from breaking the artificial lawn. You may install a gopher wire as well if needed.
Step 2: Add Base
Evenly fill and spread the purchased crushed rock, gravel, or decomposed granite 4 inches on the excavated area using a wheelbarrow or a shovel. You’ll need one cubic yard of particles under ⅜” (10mm) for every 100 square feet of lawn. This material prevents the base from slumping and improves the drainage.
Sprinkle the particles with water to lubricate in preparation for compaction but make sure not to overwater it. Use a plate compactor or hand tamper to compact the material into a sturdy base, reducing it to 90% or less of its original depth.
The best sub-base for artificial grass is one that can absorb surface water fast. If children are going to play on the artificial lawn, consider having a shock pad for safety precautions.
Step 3: Lay Turf
It’s now time to roll out the turf on the prepped area. It is best to let the artificial grass sit in the sun for 30 minutes and let it expand before installation, and be careful not to drag the synthetic turf to keep a smooth surface. Check the measurements of the area where you plan to install the new lawn to ensure they are the same as the artificial grass.
Draw lines for borders on the surface of the turf to serve as a guide once you lay the turf and cut the excess. You should use spray paint or chalk when you mark the surface, so you don’t forget and ensure that all the blades of the artificial turf are facing the same direction.
When you roll the grass to the desired measurements, mark it by cutting 4 inches from the edge towards the center. Leave at least a 1-inch allowance to avoid miscalculations.
Step 4: Cut to Fit
Now that the artificial grass is in the desired area, cut the excess. Razor knives or carpet cutters work great as they are the best cutting devices for this purpose. Start cutting the excess from the back so you can see the stitch rows. Leave ¼ to ½ of the turf over the edge of the border. This will leave you extra space for finishing touches.
For best results, use a carpet kicker to stretch the turf before you seam or fasten them. Stretching the turf removes the wrinkles, reduces expansion from heat, and secures the surface of the turf firmly to the ground.
Step 5: Seam the strips together
Once you have cut the synthetic lawn to fit, line up the two strips close together; it should be like a tent that meets in the middle. Then, fold the edges back and lay artificial grass seaming material on the exposed base. There should be an unnoticeable ⅛” gap. Cover the seaming material with a manufacturer’s recommended adhesive product, then fold the strips back over the seaming material and let dry. Cut off the excess and overlapping sides of the artificial lawn with the one already fixed.
Step 6: Secure Perimeter
It is now time to secure the artificial grass to the ground. Start with a ¼” or ½” edge left in the border, and use 4-6 inches long galvanized stakes or landscaping anchor pins to fasten the turf around the perimeter with at least a 6-inch gap. Using a hammer, gently ham the stakes or pins until the artificial turf is pierced to the back, but avoid hammering excessively to prevent dips in the synthetic lawn.
For maximum strength, offset the stakes on opposite sides rather than using two lines of stakes exactly opposite to each other. Support with stakes and pins on the seamed areas for a stronger hold. Before you infill, brush up the turf with a power broom to get the blade memory vertical.
Step 7: Spread Infill
There are different types of infill to use in the artificial lawn, but most artificial turfs require added particles to keep the bristles standing. Other types of infill include Acrylic Coated Sand, Zeolite, Silica Sand, or Crumb Rubber. You should use a drop spreader to disperse the infill evenly and to use just the right amount.
Rake in each layer to smoothen and repeat until half of the blade’s length is covered. Professionals prefer to add infill to strengthen the lawn. For best results, use the type of infill approved by the manufacturer.
Step 8: Brush in Infill
For the final step, brush the turf once the infill has been placed using a power broom or stiff-bristled broom. This will help the synthetic turf blades achieve a standing straight-up look, making the artificial lawn look freshly mowed. Brushing up the synthetic turf blades requires quarterly maintenance.
It is recommended to leave the artificial lawn rest overnight before stepping on it for the best results.
If you want to improve the overall appearance of your yard, you should consider landscaping. While this process typically costs a lot of money, there are some things that you can do to lessen your expenses. Read our article to find out how to cut down the cost of landscaping.
3 Steps to Install Artificial Grass on Paving or Concrete Slabs
Who said artificial grass installation on concrete slabs isn’t possible? We got you covered with these easy steps to follow to achieve a fresh and lush-looking lawn.
Step 1: Prepare the Area
Measure the area you want to cover with artificial grass. Then, clean the existing concrete with a power hose. Make sure to remove any dirt, forming molds, and check if there are puddles. If so, use a 16mm bit and start drilling the drainage holes and fill with a 10mm shingle to prevent puddles when it rains.
For uneven surfaces, use a self-leveling compound. Concrete is a hard surface, so it’s best to cover the entire area with foam or shock pads for safety reasons in case anyone falls. Mix the glue and hardener if there are different sections of the foam and shock pads.
Tape them with masking tape, apply the glue to the surface, and directly scatter. Use 2-3mm of glue for strong bonding. The glue dries up fast so it must be done quickly.
Step 2: Lay the Grass
Time to roll out the artificial grass over the foam! But before doing so, make sure to measure the turf and cut it to the size with razor knives or carpet cutters. Secure the artificial lawn by applying glue on all sides and make sure there are no gaps. Then, leave it and let it dry.
Letting the synthetic turf settle for three hours will prevent any wrinkling or creasing. Once settled, cut the excess of the turf and make a perfect edge. Secure the artificial grass using a strong adhesive to the solid base.
Optional: If one roll is not enough
Measure the artificial turf patches and seam the turf. Line up the two strips close together; it should be like a tent that meets in the middle. Then, fold the edges back and lay the artificial grass seaming material on the exposed base.
There should be an unnoticeable ⅛” gap. Cover the seaming material with an adhesive product recommended by the manufacturer, then fold and stitch the strips back over the seaming material and let it dry. Cut off excess and overlapping sides of the artificial lawn with the one already fixed.
Step 3: Final grooming
Finally, rush the synthetic turf upwards. Make sure the grass is completely dry before adding the infill.
Using a shovel or a drop spreader, disperse the infill all over the artificial lawn and lay the sand down in back dragging motion. Apply the first half evenly all over — about 1.25lbs of infill per square foot of the synthetic turf — before starting the second application.
Brush the turf until the sand sinks into the artificial grass, and evenly spread throughout the area. Repeat the brushing process and remove any excess sand. You may use a leaf blower to clear any rubble.
Water the lawn for the infill to set in. Leave it and check the results the next day. If the artificial lawn isn’t bouncy or if the grass blades are too exposed, add another layer of infill and rake it until you get your desired outcome.
It’s time to enjoy your lush-looking lawn with your family!
5 Steps to Replace Natural Grass with Artificial Grass
Follow these steps to ensure a lush-looking lawn with no more degradation or muddy paws-all year round! If laying on concrete or paving slabs, read these instructions.
Step 1: Preparation
Measure the area’s width and length where you want to change the natural turf with artificial grass. Remove the existing surface, either by hand or using a turf cutter for a wide area. Prepare the materials that is needed, including a geotextile weed killer, turf cutter, a blade, tape, and glue.
Step 2: Compact the Ground
Using a vibrating plate or roller, compact the ground. Then, use timber for edging and ensure that the edging is not higher than the final grass line to allow the water to run-off the turf.
After working on the edging, place down a 40-mm sharp stone and a little wet compacted sand. Compact the ground again using the same equipment until the ground surface of the installation is even.
Step 3: Roll out the underlay and grass
First, roll out the grass underlay, then top it with the artificial grass. Be careful not to disturb the weed-killing underlay. After, let the artificial grass settle for three hours to prevent the turf from wrinkling or ceasing. Remember, the grass should face the same way in the directional pile if you have any joins.
Use a strong bonding tape and glue if joining the artificial turf together. Paste the tape and apply the adhesive before you pull the synthetic grass edges, and apply some weight to it with pots, heavy stones, or any heavy material.
Step 4: Trim the edges
Once settled, cut and trim the artificial grass edges using a knife or blade. Make sure to make a clean cut to the edges. When fitting the artificial grass, pin it down using landscaping pins and for a timber frame, use flat-headed galvanized nails.
Step 5: Brush the grass and relax!
Finally, the synthetic lawn is sitting flat and rolled up! Be sure to brush it to bring out any excess fibers of the artificial grass. Then, sit back and enjoy the artificial grass lawn!
6 Benefits of Having Artificial Grass in the Yard
There are a lot of benefits and advantages to having artificial grass in the backyard. For one, it is relief from the constant attention and stress of maintaining the turf. And less maintenance equals more time spent on other beneficial things!
A natural lawn requires a large amount of water weekly, and water is expensive. In that, an artificial lawn prevents you from experiencing this kind of problem for it doesn’t need water to survive and thrive. Artificial grass allows you to reduce your water usage, avoid fines for using too much water, and save money.
Here are the other benefits of having an artificial lawn in the yard:
1. Lawn Health
Artificial grass isn’t susceptible to diseases, unlike natural lawn. Indeed, a natural turf requires money, time, and attention. Rhizoctonia, a type of fungus that will be encountered by natural lawns depending on the climate of the area, is one of the particular diseases that will be caught by a natural lawn.
With artificial grass, on the other hand, you don’t need to look for any brown patch of this disease, and you don’t need to fight it with fungicides. Artificial grass ensures that the lawn will look great with no effort and low maintenance.
2. Weeds & Pests
Artificial lawn involves a weed-proof foundation and doesn’t attract pests, unlike natural grass. In the natural lawn, you might try different products to eliminate weeds and pests from destroying the lawn.
Besides, natural grass attracts grubs and other insects, and insects attract larger pests, like raccoons, gophers, and snakes, while artificial grass doesn’t. Finally, natural grass provides weeds to the soil for their growth, while artificial grass doesn’t.
3. Mud and Puddles
When it rains, the natural lawn tends to flood. When this happens, mud and puddles may develop after a rainstorm or if you run your sprinkler system. If you own a dog, they may step into the puddles and leave a mud track in your house.
On the other hand, artificial turf doesn’t require water and you don’t have to worry about the building of mud and puddles. In an artificial lawn, you don’t have to worry about flooding for they have drainage built-in.
4. Stop Buying Fertilizer & Pesticides
Having artificial grass gives you an evergreen landscape cover. You will always have a low maintenance, lush, and green lawn. With an artificial lawn, you don’t have to spend money on fertilizers.
As previously mentioned, artificial grass doesn’t attract pests, so you do not need to purchase pesticides either. This way, you can avoid its impact on your family’s and pets’ health.
Artificial lawn is also safe for your children and pets as most brands of synthetic turfs contain an anti-bacterial that helps prevent the spread of germs, diseases, and bacteria. Children and pets can play on the lawn without worrying about inhaling toxic chemicals or being exposed to harmful pesticides and fertilizers used to maintain a natural lawn.
The money you will spend on fertilizers and pesticides can be allocated to other expenses.
5. Eliminate Air Pollution from Gas-powered Lawn Mowers And Reduce Ground Pollution
Gas-powered gardening equipment, like mowers, edgers, and blowers, produces a huge amount of pollution. According to a Swedish study, spending an hour with lawnmowers equals almost the same amount as the pollution of a 100-mile car trip.
Fertilizers and pesticides also pollute the environment and endanger your family and pets as they are used to maintain the health of the natural lawn. Meanwhile, a synthetic lawn eliminates the consequences of polluting the environment and inhaling hazardous chemicals.
Artificial turf may seem expensive at first, but one of its prominent benefits is its long-lasting value and cost-effectiveness. It is a good investment that improves the quality and value of your home for years since the lifespan of synthetic turf is about 15-25 years.
With artificial turf, you don’t need to mow regularly since synthetic grass doesn’t grow. However, you should still maintain it, blowing leaves, unwanted debris, and bristle broom fluff areas that cause traffic in the synthetic lawn.
Aside from plants and outdoor furniture, when planning the budget of your landscaping project, you also need to consider the hardscape elements that you want to build, such as fences, walkways, and gazebos. To help you gauge how much money you need to set aside for these projects, read our guide to backyard hardscapes’ cost and plan you budget accordingly.
Artificial Grass Care and Maintenance
Artificial grass doesn’t require the same amount of care and maintenance as a natural lawn. Many people are switching to an artificial lawn to lessen their issues with natural lawns.
With artificial turf, you don’t need to water, mow, fertilize, and waste money to have and maintain a green backyard. However, it doesn’t mean that it is completely maintenance-free; to keep the artificial grass, you’ll have to conduct regular cleaning and maintenance.
Artificial lawns can withstand all weather conditions and will always be lush-looking green, like a real lawn. Here is how to take care of and maintain your artificial lawn.
1. For Mild Stains
If there is a stain on the artificial lawn after someone spilled a beverage, dropped a plate, or after your pet left dirty marks, for instance, cleaning and caring for it is simple. Be alert and clean up the stain immediately so that it will not stick and leave a mark on the synthetic turf.
Use a dry absorbent cleaning tool, like a towel or a kitty litter, to blot the spilled liquid up. Using a mix of water and mild detergent, rinse the stained area. For stronger stain removal, use a 3% solution of ammonia in water.
For stubborn stains, like motor oil, grease, cooking oil, pen ink, or crayon marks, use mineral spirits if the mild detergent or ammonia doesn’t work. Then, gently rinse the stained area and blot the excess liquid up.
2. For the Sticky Stuff
Use dry ice or aerosol refrigerants to freeze a tree sap or get off the chewing gum that is stuck on the artificial grass. Then, scrape off. Tree sap, chewing gum, or other sticky stuff are easier to remove than you might think!
3. Removing Pet Waste
Before cleaning your pet’s waste from the artificial lawn, allow it to dry. Luckily, artificial grass drains liquid. To prevent the strong and unpleasant smells, pour cool water from the hose onto the area of the synthetic turf where your dog has peed.
4. Maintaining the Lawn for the Future
Artificial grass typically lasts 15 to 25 years, depending on usage. As a synthetic turf owner, it’s recommended to follow the steps mentioned to maintain the quality and preserve the longevity of the artificial grass. These care and maintenance steps avoid the wearing, tearing, and accidents on the synthetic lawn. Clearing the grass, cross brushing, and rinsing the artificial lawn regularly will help you prolong the lifespan of the turf.
To maintain the lawn, first, you may need a hose for rinsing the grass, a leaf blower, or a lawn vacuum to eliminate the dead leaves and other unwanted debris before they join in the ground of the artificial turf. You should also have a rake to keep the grass fresh and unmatted. Finally, use plastic or synthetic bristles to avoid any damage for they are much gentle on the turf’s fibers.
There are essentially four steps to take care of the artificial grass regularly. First, removing debris from the grass, including leaves, branches, and other items that spread throughout the lawn after strong winds or thunderstorms, will protect the turf from any damages.
Then, you should rinse the turf regularly. Use a hose with cool and clean water to remove any dirt, dust, and pollen. If you live in an area where it rains a lot, you don’t need to do this very often.
Installing artificial grass can be very expensive, especially if you have a large area to cover. However, it is a practical investment as it can save you time and money in the long run. With the tips provided above, you now have an idea of how to install the artificial grass, whether on concrete or other terrains, and know how to replace the natural lawn with a synthetic one.
An artificial lawn doesn’t require much care and maintenance, requiring only minimal steps to keep it in optimal shape. Following our cleaning tips, removing mild and stubborn stains, as well as ensuring that the turf is free from any unwanted debris, rinsing it regularly, and brushing it often are important aspects of care and maintenance. As long as you take care of your artificial grass properly, it will definitely last for a long time.