Last Updated on June 8, 2021
Knowing how to lay artificial grass is going to make your life a lot easier. The use of artificial grass is certainly on the rise in recent years, and you may have thought about getting some for your garden. However, you may not want to spend the money getting a professional company in when there’s no need to, and you can do it yourself.
So, we will take you through the process you need to follow to lay artificial grass successfully. You will quickly discover that anybody with even no direct experience should be able to complete this task.
How long it takes will depend on the size of the area to be covered. It can take anywhere from a few hours to over a day, but it will all be worth it in the end.
Below are the key steps you need to follow when fitting artificial grass.
Step by Step Guide to Laying Artificial Grass
Step 1: Understand What You Need
The first step is to understand what you need when it comes to installing artificial grass. For this, you will need several tools and items that will make life a lot easier. For this, the list includes.
- A turf cutter
- Stanley knife
- Joining adhesive and tape
- Ground pins
- Tape measure
- Wood to compact things
- A stiff brush
- Artificial grass
- Gravel (may be optional)
- Weed membrane
Now, this does look like an extensive list, but it’s going to result in you being able to install artificial grass with ease, so we do recommend ensuring you have most of these items.
There are additional tools that will help you to join artificial grass successfully. Ask about any special edging tools or joining tape when you are buying the lawn itself. While it’s not completely necessary to lay this turf, it may speed things up a bit for you if you are pressed for time.
Step 2: Know Where You Are Laying Artificial Grass First
Next, you need to know where the new artificial turf will be going in your garden. Then, measure the size to make sure you have the correct measurements for the artificial lawn, or life will become harder.
Next, mark out the area to be covered. It will help you to visualise your new artificial lawn even before you get started.
Step 3: Clear the Area
Clear the area. How you do this depends on what already exists where the artificial grass lawn will then be installed. First, you need to get rid of any existing turf or patio slabs, as it will mean you can lay the artificial grass on what is effectively a brand new surface underneath.
Step 4: Removing the Turf
If the area contains natural turf, then you need to dig it up and remove it before laying down the fake grass. You can do this with a turf cutter or use a mechanical turf cutter if you wish to speed things up. This machine will rip up the turf, and you then need to move all that turf out of the way to make space for the artificial lawn.
Step 5: Remove Large Stones to Create a Smooth Surface
Once the old turf is up, you need to remove any large stones to create a smooth and flat surface. It is an important step before laying down the weed membrane, as large stones will cut through and may cause you problems in the long run. After this, you are ready to start with the base.
Step 6: Lay a Better Foundation
After clearing the area, you need to prepare to lay a substantial foundation. It may be either sharp sand or granite dust. What this does is that it simply stops things from becoming too muddy underneath your new artificial grass. Therefore, having a solid base layer is also an essential component because who likes to walk around on muddy artificial grass?
Step 7: If Required, Create a Neat Edge
If you do not have a solid surface where your new lawn can butt up against it, you need to create all the edges to make the job neat and tidy. To do this, you can use an edging system, of which there are several on the market that falls within different price ranges. An edging system simply creates a tidy edge. You may even find some in the form of wood hammered into the ground.
Step 8: Add 6mm of Granite Dust
Throwdown roughly 6mm of dust over the entire area, and then take the plank and use that to smooth out the surface. You should use this form of hardcore to fill in any holes in the area, even if you plan to use sand as the foundation. As an added extra, and if you do use sand, then you need to make it deeper as a layer. Again, we recommend something in the region of 20mm is best.
Step 9: Check for Smoothness
You want your artificial lawn to be smooth, so before you get to work on laying the actual fake grass, make sure the area has no imperfections even after putting down the foundational layers. It will make laying those artificial grass rolls a lot easier.
Step 10: Your Weed Membrane
You are now ready to lay down the weed membrane. This stuff makes it harder for weeds to come up and start to damage your artificial grass. To keep the membrane in place, use metal fixing pins, and hammer them into the membrane every 75cm or so.
Make sure the membrane goes right up to the perimeter edges. Weeds will take any opportunity they are given to get through, so doing anything you can to inhibit weed growth is important.
Step 11: Overlap Any Joins
There’s a chance the membrane you lay down will need to overlap at times. If so, then you need to make sure you use jointing tape over the areas where the two layers cross. Also, cut off any excess at the edges to keep everything tidy.
Joining tape will hold both pieces together, making the entire process easier when it comes to the actual grass and laying down the rolls of turf.
Step 12: Laying the Artificial Grass
You are finally onto the point where you are going to do the actual artificial grass installation. Now, you have already been able to choose artificial grass that fits in with your needs, but the actual installation is the same, no matter the type of artificial grass you buy.
To lay artificial grass, first, unroll it over the area. Do check you aren’t moving the membrane, so take your time. You also want the grass to look as if it is heading in the same direction. A little tip: Having the grass pointing toward your home will make it look better from that perspective.
Step 13: Cutting the Artificial Grass
Once you have managed to lay artificial grass over the entire area, you need to trim off the excess at the edges. Thankfully, artificial grass is quite heavy, so it’s not going to move around easily, so trimming it shouldn’t be tough.
Take your sharp knife, and use the edges as a guide. Cut to your desired shape, but replace the blade every 5m as you will soon notice that a sharp Stanley knife is essential when trying to achieve straight cuts.
Do this with each edge of the grass, and then you are ready for the finishing touches.
Step 14: The Finishing Touches
Fitting artificial grass is not only about laying fake grass. Instead, it’s also about the finishing touches and making it look as good as possible.
After trimming the lawn edges, you should then apply some kiln sand to your new grass. For this, you can use a stiff yard broom and simply brush it through the grass. You will typically need something in the region of 6kg of sand for every square metre. It may sound like a lot of sand, but it does make the entire area look so much better.
Caring for Your New Grass Lawn
After learning how to lay artificial grass, you need to know how to care for your new grass since cutting it is no longer required. Regular brushing is going to be key. Use that stiff broom, and brush in the same direction to keep the fibres straight.
Aside from that, you have nothing else to do apart from enjoying your artificial lawn.
As you can appreciate, this is an easy job to complete. The key is to make sure you don’t simply place the artificial grass on a soil base or use a stone base.
Don’t forget to make your edges and define your area before starting. You can then use the edges as a guide to making any cuts neater than they would have otherwise been.
The hardest part of attempting to lay down this new lawn is the energy it takes. That is why we recommend using the mechanical turf cutter, as that will speed things up and save your back.
In very little time, you can be enjoying a new lawn at your home. All you need to do is to choose your grass and then look forward to installing it on a nice, dry day.