There are the 12 steps to installing artificial grass. If you want your lawn to look professional, have a proper drainage, and last you for the next twenty years, take every step with care. You will find the tools that you will need for the installation at the bottom of this page. There are also four videos with Dave, who will explain and show every step of synthetic turf installation in great detail. Don't miss these instructions if you really want your synthetic lawn to look good and last long. We've got the best artificial grass installation videos.
CAUTION: Turf should be rolled out under the sun with blades facing down at least 1-2 hours before installation. This will allow the turf to acclimate and, as a result make, it easier to work with.
Note: Be sure the seams are taut and precise, the grain of the turf is facing in the same direction, and the space at the seam is the same as the stitching gauge.
As you can see on the diagram above, a wire mesh is installed on top of the soil, after you removed dirt and existing sod, and before you start spreading and compacting drain rocks and decomposed granite. A Wire Mesh, or a wire barrier, is meant to prevent gophers and moles from damaging lawns. Are those critters populated in your area? Then, no matter what type of lawn you install, natural or artificial, you want to protect it. There are special "gopher wires" that are made specifically for this reason - to make strong underground barrier below the surface of your lawn. This step is optional. Some regions have no issues with gophers, while in others, gophers' over-population affects the whole gardening and landscaping experience. Gophers love to tunnel their way up your lawn and to turn it into their personal salad bar. They are not too interested in artificial turf with rocks and granite underneath. If there are no problems with gophers and moles in your installation area, a wire mesh can be an unreasonable expense.
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Artificial grass installation can take from 5 to 12 hours on average to install on any small to average size lawn. We have an artificial lawn installed in Auburn, California in the beautiful Lake of the Pines community. The most important part of synthetic turf installation is the base preparation. If your site is properly prepared, spread, and well compacted with drain rock, road base, or decomposed granite, the second step (see the second video) is easy. You just need a pair of scissors, measuring tape, and a pair of strong hands to lay out the turf on the base, seam the seams, and fasten the turf down with staples or nails.
If you have ever worked with carpeting, you know that seaming can be a "dirty" business. With synthetic turf, it may get even "dirtier" because you install artificial grass on top of a granite and road base. A couple of years ago, every synthetic turf installer used special tape and glue to seam the edges of the turf. You can imagine how messy it was and not talking about time wasted on drying glue and cleaning afterwards. It was also impossible to get the seam apart if you made a mistake. You had to cut off the big piece of turf and replace it with a new one. If you are still using this method to seam the turf, don't! The times of seaming with glue are over. Thanks to physicists, we have a new tool called EasySeam machine. It works on radio-waves (not micro-waves as many have mistaken). When you seam with EasySeam, it doesn't hit up; it doesn't burn hands; it doesn't use any glue, only the seaming tape you lay underneath the seam, and most importantly, you can take a seam apart at any time you are not happy with your seam. The new generation of turf installers may not realize how lucky they are to have a radio-wave seaming machine for artificial turf installation. In any case, Dave tells you all about it in the two videos below.
Almost all required tools can be found in your garage, except maybe carpet stretcher. A carpet stretcher is very useful when installing artificial turf. Specifically, you need it before you start seaming the edges of turf. If you'll watch the second installation video, you will see how to use the stretcher. As a tip, the carpet stretcher is also called a knee-kicker. You strike the padded end with your knee. Wrinkles on the seam stretch nicely. A simple carpet stretcher from Home Depot will do. Don't want your turf to buckle? Use the stretcher.
If you don't have a plate compactor, rent one for a day or two. Your base must be stable and well-compressed before you lay turf or pavers on top of it. If you don't compact your base well, it will continue to shift and compress in time, causing ruts in your lawn and developing higher or lower areas that eventually will cause buckles and wrinkles in turf as well.
When you compact your base with a plate compactor, constantly water the area with a hose. Compaction is a very simple process, but it takes time and patience to go over the area multiple times. Some say three to four times is good enough, but to be safe, repeat the go-round compaction procedure up to ten-twelve times before introducing the sub-base material. Don't forget to create a little slop in the area for proper drainage.