The following is a guide for installing synthetic turf on natural grass surfaces. Every installation is unique and does not necessarily require all of the listed tools, supplies, and steps listed below. Please email our support team with any installation questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For installations on patios, decks and other hard surface, generally the turf can be placed down without special preparation.
PLEASE READ BEFORE INSTALLING!!!
Suggested Tools/Supplies: Shovels, rakes, contractor grading rake, weed weasel, sod roller, tamper broom, tape measure, marking pens (silver SharpieÂ®), hammer, trowel, PL brand glue, stone leveling base (4 lb./square-foot), weed barrier (enough to cover entire surface), sand or/other infill (2 lb./square-foot), sod staples, utility razor and hook blades, scissors, carpet seam roller, and duck billed scissors.
***More information on specific tools/supplies contained in the installation overview below.
1. Mark out that area where you intend to install your turf. Plan any boarders or fencing that you might use. Plan your installation so you have as few seams as possible. Generally turf comes in 15â€™ wide rolls and lengths up to 200â€™. It is important to remember that synthetic turf has a distinct grain pattern. For a professional installation, the turf can only be installed from side to side. Once you advise the dimensions of your project, we can advise the right amount and cut of turf.
2. Remove all grass, weeds, rocks, and other debris. Use shovels, rakes, or rent a gas powered sod cutter. You may consider hiring a local landscaper to prep the ground. Remove enough soil so the turf will lie even with the existing landscape, accounting for the rock aggregate leveling base that will be used in the next step. The amount of soil that needs to be removed depends on the condition of the ground. In very dry areas, where the ground is already firm, it is not necessary to remove a lot of soil. Use a sample of your turf to get an idea of how the turf will lay next to curbs or in walkways. Use a water-filled sod roller, tamper, and/or vibrating plate compactor to compact the ground. These items are usually available to rent at local supply centers. If necessary, you can spray a weed killer on the soil. Remember to cap sprinklers and turn off valves.
3. Once debris is removed, start compacting the ground. Once you are satisfied with the level of the ground you can apply the rock aggregate or stone dust leveling base. It is best to ask your local nursery or supply house what is best to use in your part of the country. Stores like Lowes or Home Depot sell the leveling base in 40 pound bags in the outdoor section. For larger area, it leveling base can be bought in bulk. The purpose of the leveling base is to create a compact, level surface for the turf to lie. About three to four pounds of leveling base per square foot should be sufficient. Distribute the base evenly using a contractorâ€™s leveling rake. You may have to use more in areas where the land is depressed to bring the level up. Always follow the natural slope of the land to ensure proper water drainage. It is important that there is a slight slope to allow water to flow in the proper direction. Using a sod roller (or gas powered compactor for larger areas) compacts the ground as you go. Use a tamper for edges and high spots. It is important to work the base until you are satisfied that the ground is firm and that thee are no high/low points on your surface.
4. Place a good quality weed barrier on the ground covering the entire surface. Make sure to overlap the seams and secure evenly with sod staples. A good quality fabric weed barrier can also be used as seaming backing (more information below).
5. Now you are ready to roll out your turf. Position the turf and roll as close as possible to its final position. You can make rough cuts to eliminate excess and to make it easier to position. Use a utility knife with a carpet blade for rough cuts and a good duck billed scissor for delicate cuts. It is a good idea to stretch out the turf and let it sit in the sun for an hour or two before making your final cuts or seaming.
6. Seeming, if done correctly, is not that difficult. However, you can consider using a local carpet installer to assist with this step. Pay attention to the grain pattern of the turf. The pieces to be seemed should follow the same grain direction. Make sure the edges match up without any gap. You may have to trim some fibers on either side to ensure a good seam. It is important to spend time on this step for a perfect stem. If you are already using a good fabric weed barrier, it can act as your seaming tape; apply the glue direction on the weed barrier. If you do not have quality weed barrier, purchase a 12â€ wide seaming tape and center it where the two pieces of turf meet. Fold back one side of the turf (about 18â€) and draw a line in the middle where the seam will be. A silver SharpieÂ® works best for this step. Then, fold back the other piece of turf and using good outdoor construction glue with a notched trowel make a generous bead down your line. Bring one side of the turf back down (the piece where the grain flows away from the seam) and then the other side. Mesh the fibers together with your fingers or use a carpet seam roller. You should practice joining the turf before applying glue. This process will work better with two or three people. Let the glue dry for 24 hours and be very careful not to walk on any seam.
7. Once your seams are finished make your final cuts. Making scallop or curved cuts along with decorative stone may make the job look more like a natural landscape. Once all of your cuts are made and the turf is in place, proceed to secure it with sod staples. One staple every two feet is sufficient. When hammering in the staples, move away the turf fibers with your fingers and nail into the rubber backing. Manipulate the fibers so the staples become invisible.
8. Next step is the infill. The purpose of the infill is to weigh down the turf and help to keep the turf fibers stabilized and keep the turf from getting matted. For residential applications a sand infill is recommended. Sand and turf should 100% dry as it is being applied. About two pounds of sand per square foot will suffice. Use bagged contractor grade sand. The first thing to do is sweep or power-broom the turf against the grain fibers. This will open up the turf fibers for the infill. Then distribute the sand evenly using a seed spreader. This can be found in supply stores and is relatively inexpensive. After about a third of the sand is dispensed sweep the turf again until the sand is not visible. Repeat until all of your sand is finished.
9. Now put the finished touches. Depending on the look of your surroundings you may consider some decorative stone, edging, or boarders to tie the turf to the existing landscape. Walk the perimeter of the grounds to make sure edges are secure.
10. Now enjoy your maintenance and money free lawn!