Installing synthetic artificial turf is a great way to save money on your water bill while keeping a lush, green lawn all year long. Artificial turf requires minimal maintenance and is fairly easy to install. This installation guide will walk you through the steps involved to enjoying your new waterless lawn.
Things to Keep in Mind While Installing
One of the most important steps in the installation of your artificial turf is the preparation of the base. You want to make sure you use the proper base material, that is compacted properly, and that it is relatively smooth and even.
Excavate the Area:
Remove 3"-4" of existing sod and/or dirt. Be sure to set a rough grade for drainage. If irrigation system is present, cap and/or remove any sprinklers.
Lay 3"-4" of either Class II Road Base or Decomposed Granite. Using a plate compactor, compact base to 90%. Be sure base surface is as level and smooth as possible. Create a slight grade for optimal drainage. (For Pets: Spread a layer of Turfresh on top of base at 1/2 lbs per sqft, and compact.
In order to prevent weeds from taking root and growing up through your artificial lawn, it is important to install a fabric weed barrier beneath the turf installation.
Install weed barrier (fabric), overlapping seams 6"-12". Secure to base with
20D nails or landscape staples.
*Optional: If an area where soil shifts or pump when saturated with water, install weed barrier underneath base. By installing the barrier beneath the base, materials on top will retain better compaction integrity should such soil conditions exist.
When the artificial turf is delivered, it will come in rolls. Being shipped and stored in this manner for a duration of time will cause the turf to hold an odd shape. This step is important in re-defining the memory of the turf and making it easier to work with.
How to Acclimate the Turf:
Turf should be rolled out at least 2 hours before installation. Exposure to the
sun as well as being laid out flat allows the artificial turf to acclimate, making it more flexible and easier to work with.
In this step, you will roughly position and trim the turf in preparation of final installation. This will give you a general idea as to how the sections of turf will lay out.
How to Position the Turf:
Remove all dirt and debris from surface of weed barrier prior to turf installation. Lay turf onto base and position where needed. When positioning, be sure to lay the turf pieces so the grain, or direction of the blades, on all pieces face in the same direction. This will help eliminate a patchy look and help hide seams.
How to Trim the Turf:
Using a razor knife, cut off salvage (the black and red part along the sides of the turf) - 3 stitches from the sides. Cut turf (cutting from the backside) to roughly fit in the desired area. It is a good idea to leave a bit of excess for any needed adjustments. This excess will be trimmed to fit during final positioning.
Once the turf is laid out and roughly cut to fit, it is time to begin securing it to the base, making final fitting trims, and connecting the different sections.
How to Fit, Tighten, & Secure the Turf:
Fasten one end of the turf with 40D nails, spaced 3"-4" apart. Stretch turf tight, and fasten with nails as you move across to the opposite end. Trim any perimeter edges to fit. Place a nail every 3"-4" along the perimeters and every 12"-24" throughout the field. Be careful to not drive the nails too deep, as this
will cause dips and divots. Also, avoid any blades or thatch catching under the nail heads.
How to Connect Turf Seams:
Where two pieces of turf meet, fasten together the seams using nails spaced 1"-2" apart. Seaming tape, such as Jiffy Seal, can also be used to secure seams. To apply seaming tape, apply tape lengthwise to bottom side of turf, leaving 3" stuck to turf and 3" hanging off. Lay turf back down (Tape should be sticky-side up - Do not peal away liner.) Secure opposite piece of turf to tape.
Be sure seams are tight and precise, and that the grain of your turf is all facing
in the same direction.
It is finally time to fill the turf with Turfill. This will give the turf weight as well as keep the blades of turf standing up.
How to Fill the Turf:
Once turf is tight and secure, power broom before in-filling to get the blades standing up as much as possible. Apply Turfill and/or Turfresh onto turf using a drop spreader. Apply in-fill as needed. If you don't have a spreader, shovels or wheel barrows can be used - Just be sure and spread the in-fill as evenly as possible. (Refer to product style for the amount of in-fill required)
Power broom again to spread the fill around and work it into the turf. Broom as much as needed to work in the in-fill and get the blades standing straight up.