Last Updated Sep 14, 2018 · Written by Rob Schneider
Installing artificial grass can be a DIY project, but if you want good results, you have to do it right. There are eight steps to follow to install artificial grass and installing it on pavers requires other steps.
The first step is to choose the type of artificial grass you want to use. There are three basic types:
Artificial grass comes in dozens of sizes and colours. Today's artificial turf can look like natural grass with some having different colours and a leaf structure that is identical to the real thing. It comes in lengths from 16mm putting green or play area grass to 20mm, 35 or up to 40mm lengths. Some artificial grass even has some brown leaves to resemble dead growth. Different suppliers will have different types of artificial grass, so compare their products before choosing grass for your lawn.
When choosing artificial grass, consider these three things:
Synthetic grass costs between $20 and $30 per square metre to buy. It may cost more if you get premium quality. Remember to buy extra because you will have to trim the excess both across the length of the grass and on the edges. If the area is not square or rectangular, there will be even more waste. Most installers add 15 percent to the size of the area to account for waste.
Let's say you are covering an area of 55 square metres. An extra 15 percent brings the area to 62 metres. At $20 per square metre, the cost will be around $1240. At $30 per square metre, the cost will be around $1860 plus the other supplies you need. GST will also factor into the cost. That will still cost significantly less than having the artificial grass professionally laid.
Excavation is the first step. The surface should be excavated to approximately 80-100mm below the surface. All weeds should be removed and the surface should be flat. You may even want to apply weed killer to make sure weeds don't pop up later.
The next step is to pour crushed rock to a depth of about 50mm. After the crushed rock is installed, smooth it across the surface and compact it. A vibrating plate will compact the rock best, but you can also hand tap the crushed rock. The important thing is that the rock be firmly in place. The crushed rock will help with drainage and give the artificial grass a solid surface.
Crusher dust is available from most artificial grass suppliers. Apply 30-40mm of this over the crushed rock and smooth it down and compact it.
Now start laying the synthetic grass. Lay the first length across the area and pin it down with 150mm long nails or 100mm U pins about 250mm apart. Doing this will ensure the grass stays in place as you apply more lengths of artificial grass.
Artificial grass suppliers can also supply you with special tape for joining the edges of the artificial grass. This is an important step and must be done correctly to get an even look. The grass should be flush together throughout the full length and to make sure it stays in place, secure more nails or U pins to the next row of grass.
As you lay rows of artificial grass, make sure the fibres are all facing the same way. This will make the grass look smooth and natural.
You might notice height differences in the artificial grass. This is easily fixed by using a utility knife to cut longer pieces of grass to the correct length.
The final step is to apply silica sand to the surface. Work it into the grass using a special synthetic turf rake or a push broom. The idea is to work the sand into the grass, but not have any sand showing when you're done.
If you are laying a large area, it won't be a weekend project. How Much Does Synthetic Grass Cost? covers the cost of the grass and the cost of having it professionally laid.
Artificial grass can be laid over pavers or concrete and you may even want to lay it on steps. Whether it's on dirt, pavers or concrete, it's best to buy quality turf. It will last longer and look more pleasing.
If you're laying the turf over pavers or concrete, the first step is to make sure you have a smooth surface. If there are gaps between the pavers, the grass will become lumpy. Fill gaps in pavers or cracks in concrete with quick-drying cement and smooth the surface.
You will need to glue the grass to the surface. Special glues are available. Apply the glue in strips, one length at a time. Each length of grass should butt next to the other and remember to lay them in the same direction for a smooth finish. When you're done, don't walk on the grass until the glue has had time to dry.
If you have cement steps, artificial grass can give you a good surface to walk on and will look better than plain cement. Follow the steps outlined above and remember not to walk on the steps until the glue has dried completely.
When the glue has dried, brush the surface of the grass. This will make it stand up straight and remove dirt that has gathered in the grass.
Artificial grass costs more than natural turf, but over the course of time, maybe less expensive. It doesn't require watering or mowing and is easy to maintain. Here are some things to remember:
If you have a dog, artificial grass may be better for it than natural grass. For one thing, the dog won't leave dirty paw prints in your house. They can also roll in the grass without attracting fleas or ticks, which don't thrive in artificial grass. If the dog makes a mess, it's easy to clean up and won't leave a brown spot in the grass.
Artificial grass looks natural and is easy to maintain. It's the perfect choice for many homes and you won't regret the extra cost when you discover how easy it is to keep your lawn looking beautiful.