Once you have completed the preparation stage which includes measuring how much artificial grass you need, installing appropriate drainage (if necessary) and removing the natural grass layer, you will be ready to install your artificial grass lawn. This article outlines the steps you should follow to help you to get the job done right, from laying the base, connecting joints and preventing weed growth.
Lay Gravel Base followed by Sharp Sand
If required, use treated timber/timber stakes to put in an area frame. We recommend 4 X 2 inches of tantalised treated timber for heavy clay soil areas and poorly draining areas and 2 X 2 inches of tantalised timber for good draining areas. Screw these timbers to the stakes leaving the stakes on the inside of the perimeter. Should the Artificial Grass meet a concrete path, wall or decking, position the timber flush with the surface height and by using 10mm temporary fillet, pack the timber close to the wall leaving the space to enable you to tuck the Artificial Grass between the timber and the adjoining material at a later stage.
Position the stakes against the inner perimeter timber edging and hammer in to the ground ensuring the stakes are slightly lower than the timber edging. Next screw the timber stake to the timber edging.
With heavy clay soils we recommend laying a crushed stone surface of up to 3 inches. This will not be necessary for the majority of areas and only required if you have a high water table where the ground holds water for a long period of time after it rains. Next compact the ground using a vibrating plate that can be hired from an equipment hire company. Ensure the perimeter is compacted and below the timber edging by 1 inch. Infill the perimeter with sharp sand and level using a rake. Ensure the sand is level to the top of the timber edging and compact again.
For good drainage areas spread a layer of sharp sand to blind over the soil. Next compact the ground using a vibrating plate that can be hired from an equipment hire company. Ensure the perimeter is compacted and level with the timber edging.
If you put more work in at this stage, your Artificial Grass Lawn will look better as a result.
Weed Control Layer
Apply the weed control geo textile membrane and cut as necessary. Tack using small 1 inch galvanised clout nails to the timber edging. This weed control geo textile membrane prevents any chance of weed growth through the artificial grass drainage holes.
Roll out Artificial Grass
Lay the Artificial Grass in the desired direction working on the carpet and not on the levelled base. Ensure the carpet is positioned to minimise cuts, joints and waste overlaying the timber edging by a minimum of 4 inches. If the artificial lawn meets a path or edge, and if you have laid the timber edging correctly as previously described, then the artificial grass can be wedged between. If joining, please ensure that the artificial grass is laid with the pile running in the same direction on each piece. Lay the carpet on top of the sand as opposed to dragging it across the base material. To help stop wrinkles or creasing it is advisable to allow 2 to 3 hours to settle before continuing with jointing and adhesive. Cut grass to shape using a sharp Dolphin or Stanley knife or scissors.
When jointing your outdoor carpet together, ensure the pile runs in the same direction. Cut off manufacturer’s edge strip (if present) and butt two edges together ensuring there are no gaps greater than 1mm between the two carpet edges. The accuracy of this will determine how visible the join is after the completion. Fold back edges and position jointing tape (smooth side down) so that the edges of the carpet meet the tape when joined.
a) Apply the cartridge adhesive in a zig zag motion onto the rougher side of the tape allowing one cartridge for every 3 linear metres. Turn down carpet and press both edges into the wet adhesive, ensuring each piece marries up and has no overlap. As you are doing this with your fingers, mix the fibres together to conceal the join. Once the whole length is in place and you are happy with its appearance it is necessary to walk along the join several times to activate the glue and bond the grass to the tape. Weigh down the seam to ensure good contact with the glue until it cures. The more care taken with the operation the neater and tidier the joint will be.
b) If using the 2-component multi-purpose adhesive, ensure thorough mixing of the two components before use. Apply adhesive to the rough side of the tape and spread evenly across a width of at least 20cm using if possible a notched trowel. Sufficient adhesive should be applied so that when the artificial grass carpet is pressed into the adhesive, a transfer over the carpet backing is complete. Turn down carpet and press both edges into the wet adhesive, ensuring each piece marries up and has no overlap. Make sure the carpet does not crest at the seam and is holding flat over the bonded area. Once the whole length is in place and you are happy with its appearance it is necessary to walk along the join several times to activate the glue and bond the grass to the tape. Weight the seam to ensure good contact with the glue until it cures. The more care taken with the operation the neater and tidier the joint will be.
While you should endeavour not to put adhesive onto the carpet small amounts of glue can be removed from the artificial grass fibre using White Spirit and a small off cut of the artificial grass. Small amounts of cured glue can usually be removed. To avoid this situation and the possibility of damage to the artificial grass, care and precautions should be taken to avoid contact with the fibres at all times.
When the artificial grass has been jointed and glued and you are happy with the levels screw the grass to the timber perimeter framework using galvanised screws at a minimum of 12 inch intervals.
Spread Sand (Optional, depending on Grass Selected)
When the artificial grass has been laid use silica sand, which is kiln dried and brush into carpet as you go. Each product could have sand infill but this is only used to stabilise the carpet and at no time should the sand be visible. You must obtain an even spread over the surface using a brush to build up the depth in layers. Do not apply the sand in one application. Brush sand into pile immediately after laying while the artificial grass is dry and while weather is good. Brush vigorously against the fibres of the carpet pile to encourage the tufts to stand upright. Putting the correct amount of sand in helps hold the artificial grass to bed down, protects the fibres and also keeps them standing to give it the look of real grass.
Once the hard work has been done, you can sit back and relax in the knowledge that your artificial grass lawn will look great and require minimal maintenance.