1. Mark off the area
Mark off the area where you wish to install artificial turf with an outdoor spray can marker. Try to design your layout with as few seams as possible.
2. Clear the area
Clear the area by removing any debris or grass. Do it yourself or hire a landscape company to do it for you. Remove approximately 2” to 3” of soil to build a sub base. Pitch the base in the direction that allows best water drainage run-off. Once the sub base and artificial turf are installed, make sure to have the edges on an even level with the natural landscape.
3. Cap Sprinklers
Cap Sprinklers. Turn off valves.
4. Compact the ground
Compact remaining ground to firm it up. Vibrating plate compactors are available for rent at most equipment rental centers.
5. Remove weeds
Spray weed and grass killer and place a mesh weed barrier down. Weed barrier usually not necessary in desert.
6. Add Rock Aggregate
To reduce settling, it is very important to ensure the sub-base is completely dry before laying any rock aggregate. This also ensures proper compaction for the surface. Once dry, add a top layer of rock aggregate of 1/4” size or less to make sure there is no rock palpable through the artificial turf. The purpose of the rock layer is to firm and level your base. 1" -3" of base is usually enough, although in some areas of the country where soil is especially unstable you may need up to 5” of base material; just ask a local expert like a nursery, landscape center, or rock yard if you are not sure. Using more than 3” of base material means more soil needs to be excavated.
7. Spread base and compact
Spread the sub base material then compact, repeat. Use the vibrating plate compactor again.
8. Add fine sand base
Top Based Sand. Layer fine sand approximately 1/8" on the surface to make it more level. 50 lb. bags of "play sand" are available at large home improvement stores for a low cost and are perfect for turf projects. You may also use a water-filled (250 lb) sod roller for an even more level surface. You can rent these for very little cost.
9. Check surface
Check surface for dips or holes. Depression areas 1/8" - 1/4" or deeper should be filled-in and re-leveled. Turf also drains vertically through the drainage holes that are manufactured in the fake grass; however it is still advisable to give the sub-base a slight slope, to avoid any water pooling.
10. Position Turf
Unroll and position the turf. Place the turf in the marked off area being as accurate as possible. Do not drag the turf.
11. Cut Turf
Cut the turf. Removing excess material makes it easier to work with. Use a very sharp utility blade and make sure the turf is still positioned where it goes. Make sure turf is directly over the layered base.
12. Make seams
Seams must be made where two pieces of turf come together and are less noticeable than that of thin pile carpet. Local carpet installers can help you for a few hours with this process. Seams can be glued together with any outdoor carpet glue and 12” wide seaming tape. The seaming tape should be cut to the length of the seam where it joins. Lay the turf the way you want it prior to gluing to ensure it fits tightly. Pattern of turf stitching on bottom side must run in the same direction before the two pieces are adhered. Both sides must be pulled back in order to install the seam tape. Be sure to trim and straighten edges prior to adhering. Lay the seam tape down on the base directly between the two pieces of turf that are to be joined and apply gluing compound to the entire piece of seam tape with a notched trowel. Place one side of the turf in the middle of the tape (approximately 6”) to the center of the tape. Lay the other side of the turf over the middle of the seam tape to match up exactly to the turf that has just been adhered to the tape. Mesh the fibers together with fingers or brush. Glue should be given 24 hours to fully dry.
13. Infill Preparation
Once glue has dried, trim the turf to fit your marked area. Nailing the perimeter every 1-2 feet with 40-60d nails (4-6 inch length) will help keep the turf stable during infill process. In preparation, rake or power broom the turf in the opposite direction that it is laying on the roll. This will allow the infill material to infiltrate the turf rapidly and prevent turf blades from getting trapped underneath.
14. Apply infill
It is not required but we recommend that proper infill be used with all products to enhance performance, especially in high traffic areas. A standard seed drop spreader with either sand or crumb rubber can be used to infill. This helps to weigh the turf down and stabilize the fibers so as to help avoid "matting". Sand is the least expensive and the most commonly used infill. Rubber is more shock absorbent than sand and it is advisable to have at least the top half in rubber infill. You want to calculate the amount of infill in advance, as you will want to leave 5/8” (+/- 1/8”) of grass blade exposed. As a general rule of thumb, approximately 1 ½ pounds of sand equals ½ inch of infill height. For a crumb rubber infill, use a 10-20 mesh rubber with approximately 1 pound of rubber per sq ft for every 1/2” of infill height. Depending upon the pile height of the product the infill combination varies (ask your salesperson). Spread the infill in several passes. As you spread the infill you should make one entire pass on the surface then sweep it down into the fibers, repeating the process until all of your infill has been spread.
15. Edging for the Lawn
You may want to install some type of edging material around your new synthetic lawn. Examples are stone, rock borders, metal and plastic edging are popular.
Disclaimer on Artificial Lawn Installation No representations or warranties are made regarding the information contained here within and/or in any other ATS literature. There are many factors involved with artificial lawn installation including materials used, installation techniques, environmental conditions, etc. that vary for each particular installation site or area.