How To Correctly Secure Your Artificial Grass
With summer finally upon us, now is the perfect time to install that artificial lawn that you have been dreaming of for years and talking about for months. And with our top tips on how to correctly secure your artificial grass to any surface, you can avoid the most common errors that many DIY gardeners make, and create the perfect outdoor entertainment area for a summer of fun.
Thanks to advances in technology and manufacturing processes, artificial turf has never been so easy to install and, while it still requires a certain level of skill to lay it on soil, concrete, wooden decking, or paved areas, anyone can have a go. It’s the most versatile landscaping material available on the UK market today and, whether you are using it to create an evergreen lawn, a children’s playground, or a rooftop terrace, our installation advice will help you realise your landscaping goals.
Choosing The Right Artificial Grass For Your Garden
Like most things in life, there are good and not so good when it comes to fake grass, and while it can be tempting to go for a cheaper product to save money, it could end it costing you more in the long run. You can expect to pay anywhere between £10 and £30 per m2 for artificial grass, and the more you pay, the better it is likely to be, but that doesn’t mean that you have to spend a fortune. If you buy superior artificial grass on offer, you can save up to 50 per cent, and landscape your garden for less.
But budget is not the only thing to consider when choosing the right artificial grass for your garden. Think about things such as feel, durability, and weather-resistance. Does it feel soft against the skin? Is it durable enough for your pets and children to run around on? Is it UV resistant and pre-punched for drainage?
You may love the idea of an artificial lawn with long, luxurious fibres, but if it is going to get a lot of traffic, under a kids playground, for example, you might be better with a shorter pile that will require less brushing. Consider these points before buying imitation grass, and if you are still not sure what is right for your garden, ask your local artificial grass company for advice.
Tools Of The Trade: What You’ll Need to Fix and Secure Artificial Grass
Now you have found the perfect synthetic grass for your outdoor space you can get down to the nitty-gritty of installing it. Here’s what you’ll need to complete the job at hand:
Sufficient astroturf (if you are not sure how to measure this, speak to your local supplier)
A retractable knife and spare blades
Tape measure/spirit level
Knee pads and gloves
Artificial grass joint adhesive and tape
Stiff broom or Power brush
Carpet kicker or stretcher (optional)
Skip (for garden waste)
The Six Stages of Artificial Lawn Installation
You can install artificial grass in just six simple stages. It is easier to install on warm sunny days when the backing is more pliable and less likely to crease, but as good weather is something that we can never rely on here in the UK, we have plenty of tips to help you install it professionally on any day of the year.
Stage 1: Excavation
The success of smooth synthetic grass is solid foundations. Start by removing your existing turf (if applicable), and excavate approximately 80mm below the level of your new lawn to allow plenty of room for the weed membranes and aggregate.
Stage 2: Weed Membrane 1
Install the first layer of artificial grass weed membrane, pinning it as close to your fence, paving, or framework as possible.
Stage 3: Lay the Sub-Base
Add 70mm of aggregate such as compacted ash to create the perfect base for you imitation grass. If you are landscaping a larger area, we recommend hiring a roller or compacter to compress the sub- base and create a smooth, even surface. They are relatively inexpensive to hire and will save you a lot of work in the long run.
Stage 4: Weed Membrane 2
Apply a second layer of weed membrane directly on top of the aggregate, securing it in place around the edges to create an impenetrable seal. Now that the ground is prepared, you can begin with artificial grass installation.
Stage 5: Install Artificial Grass
Roll out your synthetic grass, and take a moment to study the pile direction. As it comes in rolls, the pile will always lean in one direction, but this will remedy itself within a few weeks. Most people prefer to have the grass pile facing towards the house, but there are no rules, it is all down to personal preference.
You will, most likely, use more than one roll of imitation grass, so we recommend rolling everything out to ensure that the pile runs in the same direction. Weather and time permitting, leave your artificial turf to settle for a couple of hours, or even overnight if you are confident that it is not going to rain. Settling helps remove creases and makes astroturf easier to install.
If you don’t have time to let the astroturf settle, you might want to use a carpet kicker or stretcher to help with installation, although extreme care should be taken not to overstretch the fake grass or tear it.
With your artificial grass rolled out, you can begin to trim it around obstacles such as corners and steps, leaving a generous margin of around 5cm for any final adjustments. We recommend using a sharp retractable knife and cutting through the backing of turf, rather than through the grass fibres, to give it a smooth and neat finish.
Top Tips On Securing Joins
Unless you have a long angular garden, chances are, you will have to join two or more pieces of artificial grass together. To do this, you’ll need your retractable knife, joining tape, and synthetic turf adhesive.
1. Start by positioning the two pieces together to create a ‘dry’ join
2. Fold back the two pieces securing them with weights if necessary, and apply the joining tape, shiny side down, between them.
3. Using a cartridge gun, apply Aqua Bond artificial grass joint adhesive onto the joining tape and use a spreader to create a level covering.
4. Fold the two pieces of astroturf back down onto the glue-covered joining tape, and press firmly into place, making sure not to get the grass fibres stuck onto the adhesive.
5. Ruffle the grass fibres together to disguise the joined area, and leave for at least two hours to dry.
Fixing Artificial Grass Edges Into Place
With your turf secured and your joins joined, you can finalise the installation process by sealing the edges of your artificial grass with galvanised U-pins. If there are still creases in the grass at this stage, stretch it out as much as you can, using a carpet kicker if necessary, and secure it around the perimeter with U-pins.
Use as many rust-resistant U-pins as necessary to prevent the edges from lifting, positioning them at regular intervals across the lawn. As a guide, you should expect to use around 100 U-pins per 10m2. Take extra care when fixing areas that you have joined, using extra U-pins here if required. By stretching and securing the edges of your artificial grass into place, you’ll create a smart and professional finish, while ensuring it sticks firmly to the perimeter.
If you are laying imitation grass onto a solid surface, use adhesive rather than U-pins to secure it. When using Aqua Bond or similar, use as much as you need to create a tight seal, but try to avoid covering drainage holes wherever possible.
Stage 6: Power Brushing
With your artificial grass secured, the only thing you have to do now is brush it to get all the blades standing upright. You can use a standard garden broom to do this, although power brushes are relatively inexpensive and they are perfect for the job. Once brushed, check the perimeter to see if any final U-pins are needed, before sitting back and admiring your handiwork.
Artificial Grass Aftercare
It can take anywhere from 6-8 weeks for your synthetic lawn to settle, so keep an eye on it, and if you see any edges lifting or joins moving apart, address them immediately with adhesive or U-pins.
With no need to water, weed, or mow, artificial grass is low maintenance. To keep it looking it’s best, we recommend raking it regularly with a plastic rake to remove leaves and debris, brushing it weekly with a stiff brush or power brush, and hosing it down occasionally to remove pollen and dust. If you have dogs that pee in your garden, wash it down more often with a homemade solution of white vinegar and water or an artificial grass disinfectant to keep odours at bay.
For more information on securing your artificial grass, get in touch with the professionals at Artificial Super Grass. We’re always happy to help our customers with tips and advice, and we’d love to be of service to you today.