This is a DIY guide for individuals who wish to install artificial turf. This guide is broken down into four sections; getting started, preparation, installation, and care! The guide may seem a bit overwhelming at first glance, but artificial turf installation can be very simple if you follow some basic instructions! If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact us at any time at the following email address Sales@turffactorydirect.comor by phone at 1-800-496-3092, 706-260-6875, or 706-847-2297.
The guide is for individuals or contractors wishing to self-install artificial turf. Turf Factory Direct makes no representations or warranties regarding the following installation information. The guide is to show DIY methods and the best way to install your artificial turf. It is not intended for certain types of specialized turfs, and results are guaranteed!
For best results, the best time to install your artificial turf is at when the temperature is close to 50 degrees Fahrenheit and above.
The following list of tools may be needed during your artificial turf installation:
A shovel, hoe, wheelbarrow, sod cutter, measuring tape, spray paint or chalk line, landscape rake, plate compactor or vibratory, hand roller or plate tamp, trowel carpet cutting knives or razor knife, trimming shears, roof flashing tape or other seaming solution, carpet kicker, and nailer boards or Pole-Barn Nails. Most local home improvement stores can rent these to you or you may wish to rent power tools to make the job easier and more efficient.
When determining the size you need, keep in mind most artificial turf comes in 15 foot widths (occasionally 12 ft widths if specified) and up to 100 feet in length. To fill larger areas, artificial turf can be seamed, but the idea is to have the least amount of seams possible. To get the amount of square footage that you will need, multiply your length times your width at the widest point in the space you want to cover. So let’s say you have a yard that is 30 feet wide at its widest point, and 60 feet long. 30X60=1800 sq ft. Since most rolls come in 15 foot lengths, the most efficient and best way to tackle your project is to purchase two 15 foot rolls that are 60 feet long for best results; you may want to consult with your Turf Factory Direct consultant about the best way to lay out your project.
Turf usually weighs about a ½ pound per sq ft. So, to get your total weight you should take your sq footage and divide it in half. So using the example above, if you are receiving 1800 sq ft- divide 1800/2 = 900lbs. Since artificial turf comes on carpet rolls, unless otherwise specified, the turf will always come in 15’ widths.
Bordering is an important aspect of the installation process because this is where your turf will line up with your other landscape to make your turf have a nice appearance. Some customers/installers have used decorative rock, mulch, trek boards, nailer boards, or bender boards. The bordering aspect is totally up to the customer, so you can use your imagination and get creative.
*If you are going to install around trees, bushes, or any utilities such as light poles and air conditioning units, you must mark around these areas in order to account for the turf edges. You should allow a 6” radius area uncovered around the bases of any tree, bushes, and structures.
Artificial turf is directional. You must note the direction of the fibers on your rolls. Once you have made the decision about how you like the fibers to run, you must continue to run the fibers of the seamed pieces in the same direction. If you DO NOT lay the turf fibers going in the same directional pattern, it will become an eye sore. This is a very important installation note to make sure the appearance of your turf is the BEST!
Measuring and Outline:
Measure the width and length of each area by using irrigation flags or landscape stakes. Then use spray paint or chalk to mark your turf rolls. Note the direction you have decided to lay the turf when you did your planning.
Utilizing a sod cutter, hoe, or shovel to cut grass, sod or any other unwanted vegetation from your marked areas, remove sod or any other topsoil that is currently in your project area. Also, remove any large rocks or roots that are unwanted. The typical depth of a sod cutter is set at 2-3 inches, however, in colder regions of the country, you may need to excavate up to 4 inches due to the need for more base material to address cold weather ground expansion and contraction. Your sales rep can give you advice based on your location.
With a landscape rake, rough grade your turf application areas, and then use a garden hose to lightly water the areas. Next compact the area with a plate compactor or a heavy drum roller. Keep making passes over the project area until you have ensured that your compaction is acceptable. 80-90% compaction is recommended.
Once the ground is completely cleared, it is a good idea to apply a week killer and a grass blocker to the area. Additionally, some customers/installers like to use a weed barrier material. Cut the material to fill the area and use sod staples to hold it in place.
Once the area has been cleared and the weed killer is applied, it is time to install your selected edging. As discussed above in the Boarding section,
The purpose of the base material is to provide drainage. The base allows the turf to drain up to 12 inches of water per hour in most cases. In most artificial turf installations the best base to use is a ¾” down to a ¼” crushed drain rock. These rocks can be found at your local rock yards and may have several names. You do not want to use a well-rounded rock like most pea gravels, as they will not compact well. Some common names for the base rock material are crushed stone, breeze rock, chat decomposed granite (DG), crushed fine gravel, Class 2 Aggregate or Class 2 Road base.
Tip: Home owners and pet facilities have experienced faster and better drainage of dog urine in order to reduce odor with a ¾” rock.
Sub-base heights may vary from climate to climate, and from project to project. A 4” base is the standard recommended base; however in some arid climates the sub-base may be as low as 2”. In colder climates, a deeper base of 4” will most likely be needed to aid in the expansion and contraction of the ground due to freezing weather.
As a general rule of thumb, 1 TON (2,000 LBS) of rock base will cover approximately 100 sq ft. of artificial turf a 2” sub base. If you need a 4” base, you need 4000 LBS. Spread the sub base material around your project area evenly as possible, you may want to use the back of a bow rake or similar tool.
Using a sod roller or plate compactor, you will lightly compact the sub-base up to 90%. The goal is to have the sub-base as smooth as possible, yet solid when walked upon. You may have to wet the area in order to get the best compaction. You will need to compact the areas to meet your needs. If you have an area with a depression you will add a small amount of screening or stone dust material until compacted level. You should compact the area and fill any depressions in the sub base as best you can to give the best appearance one the turf is applied. Keep in mind, you may have to repeat this process several times to get the best results, however, it doesn’t have to be perfect for your turf to look great!
Now that you have prepared the area, you are ready to install!! Roll the turf over a clean, flat surface. Also, if you have an additional piece of turf to install or a seam to make, make sure the turf fibers are going in the same direction!
*TIP*It will beneficial to allow the turf to lie out in the sun for a couple of hours before installation. This allows the fibers to begin to stand upright and relax from being rolled up and will also allow any wrinkles to settle in the backing.
Once relaxed, lay your turf accordingly and for areas that will have seams, cut off the un-tufted edge or one roll and lay it to the base in your intended direction then lay your next artificial turf roll adjacent to the first one and overlap one edge of the adjacent roll on top of the first artificial roll with the trimmed edge.
Whether it is a winding path or an existing new or old border, the artificial turf can be custom cut to fit your yard. You will need a carpet cutting knife or a razor knife. Most contractors mark the back of the turf with a marker pen where they decide they are going to make their cut. Once this is accomplished, you can roll the turf back and custom cut the turf with your carpet knife. With the area’s that are overlapping, trim the overlapped roll to match the first roll that you trimmed. Your cuts should leave the two pieces as close as possible with actually touching. Then, you can trim the turf to match your edges around the borders.
For those artificial grass projects requiring seaming, this can be a very crucial part of the installation. Remember to trim the un-tufted edge off once of your rolls. By now, your base should be completed and your turf rolled out onto the base. Now, mark the areas where your seam will be with chalk. Place the seam tape down on chalk lines where you will have the seams. Nail in two of the 6” galvanized nails at the end of the seam tape to hold it in place. Next, you will prepare the turf by cutting both edges of the rolls to be seamed. 1 gallon of glue will seam about 20-25 feet for landscape applications. Roll out seam tape the whole length of the seam. Apply tar or adhesive. Apply edges of each turf roll edges, lying in same direction. Hint – Do not overlap the grass or leave a gap, otherwise the joins will be visible. Add weight down the length of the seam or use a heavy roller. The drying time for adhesives will vary
*Tip*using 6” 60D galvanized nails! Other acceptable options are: landscape spikes, sod staples, and timber spikes.
Secure the perimeter with your 6” inch galvanized nails every 6-10 inches around the edges is one option, but there are a few other options as well. For securing turf in areas that are curved, typically you would excavate a really narrow trench around the perimeter so that you can then bury the edges of the artificial grass and then you can backfill it with base material, decorative rock, mulch, straw or other product.
You can use Nailer Board when you are installing next to asphalt or concrete. Simply use concrete nails to secure the Nailer Board and then the artificial grass can be nailed to the Nailer Board using a nail.
Using a leaf blower, broom or plastic rake you can quickly clean up the area and this also helps agitate the blades of artificial grass helping the stand up better.
Infill Optional: Discuss this with your sales representative.
This manual is intended for Infill with Artificial Turfs.
Brush or comb the turf with your desired tool such as a push broom, backside of rake or carpet comb. Apply the infill EVENLY EVERYWHERE one layer at a time using either a drop spreader or a broadcasting spreader. Take your time, pay attention to how much area you are covering with one or two bags of sand. You should walk at a CONSISTENT speed and adjust speed depending on how fast the sand is falling out of your spreader. For hard to reach or small areas such as corners or against walls where a spreader cannot reach, you can hand spread these areas. Brush or comb again, repeat these two steps until you are out of sand/rubber bags or have reached your desired level of infill.
In the event of any uneven areas of infill that the broom or comb cannot fix easily, use a leaf blower about 3 inches from this area and the infill will quickly disperse. Feel free to level out any other areas especially corners and walls with the blower also. Once you are happy with your infill and brushing, generously hose the entire project area down evenly. Consider this the last self-leveling step. You will be able to manipulate the infill once its dry again, which may take a few days.
Tip:(1-2 Pounds per sq ft) in order to help weigh the turf down as well as help keep the turf from matting down from high traffic areas. After turf material installation is complete and glue/seams are set, make sure the sand/rubber you buy is dry and that your turf is dry when applying the sand/rubber.
WARNING: DO NOT INFILL while the infill material or artificial turf is wet; wait for dry ideal conditions. This is so the infill will NOT clump up on you while trying to complete the project.
Although artificial grass is virtually maintenance free, you will need to care for your lawn in the following ways to help maximize the life span or your artificial lawn:
Typically, you will use a push broom if you do not have a rake or blower to care for your artificial turf. You should blow off or rake your grass once per month to maximize its look, (OR AS NEEDED) but this is not required for all projects. Once every 3 months the artificial grass should be brushed with a push broom against the grain to help eliminate any debris and dust as well as stabilize the fibers.
Water can be used to spray and clean up after any spills. You may also try a mild detergent. This also works well with pet odors. Additionally, in areas where the temperature is over 100 degrees, water should be used to cool off the grass for children if the grass gets too hot. However, the shade areas of the turf will be always be cool enough for play.