Artificial grass is becoming increasingly popular in the UK due to its low maintenance and looks. The grasses of yesteryear always looked like fake grass and the colour was never anything like real grass on this planet. The low maintenance of the artificial grass is practically zero a simple sweep occasionally will be about as much required. For this reason alone makes the grass a popular choice for the elderly or busy families. Most artificials are kid friendly and feel great to walk on. So we have made this guide “how to lay artificial grass” to assist you.
Choosing the grass-
There are many types of artificial grasses available with various heights and colour scheme each have their own benefits but essentially I think come down to personal choice and budget. Have a look in your local flooring shop as this style of ground covering is becoming mainstream for many flooring retailers. Have a feel and walk on the material and ask questions. You can even purchase the “fake” grass online at a decent price.
Remove existing grass-
Most people will have existing grass in place that they are looking to replace. But if you are starting with a blank slate then skip this step. Dig up all turf and dispose of then pull any deep-rooted weeds that missed the first dig. Also have a scan over and remove any rocks or stones that will cause you problem down the line.
Always ensure you put a weed barrier down before any work is started as you do not want weeds and unwanted plants peeking up from underneath. The membranes cost very little from garden stores or even some supermarkets sell them. Use a Stanley knife to cut this barrier once installed in place and hold it down with something heavy if it is a windy day.
Get a thin sand to lay over your membrane just a small layer until you have a solid base to work to. Be sure to cover all the membrane and ensure it is level. If you don't then it will be next to impossible to level off later. Make sure you compact the sand solid all over as this will aid drainage and make it less likely the grass will move.
Create a smooth surface-
Once the above is done you will need to lay another sand layer around 1-2 cm thick of sharp sand. Again make sure it is level you can use a board to help by dragging it over the top. This will smooth the surface and create a good base to lay on. You can even lay a shock absorbing layer if required after this stage as well but it is not a necessity if fitting in one piece. If joins need sticking or you want to fully stick the material you will need a shock absorbing material. Here is a good article addressing questions on the shock reducing material.
Laying the turf-
Ensure you lay the grass aligned perfectly really spend time getting this right. If you don't you can have gaps appear or buckling later on down the line. Some grasses are supplied with a grassless border you will need to trim this off for the finished article. Once the turf is out and in place do not cut anything off yet check the manufactures acclimatising times. This will allow the material to shrink or grow as is needed and settle to its final resting place. After it has settled adequately get your trusty Stanley knife again and trim to your desired size.
Apply silica sand-
I would always recommend the use of a silica sand layer over the turf once finished. Use a stiff brush and broom to layer the sand evenly and then you are free to give the turf a rinse off to remove any leftover mess from installation.
Then simply sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labours...