With homeowners increasingly turning to artificial grass, Marshalls offers some installation advice and winter tips.
The growing popularity of artificial grass is no surprise; homeowners and landlords are looking for ways to make gardens low maintenance, and it is an easy way to have a picture-perfect outdoor space all year round. With advances in quality in recent years too, we’re also seeing more people choose to use natural-looking artificial turf alongside real grass. It is particularly popular in family gardens, where a section of artificial lawn works well in a play area to reduce the amount of mud and grass stains. If you’re looking for some advice on installing artificial grass, keep reading for our step-by-step guide. And, if you’re adding it to a garden during winter, for tips to ensure a quality finish.
How to install artificial grass
- Clearing the area
If you’re replacing a natural lawn, start by digging out the turf down to about 100mm to ensure that the finished product doesn’t stand unnaturally tall over surrounding paved areas. To edge the area, use a tantalised timber frame and secure it with timber batons or use a concrete edging block/restraint with an internal concrete haunch of approximately 100mm.
- Preparing the base
A sub-base (graded to MOT Type 1) underneath the turf promotes proper drainage and provides a solid foundation to lay the grass onto. Make sure you remember the geotextile membrane underneath to prevent the sub-base from sinking into the soil below. Cover the area with the sub-base and compact in two layers to a 70-75mm depth.
- Levelling off
Spread a layer of sharp sand to about 20mm depth, smooth out evenly across the sub-base and press it down using a compactor or hammer and plank.
- Weeding out
Roll out sheets of weed membrane over the sub-base as a bedding layer to prevent weeds from growing and help with drainage. Aim for around 30cm of overlap between sheets of weed membrane.
5. Roll out the lawn
Roll out the grass making sure the pile is facing towards you or the main viewpoint, allowing 5cm of extra grass on all sides. To give a more natural appearance, avoid lining up the ends of the rolls exactly.
6. Cutting and tidying
Unroll the grass, take a craft knife and trim the rough edges away from the grass rolls. Place the grass rolls neatly together, so nothing shows from underneath. We’d recommend cutting through the latex backing cloth and not the grass itself as this will get very messy; run the knife next to the stitch lines but avoiding cutting into the stitching where possible.
7. Glue together
Remove 2-5 rows of stitches from both adjoining rolls of grass using a Stanley knife. Fold the edges back and lay jointing tape, with the shiny side laid face down. If using Marshalls Always Green lawn, then apply the artificial grass glue with a cartridge gun onto the jointing tape in a zig-zag pattern, making sure each roll of grass has at least 5cm of adhesive in contact with the tape. Hold the grass back and press down on the tape to spread the adhesive. Try to keep the blades of grass from getting onto the glue.
8. Pinning it down
If you’re using a timber frame, secure the grass to it with pan head screws every 150-200mm, or glue the grass to the horizontal concrete haunch of the edging block. If not, use a hammer to bash in the ground pins 20-30cm apart around the edges. Brush these edges to disguise the appearance of the pins in the ground.
9. Sweeping success
Once the glue is dried, sweep off the surface with a broom to cast off loose blades of grass and dirt. Infill the grass using silica sand and either a power or a stiff brush, ensuring your brushstrokes direct into the pile. Evenly distribute the sand so that no excess appears on the surface of the turf. Leave it to settle and cure for 1-2 hours – more if it’s cold – before walking on it.
Tips for installing artificial grass in winter
When it’s colder, artificial grass with a latex backing can become more rigid, which means that creases and ripples might not flatten as easily as they would in warmer weather. Here are our top 5 tips for winter installation:
- Keep the grass as warm as possible before you install it – ideally in a heated garage or conservatory
- Aim to lay the grass on a sunny day if possible
- Roll the grass out and lie in situ as soon as possible on installation day, giving time for more minor creases to drop out
- If you find more significant creases or ripples, pour hot (not boiling) water onto them to help flatten
- Fix the grass once the roll is flat, with no ripples or ridges
Why is artificial grass a good option for your customers?
– It’s a low maintenance choice – swap the mowing for brushing to keep it looking healthy
– It’s weatherproof, so it looks good all year round, and there’s no mud to contend with
– It’s safe for pets; hose down regularly to prevent odours
For further information on artificial grass from Marshalls visit marshalls.co.uk