If you have ever seen an amature installation of artificial turf, you easily understand why it is best left to the professionals. If all of the necessary steps are not followed and performed in a professional way, or if the necessary tools are not used to complete the installation of the fake grass, then it will typically end up with seams showing, look loose and baggy, have waves or ridges, and generally look like a green carpet that has been thrown on the ground. On the other hand, a professional artificial turf installation will look tight and smooth, just the way that real grass looks only without the hassles of mowing and watering. While it may appear easy on the surface (“you just roll out the artificial grass and you are done, right?”) it is actually far more work than most people are willing to do, and takes a lot more expertise than you probably realize. Our customers usually just watch as we install artificial turf from their homes, taking note of some of the things we do to make sure the installation is perfect while never giving it much thought. Other customers are interested in how the process is actually accomplished, so for those who are interested here is how artificial turf is installed.
Prepare the area.
The first thing we need to do is prepare the area that we are going to install the artificial grass into. This is going to require removing the top 3 or 4 inches of sod and all of the plants that we can remove. If the plants are not removed from the area, they can create uneven surfaces even after they die, let alone while they are alive. We don’t necessarily have to grade the surface perfectly at this point, but we will pat it down and walk around it to remove any obvious high spots. We will tamp down any loose soil, and attempt to create slight grades in the area for appropriate drainage.
Plan for drainage.
In Las Vegas, we do not get a lot of rain however our soil is generally very poor draining. This creates issues of pooling and damage if it is not compensated for. The materials that are installed under the artificial turf do provide a drainage gap, but there are many times when we will need to create a drainage plan and system that will be installed in order to compensate for the rain that we get.
Install the perimeter border.
Where the artificial grass meets concrete, pavers or different surfaces, we install a border that will be waterproof. This border will usually be plastic or sometimes a concrete curb. Each job is different, and the materials used for this application will be chosen based on the best material for that job.
Install the weed barrier.
A professional installation of artificial grass will always include a weed barrier. This material will prevent weeds from growing through the fake grass over time, as well as preventing earthworm damage.
Install the base material.
At this point, we will install 3 to 4 inches of a composite material like crushed rock or decomposed granite which will prevent slumping over time and will also improve drainage. We will use 1 cubic yard for every 100 feet, and if the surface is too hard we may also use a shock material like shredded rubber. The material is compacted and graded using levels in order to get a 2-3% slope (a 2 to 3 foot drop per 100 feet.) This base is moistened and compacted using professional compacting tools and equipment.
Install the artificial turf.
Once the base has been compacted and has dried, we will roll out the artificial turf (using the correct lining up of pieces to avoid grass laying in different directions and looking un-natural) and the pieces are cut so as to fit together perfectly. A carpet stretcher is utilized to stretch and smooth the artificial grass, and the seams are then joined using a turf glue. The edges are then staked to the ground to avoid shrinkage over time and to keep the area from coming away from curbing.
In order to keep the blades of grass standing, an infill needs to be sprinkled into the grass. This can be made of many different materials like washed silica sand or black crumb rubber, and will be chosen to provide the best results for your installation. There are products which are used to reduce pet urine odors as well as some that provide better cushioning.
Brush and water.
In between infill applications, we will use a power broom to “bloom” the grass, which makes it stand up nicer. After this has been performed we will water the lawn to settle down any infill, then clean the area using blowers or other instruments after it has appropriately dried.
This is the necessary installation procedure to accomplish an artificial lawn that keeps looking good year after year. If you are interested in artificial grass at your home, we urge you not to attempt it yourself unless you have the experience and equipment. Contact us today for a free estimate on your artificial grass installation.