How to fit your artificial grass lawn
By Gavin Hall
We are now at the third and final stage of laying an artificial grass lawn. This stage will show you how we fit artificial grass on top of the groundworks.
We have shown how to choose artificial grass, and gone through the steps of how we install the groundworks. All that is left for us to do now is show you how we fit an artificial grass lawn. The way we fit artificial grass has been has been learned through 15 years of installing lawns and guarantees a long lasting, flat surface.
Here is how we do it:
We decide the best direction to lay your grass
Firstly we need to decide whether to lay the grass length ways or across the lawn. Apart from being very heavy and difficult to move my main decision is based on the layout of the lawn I want to cover. I always try and lay the grass in as small a pieces as possible i.e. if the lawn is 11m x 6m I lay three 4m x 6m sections rather than a 4m x 11m and 2m x 11m section as the joins are smaller and easier to butt together.
Make sure the pile is going the right way
Rolls of artificial grass will have a slight nap to them as they have been tightly packed for a period of time. This nap will go after a few months as the sun lifts up the fibres. However, to get the lawn looking great from the start we make sure that the nap is running towards the best view point e.g. If you are looking out on your lawn through the living room window (see above photo) we want to look into the pile of the grass and not the flat back.
Aclimatise the artificial grass
Like us going on summer holiday to a hot climate we take a day or two to aclimatise and get used to the new weather conditions. Well, believe it or not artificial grass is no different. To prevent it from creasing or wrinkling we lay it on top of the groundworks for at least 12 hours before starting to fix it down.
Cutting and fixing the grass in place
I take the first roll of artificial grass and unroll it into position in the chosen direction. I use roof-fitting Stanley blades to reduce the grass to size allowing at least 10cm extra all the way round the perimeter edges (not the joining side) before we start to make the final cuts. We always cut against the lip or fence rather than from directly above. I have plenty of Stanley blades on hand as they are easily blunted. Once the sides have been cut I make sure it is fixed in place by nailing it on to the hidden timbers using a bolster chisel and a nail gun with small headed nails. I do this so that should we ever need to lift the grass it will be easier.
Joining the artificial grass together
Seaming (joining) is a very important process in getting a perfect looking lawn as we do not wish to see the join. To join two pieces of grass together I firstly make sure that the two pieces of grass I am joining have perfectly straight edges. To get these perfect edges I go in two seam lines on the artificial grass and cut down the line on both pieces I am intending to join together. I then lift the flap back on both pieces of grass and lay a piece of joining tape (shiny side down) along the underside of both pieces of grass I want to join. I put 5 or 6 nails down the joining tape so it doesn’t blow away when it is getting glued. Now for the tricky bit. With a base as flat as a Tesco’s car park and well cut seams I am able to butt up with no problem. To check the seams I pull the unfixed piece of grass up to the fixed piece and line them up. Once I am happy they are in line I run my thumb down between the 2 pieces making sure they are just touching but not overlapping. I recently grassed the roof of Selfridges and I put in 13 joins in a day and you could not point out where they were!
The way we join allows this part of the lawn to be very strong. To get this strong join I lift the flaps of the grass back and run 2 good lines of glue down either side where they meet.
I then gradually start butting the grass up going from one end to the other. I always nail my joins using 4-inch nails as this holds the grass down whilst the glue sets and stops any moving of the join.
Sometimes areas of the artificial grass will require a top dressing if the grass slightly’ puffs’ from the base. We use kiln sand (a very dry sand) on these areas. For the majority of lawns I simply give them a good brush with a power brush to make the grass stand up and we are finished. The sand can be simply shaken and rubbed in with your hands to the required areas and once brushed, lightly hose the area with water to add more weight and to remove any surface sand.
Tools I often use in fitting artificial grass
- Joining tape
- Stanley knife with hooked roofing blades
- Power brush
- Nail gun
- 4-inch and 1-inch galvanised nails
- Kiln sand
Hopefully by seeing how we fit an artificial grass lawn will give you an idea of the work involved in such a task and why you will find professional companies like ours are happy to explain step by step how we do it. If you would like us to provide a free quotation please fill out this form. Any questions about this article please leave them in the comments section below.