How to install artificial grass on a slope

Fitting artificial grass on a slope

We have previously provided you with a general guide to installing artificial grass. Here we will guide you through installing artificial grass on a slope.

It can be very difficult to maintain real grass on a slope for a number of reasons: It can be difficult to cut with your lawn mower and general watering, weeding, hollow coring, fertilizing and all the other treatment real grass needs can be equally tough.

On the other hand if artificial grass is laid correctly on a slope it offers up the ideal solution to your real grass maintenance woes. Here I will show you how to install artificial grass on a slope taken from a recent installation Perfect Grass did in Maidstone, Kent

The 10 easy to follow steps are:

1. Clear area

Remove any grass and debris from the sloped area on which you want to lay your grass.

2. Lay hanging timbers

To hold the grass firmly in place and to stop it from sliding down the slope we install 4″ x 2″ Treated Timbers along the top of the bank. To keep these firmly in place we concrete them in.

3. Install timber around the perimiter

Having layed the hanging timbers we now place 3″ x 2″ Timbers around the rest of the perimeter as we do for a regular installation. In this example we also used these timbers to create boxes around our shrubs.

Wood around the perimiter

4. Add an even level of Type1

Try to get an even distribution of 2-3 inches of Type 1 Aggregates across the slope. Where the bank is very steep you will need to tamper it into the bank by hand. Not fun but worth it in the long run!

5. Apply granite dust

Apply approximately 1 inch of granite dust across the surface. We use a heavy piece of timber to bind the granite dust into place as no Wacker can be used.

Granite Dust

6. Now add the membrane

Place the Weed Membrane on top of the granite dust on a slope otherwise the aggregates will not bind to the bank and will simply slide down the hill.

Membrane added

7. Fit the artificial grass

Fit the artificail grass as normal. This isn’t easy when sliding down a bank!  My advice is to get the grass lined up and then heavily nail it into the fixing timber first so it won’t move.

Fitting artificial grass on a slope

8. Nail the joins

Once our joins are stuck in place we use Forgefix Galvanized Nails to keep the grass in place until the glue dries. This is important on a bank as the grass doesn’t always sit flat.

9. Heavily sand the grass

Once the grass is installed and nailed and tucked around the perimeter we sand it heavily with Kiln Sand to push the grass into the bank.

10. Powerbrush

The final step in the process is to Powerbrush the grass. A little maintenance will then be needed throughout the year to keep it in tip top condition.

Artificial Grass on a Slope Installed

If you have any further questions on installing artificial grass on a slope please leave them in the comments section below and I will answer them asap.

43 Comments

  1. I am putting a 15 x 45 strip of artificial turf in my side yard at a 30° slope on exposed bedrock so nailing Down to native Church is not possible. Do I need another way to a fix the turf in the middle?. Do I lay hangers along the sides as well or just tuck the turf in?

    • Hi Todd , I would definitely concrete in timbers all around , this make s a self contained area , which I would still add granite dust to if the underneath is sufficient as a sub base. The timbers must be well concreted in and they will stop any movement over time. regards

  2. How do you tackle installing artificial grass on a slope when you have a dog re placing the membrane on top of aggregate as advised here over placing it under the aggregate in your advice on laying a dog friendly lawn to prevent the smell of urine?

  3. Hi, thank you for your info, really helpful.
    We are going to lawn from the house wall out onto a patio, the garden has 2 terraces as on incline. Running parallel to the house is a 1.2m deep gully/pathway about 150mm deep. We need to raise this level to the patio level and then lay lawn across the whole area. We need to allow for the water draining, although doesn’t get flooded next to the house. Was thinking of plastic grids butted between house and brick base of patio, filled with perhaps pea shingles type 1, then type 1 to raise and level to patio (slabs to be lifted) height. Wondered your thoughts on this and also the cheapest and least labour intensive option. Cheers.

    • Hi it is very difficult to picture , however it sounds like a basic install instead of a patio. Why not concrete in timber fixings around the edge and simply fill with type one and then granite dust , if their is a drainage issue you could use a larger stone in the bottom or use 10 mm granite chippings rather than dust.

  4. Hi, I’ve installed artificial grass on a flat surface but I wanted to do a couple of small mounds in my front yard instead of just flat. Is there anything different I need to do? I can’t find any information about laying it on a mound, not just a hill side.

    • Hi there, firstly you must make the mounds stable. You can try and pack aggregates in to them and shape making sure they are firm, however it will depend on what use they will have and how steep they are.
      If they are steep and will get lots of footfall they may need to be made using concrete. I would put a fixing around the base to secure grass to. When fitting you will need to cut quite a few join lines down the seam and refit around the mound. You can pin at the base into your fixings.
      Finally I would use a lot of kiln sand to hold into place.
      Its a very very tricky job!
      regards

    • Hi Type 1 or Mot as its sometime known as , is a generally made of limestone or granite . The general idea is the different size stones bind together when compacted creating a firm sub base.
      Crushed concrete , I generally avoid as it can be far to dusty with not enough variations of stone size and doesn’t bind as well.regards

      • Hi Gavin
        Can I back fill soil on top of existing lawn to make sloped lawn level and then correctly lay artificial grass?

        • Hi yes to a certain extent, however moved soil has a lot of air in, which in turn will fill with water and sink …so compact heavily. I always prefer more type one or even crushed stone.
          regards

  5. The artificial turf in my backyard is starting to slide. It looks like cooled hot lava. I checked the ground underneath it and they didn’t put down a membrane and the soil seems an awful loose. Light and lacking substance. Not what I would think you’d want you have for a strong foundation. Any suggestions on how I can fix it? I was thinking of taking up section by section. Following the steps with the granite, membrane and nails. Please advise PS it’s on a 45% angle

    • Hi there, firstly I’d ring the ‘herberts’ that installed it originally and get them back round to have a look!
      I am currently in the middle of a job with a 45 degree slope. It is very time consuming and also important to get the ground works right.
      There must be a heavily concreted in hanging timber at the top, which will not only stop the slide it will make it easier to fit.
      This is the only occasion I put the membrane on the top of the aggregates so they don’t simply slide off and they grip with the substrate. The base is the same make up as always Type 1 and granite dust however it is extremely difficult to compact using a wacka, so this needs to be done by hand using the bottom of a rake or a hand tamper.
      When the surface is ready, simply roll the grass out and attach to the timber using 1 inch nails, you can then fit this as normal. I always heavily sand the grass on a bank with kiln sand to hold in place.
      Personally I think you will really struggle to take the grass out and start again as the grass won’t fit the second time in exactly the same way.
      regards

      • Thank you so much for the advice. I noticed the existing turf is not fitting back as it was. Any reason why this occurs? Also I noticed upon closed examination they failed to use any timber where its required. The turf is made up of 8′ x 4′ rhombus shaped sections with living shrubs are where a 4′ x 4′ wood supports should be. Am I correct or way off the beaten path? There’s nothing to tie into. Is it worth me trying to fix it? Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge

        • Hi there, the grass won’t fit back as the ground underneath has moved due to insufficient groundworks. The grass areas are quite small so there is no reason why it couldn’t be taken out and correct groundworks put in place. When you re-do the groundworks make each area slighter smaller than the grass then you can fit the grass as new. Please refer to our install techniques pages for how it should be done properly!
          good luck.

  6. Great information! We have a snake shaped footpath cutting diagonally up through the centre of the very sloped backyard, so putting a long straight length of concreted sleepers in isn’t an option. Should we concrete in short sleepers that change direction to follow the stairs, or could we concrete in say a timber stump (roughly 6″ diameter) in every metre or so, to nail the grass in? (We have rock hard clay so digging is near impossible!) Thanks!

    • Hi not really sure what you mean, you won’t be able to cut sleepers into smaller pieces as they are very tricky to cut. May I suggest using maybe 4 by 2 timbers, extremely heavily concreted in to create the shape before filling with aggregates. Regards

  7. Hi Gavin,

    I’m looking to install around 12-15m2 worth of artificial. But our garden is on bit of a incline from the house upwards.

    Also we are planning on having cotsworld stone around the edge of the grass along the face and patio.
    Is it worth having a timber edging around the area to hold the stone in place and have a better look with the artificial grass once it’s done or does it not matter either way.

    Also if one part of the garden is higher than the other where the artificial grass will be going, would this result in digging down a lot more so it’s more at a level and building up so everywhere is at the same height for example the patio

    Thanks
    Scott

    • Hi yes we always concrete in a 3 /2 timber frame it will define the edges and leave a clean finish , as well keeping the base in place and stop dipping. You would either need to dig the high end down more or simply raise the lower area up by have a retainer in the lower end ie a sleeper and build upward.
      regards

  8. Hi
    Just wanted some advice please, I’ve arranged for someone to lay artificial grass on a slope 23 ft by 10 ft. He is raking the soil to try and create a smooth surface but hasn’t mentioned using type 1 or granite dust. He is planning on laying the membrane and then the artificial grass. Is this ok in your opinion or would we envisage any problems? Please could you advice?

    • Hi there , it sounds like one of the worst installs ever! Do not let this person touch your grass as once its laid and cut you have wasted your money.
      The grass will slide down the slope, it will look awful as the soil moves and lumps and bumps appear. The grass needs proper groundworks under it.
      A fixing timber is always concreted in around the edge but this is more important on a slope as the top timber will act as a hanging timber and stop the grass from moving down the bank.
      Aggregates like type 1 packed in to the bank will prevent dipping and the granite on top will create a long lasting surface to fit the grass on.
      regards

  9. Hi Gavin
    Thank you for a really helpful article.
    I am planning on laying artificial turf on a bank that is set at 55 degrees. I was wondering if it would be worthwhile installing a grid of plastic cells inside my wooden frame/hanging timbers and filling them with Type 1 followed by a 1″ skim of tamped granite dust to provide stability. Also, can you advise if I should think about installing drainage at the base of the bank to deal with any run-off?

    • Hi there yes that is certainly an idea and would work as long as they can’t move. I personally believe that will enable better drainage so any more at the bottom wouldn’t be needed.
      regards

  10. Thank you this has been really informative as we are doing this ourselves as a DIY product but want to achieve a really good finish.

  11. Hi is there any other base you can use besides granite dust I’m having difficulty finding anywhere that sells it up my way there is granite sand but I’m not sure if that’s the same?

  12. Hi we have covered an area of Tarmac which is on a slight slope but dirt runs down on to edge when it rains heavily. It looks terrible any ideas to sort this problem would be grateful.

  13. Hi, thanks very much for being so informative! Can I just ask, why granite dust and not soft sand? I’m assuming granite dust probably binds better and holds onto the slope?? Just that my lawn area is only a slight slope.

    • Hi there, yes exactly that, granite binds together to form a rock hard surface however it is still porous, so water can escape. It doesn’t mater if it’s a slope or not sand simply does not provide the right surface to lay on and it will simply get washed away over time.
      regards

    • Hi this bank totalled nearly 250 sqm if I remember correctly. It will all depend on access. To save costs the owner of this house hired a dumper and piled all our aggregates up at the top of the slope, and it didn’t need digging out.
      I personally think you would be looking to pay around £75 per sqm inc vat as they are really very tricky to do.
      That’s if they are actually feasible projects.
      regards

  14. Hi I bought used football field turf on smaller sections such as 20’x7′. I was planning on using lawn staplers. Will those not work?

    • Hi no these will not work, if they are in small bits and you wish to join them together you will need joining tape and glue.
      However, it will look like a patchwork quilt and working with second hand grass is a big no no.

    • Hi the most important consideration is to concrete in ‘hanging timbers’ otherwise the grass will move.
      We use 4 x 2 treated timbers and heavily concrete these in along the top of the slope allowing for a small gap between the timber and the top wall/fence etc so we can get a tuck in when fitting the grass.
      Once these timbers have set we nail the grass into them to avoid any movement.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.