How to lay artificial grass on decking
By Gavin Hall
Large area of decking makes the garden look bland
I remember watching those garden DIY programmes many years ago and there was always some decking added to the garden design. People now find that the decking layed all those years ago is starting to look grubby and uninviting.
As well as decking becoming grubby looking some people also have the problem of having too much decking in their back garden as you can see in this recent project we undertook (photo above). This simply makes your garden look too bland. A simple way to bring life back into your garden is to lay artificial grass on it.
The benefit of laying artificial grass directly on to decking is that it will save you money as you already have a flat, firm surface that should drain well if the steps below are followed. The more expensive alternative would be to rip out the decking, prepare the groundwork’s and then install the grass. Not something we believe is necessary as long as your decking is in good condition.
Here I will give you a tried and tested step-by-step guide on how to lay artificial grass on decking:
1. Prepare the decking
- Remove all garden furniture, plants, toys and anything else that has accumulated on it.
- Clean the decking with a scrubbing brush and water to remove any excess dirt, moss etc.
- If any decking is broken or rotten this will need to be replaced.
- If the decking hasn’t been treated recently we suggest you do this at this stage to maximize its life.
2. Install the underlay
Good underlay is a must to allow the grass to drain and to stop the decking showing through
If the boards of the decking have large grooves we will use an Artificial Grass Underlay. This will prevent the boards of the decking showing through the grass in the future. We have two options for an underlay.
– Foam Shock Underlay
The 20mm foam shock underlay that we currently use comes in large rolls so we simply roll it out to the edge of the decking and cut. We then allow it to settle for a few hours. Measure your decking first to make sure you order the correct length of underlay. It comes in rolls between 5 metres long and 20 metres. This Foam Shockpad Underlay has been designed to absorb weight placed upon it and is great if you have young children as it will soften any falls. The structure of it allows water to drain through it so there won’t be any puddling.
If you have dogs I wouldn’t suggest using underlay as it can potentially trap the urine and cause an odour.
We use a Paslode Nail Gun to finally secure the underlay to the decking boards.
– Marine Plywood
An alternative to Foam Shockpad underlay is Marine Ply (Plywood). When nailed directly on to the decking it will create a completely flat surface on which the artificial grass can be layed. It will be necessary to drill holes in the Marine Ply so water can drain through it.
3. Lay artificial grass on the decking
Lay the artificial grass on the underlay
To work out how much artificial grass you need take a look at this guide on measuring your garden. Once we have decided how much grass we need we roll out the artificial grass and let it rest for a few hours to flatten out.
We fit the artificial grass just like we would normally apart from one exception. To secure the grass in place we tack it around the edges with 40mm X 2.5mm Nails. We use nails instead of glue purely because if you want to remove the grass glue will tear away the decking along with the grass.
In this example we fitted the Grange grass but any of the grasses from our product range would be suitable to lay on decking but do make your final selection based on how it will be used. If you expect large footfall we recommend a grass with a short pile like the Outfield.
You may find that in the summer months when it is warmer the decking along with the artificial grass may move and a little puffing may occur. Do not worry, if this happens simply add some Kiln Sand to the grass and brush in. This will add some weight and flatten the grass back out.
A design tip: In our example above we wanted to give the garden some definition and to create some different areas so we left the bottom area as real grass and the top area as artificial grass.
It has taken me many years of hard work to be able to provide the type of artificial grass installation service we now offer. Because of the enduring attention to detail and the dedication of my team I am in the enviable position of receiving many requests from people all over the world looking for help with their artificial grass installations. Whilst this brings a huge smile to my face we are still only a relatively small family owned and run business with limited resources. We currently offer our services within Kent, South East London, Hertfordshire, Essex and parts of Surrey. Whilst I am happy to answer general questions in the comments section below from anyone it may take up to 1 week for me to get back to you. Please make sure you have read other readers questions and my answers first as your question may have already been asked.
Priority will be given to answering questions from people looking for Perfect Grass to fit and supply our own artificial grass products. Please fill out the quotation form or call us on 020 81664168
For others looking for a priority response to a specific question relating to their own installation a £50 consultation fee is charged. My goal is to respond within 48 hours in these circumstances. For this specific online assistance please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions. I often require photographs to accompany your question in order to provide the best answer.