There are many pitfalls to look out for when installing artificial grass. With our 16 years experience in fitting grass we have experienced many issues and found some great ways to deal with them.
Here I will show you 12 biggest of the biggest artificial grass installation problems that we have come across and ways to resolve them.
1. Do your research
Unfortunately there are many unscrupulous artificial grass installation companies operating in the UK who claim to be specialists with little or no knowledge of what they are doing and what may look like a good job for the first few weeks will soon deteriorate.
Some companies are offering standard and premium installations. Ask what is the difference and why would you need a premium installation if the standard is good enough. If the grass is installed properly there should be no need for 2 types of installation. Here are some other points to look out for when choosing an installation company
Perfect Grass posts all of its installations on its Facebook page as a reference for our customers.
2. Install a solid sub base
Although not visible when the grass is installed a good sub base is vital. It stops the grass sinking, bumps appearing in the lawn and it helps with drainage. It will also give you a great looking lawn that will last for many years.
3. Install a membrane
Installing a good membrane like the Pro-Tec 125gsm Gold-Line stops weeds growing through the grass. If you have pets always install the membrane on the bottom. Installing it on the top causes trapped urine.
4. Products available to improve smell
You don’t have to live with a bad smelling lawn if trapped urine is a problem. We offer a unique artificial grass dog wee sand that can remove the smell of urine. At the time of writing we are the only company in the UK that offers this product and we find it is the best performer of all the products we have tested. We have tried and tested many other products that claim to reduce the smell but what most do is simply cover the smell so you get a combination of dog wee and flowers! See the other products we have tried and tested here.
5. Prevent moss build up
There are a few maintenance tasks that you need to perform in order to keep your grass moss free. I suggest you use a leaf blower like the Stihl BG86 once a week to clear leaves and debris from the grass and then a pressure washer like the Karcher K2 Pressure Washer to wash away the moss. Other advice on maintaining your lawn can be found here.
6. Reduce the amount of weeds
Anyone who sells an artificial grass lawn as totally weed free is not telling the truth. You will get weeds occasionally on the pile however the deeper the sub base and the better the membrane the less often weeds will grow. The most susceptible area for for weeds to encroach are around the edges of the lawn. Fixings timbers (see below) will reduce this significantly. You can also use Weedol Weed Killer. This product should be used when first installing the groundworks for the new lawn to clear as many weeds as possible before laying the artificial grass.
7. Use fixings around the perimeter
You would be amazed at how many companies don’t fix the grass properly. This can cause the grass to lift at the edges and will not only look awful but will become a trip hazard. See how we install our perimeter fixings
8. Erect your new fence now
So many people ask me to put in a lawn when their fence is falling down. I suggest you sort this out beforehand. We run timbers inside the line so it is easier to replace but many companies don’t.
9. Look at your drainage
I always ask about drainage on quoting as a poorly draining lawn will lead to pools of water accumulating every time it rains. It may be necessary to dig a small area one foot deep by 6 foot wide and fill it with rubble. If the drainage is sorted out early it will not be an issue in the future. I’ve seen inexperienced companies skimming a wet clay lawn and simply putting an inch of granite dust down. I have also seen them look at an area in the summer months saying that the ground is firm enough without needing Type 1 aggregate. Well it might be firm enough in the summer months when it hasn’t rained and the ground has compacted but what will it be like in the winter when it does rain! Although cutting corners will save money it is a recipe for disaster. For areas with more severe drainage issues a large sunken tank may be used.
10. Make sure your grass is joined properly
There is always a chance you will see a feint line on a joint especially if the joint runs across the lawn. If the grass is joined well you will not see the joint when you stand over the grass. This is simply the light bouncing off the fibres that have been pushed together. Take a look at our guide on how to join your grass properly.
However if the grass is not joined well it will be noticed from wherever you are looking. Trying to correct this at a later stage will be very difficult and expensive to correct. Many of the bad joining techniques I have seen involve laying timber down the join or even using cable ties.
11. What grass are you using and how is it made
Look at grass samples first to make sure you are happy with what your grass will look like. You will be amazed that there are still lots of grasses on the market that don’t look real. Take a look at our artificial grass products which are some of the most realistic looking and modern artificial grasses available. Check the permeability of the grass (which is the rate at which water will drain through the grass). Make sure it is toxin free especially if you have pets and young children. We never use rubber crumb infill with our grasses. This has been in the media a lot over the last few years and is generally used on sports fields.
12. How do I deal with possible burn marks and other mishaps?
Our grass is very resistant to heat but many are not. Even so if burning coals are left on the grass for any amount of time (as from a BBQ) the grass will mark. We always leave a 2sqm replacement section of grass for the customer should this ever happen.
Being aware of these pitfalls will give you a good chance of choosing the right installation company. As I have said there are many companies claiming to be good artificial grass installers when in reality they are far from it. So get it right the first time to avoid expensive corrections in the future.
I have put together a selection of detailed guides on how we go about installing artificial grass on many different surfaces from decking to concrete and in different locations from balconies to roof tops. These guides will highlight the different steps that we take when fitting grass and show that we have learn’t to adapt our techniques accordingly.
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.