How to solve the 12 biggest artificial grass installation problems

Solving artificial grass installation problems

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

Before having artificial grass installed I suggest you get a good understanding on what makes a good artificial grass installation and what artificial grass options  are available.

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. Please take a look and I hope you find what you are looking for.

Should you have any further questions please leave your comment below. For a free quotation please fill out the free quotation form

279 Comments

  1. We have a real problem with worm casts on our lawn and cast suppressant doesn’t seem to help. We are thinking of replacing the lawn with artificial grass. What is our best shot at stopping the casts coming through the artificial grass? Is it thick membrane? Any ideas?
    Thanks

    • Hi there, the only way is with a well installed base i.e. Membrane on the bottom which puts a barrier between the worms and the aggregate. Secondly make sure the lawn has substantial fixings around the edges, we use concreted in timbers this stops the edges of the lawn being pushed up by the worms. Regards

    • Hi gavin

      I am looking to get artificial grass fitted and have had a company round to give me a price. They look a decent company although on inspection of the photos of previous grass they have fitted you can notice the join line were the 2 piles are joined. Is this normal as it takes the look away from a good job?

    • Hi we’ve got the same problem . Just put weed membrane down, and they are still there, but not leaving any casts? I. Think a sub base is absolutely necessary as I’ve only put the membrane down on top of. Soil ! ? Still don’t know what to do without spending a fortune on base materials

      • Hi , if you lay the grass with simply a membrane and fine aggregate and lift it after 6 months , there will be no fine aggregate as worms will drag down into the soil. By putting the membrane on the bottom and using heavily compacted type one this prevents this , a long with fixings around the perimeter . regards

  2. Hi,
    Is there a way to join end to end where the seams are vertical?
    Every video I see the seams are side by side.

    I have laid the grass but can’t seem to get the line to go! Maybe i need to cut more off as it was the end?

    • Hi there, we call them header joins and it is something to be avoided at all costs. The most important part of the install is working out how to lay the grass and any decent company should help you with this. The reason we don’t join across the seams is because it is physically impossible to do invisibly, you can get away with 6-10 inches if this can save buying a new 2m piece, but we also point this out to the customer that it will leave a feint line. Regards

  3. Hi – just completed groundworks for artificial grass relaying, previous owners used loads (c 4 tonnes) of sharp sand in a 35sqm area that had gradually sunk over the years.

    Weve removed all of the sand to find a pretty uneven MOT1 base, so have rebased this with 2.5 tons approx 50mm deep over the top which levelled it nicely then installed weed membrane. Then added Grano dust over the top, both layers compacted well enough with a whacker.

    Since then, we didn’t lay the grass as i had some sleepers to lay beforehand and its rained a lot. The grano dust now puddles a lot and takes a while to drain through, also even though compacted well, the grano appears to be loose on top..

    Any ideas, the install went well however since then its rained a fair bit and now concerned for the stability of the install pre grass laying and the associated drainage.
    The previous grass layed appeared to drain ok but with the huge amount of sand had clearly moved over time.

    • Hi there, the membrane in between the granno and type one is the problem and needs to come out. This stops the two binding and gripping, once you have done this re-compact and screed. Don’t forget the grass will drip feed the water through so it will dissipate into the base rather than be flooded when its exposed. Regards

  4. Hi, We have a decked balcony and have laid artificial grass – it looks great, but it takes forever to dry after a downpour or watering the potted plants Is this because the decking is too flat – we only recently moved into the flat and asked the contractors to come and look at tihe decking – they drilled a few extra holes in it, but it hasn’t made much of a difference – we laid the grass directly onto the decking – should we have put something between grass and wood deck?

    • Hi there, unfortunately it seems as if the water can not escape from between the grass and the deck. It may need some more drainage holes in this if the deck boards are to tight together. Regards

      • Hi Gavin, I have installed the artificial lawn all correctly. Now I’m on the sand fill. I split the areas up to 1msq and filled area will measured 6kg of sand but I struggling to get the lumps to get the lumps out of the infill sand and smooth it out with a stiff broom head. I tried to spread the sand out so evenly but I’m walking across and can feel lumps and uneven areas of infill sand then I’ll brush them out. Then I find more. I feel I’ve gone over the top to get the sand level but when I watch videos they just throw the sand around and broom it. I haven’t wet the lawn yet as I wanted to find and smooth any piles of sand out before hand. Or will this watering help settle the sand?
        Am I trying to get it too much like a pool table surface or should you not feel little lumps of infill sand?

        • Hi there unfortunately this is the issue with using top dress sand, we try to avoid nowadays because of this reason and only use if there is any puffing. My advice would be to use a leaf blower and try and blow the excess sand out. It will settle over time but there is no quick fix. Regards

      • Hi Gavin,
        When my artificial grass was installed a month or so ago the seam line was perfect and married up to each other. I noticed today that it has shrunk slightly and there is a now a small gap. Is this normal? Should I be worried? Can it be repaired?

        • Hi there, no this isn’t normal and you should call the installation company to ask them to remedy. This could be caused by the glue not taking, or not enough being used. Another reason maybe the ground around the join has moved and is putting pressure on the join. We always push joins in as closely as possible and say maximum gap variation should not exceed 10mm. This will not self repair and needs fixings and if they can not remedy it needs relaying. Regards

  5. Hi Gavin,
    I’m looking for a way to lay artificial grass over a decking frame that I have in my garden. I’m new to the DIY scene so was wondering if you could give some advice please. The top of the frame is a few inches above the concrete floor below, what would you suggest laying over it to then cover with the artificial grass? I’ve seen comments about marine ply, would that work and how can I ensure the grass drains correctly? Thanks in advance!

      • Hi there Gavin,

        We are currently in the process of installing our grass (our weed membrane has just been laid on top of the base), however we haven’t installed any type 1 before laying the sharp sand and compacting it. What are the risks of not using Type 1 and just laying down the sand?

        Thanks in advance.

        • Hi there , unfortunately what you have actually done will be a complete waste of time. If you lift the grass in 6 months time there will be no sand left underneath as the worms will take it down in to the soil. The type one is so important as it slows the process of sinking and dipping down , what you will find is your lawn will look in a pretty sad state in a years time . My advice would be before you fit the grass to put a proper base in , so the grass looks good for a long time coming. regards

      • Hi Gavin,

        My husband and I discovered an ant colony underneath some garden stones we were trying to remove to level out our dirt backyard. We have a thriving California oak tree and are unsure if we should install the grass on top of the ant colony or get rid of the pests.

  6. Hello there we have recently laid our own artificial grass, we didn’t realise on the pile direction and wish we had done it the other way to what we have laid it as it looks so much better from the bottom of our garden rather then the top! Can we change the pile direction ourselves or can we re lay it? Even though it has been nailed dow man and there is join which has also been stuck down. Really gutted as spent so much money but we didn’t realise.

    • Hi there unfortunately there are no second chances as it will be impossible to move around 180 degrees and refit as it would have already been cut to size.
      Depending on the grass type and how soft the fibres are you may be able to brush over the top on a hot day then you wont know which way it has been laid. regards

    • We are going to lay artificial grass ourselves to an area 6M x 2M. We are new to all of this and really want to try to lay it properly as can’t afford to have it installed professionally.

      Currently we just have red limestone chippings in this space. We have a child and are planning on having a small trampoline on the area. We also have a dog who will likely urinate on the grass.
      I have read that the first layer type 1 can be limestone chippings. (Apparantly better to use this if you have pets? ) So can the current chippings we have be left and used as our type 1? Can we use a plate compacter on top of the stones? They seem so big I feel as if it wouldn’t be right having them underneath but what I’m reading it seems to be ok to use them?

      Can you also advise me exactly what order you should do the steps in?

      This is what I’ve worked out from reading online ..

      1. Level out soil
      2. Lay weed membrane
      2. Limestone chippings 50mm depth
      3. Sharp sand or granite dust
      4. Lay grass

      Is this the correct order?

      • Hi there, firstly you should be looking for a depth of 2-3 inches for the sub base, the chippings that are there, are fine to use, as long as they are angular in shape (non round) so they will bind together and not move. If these are not low enough, or deep enough, or have an existing membrane under, you may wish to rake this and pile to one side, then continue to remove soil so you have 3-4 inches to your finished level.
        Weed membrane goes in next, then re-introduce the angular chippings, if you don’t have enough, top up with type one to a depth of 3 inches. We always put in fixings which solve any issues around the edge , we prefer concreted in 3/2 timbers or a concrete haunch to attach the grass too (these must be set to where the grass will finish level wise). Then simply top the area up with granite dust if you can source, the area needs compacting several times at each stage, before screeding smooth. Regards

        • That’s great thank you,
          So is it 2-3 inches of the chippings and then how many inches of granite dust on top of that? Will the dog urine etc still drain through the granite dust ok?

          By the timber do you mean put it in so that it’s level with the ground then lay the grass over it and nail it into the timber? So that it hides the timber?
          We have two edges that Will have no border but the other edges of the area have concrete edging kerb type thing around it.

          Thanks again

          • Hi there, yes 2-3 inches of chippings, 1 inch of granite dust. The dog wee will drain through, however you do need to add a product occasionally to the grass as this still holds the ammonia in the urine. The timber is concreted around the edge, just below the lip of the defining level so the grass can go on to it and be attached. You will need to have this all round the edge especially where there is a border otherwise the base will not be self contained. Regards

          • Thanks that’s great. Our limestone chippings are quite big some of them are about 3.5 cm and it’s all just the big stones so I thought that might not work as they might not compact together well? When I look at others who have used it it’s as if the limestones are not proper dry chippings it looks more like it’s mixed in with dirt or sand stuff.
            I hope I make sense

  7. Hi there, We had our artificial grass installed and the groundwork under neath was all completed correctly as far as i am aware. However we have just purchased a small plastic shed and i was wondering would i be able to put the shed on top of the artificial grass – or would i be able to use the plastic click bases on top of the grass with the shed then on top of that? Thanks

  8. Hi there, Fantastic info!
    I have recently begun a raised deck over sloping ground at the back of my garden. Framing is done but I haven’t started laying any decking boards yet. Could I lay artificial grass instead? If so, is there a preferable or cheaper surface I might lay underneath the grass and any underlay required?

    • Hi you can lay the grass on the deck, however I would use marine ply instead of boards and drill plenty of drainage hole in it. You wouldn’t need any underlay as its nice and smooth. regards

  9. We are thinking of laying artificial grass ourselves and wondered if its possible and how do you attach a washing rotary airier, the base go into the ground then the airier slots into it, what would be the best way of doing this with artificial grass?

    • Hi there , you would simply concrete in the metal pole so its at the desired level, then simply cut the grass around the pole and stick to the concrete around the lip .regards

      • Hi Gavin,

        I’m thinking of putting artificial grass to my balcony. The pile height of the grass I like is 30mm but my door once open has a gap of about 1inch btw the bottom of the door and the decking. Do you think the door would still open ok? So the grass will just get sweep under through the flap as the door opens?
        In addition, my balcony has decking, gaps btw decking are fairly small -0.5cm or so. Surface is flat. Can the artificial grass simply be laid on top without any additional material?

        Thanks

        • Hi yes it can be simply fitted on top of the decking , however over time the grooves will start to appear due to footfall. My advice would be to get a samples of the grass you wish to fit and place it under the door and see if it opens easily. Regards

      • Hi Gavin,

        I’ve just completed installation of my artificial grass (30mm) and have used dried kiln sand as the grass infill. The threads are standing up well however when stood on the grass and looking down at my feet the sand is visible. At an angle it isn’t visible so I’m wondering if this is normal, or whether the sand will disperse more/ become less visible over time?

        I followed a number of tutorials and stuck to roughly 4-5kg per square meter, and have brushed thoroughly with a stiff brush so what is left doesn’t seem like its going to move around much. No sand comes up when walking on it with bare foot so it doesn’t seem overly loose in the threads.

        Any advice much appreciated,
        Thanks,
        Jamie

        • Hi there , this is very common so don’t worry . Unless you actually put this on with a good spreader this will occur , the best ways to reduce the lumps is to use a leaf blower when dry and blast out or alternatively use a hose to shift . This will obviously settle down over time and not cause any issues. regards

  10. Hi Gavin,

    We have had our grass down for 2 years now but we have noticed the edges and front of the grass had gone white just on the tips. Any advice on what has caused this and how we could get them back green please?

    • Hi there I would call the installer or company you purchased the grass from . This will need replacing under the warranty as the product is faulty as its bleaching in the sun. regards

      • Hi Gavin,

        Thank you for your reply we are having trouble getting hold of the man who installed it, he charged me a lot of money. Have you any advice who we could contact or what we should do now? As we don’t even know where he get the grass from.

        Thank you.

        • Hi unfortunately this is happening a lot as there are so many people getting involved in the installation and they are simply not qualified to do so. The problem is once the grass has been fitted and fitted badly with poor groundworks it would have to be skipped and started again. All I can suggest it trying to get hold of the installer and finding him on social media, posting photos of his workmanship, which may prompt him to act.
          Regards

  11. Hi Gavin, just came across your site and forum.
    I’ve recently had 40mm turf installed. The installers didn’t put down hardcore due to the ground already being fairly tough – their words.
    They wackered that, levelled, membrane, sharp sand and wackered again.
    The turf has got a few bumps which you can feel when walked over in, not massively just here and there. Do you think they haven’t put enough sand down possibly?

    Many thanks
    Dean

    • Hi there, the ground may be hard now as it hasn’t rained for a while, however in the winter when it rains like it did this year you will have all sorts of issues. The fine aggregate layer is to get the area smooth and not to stop undulation. This is a very lazy job I’m sorry to say and it was how we installed 17 years ago when we didn’t know any better. Since then companies such as ours, have put so much effort into the groundwork make up and there is no excuse for companies to still be avoiding digging out gardens and putting in a sub base of type one. I would get hold of them and tell them you are not happy, however it is all about what was agreed at the quote stage. Regards

      • Hi Gavin, thanks for the reply.
        Duly noted, will get back in touch with them!
        Cheers for the advice
        Kind regards
        Dean

  12. Hello

    We have recently had artificial grass installed in our back garden and have noticed what marks on it where people have been stood.

    Is there any advice on how to remove/reduce these marks as it looks unsightly?

    Thank you for your time

  13. Hi there, I want to fit artificial grass o top of my block paving, should I put an underlay on top of pavers first?
    Many thanks
    Shaun.

    • Hi there, as long as they are in good condition i.e. smooth, stable and free draining you can simply lay on top. We generally stick around the perimeter leaving a few gaps in the glue for the water to escape. Regards

    • Hi,
      I have a small drain acsess cover in the area where I want to turf. I’m thinking my best option is to get the cover level with the top of my boundary frame and then frame the cover it’s self. I can then fasten the turf to this after I’ve set my base. My worry is the cover could move over time. Is there any advise on how I could prevent this or is there is eny other way of tackling this issue? Many thanks Barry

      • Hi there are several things you can do to a drain, simply fit the grass up to it i.e. putting fixings round the drain and leave a slip lip so there is no trip hazard. Secondly fit on the drain by fitting to the edge but fixing are at the top of the drain and you put a piece on the actual drain that has been cut out so the drain is accessible. Or you can do down the route of a recess drain and fit grass in the recess. I have also had drains that are significantly lower and we have simply boxed around. Then they are either used to have a plant pot or cobbles in them or even had a metal sheet cut to drop on top with grass attached. Regards

      • Hi

        We got our artificial grass fitted and have noticed a few pit/dips. They are only very minor but we only had this installed last week. Is this likely to damage the grass?

        • Hi there, this isn’t acceptable and I would urgently call the installer and ask him to explain. It needs pulling back and rescreeding. It won’t damage the grass but as an install is bad workmanship. regards

  14. Hi, I’d like to put a childrens swing and slide set on artificial grass. Is this possible or should I just get normal grass?

    • Hi, it is absolutely fine. If its heavy duty concrete it in first then fit the grass. If it is a more lightweight one it can simply sit on the top and you can maybe beef it up using some sleepers. Do not ever try and pierce the grass putting in holding spikes. regards

    • Hi, I’ve just had my artificial grass and noticed the grass looks 2 different colours, I would assume it’s been laid in 2 different pile directions? Is there anything I can do about this? The company told me to keep brushing it and it will be ok

      • Hi there Im afraid what he is telling you is a fib . It could either be a different grass , a different batch of the same grass or as you said laid wrong way round . You should not have to brush it and rectify it your self, it is the installers job to do this. I would call him and ask him to sort it out , which would more than likely mean relaying the whole area, as he would need to guarantee the new bit of grass would match the other side (batch wise) if he was relaying half of it. Regards

  15. We have had a 37mm pile artificial grass a couple of years now and generally happy with it apart from it being extremely hot in the summer! The biggest problem is that when the kids play on it for any length of time their feet are dark grey so the wife wont let them in the house until their feet have been scrubbed. We have tried hosing it and scrubbing with hot soapy water but nothing seems to work. I have just had the thought that it could be the Granodust bedding layer i used coming though the drainage holes in the grass.
    Do you think this could be the case and have any remedies if so? All i can think is to replace bedding with sand.

    Thanks

    • Hi there firstly do not pull up and change base layer for so many reasons!
      It is an outdoor product so it will get dirty. My advice is to give it a clean, there are lots of cleaning products online which will do the trick!
      regards

      • Hi There
        I had artificial grass laid about a month back. However there are weeds coming through it already and the guy who fitted it is off after surgery for 4months and has told me he will come out once he is fit, but if I wait 4 months the lawn will be destroyed. Can you recommend a weedkiller that won’t destroy the artificial grass but will kill the weeds under the grass? Thanks

        • Please remember there are always weed seeds airbourne that can germinate in the grass. However these should simply brush off.
          There shouldn’t be grass and weeds actually growing up through the product, especially if its only recently been laid.
          We use various weed killers on our products however please check with the installers as this could vary.
          regards

      • Hi sorry to be a pain, but I have just had my artificial grass laid, the guys seemed to know what they were doing, first they laid 3 inches of a hardcore type material then compacted it with a compactor, them 35mm of sand and compacted that also,,my question I’m hoping you can help me with is if I put a rattan sofa set on it will it sink into the grass or rather sink down to the bottom of the of 35m of sand, I would really appreciate any help as I’m really worried at the minute, many thanks .
        Alex

        • Hi, there is nothing wrong with sharp sand, however we switched from it for a reason, it doesn’t bind and hold together as well even when compacted many times.
          What I would suggest is trying to spread the weight of any points, i.e. leg feet, this will stop any possible issues arising.
          regards

  16. Hi Gavin
    Brilliant website and advise.
    We are in a rented property and are on a tight budget. I read an earlier response to a lady that needed to put back to lawn on leaving the property, we are in the same situation so the advise to be able to just use sharp sand was a welcome one.
    We have a very large dog that loves to run round the garden and get muddy hence why we want artificial grass. The garden does take time to drain after heavy rain, would you advise we compact the sand first and should we use a foam underlay (with drainage holes) to ensure the ground stays level with the heavy use and for the urine to soak away? The lawn area is small only 25m2.
    Thank you

    • Hi there, this is not going to be as straight forward because of the drainage. Whatever you put down will always need compacting. Whatever you do don’t use foam underlay as this will rot and become a holding area for the dog wee.
      The drainage is a real issue, as the sand and grass will become waterlogged very quickly. There are no real cheap reversible options though.

      You may wish to consider using a 10mm granite chipping instead of the sharp sand as this is much more free draining and creates more pockets for the water when it is permeating the soil. The only downside is it is more expensive than sand (twice the price) and you will need to remove it on completion.
      The only other suggestion is to have a French drain system put in, then you can go back to simply compacted sharp sand. This can then be turfed over when you give the keys back.
      regards

      • Hi Gavin, i keep getting electric shocks from my artifical lawn. I have read that it can be helped by earthing the grass with copper. How can this be done. I am at my wits end. Everytime i walk on the grass and then touch somebody or something i get a right shock.

          • Gavin, I have tried that, to no avail…… the sand sticks to the top tip of the grass. Some does brush through though. I read I need to use a conductor to send the charge down into the fround, something like copper, but I have no idea on how to do this. It is so frustrating…..

          • Hi there, when you add the kiln dried sand it should be dry and you will need quite a lot of it. It needs to be brushed into the pile to reduce the friction causing the static. regards

    • Hi Gavin, great webpage to gain information etc regarding artificial grass.
      Unfortunately though, I have an issue with worms under our artifical grass. Before we had the grass fitted all the old lawn (which suffered from worm mounds) was removed and a good solid base was laid. Now we have little lumps under our artificial grass which we presume are worm casts as if we stand on them they go down, plus we saw a worm exiting from the side of the grass.
      Is there any product on the market that can stop this happening. We did use to use cast clear on our real lawn. HELP !!!!!

      • Hi there, I bet you this isn’t a worm issue. Pull the grass back and see what the lumps are, I bet you they will be plant related, i.e. bulbs or herbaceous plants growing that are pushing up the grass. Worm casts get squashed and are not hard enough to make any indent on the grass. If I am correct simply dig out and re-fit the base.
        cheers

        • Our grass has been down 4 weeks, it was faulty so we rolled it up today ready to be replaced and underneath it was full of huge worms with big channels in the sharp sand where they’d moved about, it’s disgusting. Any idea what we can do to get rid of them please? How do they get there? It’s got a thick properly compacted sub base which extends well past the grass as it’s surrounded by patio paving. Thank you.

          • Hi there this is extremely common. The worms obviously don’t disappear and they naturally work to the surface. We always make sure our weed membrane is under the type 1 however this doesn’t completely stop them.
            The use of granite dust helps as well rather than sand as it binds together better, however the worms will always be present.
            Fixings around the sides will stop the sides being pushed up by wormcasts.
            regards

  17. Hi Gavin,

    Firstly amazing info on here, probably the best I’ve seen by far.

    Please can you tell me If ‘Roadstone’ is a good alternative to Granite/Limestone dust as I can’t get the latter locally but was assured Roadstone is good.

    I want to avoid Sharp sand really.

    Thank you

    • Hi there , I totally agree with wanting to avoid sharp sand its a good choice. Unfortunately I cant comment on the above as I haven’t ever come across it or used it. My advise is to go and have a look and run your hands through and see if it binds , sorry I cant be more help.
      regards

  18. Hi Gavin,

    I have a question, I am having my front yard installed with artificial grass with a putting green from a company we found. My yard is pretty flat all around. On the day they were getting ready to lay the artificial turf I started to notice a big difference in my landscape which now has a slight hill That slopes down to my border bender towards my fence. ( as mentioned earlier everything was flat before which should not have any slope). When we agreed to get this installed with them at no time they mentioned a slope.

    When I confronted them, they said they had to flat out my putting green turf to make it even which is why I have a hill going down my bender border by adding more infill or sand underneath.

    I asked them if this is the correct way, they insisted yes because my property is higher than my neighbors which I do not understand because my land was flat before they touched it.

    My question to you is Galvin, what did they do wrong here? Are they telling me the truth? Did they not dig down deep enough to make sure everything levels out?
    I am in need of your expertise.. I’d like to send you some pictures for you to see if possible. They haven’t finished the work yet and I hate to for them to be dishonest and get away with this.

    Al the best,
    Steven

    • Hi there, without really seeing photos it is difficult to comment. The only consideration I can think of if there is a gap under one side of the fence, i.e. they mentioned next door is higher and they have raised one side because of this, however a putting green with a slope when it was supposed to be flat sounds extremely suspicious. By all means email me photos info@perfectgrassltd.co.uk however I would like to point out we are not a sport surface company but sometimes install if requested. regards

  19. Hi Gavin
    I have laid a 5 metre wide x 9 metres grass and happy with everything except an area of thatch coloured grass for about a metre showing in a straight line. It looks like there are missing green piles to the area. I don’t want to overbrush and be blamed by the manufacturer if I have to call them back. The grass has been laid for around 2 weeks and I’m happy with the rest of it. No seams have been fitted so its not a seam?

  20. Hi, I’m currently laying artificial grass, I have laid approx 1-1.5 inch type 1, however when it’s came to compacting it has brought up a fair amount of water and the ground is quite squidgy when I walk on it, can I still go ahead and lay the weed membrane then sharp sand and will the ground dry up underneath or will my grass sink?

    • Hi there, sorry it needs to all come out. The ground will get like this every time it is wet, so it needs to be excavated to a level where it is firm. New builds are the worst example of this, because the soil has been moved around to prepare the site, some areas may have a huge depth of top soil which is filled with air which in turn fills with water when it rains. You will be completely wasting your time unless this has been removed, on some new builds we have dug down to 2 feet to find a solid substrate.
      regards

      • Hi Gavin, thanks very much for the speedy reply, once I find solid ground, would this be brought level by filling with any specific type of aggregate?

      • Hi there.
        We got our lawn laid yesterday and while it looks good, you can still see lines where it was presumably folded for storage. Will these lines eventually settle down like carpet does? Thanks

        • Hi , this isn’t really good practice , it is either where it has been badly transported or stored if they are crease lines. Any issues like this generally sort themselves out in the warm sunshine however I would give the installer a call .regards

  21. Hi I am wondering if you could help me.
    I have recently had 35mm artifical grass installed and I watched all the sub base and drainage being installed, the issue is that the grass doesn’t seem to dry quick enough.

    A full day after a bit of rain the grass is still soaking wet, it’s taking around 2 days to fully dry, this isn’t just in patches, it’s all over.

    My installer is telling me that the top sand is blocking the holes and this will take a few weeks to clear. Could this be correct?
    Do I have anything to worry about.

    • Hi there , this is nothing to worry about as long as the base has been put in correctly .It is actually caused by the surface tension on the fibres (don’t forget a new 35 mm grass will have an extremely large surface area with dense fibres). A little trick , try using some fairy liquid diluted and brush into the grass this should break down the surface tension quicker allowing water to pass through. regards

  22. Hi, we had our artificial grass laid at the beginning of November 2018, all the groundwork was carried out by a professional, and we paid for a good quality turf. Recently we have noticed that when we walk on the turf it makes a crunching sound. Does anybody know why this is happening and how we can stop if. We have 32mm pile on our turf.
    Also, how can we stop the pile from staying flat after we have walked on it.

    • Hi unfortunately some grasses are prone to laying down and a lot depends on footfall too.
      This will solve both your issues, simply tease the grass up using a plastic leaf rake.
      Then add kiln sand to the area, 1 bag per 7-10 sqm should do and brush in to the pile.
      This should stop the crunching of stone under it as the new weight of the grass will stop the stones from moving and the sand should also help the grass stand up.
      regards

    • Hi, Gavin.
      Its been a few months now since we had our turf fitted. It still crackles when we walk on it, and i now get an electric shock from it too. Also, recently i have noticed that when i walk on it i can feel lumps u der foot. The base etc was dug out and out in correctly, any ideas what is causing these lumps. And the frass seems to have go e loose, with the joint becoming more visable.
      I love the look of the grass, but am not too happy at what is happening to it. Nobody else i have spoken too has these issues. Please help, and give me the benefit of your knowledge.

      • Hi there , firstly I would call the installer asap and get them back. The crackling under foot will be caused by the backing of the grass rubbing on stones underneath that rise to the top , it can be solved by either adding kiln sand to the top of the grass and brushing in so it pins the grass down or having a look underneath and adding granite dust to the top surface to bind it together. Underneath there seems to be issues occurring , it could be dipping in areas, causing bumps or ant hills .The grass should not be moving or going loose ,it seems to be this job isn’t particularly well installed. What may look good on the surface initially ,may not be good underneath hence why issues are starting to arise.Any installer who values his reputation would help you resolve this. regards

  23. Grass has been installed. Joint is still obvious 3 months in. I’ve been told just to brush – do you agree? Doesn’t seen to make a difference. Thanks Aileen

    • Hi, brushing a bad join will make no difference. I say joins are 95% invisible ie sometimes you will get a very feint line which will disappear over time. However, if a join has been badly put in initially there is nothing that can be done to rectify this except either cutting it out or re-laying grass. regards

      • Hi I have the same problem I got my grass laid on Friday I can see the join and the two pieces of grass don’t seem to even touch could this problem be fixed if the grass was lifted and pulled closer together I’m really gutted after all of the money we have spent.

        • Hi unfortunately this sounds very common nowadays, too many people trying to get involved, thinking it is an easy job.
          The join will be (should be) stuck which means moving the grass over is not possible, as you would need to cut the glue out either side, which in turn will leave the grass short at the edge.

          The grass should be nearly touching with a gap of no more than 0 -5 mm, I say it is 95 percent invisible as you may see a very feint line where fibres are doubled up at worst.
          I would call the installer back and ask him to rectify. There is no cheap and easy solution unless he is a skilled installer, where sometimes you are able to cut parts of the join out and invisibly repair.
          The only other solution would be to relay all of it, which I have asked my teams to do over the years if the join isn’t up to scratch.
          It is very difficult to match one side to the other if the grass has been down for a little while and also it must be from the same manufacturing batch.

          regards

  24. Hi Gavin

    We’ve had artificial grass for years in various properties and our current home. Our current grass has been down for approx 5 years. My mum moved in with her dog about a year and a half ago and we’ve noticed that the grass has started to go black all over. It actually looks tar like in some places. The only thing we can think of may be the dog urine as we’ve never experienced this before. Do you think this is the case or is it possibly another issue that’s causing it and can you recommend anything to remove it?

    • Hi there , I have seen this a few times however can not be sure of the cause. It may be the backing breaking up because the grass is poor quality . My only suggestion would be to try and lightly jet wash and see how it reacts. I also would get in touch with the original company you purchased the grass from and see what they say as this may be covered in their warranty if it is a fault.
      regards

  25. Hi Gavin,
    I want to have some good quality artificial grass laid…which costs a lot obviously…I wanted to ask is it possible to lay over a paved area providing the correct underlay etc is used? Just to enable me to cut the costs of extra labor to remove the slabs.
    Many thanks

    • Hi there , the simple answer is yes.
      However the end product will depend on what state the slabs are in .
      Ask yourself , are they flat ? Do they drain ok? The grass will simply mirror them so if the answer is yes , it is a good way of getting a great lawn and keeping a lid on costs.
      regards

  26. Hi Gavin, your info really is top quality. Please advise: I’ve laid a 75mm granite dust subbase but no aggregate (just membrane and soil underneath) following instructions online that I found. It was levelled and manually compacted. It rained before I put the grass down and the water pooled at the lowest point and the granite dust turned squidgy and basically turned soft (footprints could be made and it would just turn lumpy). What do you think might cause this? Many thanks,you’re a legend.

    • Hi there , the granno should only really be used for the top layer , on top of type 1 which is much firmer and stable as a sub base.
      The granite dust should be kept under wraps before being used to stop it getting wet or too dry. What has happened is its been raked out not compacted enough and this has allowed rain water in.
      There isn’t too much that can be done other than to let it dry out or simply add dry granno to help it dry.
      It is supposed to be dry this week so gradually compact and squeeze the moisture out of the granno whilst letting it dry through until it is rock solid.
      cheers

      • Thanks for your advice Gavin. I masochistically decided to take up all the grano and put down 120mm of type 1. I then topped with 50mm grano but to my horror, when I spray water on the grano (grass not laid yet) it pools really quickly (seconds) and drains incredibly slowly (a small puddle will take 1hr to drain through). The grano doesn’t appear to be very free draining at all. Please tell me that this sounds normal and won’t be an issue once the grass is laid!. I can’t take it all up a second time (my wife has lost patience!). Is my grano layer too thick and causing the issue? or does grano just drain slowly? Thanks again.. you might just save my mental wellbeing!

        • Hi there , what you need to consider is the grass will be the surface the rain hits first . Then it makes it way to the latex backing where it is drip fed into the granite dust . The granite is fine , its simply where you are spaying directly to one area. The granno will drain ,but slowly …but trust me it does work!
          regards

  27. I have recently had artificial grass installed in my garden. It seems to be wet all the time, even when it has not rained in a few days. There are no visible puddles but if you walk on the grass with socks on they will be drenched in seconds. Is this normal?

    • Hi there , don’t forget it gets wet every night with the dew . Is it a dense soft fibre? These generally don’t let the water pass through as quickly due to the surface tension on each fibres holding on to water molecules. Here is an idea add a small amount of washing up liquid to a bucket of water and through over it and use a brush to brush it in , then hose off . This should break down the surface tension and allow the water to move through quicker.
      regards

  28. Hi Gavin,

    Please kindly advise. I will be doing a playground area (about W=4mx L=2m) at the back of the house and I was given a mortar sand (building sand by wickes) to level the flooring / put underneath before laying my artificial grass – will this type of sand be okay?

    • Hi there no sorry it isn’t I’m afraid. You will find its very fluffy and not very substantial. Ideally you would use Type 1 as a sub base and granite dust as a top layer. If you wish to do the job on the cheap due to budgets you can use sharp sand however it won’t stand the tests of time as well.
      regards

  29. Hi,
    I’ve used type 1 for my sub base and whacker plated it down. When I went to start with the sand I notice my wife ordered soft sand instead of sharp… Will it make a difference?

  30. Hi Gavin, I am installing my artificial grass this weekend and have 3 x 2 edging, having read through your blog you say about wrapping the grass around the edging. Is this just a case of leaving a small gap between my edging and patio / retaining wall and pushing the excess down into the gap or are you physically fixing the turf to the underside.? If attaching how are you doing so as I assumed the edging was concreted in place first.

    • Hi there all you are doing is leaving a 10-20 mm gap below the patio and between the timber and the side of the patio allowing you to bolster the grass down in between them. Simply attach the grass to the TOP of the timber using nails to remove and puffing . Obviously this is different if this a bed area then wrap the grass around the side of the timber so it is totally invisible.
      regards

  31. Hi, I have just had grass laid and the edges along the patios seem to be lower than the slabs so as you walk you can feel the sharp edges of the stone (it is also not stuck down in a lot of places) The side plant borders have been secured against timber and are fine. Can the patio edges be rectified and raised slightly by adding sand just under the first few inches or will this cause the grass then not to fit snuggly to the patio? or should the whole lot be taken up and another layer of sand be added to whole area so that it still fits?
    Many thanks

    • Hi there it can be easily rectified. I would ask them to return and pull that sides grass back. I would ask for a fixing to be put in place ie a concrete haunch along the patio.
      They can then re-pack the aggregates and screed before refitting grass and sticking to the haunch with glue.
      regards

      • Hi Gavin,

        I’ve done all the steps on installing the grass, I’ve got up this morning and noticed there is a raised crease in the grass.
        All edges have been stuck down now, is there a way to correct this?

        Thanks

        • Hi there its an odd one that you didn’t notice this when fitting. It is quite common when fitting a product to get some puffing across the grass where it does not want to sit down on to the surface underneath you have created. What we generally do is add kiln dried sand onto the creased area and brush in , the aim is the weight of the sand will pin the grass down. regards

  32. Hi Gavin.

    Appreciate the hard work with answering all these questions!

    I have just spread the kiln dried sand across all my grass but my dog snook a sneaky wee & it’s wet the sand which has turned to mush.

    What would you suggest I do with that area?

    Thanks, Brad.

    • Hi absolutely nothing , the top dress will get wet and it will dry out . You may wish to look into a dog wee sand to remove urine smells these are available on line.regards

  33. Hi Gavin. Fair play you’ve good advice and iv been reading through your comments before messaging about my grass, i wackered my base soil down then built a framed perimeter with treated 2″ by 2″ laid heavy duty weed barrier down then filled in with stonedust and wackered that down tight level with the timber frame, laid the artificial grass ontop and stappled the grass down every 4″ or so. My issue is the grass sounds crunchy from the hard webbing of the grass on the stonedust when being walked on i have given it 2 weeks and thought a good rain fall may help bed it all in but its still the same. Can you advice a solution to rid of the crunching?
    Thanks
    Darren

    • Hi there , yes this does happen on occasions , it totally depends on the grass backing . What you need to do is kiln sand the top of the grass quite heavily. This will pin the grass down and reduce the crunching noise .The alternative would be to add some granite dust to the base to make it bind together better, however I think the top sanding will do the trick. regards

  34. Hi Gavin,
    So I’ve layed 2 x 7 meter lengths of 40mm grass, but not yet fixed as I need to figure out how to cut around the two rectangle manhole covers at each end of the lawn. One has a brick surround whilst one has a concrete slope of a few inches. They’re both about 2 inches proud of the grass level.
    My question is do I cut away just the lid, or around the outer area, exposing the brick/concrete and how to fix? The grass I’m using is almost impossible to cut from the top, so I’d have to roll back and cut from the bottom either way. How should i tackle this? many thanks,

    • Hi well I wouldn’t advise cutting from the back as this wont give a true finish , you need to use hook blades in a large Stanley and cut hard against the vertical edge from the top of the grass.
      Its totally down to you , if they are too high simply cut up to them and fix around the drain using a concrete haunch or timber fixings ..or you can integrate the drain into the levels by raising the base upto it but obviously depends what this will look like . regards

  35. I’ve just installed myself, I laid about 6 inches of MOT on top, compacted with a wacker plate, then a layer of dust and compacted flat, I then put Thurman down and the artificial grass on that….I sprayed with water and 24 hours later on a hot day it’s still soaking wet…surely this is not normal?

    • Hi there , the blades have surface tension when new and especially if you have a dense product the water takes time to move through. I would check with the company you purchased the grass from as the best way to proceed. You can add a weak solution of washing up liquid and water and brush in this breaks down the surface tension and improves the drainage process.

  36. Hi,

    I put down a bottom layer of crushed rock and compacted that nicely, then I layed down Crusher dust on top of that and compacted with a whacker, which looked nice and tight but after it dried (sprinkled some water to help during whackering) the crusher dust stones became loose, and when you walked on it, it would move and be too loose under ur feet. I’ve used this kind of base before and its compacted nicely. Why is the crusher dust so loose on top after compacting. Do you know what I can do to fix it?

    • Hi there it may be that the dust was extremely fine , don’t forget also its very hot and it is drying out and turning to dust very quickly . I would suggest dampening it off and compacting several times .
      regards

  37. Thanks so much Gavin for all the information here, great site.
    We are half way through doing our grass – we have installed the weed membrane down on top of the soil (we have a dog).

    The problem we have is, we have noticed the weed membrane doesnt drain water. If we take a offcut of it and position it over a bucket and add water, it drains fine. On the ground though, nothing happens. If i lift it up, it then drains. The soil drains fine with water added to it directly. Its like the soils surface is plugging it.

    We were giving the membrane from a builder who said it should be suitable. We have a less durable one too and it done exactly the same. Is there a specific type of weed membrane thats more suited or a method of installation that needs to be followed. We just layed it out, cut to size and pegged in.

    Any advice would be appreciated. Cheers – Samantha

    • Hi this is absolutely normal . Don’t forget the ground is rock hard at the moment and takes time to permeate . Don’t forget once you have added your aggregates it will also take time for the water to get to the membrane.
      regards

  38. Hi Gavin we have recently installed grass on our decking but there’s a bit of shading similar to when you get a new carpet. I have brushed the fibres up best as I can. Would your recommend sand to keep them standing upright and reduce shading? Thanks

  39. Hi Gavin
    I recently installed my grass over the weekend and have just in filled with kiln dried sand. I have brushed the turf a few times over but can feel slight lumps under my feet in places where I believe the sand has collected under the drainage holes of the turf. Will these go down over time?
    Thanks

  40. Hi Gavin, we want to lay grass on a patio area that has a step (a concrete path running around the perimeter of the house approx 1m wide) from our back patio doors to the area. It needs to be free to drain as we have terraced garden coming down to the house. Have you any suggestions for creating an elevated platform, preferably not timber? Many thanks Sarah

  41. Hi Gavin,

    I’ve laid my grass on the best viewing point.

    It just so happens that I need to join a small section, the seams run vertically instead of horizontally across both pieces.

    All research I’ve done online only discusses cutting seams horizontally to join.

    Have you encountered this and how would you join the grass if you are unable to cut across the horizontal seam.

    Any advise would be much appreciated.

    Kind Regards

    Dan

  42. Hi Gavin,

    I’ve followed mostly your instructions for doing my artificial turf installation, so thanks for the write up.

    I do just have one query in relation to joining.

    All of the joining videos/Tips/Guides have the seams running horizontally so that you cut along the seam.

    The way I laid my grass (Which looked best in my garden) has the seams facing vertically. So the 2 join pieces have vertical lines, meaning I don’t have a seam to cut down on each piece of grass.

    I can’t find too much info on this.

    I obviously want the grass joins to sit flush.

    Have you encountered this before or have any advice?

    I’m thinking I might have made a rookie mistake here…

    Kind Regards

    Dan

    • Hi there is a reason this is never shown as it is very bad practice and physically impossible to do invisibly. The only time we ever do it if its a very small ‘header join’ under 20 cm.
      regards

  43. Most Informative website available well done, laying our grass soon and plan to install a 16m join as opposed to 4 widths, to ensure we face into the pile, for the best available install would you recommend this? Thanks

    • Hi many thanks . NO NO NO , this is a very common mistake. There is nothing wrong with laying the grass across ways. Simply work out the main viewing point i.e. where the back door is etc and angle the grass so you are looking into the pile. I have been installing 15 years and 16 metre joins are a major headache to get right.
      regards

  44. Hi Gavin,
    Firstly thanks for the resource and wealth of experience you are providing people here!
    Wanted to ask your advice on the best temporary way to lay artificial (35mm pile) over a well drained mucky existing natural lawn. I know the correct job is to create a solid and compacted base, but we are renting and landlady will only allow artificial turf if it can be removed and replaced with natural turf in the future.
    I was thinking dig up the top layer of sod maybe an inch or so, then compact the soil put weed barrier over and lay the artificial turf and pin down with U pins. Is there any type of sand (that won’t make it hard to revert back to natural lawn) that I could use to level?
    I know this type of install would not be long lasting (dips, sagging etc…) but could it give us 2 years before problems do you think?
    Thanks again
    Colin

    • Hi there , this is exactly the way top do it cheaply and to be the least problematic putting it back to how it was when you move out. I personally believe any landlord would fall over to get artificial grass installed properly in their property but if they don’t want it what can you do!
      Simply skim off the grass and put down sharp sand , I wouldn’t even use a membrane ..why ?
      Well if someone charged me to install like that I would go mad , but seeing as its being done by yourself and isn’t costing a fortune you can simply maintain it as you go along ie spraying weeds with round up and pulling it up if it sinks and adding some more sand. The reason I suggest not putting in a membrane as over the 2 years the worms will take all the sand down into the soil for you and when you want to lift it and return to turf there will be simply soil underneath. Just one quick point to bare in mind , old artificial grass weighs a tonne and you will end up having to cut it up into 2 sqm pieces and skipping.
      regards

  45. Hi, We are looking into options for our lawn upgrade. We definitely want artificial grass and grono is an option for us. I want a shed for added storage but am being fobbed off that the shed would sink etc. The idea is that the grass goes on top of the existing stone chippings. Can you advise how you would add a shed to a raised system? I don’t want to accept a refusal to add a shed because they think I don’t know of a solution. The arguement is it is pricey to remove the chippings, and keep the ground level as is. Thanks

    • Hi there , you can put a shed on top of the stones or the grass but they are correct if it was any weight if would sink .
      Why don’t you concrete some railway sleepers in on their sides to sit the grass on top of or get a proper concrete shed base put in place before fitting the grass.

  46. Hi Gavin I have just had 50 meter of grass put down and quite a few ripples have appeared just wondering what could have caused this and how to deal with the problem

    • Hi there , was the grass ok when it was laid or were the ripples there then?
      There are a few reasons if there when it was laid , it does happen , this is why we sand with kiln to pin the grass down , the ripples could be due to the shape of the area of the grass is heavily glued on the latex so it sits above the base . If they have come since the install it maybe a case of surrounding areas like a wall or patio moving slightly in the warm weather as the soil contracts below , again sand heavily with kiln .
      regards

  47. HI Gavin
    I have 36 square metre roof terrace and would like to put down artificial grass on it. The trouble is that it has a modern roofing material with insulation underneath and cannot take pressure of sharp objects like chair legs. Is there an underlay that could be used? Also is water pooling a problem with artificial grass? Many thanks.

    • Hi, you can get different sorts of underlay, we use a 10mm x matting but this will make it more spongy which by the sounds of it you already have.
      I personally think maybe a timber frame covered by marine ply would be the way forward as it would raise the grass, improve the drainage and cut out any puddling as well as protecting your roof.

    • Hi Gavin, some fantastic information here, thank you. If you have time I wondered if you could give any advice on the following. I’ve recently installed a 20 square metre lawn using a base of compacted Type 1 sub base followed by a layer of 35mm sharp sand (most guides recommended this as a top layer although I’ve since seen Grano Dust would have been better). My son plays football on it and already it’s looking a bit bumpy. Should I have used a wacker to compact the sharp sand as well? Again most guides didn’t suggest doing this. I’m guessing if so I could just lift the lawn, compact and relay. Any advice would be much appreciated.

      • Hi there. I don’t know what sites you have been looking at, but I presume they are from the ‘make a quick buck, never installed, online grass companies’ that are now springing up every where.
        Firstly, we have been using Granno for 12 years because sharp sand wasn’t fit for purpose as it doesn’t bind together, even if it is compacted. The top layer should be compacted several times, the idea is you are creating a hard wearing, free draining base and an inch of sand will simply not achieve this.
        This isn’t the end of the world, however I would recommend trying to get hold of some granno to add to the top layer to bind. Simply fold the grass back carefully, do not stand on the fold, as it will cause creasing. Then remove some of the sharp sand and simply add the granno, then rake it in and get as smooth as possible. You will need to compact the area, it is worth hiring a wacka if you want a proper job, it may need lightly spraying with water as this will help it bind. I then re-rake and set to work on my hands and knees with a timber working over the area to get as smooth and flat as possible. If any areas are soft it needs re wacking otherwise they will sink.
        Then refit grass, beware of changing the levels as the grass has been cut already and it will end up coming in short.
        regards

  48. Hi thanks for you blog. We would like to lay artificial grass in our back garden over our concrete slabbed patio which I’ve read is okay to do. We have a small area of patio which currently puddles in heavy rain and wondered if it would be sufficient to drill 18mm holes and fill with shingle to help drainage prior to laying the artificial grass? Many thanks

  49. Hi Gavin,
    I was think of laying down a section of artificial grass but leaving real grass for the rest of it. Would I need to leave much of a border between the two to prevent real grass growing in the artificial, i.e. is the timber perimeter enough of a barrier to prevent this?

    • Hi , there are a few ways you can blend them. We always concrete in timber fixes around the perimeter, so you can simply come over the edge of the timber and then fasten the grass on the back of it , then simply run the real grass up to that .
      Alternatively put in a divider, like a railway sleeper or block pavers to show them as 2 separate areas. Another idea is to have maybe a foot gap, with gravel, or stone, in them but make sure the edges are well defined using timber this will leave a really clean effect.
      regards

  50. Many thanks Gavin. Is it worth investing in an electric brush to help push the fibres over or is a stiff broom and elbow grease just as good? The grass pile is 30mm.
    P.S. Great website – wish I’d seen it earlier!

    • Many thanks! You can do they are a bit of a luxury as I find if a lawn gets heavy footfall it won’t rebrush anyway or if a lawn doesn’t get any footfall you can brush it up using a plastic leaf rake.
      The sun will lift the grass initially anyway, it is quite an expensive ‘toy’ to have which you won’t get that much use out of. I believe a petrol leaf blower is much more useful keeping debris off the area.
      regards

      • We have artificial grass in our garden which are two very active boys play football on frequently we have noticed that it has started to shed daily bits of the grass is this normal?

        • Hi no this isn’t normal if the fibres are actually coming out of the middle of the grass , you do get loose fibres when it is initially installed just like a carpet but not after a few years !
          Contact your supplier and ask as if it continues it will end up bald and this should be covered under their warranty.
          regards

    • Hi Gavin

      We have artificial grass but if we have hearty rain it seems to pool along the one bottom edge, as though it is lower than the rest
      Is there anything we can do to fix it?

      • Hi there yes there is something you can do, however it would have been better to address the issue before you laid as it requires pulling the grass back and digging the base out.
        I personally would dig down 6 inches or so around the area it pools in for a good 2-3 sqm then fill it with smashed up rubble, like old slabs etc, top with Type 1 before re adding you top layer. Ideally granite dust but sharp sand will suffice if not before re laying the grass. Be aware the levels have to be the same otherwise the grass will not refit the same and may be short etc.

  51. Hi Gavin,
    We have a small playground in artificial grass. It’s installed under 2 years. We’ve had the odd weed but lately I’ve started to notice soil and muck patches appearing. Also there are two patches in the playground that is retaining water. Is there anything we can do to fix the muddy patches? Thanks in advance. Claire.

    • Hi there unfortunately it sounds like it hasn’t been installed particularly well. We find with schools it all about the cost of the job due to their tight budgets, so they will generally go for the cheapest quote which generally means poor groundworks.
      I expect this was simply laid on sand and what has happened is that sand has now all been dragged down into the soil by worms and what you are seeing is the wormcasts pushing through the drainage holes creating the muddy patches.
      All you can really do is pressure wash the grass and maybe brush in some kiln sand once its dried, unless you want to have it completely relaid from scratch.
      You will get the odd weed, we generally say its about 90 pct effective against weeds but again depends how it was laid.
      regards

  52. Hi, A company has installed artificial grass, but the sand placed on top of the grass can be seen through the grass, which I am not happy about. Is it usual to be able to see the sand which has been placed on top of the sand? Thanks.

    • Hi there yes this is quite normal. Some companies add more sand than others , its generally used to pin the grass down in case of any puffing.
      I personally like the effect as this would be how a normal grass lawn would look like.
      You can obviously try brushing it with a stiff brush and hosing out , it will eventually disappear into the pile.
      regards

  53. Hi there Gavin! Enjoy your blog. We had grass installed 1 1/2 yrs ago and really like. Company has come back 3 times trying to fix ugly seam. No luck. Thinking about creating littl river rock pathway to camafloge this. Will it do any damage to exposed grass. Thanks!

  54. Hi Gavin,
    Sorry I forgot to mention that as you advised we had 2×3 treated wood around the perimeter and concreted in.
    I have secured the edges by running a double sided foam strong tape all the way around , which no one mentioned on your site plus screwed the edges and tucked in for good finish.
    Is this the correct way to secure the edges?
    Thanks

    • Hi there we generally concrete the timbers in using 3 or 4 ‘blobs of muck ‘ and then hit into place using a club hammer and spirit level , we then seal the bottoms of the timber if they are higher than the outside bed using concrete again so no aggregates can escape causing sinking.
      When the base is taken to the top we simply tuck the grass over the lip and attach to the timber.
      regards

  55. Hi Gavin,
    Congratulation for providing a good reliable solution and advice to artificial Grass installations and remedies for any problem customers will face
    We recently laid 40mm Good quality artificial grass. The suppliers told us that we definetly do not need to put any kiln sand over it as the artificial grass is quiet thick and heavy. Is this true ? Or I should go ahead and spread the kiln sand over it to keep the piles up? I have the kiln sand already but hesitate whether I should spread over it or not
    Many thank for your advice in advance

    • Hi there nowadays the sand is used for a few different reasons. It doesn’t harm the grass or spoil the affect so don’t worry.
      It can be used to make the grass stand up but this was mostly done before the introduction of shorter piles.
      We generally use it if we have any puffing in the grass where it doesn’t sit down on to the base due to the backing, simply brush it in.
      It can also be used in areas where it will get heavy foot fall this will make the grass more durable.
      I sand my back garden quite heavily as I have 3 dogs and use a lot of the dog wee sand and this mixes with it.
      regards

  56. Hi Gavin. I installed my grass today and everything went perfect. I thought I would just brush my grass with a stiff broom and it would look great. Unfortunately I’ve realised I’ve put it the wrong way round so looks great when looking from the end of my garden towards the house but like a piece of carpet when looking up from the house! Is there anything I can do?. Ive cut a very small section near the top to accommodate my shed so can’t just flip it around. Thanks.

    • Hi there sorry to say there is absolutely nothing you can do. Your best hope is to keep brushing it and add some kiln dried sand to lift it up.
      When it gets warm the sun will help lift it too.
      regards

    • Thanks Gavin, already looking better after a week. One more quick question, am I ok to cut a hole in it for my washing line spike? Thanks again.

      • Just wondered if your grass is looking ok now? We put grass down today but also the wrong way round and it looks very light and plasticy when looking from the house. Hoping it will lift but will it lift enough or should I redo it all?

        • Hi it will lift in the sun, you can also try and top dress with kiln sand and brush over. A lot depends on the quality of the grass and fibres, some products go right over the other way easily. It is worth giving it a go before you start again. Regards

          • Hi Gavin
            I am still not happy with the way my lawn was laid by a local landscaper as he did not consider the pile direction. I have tried using a power brush but it only improved slightly. Is it possible to lift the grass and re-lay it the other way round. I will need to reduce the size of my lawn to accommodate cut outs but that’s ok, I’m more concerned that it may not lay flat again if lifted. The grass has been down for 6 weeks and sand has also been brushed into it. Your thoughts would be welcome.

          • hi , personally I would get hold of the person that laid it and get him to rectify it , refund your money or completely start again.
            Yes in theory move it round and re-stick it , which will lose you approx. 30 cm of grass cutting the glue and tape out , which will mean new fixings to be put in on the side you are shortening(that’s if they managed to do this in the first place), then you have to try and move it ,which is very difficult with sanded grass that has been down a few months.
            If you do get it in place the middle will be more trodden than the edges so it will show quite noticeably . Lastly joining grass is difficult when it is brand new let a lone a few months old.
            Also please note if you start playing around with it , you effectively let the installer off the hook.
            You have paid good money for something that hasn’t been installed correctly.
            good luck.

  57. Hi Gavin, we are looking to put down artificial grass as our current lawn retains water and we want to allow our little one more time outside without getting muddy. We have been out to a number of contractors and explained we wanted to get detail on what drainage process they would put in. The majority indicated they excavate relatively deep (>1m) and lay various layers of aggregate and stone dust to drain the water down, trap it, and then sweep away slowly. Two indicated they wouldn’t go down so deep and would install pipes/tubes to drain the water away – one would lay the drainage pipes so it fed a border and the other somehow would feed the water towards the road (through a garden wall!!). One final contractor would dig down about 40cm and just lay with sand. Is there a trusted industry standard?

    • Hi there I think you need to re-check the depths the companies have promised to remove.
      On a normal garden with no issues we generally go down 10 cm = 4 inches .
      However if there is slight drainage issues we would dig down a further 5cm = 15 cm total and add more type 1 .
      Sometimes it may puddle in a certain area so we dig a small soak away and fill with rubble , however the depths the companies here are talking are extremely deep . Are they artificial grass companies or are they specialist drainage contractors?
      The last company that is going to but 40 cm of sand just doesn’t make sense at this would be far too soft . How bad is the drainage ??

  58. Hi Gavin
    We had artifical turf installed in a side yard for our two dogs last week. The dogs are already pulling at the edges trying to pull up the grass, and started ripping the cuts over our sprinkler heads. Do you have any suggestions for making the edges more secure? The edges are currently staked down every 5 inches or so with 4 inch nails. We are terrified the dogs will get a hold of a section and rip out a large area. We are considering laying down mesh so they can’t get a grip on the edges, or some sort of edging laid on top to keep them from getting at the edge of the grass.

    Thank you in advance for your advice.

    • Hi there sorry to say the grass hasn’t been properly installed as we always concrete in timber fixings which we fit the grass around.
      The problem being everyone has different install ideas/techniques so it is simply what you had agreed with the installer .
      We have learnt from our many years experience the rights and wrongs especially when it is for dogs ie fixings so it cant be lifted , a free draining base , membrane always underneath aggregates so it doesnt trap the wee.
      It is too late to put the timber fixings in now as the grass needs to be slightly longer so it can wrap around them. However you could very carefully pull back the grass and create a 2 inch gully around perimeter and fill with concrete. Once dry you can simply glue the grass to it.
      regards

      • Timber rots? Also pressure washing a grass is not advised …it can damage the grass and wash away any blinding on the sub base. Please advise as this is the information we have been given?

        • Hi there, yes timbers do rot however if they put in place correctly they will easily serve their purpose the length of time the grass looks good (approx. 8/9/10 years).
          We always set them in concrete so they are free standing with membrane under them, one side they have free draining aggregates and the top and rear side have the grass wrapped around them which will slow down the rotting process.
          We have used different methods over the years (concrete fillets and composite timbers but neither of them work and have serious issues when used).
          The pressure washing of grass is fine as long as you don’t use it, in the same way you would cleaning a patio. Simply lightly spray from a further distance away to clean gently.
          Don’t forget if you are using granite dust under the grass it will take a lot of moving.
          However we do advise this as a last measure when cleaning not a regular activity.
          regards

  59. Hi Gavin. Could you advise me on a very uncomfortable position. I had my front lawn replaced with artificial turf and it does look very good apart from an edging of approx. 8 foot that is lifting, curling upwards and the black base is showing. The company I used laid a concrete edging and then glued the lawn to this. It looks like carpet that has not been cut short enough. I have emailed several times to the fitter who has ignored my emails. I have telephoned several times and he promises he will be round in the next day or 2. This has gone on for almost a month. I tried again today and his phone appears to be switched off. I have again emailed him today with no response. I am a widow and he seemed so professional and he assured me his customer care was a priority.I’m just not sure what to do next. He also promised to leave me with a spare tube of glue just in case I needed it at a later date. I’m still waiting.

    • Obviously it is hard for me to judge but from the description this should be easy to solve, a 5 minute visit by the install company to re-trim the edge and re-stick if needed should be enough.
      Issues can occur as in any trade and you should approach your installer as you would any tradesman or retailer you were dissatisfied with.

      On the rare occasions I am contacted by a customer who has a snag with our work I always seek to rectify the issues swiftly as my company reputation means everything to me, I assume most installers are the same as this is a very competitive industry and a few bad words on social media can have dire consequences for a small business.

  60. Hi,

    Is it necessary to use a whacker to compact the sand? As in, how compact does it need to be?
    I am doing this on a ridiculously tight budget, but I obviously don’t want to do an awful job!

    Cheers,
    Jack

    • Hi there, there is nothing wrong with installing the grass yourself on a tight budget as you can always do repair work when a problem arises.
      If you were paying money to have it installed, I would not recommend using sand etc, however as it isn’t costing you any funds for this you can cut a few corners if you require to keep under your budget.
      A lot depends on the size, if it is a small area you could get away with simply treading the sand in so it is compacted, however on bigger areas you should consider hiring the correct tools and using the correct materials to keep the grass looking good for longer. This is simply because you will be laying out a considerable amount of money for your grass and if it looks shabby after a short period it can’t be repaired as the grass is difficult to move and refit.
      regards

  61. Hi Gavin…2weeks ago I had artificial grass installed. You can see were he has joined the 2 pieces.if you look down the seam its a light colour if you look down it the opposite side it’s a dark colour opposite to the grass. The installer said give it six weeks it will be fine! Is this true?

    • Hi there Darren , there are 3 possible causes for this.

      1/ the two bits are laid in opposite directions , so the pile is going the other way .
      This is very easy to find out just look at the grass closely and check the direction of the pile , if it is the case it will need completely relaying from scratch with new grass.

      2/ The two bits of grass are from different batches , even though they have same make up in length etc and product name , batches of grass can differ very slightly .
      Again only solution would be to totally relay with new grass.

      3/ The grass is from same batch and laid in same direction , however due to it being cold one piece has come from the beginning of the machine rolled rolls and isn’t as tight as the next piece .This has happened to us a few times recently . We have worked out that the grass will look very very slightly different and should lift in the sun . On the occasion this has happen we have power brushed the grass very heavily but the base pile needs to catch up so it gives the impression of a different colour.
      Solution, check grass again in 4 weeks if problem persists again we would relay it so the customer is happy.
      regards

  62. Hi Gavin,

    I wondered if you could give some advice. I have had some artificial grass laid, it looks brilliant apart form one join. The join looks a light colour and is apparent there is a join there. It looks to be laid correctly but there is clearly something wrong. Could you offer any advice on how I can fix this?

  63. Hi Gavin,
    We’ve had our grass down for 9months and at the same time the garden was newly fenced and patio completed. We have wood boards around 3 edges apart from patio edge and followed all he guides for laying with sand/cement base and membrane etc
    I have a problem with what I can only describe at mud worms! Curly mud coming up at the edges of the grass big lumps of it…. and a few odd weeds which can be pulled out.
    What can I do to prevent this? It is lifting the grass edge and mud just gets everywhere.
    Any advice greatly appreciated.

    Kind regards,
    Sara

    • Hi Sara, the ‘curly mud’ you mention are worm casts. This is something we have mentioned a lot over the years and is always dismissed.
      Worms simply come up to the surface and drag down the top layers, which in turn aerates the soil.
      We worked this out years ago and that is why we always put in a fixing around the edge.
      We use 3×2 timbers inside the line of a fence or patio if we can get them in or alternatively we use a concrete fillet.
      These are both hidden and once the grass is correctly fitted around them and attached this will completely prevent the worm casts appearing.
      regards

  64. We have a heavy clay soil with drainage problems currently remaining quite waterlogged due to heavy rains. The company that is carrying out the work have advised that while they are trying to tamp down the granite layer with their roller the ground is just leaching water. They have advised us that they need at least 2 fully dry days before they can continue work. Does this seem right or should they be looking at maybe creating some extra drainage in the area that the artificial grass will be laid. The grass area is surround by patio which also has some drainage issues which we are having troughs installed to remove excess water. Will this be sufficient to address to waterlogging in the lawn area too?

    Also just a query on the actual laying of the grass, other than the granite dust they are adding a membrane under the grass layer. Does this sound sufficient for a long lasting lawn? The lawn area measures approx 19ft x 21ft – what kind of drainage on clay soil would you feel suitable?

    • Hi no is the answer, this is a very poorly laid lawn, lazy installs we call them!
      A clay soil especially will need digging down at least 3-4 inches and more if it has drainage issues. The Install company should have asked you this on quotation!
      The area will need a membrane on the bottom and at least 2-3 inches of type 1 sub base which will improve the drainage and also stop sinking.
      The granite dust is just a top layer to aid getting a really smooth top layer to lay the grass. If the area is wet and holding water now what going what is it going to be like in the winter months! The grass will sink/dip and have constant drainage issues if these problems are not sorted out now.
      We get this issue a lot mainly on quotation as there are more and more companies laying the grass and most of them poorly. We always ask our customers to compare quotes like for like and to always ask what ground works they are getting for their money.
      regards

  65. Hi Gavin,
    My artificial lawn does need more drainage putting in. However the guy that put the grass down has injured himself and whilst willing – he will not be able to do this for a couple of months. Lawn is regularly saturated in rain water which doesn’t bother the dogs (they still run around and use it for their business!) but today…..when I was removing dog mess from same….the green dye was actually coming off! Is this normal or is it a manufacturing fault? Please advise asap! Many thanks.

    • Hi I have never heard of this before, are you sure its coming off the grass blades and not the backing?
      Sometimes the glue separates from the backing and you get some blue colouration on your hands. However if it is green I would contact the company you bought the grass from.
      I would be very careful of lifting the grass and doing major works to the ground works as the grass will not then fit back to the original shape.
      regards

    • Hi Gavin,
      Thanks for getting back to me. I can now report that it is not dye coming off the actual grass…but it is some sort of moss that loves to grow in the soggy wet conditions! The injured installer, is convinced that a soak away will stop the rain sitting on grass and therefore stop the moss. But …another firm have said because the lawn is set two steps down from the patio…it could be sitting on the natural water level…in which case, he says the only way to cure it would be put more base in ie…lose the bottom step (which has had lighting built into it!) completely and relay it. The ground is very clay like and the grass has had an inch of water on it for at least month now….what are your thoughts please…at this rate I will need to buy a dingy and an outboard motor to get to the end of the garden!

      • Hi it also maybe because the clay is so compacted it isn’t letting the water escape. The only thing I can think of is if you dug a reasonably deep hole 3 foot by 3 foot deep it would fill up if it was the water table but if it was just surface water that cant escape the area should then drain off.
        If it simply is because the clay is compacted the area will need excavating down 6 inches and building up with some hardcore and then topped with type 1 before topping it off with granite dust to bring it back to its current level.
        However if it is the water table I would I still think you should drop the area down say 2-3 inches and then build it up as high as you can using the above to the top of the brick courses as during winter it will flood very easily.

  66. Hi there
    Great site and advice. Yesterday we rolled out 9m of artificial grass that is going directly onto concrete. All pile was squashed but we brushed it up and noticed across the middle there is a large area of like stripes of squashed/bent pile. No amount of brushing and rubbing and teasing to blades made any difference. Anyway we thought it might sort itself out overnight but alas it is exactly the same. It is very obvious. Is this a fault in the piece or do you reckon it will come out?

    • Hi there , its no so much a fault but more a crease line where it has been stored and the fibres are crushed.
      A couple of days in the warm sun will lift 99 pct of creasing out , however I would return it to the supplier.
      regards

  67. I have artificial turf and there are a few areas that seem to be turning white. It looks like powder has been sprinkled on it. I live in Arizona therefore I have a pest control company that treats around my house for scorpions etc. I’ve found they use Tempo 1% dust and Wisdom Lawn Granulars. Could this be the culprit and can this be cleaned? I’ve tried a light dish detergent with no results. If I water it heavily it goes away but only until it dries out completely then it shows up again. I hope you can give me some advice on what I can do about it. Thank you, Cathy

    • Hi there unfortunately I’m not going to be much help on this one , as we are based in South East London and we don’t have many issues with scorpions !!
      I have never come across the treatments they use either I’m afraid.
      I would give them a ring an ask them if it had been put on the grass , alternatively it may be worth pulling the grass back to see what’s underneath (it may be something seeping upwards through the grass that’s causing the issue).
      Try and avoid using any further chemicals on the grass and give it a clean with a pressure wash to try and remove the residue.
      regards

  68. Hi, can you help please? Our grass is down and looks good, but, some of the glue seaped onto the grass strands and has now dried.. is there any way to remove it?

    • Hi sorry we are always so careful as we know what happens if you do get it on the grass. The best thing you can do is try and pick it off carefully using a Stanley knife.
      regards

    • Hi there you can lay artificial grass directly on top of top soil however it will look truly awful with in a few months as it isn’t a suitable base. There is a reason we dig the area out to 3-4 inches as to make the grass look good for as long as possible.
      What you have to consider is you are spending a lot of money on your product it make sense to make it look as good as possible for as long as possible.
      There are a lot of new companies out there who are still simply putting down a layer of granite dust and sand, this is exactly the same as laying on soil because if you lift it up in 3 months time you wont see any sand as the worms have dragged it down into the soil.

      regards

  69. Hello. Is granite dust essential for laying on top of type 1 for artificial grass? I currently have a firm soil area with lightly spread golden flint chippings. I was hoping to build up from there with type 1 instead of digging down

    • Hi there are the stones angular ie do they lock into each other ,if so an inch layer on top of granite dust will bind them together so there is no movement at all (sharp sand wont do this) .
      regards

    • Hi there, some grasses have very feint lines which disappear on brushing and a few weeks in the sun. It can be caused by the way the grass has been tightly wrapped.
      However if there is very bold stripes this can be down to the way it was manufactured. I have come across whole rolls with stripes through it, however this was years and years ago, most grass nowadays is perfect. I would send some pictures to the company you got it from or installed by.
      regards

  70. Hi Gavin. We had artificial grass laid last year. I asked for mid range quality and it does look pretty good but I know they’ve not laid it right. Since last year it looks more bumpy and uneven. I had to get them back because they hadn’t glued down some pieces on the edging and along one whole side they put the timber down and tucked it all down but whether they tucked too much down I don’t know but we have the edge which I can only describe as puffy. It looks like a little hump so isn’t even with the rest of the grass going out into lawn area. He hammered some nails in because our dog pulled it out and kept having to tuck it back in. Only today I’ve found that all along that edge you can just lift it slightly and it’s coming up. What does he need to do to fix this? Also in an area of lawn I can pinch a bit between fingers and the grass lifts up and moves up and down seems loose. What is this? I personally think it’s also faded a bit in a year too. I can’t believe it really. I am so disappointed cos we paid 4000 pound to have it done. The company messed up quite a few things when doing our whole garden. I’m still waiting for them to come back and redo my whole fence as panels warped…..the list was quite long! Also how do you get rid of black marks on grass? We had our path painted with proper path enhancer and some got on the grass and can’t get rid of it and also when the company had to come back at the start to do a job that wasn’t done properly they trampled all on grass with their work boots and left stains that I can’t seem to get rid of.

    • Hi there this sounds like a real mess. I personally believe you need to get hold of the company and ask about the warranty on the product. All artificial grass products will have a manufacturers warranty, ours is 5 years as I believe it is too difficult to police if it is longer as no one will replace your lawn for free after fifteen years. The warranty will cover the grass fading, if you can prove this it will be down to the installer to claim the grass back from his supplier and relay with a new product. Please be aware that this would be an ongoing issue with hundreds of different lawns as grass is made in huge batches and wouldn’t be just one lawn.
      If you have no luck on this front you will need to make good a bad situation. It seems to me the best way forward if you can get the installer back, the grass needs peeling back from the edges and re screeding around to make sure there has been no drop off from the timbers, if so he needs to address this.
      The grass can then be refitted. It seems he hasn’t reduced the edges enough before tucking down the back of the timbers, this can be simply down then re-tucked, then it needs heavily nailing into the timbers which will completely remove the puffing around the edge. It is quite normal to get a bit of looseness in the middle, simply top dress with dry kiln sand and brush into the areas until gone.
      As for the marks I’m sorry to say I don’t have that answer and wouldn’t start using products on it until you have pursued both the installer and the company that made the marks as this could invalidate your warranty. If all fails on this, simply try a pressure wash but this may disturb the base.
      best regards
      Gavin

  71. Hiya, I’m after a bit of advice please.
    We have a decent sized garden, and with two kids and a large dog it was impossible to keep the grass nice. It was very uneven and the garden is naturally on a very slight slope. We decided to go for artificial grass.
    We chose an online supplier, and read up online for a variety of ways to lay it ourselves, a decent diy job. (after getting quoted £2K it was way out of our budget and two of my husbands friends used to work as landscapers who offered to help for free)
    Anyway, we done everything as advised: dug out the grass, weeds, top soil, stones rubbish etc to a depth of about 4 inches. Then rotavated the mud and compacted down. Then lay a very good weed suppressing membrane. Followed by approx a 3 inch layer of builders sharp sand which was compacted and smoothed out. Finally the artificial grass rolled out, cut to size and pinned down with long staple-shaped pins made specifically for this purpose.
    The job was done on Saturday, it is now Monday, and after using the hose to wash down my paths, the bottom of the garden has started to pool and a large soggy puddle left over. All of the water is lying in one place and the sand under the grass has gone very bumpy in areas around this. I have walked and jumped on the bumped area to try and smooth out but have no idea what we can do to improve drainage here? Very worried. Thanks in advance. Emma, 24 yr old wife and mother from Newcastle.

    • Hi there unfortunately the base works are insufficient. We never touch sharp sand as it will always wash through and get bumpy very very quickly.
      I suspect the reason you are getting puddling is because of the slight slope and the water is collecting in one place.
      If you have a pile of sharp sand and put the hose on it for 20 minutes this is effectively what is happening under your grass.
      I’m not sure who’s install page your read but whoever it was, doesn’t really know much about the product I’m sad to say.
      All I can suggest is pulling the grass back as carefully as possible from the lower end and digging out all the sand, once this is done maybe dig a 1 foot deep 2m by 2m pit and fill with hard core.
      I would then make sure it is completely hard by topping with type 1 and compacting. Replace the membrane then build the whole area up with type 1, this will do two things, create a soak away for the water to escape and also create a rock hard sub-base so the grass doesn’t sink. You can use a thin layer of the sand 1/2 inch to get a flat screeded surface then relay your grass.
      Unfortunately there are too many so called install expert companies out there and only a small percentage can actually be bothered to dig out properly and put in a type 1 sub base as it is too easy to take peoples money for a short term ‘look good today job ‘. The problem is they are then passing there bad habits on to DIY installers. I hope you get this resolved.
      regards

      • Thanks so much Gavin, we just followed all instructions we found. We spent alot of money on alot of sand, which we now realise was a completely useless base, very frustrating! These instructions are on the homebase website as well as instructions from our grass supplier (artificialgrass-direct). I will show your response to my husband and his two friends to see what we can do to correct it. Thanks again!

        • Hi unfortunately neither of the companies you have listed actually install artificial grass themselves so are really not in the place to be offering information .
          I personally would send an email to them both querying their methods.
          best wishes.

    • 75 mm of sand Is way too much the deeper the sand the more likely it’s going to sink and lose shape. 10 too 15mm of compacted screaded sharp sand is perfect

  72. Hi, what an extremely informative site. I’m sure your time is appreciated by many people on this topic. We have bought some artificial turf and have prepared the sub base properly and have cut it to size. We are now about to pin it down and glue together the seem. Can you advise us on the best way to pin it so that we get rid of any waves/baggy areas on the grass? Many thanks

    • Hi many thanks, when fitting 2 bits or more of grass this is the order you should do it in:
      – fit first piece (usually the biggest bit ) line it up, cut it to your sides or in our case tuck it down behind fixing timbers
      – lightly top dress with kiln sand if this has any puffing / waves or bagginess.
      – prepare join by cutting seam lines, placing joining tape half under.
      – bring in second piece and cut seam lines ready to line up join.
      – glue join once it is lines up and you are happy.
      – lightly sand second piece and ease any puffing etc out to sides, don’t be afraid to put a few 4 inch nails into the grass if puffing doesn’t go.
      – cut/tuck in second piece
      – fix grass to fixing (nail if timbers) if no fixing 4 inch nails will suffice however this isn’t an install technique we would use or really recommend due to issues going forward.
      regards

  73. Hi
    We have artificial grass on top of a blocked paved area….. it’s been down approx 18 months….. however if you spend more than 10 minutes on it in bare feet the soles of your feet are black! Is this normal? Many Thanks

    • Hi no it is not!!
      I have never come across this before, did you buy the grass? If yes go back to the supplier.
      Or did you have someone come in and install it if so give them a call.
      It may be worth pulling a corner of the grass up if you can and have a look at the backing, where I assume this is coming from.
      regards

    • Hi there shouldn’t be any issues like this if the grass has been professionally laid correctly.
      You may see a feint line where the join is butted which if pushed close enough will disappear .
      Bubbles or puffing should be dealt with by sanding with kiln sand.
      regards

  74. Hi Gavin,

    Firstly excellent site thanks for all the tips. I recently moved into a newbuild and the garden is a blank canvas, the earth has been rotavated and I was going to flatten it out, lay a thick weed membrane and put aggregate down followed by granite dust then artificial turf. I have a young child and a beagle (loves to dig) and I wanted to maximise drainage to stop any smells can you recommend depths for each course please. Original thoughts were to go down 10cm from patio and build up from there do you think this depth is sufficient..? Grateful for your input. Thanks again,

    Kind regards,

    Mark

    • Hi thanks my web guy is very very good .

      I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news but new builds are the worst gardens to have in relation to work required for groundworks. Firstly I would never recommend anyone lay a lawn directly onto a layer of just granite dust, this is simply not sufficient, if you lift it up in 3 months time it will simply be soil where the worms have dragged it down into the soil.
      Would you lay your expensive grass on just soil ?

      You need a sub base of type 1. However in new builds I always recommend digging the area out properly because come the winter they generally turn into jelly as they fill it with cheap clay soil.
      We did one yesterday, my guys dug out at least 6 inches down as the customer informed us of what it was like in winter.
      I would always recommend over doing it on a new build and filling the area up with type 1. Yes it will cost you a bit more but not as much as if you lay your grass and then find out it all needs ripping up and skipping in the winter.
      Ideally I would advise 6 inches if you don’t know what the soil is like when very wet, if it is ok 3-4 inches will do.
      The granite is simply the top layer up to an 1 inch simply to get that smooth finish.
      Don’t forget membrane on the bottom always!
      Happy digging.
      regards

      • Hi Gavin,

        Thanks for this, I didn’t see the response! Luckily the builders had screwed up by back filling too much and forgetting to build a retaining wall. So they built a log wall dropped a digger over the wall and did the ,movement of the earth. The missus and I shovelled three tons of earth on a work night and the builders moved 5 tons in bags. We went down just over four inches in total, laid out the membrane and then 3inches MOT Type 1, followed by about an inch of granite dust with lots of Whacker Plate action. All done in a weekend for a well sized garden with a team of friends. Chuffed with the finish, drains excellently.

        Thanks for your advice, you gave me the confidence to do it myself and I cannot be happier with the result. Thanks mate!

  75. I am thinking of having artificial grass laid and the installer said he could lay it over my existing grass. Is that ok to do? He would do everything else the same except lift the existing grass.

    • Hi yes this is fine we do it quite a lot.
      If there are no level requirements i.e. you have to dig down to leave yourself enough room to be able to put in your groundworks to then bring it up to the existing level of say a patio then laying on top is sensible.
      We always make sure there is a clear 12 inch gap around the border to reduce the chance of grass and weeds growing up the edges.
      However we are putting 3-4 inches of base down which will compress the membrane and kill the grass. If the installer isn’t doing this and is only putting sand down (not recommended) I would insist on it being dug out.
      regards

  76. Hi gavin
    I had my grass laid last may and have 4 dogs. We used to wash every few weeks but have now found we do it every day as the urine smell is unbearable! We cant sit out in sun as the smell is that bad! Could it be a drainage problem? We try everything from special cleaner for dog urine to bio wash liquid, steriliser and even zoflora! Nothing helps and the grass fitter solution was keep dogs off it!
    Dawn

    • Hi there, this is a problem I have been working on for years.
      First things first the grass needs to have been laid correctly
      -Membrane on bottom not under grass as this traps urine.
      -There must be a good solid sub base of type 1 followed by a top layer of granno which enables better drainage.

      I have tested and tried lots of products from Jeyes fluid, which is far too pungent, to a janitorial cleaner called Reosan which works but smells of bubblegum.
      I have had cleaners that smell of grass but they simply make the smell worse.
      Zoflora disinfectant works well diluted in water.

      However I have been testing a top dress sand that simply sprinkles on the top and holds on to the odour and it really really works.

      I am currently chasing my manufacturer to get hold of this product but there seems to be a delay.
      regards

    • Good news I have heard from my manufacturer and I will be getting a few pallets of the top dress sand in the next few weeks.
      It will be collection only from our yard in Bexley.

      • Ah Gavin I live in the northwest so need to find a supplier? I have asked a company to come and have a look under the grass for me to see if there is an issue with the membrane etc! Thank you for the answers and if you can tell me where I can get the sand that would be great? Cheers dawn

  77. Hi, I am looking at putting down some AstroTurf on a flat roof. However, the flat roof has a dip in one place and a puddle stays there when it rains. Is there a risk that mould could come through the turf with a puddle underneath it and what options would there be to resolve this or to lay under the AstroTurf in advance?

    • Hi there a lot depends on what the roof is made up of. I would suggest a self levelling compound if it was a small dip but if the dip is larger it is more of a roofing issue which I suggest you resolve before fitting your grass.
      Don’t forget the grass is only a covering and will mirror the way your roof behaves now. Also when fitting the product be very careful not to nick the roof when cutting and do not over glue as this will cause issues if you ever need to lift as well as slowing down the flow of water trying to drain away.
      regards

  78. Hi Gavin, I can see the join on my lawn that was layed, there has been no sand sprinkled over the finished lawn, do you think that would help hide the join?

    • Hi there adding kiln sand to the top will not hide the join, this is simply added to pin the grass down if there is any puffing.
      Unfortunately once the join is in there is nothing much that can be done unless you feel confident enough to cut out the join and attempt to invisibly repair, which is very fiddly.
      regards

      • Gavin, Hi I am Andy.

        I’m really worried matey, I’ve purchased 7 tons of type 1 sub base granular, 40mm rocks to fines. Trouble is I’ve tested the sub base in a small tray for practice/get used to the material. I’ve compacted it with hammer and baton, and attempted to hammer a 6 inch nail into it. (In preparation/practice for the real thing). Trouble is….the nail just won’t take to the sub base, it’s going in, but has no hold/won’t take and just pulls out when I pull on it. Is this because the base isn’t compacted enough like a Wacker would do? or is it this sub base won’t accept 6 inch nails when done for real, if not why not? I’m baffled, everyone else seems to do it just fine. Or perhaps I can’t compact enough in my test tray like a large Wacker would and I’m just not seeing the real results of a REAL wackering. PLEASE ADVISE, I START IN 3 DAYS (Sh**tt*ng my bracks here!

        • Hi there we don’t use nails around the edge of our product as we prefer to use concreted in timber fixings. Through experience the nails go in fine and stay in place as the base will be very compacted and you will go through the sub base into the ground underneath.
          regards

  79. Hi Gavin, we had turf laid last summer and noticed after Xmas that after being out there I had the odd bite on my legs. Last week during the nice weather day we stayed out till late with our grandson and by next day we were covered in a sore rash! Is is possible we could have sand mites coming up from the base of the turf, if so what can we do?

    • Hi there. I have never come across this before, however it is possible there could be an ants nest under the grass.
      This would be more likely if the area wasn’t dug out properly with a good thick sub base of Type 1 i.e. A thin layer of sand under the grass is more likely to be home to ants rather than a solid stone base.
      May I suggest pulling it back and having a look underneath.
      Regards

    • Hi there, I am at the last part of installing artificial grass and just need to cut around a metal post. What is the best way to do this? It is the near the edge of my work area but not directly on the edge, a couple feet from the side and a couple feet from the back. I have one large piece of artificial grass that covers the entire work area but just need to get around this post. What’s the best way to cut it so that it all looks flush. Thank you for reading

      • Hi there is only one way you have to cut to the edge and fit round it before re-joining. Always try and do this up the seam line as it joins backs easily, however a lot depends on the distance to the edge ie if its 4meteres up the seam and only 1 foot across the seam you may choose to go across the seam. Please note joining across seam lines is very tricky and often shows so do not do this unless its a very short join. Regards

  80. Hi

    I have had artificial grass layed but there is a joint down the middle half is ok but the other half shows a lighter colour.
    Is there such a thing as a grass coloured spray that would do a permenent job??

    Many thanks

    • Hi when you say half is ok but the other half is lighter do you mean the grass pieces you have joined are different colours?
      If yes it means either the grass is laid in different directions or they are not from the same batch or even product.
      Both pieces should be identical in colour.
      I would get back to whoever supplied or laid it.
      No there isn’t a spray.
      Regards

    • Hi there, I would advise having a little look around the edges and see if the installation company put any fixings in, if not it will simply lift up. If this is the case simply pull it back and add some aggregates (ideally granite dust) however sharp sand will do the trick in a small amount, compact it by treading on it and then smooth it off using a float or piece of timber, then simply put the grass back down how it was.
      If there is fixings you may be be able to gently pull it up however if it is stuck down there is nothing you can do with out tearing the grass.
      We always use a nail gun into 3/2 timbers as the heads are small and the grass can be easily pulled up and refixed.
      regards

  81. What cleaning products can I safely use, e.g., where I have a paved path alongside an artificial lawn? I used bleach before having artificial grass installed, guess that this would seriously affect artificial grass?

    • Hi not all grasses are the same but personally I think you should avoid anything with bleach in it.
      I would also advise diluting any cleaner you put on your grass and maybe test it on a spare bit of grass or a hidden area first if you can.
      Regards

  82. Hi Gavin
    Many thanks for your prompt reply, and what you describe is exactly how my lawn is looking and it was their Sales Director that they sent over eventually on the 31st August that made that statement that it is normal. I do believe I am being fobbed off as the grass was laid mid June and we are now mid September what rays are we going to get from now on. It is also strange that the same hasn’t happened to the additional piece as it was all from the same batch! I have this evening out of frustration and some 5k (preparing the garden, purchasing the grass and the fitting) later put a review on x’x’x’ Facebook page stating exactly what has happened. Many thanks

    • Hi it does seem that way I am afraid. The customer I helped before had the same problems. They don’t vet their installers it’s simply whoever will lay their products and then its a question of pushing away the problems.
      I personally would persevere, let them know you will put it on your personal Facebook page and ask friends to share etc. They have an obligation to put something right, don’t forget the extra bit of grass from another roll doesn’t have the same problem …why?
      Ask about what is covered under the warranty …ask why the sample you chose the product from didn’t have the same problem etc etc.
      Best regards
      Gavin

  83. Hi Gavin
    In June this year I had artificial grass laid and for the first couple of weeks it looked great but I then started to notice white web like fibres appearing all over the grass also as I needed 115sq metres this was in excess of a roll, initially all looked the same however the piece additional to the roll now looks different as this is still the same colour as when laid and does not have all the white web like fibres showing. Have you heard of this happening previously also the manufacture who is a well known company has refused to do anything as they have said the ultra rays from the sun will burn the white fibres away. Any advice would be appreciated thanks.

    • Hi there, I have seen this once before and know the manufacturer you are on about, as on this occasion one of their ‘preferred installers’ had made a complete pigs ear of a fitting and I was asked to give my opinion to help the customer.
      I noticed these very fine white fibres all over it, which is very odd. Unfortunately I have no idea whether this is true that they will burn off, however seems like a load of flannel to me.
      I would get back in touch with them and tell them it has been in the sun for weeks and still its there. If they refuse to come out and look, I would let them know you tend to use social media to show the world what their product actually looks like.
      Best wishes
      Gavin

  84. Hi there – I’ve had artificial grass laid and had a few joints done too. The joints are discrete but one patch of grass looks out of place. The grass blades seem to be going at a different direction compared to the other two patches of grass. The guy that did the job has assured me that eventual it will all be facing upwards and will look the same. At the moment the grass was rolled up and some grass blades are facing one way whilst another faces another way. I have tried sweeping and hoovering but it’s not looking much better. He said “in time” it will all just blend in. Can someone reassure me that it will? Thank you.

    • Hi there it sounds to me as though it has either been laid the wrong way round or the grass was from a roll end i.e. slightly squashed.
      Has the grass been in warm sunshine yet? Because if it has and is the same it means it has been laid the wrong way round. Please feel free to email me a photo and I will tell you. If this is the case he will need to replace that piece, but make sure it is from the same batch of grass otherwise it won’t match and the whole area will need lifting and relaying with new grass.

  85. Hi Gavin, Thanks I will give that a go, plenty of drainage under decking. I have lifted the grass and underlay to allow everything to dry. I will put holes in the underlay and I think the added idea of leaving space between each sheet is a good idea.
    Many Thanks.
    Dave White.

  86. Hi, I installed an artificial lawn 3 years ago and bought the turf and underlay as recommended by the company.It is installed on decking which the company said was not problem.The first year was not a problem,but the 2nd year black patches stated appear on the lawn.This year the problem has increased and i removed the lawn to investigate,The problem appears to be the rain is not drain through the underlay.I cannot fin details of the company I purchased the lawn from so I found your site and I am hoping you will be able to offer me some guidance.
    Many Thanks,
    David White.

    • Hi I haven’t ever come across this however from experience a lot of the underlays are simply a foam padding with no specific drainage in them.
      When we lay on a 5mm underlay we generally leave a small gap inbetween each strip.
      I would suggest pulling back the grass and try to put some drainage holes in the underlay all over (this is assuming the water can then drain out through the deck).
      Once the drainage issue is sorted you can try pressure washing the grass and avoid using any strong detergents and bleaching agents.

  87. I have artificial grass down at the moment but it moves under to foot and Im not happy with it. My thought is to lay something over the garden and put it onto thay. I looked at decking the whole garden and putting it on that but it is very expensive for my size garden! Are there are cheaper solutions? Thank you

    • Hi the grass should be laid on a base of type 1 (2-3 inches) and granite dust 0-5 mm which is quite hard to find. We avoid sharp sand as find it sinks under foot which may be your problem.
      We also concrete in hidden fixing timbers around the perimeter, these will stop it moving and the base sinking.
      I personally would lift it and relay it properly (if you can depending on the cut) or if you are reasonably content with how its installed try sanding it with kiln dried sand and brushing it in this will give it some needed weight.
      Regards

  88. 1) Can you provide some sort of brickwork edging for the new artificial lawn?
    2) What would the budget cost be for an area 4m by 5m. in the Orpington area? (I appreciate this will only be for guidance and subject to a survey.

    Alan Sharp

    • Hi I don’t get involved with hard landscaping that would be something you would need to get put in first.
      We concrete in hidden timber fixings around our perimeter to fix grass to.
      I would expect the price to be approx £1300 inc vat depending on grass and access.

      • Hi Gavin,

        We’re installing our grass ourselves and wondering what order to do cutting and joining in.

        We have three strips running lengthways and have started by cutting the two side pieces out as they have fiddly bits around fence posts, so we wanted to get those right first. We haven’t started to attach anything yet.

        We now have the middle strip which will form two joins and needs to be cut to size on both lengths.

        Should we get the joins right first, and then attach all around? Worried that if we don’t get the joins right then we have no wiggle room so don’t want to commit to anything!!

        Many thanks,
        Jenni

        • Hi there , yes you are correct to get the fiddly bit fitted first . Then simply join the next piece on to it . Do not cut any of the grass (except the initial one) until the joins are in !!This simply enables you to move it about and get the joins right .
          regards

        • Iv just installed a 30mm tuda artificial grass every thing as been dug to correct depths and 150mm of hardcore put back in I have played the grass on 40mm of compacted sharp sand and all was well until we have had a rainfall and I’m noticing a few soft spots underfoot is this because I layed the grass on sharp sand instead of granite I can easily take grass up and rectify if this is the solution

          • Hi I would recommend using granite if the areas are soft and double check there are no soft spots in the underlying areas. I would go for slightly less depths on the top layer 25mm max . So maybe top a bit more with type one. All I would say is the screed has to be identical to the original otherwise there will be gapping around the perimeter.

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