The step-by-step process
A typical synthetic turf installation can be broken down into a couple of simple steps which we feature in several videos along with a written step-by-step process! When coupled with synthetic grass knowledge, these steps will always guide you in the right direction for your installation. Want to understand when and where your infill should be applied to your turf? Or how to properly seam synthetic grass to avoid a ‘mohawk affect?’ Check out our guide!
Step 1: Before the Installation
Remove any existing materials such as soil, weeds or any above-ground landscaping. Rough grade the area and uncover everything underneath such as electrical wires, irrigation pipes. The goal is to prepare a solid sub-base for the installation.
Cap any existing sprinklers that will not be used. Cap the sprinklers at the pipe level in order to avoid any leakage that might occur. Make sure to modify sprinklers or drainage. Relocate sprinklers in necessary, modify existing irrigation lines and add required drainage. Make sure to mark the location of the un-used sprinklers. Avoid low-lying spots.
Move electrical sprinklers and wiring inward and away from any hardscape or perimeter from six-to-eight inches in order to avoid accidental damage when nailing turf edges. Once the wiring and other materials are moved, lay the items on top of the subgrade surfacing and secure them with U-shaped nails.
Install Bender Board: this important step provides your installation with a clean line and separates natural plants and gardens from your synthetic turf installation.
Step 2: Prepare the Base
Install the base material with a decomposed granite, or ‘DG’ which is a special mixture of gravel and sand. This material allows for the liquids from the turf to properly drain. For non-pet landscape installations, install DG three inches in depth.
Properly distribute and level base material. This step will eliminate sloping away from high traffic areas towards the installed drainage area and will also help the turf appear level and smooth at the surface after the project is complete.
Step 3: Compacting Base
Wet the existing base to allow the material to properly settle.
Compact the base by vibrating, tamping and rolling the gravel until you have a completely flat surface. Once this solid base is established, the turf can be easily nailed to the base.
Step 4: Weed Resistant Layer
Roll out the weed cloth, if applicable. This fabric prevents any additional plants and weeds from growing through the base of the synthetic grass. Overlap the weed cloth edges by six inches and secure it with as many flat-head nails as necessary. This will prevent the cloth from movement or wrinkling when the synthetic turf is placed over top of it.
Trim the cloth to fit the landscape area and leave a quarter inch gap along the areas bordering the hardscape and turf. This makes tucking easier. Remember: Do not drive the nails too deeply into the ground as it could cause the weed cloth to pull down and produce surface dimples.
Step 5: Laying out the Turf
Before laying the turf down, be sure to find either a straight edge or two perpendicular edges for alignment.
Square the turf to fit the area in order to minimize cutting and fitting on all four sides. Once the turf is square, secure the square edges with temporary nails to hold it in place while securing the opposite edges.
Step 6: Custom Fit the Turf
When fitting the turf for the area, over-cut the turf by one inch along the edges for a proper fit. The excess turf will be necessary for the tucking process. When in doubt, cut the turf fatter as it can always be trimmed down later. When seaming turf edges together, use a seaming tool to avoid any Mohawk affects. Once the turf is cut with the seaming tool, line up the turf accordingly. Cut the turf in an S-shape to avoid the turf possibly pushing against each other’s angles, which can create discoloration illusion in the seamed area.
Install nails every six inches along the edge and drive them down three quarters of the way. When finished, separate the grass to avoid pulling the blades down with the nail. The nail will be hidden with the grass blade at the base of the mat.
Don’t drive the nails down too deeply as it will pull the turf down and create a dimpled appearance on the surface. Be sure to secure seams with six inch U-nails every six inches.
Make sure the U-nail is driven to the same level of the mat and hidden with the grass blades.
Step 7: Tuck Turf Edges
Tucking the turf means you will be hiding the turf edges against any hardscape or border by using a metal bar called a Wonder Bar. This will give your turf installation a clean plush look.
Step 8: Apply Filler
Use a power brush or a heavy bristled brush to pull against the grain of the grass in order to make it stand up. Apply your infill or Envirofill sand and spread the granules evening throughout the entire turf installation. The infill will hold the blades upright and give the turf more weight.
Step 9: Final Grooming
Brush up your turf once again with a power broom or bristled brush to force your infill into the base of the turf. This will allow the turf to settle and create optimal stability for your synthetic grass. Follow up the process to also remove excess debris.