Before most people take the step of buying artificial grass they look in to the various installation options and prices available. Since artificial turf is more complicated than sod installation, most consumers would prefer to have a professional do the job. However, installing artificial turf is costly, at least more expensive than the installation of sod. This article is designed to assist the consumer that wants to save on installation costs but still wants the professional look and feel.
Here are some of the basic tools you will need:
Shovel; 2X4 approximately 4 feet long; carpet knife; wheel barrow; scissors; water fillable garden roller; hand propelled fertilizer spreader
Optional power equipment:
Vibrating plate compactor; power broom
Materials other than the turf itself:
Base material (we suggest class II road base but you can use decomposed granite); permeable weed barrier; 6″ galvanized nails; sod staples; and an infill product such as silica sand. You may be able to find synthetic infill products from your turf supplier if you do not want silica sand.
Like any other construction project, artificial turf installation begins with accurate measurement. Turf is far more costly than sod and it is critical to measure twice before buying materials. Turf typically comes in rolls 15 feet wide. However, some manufacturers produce turf in 12 foot widths. Knowing the exact measurements of your area is critical as coming up with an efficient seaming plan can save you a great deal of money.
Once you have made an accurate drawing of the area, you need to calculate the square footage required. knowing the exact area is important, but knowing how many linear feet if turf required in 12 or 15 foot widths is very important too. Let’s go through a calculation of the materials required for a 1000 square foot lawn.
Road base: 1 ton per 100 square feet
Infill: 2 lbs per square foot of silica sand
weed barrier: same as the turf area
For a 1 thousand square foot installation you will need 10 tons of base, 1 ton of sand and enough weed barrier to cover the entire area.
Excavate the entire area to a depth of 3″-4″ deep. use the 2X4 to grade the area as smooth as possible. Roll the area flat with the water filled garden roller when done. Once the surface is relatively level, add the road base. Once the road base is installed, grade the base as smooth as possible with the 2X4 and then use the garden roller again to compact the base. It is far more important to make sure the base is level and smooth than it is to make the underlying earth level and smooth. Once the area is compacted and graded to your linking lay the weed barrier down and attach it with the nails. Once the weed barrier has been secured roll the turf out on the installation area and cut it as needed. Always cut the turf upside down, that is, cut the backing of the turf, do not cut it from the top down. Secure the perimeters of the turf with the galvanized nails every 3″. In the seams, use sod staples and nails every three inches. You do not need to secure the turf in the middle with nails or staples, the infill product will secure it in place rather nicely. Once the turf in in place add bags of the infill product to the hand pushed fertilizer spreader and distribute the infill product evenly throughout. The infill product will not drop to the bottom of the turf level on its own. You will need to use a broom, or more preferably, the optional power brush you can rent from a local tool shop. If you have access to the power brush, the turf will look perfect in a very short amount of time. Without the power brush, you will need to spend more time on making the infill distribute evenly with a regular broom.