Artificial Grass is becoming increasingly popular with those looking to undertake both domestic and commercial landscaping projects.
Although there is some controversy amongst gardeners for preferences over natural and artificial grass, it seems that artificial grass is taking off and becoming more widely used for a variety of reasons:
- It is low maintenance and therefore perfect for those who do not have time to mow or water lawns
- They are easy to keep neat and tidy and do not produce mud even after high rains
- They are safer for pets and children to play on
There have also been a number of improvements in recent years with regards to the quality and appearance of artificial grass. Many people who dislike artificial grass are not familiar with the modern options available. They will visualise a very false looking product but these days artificial grass is very hard to tell apart from the real deal. There is a wide range of choice out there in terms of price, quality, length and appearance with some varieties obviously appearing more natural than others.
Experienced Manufacturers who produce the best artificial grass use techniques to mimic real grass fibres such as mingling shades of colour, even subtle elements of brown to create a highly realistic natural appearance.
If you are looking to lay your own artificial grass as part of your next big landscaping DIY project then follow our simple guide to help you along the way.
The first thing to consider is are you laying on a solid or permanent base or is your artificial grass for a temporary installation?
If you are only laying a temporary installation then you simply need to make sure that the surface you are covering is clean and smooth. Then all you need to do is apply a self-levelling compound before rolling out the required amounts. If you are just placing your new artificial grass on top of decking or another timber surface, then a combination of adhesive and carpet tracks will do the job of fixing the grass down nicely.
For a solid or permanent base:
You will require artificial grass rolls, Stanley knife, high quality outdoor tape or glue, sand mix, rake, vibrating plate or roller (if you are replacing natural grass), weed killer, geo textile weed barrier, pins.
1) Calculate in square metres the area you wish to cover with artificial grass and always buy slightly more rolls of artificial grass than you need as wastage may come in handy depending on your garden design shape.
2) Make certain the area is clean and smooth. A self-levelling compound should be used to remove surface imperfections. This is especially important is you are laying out a very short artificial grass product.
3) Lay down your artificial grass on the clean, smooth area. Be sure to allow 50mm of grass overlapping the sides of the area you want to cover to ensure a perfect edge. If you leave the grass for a couple of hours to settle you will find this removes creases.
4) Take your Stanley knife and neatly trim your grass to match the edges of your chosen covered area.
5) Now for making the joins we recommend using a high quality outdoor tape or glue. Push any grass edges together then when satisfied peel back the grass and apply the glue, tape or adhesive. Fold the grass back and if you have used glue or adhesive be sure not to squeeze too hard as this will push the glue into the grass strands.
6) Using ground pins you can nail the perimeter down every 200mm to keep it extra secure.
7) Bear in mind your new artificial grass area may require an infill. If this is the case you will need to lay down a sand mix, which has been compacted in advance.
8) Avoid leaving any vegetation underneath the new grass.
Replacing an existing Natural Lawn with Artificial Grass:
1) In the case of replacing existing grass it is very important to work out the height you wish your grass to be before you begin.
2) Take up your turf and also some subsoil depending on the height you wish your new grass to be and the height of your topsoil. It is not a good idea to add a base on top of the topsoil.
3) Try to remove any big stones from under the turf.
4) Compact the ground using a hired roller then proceed to spray down weed killer as you don’t want weeds growing up through the artificial grass.
5) Place down your geo-textile weed barrier to prevent the weeds returning across the area you wish to be covered by artificial grass.
*Note that water runoff is important. Artificial grass does not absorb water in the way a natural lawn does so you want to hinder run off as little as possible. This means that if you desire a timber edging around the artificial lawn it must not be higher than the end result of the grass line.
6) You may want to put down roughly 75mm of fine type stone aggregate and compact it down.
7) Lay down a coarse sand to a depth of approximately 20mm – 40mm. Or you can use a finer stone aggregate if you prefer. Again compact this down.
8) Lay your new grass carefully on top without dragging the sand around too much.
9) Leave for the settling time as with other methods.
10) Finally cut, trim and make the joins just as you did for a solid base.
* Remember that if you are laying artificial grass on a roof be sure it will bear the weight and be careful not to puncture your waterproof membrane.
You can purchase in store or order artificial grass for delivery from Richard Williams Builder’s Merchants in North Wales. Call 01492 583423 for their Llandudno Junction branch or 01824 702475 for their Ruthin branch.