INSTALLING ARTIFICIAL TURF
If you want the finished height of your new artificial grass install to be at the same current height, then we recommend removing 4" +/- of any existing lawn or soil. Even if your existing grass is dead or dormant it is highly recommended to remove and dispose of all the material properly. This may require hiring a landscape company to help with this step, if you have a large area or need to remove & dispose several inches of earth.
Adding Aggregate For Sub Base (Do Not Use Sand)
Evenly spread 3-4 inches of Road Base 3/4 Rock, DG, or 1/4 minus Rock (Paver Base) or similar over the area. Keep in mind the larger the rock, the better the drainage. Grade and shape the area with a rake or lute making sure to slope away from any buildings or structures. Lightly wet the area and go over it with a plate compactor, drum roller, or hand tamper. Repeat several times until you achieve a smooth & firm surface.
This is a very important part of the process to get right, so take some extra time here. If your finished surface is smoothly graded and compacted tightly, it will make a big difference in the finished result. Depending on your application it may be necessary to install an edging material to help keep the base material in place, create a finished edge or to create a separation of the synthetic turf from other grass, rocks or mulch. This can be done with metal or plastic edging, composite boards, PT wood or plastic bender board. A weed barrier fabric can be placed on the finished base area as an extra weed deterrent. (Recommended, but not necessary)
A cubic yard of aggregate material can be spread to cover 100 square feet (10' x 10' area) at 3 inches of depth.
LAYING THE TURF
Move the turf roll into position and unroll so the turf can relax before installing. Try to avoid dragging it across the freshly groomed base. It's best to let the turf relax if possible in the sun for an hour prior to cutting and seaming. Make sure to stretch it out and remove any wrinkles. If connecting multiple pieces make sure the fibers are matching and all facing the same direction. When possible, they should be facing towards the focal point. Make sure to trim the first 2 stitch rows down the side edge (both sides) to remove the excess scrim so you have a clean edge to seam (glue) together.
Fitting / Trimming
Move and position all pieces into place. Trim and make any necessary cuts. Always try to cut from the backside and only cut through the turf backing with a carpet knife to prevent shearing any turf fibers, unless it is on an outside edge where the trimmed edge is excess and will be tucked or buried. Double check that the turf fiber direction is matching if you have multiple pieces. When cutting curves or rounded areas make sure to make several small vertical cuts and trim off small pieces at a time along the curve. Trim around all edges and borders leaving 1" excess for tucking during fastening. If trimming flush to any edges then make sure to cut the bottom or backing side of the turf only, using a carpet or utility knife since you do not want to trim or shear off any of the turf fibers during this process or the edge will look unnatural as mentioned before. If tucking the edges then this is not as important and you can, if needed, carefully cut from the top side with shears.
Seaming (make sure the turf is dry and rain is not in the immediate forecast)
Dry fit all the pieces together and prepare for gluing any seams. Flip over each side of the turf about 12 inches to allow for positioning of the seam tape. Lay the seaming fabric down the center of the seam and apply glue to the seaming fabric and spread the glue evenly with a 3/16" v-notch trowel. Use a smaller 1/8" v-notch trowel for lower profile turfs (like our "Country" turf). To keep the tape from moving it can be pinned down with a few nails.
Spread glue evenly and to within 1 inch in from each side of the fabric. If you are using 12" wide fabric, then your glue width should be approximately 10" wide. Be careful not to use too much glue which could ooze out through the seam when curing. Be careful of spilling any glue on the turf during this process. If so, clean up immediately using mineral spirits.
Carefully fold turf back down one side at a time and make sure to place the side down that is leaning away from the glue first, followed by the other side, if applicable. This will help prevent pushing any turf fibers in the glue line. You can use a nail to pick any fibers stuck in the glue. Carefully match and press the 2 sides down into the glue line and fluff the sides together. The turf backing from each side should just be touching flush to each other down the whole seam line or just barely off of each other. Too much of a space or gap will be very noticeable. Do not overlap them or you will get a puckering effect and a very noticeable seam. Next, roll the seam lines using a carpet seaming roller while applying pressure in all directions down the glue line. This will help to seat the backing into the glue and to defibrillate the fibers. It's also highly recommended to weigh down the seam/glue lines with the infill sand bags to help weigh down the glue line while curing and to help prevent any movement or separation.
Tuck the extra 1" edges into the border or earth with a putty knife and hammer. Edges can also be cut flush and nailed if you do not like the tucked look. Use 4" to 6" Turf Nails 1" in from the edge every 6" around the perimeter to hold the edges down. Try to source twisted deck nails with a small head. When nailing, be sure to spread the turf away from the nail head so it doesn't trap any fibers and do not to drive the nails too deep (not past flush). This can leave a depression and pull on the turf leaving a divot.
Turf edges can also be glued to other surfaces for fastening (concrete curbs or edges, pavers, edging, etc.) using brown all purpose Gorilla Glue. And turf edges can be nailed or stapled to wood or composite materials.
Make sure both your turf and the sand is dry before attempting the this step. It is extremely hard to do this step with wet turf or sand. If necessary, fluff up the turf (with a broom or power broom) prior to adding infill so the sand can work in evenly. Use a drop spreader to apply silica sand (20/20 or 16/30 size) infill to help weigh down the turf, add ballast, & to help keep the fibers standing upright. Our turfs average 1-3 pounds of sand per square foot of turf. Fill your drop spreader to capacity and start at start at one corner and work the perimeter followed by the entire area back and forth at a steady pace dropping the sand as evenly as possible.
It's time to work in the sand. Brooming can be done with a stiff bristled outdoor broom or a power broom. Start from one end making smooth strokes against the grain over the entire area until the sand gets worked in and the fibers are uniform. You may need apply infill and groom in multiple applications and this is fine. Once finished, lightly spraying with water can help seat in the sand.